I will be the first to admit that I have been one of the most vocal critics of him. That is mostly because I have been looking at him as a Mathis or Freeney replacement and hence a bust, which I still think is true as far as a pure pass rusher....coming in for them it is hard not to compare Hughes to our pass rush monsters. That being said I think I have been judging him wrongly position wise because IMO Hughes is slowly becoming a really good SAM linebacker. They aren't the sexy player or really there to get the big 3rd down sacks (when they do it is a bonus)....they are more the NT of the linebackers and are there to set the strong side edge on rushing downs, turn the run back inside, and get them into 3rd and passing distance so those big name guys like Mathis or Suggs for Balt can pin their ears back and go for the QB and get the glory.
Against the Dolphins they seemed to be rushing pretty well until Hughes came in. I admit that might have been game situation and I wasn't really looking to see how Hughes played on rushing downs, but I will be watching closely the coming weeks when he is in to see if I am correct and changing the way at least I look at him may change the way I see him overall as a player.
I'm curious to see what everybody else thinks on him since he may be a big part of our future if Freeney leaves (I think that depends on his contract demands) and what I hope happens and we continue to play our way out of getting a big time OLB high in the draft and have to go elsewhere depending on who falls to us.
Last edited by matthollabak; 11-04-2012 at 10:17 PM.
He's been solid so far and with Mathis hurting himself (again) he's gonna get more playing time. From what I've seen he's been generating the pass rush pretty well on his part. The next step? Getting the sack.
Also, he's sometimes struggled with jumping a little too early.