Soul defense set for huge boost up front
Since Week 1, the Philadelphia Soul have allowed only the Jacksonville Sharks to score more than 50 points in a game. The defense has been very strong so far this season and may not even be at their peak yet.
Currently, defensive lineman Jake Metz (back) is on Injured Reserve. Mac linebacker Beau Bell was placed on inactive reserve with an ankle sprain that has sidelined him since Week 5. Dwayne Hollis sat out of last Friday’s win versus the Orlando Predators with a shoulder injury. A front office official said that all the players are considered week to week. Bell and Hollis are both listed as questionable for this week's game against the Sharks.
Considering this is a long week due to the Friday game in Week 7, Bell and Hollis. Metz will be on injured reserve for at least next week due to the rule that players have to spend nine weeks on injured reserve.
This would give the Soul a very crowded front four, with eight potential starters. Bryan Robinson, Justin Lawrence and Beau Bell are likely considered locks to start due to their success so far this season.
The Soul have already addressed their crowded defensive line this week, trading Caleb Bostic to the New Orleans VooDoo in exchange for offensive lineman Daverin Geralds. Unlike the defensive line, the offensive line has been shorthanded this year because the team has been without Keith Newell since April 15th when he was placed on inactive reserve. Newell suffered a hamstring injury and is questionable for Saturday’s game.
But how will the other four defensive lineman fare when the Soul are at full strength? Below is a preview of what the defensive line could look like in two weeks
CURTIS YOUNG, DE/MLB/NG
Young is the most versatile of the group, as he can play anywhere up front including nose guard. Young has started at mac linebacker the past two weeks in Bell’s absence. Young is a natural defensive end, and has played there in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers, and the AFL with the Cleveland Gladiators and the Pittsburgh Power. Young came into camp interested in playing mac linebacker but likely would be moved to the line when Bell returns. Young has very good size and is a veteran player. Young won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 2010. Young has the talent to be the starting defensive end opposite of Robinson but will have to compete with all the other defensive ends for the job.
JAKE METZ, DE/MLB/FB
Metz was the top defensive end in camp until Bryan Robinson signed with the team one week into camp. Later in camp, Metz saw action at mac linebacker and fullback, but then injured his back near the end of camp. Metz is nearly ready to go and will be one of the favorites for the starting job at defensive end. Metz is 6-foot-6, 265 Pounds and was superb at Shippensburg University. Metz is the all-time leader in sacks in a season with 11.5 at Shippensburg. Metz has a similar frame to Teddy Jennings who tore the AFL up in his rookie season. Metz’s youth and versatility will keep him around and his hard work ethic will make him a leader for the job.
PADRIC SCOTT, DE/NG
Scott signed with the Soul last year after he was released from the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. Scott was the starting nose guard for the Soul at the end of the season and had showed solid pass rushing ability, with two sacks in just four games. The Soul picked up Scott’s rookie option in September, locking him in Philadelphia for another season. Scott came into camp as the backup to Lawrence at nose guard, and the backup defensive ends to Metz and Robinson. When the Soul needed a better matchup at the end spot against the Gladiators, they decided to bench Caleb Bostic and start Scott. Since then, Scott has started every game at end. Scott has played the most end this year out of the five lineman.
The addition of Bell, Metz and Hollis into the lineup makes the Soul defense even scarier than it already is. It’ll be interesting to see who runs out for the first defensive drive this Saturday in Jacksonville when the Soul take on the Sharks.