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Nakobe Dean
NFL Combine

Nakobe Dean Wants The Green Dot

  • Carmen Vitali
  • March 5, 2022
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You already know the quarterback is the one that orchestrates the offense, often called the signal-caller given that they are the ones with a mic in their helmets communicating with their coaches on the sideline. It’s never any other position besides quarterback on that side of the ball. But on the other side, the ‘green dot,’ indicating who receives and fields the defensive calls, can belong to pretty much anyone.

Most commonly, this duty falls on the shoulders of an inside linebacker—and that makes sense. They are the middle level, with the ability to communicate the play call with the defensive line in front of them and the defensive backs behind them. And one guy who prides himself on being in the middle of it all is former Georgia inside linebacker Nakobe Dean.

Dean has been calling the defense since he was in high school. He took a brief backseat upon arriving in Athens but made sure to pay attention to Monty Rice, the defensive captain and signal-caller when Dean was a freshman.

“One of the biggest things I say I picked up from him was the communication piece,” said Dean of Rice. “He helped me see how I was supposed to communicate to the defense and all the lines of communication from the front to the back end.”

Even when he’s not in the middle of it, he’s never quite out. Dean told the story of still participating in spring ball from the sideline last year despite being out with injury.

“I was definitely out there in full pads, I just had the script in my hand,” said Dean. “I saw everything from more of a coach’s perspective. I was having freshman linebackers coming in and I was able to be more of a coach and see everything from a defensive perspective. Overall, it helped me understand the game [more].”

With a more comprehensive understanding of the game comes an increased amount of confidence on Dean’s part. He was part of an inside linebacker tandem at Georgia with Channing Tindall—the two seem to be the best of friends off the field, too. But Tindall spoke of times where it was Dean that corrected him and held him accountable throughout the season, which makes it sound like he really has this communication thing down pat. That certainly makes a case for him taking on a leadership role at the next level.

“That’s my goal,” said Dean. “Going straight into it. Get that green dot.”

Written By

Carmen Vitali