Will moving Bud Dupree to ROLB make any difference?

The Steelers have reportedly decided to try out Bud Dupree at ROLB, or Right Outside Linebacker, and T.J. Watt at LB, Left Outside Linebacker. Many fans were frustrated and confused, as it seems this change could make absolutely no difference and, instead, make things difficult for Watt.

But, contrary to the belief of most fans, this could make a difference. Will Dupree suddenly emerge as the next Lamarr Woodley or Jadeveon Clowney? Unlikely. But it could assist him on his road to “breaking out. ” Why? Because ROLBs come off the QBs blind-side, except with lefty QBs, who are basically extinct in the NFL. This benefits Dupree specifically because it is a path around his recent deficiencies in college and the NFL. Coming out of college, Dupree was knocked for his lack of speed with change-of-direction and does not the same agility that Watt has. Watt is also relatively new to the OLB position in general, so a change will not have the negative effect that many fans expect. Watt’s ability to chase-down and actually tackle the QB seems to be superior to Dupree’s, and Dupree didn’t really struggle getting to the QB; he struggled with actually bringing them to the ground. He had a substantial amount of pressures, but was rarely ever able to actually get something down on the stat sheet.

Bud Dupree may never be the player many fans hoped he could be. But, if he is to improve, this move could assist in his development. There is little-to-no harm in the move, but solid upside. With Dupree basically being a cut-candidate by the end of the season, this is his year to prove himself. With a big year, he can earn himself a big contract and solidify the Steelers’ defense for years to come. Though playing at ROLB is not the only factor in that kind of improvement.

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