Cunningham, Banta-Cain, Ninkovich, Moore

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, May 3, 2011.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich Veteran Supporter

    Cunningham. Banta-Cain, Ninkovich, Moore, Murrell
    We expect to add a free agent. How is this so much worse than adding a draftee?

    For those who say "it depends who we get", the answer we should get someone that Belichick values more than the 2nd round draftees. That won't take much. And, while I think an OLB or two will be brought in at least for competition, Belichick might be fine with what we have.

    After all, the linebacking crew should be better with experience this year. We added Cunningham, Moore, Spikes and Fletcher last year. I suspect that Belichick expects improvement from these FOUR youngsters. Some think the linebacking corps was addressed in 2010. Four is a lot of additions (not even counting White).

    Also, the linebacking corp should be better with some improvement expected in the secondary (Add Bodden and Darling, more experience for Arrington) and the DL (switch Warrens, add Stroud and perhaps Wright, more experience for Brace).
  2. A_Ghost_In_The_Machine

    A_Ghost_In_The_Machine On the Roster

    Hopefully Cunningham should make a big jump this year. We all know it takes time to convert from a 4-3 DE in college to a 3-4 OLB in what is a pretty difficult system to learn so hopefully with a year of experience he'll be greatly improved, just hoping the lockout doesn't hinder that too much. (As an aside, Andre Tippett didn't record a single sack as a rookie and we all know how that turned out, not saying Cunningham is the next coming of Tippett but just that I wouldn't worry too much about him only having a single sack last year.)

    Moore played extremely well I thought given how little time he had to learn the system. Sure he was being used as a 4-3 sub rusher but hopefully, like Cunningham, with a bit of time to learn the 3-4 OLB position he should be good to go.

    I've never been a fan of TBC, personally I think he's overrated and was overpaid following one good season (10 or so sacks with something like 5 coming in one game against a pitiful Bills O-line). Frankly I see him as just a body to fill space, albeit one who understands how to play the 3-4 OLB position (which is no small feat in itself).

    I like Ninkovich but I'm not sure how much he'll improve from last season. He's been with us a few years now which would suggest that he should understand the system fully but maybe getting a good amount of playing time will help him more than just getting practice reps. Regardless I think he'll be a solid contributer but not spectacular
  3. resdubwhite

    resdubwhite In the Starting Line-Up

    No Jersey Selected

    Realistically Cunningham should have had 5 or 6 sacks last year. Thats no exaggeration.

    I think he has the tools to be a good deal better this year. I would expect another body will enter the equation through free agency. TBC being the one on the block.
  4. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan Supporter Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    Cunningham's development is going to be a big part of how this group fares. And I'm interested to see how Moore does with a full TC. There's also the possibility of Ninko improving.

    I wish we added someone via the draft, but I concede that they probably wouldn't have helped much. It's rare to get a 3-down guy at OLB when he's converting from DL. More than likely, we would have gotten a project who would have been behind Ninko in terms of development. Alternatively, we draft a pass rush specialist who may or may not have been an upgrade over Tully in year one, but doubtful it'd be a huge upgrade considering we didn't move up to the top 10.

    So short-term, we can get by. Long-term, this position definitely could use another solid young draft pick.
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  5. randomk1

    randomk1 In the Starting Line-Up

    #12 Jersey

    Realistically he had 1 sack. He did apply some nice pressure at times but that doesn't change the fact that he couldn't finish a sack by bringing a QB down or he just came close and had some flags that should've been called for him. But he still had 1 sack. I have no doubt in my mind that he will improve on that though.
  6. Defsoul

    Defsoul On the Game Day Roster

    Wasn't Cunningham hurt for the majority of training camp and preseason games? I think he was injured in the joint-practice with the Saints, but I'm not 100% sure. That had to hurt his development early.
  7. robertweathers

    robertweathers Pro Bowl Player

    Correct- IIRC he suffered a high-ankle sprain. Depending on it's severity, not an easy injury to get over.

    With that said, not sure if it nagged him all year and that was the main reason that he didn't make a "big impact" but I do believe in 2011 he will be more productive in this system.
  8. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

    I think Ninkovich is a useless jag. Replace him in FA with Ray Edwards or something.
  9. robertweathers

    robertweathers Pro Bowl Player

    Can't have All-Pros at every position, Marqui.

    62 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 INTs is not useless.
  10. Shelterdog

    Shelterdog Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I'll bet they'll try to do this, and if they can't sign Edwards they'll add a guy like Chris Gocong who can compete with Ninkovich and TBC.
  11. Garbanza

    Garbanza In the Starting Line-Up

    Reading that list is depressing.

    Tully Banta-Cain is AWFUL. JUST AWFUL. Moore, Murrell, Ninkovitch - mediocre to below average.

    Cunningham - meh, who knows.

  12. TBC is a pass rush specialist. That's why he left the first time. He wasn't good against the run in 2006.

    Both TBC and Moore can be pass rush specialists.

    The main problem at LB is youth and inexperience. Adding youth and inexperience doesn't help.
  13. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze In the Starting Line-Up

    #87 Jersey

    5 sacks? Some specialist
  14. robertweathers

    robertweathers Pro Bowl Player

    I don't agree.

    The main problem at OLB is the lack of game-changing, play-making ability.

    Nink, TBC and Moore are good role players and are the type of players every team needs- but not ones that should be getting 40-50 snaps a game and disrupting passing & running games on a consistent basis.
  15. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

    Exactly, so I'm not sure why you're against cutting one of those guys for a more accomplished veteran like Edwards. He shouldn't be that expensive, he's not a pro bowler or anything.
  16. Shelterdog

    Shelterdog Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I suspect Edwards is actually going to be very expensive-$6 million a year or more-he's very close to being a pro bowler, the Vikings seriously thought about franchising him, he's had 8+ sacks two years in a row, and there aren't a lot of pass rushing DE/OLBs on the free agent market.

    EDIT: I would also stretch to sign him. If you're not going to draft a lot of rookie OLB prospects because it's too hard to predict whether they can handle OLB at the NFL level then you have to suck it up and overpay veterans.
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  17. robertweathers

    robertweathers Pro Bowl Player

    Don't think I said I was against cutting any of the OLBs on the current roster, Marqui. The only one whos roster-spot is completely secure is Cunningham's.

    If Kiwanuka or Edwards showed up on the Pats doorstep tomorrow, the first ones to go might be TBC or Moore and I'd be completely comfortable with it.

    Nink is solid- nothing more. He'd be a backup for 3/4 of the teams in the league.
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  18. resdubwhite

    resdubwhite In the Starting Line-Up

    No Jersey Selected

    I would say Moore will stay. He's shown more than TBC in his last 3 to 4 games than Tully all season. I'd imagine he's a good deal cheaper too.
  19. DW Toys

    DW Toys In the Starting Line-Up

    Here is the guy we are sleeping on Cousins. He is only 26. He is an UFA:
    Manny Lawson DE 6’5 240 North Carolina St.

    NFL Combine Stats: 40-yard dash - 4.43, vertical jump - 39.5"

    Manny Lawson is one of the truly elite athletes in college football. Not only has he found time to play both end and linebacker, he’s also a track standout having competed in the long jump and hurdles during his time at NC St. As a linebacker in 2002, Lawson had 35 tackles, with one of them coming for loss. As a part time starter in 2003, he improved on all his numbers. He totaled 53 tackles, seven for loss, with three sacks. Lawson made the switch to DE in 2004, and became a full time starter for the first time in his career. On the year, he finished with 50 tackles, 12 for loss, and seven sacks. As a senior, Manny put it all together. He finished the season with career highs across the board: 58 tackles, 19.5 for loss, and 10.5 sacks.

    Lawson is an absolute freak of an athlete. He has excellent agility, closing speed, and jumping ability. Pound for pound, he may also be the strongest player in the draft. There is not a single physical trait he lacks. On the football field, he is an emerging talent. He did not make too many plays early on, but once he moved to defensive end, he started to show his pass rushing ability. His upside is tremendous, and he could be a standout pass rusher at the next level. Lawson is also a standout special teamer.

    With all his athletic gifts, he is prone to relying on them too often. A major part of that is due to his inexperience on the defensive line. As an end, he lacks the bulk to be a player against the run. Lawson carries the tweener tag, but that has not been a negative lately. Still, he may only fit for certain teams.

    Manny Lawson has tremendous upside. As a pass rusher, he has as much pure talent as anyone in the draft. He is listed here as a defensive end, but he has the ability to play OLB in a 3-4 defense. Lawson is the type of player that makes team drool about his potential because of his physical talent. Pass rushers are put at a premium, so do not be surprised to see him crack the first round.

    The Niners used his as a coverage LB. He did not rush much. 59 Tackles 6 Passes defended with one Int, 2.5 Sacks as a pass rushing afterthought.

    This guy has length, can tackle, can defend was a superb pass rusher in college and now has that BB experience.

    6'5" and 4.3 speed with experience as an OLB.

    Very under the radar!!!
    His father was in the Air Force (BB likes a military backround). Look at his wonderlic!

    Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic

    6 ft 5⅜ in 241 lb 4.43 s 1.55 s 2.62 s 4.21 s 6.90 s 39½ in 10 ft 4 in 23 rep 43
    DW Toys
  20. Triple-T

    Triple-T Practice Squad Player

    I'm not so sure about that. He's 27 and here are his last three years of stats.
    Year Team Games Tks Sacks int PD
    2007-08 Miami 4 2 0.0 0 0
    2009-10 New England 15 23 1.0 0 2
    2010-11 New England 16 61 4.0 2 3

    That all compares very closely to Vrabel and Bruschi. Not saying he gets to that level, but to say he's topped out and can't reach that level is a bit premature. If he keeps trending in the right direction, he's well above average. This year should tell us if he's for real or not.
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