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A new generation of DEFENSIVE PLAYMAKERS needed...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patsox23, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Think "Defensive Playmaker" during this run and the following names leap to mind: Law, Vrabel, McGinest, Bruschi, Harrison, Seymour and Colvin (a bit). Even if Law comes back, the only "next generation" playmakers on D are Seymour and maybe Colvin. Vrabel is sort of on the fence, age-wise, between "next generation" and "last generation."

    This is not to say that Bruschi and Harrison and Vrabel (and Law, if he returns) are no longer playmakers, but whereas the O seems to have re-stocked somewhat during the run - Branch, Jackson, Watson, Thomas, Maroney - the defense has not done so, at least not as much.

    Sure, Asante and Geno have potential - and more than that, they HAVE made some plays. But I don't see them, so far, as being "playmakers" on the level of the people mentioned above. Guys like Law and Milloy (for a time) and Harrison for the DBs, players like McGinest and Vrabel and Bruschi at LB - these guys have made a TON of big plays.

    On the defensive side of the ball, we need to start either developing or drafting the next generation of defensive playmakers. In some ways it's not possible to know for sure WHAT we have, but we're going to NEED to know (and we're going to need to start seeing) some big-time playmakers soon.

    So who are they? So far, obviously there's Seymour, Colvin and...I guess I look at Ellis Hobbs. Hope for James Sanders. But then...what? Hopefully 2006 will bring good news. Hopefully it will mark a passing of the torch - or at least a spark of recognition on our part that there are some worthy heirs in a Mincey or a Claridge, maybe some more from Randall Gay.

    I've gotta say, it does worry me a bit. As the LB's that we've known so long get older (and as some of them leave) - we really, at some point, need to see any evidence of potential descendents. And thus far the cupboard's looking pretty bare - especially at LB. I think, though, that the upcoming season promises to, at least, give us some answers. And I'm optimistic. Cautious, a little concerned, but optimistic.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
  2. Willie55

    Willie55 In the Starting Line-Up

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    The defensive line of Seymour, Wilfork and Warren. All are so young and are considered to be one of the best in the NFL.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
  3. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree that, obviously, this was a more offense-oriented draft -- as was last year, inasmuch as we used a first and a third on O-linemen.

    But I don't think that the Patriots defense is primarily about "playmakers". Sure, we need people to make the sack, hold on to the interception, and I've no doubt how much we missed Bruschi and Harrison when they weren't there last season, although that was as much for their on-field generalship as for their exceptional abilities, I think.

    Think back to the Patriots' games when the defense played exceptionally well and you can remember all sorts making big plays -- Poole, Wilson, Jarvis Green.

    Obviously, some players play positions where they are more likely to make the game-changing plays and some players are just better than others, but the principal idea is: the defense works when EVERYONE does his job. The Patriots D is a no-weak-links rather than a playmaker defense, so far as I can see.
     
  4. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I concur with both of these posts to some degree, but I still stand by my original point - this team needs players, particularly at LB and DB, who will be "the next McGinest," the next "Bruschi," the next "Ty Law" who can be high-level playmakers for the next generation of the Patriots. So far I don't see many. I hope they're about to step up.
     
  5. Brady-To-Branch

    Brady-To-Branch Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    For those of you out there keeping an eye on Donnie Edwards...

    http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=12108

     
  6. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Okay, but this thread is really about "the NEXT generation" of playmakers and, while Donnie would certainly qualify as a playmaker, he's pretty long in the tooth for this discussion's purposes. But good to have the info.
     
  7. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    The one magic thing that Parcells has done at a couple franchises was to bring in really good lifetime players thru the draft. He really put the talent base in NE for our superbowl runs. Unfortunately, the prick did the same thing for the Jets. Now, in Dallas, after waiting just a little too long, he is getting his type of players in there, and drafting players with a good future for the franchise. I really believe that Parcells needs to hang it up as a coach and become a GM. He would have less stress and be very good at his job.....

    So the question is whether Bioli can do what Parcells did, and put in a bunch of lifetime achievers to replenish our team. It is not accurate to say that our team doesn't need playmakers, we do. We ran some scrubs thru our 'great system defense' last year, and it didn't work worth a crap.

    Bioli simply needs to replenish the defense with REAL TALENT. No system in the world works with scrubs just doing their job. Seymour was the first big achiever for the Pats, and so far, the only one we can all agree on as being a difference maker on his own. Geno needs help, it would seem, to be his best, and so does Samuels. Hobbs is unproven at this point, but seems to have potential, although I don't see him as the next Ty Law. Sanders has not shown much so far, maybe he'll improve. Milloy and Law were pretty good right out of the box, on the other hand. I actually still like Gay as much as anybody in the secondary, he is quick and has good hands, and some height.

    I am worried about this defense. I think on offense, we might have brought in the next generation of playmakers. On defense, I don't see many star players.

    We would not have come close to the superbowl in 2001 without Seymour to cover for all the scrubs on our D-Line. That was still Seymour's biggest impact year, in my opinion. As soon as the Chiefs neutralized Seymour in 2002 with triple teams (including the tight end or fullback in many plays), our defense went in the toilet for the rest of the year.
     
  8. bunzoburns

    bunzoburns Practice Squad Player

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    Parcell's Drafting

    Parcells comes into the picture when the teams are rock bottom and they have high draft picks. Granted, he picks the right players but he is usually in the position to choose the best.
     
  9. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    I agree, but Belichick also picked high in the 2001 draft. They came away with one really good player and one starting quality player. My point is mainly that Bioli needs to demonstrate that they are up to the task of rebuilding this defense. The Parcells part was simply a brief history of where the Law's and Bruschi's came from.

    I like the way Bioli drafts, I just think that they have not struck 'gold' yet on some picks, even the picks that have led to starters like Geno, or Samuels.

    Until we have the next group of playmakers in here, I will be nervous about our Defense.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
  10. Julius

    Julius On the Game Day Roster

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    What!!! No love for Klecko...Shame

    Uh Seriously the new generation of play makers are on the D-line. If they play up to potential the rest of the defense will reap the benefits in terms of big play opportunities.
     
  11. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    Warren and Wilfork are steady in a two-gap sort of way, but Seymour is still the playmaker on the line. Look at how Wilfork struggled from the Chargers game last year all the way until Seymour rejoined the line-up.

    Those guys have potential, but have not proven to get pressure on the QB or sacks. They do pass rush after all, even if controlling the gap is part of the read. Seymour is still the man on the line.

    But overall, our D-line is in good shape, so that is a good start.
     
  12. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I like Warren as a playmaker. Wilfork, even when he was struggling, could pull off the odd big stop. I must also give a plug for my man Hank Poteat, in limited playing time he has a number of critical tackles, either for a loss or short of a first down. Izzo and Davis qualify as Special Teams playmakers. So looking at your "next generation" we have:

    Mike Wright - love his hustle and his success as a reserve last season, lets see what he can do with a year under his belt.

    Ellis Hobbs - despite one poster's regular reference to "maturity" problems, I have yet to see any news article that makes the same claim. What I constantly read are notes on his enthusiam and playmaking ability. He was the number one corner at the end of the season - in MY opinion for those unfamiliar with the finer nuiasances of the forum's discussions.

    Monty Beisel - he is new to the Pats and had a tough learning curve to surmount. In the middle he'll have plenty of opportunities to make his presence felt.

    Ryan Claridge - he brings 3-4 experience from college, what can he do here...

    Gus Scott - injuries took their toll, but he seemed to be playng well when he did get in the games.

    James Sanders - Rodney's pick to be a good'un.

    Randall Gay - Our hero in 2004, his injury shortened sophomore effort will hopefully be expunged by a stunning 2006.

    Santonio Thomas - time to show Vince who the real Miami stud is.

    Eric Alexander - two years battling for a LB slot and looking good in pre-season.

    Willie Andrews - Bethel and Dwightening have made room for you, not to mention staying stride for stride with Chad Jackson.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
  13. DaBruinz

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

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    This is a completely erred set of statements.

    Bobby Hamilton, Anthony Pleasant and Brandon Sullivan were hardly scrubs. In fact, Hamilton was one of the best run-stuffing DEs in the league during his tenure with the Pats. To credit Seymour with everything is total BS.

    Also, the defense went in the toilet in 2002 because of the lack of a true NT and the Patriots being insistent on trying to make the switch from 4-3 to 3-4 because the LBs they had weren't good for the 4-3. When the Pats failed to get a NT (Steve Martin failed miserably and was released) it forced the Patriots to run the 4-3 or the 3-4 with Seymour lined up on the nose. A position that doesn't utilize his talents. It also didn't help that Milloy had one of his worst years as a pro and that Bruschi missed several games.
     
  14. Brady-To-Branch

    Brady-To-Branch Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I know, it was a bit OT, but I didn't want to start another thead for this and any On Topic thread's seem a bit too old. But as you said, it was an FYI post.

    :)
     
  15. Brady-To-Branch

    Brady-To-Branch Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I'm rooting for Claridge. Having to overcome the death of his brother and having been noted for his work ethic, how can anyone not?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
  16. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    Box of Rocks: I believe the phantom mystery poster who mentioned Hobbs' issues from last year was basing this on what he had read, not on anything he had imagined. Further, the repeated mentioning of said issues seemed to have been due to the fact that other posters wanted to know more about the issues that Hobbs had which were rumored to have kept him out of the starting line-up while Starks struggled. Then there were the people like you who further kept the issue alive by going on and on about it. I imagine all you 'experienced' posters only look at one side of an issue, instead of being objective? I know I need to see Hobbs play for a season and have a good camp in terms of following Belichick's system before I declare him the next Ty Law. You can feel free to put him in your hall of fame.

    I find it all little strange that talking about both sides of an issue is not acceptable. Even things which happened last year. We have been last in the league on defense for a couple of years during Bioli's reign.

    You certainly list a lot of players that you think are going to be stars of this defense for years to come. I thought that some of these guys were still unproven, but I guess I'll wait and find out. I will remain cautiously optimistic about Hobbs and those other guys until they have proven themselves for a year or two on the field at a high level.

    Bruins: Bobby Hamilton was in on a lot of tackles in 2000 because he was what the Pats had at the time. We had the only line in the league that he could start on, at the time. He made the most of his chance. He had one outstanding year, and a solid year in 2001. He was only playing the first half of games by 2003, and was only worth a veteran minimum one year deal to the Pats after that. That is his career in a nutshell. If anybody thinks that the Pats would have won the superbowl, minus all of Seymour's plays that year, including in the playoffs; with only Hamilton, Mitchell, and Pleasant, I disagree. Pleasant vanished in the superbowl, Hamilton had a couple big plays, and Seymour basically created havoc. We won the defensive part of the superbowl because of pressure in Warner's face. I liked all those guys a lot, but instead of scrub, the only word I would use is cast-aways, or perhaps, no-name type of players. That's the truth.

    As far as what happened in 2002, it is correct that Steve Martin failed to replace Brandon Mitchell. And the Pats were exposed in the Chiefs game, when Seymour was triple teamed whenever possible and all the other D-lineman were pancaked, steamrolled or smacked out of the way on every single play. I will never forget watching Seymour not move an inch with the Tackle, Gaurd and Fullback leaning on him from different angles, while Steve Martin hurled through the air backwards, landing in a heap. Seymour is then able to hold his ground, and still disengage an arm to grab at Priest Holmes.

    After the game, Vermeil said 'I just thought it was incredible that they could win a superbowl last year with THAT defense line, and I wrote a note saying that to Belichick.'
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
  17. Willie55

    Willie55 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Other than Law and Bruschi, who was left on the D from the Parcells days for the Super Bowl run. This team has been, and had been gutted, since the Parcells days. Most of what you saw was what BB and SP brought in for the Super Bowls.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
  18. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    Ted Johnson, Milloy, Adam, Willie McGinnest, Troy Brown, OTIS as a free agent. Bledsoe, who saved our ass in the Steelers game. Coaching staff, Weis, Romeo, former Parcells player Pepper Johnson. BELICHICK.

    Former Jets Bobby Hamilton, Brian Cox.

    Not all drafted by Parcells, and not all were on the defense, but all helped win superbowls and all under the Parcells shadow.

    But if you don't think Parcells had anything to do with forming the Pats nucleus, I guess we disagree.

    The point of this thread is who is going to make up for the old faithful team members who formed the veteran playmaking and leadership core of the team. That core began in 1993.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
  19. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    All of this talk is great - really - but I can't help thinking that sometime VERY soon (next year's draft and FA) the Patriots are really going to need to address spending some high picks on playmaking LBs and DBs. Of course, this season will tell us a lot.

    Who knows - maybe Mincey, Claridge, Geno, Gay, Asante, etc... show that they can take a big step up. Obviously Asante and Geno have proven themselves somewhat already, but we need to see more from them, especially after their dismal showing in 2005.
     
  20. Willie55

    Willie55 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I had a brain fart and forgot about TJ, Willie (I dont know how I did) and Troy and agree they were important to the SB run, but dont you also have to give BB and SP credit for bringing in the other guys you mention
     

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