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2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Jan 26, 2011.

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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With the Pats season over and free agency (hopefully) and the draft still a ways away, I figured this would be a good time to look back - and look forward - with some discussion at each position on the team.

    Inside Linebacker
    Jerod Mayo
    Brandon Spikes
    Gary Guyton
    Dane Fletcher

    Outside Linebacker
    Jermaine Cunningham
    Tully Banta-Cain
    Rob Ninkovich
    Marques Murrell

    Special Teams LB
    Tracy White (free agent)
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It Is What It Is -- Patriots by position: Linebackers | Christopher Price

  3. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    Use the money most have set for Mankins and go get Woodley!! He is a established OLB, more than anyone in the draft can possibly upgrade a position he can. Write the check if you can...
  4. Keegs

    Keegs Rookie

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    I feel like everyone in bold played their butts off this year considering the expectations for each of them.

    I would like to see Tully go.
  5. TheComeback

    TheComeback Rookie

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    I think we're fine at inside linebacker if Spikes can make a jump this offseason. He has playmaker potential written all over him. Guyton and Fletcher are excellent backups, especially in coverage. It still wouldn't hurt to look at getting another big, physical linebacker to sub for Spikes if he gets injured. I don't see Mayo, Guyton, or Fletcher as very effective in that role.

    At OLB, it looks to me like Ninkovich and Cunnigham will be the starters next year. I see us drafting someone for the 3rd/4th spot, or maybe even signing a veteran (making Ninko a backup) with Banta-Cain purely a rotational player at best, and possibly not even making the team.
  6. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The team needs to find at least one starting caliber OLB this offseason. If BB & Co. aren't sold on Cunningham, that'll mean the team needs two starters.
  7. Potstickas

    Potstickas Rookie

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    3-4 OLB that can set the edge has always been such a crap shoot since they always have to be conversion projects from a 4-3 system.

    I'm hoping that with the 3-4 more popular, that more college programs play the 3-4 so there are more players molded to play that position naturally.

    On the negative side, there will be more competition for those types of players. It used to be that BB can take his pick on those conversion project players that nobody can use well.
  8. Coach42

    Coach42 Rookie

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    I think that calf injury towards the end of the year really put a damper on what could have been a real solid year out of Cunningham. Its kind of amazing to think that preseason with this same bunch you would have thought MAJOR weakness. Instead we got some decent play yet the position still needs upgrading.
  9. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's a rough draft. The Pats need an OLB, but there just aren't any standout prospects. Quinn has a few red flags. Aldon Smith has an agent that Bill hasn't worked with in five years. Ayers is soft and can't rush the passer. Von Miller is as close to Chung's size as he is to Cunningham's. Houston's length is iffy. Who's left, Kerrigan? That's about it.
  10. part-timer

    part-timer Rookie

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    I feel that the TBC experiment has played out. We must cut our loss with him and save the ballanceof his high priced contract.(eigth highest on the team) Then check the free agent wire, but would definately pick a DE/OLB in the second round. Not to get off the topic but I for one feel there has been a pattern of players abusing the system and am sickend by the way they get away with it. Think how many high profile players get their big paydays and quit on their teams with little to lose haveing guarenteed the better part of the money. Adalius Thomas,Albert Hainsworth,TBC,Burgess,Springs, the list goes on and on.
  11. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    TBC didn't quit on the team, the team just didn't give him enough 3rd and long opportunities to do his thing.
  12. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    sad thing is the Pats could have gotten Woodley, they could have gotten clay matthews but the pats have never legitimately addressed the position since mcginest left
  13. Keegs

    Keegs Rookie

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    Really?

    i'm not saying you are wrong, but i seem to remember a lot of 3rd and longs in the 1st half of the season that were converted, and i don't remember TBC doing much at all.
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We'll add an OLB in the top 60. Many have Jeremey Beal on our lists. We are also likely to aadd a 1st round DE which should help OLB play.My bottom line that 2 studs at DE and OLB will make a huge difference over the next couple of years. For most of 2011, they may spend lots of time on the bench. Our defense take awhile to learn, especially for those who are used to college 4-3 defense.

    The rookies may beat out current players, or not. Perhaps, the 55th and 56th roster position are the place for deevelopmental front seven players. (The 54th is for our needed additional wide receiver).
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  15. arubin

    arubin Rookie

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    I love Justin Houston. What is the problem with getting him? His highlights look amazing!
  16. part-timer

    part-timer Rookie

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    I agree, I spent a great deal of this season livid at our inability to stop any one third and long, and watched TBC quiting on the plays, yet before he got the big contract he was a formidable force. we got played.
  17. part-timer

    part-timer Rookie

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    Maybe my bad, I didn't relize you were trying to be funny. You were makeing a joke right.
  18. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    this is just My Opinion but i relly see no need to run a 3-4 if the pats are going to keep puting out the OLB's that they have for the last few years...i think they should run a 4-3 and find one pass rushing DE and they are set

    Wilfork and Ty Warren/Ron Brace at DT
    Jermaine Cunningham draft Cameron Jordan at DE
    Jerod Mayo at MLB
    Brandon Spikes and Gary Guyton at OLB

    this would still keep the pats 3 best LB's on the field at all times and give them one more big body to stop the run
  19. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Need a stud to start opposite Cunningham. I think it would make Cunningham more effective. Ninko has a solid role with us, but it shouldn't be a starting OLB role. Tully didn't have his best season, but he's shown flashes of it in the past and is still on a reasonable contract for a pass rusher.

    Sometimes pass rushers just have off years. Julius Peppers recorded only 2.5 sacks in 2007, which wasn't a period of declining play since he recorded double-digit sacks the year before and after. Jared Allen didn't do much to start this season, but recorded a bunch of sacks during a short stretch. I don't think Tully has lost it. Just didn't have a good year.

    And I'm not implying Tully is an elite guy like those two, just pointing out that even the elite guys have down periods.

    And thanks to JMT57 for putting together these threads.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  20. A_Ghost_In_The_Machine

    A_Ghost_In_The_Machine Rookie

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    I'm not a fan of TBC. The previous poster said they thought he just had an off year this year, the way I see it he just had one standout season last year (and even then I think people get blinded by the stats, he may have had double digit sacks but half of those came in one game against a hapless Bills O-Line). My personal pick for a replacement would be Ryan Kerrigan, he doesn't have the speed of a 'typical' 3-4 OLB but BB doesn't use a typical 3-4 and Kerrigan makes up for a lack of speed with size that would fit him perfectly in the mold of a Patriots OLB and allow him to set the edge against the run as well as rush the passer
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