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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATRIOTS-80, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    As far as LB, we got 6 guys who have started games under their belts -- with 3 real good ones. The three good ones being Colvin, Vrabel and Bruschi -- and the other three with starts under there belt are Gardner, Brown, and Beisel. We also got ST/reserves for guys like TBC and Eric Alexander. We also got 2 spots for a pure ST/developmental rook like Izzo, Don Davis or Mincey. Any :mad: sort of feelings for our LB depth is not because of the #, but because of the bad taste of Brown and Beisel being overmatched at ILB. Of course, we all know that Brown had no business at ILB (Ted Johnson shock retirement), and the young, overmatched Beisel was there because of Bruschi's stroke.

    Expect to see BB play all 6 LB I mentioned get playing time. Incidentally, typical BB all are vets with the exception of Beisel....

    Hopefully Bruschi's sore wrist will heal in time for the opening-day ... if not, like Harrison he should be ready to go early in the season.

    As long as we have either Vrabel or Bruschi on the field we will be fine as far a play-calling ... which was a HUGE issue last year.

    The signing of Gardner ILB moved Chad Brown to OLB where he has excelled in the league.

    BOTTOMLINE: We may not have the luxury of having 6 guys who are starters in the league, but we nonetheless have 6 guys who have started games in the league. The depth isn't horrible as far as #. It is not like we only have 3 guys who have started football games in the NFL, and the rest are rookies and UDFAs. If either Vrabel or Bruschi is on the field, play-calling will be fine. If we lose both ... could be trouble.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have no idea what Gardner's problems have been throughout his career but he has solid ability, size and character. Based on everything I know, he should be able to be a solid ILB, I guess there's a reason he's not had a better career though.
  3. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    he seems to be just what he's doing for us ... spot starter/excellent ST. Couple of years he led his team with ST tackles. He's also spot started in the 4-3 as a middle LB, as well as the other 2 positions. Moving to a 3-4 ILB should augment his abilities in theory.
  4. Nyjetsin06

    Nyjetsin06 Rookie

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    he couldnt even start a game on a 4-12 Jets team!
  5. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    An interesting notion for debate is that we carry roughly the same amount of DB's and LB. But 4 DB play all the time, 2 CB and 2 Safties. Sometimes we have 5 DB (nickel), and sometimes we play 6 (dime). Whereas, 4 LB are on the field only about 50% of the time. In nickel situations, its 2 LB. In Dime, only one is on the field (sometimes we do put our pass-rusing LB at DE in those formations).

    On Pat teams, it seems Troy Brown is always out there at the end of the season. Depth-wise the team might be better not because of the LB-depth per se, but because we seem to have have more saftey/CB depth than in previous years. HERE'S TO NOT SEE TROY BROWN MOONLIGHTING IN OUR SECEONDARY!!! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2005
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Of course, that was on a team playing a totally different defense. But I guess that wouldn't matter to you.
  7. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    umm, check your facts ... he did start one game. And you are supposed to be a Jets fan.

    http://www.patriots.com/team/index.cfm?ac=playerbio&bio=32041

    2005 (NYJ): Appeared in 16 games with the Jets, starting one and finished the season with 17 tackles, 13 solo.
  8. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    Barry Gardner joins the Patriots for his eighth NFL season after previously playing for the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2002), Cleveland Browns (2003-04) and New York Jets (2005). The 6-foot-1-inch, 245-pound linebacker has played in 110 career games with 24 starts and has recorded 186 career tackles (130 solo), two sacks, one interception, seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Additionally, the Northwestern product has made 92 career special teams tackles.

    http://www.patriots.com/team/index.cfm?ac=playerbio&bio=32041

    Also, like BB fan said, we are a 3-4 team, not a cover-2, 4-3 team like you were last year under Herm.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  9. Nyjetsin06

    Nyjetsin06 Rookie

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    Yes. I know. And the Jets are bringing in the 3-4 scheme. It was a joke. I come here in peace. I find the 3-4 to be intriguing but it worries me in ways. I think it may also limit Jonathan Vilmas abilility. any feedback on the ups and downs of it, other then 3 sb rings,
  10. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    I really think that improved DB/CB depth should help the Pats this year IMHO. I think Willie Andrews could stick on the team as the last CB just because of his returning abilities.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  11. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    It should improve Vilma. Bruschi flourished in it.

    The whole key to the 3-4 is the NT spot. If Robertson can hold down that job (like Wilfork does for us) the 3-4 will work for you guys.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  12. Nyjetsin06

    Nyjetsin06 Rookie

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    We will see. Its just they are both different. Vilma works off speed. Sideline to sideline. Not used to to taking on as much Olinemen in his face... Ray Lewis was effected by the switch.
  13. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    Who is playing next to Vilma at ILB?

    If Robertson can hold down the NT spot, and the other ILB can take on the LB (like Ted Johnson used to for us), the other LB can rove.

    JMHO, but I think Ray Lewis rapidly declined, 3-4 or no 3-4.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  14. Nyjetsin06

    Nyjetsin06 Rookie

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    So far Barton will be next to him. With Bryan Thomas and Hobson/Brad Kassell on the outside also NE's Chatham and Rookie Schlegal subing in on the inside I would believe. Im expecting Drob to live up to expectations this year..I wouldnt mind seeing Vilma on the outside though, he would create havoc on blitzes
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    LBs with starts: Add Don Davis, he started for the Rams in 2001

    Why is Gardner seeming to play better here? He started while in Philadelphia in a gap-control system, then he spent his time in penetratrion/speed systems working Special Teams, now he comes here and looks to be a good fit in BB's gap control system...intriguing.

    Vilma - Bruschi and his slippery style is a good role model for him, Donnie Edwards play in San Diego is another to look at for being a bit undersized for the 3-4 ILB role.
  16. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    My vision for the LBs:

    Starters - Colvin
    Bruschi
    Vrabel either in or out, depending on who plays better - TBC at OLB, or Beisel at ILB

    Reserves - TBC/Beisel
    Chad Brown - OLB
    Klecko - ILB (I know, dream on)
    Roach - ILB
    Mincey/Woods - OLB...I have a feeling that one, but not both, of them makes it.
    Gardner - ILB and ST, making Izzo and Davis, neither of whom can play NFL LB any more, obsolete.

    9/10 LBs are enough. There is no way we should have more LBs than DBs on the 53. Quality DB depth would otherwise be seriously compromised.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2005
  17. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Great Observation and Post!

    Finally, someone is talking sense and not mindless drivel. Chad Brown, as a spot stating ability reserve, IS the equivalent of what Willie McG was becoming.

    People remember what he WAS, not what his last season for us said. The Jax playoff game showed that an old pro can reach back and momentarily bring it back, but it inflated a season of rather mediocre stats. Willie was the consumate pro but he is losing it, and RAC hired him for his locker room presesnce, as much as anyhting he can still do on the field.
  18. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    The issue is not 3-4. Its more one-gap versus 2-gap. The Steelers play a one-gap and Belichick and disciples play a 2-gap (even when they go 4-3). The one-gap still allows for the penetrating Le beau type player, especially in the LB corps. Belichick's disciplined system is strictly read-control-react.

    To play Belichick's system you need big, tough, Defensive linemen, who are good enough that they can play read-react, take a blow, and still play as if they were one gapping. That asks a lot, and consequently we have 4 #1s and 2 #2 and a #4 as our DL for three positions.

    As far as the LBs are concerned, Belichick's system is read-react but don't free lance. He can than get away with slower players (ie. bigger, older, experienced, sage, vets preferred) but only if no free lancing is enforced otherwise holes open up and the other players are too slow to be able to close them against a good running game.

    Vilma will have problems, I predict. But his talent should allow him to beef up over the next season or two and he'll be fine.

    As a backup to Vilma, I am not surprised that Gardner seldom saw the field. How come he got a start? Was Vilma dinged up? And how did he do that game? My theory is that Gardner was just the type of vet that Belichick turns in to a minor star. The profile: A former high pick who does not excel but is smart and willing to work hard as exemplified by ST experience. These guys can play disciplined ball, and carry out their assignment which is drawn up to be not overwhelming athletically, and that is all that BB really needs. Examples are Phifer and Vrabel who were not anywhere as "good" as they became with the Patriots in their late twenties and thirties.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  19. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    Not even close.

    Are you saying that McGinest was a spot starting reserve?
  20. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As the addage goes, better a year early than a year late.

    McGinest was becoming that. We saw it when Colvin came in, but when he got hurt the plan was postponed. Again, in 2005, it appeared Colvin would take the lead over McGinest, but when Bruschi and Johnson went down, Vrabel had to move inside and McGinest was back to full-time outside.

    One would have to think either this year or next would be the one where Vrabel and Colvin would finally take over fully at OLB as BB seemingly envisioned, with McGinest seeing time as a pass rusher (a la Colvin in 2004).
  21. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    I agree with that addage but who would you rather have on this team right now Willie McGinest or Chad Brown?
  22. Nyjetsin06

    Nyjetsin06 Rookie

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    Thanks. I believe Gardner filled in for Barton on the outside in the 4-3. I could be wrong though. Gardner actually played well when he was in the game. Hes more of a fill gap player which Bill seems to get the most out of...

    And what you say of Vilma I completely agree with.. I feel this year he may struggle at first. He wont be able to roam around, he will have to take on alot more and shed blockers instead of utilizing his speed. I do expect him to get bigger and maybe lose some quickness, he may not be happy but we will see. And of course ESPN, as clueless as they are to the situation will probably say he lost a step or 2. lol
  23. Nyjetsin06

    Nyjetsin06 Rookie

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    Oh one more thing. Any info on Chatham? I know he ws more of a ST player and backup. But anything else on this guy?
  24. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    He has a town named after him on Cape Cod. ;)
  25. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The obvious answer is McGinest, but the money makes a difference.

    Brown is getting the veteran's minimum without a signing bonus in a 1-year contract. McGinest is getting $6 million guaranteed in a 3-year contract.
  26. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    Any other year I would agree with you, but the Pats still have in the area of $12 million in cap money left.
  27. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not sure they do, once they pick up the Seymour option. He has two BIG payments coming. But if we do have the money there's a bunch of re-signings of young guys I'd take over McGinest at this point.
  28. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    True, but remember there's still a long-term commitment.

    Under his contract with the Browns (3 years, $6 million guaranteed - for the purposes of this let's call it all signing bonus):

    Scenario 1: Cut him in August of 2006. Pay $2 million in dead money in 2006. Pay $4 million in dead money in 2007.

    Scenario 2: Cut him in August of 2007. $2 million plus salary has already been paid. Pay $2 million in dead money in 2007. Pay $2 million in dead money in 2008.

    Scenario 3: Cut him in August of 2008. $4 million plus salary has already been paid. Pay him $2 million in dead money in 2008.

    Scenario 4: Don't cut him. $2 million in bonus money plus salary paid out each year.

    Either way you slice it, there's at least $4 million being paid (counting against the cap) in a year besides 2006. Every year's cap situation is different, so $4 million in dead money in one year could take a big chunk out of the Pats' cap space.

    Now, the actual deal probably includes roster bonuses and such that eat up part of that guaranteed money and make the signing bonus smaller, but the general premise is the same.

    Also remember that if the Pats re-signed McGinest after cutting him or extended him before the season, they would have paid him/have a cap hit of $1.32 mil. in dead money/existing signing bonus, plus any "new" bonus money just for the 2006 season.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  29. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If McGinist was being the equal to Gardner, then of course bb made the right decision. But please note, there is a huge drop off between the 2005 McGinist and what we can reasonably expect from Gardner in 2006. bb may have done the best possible, but the loss is still huge.

  30. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    That was what the coaching staff publically said they wanted from Willie last year in TC. With the injuries, he played more than that, but it showed too. The game changing plays slowed down to a trickle. Without the four sacks in Jax, playing against a scrub backup fillin, Willie would have had the fewest of his entire career. Willie was slowing down, the coaches suspected it before the begining of last season, and the season confirmed it. What will he do this season is the question, and the more apt comparison.

    Manwhile I think that Willie is a HOF candidate...

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