There's been a fair amount of speculation about where Akeem Dent might play in 2011. Add this latest Fox Sports report to the pile.
Adam Caplan is a good reporter, so when he says Dent is projected to play the strong side, I tend to listen. Many had guessed that Dent would make his living backing up Curtis Lofton, or perhaps backing up all three linebacker spots. My best guess was a little bit of the latter and a little bit of being groomed to start once Mike Peterson finally got too old for this shit.
Caplan points to Dent getting reps on the strong side. In one way, that makes a lot of sense, as Dent is a fairly advanced prospect and is an immediate asset against the run. Given Thomas Dimitroff's stated desire to see him help out on special teams, he's probably a two-down guy, at least this early in his career.
On the other hand, how many reps is he going to get if/when Peterson returns to the Falcons? Dent actually reminds me of Peterson a lot, given his reputation as a thumper who isn't exactly intimately familiar with coverage. Until he becomes a more complete player, I see him as less of a complement to Peterson and more of a guy who spells the elder statesman of the linebacking corps.That's fine, but I'm willing to bet he gets reps elsewhere, too.
What do you see in Dent's future?