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2008 Defense Needs Lost Of Work

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Feb 9, 2008.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We have an entire offseason to fix the defenive backfield. It may be difficult to bring this defense to last year's levels, but certainly not impossible.

    I have presumed to re-signing of RFA's Wright and Moore. For now, I will also assume that Bruschi, Seau and Chad Scott are signed. They could retire or be cut later, but for now this seems a good starting place. It's a given that we'll work out the WR situation. There are many good options.

    However, the focus of the offseason must be on the defensive backfield.

    I have the same concern at LB that I do every year. And every year, bb and pioli bring in the needed free agents (the exception being when Bruschi, Phifer and Johnson all were unavailable for the season). I do expect Colvin to restructure. If not, he'll play another year. One of Bruschi and Seau should return. If one leaves, a veteran will replace him. I do hope for a future 1st round OLB. We might get a top free agent instead.

    DE - 4 Warren, Green, Seymour, WRIGHT
    DT - 4 Wilfork, Le Kevin Smith, Santonio Thomas, MOORE
    LB - 8 Vrabel, Colvin, Adalius Thomas, BRUSCHI, SEAU
    Woods, Alexander, Lua
    CB - 4 Hobbs, Spann, Richardson, SCOTT
    S - 5 Sanders, Harrison, Meriweather, Andrews/MITCHELL, Ventrone
  2. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    I think they should just revamp the defense. I've gone back and forth on Seau and Brushi. We need to become a faster and pressure oriente defense where we can send blitzes from every angle. We need an additional stud OLB and I think AD should go back in the middle as he's 270 and should be able to take on guards. I'd like to see a FA ILB come in to add depth and speed to ILB. I think Vrabel should move inside.

    So then we have OLB- Draft pick/Colvin/Woods
    ILB- AD, Free Agent, Vrabel

    Vrabel can move inside and out to give flexibility.

    Resign Gay, Wilson(since his stock is low now, unless someone pays him).

    We need to become a pressure fast defense.

    Defense wins championships.
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not sure I want Vrabel moving inside but if so, I'd try to sign Calvin Pace to go with Colvin, Thomas and Bruschi. We wouldn't have the money then for another big signing but with the #7 pick plus an extra (high) #3 we will have at least (more if we trade down) four picks do hit the secondary hard.

    I wonder what the team opinion is of Sanders. If they like him as a starter, it may be time to bite the bullet and get him and Meriweather out there together. ILB and Safety we have to get more speed and quickness.
  4. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    While we can all agree that the LB's need to be revamped, I will go out on a limb and say that the D-Line needs to be adressed. They are SLOW! They always seem to be a step to late when getting after the QB. I understand that 3-4 ends don't get many sacks but I hardly ever saw them put any type of pressure on the QB.

    Secondary needs to be revamped as well. I'm looking for at least 3 new starters in the secondary and two new starters at LB.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2008
  5. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    I could see us going two ways.

    A. Get a pass-rusher. Look what good pass-rush did for that ordinary Giants secondary. V.Gholston or C.Long come on down!

    1 V.Gholston - OLB - OSU. Keep A.Thomas inside. Use Rodney as big-nickel.
    Allows Bruschi/Seau to alternate. Keeps Colvin and Vrabel fresh for end of game push. Which killed us in the Indy game and Super Bowl.

    2. cb. Trade up from 62 using our own 3 to about 47 or 48. Some possibilities P.Lee - Auburn, B.Flowers - Va Tech - C.Godfrey - Iowa.

    3 from OAK. Another cb. Maybe a T.Williams - USF, J.King - PSU, T.Thomas -USC, C.Jackson - LSU.

    4-7 BPA's.


    b. Get a couple of cb's.

    1. Trade down from 7 to about 14. Denver. They want S.Ellis. L.Mckelvin or D.Rodgers-Cromartie.

    2a From Trade. Another cb. Lee,Flowers,Godfrey.

    2B ilb - Maybe a P.Wheeler or C.Lofton falls to here. We can also move up with that 2nd three. So, I'll say P.Wheeler.

    3a from Oak. OLB - Might be able to find one here. B.Davis - UCLA, D.Robertson - Ga Tech.

    3b Traded to move up in Round 2. Because we need quality more than depth.

    That would be a heckuva injection of speed/youth.

    1 L.McKelvin - Troy - CB
    2. P. Lee - Auburn - CB
    2. P. Wheeler - Ga Tech - ILB
    3. B. Davis - UCLA - olb
  6. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    I believe if they put some speed at linebacker behind the line then the DL will have more times they might not be doubled.
  7. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It all works together for sure, before Colvin got hurt Vrabel had 9.5 sacks - after Colvin went out Vrabel had 3 sacks and they were all in the meaningless Miami game.
  8. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    good point.
  9. neuronet

    neuronet Rookie

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    The Pats had the second most sacks in the league.
  10. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    one thing that bothered me all season was Ty Warren. He had a huge year pre-contract and was ok this year. I think he's good, but he dominated last year.
  11. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    that's what happens when you blow people out.
  12. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    I disagree that age and speed were the biggest defensive issues this year. Depth was the bigger problem.

    Until Colvin got hurt, the Pats got consistent pressure, and with a 5 man LB rotation, the older guys were keps fresh. With Colvin out, the Pats had to resort to adding Pierre Woods and Eric Alexander to the rotation, nifty special teams players but not guys you want to see getting defensive snaps.

    In the secondary, we basically saw a 6 man rotation, Harrison, Sanders, Meriweather, Samuel, Hobbs and Gay. Who was the dime back? Where was the CB depth. Hobbs gets lambasted on this board but he was solid. What the defense lacks is a guy to cover the opponents 3-4 guy.

    Solutions? We have to wait and see on Seau and Bruschi. My gut feeling says they both return. Seau came too close to gve up now. Bruschi has never given me any indication that he plans on retiring. Assuming Colvin restructures, we bring back our 5 man roration. Youth needs to be brought in, but youth will not likely help the team in 2008. We need a veteran 6th LB who can come in and play regular snaps. Suggs will be too expensive, and Karlos Dansby is likely to br franchised, leaving Calvin Pace and Clark Haggins as the most likely options.

    The secondary is likely to lose Samuel, IMO. This is a more urgent situation, but it can be addressed creatively. I expect a trade here for a vet who can start. I've heard rumblings that Carolina is looking to move Ken Lucas. Ty Law and DeShea Townsend are both likely to be cut. Dominique Foxworth could be a nice depth pickup.

    I expect our high draft pick to be used on a DB. More likely than not we move down a few spots with sights set on Kenny Phillips or Aquib Talib.
  13. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat Rookie

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    I will not dispute this. However the sacks may have come in bundles against the weaker teams that were blown out. There were games when the opposing QB could sit back there in relative peace and pick the defense apart.
  14. Mr.Muhozi

    Mr.Muhozi Rookie

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    for me i want to see a 1st round LB preferably gholston, and with BB magic, we can get some decent corners in the later rounds like we got samuels in round 4 and hobbs in round 3, yet they were our starters this season, so i would not be surprised if BB got a world class CB in round 3-5,
  15. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If I'm making the decisions, this is what I want to do. I will refrain from comparing to this year or any other, becuase as BB always says, its a new year and you start over. With that said, first, these are the issues I saw in our defense, so they would be ones I focus on being good at:
    1) 2 minute D. To me this occured because we were weak in coverage at nickel/safety and LB.
    2) Depth. Yes, we have depth, but we tend to use players in such versatile roles that some are heavily relied upon to fill different roles in different spots, and play more snaps than ideal (this is primarily the front 7)

    In a perfect world, this is where I wold like to see us:

    DL
    I have absolutely no issue with Seymour-Wilfork-Warren with Green as #1 backup, and using 2 of these 4 inside on 3rd down and in 2 minute.
    Behind those 4, I think whatever we bring back out of Smith, Wright, Thomas, Moore, etc will fit the bill. If there is a guy in the later rounds or cheaper FA who can get in this mix, grab him, but we are pretty well set.

    OLB-
    Colvin returns. I'd really prefer to keep both Vrabel and Thomas outside and use a 3man rotation, including 3rd down as DE. All 3 can easily play on 3rd down as well.
    Our best case scenario is using these 3 and having each of them get 75-80% of the snaps, some a bit more, some a bit less depending on the game.
    I am fine with Woods as the 4th behind them, and whoever emerges as a s/ter in camp as the 5th.
    If we must use one inside, its not a huge deal, but the biggest effect, IMO, would be if you must have all 3 on the field in the base, it diminshes your sub packages on 3rd down.

    ILB
    I'm fine with Bruschi, I thought he played well this year. I''m fine if Seau wants to return to the role he started this year as: the 5th LB who plays sparingly. I don't see a guy who is developing here, but what we truly need is the ILB in the mold of Gary Reasons, Steve DeOssie, Ted Johnson, Roman Phifer that have always been part of the BB top defenses. A role player who is playing roughly 50% of the downs. This could come in FA, the draft (not at all unreasonable that an ILB can be drafted to fit this role, even on day 2) or maybe off of IR in Oscar Lua.

    I'd like to add one contributor either inside or outside, because I'd like to be 5 deep. Thats a bonus, but if we come back with Vrabel-Bruschi-Thomas-Colvin, we are strong at the LB position, the issue becomes that we need to add another player who can take some of the roles away from these guys.
    One option that would be interesting would be to add a pass rushing specialist DE (a guy in the KGB, greg Spires, Robert Mathis mold, who would only playing in nickel/dime). Our coverage is better with Vrabel and Thomas not playing DE in those situaitons, but at LB, AND better with more rotation at the nickel/dime DE spot.

    CB
    I think its important to keep Samuel. I am thrilled with Samuel and Hobbs as starters.
    After those 2, we need to rebuild the corner position. I am not comfortable bringing back anyone we have for the nickel role. By far the best option on the roster would be Richardson, and thats only because he is an unknown quantity and the known quantity is unaccpetable.
    I would absolutely draft a corner #1, and plug him in as the nickel.
    If Samuel returns, that #1 pick eventually takes Hobbs spot down the road. If Samuel does not, we need a serviceable starting caliber CB in FA.
    Richardson, a later draft pick, cheap FA, or some UDFAs can all compete for the 4th corner spot.

    S
    I love Rodney. But I see 2 choices with him. Let him go, or limit him to not being involved in any packages outside the base D, or as a LB in the nickel. Meriwhether should be a 'starter' at least in the sub packages, and possibly full time. Speed and coverage ability at safety is critical in the NFL right now, esp on 3rd down and in 2 minute D. Eugene Wilson in 03 and 04 gave us that, and it was crtical. Meriwhether is that kind of player but more gifted.
    Sanders as a starting safety is fine by me.
    I would like to see us draft a bigger corner in the mid-late rounds that we can convert to safety. We need to revamp our skillset preferences at safety, IMO.


    I think the starters and reserves are pretty clear.
    I would like to see us set up the following for nickel/dime/2 minute D.

    DE- Colvin, Thomas, Vrabel but preferably one more so that Thomas and vrable can be in the LB spots, and they all can get some rest during a game. I want to only need 2 of the 3 on 3rd down.

    CB- Samuel/Replacement, Hobbs, #1 pick

    S- Meriwhether, Sanders, with Wilson or a rookie with corner skills as backups.

    LB- We need 2 in the nickel, 1 in the dime, exclusive of those playing DE.
    Bruschi can play this role, but again we shouldnt NEED him to. My plan says Thomas or Vrabel are true Lbs in these sets. Rodney Harrision, if back, should be considered a LB only in these sets, and no longer a safety. Using those 4 to fill 2 spots is a good plan IMO.

    Priorities are:
    1) Samuel or replacement
    2) top notch rookie corner to play the nickel
    3) Role player at ILB capable of playing half the snaps
    4) This gives us 15 players that are key to the plan:
    Seymour, Wilfork, Warren, Green
    Vrabel, Thomas, Colvin, Bruschi, Addition
    Samuel, Hobbs, draft pick, Meriwhether, Sanders, Harrison
    out of approximately 25 we can carry on defense.

    The other 10 spots are ones we should add later round picks, cheaper FAs, etc to the guys now on the roster who could fill them.

    IF we get better covering the entire field on passing downs, we will have an elite defense. A few strong moves can achieve that.
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I see the problem as the reverse. They didn't NEED TO sit back there for long, because receivers came open earlier than they should.
    Pass rush and coverage work together.
    If you cant rush the QB, you cant cover as long as you need to.
    If you cant cover, you cant mount a rush because the ball is out quickly.

    The second of those was much more an issue for the 07 Pats than the first, IMO.
  17. PATS_walkitout

    PATS_walkitout Rookie

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    The defense did not lose the game it was the pass happy offense that lost the Patriots the game. Also going for it on 4th and 13 instead of trotting Gostkowski out there was a dumb move. If it wasnt for the defense the Patriots wouldnt have been in the game. Give the Giants some credit they have a good offense.
  18. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    I agree.... 16 carries and 48 pass attempts. the question is would the 2nd or 3rd superbowl team have been able to keep that lead?
  19. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    how come the Pats don't play more of a press defense like the Packers?

    I think they don't really press their corners because they lack size and they play more of a cover three than a cover 2. And correct my if I'm wrong but they don't have a safety over the top of each corner. I think this is because Rodney was playing too close to the LOS to stop the run or to blitz.

    I thought they had trouble stopping the run with just the front 7 at times and this was because the linebackers(ILB) got blown up at times by guards or they were too slow.
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Stop confusing everyone with facts.

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