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3-Down ILBs

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by ayjackson, Mar 19, 2007.

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  1. ayjackson

    ayjackson Rookie

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    What draft prospects do you feel have the best chance of being 3-down ILBs in the Pats system, within two or three years?

    I'd say Stewart Bradley and Anthony Waters.
  2. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Waters has to show that he's fully recovered from his knee injury. He'll attempt to do that on April 3rd with his private workout.

    I agree with you on Bradley. I think that Zak DeOssie is another player.

    Guys who may or may not be:
    Harris, Posluzsny, Willis, and Siler
  3. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hmm, good question. Willis looks like a 3-down type...assuming he's a Pats type at all. Harris probably (though his short arms leave me a little nervous), Bradley possibly, Waters will take some work in coverage. DeOssie I still like best at OLB.

    OK, now I'm just depressing myself.
  4. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    I think we're all getting caught up in the 2 vs. 3-down linebacker discussion. On third down, the offense is usually in one of two scenarios:

    1) Short yardage (0-2 yards)
    2) A likely passing situation.

    The former is played like first or second down.
    The latter is usually played with a nickel package, meaning there is only one linebacker with short-zone responsibilities.


    There are very few inside linebackers in the NFL who stay on the field in 3rd and passing yards to go situations, let alone the rookies-to-be. There's nothing wrong with using a high pick on an inside linebacker that is of the "two-down" variety. There will be very few situations where that's going to an issue.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007
  5. ayjackson

    ayjackson Rookie

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    It would be nice to have an ILB in two years who can stay on the field with short zone responsibilities on obvious passing downs. Actually, it wouldn't be bad to have two to lessen our vulnerability to the no-huddle. The problem is that they're rare, and thus the question was posed as to whom may succeed at the position in this draft (not as a rookie, though).
  6. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Beason can be thrown into the "maybe" group.

    The bigger question is does such a mythical beast exist in any draft?

    It is almost like looking for a White Elephant.
  7. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Willis can be that if the defense requires it.
  8. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    Exactly. Urlacher is the only one that comes to mind in recent years. Hawk can't do it. Greenway can't do it. Vilma can't do it. Ray Lewis is probably the best example. Bruschi worked hard to make himself acceptable. I mean we're talking about a stout, bulked up tough S.O.B. that also has lighting-quick recognition skills, and can change direction with the fluidity of a player four inches shorter and forty pounds lighter. If you go through linebackers in the NFL, I don't think you'll find a dozen.

    But that's the beauty of a 53 man roster. You can have two people to do one Superman's job.
  9. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    What aspects of his game make people feel that Bradley can successfully convert to ILB?
  10. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The fact that he's stout against the run, but also has coverage abilities. He has good play recognition abilities as well.
  11. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan On the Roster

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    The question is misposed. so the answer is erroneous.

    There are two distinct positions in the Pats 3-4 ILB. There are two less distinct but still discernible positions in the pats 3-4 OLB position.

    Let look at them one by one. (OLB in another post.)

    WILB

    A player up to 250# who specializes in slipping blocks and closing the RB holes created by formation blocking. This position also has a requirement to shallow zone pass coverage of crossing players, RB, slot receivers, TE hand offs etc. He is the better blitzer of the two inside candidates and has more opportunity to rush up the middle closing the pocket and preventing QB step-ups. he has a need to set defenses and diagnose

    SILB

    A player up to 260# sometimes characterized as a two-down run stuffer who can take on G and beat the power blockers directed at him and stop the RBs coming through the hole. He also has man coverage of the TE crossing in front of him, usually lined up on his side of the field, at least long enough for other coverage to pick him up.

    In summary, these are two different positions. They need different talents and may be completely different talents. Compare Bruschi as a the prototypical WILB ;and Ted Johnson as the prototypical SILB.

    I submit that David Harris is the best 3-4 SILB candidate available in the draft. He excels as a run stuffer but his coverage ability exceeds that of TJ, at his best. He is the biggest of the intrinsic ILBs.

    I submit that the best WILB candidate is a tossup between Willis and Posluzny. Willis has a better anti-run capability but Posluzny has a better coverage ability, and diagnosis capability. Pos would likely be the better is calling and setting the Defense.

    I think that Willis is likely to be a more capable candidate to swing and to do both jobs but unlikely to be better at either one specifically.
  12. ayjackson

    ayjackson Rookie

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    Well you're half right - the answer was erroneous! :D

    The question remains, whether there are any prospects who could be a three down ILB - excels at run stuffing and can cover well enough (SILB) or excels at short zone and scheme recognition and can stuff (support) the run (WILB).
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007
  13. ayjackson

    ayjackson Rookie

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    That's the sort of answer I was looking for, regardless of how poorly the question was worded. I'm inclined to think that if the LB doesn't fit one of the positional roles perfectly, but does both adequately, he'd be less likely to be drafted by us??
  14. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan On the Roster

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    In the Belichick system the answer is yes. His system is based on situational substitution as it is on sheer across-the-board talent. Those across the board talents, are "superstars" and he knows he can't afford enough of them. He would rather have a couple of "red chipper" particularly talented players and use them in that capacity. And use those talents at a lesser total cost.
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