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After the Talib trade - who do you want playing in the secondary?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Patsgofor4, Nov 3, 2012.

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  1. Patsgofor4

    Patsgofor4 Rookie

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    The ability of the secondary to improve is obviously the key to the Pats SB chances. If you were BB, who would you choose? One burning question seems to be whether McCourty stays at CB or switches to safety full-time. I am in the group that thinks that safety is his best position. I am in favor of big changes.

    One man's opinion:

    CB: Talib, Dennard
    S: McCourty, Gregory
    Nickel: add Wilson
    Dime: add Arrington

    By late in the year, I could see Wilson as the full-time starter at safety and Cole as the dime back. Cole looks promising in coverage but the sample size is limited. I am not a Chung fan. For every positive play he makes, he gives up two negative play. He is always a step or two slow in coverage. Big hits that come after 13 yd gains don't excite me.
  2. VrabelJr

    VrabelJr Rookie

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    CB: Talib, Dennard
    SS: McCourty, Gregory
    Nickel DB: Arrington
    Money LB: Wilson

    The move of McCourty to Safety is of much debate but the fact is he isn't very good at Man coverage but is good at zone. On the flip side you have Talib who is awesome at Man and isn't very good at Zone (although this could be a side effect of bad Safety play). I think the combination of two good to great Man CBs in Dennard and Talib paired with two Safeties that can close on the ball fast in zone makes my starting combination the best.

    The only way I think we should move McCourty back to CB is if Wilson develops quickly into a starter. It's a case of having your four best DBs on the field at all times and I do think McCourty is better than Dennard, but McCourty is better than Wilson at this point too by a bigger margin.
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Outside CBs: Talib, Dennard
    S: McCourty, Wilson/Chung
    Nickel/Dime/Backups: Some combination of Gregory, Arrington, Cole; Wilson in the "Big Nickel"
  4. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    In theory, Talib is your most talented cover guy so you play him all the time

    In theory, McCourty is a better cover guy than Arrington and more experienced than Dennard so you play him and the other CB position.

    I don't think DMC has been as bad as people say. Should Dennard play ahead of him? I don't think as of yet.

    Arrington has had a tough year. If he improves, hes be a decent slot guy. Is he better than Moore? Meh.

    For safeties, Chung seems to be missing plays here and there so I'm not quite sure what his deal is but hes fine. Gregory is fine but athletically hes a bit lacking but hes savvy. Wilson is having a nice rookie season but man, he needs to be better in deep coverage.

    So I guess I agree with how BB approaches it- IE play your players that best match up with the offense you are going against.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  5. Big-T

    Big-T Rookie

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    CB: Talib
    CB: Dennard
    FS: McCourty
    SS: Chung

    "Money": Wilson
    Nickel: Cole

    Arrington? Back to being a gunner.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  6. Creative Username

    Creative Username Rookie

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    LCB: Dennard
    He's been here in place of DMac and has done a great job thus far. At least, in comparison to Arrington...

    RCB: Talib
    Good man-to-man corner to complement Dennard. Actually TURNS TO LOOK FOR THE BALL so now we've got two corners, who, in theory should be able to achieve some level of shut down coverage.

    FS: McCourty
    Does an admirable job at filling in at an unfamiliar position. Defends the deep ball better than Chung, at the very least.

    SS: Wilson
    Has a few boneheaded mistakes on his resume, but makes plays more frequently than Gregory and Chung put together. That INT last week was brilliant, he basically took the ball out of the receiver's hands as he was catching it.

    Nickel: Cole
    Cole did very well last week and looked like an actual defender trying to break up the pass play. That kind of skill is rare in New England DBs.

    Dime: Arrington
    Dear God, please don't ever use the Dime.
  7. stelfans

    stelfans Rookie

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    CB: Talib
    CB: Dennard
    FS: McCourty
    SS: Chung/Wilson
  8. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    This is what I'd like to see. Gregory has never proven to be an effective full time safety, and Tavon has had 2 messups but overall I think he's better suited to start alongside McCourty. Gregory will be effective in a spot role. Same with Chung.

    I'm really hoping Talib and Dennard suffice at CB and Cole can be the nickel.
  9. Patsgofor4

    Patsgofor4 Rookie

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    I would love to see Cole become the defensive version of Woodhead, allowing us to read even more teary-eyed posts at JI and TGG.
  10. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Preliminary thought:
    Using Dennard and Talib outside with McCourty as the FS should give the defense more ability to use cover 1 man defense, letting Chung play more in the box, to his strengths.

    Secondary thought:
    With this front 7, do the Pats even need Chung up there, or are they better off using two more free safety type of players (McCourty and Gregory)?

    Either way, I definitely want McCourty at FS with Talib and Dennard at CB. The SS spot is up for grabs with any Chung, Gregory, and Wilson being an option, and I think both Cole and Arrington have a shot in the slot.
  11. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As I wrote on the Aqib Talib thread, I think that the deep FS is perhaps the most important position in the secondary. It's no surprise that many of the better defenses in the NFL have had good FS play. Ed Reed at Baltimore has been the standard of course, but Ryan Clark has quietly allowed Troy Polamalu to freelance and get away with it. Dashon Goldson in San Francsico and Earl Wilson in Seattle anchor their particular secondaries and make them very, very solid.

    We haven't had anything even remotely resembling a decent deep safety since BB cut Brandon Meriweather. That's the #1 need for the secondary IMHO - a guy with the range, vision, ball skills, closing speed, processing capability, instincts, tackling ability, selflessness, discipline and communication skills to guard the deep part of the field, coordinate the secondary, and make everything work. Meriweather had most of the physical tools to do the job, but he was too undisciplined and selfish to play that role effectively for BB.

    James Ihedigbo, Sergio Brown and Josh Barrett obviously couldn't play that role. Pat Chung undoubtedly has talent, but not for that kind of role. Tavon Wilson has shown in his brief career that he both has talent and that his talent isn't particularly suited to that kind of role. Steve Gregory has not shown that he has the talent to be a full time starter in that kind of role.

    In contrast, Devin McCourty has ALL of the attributes of a great deep cover FS that I listed above. I think he could be as good as Earl Thomas and better than Goldson once he gets used to the position. It may take him the rest of this season to get adjusted, but he's already been a big improvement over what we had before. McCourty is a very good zone CB, but if we're playing press-man CB it doesn't really play to his skill set, and his skill set is perfectly suited to the deep FS role.

    I think that you start with a "basic" set of two outside press-man CBs in Talib and Dennard and a deep FS in McCourty, and then adjust from there depending on health, opponents, scheme and number of DBs on the field. There may be times you want a "Big Nickel" package with 2 out of 3 of Chung/Wilson/Gregory. There may be times you want someone like Gregory playing more of a FS role, with Arrington or Cole in a nickel role. There are lots of options to build on once the core is in place.
  12. VrabelJr

    VrabelJr Rookie

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    The moral of the story is that we are missing talent at the FS/Deep Safety position terribly and McCourty is the only guy that gets us there. If we can rely on Talib and Dennard to plan Man effectively we can play a Cover 1 with McCourty deep. That gives us the luxury of putting whoever we want in that second Safety position. Chung on run looks, Wilson on 3rd downs, etc.
  13. Bobs My Uncle

    Bobs My Uncle PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Put me down as follows:

    LCB: Talib
    RCB: Dennard
    NB - Cole
    FS: McCourty
    SS1: Wilson when facing heavy pass attacks
    SS2: Chung when facing more run oriented offenses
  14. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm with you, and that's why I don't buy into the notion that starting Dennard means playing him "ahead of" McCourty. DMac will play 99% of defense snaps regardless; it's about putting together the pieces you have in the arrangement that will make the best whole.

    McCourty and Talib are almost surely the 2 most talented CBs on the roster, but their strengths and styles are opposite. Moving McCourty to safety gives you 2 natural press corners and a safety with serious coverage range and ball skills. Those are perfectly complementary pieces. And putting a smart, aware captain like McCourty at safety also gives you a leader for an otherwise young/new defensive backfield.

    After that top 3, I'd expect to see a fair amount of shuffling based on matchups.
  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ed Reed has been the best DB in the Baltimore secondary for years, at least until very recently. Earl Thomas has been the best DB in Seattle's young but very talented secondary. I'm fine with DMac being the leader of our secondary as a cover-1 deep FS. He's a very good CB, but his skills are not only opposite to Talib's, they don't mesh as well with those of Dennard, or with Dowling if he ever gets back on the field. And there's no one else on the roster suited to play the important deep safety position nearly as well.

    It's all about making the whole greater than the sum or the parts. That would be a welcome change. For the past several years, the secondary as a whole has been even less than the sum of the parts.
  16. TheBostonStraggler

    TheBostonStraggler Rookie

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    Has McCourty proven himself at safety? A lot of 'folks' choose him to be at the safety spot...... but why? Because he is a solid safety or they simply dislike or do not have faith in his CB skills? Has anyone seen enough of him at safety to know if he fills that need satisfactorily??

    However, assuming McCourty can play safety satisfactorily, this is a good place to start. A lot of people want the Patriots to have a much better secondary (as do I). But that is a difficult task to achieve in season (IMHO) especially given the fact the Patriots' relatively poor secondary play is in its third straight year. Yet the Patriots can realistically achieve the threshhold of simply not giving up the big play. With the Patriots having solid rushing D, a more robust rushing O than in the last several years, a passing game that easily can be the best in the league (and a good K and P).....the Patriots simply need a secondary that doesn't give up quick, easy scores. We'll win 80% to 90% of the time when the secondary can just do that.

    So IF McCourty ends up a satisfactory free safety, and IF Talib ends up a satisfactory CB, and IF Chung or Gregory can simply not be poorly performing strong safeties (none of these are asking for the sky), I'm not only good with letting Dennard find his stride at the other CB spot but I believe the Patriots have a good formula to get to the SB (yes, even against the frightfully imposing Texans ;)).

    And of course we have Ras I coming back next year to make it all better :bricks:
  17. BoTown

    BoTown Rookie

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    I like this answer.
  18. Kenneth Sims

    Kenneth Sims Rookie

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    LCB Talib, RCB Dennard, S McCourty, S Gregory/Wilson/Chung (depending on matchups)

    Playing McCourty at Safety means you have 3 CBs on the field in your base defense. This allows you to stay in your base defense even when the opponent plays 3 WRs without being forced to play zone. To me, it's in the Pats best interest to play their base defense as much as possible because I'd rather have Donta Hightower on the field than a 5th DB when possible.
  19. fnordcircle

    fnordcircle tfw not enough helmets PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Promote Sterling Moore from the practice squad.

    Moore and Arrington at the Corners
    Chung and Ebner at safety.

    Bring in McCourty for Nickel situations and Talib in the dime. Cut Dennard.
  20. Joker

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    [​IMG]
  21. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And hire Earthwind Moreland as the secondary coach.
  22. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    LCB McCourty
    RCB Talib
    S Wilson/Chung/Gregory 3 man rotation
    Nickel Dennard
    Dime Cole or Arrington
  23. QB12

    QB12 Rookie

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    i agree with this.
  24. Bigfatcat999

    Bigfatcat999 Rookie

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    Anything that pulls the team passing defense out of the bottom half of the league.

    CB: Talib
    CB: Dennard (This guy had a 1st rd. ranking till off-field problems)
    S: McCourty
    S: Chung/Gregory/Wilson (Whoever works)
  25. 1%er

    1%er Banned

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    I think Mccourty will play both CB and FS.

    Base
    LCB - Talib
    RCB - Dennard
    FS - McCourty
    SS - Chung

    Sub
    LCB - Talib
    RCB - McCourty
    SCB - Dennard
    FS - Gregory
    SS - Wilson

    Just a thought could be wrong
  26. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    Call me crazy but before moving McCourty to safety I would like to see Chung, Gregory, McCourty, and Talib to work together. It's our best four at their natural positions. Provided Chung and Gregory are healthy enough coming out of the bye to try this for a few weeks if it still looks bad move McCourty to safety. Keep in mind these four are just the base and shuffling will occur in sub as Dennard and Wilson should be your 5th and 6th Dbs but dennard is probably better suited to play outside.
  27. MTM558

    MTM558 Rookie

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    When constructing a secondary, it's not so much about having your best 2 Cornerbacks and best 2 Safteys on the field, but rather your best 4 Defensive Backs playing together in a complimentary manner.

    Our top 4 Defensive Backs are McCourty, Talib, Dennard, and then one of Chung/Gregory/Wilson.

    Once Aqib Talib is eligible for games, he immediately becomes out best Cornerback. His strengths lie in his size, range, and ability to jam receivers and play man coverage. When choosing a player to start across Talib, you would like a player who offers a similar style of play. Alfonzo Dennard offers that, and he has been on the rise these past few weeks and I believe his play has warranted a starting position.

    McCourty was our best Cornerback - before this trade - yet still may be our best overall Defensive Back. He struggles in man coverage yet excels in zone coverage, and has all the traits of a prototypical Free Safety. We have to remember, the coaches WANTED to move McCourty to Safety permanently this year, but they didn't trust in the other Cornerbacks enough to take away his presence. Now, Talib is in Foxborough. Dennard has established himself. And with the continuous struggles at Safety and the continuous death by 50 yard passes, McCourty can finally "go home."

    There is a lot of praise for Wilson, but mind you, his rookie mistakes have cost us a game and has made us susceptible to the deep ball. I like Wilson as the "Money" player, it's a good role for him at this point in his career. That would leave Gregory and Chung as options to play alongside McCourty. What I think the coaches will do is rotate these players depending on situation. Expecting the pass? McCourty-Gregory. Need to make a stand against the run? McCourty-Chung.

    The Patriots haven't really been playing the traditional Free Safety/Strong Safety positions as much as Left Safety/Right Safety. McCourty is well rounded in both pass defense and run defense, and rotating a player who specializes in either or next to him could pay off.

    Therefore, the Patriots new-look secondary would be:

    LCB: Alfonzo Dennard (In my observations, Dennard has played better when aligned as the LCB).
    RCB: Aqib Talib (He can play any CB position, LCB, RCB, SCB).
    LS: Devin McCourty (Has been groomed on the left side his whole career).
    RS: Gregory/Chung (Pass: Gregory, Run: Chung)

    SCB: Kyle Arrington
    Dime: Tavon Wilson.
  28. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    IMHO, with everyone healthy, this is by far our strongest secondary. That being said, I could see Belichick choosing to keep McCourty at safety as long as Gregory is not 100%. McCourty might even be our future all-pro free safety. However, for now, we need to use our current resources best.

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  29. James in Wales

    James in Wales Rookie

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    According to Mike Lombardi, the Patriots will permanently move McCourty to Safety.

    Regardless, I'd like to see Talib and Dennard at corner with McCourty and Chung at safety.
  30. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As has been mentioned, this is Lombardis guess, not information from the organization.
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