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Dane Fletcher

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by JackBauer, Feb 11, 2011.

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  1. JackBauer

    JackBauer On the Roster

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    It's a slow day so humor me for a second and help me settle an argument. Do we consider Dane Fletcher to be primarily an OLB or ILB, both now and long term? It's my understanding that he played OLB at Montana, but saw time at ILB during TC and was mainly used in the 4-2-5 nickel package against the Jets. To my knowledge, the only snaps he saw at OLB were against the Jets when they used him as a foil for Keller.

    Most major depth charts have him listed as an OLB, but Reiss refers to him as an ILB. I think he'll shake out as the latter; what say you all?
  2. Sciz

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    College DE, NFL ILB, situational OLB
  3. satz

    satz Rookie

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    I think he will develop into the ILB that will keep Mayo clear to make plays. He seem to read line play better .If he develops he will be the one that will take the gaurds freeing Mayo in early downs.

    Because of him playing in LOS in college he came on pass rush once he read plays where his guy was kept in blitz pickup.He seem to read line play better.


    So i see some potential to be the early down ILB that does the dirty job to let Mayo roam free.Post ravens game if you see early the ravens made sure someone blocked Mayo everydown and had success running. Then in the 4th and OT you suddenly saw fletcher in there and he did a good job against rice in space and rushing falco when rice was blocking. this game put him on the map for me.

    Our run defence late in the season was more to do with lack of DL then anything.

    At the top of the ceiling he can be the ILB that plays next to Mayo in early downs.

    satz
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  4. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    You throwing Spikes out with the trash already?
  5. alphilip77

    alphilip77 Rookie

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    The role I see Fletcher in is without question ILB. Other than playing as a situational pass rusher as a 4-3 end or OLB, he's meant for the inside. Kind of like a Guyton type ILB in that he can be on the field for passing downs.
  6. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He's an ILB here. I like that he has the potential to be a playmaker. (2 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble in limited playing time)

    I don't know how he plays against the run, but he is good at coverage. I wonder if he could hop Spikes on the depth chart.

    To go from a college defensive end to an ILB and make plays as a rookie in BB's defense says he's a smart player. Next Bruschi? :D
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  7. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    I always thought Fletcher's role with the Pats was primarily as an ILB. I think the confusion comes from where he played before coming to New England.
  8. patriotscpfc

    patriotscpfc Rookie

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    I see him knocking Guyton out of the Nickel very soon.

    Guyton looked slow against RBs this year.

    Fletcher shut Ray Rice down against Baltimore in the last quarter and OT. He done the same with LdT in the 2nd Jets game.

    I was surprised he wasn't used more in the playoff loss.
  9. IcyPatriot

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

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    From a different position I kind of saw him taking on the inside pass rush role that we lost when Mike Wright went down. Dane along with Wright could get us back to what we had with Jarvis Green + Mike Wright in the inside pressure department when needed.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  10. WelshPat

    WelshPat Rookie

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    I agree, I liked what I saw of Dane, and at times he looked better in coverage than Guyton
  11. Sciz

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    That pick that Fletcher stole from Guyton was hilarious. Guyton tipped the ball and would have picked it, but Fletcher got his hands above Guyton's :lol2:
  12. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    I agree, Fletcher does an excellent job against RB's and smaller TE's. With a year two leap and some strength work, he should leap frog Guyton and eventually push the slow moving Spikes very hard for playing time.
  13. satz

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    This is a thread on fletcher , explain why my explanation of his ceiling might be in the future if he continues to develop throws spikes into the thrash?.

    In our system one of the ILB plays more on the line then behind,having played on the line in college its is normal for Dane to do better there then spikes who played ILB in a 4-3 off the line.

    Guyton is something different to dane,mayo and spikes. He at 6 5 has awsome wing span and height.He is excellent in seam routes. He the only one that can cause qb to think before throwing up seams. When he is delayed blitz last year he caused interception as his closing speed is very good.

    He is a fast lanky guy play him off the line or in delayed blitz up the middle. HIs height actually makes him the only ILB who can track a QB over OL .In the ravens games we saw guyton ,mayo and flecther as the 3 LB package all 4th /OT.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
  14. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    BTW- his transition from a college DE to an NFL ILB is as remarkable as Edelman's one year transition from college QB to NFL WR. Think about the YEARS it took Tedy Bruschi to make the same transition. He went from college DE to situational pass rusher, to OLB, to ILB. IIRC that transition took over 6 seasons.

    No one knows what kind of player Fletcher will evolve into being, but as an UDFA he's already proven to be of great value....and further proof that it really doesn't matter where you are drafted, just what you produce on the field.
  15. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    I think you need to explain that one- not me. What you said in your previous post defines Spikes role in the defense. See below.

    Why can't Spikes be the strong-side LB in a 3-4? Outside of a sub-package, when does this team play a 4-3? Again, you are stating that Fletcher is a better fit in this defense than Spikes. I think Fletcher is a very good prospect, but he is not (yet) the presence that Spikes is at strong side LB in the 3-4. Are you talking about sub-packages only?

    You are referring to a sub-package which is fine. Is your premise about Strong side ILB in a 3-4 or sub-packages. I'm confused :confused:
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
  16. MustaphaM0nd

    MustaphaM0nd Rookie

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    I wonder if Ninkovich could play at inside linebacker. He's big and strong, but also has shown some nifty coverage skills. If someone new enters the fold during the draft, perhaps he could be a sub-player at multiple positions?

    The problem with Guyton/Spikes is that they're both one-dimensional defenders. Fletcher has serious potential, it would be nice to see him holding down that coverage role.
  17. satz

    satz Rookie

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    I do not think spikes has that role down right now. Again its a matter of opinion here, i think spike has to show more especially when mayo is blocked and RB hits the edges or he has to take a pulling guard in the hole.He seems to lack the technique for some reason to get to the RB. maybe next year and will develop this skill to take this job outright ,for now i will not pencil him as the starter next to Mayo.Maybe its not fletcher but i like to see some more improvement from that position.

    Right now in MY book he is not ,maybe he will be next year i am not sure on this one.He struggles when RB bounce outside as he is not a true sideline to sideline LB.Maybe a year in the system he will more impactfull. But i am just not putting him as other starter.

    Sorry not your thread but addressing few people who want dane to take over what guyton does in sub-packages. As we play 60% of subpackages he is a big part of what we do. I made a point in subpackages we do not have another LB with his speed ,size in our team and you need that change to game plan against certain teams.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
  18. satz

    satz Rookie

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    Disagree the ONE main difference between a OLB and ILB in our system in the amount of space a LB has to cover in zone. Ninkovich has this zone coverage skills good and drops are smoother. this is the hardest thing to learn for any OLB. Also a weakside OLB is more in coverage than a strong side. so i will keep him there.

    same difference as a tackle and gaurd. gaurd are more build like teapots to fight in a telephone booth and tackles are more atheletic to block in space.
  19. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    I would agree that Spikes lacks the technique that you are referring to (BB has said as much) but he is around the football (tackles per play). You made the point earlier that woes of the run defense are directly attributed to the D-line. In a 3-4, it's the line that takes on the guards/tackles and allows the LBs to flow to the ballcarrier. Spikes is a gap shooter (see Ted Johnson) in this defense. As much as I like Fletcher, I'm not sure how strong he is at the PoA.



    Agreed. Fletcher showed some promise last year and does seem to be a player who can contribute more in 2011. I'm not sure where or how yet...
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
  20. satz

    satz Rookie

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    when teams execute any inside run play ,where they double vince and pull a gaurd in the hole he vacates, one pf your ILB needs to be big and strong enough to take on that free gaurd and shut the hole. Spikes who has played behind LOS did not do this in college . His 2 DT`s kept him clear of gaurds in a 4-3.Now here he is asked to block 310 lb gaurds running. At 250 lb player cannot do it on his own and needs proper technique. When dane played in college he was a DE who went aganist 300 lb tackles .this is something that spikes has to pickup.With CBA i wonder how much development players will loss this year.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
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