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Camp Battles: LB

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Metaphors, Jul 10, 2008.

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  1. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Locked Down Roster Spots
    ROLB: AThomas
    LOLB: Vrabel

    Camp Battle
    Bruschi vs Hobson vs Mayo for Starting ILB (2)

    Bruschi has really slowed down in the last year or so. Still blessed with tremendous football smarts and his brain knows exactly where to be...but his legs just can't get him there fast enough. Not battling for a roster spot, but for a role (beyond coach on the field and beloved area icon).

    Hobson looks like a typical Pats acquisition. Solid yet unspectacular player in a less-than-optimal situation in NY. Given a new scheme and a new role, he could really have a breakout year. Solid tackler and is sneaky fast. Can he shed blocks effectively on the inside? Something to watch for in camp.

    Mayo has no NFL experience obviously so camp is huge for him. Has all the skills needed to patrol large areas of the middle of the field...where big plays on defense have been virtually non-existent for quite a while.

    Camp Battle
    Crable vs Woods vs Alexander for Reserve LB

    With the starters in place at OLB, there is still a need for spot pass rush duty. End rushers start to lose effectiveness at 50 snaps and are useless after about 60. Crable lived in the opposing backfield at Michigan so if the skills translate, he should see opportunities right away.

    Woods has shown improvement as an all-around OLB and earned some snaps. Alexander's star seems to be fading after getting the call in the 2006 AFCC game.

    Metaphorically Speaking

    Bruschi, Hobson and Mayo are all safely on the roster, but responsibilities will be earned in camp. Bruschi just isn't a full-time player anymore. He can still be effective but only in selected game situations and with a controlled number of snaps. He'll start early, but they won't be able to keep Mayo off the field for long. I also believe Hobson will thrive with the move inside and will compliment Mayo's skill set very well. So we'll put Hobson at SILB and Mayo at WILB...with Bruschi spelling them both and becoming a situational specialist (particularly red zone).

    Tempted to give Woods some regular rotation opportunities and he would be the backup plan if AD has to shift back inside. But AD and Vrabel can handle the majority of the snaps, so the real need is have a plan B on attacking the QB in case of injury or fatigue. That points to Crable getting the call at OLB on the active 45 and Woods getting bumped to the special teams group (quick preview, Woods is a monster on ST and is a lock).

    The rest of the bunch (Izzo, Alexander, Guyton, Ruud, Redd) join Woods on the rapidly growing special teams battleground. We still have some spots on the gameday inactive list and also need the annual UFA to make the roster. Guyton looks to be able to handle the transition to ILB and his speed makes him an interesting prospect, so he gets a backend roster spot (with opportunity to move up to the active 45 on special teams).

    Roster So Far...
    1-2: QB Brady, Gutierrez
    3-5: RB Maroney, Faulk, Morris
    6-9: WR Moss, Welker, CJackson, Gaffney
    10-11: TE Watson, DThomas
    12-18: OL Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, Kaczur, O'Callaghan, Hochstein
    19-23: DL Seymour, Wilfork, Warren, Green, Wright
    24-29: LB AThomas, Hobson, Mayo, Vrabel, Bruschi, Crable
    Gameday Inactives
    46: QB O'Connell
    47-48: OL Britt, Yates
    49: DL LSmith
    50: LB Guyton

    Cut or Traded: Cassel, Pollard, Ross, Mruczkowski, SThomas
    Battling for Special Teams: Evans, Eckel, KWashington, Aiken, Spach, Stupar, Izzo, Woods, Alexander, Ruud, Redd, Guyton

    CB up next...
  2. PatsDeb

    PatsDeb PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What, no Junior in the mix?
  3. bradmahn

    bradmahn Rookie

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    I don't think it's smart to include Junior until he actually signs with the team.

    For my money, Woods will be the first OLB off the bench.

    Redd and Guyton are intriguing guys because of their size and speed. They could be able to win roster spots which would be amazing (Woods, Crable, Mayo, Redd, Guyton, Ruud, Hobson; re-tooled, younger, and just about overnight).

    Wishful thinking, of course, but it's not out of the question.
  4. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It is difficult to assess Crable without even one day of TC or Exhibition snap... to have been picked this high there has to be a lot of upside..
  5. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    I think Crable could be the 3rd down rush guy, moving AD inside.
  6. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady On the Roster

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    #24 Jersey

    That will be huge if he can do that because Thomas is one of the better Pass covering LB on the team.


    IMO as usual this will be a position to watch during Training camp. Two big things to watch for is the developement of the youth and to see how the older guys are looking (how does Bruschi, persumably Seau, and Even Vrable look next to the youth not that I expect any huge drop offs).
    Lots of new faces means lots of work to get on the same page both for the new guys and the vets. And BB always seems more hands on with the LBs
  7. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I think if BB throws the young guys out there, a lot of mistakes and miscommunication will result. The best strategy might be to work them in slowly over the course of the year and then, assuming our record is good enough, start giving the young guys a larger share of the snaps for the last 4 games and rest the 30 plus year old veterans so they can be fresh for the playoffs.
  8. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Everybody loves the young LB and the 'big' corner but looking at BB's MO he prefers 30+ veterans. I don't see a situation where more than 3 of the rookies (Mayo, Crable, Redd, Guyton, Ruud) make the team (53 man). I don't like it anymore than the next guy but I would bet that Izzo returns and maybe Seau as well.

    If Guyton, Redd and Ruud are cut there is a good chance that at least two of them make it to the practice squad.

    Mayo is the wildcard, he is a top ten pick but at least for now I am just not that excited. He should be a stud to be picked that high and have serious pro-bowl potential. If he can play situationally, 3rd downs, passing downs, etc. it will be an enormous boost to the defense.

    As far as Woods goes, he is a good special teamer but has shown very little as a LB, same with Alexander. Maybe I am tired but I can't think of a Patriot practice squad player who became a decent starter at any position, maybe the odd offensive lineman, nothing, I am drawing a blank, help me out here.

    My point is that sooner or later a ST player is just a ST player, rarely do they turn into good starters.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  9. bradmahn

    bradmahn Rookie

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    Just because that's what he's had in the past doesn't mean it's what he'll do going forward. Times, players, situations, schemes... all these things change. If a player is worth playing, he'll get PT.
  10. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I don't see how Crable doesn't make the roster - save for an injury, bogus or otherwise
  11. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Woods should be the first OLB off the roster. I don't Crable catching up by the start of the season. That's seven position players as it should be.

    Also, I don't see Alexander going anywhere. He is an inexpensive emergency backup, who is a solid special teamer. BTW, Woods is also a solid special teamer.

    OLB Vrabel, Thomas, Woods, Crable
    ILB Bruschi, Mayo, Hobson, Alexander
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