Kiko Alonso has been a player of derision for Dolphins Twitter. I think everyone thinks he is a good player or at the very least an above average player. The question is where to put him on the field next year.
A lot of people think he isn’t fit to being a middle linebacker because he has trouble with power offenses and will get blocked out of the play when teams run right at him. He also has questionable instincts that a middle linebacker needs. These concerns are true. Other people have concerns about him playing weakside linebacker. They will point out that Alonso has a problem with coverage. This is also true.
So with both of these camps having valid points on why Alonso shouldn’t play specific positions, why is he even on an NFL roster? The fact is he is a good football player. Alonso had a Pro Bowl type year. He had a great year because he has great sideline to sideline speed. He is excellent at blitzing. Blitzing linebackers are a pillar of this defense. Plus Alonso comes through in the clutch.
Alonso needs to trust his instincts in the coverage. On this play, Alonso should read and react as soon as he sees the running back turning to catch the ball. Instead he hesitates and allows the running back to catch with space to run.
Alonso does a great job of crashing the hole and taking on the fullback to disrupt the running back.
Alonso has great range. He sees the ball thrown to the wideout and speeds to the ball carrier to make a stop.
Alonso needs to work on staking and shedding his blocks. Seattle’s right guard is able to put him to the ground. Alonso should either take on the blocker or react quicker and avoid the blocker, but he can’t get bullied by the blocker.
Alonso shows good timing and quickness while blitzing on this play. He is able to deliver a jarring hit.
Alonso’s strength isn’t coverage. Here Alonso is covering Bennett, the first mistake is letting him inside, then Alonso bites on the juke move to the outside. Alonso shouldn’t bite on the outside. Let the receiver go outside. It is a harder throw plus there are other defenders as well as the sideline.
Alonso does a great job of hitting the hole and tripping up Blount from making a bigger gain.
Alonso’s strength is blitzing. He has a knack for timing and a good burst. He demonstrates his blitzing ability on this play, though he doesn't get the sack. I feel when he brings pressure from the second level, like on this play, and not from the line of scrimmage he is a lot more successful.
This play is another example of Alonso struggling with smash mouth power offense running games. This was very clear in the entire Titans game. Here the Titans run right at him. Alonso gets stuck on a blocker and can only make a play eight yards off the line of scrimmage.
Alonso also gets aggressive sometimes and over commits to a hole. That gets him in trouble when RBs bounce runs outside. This play is an example of what I am talking about.
Alonso looks lost in zone coverage. He struggles at finding his man while keeping his eyes on the QB.
Here is an example of what happens when he doesn’t over commit to a hole. Murray tries to bounce outside, but Alonso stays where he is and is able to contribute to a stop.
Alonso does have a tendency to come through in the clutch. Here the game is tied and San Diego is almost in position to kick a game winning field goal. Alonso sees Rivers locked on Williams who is running a short slant route. Alonso makes a beautiful pick six to seal the deal.
Once again the opposing team is in a position to score what would be a game tying touchdown. Kaepernick decides to run it in for the TD. Alonso and Suh cut him off and smears him before he is able to cross the goal line. Game Over.
This review was completed by Matthew Knowles. Follow him on Twitter: @blueflamespcl
Latest Dolphins News