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Are you confident in this defense?

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  1. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I look at this Patriots defense and see little seasoned leadership, plus little cohesion (esp. at cornerback and linebacker) coming out of the gate. Unless BB is keeping something under wraps, seems to me we're going to need every point the offense can muster. If anyone here can make a case for this defense being anything but average, I'd like to hear it.
  2. JD10367

    JD10367 Rookie

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    I think it has potential. The DBs are an upgrade over last season, with the addition of Springs, Bodden, Chung, and Butler (and I think Wilhite will do well). Linebacker, they DO still have Adalius and Mayo. D-line, we don't even need to talk about.

    I don't think they'll be top five. They'll probably be what they usually are: between #10 and #15 in the league in yards allowed, but between #5 and #8 in points allowed (which IMO is much more important). And, as long as Brady and his targets stay healthy, that offense should be scoring an easy 28 PPG, so it's not like we need them to be the '86 Bears...
  3. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    I agree they could have turned over better, but I feel like they stocked up well, good blend of youth and experience in the secondary, and some tools for some real exotic stuff in the front seven. They are defensive wizards, so i give them half a season to gel a bit.

    Thank Gawd, we at least have some athlete's.
  4. gmtaxi27

    gmtaxi27 Rookie

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    It's hard to say. You really can't put much stock in pre-season.

    Teams don't scheme, they don't really plan for the team they are playing.

    Case in point, did you see how the Skins corners played Moss? They were playing 10 yards off of him. Do you think that is going to happen in the regular season?

    I do think our defense has the potential to be real solid. I love our d-line. Outside of maybe the Giants, I would say we have the best and deepest d-line in football. A healthy Thomas coming back is huge. I pass rush was non-existant when he went down. I expect a big season from him.
    Can our seconday be any worse than last year? I guess it could, but Boden looks pretty solid. I would have liked to seen more of Springs, but unless he lost a few steps I expect him to be solid. I think our Saftey's could be the most underated in football. I love how Merriweather is progressing.

    I am not worried, but we shall see.
  5. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    confident enough.......
  6. Bledsoe11

    Bledsoe11 Rookie

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    All I know is if they are still playing CBs 20 yards off against Buffalo, I'm going to SCREAM!:mad:
  7. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not yet, i haven't been impressed with the pass def. But i think like most years it will get expedientially better as the season progresses.
  8. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You are kidding right?

    Average? :confused:

    Last year this was a top 10 D right? What key players have they lost
    that would make them worst? None

    What new players will make them faster and/or more physical?
    How about Burgess, Bolden and Springs(if healthy)
    Oh and then there is Brace and the fact Mayo is bigger/stronger
    and Gyton will have the needed experience under his belt.
    Meriweather is primed for a break out season.

    We have yet to see what this D will bring when they start game
    planning for teams.

    Will they be great from the get go? Probably not but after 6 weeks
    I bet you'll be singing a different tune.
    I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up being a top 5 D if no significant
    injuries.
  9. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ---- JAG ----- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Every year I see the team as a project from weeks 1 to week 6. I think Bill fields a team he feels he can best work with ... a team that has maximum potential vs a team that has little room to improve.

    The secondary will have some rough edges for a few weeks ... so will the pass rush ... but it's like this every year Bill has been here IMO. At least Dean is not a Patriots rookie this year and I think that's a plus.
  10. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    Y'all are gonna be pleasantly surprised. This D is gonna be a turnover-generating machine..... something that's been lacking the last couple of years.
  11. Patstopia

    Patstopia Rookie

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    I think too much is made of the exibition season. Most players are working on different things and trying different techniques. Also they hardly play together as a group as much as they will during a real game. Also BB always seems to disguise what the actual offense/defense is until it's for real. I look forward to seeing the results in 6-8 weeks.

    One thing I am sure of is the DL has never looked deeper. And the OL is going to get Brady killed if they cant protect better than the did last year with Cassel
  12. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think you're being unduly pessimistic. I'm not expected the defense to carry the team, but "we're going to need every point the offense can muster" sounds pretty grim.

    Here's my case for why the 2009 Pats defense could realistically be much better than you predict:

    1. The 2008 Patriots defense was above average in many respects, finishing 8th in points allowed and 10th in yards per game, despite a patchwork secondary and aging leadership. They got minimal contributions from the 3 veteran leaders of the defense, Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, and Mike Vrabel, all of whom are no longer with the team.

    2. While the old guard had a wealth of experience and locker-room leadership, the on-field leadership of the defense was already in transition last season going into this one, with Jerod Mayo assuming the defensive headset and role of signal caller and defensive QB, and Brandon Meriweather stepping up in the secondary.

    3. The achilles heel of the 2008 Pats defense was its red zone and 3rd down defense. Liabilities in the secondary forced the Pats to play a soft zone much of the season and to be less aggressive in attacking opposing offenses.

    4. The 2009 Pats defense has markedly more speed and athleticism than the 2009 group. This has already been apparent in the preseason in terms of a markedly improved red zone defense, and a more attacking and pressuring defense.

    5. The 2009 Pats defense is clearly a work in progress, with roughly 50 turnover in the LB and secondary. It would be astonishing to see "cohesion" when the full defensive roster (including the starting CBs) isn't even set yet, and when a large number of players are still not fully familiar with the defensive scheme and with each other. Over the course of the season we should expect to see considerable improvement in terms of cohesion.

    6. Because the defense personnel are still adjusting to each other and to the system, much of what was used in the preseason was fairly vanilla. Once the personnel become more comfortable with the system and their respective roles, I expect to see a lot more wrinkles.

    7. The defensive personnel provide perhaps the greatest potential flexibility yet seen under BB in terms of possible defensive schemes and styles. BB is a master and taking advantage of this kind of flexibility. I'm sure that over the course of the season we will see more of this.

    The 2009 Pats defense probably won't be a top 5 defense, even though the talent is there, because we have so many young players and so many players still learning the system. But over the course of a 16 game season I could see us becoming a top 5 defense by the end of the season if things come together. There are no guarantees, and injuries or lack of development may result in an "average" defense. But I think there is reasonable grounds to be optimistic that our defense should be better than average at worst, and potentially borderline spectacular by the end of the season at best.
  13. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    Yates was cut, so it's impossible for the line not to protect better than early last year. You'll notice that when Neal returned, Cassel had a very solid line for the rest of the season.
  14. bostonia3333

    bostonia3333 Rookie

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    If Burgess can be like Rosie Colvin, I think we are set. A nice pass rush will mask our secondary deficiencies. The pass rush looks a bit better in preseason, although the defense often lets the qb escape from the pocket at the last nanosecond.
  15. Deus Irae

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    D-line is better than last year

    Linebackers are worse than last year

    Secondary is worse than last year, right now, but could improve dramatically if Springs gets out there or if one of the puppies grows up over the course of the season.

    I'm confident that the offense will give the defense the opportunity to go through the needed growing pains, and that the defense will gel in time to help when it's needed at the end of the season and in the playoffs.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  16. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    If the Pats stick with a 4-3, their LB's are actually better. However, if they try to play a 3-4, their LB's are worse.


    To answer the question, If they stick with the 4-3, they will be alright. If they try to keep playing a 3-4 when they don't have the right personnel, their defense will be average at best and could cost them a few games.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  17. Brady to Brown

    Brady to Brown Rookie

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    Great post. The front 7 could dominate IMO if they wanted to.

    Lets see how much we get from Wilfork, Seymour and Burgess.
  18. Brady to Brown

    Brady to Brown Rookie

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    This is what I am hoping for.
  19. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    If the offense holds the ball as long as I think they will, the defense will stay pretty fresh. A fresh defense having to denfend less drives per game makes me think the Pats will have a good shot to crack the top 5 D if they can stay healthy.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  20. amazinPats

    amazinPats Rookie

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    This is my view as well. I think the secondary is going to hawk up a lot of balls, and the front 7 will create turnovers. It will be a big year for giving the ball back to the offense.

    It's still way too early to expect the defense to show anything yet. But they will.
  21. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'll make the case.

    Last year we were above average, ranked 8th and 10th in points and yards.
    So if we compare equally or favorably to last year, we are certainly above average.
    DL- At least equal, but assuming Warren is healthier that makes us better. Brace may or may not add something. Nothing is lesser than last year.
    LB- Our OLBs last year were Vrabel + 1/2 Thomas, + 1/4 Woods + 1/4 Colvin. I see Thomas filling a role similar to Vrabels and based on 2008, thats an upgrade. For half the games we are less at the other side, and half the games better. The sub package role of OLBs could be improved by Burgess.
    ILB Mayo figures to be better in year 2. We use a 2nd ILB about half the time, and by the end of 2008 it seemed apparent Guyton was outplaying Tedy. Overall our LB play in 2008 particularly due to injury was disappointing, and this year should be a wash at the worst.
    CB- BB decided that Hobbs and Oneal were not good enough and the corners left here and brought in are upgrades. There is no question BB feels it is an upgrade because he had the ability to return the entire unit and gained next to nothing in return for the jettisoned players. If BB is to be considered knowing what he is doing this is a big upgrade.
    S- Harrison did not play much, or well in 2008. At least a wash, probably an improvement.

    BB BY CHOICE replaced 4 of his starters (and the 5th, Rodney, he would have, if given the choice, because he clearly was through).
    There is a big difference, IMO, from changes due to losing players and changes due to getting rid of players. If we are to believe BB knows something about defense, our defense will be better in 09 than 08, because he chose to change the personell.
  22. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    I also think tipped balls, forced fumbles and strip sacks will generate a lot of turnovers as well. The culture in the Pats locker room, and the draw the Pats have to get "Patriot" players is just starting to blossom. The energy, work-ethic and enthusiasm of the younger players coming in is almost palpable. BB has built something pretty special here, and he knows it. IMO, this is the most talented Pats team ever fielded, but only time will tell.
  23. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    LBs depend on health.
    We had Colvin and Seau out there by the end of the season, Thomas played 9 games.
    Mayo 09>Mayo 08
    Guyton 09=Guyton/Bruschi 08
    Thomas 09>>>>Thomas 08 if he plays 16 games
    Vrabel 08 was very ineffective. Vrabel 07 to Woods/Burgess/Crabel is a downgrade Vrabel 08 to those guys may well be an upgrade.

    I think whether the LB position is better or worse comes down to how they OLBs plays as sub package DEs. I see little difference (effective both seasons) in first down base D. The pass rush they generate in sub packages is the most vital variable and the bar wasnt set very high last year.
  24. Deus Irae

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    Well, we disagree here. I don't think this year's linebacking is even close to last year's. That's why we're seeing more 4-3. Whether it will stay that way over the course of the season is something that only time can tell us.

    Thomas
    Vrabel
    Mayo
    Bruschi

    v.

    Thomas
    Mayo
    Woods

    No contest, in my opinion.
  25. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    Woods will not be a starter in their 4-3 formations. That role is going to Gary Guyton. In fact, Guyton is the prototypical OLB in a 4-3 defense, Woods is not. You know BB thinks Guyton is a starter because he didn't even play on Thursday night while Woods did.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  26. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Vrabel and Hobbs were important parts of last year's defense.

  27. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I know that while our opinions of Vrabel as a Pat are similar your opinion of him in 2008 is much higher than mine. I believe that is the difference we have here.
    Bruschi's retirement isn't going to have a great difference, and the likelihood we are healthier and not playing Colvin and Seau by the end of the year would be an improvement.

    By the way, your analysis leaves out that Guyton will be in Bruschis spot, and that Burgess, at least on 3rd down will share Vrabels duties.
  28. AndyJohnson

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    They were important parts, but neither played particularly well.
  29. Deus Irae

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    It's not leaving out Guyton/Burgess with any ill intent or forgetfulness. I was pointing out the vast disparity in the starters. Burgess hasn't done anything 3-4 linebacker in New England to date, so I didn't even bother with that, because I don't see how a fair evaluation can be made there at this time.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  30. PatsFaninME

    PatsFaninME Rookie

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    Look at the defense this way. Coach Belichick looks to take away the first and second options of the opposing offense. I believe this defense can contain any running game in the league and can probably outright shut down all but the top few teams.

    Second, look at the top teams in this AFC. Let's start with Pitt. Not too difficult shutting down their run game and who wouldn't take making Ben try to win a game with his arm. Like our chances there! Indy has much less offensive fire-power than in years past and even in their hey-day, they couldn't beat the Patriots. Sit on Wayne and then what does Manning do. I can hear him whining now. Bring them back to the AFC East so we can get 2 more easy wins every year! Ravens have another great D but still not scared by there offense one bit. Houston looks good but still don't think Schaub can take them to next level.

    Face it, it's the Patriots Superbown to win unless they screw it up. Their biggest obstacle may be that the league doesn't want them to win. This year we over come even bad calls in suberbowl.
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