A Top 10 Defense Is Almost Complete

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Aug 14, 2010.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    We were 5th in points allowed last year, and had varying ratings on other stats. There will be lots of questions, but I think that all but the last four roster spots are set. For example, I have Wilhite and Wheatley and Arrington making the 53.

    in the battles for the 6th DL, 9th OLB, and 4th S. These players could be someone we have, or a free agent or the roster spot could even go to another position. My change is that I now believe that it is possible that Sanders could go.

    HOWEVER, as of now, the incumbants still seem the most likely to win roster spots: Brace, Ninkovich and Sanders. Murrell looked good though. I could certainly see us keeping a free agent, Murrell or Williams and Lockett or Slater.
  2. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    If our DE questions can be answered, I don't see why this defense wouldn't be a very good defense. Personally, though, I wasn't exactly inspired with what I saw out of Damione Lewis in the Saints game. Deaderick looked pretty good at times, but lost other times playing against the second and third string. I did see some bright spots with him though. There were times in which he was able to engage two defenders and make a push toward the backfield. But I have to think he's going to have a hard time cracking the starting line-up unless horrible injuries happen to the DE position during the season.
  3. jczxohn1

    jczxohn1 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    IMO, Wheatley will stay, Wilhite will go, and so may Aikens, plenty of ST guys this yr. and young WR's look too good to lose.

    Murrell definitely makes the team, Sanders possibly go, but most likely not. He calmed down the safety position at a bad time last year,evem if he isn't flashy. McGowan looses his role to Chung. I expect Brace to be the most likely to be replaced by a vet to be named later. Just taking too long for him to pick it up, and Ty's loss needs to be addressed soon.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  4. pherein

    pherein In the Starting Line-Up

    Most look at stats they want to see

    nfl your 11
    NFL Stats: by Team Category

    FBO your #16
    FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2009 DEFENSE EFFICIENCY RATINGS

    Saint were #21 by the NFL and #14 by FBO, problem becomes do these stats matter?

    Greer might be equal to Revis
    Did Revis get robbed of DPOY honor? - AFC East Blog - ESPN

    Saints defense was excelling in important areas that would never make them seem better than the Jets.
    Commentary: This is November? | wwltv.com | WWL Saints football

    Im just saying this because I think allot of important statistic are forgotten. Top #10 doesn't mean swat if your not covering important things
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  5. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

    That's fine, because the top 4 should be Banta, Burgess, Murrell and Cunningham. I can't imagine the 5th OLB will get much run barring injury.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  6. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    Burgess is more of a DE in the 4-3 and subpackages than he is a 3-4 OLB, going by last year. As of right now, it's looking like TBC, Cunningham, and Murrell. Hopefully, Murrell continues to look solid.
  7. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #12 Jersey

    Stats I'd like to see are points per possession (adjusted for clock-running-out) and field position handed the other units (takeaways an OK proxy for that, albeit a very approximate one).

    Those are, I think, the real measures of a defense's success.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  8. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I'm not concerned about the DEs themselves or the OLBs themselves.
    But I am concerned with the DE/OLB combinations together.
    I'm talking about the base D, because I think our sub package DL (DEs at DT and OLBs at DE) is going to be improved over last season, maybe a lot.
    I like our ILBs in run D better than I have in many years so that mitigates the DE issue because they share the inside gap with the ILB.
    I do worry about the outside runs with players with a lot to prove at DE and OLB IMO.
    However, our outside run defense has always been more a team D effort than anything else. We have rarely ever struggled against the run whn teams go wide, when there are problems it has been inside the tackles, and we appear strongest there. When it is working properly the gaps get controlled, the play gets pushed to the boundary and the pursuit fills in. If I had to pick a run D weakness to live with it would be the DE/OLB combo.

    I am very excited to see our nickel/dime coverage. Since 2006 I have felt the biggest weakness in our team was defending the pass in pass only situations where the athleticism of the back 7 is critical, and has not been impressive. I think we will see that our back 7 is going to be faster, more agile, and more athletic than we have seen in a number of years. If that is the case, we will have an excellent defense.
    While I hate QB rating as a yardstick for QBs because it is so flawed, it actually is much less flawed for a defense. QB rating against is probably going to be the most important defensive stat this year, aside from points allowed.
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I dont think Murrell has jumped over anyone on the depth chart just yet.
    I agree that whatever the number of OLBs when we line up in a 34 Burgess is the last one on the list to play. However, depending on Cunninghams development he maybe first on the list in sub packages.
    In a perfect world, to me, Cunningham wins the job opposite TBC. Ninkovich subs in for both in the base, Burgess subs in for both in the nickel/dime. TBC and JC play about 75% of the snaps each and Ninkovich and Burgess split up the other 50% (75+75+50=200 for 2 spots).
    The only issue I see there is that it seems TBC and JC would each be better suited to get their rest in the base, which would leave Burgess out of the equation.
    UNLESS???? I have always thought that the best use for Burgess would be INSIDE in the nickel and dime, rushing from over the G. He did that in Philly (I think he got a sack vs us the SB from that alignment IIRC) and I think he did in Oakland too. I would love to see BB try that.
    If we have TBC-Wright-Burgess-JC across the DL in nickel/dime, that could be a very effective rush. Burgess moves seem to support that he doesnt need as much open space on the outside to operate as some DEs do.
  10. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

    Murrell has clearly passed Ninkovich on the depth chart.
  11. DocE

    DocE Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I think it's incredibly optomistic to call this a top 10 defense right now. I am really discouraged by the loss of Ty Warren for the season in addition to the issues at OLB.

    DE: I've liked what I saw from Gerard Warren, but can he keep it up? Mike Wright is better in small doses, who else gets significant playing time at DE? Lewis/Pryor are both undersized as 3-4 DE's.

    NT: Set with Wilfork as the starter, but nobody behind hm. At this point I think it would be a surprise if Brace plays this year. If Brace was on the field and playing like an early 2nd round pick, I'd feel a lot better about the Dline (Wilfork or Brace could play end on some early downs).

    ILB: Situation seems much improved over last year with the addition of Spikes and a healthy (and hopefully more productive Mayo). I think we will be solid at ILB, but whether it is a significant strength depends largely on Mayo. Is he going to start making plays consistent with his draft status? Recording 100 tackles doesn't mean much if none of them are behind the line of scrimmage and you don't force any fumbles.

    OLB: With out a doubt the biggest concern on the roster. We are penciling in Tully Banta Cain as an unquestioned starter...that speaks volumes about what else is on the roster at this position. I have not go to see Cunningham play in a Pats uniform yet, but everything I've read suggests he hasn't exactly been a camp standout (doesn't mean he won't be great). We've got roster fringe guys llike Murrell, Ninkovich, and Woods (as an OLB) and Burgess who probably will continue to play some End.

    CB: Seems to be another area of improvement over last year, though I was not impressed with Butler on Thursday. I am happy to see Wheatley playing some good football, and we could go 5 deep at CB if he continues his strong play.

    S: Chung seems like a considerable upgrade at S from Sanders at this early date of the preseason. I also like McGowan in sub packages covering TE's and/or blitzing. Another step up for Meriweather this year would be huge.

    My own opinion is that I expect better play at ILB, CB, and S this year, but that those improvements could be negated by issues at OLB and DE. I am concerned about our ability to stop the run (remember how opponents targeted the RE spot last year, forcing the Pats to move Wilfork there at times) and our ability to rush the passer (Banta-Cain had 5 sacks against the turnstile that was the Bills Oline).
  12. Schmo

    Schmo Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #11 Jersey

    Ninkovich and Wilhite will make the team. I could easily see Brace getting cut, and I'm almost hoping for it. There are too many hard working players trying to make this team that a guy that can't pass a conditioning test doesn't belong here. I mean, if we could go back and do it again, who wishes we had cut Bethel Johnson and Chad Jackson sooner? Just because Ty Warren is out doesn't mean we have to give Brace a "get out of jail free" card. I say Deaderick makes it over Brace.

    On the other hand, wouldn't it be amazing if Wheatley turned out to be a quality CB? I know I am getting way ahead of myself (Murrell had a sack, Wheatley had some nice plays, but c'mon, it's a pre-season game). After all the busts we've had in the second round, Wheatley coming up big after two "zzzZZZZzzz" seasons would really put our secondary over the top.

    And someone said Sanders could be on the bubble? No way he gets cut, unless he's injured or for some reason we need the cap space at this point in the year :confused:
  13. pherein

    pherein In the Starting Line-Up

    Id just like to say sorry about Ty Warren, hes a big loss. Please no response to this post. Just wanted that out there that we Saints get the impact. Sorry about that.
  14. Schmo

    Schmo Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #11 Jersey

    I know you said, "please, no response" but it happens. It hurts, but that's why teams have a 53 man roster instead of 24. Every great team overcomes injuries. Assuming we make the playoffs (which is a big assumption) I would rather have him out the whole season so that we can adjust to his absence than if he went down, say, the last game of the season (Welker) and left us unprepared.
  15. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    What are you basing this on?
  16. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

    Him taking reps with the 1st defense over Ninkovich in the last 5 TC practices. And getting the starting nod in preseason game 1.
  17. Schmo

    Schmo Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #11 Jersey

    So, you're saying that Welker is getting cut in favor of Edelman? Rethink please.
  18. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    After watching the backs of Pats Jerseys chasing WR's down the field, I agree completely.. this DB corps is one of the better groups on paper and when they come together could be onie of the better in the NFL.. after asking Troy to play both ways, the Hank Poteat experience etc. BB and his staff have focused on the D backfield...

    My issue will be can we cover a TE, can we pick up a back after catching a pass... will a premier back come to Gillette and pad his stats, see Ray Rice?? We will always bend, but we broke too many times last year and we can change that trend, then this team will be much different...
  19. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

    Ninkovich had major reconstructive knee surgery 6 months ago?
  20. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #11 Jersey

    That means nothing. It could very well mean that Coach simply wanted to see what he could do, get a good look at him.

    The roster positions during the pre-season really don't mean much because we don't know what the coaching staff is doing, why they are putting some guys in and others not so much.

    It's nice to win in pre season, but the really important things are to see who can play, and get through it without injuries. Everything else is just fodder for our Fan Boards, and nothing more.

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