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Defense wins championships...well Pass Rush does

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by TriplecHamp, May 15, 2009.

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  1. TriplecHamp

    TriplecHamp Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    I was bored today and was thinking about some recent Super Bowl Champions.

    1) Pittsburgh Steelers-James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley were absolute BEASTS at the OLB position. Lamarr Woodley had a pair of sacks and a huge forced fumble. James Harison was held in check for the most part but he had this one play that well....14 point swing.:mad:

    2) New York Giants...nuff said.:mad:

    3) Indinapolis Colts...Freeny/Mathis...nuff said:mad:

    The Pittsburgh Steelers of 2005 had a good pass rush, All of our Championship teams had good pass rushers, the Bucs, and Ravens had a good Pass rush. Im not sure if we have the Pass rush to win the SB this year. Maybe Crable, TBC, Wood or Redd Can step up but maybe not. I don't see how we can have an average Pass Rush and win the SB even our 18-1 team had a good pass rush. IMO we need help and fast.
  2. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    if it would take just a good passrush to win a SB the eagels ravens and cowboys would have won the last 3 SB and that 18-1 team was #2 in the NFL in sack's but they was not a good passrushing team they got most of there sack's in garbage time when team's had to throw cause they were down by 30 ( 4 ) of mike vrabel's 12.5 sack's came vs the redskins when they were up 50 to 0 sack's are overrated
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  3. TriplecHamp

    TriplecHamp Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    I'm not saying all you need is a Pass Rush I'm saying that I don't think you can win the Superbowl without one. Sacks are not everything that's why I said "Pass Rush". Rushing the Passer,putting pressure on the QB, bringing heat what ever you want to call it we don't have it IMO and we need it if we are going to win the SB. Another thing that has plagued us is not wrapping up. Its hurt us plenty of times including that won freak play in SB 42. How can you sacks are overrated as a Patriots fan, we've been sacked allot recently and we haven't sacked anybody recently. Tom Brady threw plenty of touchdowns in "garbage time" as a Patriot's fan would you say those TD are Overrated?
  4. iapatsfan

    iapatsfan Rookie

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    Couldn't agree more, and the current NE Pats are the worst pass rushing team of all the teams playing a 3-4. I really believe that. I think the Pats current OLB core is as bad as their is when comparing 3-4 teams. It consists of a decent player (Thomas) and a bunch of guys that have never shown the ability to rush the passer at any level. I know TBC was a quality sack guy in college while playing DE, but he's never proven to be anything at OLB.
  5. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    will i dont think we are geting peppers but we will be a lot younger and faster at LB this year then we have been in a long time i think the secondary is more to worry about if they cant cover the LB and DL cant get to the QB
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think that the strongest teams have an aggressive defense that ideally puts a lot of pressure on opposing offenses and creates confusion and ultimately big plays. Sacks are only one part of the puzzle. Turnovers, 3rd down and red zone defense are all equally key. Stop the Jets on 3rd and 15 last year and we win the division. Obviously, a sack is one way to do that, but not the only way.

    Our DL is as strong as ever, probably stronger with the addition of Ron Brace. Or secondary is potentially the deepest we've ever had and the strongest since 2003, with plenty of speed and playmaking ability. I think the coverage will be much better, and Meriweather will become even more of a playmaker. Once Butler and Chung come up to speed we will be able to do a lot more with safety and CB blitzes and creating turnovers.

    LB is the biggest weakness. We have decent depth at OLB and 2 out of our 4 starters at LB are pro bowl caliber (Thomas and Mayo). We are thin at ILB and we lack a proven pass rusher opposite Thomas at OLB. No too different from Pittsburgh 2 years ago when James Harrison took over from Joey Porter and Lawrence Timmons and Lamarr Woodley were rookies. If Guyton, Crable, Woods and Redd come through and we don't get killed by injuries then we are in terrific shape. If not, then it will depend on how successful BB is at scheming to cover up for defensive weaknesses.
  7. jays52

    jays52 Rookie

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    I think that the general statement is correct. Although, I would add that the defense needs to be able to execute their assignments at a high level, regardless of rushing calls. It should also include the ability to create significant gameplan issues with the offense. If a great pass rushing team that is reliant upon one method is playing a well coached offense, they will loose nearly every time. Blocking schemes are amongst some of the more complicated calls in football. If executed properly, they are highly effective at stopping even the most unrelenting pass rush. I would look at it as the ability to get to the quarterback in many ways while remaining ahead of the OC wins championships.

    BTW, nice sig. "Keep drinkin myoplex, *****"
  8. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Regardless of pass rush, 8 of the past 10 Super Bowl winning teams had a top 6 defense. Only the two Manning teams didn't, and they both got there due to fluky wins over the Patriots.
  9. BradyFTW!

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    #12 Jersey

    No kidding. It's funny how everyone assumes that if someone isn't already an all-pro, he sucks. None of these people have even seen Crable or Redd play, and most of them pretty much open and close the book on Woods based on a fumble that he didn't come up with in the SB in 2007. They all point to Pittsburgh as if they never have any question marks at LB, yet they did basically the same thing a couple of years ago (ditching Porter and going with the 'no-name' young guy named Woodley) that a lot of these people are killing the Pats for (ditching Vrabel and going with whoever comes out on top).

    I'm not guaranteeing that the move will work out, but the chicken littles on this board are irritating, at best. Belichick is a hell of a lot closer to the situation than any of us, and he's actually pretty good at evaluating personnel.

    Maybe that's why this whole OLB doesn't really bother me at all. We have young guys with potential, and the lack of moves on that front indicates that Belichick probably likes what he sees from them. Either that or he just decided "you know what, screw it, this just isn't challenging enough. I'm going to see if I wan win a SB with no pass rush just for the hell of it".
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Steelers had the confidence in their ability to judge players and the chutzpah to let Joey Porter go and replace him with UDFA James Harrison, and to bring in Woodley and Timmons. Except for James Farrior, they essentially turned over their starting LB corps between the 2005 SB team and the 2008 one.

    If BB feels that Woods, Crable, Redd, Craig (at OLB) and Guyton (at ILB) are up to the job, then who cares what the naysayers think. This is different from 2005, when Bruschi's unexpected stroke left us looking for short-term fixes, and Chad Brown and Monty Beisel obviously couldn't cut it. BB has been trying to turn over the LB corps for 2 years now, and if he has confidence that the young turks are developing and doesn't feel he needs to pursue other options in the draft or FA, then that's fine with me.

    Remember how thin we were at QB outside of Brady last year? Thank God we never had to put Matt Cassel to the test - he couldn't win a game in the 4th quarter with a lead to save his life. :) Maybe, just maybe, this Belichick guy actually knows what he's doing.
  11. Disco Volante

    Disco Volante Rookie

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    Talent mixed with luck wins championships.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes maybe we should expect that the young turks that Belichick had developed at LB will be as good as those he has developed for us in the best. Just who would those players be? Perhaps Belichick is just trying to prove that he can win a Super Bowl with more UDFA's than anyone in history.


  13. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sure, I agree. If three of our youngsters are good as Harrison, Timmons and Woodley, we'll be fine. And, we'll have no injuries. Otherwise, we will need to scheme to cover up of weakness at linebacker.

    The question is why would Belichick volunteer to put us in this vulnerable position.

  14. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    No, I'm assuming that,if three of the guys we're counting on were passed over by all 32 teams seven times (plus compensation picks) that we're really counting on catching lightning three times. that's a lot different than "not all pros".

    Pittsburgh never has question marks at LB. I'll repeat, never. That's because any linebacker who makes it has to compete with first second and third round picks, top FAs like Farrior in addition to low round picks and FAs. Woodley was a second round pick, brought along through competition. Harrison was a FA who took six years to prove himself through that type od competition.

    By contrast, TBC and Alexander failed after being inserted by default and I can't see who Woods or guyton beat out either. By the way, the 15th overall pick from 2007 Timmons, will just be a full time starter this year, his third after the release of Foote. Imagine being able to spend two full seasons grooming a first round pick because you already have an experienced starter.:rolleyes:

    Face it, Pittsburgh's linebacker situation compared to ours is a joke.




    Hmmmm... did someone say assuming? How do you know they have pro potential? One mid round pick and 3 FAs.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Because he obviously has confidence in the kids. Why did Pittsburgh volunteer to put themselves in that position in 2007? None of their kids was a sure thing at that point either. Hindsight is always 20-20, and I'm not saying that we'll be fine, but BB obviously felt that addressing the position wasn't as big a priority as the rest of us. Clearly either he's a blithering idiot, or he's an extreme risk taker and adrenaline junkie who likes living on the edge, or he has seen something that makes him feel that the position is not quite as weak as we all think it is. He hasn't been shy about bringing in FAs in the past, so his failure to do so up to now is suggestive.

    I wanted an OLB in the draft as much as anyone. If we had gone Chung at 34, Barwin at 40 and Butler at 41 and then taken a DT in the 3rd or 4th round I would have been ecstatic. I keep hoping to read that we've signed, or at least brought in for a visit, one or more FA LBs. So I keep coming back to either BB being an idiot, a daredevil, or having a plan. You seem to prefer the first 2 options. I opt for the latter based on his track record.
  16. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    i think the young guy's will play good will they put up the number that the steelers LB put up no maybe mayo and AD will but they will all play good as far as Belichick volunteering to put you in a vulnerable positon ? lol its not your job on the line its his if he thouht they cant play he would cut them cause if they cant play good its not on you its not on me its on him
  17. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    They are the mythical low round and FA Defensive ends that we carefully groomed into starting linebackers.

    Like the unicorn. No one has actually seen one.

    Parcells drafted a #4 overall who had played both end and LB in college. Bruschi was a rush end who switched to both LB positions, but was a third round pick. T. Johnson, 2nd round linebacker. Phifer 2nd rounder, veteran. colvin 4th rounder, but had two 10.5 sack seasons in a row before we acquired him. Vrabel, third rounder, couldn't crack the Steelers lineup.

    Until Woods outlasts the failed starting career of TBC, or a legitimate challenge, I don't consider him more than interim. Always been a fan, I'd love to see him show starter potential. sure haven't seen it yet.
  18. eom

    eom Rookie

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    god help me.
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually, I think the plan is very simple.

    OLB
    1) Thomas will be healthy and the biggest addition (he was injured on Nov 9th)
    2) Crable was drafted to compete for the starting job and is expected to do so.
    3) Woods was kept as a one-year transition (could stay past 2009)
    4) Belichick was thrilled to be able to get Banta-Cain back, Woods with more experience (could stay past 2009).
    5) Redd and Craig are the developmental LBs, if either makes the team.

    ILB
    1) Mayo is Mayo, and is expected to improve.
    2) Bruschi is expected to start and split time with Guyton as he did last year.
    3) Guyton is expected to improve and split time with Bruschi as he did last year.
    4) Appleby and Alexander are competing for for the #4 spot at this point.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY
    No injuries are allowed.

    BOTTOM LINE
    I like Thomas, Woods and Banta-Cain. I have great hope for Crable and Guyton. I would much, much prefer two veterans be added, one at OLB and one ILB. In 2001, we added Vrabel, Phifer and Cox. Is there no need now?

    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  20. bigfandan

    bigfandan Rookie

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    This Belichick guy has also offered a 36-yr-old linebacker more money than Miami. Still believe he has FULL confidence on the youngsters. Didn't think so!

    This Belichick guy was so desparate he started senior citizens Junior Seau and Rosie Colvin last couple of years.

    You know why he was the most picky evaluator of line backers? Concensus all pro young LBs (Woodley) were never going to be enough for him to even take a look?

    The truth is that he sucks at evaluating young LB talents. Only ones he liked are aged veteran players with proven NFL track record (Seau, Vrable, A. Thomas, Johnson). He is not in the same league as Parcells on LBs.

    My 2cents.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  21. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    The Steelers drafted LB with their first and second pick in 2007. They had been acquiring linebackers in the top of the draft and top FAs like Farrior for years.

    They are so deep that their 2007 pick, number 15 overall, had the luxury of playing behind Foote for two solid years. Harrison took six years to break out.

    There is no comparison to Pittsburgh in the way we stock linebackers, please stop.
  22. Deus Irae

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    Sometimes people try to out think the room. You're doing that on this issue, as is MgTeich. Prior to 2007, the Steelers had take an linebacker in the 5th round in 2005, the 2nd round in 2003 and the 4th round in 2002. That's it. It's not exactly an amazing sign of devotion.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  23. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    #1 we tried to sign jason taylor he did not want to play for us


    #2 we dont have the cap space to get peppers


    #3 there is no one out there in FA right now better then who we have


    #4 there is no guarantee that you will hit gold on a first round LB we got lucky with mayo look at the 2 LB that were drafted befor him

    Keith Rivers drafted #9 by the bengals 37 tackles 1 INT


    Vernon Gholston drafted #6 by the jets 13 tackles 0 sack's at this point he's no better then shawn crable who has not played a game and we got in the 3rd round

    my point is that i think we can get by with 2 all pro LB mayo and AD and some fill in's who know's crable and guyton may turn out to be big time play maker's
  24. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    Sorry to nip pick, but Porter was replaced by James Harrison (who was a nobody). Woodley replaced Clark Haggans in 2008. But yes, I get your point.

    I'm on the Crable bandwagon and really rooting for him to have an outstanding camp. He has great athleticism for his size and showed great promise in last years preseason.
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  25. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It is not a matter of out thinking the room.

    Belichick inherited Bruschi, Ted Johnson, McGinist and Slade
    In 2001, we had a need at LB. We brought in Phifer, Vrabel and Cox.
    In 2003, we had a need at LB. We brought in Colvin.
    IN 2005, we had a need at LB. We brought in Beisel and Chad Brown.
    In 2006, we had a need at LB. we brought in Seau.
    In 2007, we had a need at LB. We brought in Thomas.
    In 2008, we had a need at LB. We drafted Mayo and brought in Seau & Colvin.
    In 2009, we had a need at LB. We brought in Banta-Cain.

    The patriots have not developed a LB this decade.

    Perhaps Woods, Guyton, Redd, and Craig will be the exceptions.

    Perhaps Crable, like Mayo, is a top talent that need little development.

    If all goes according to plan, Crable will start this year.


  26. Deus Irae

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    You have been trying to out think the room. First of all, they just brought back a linebacker they developed. That would be TBC. Beyond that, they've clearly been trying to develop P.W.. Second, it's been clear from day 1 of this regime that BB wanted to use smart veterans to restock the linebackers. This is not surprising, since most college teams don't play the sort of defense that lends itself to having ready made 3-4 NFL linebackers. As for Crable, I have no idea where you found this "plan", but I'm not counting on any such thing.

    The problem, if you wish to call it that, with the linebacking corps has been bad luck. Johnson retired at the last minute: nothing wrong with his retiring, but the timing set the team back. Colvin was signed and almost immediately suffered an injury that made him a shell of his former self. Bruschi had a stroke, for crying out loud. Thomas has been injured both seasons he's been in New England. Also, just as teams miss on draft picks, even the Steelers :rolleyes:, the Patriots haven't been perfect with linebacker pickups.

    I don't know when people around here began to think that anything less than absolute perfection was a horrible thing that must be railed about, but I hope it stops soon. In that respect, it's almost too bad that the team didn't absolutely tank after Brady got hurt. Maybe then, people here would remember that 16-0 is not the norm for any team, even the Patriots, and that no team has 25 current Pro Bowlers on its roster.
  27. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It is not bad luck if we count on three undrafted free agents and they don't step up. It wouldn't be bad luck if Bruschi just doesn't have much left in the tank. A team prepares for such contingencies. And no, a team doesn't need to have 25 pro-bowlers. However, we recently had five top LB's and built our defense around them. Change is fine, but then the secondary will need to pick up the slack.

    Tully wasn't good enough to start when he was here. I hope that he developed some while at SF. In any case, I think that he was a good addition.

    As I have indicated, a healthy Thomas is the key at OLB. I am fine with the committee on the other side.
    ================================================================
    I am much more concerned about our situation inside. While everyone here was screaming for an OLB, I was one of those screaming for an ILB. As Reiss indicates, the situation is a concern. I wanted to draft Laurinitis. I want us to sign Harris. As Reiss points out, there are still many ways to address this need, including trades. But make no mistake, we have a considerable need at ILB.
    ===================================================================
  28. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Well, if the room thinks this is the same, maybe it's the rooms fault.

    Belichick era drafts vs. Pitt through 2008

    1.2..2..2..|3|...4....|.....5.....5.....66......

    1.............|3|.........|.....5............666777





    plus 1st round, #8 overall Farrior (FA) pitt

    Plus 3rd Vrabel 4th Colvin 6th Thomas (just for the record). Pat
    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  29. Deus Irae

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    Ray, you made an argument about the way the Steelers were getting their linebackers. It was a bad argument, and it was flat out wrong. Just admit it and move on.
    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  30. mayoclinic

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    I think the picture you paint is incomplete.

    In 2003 we aggressively signed the top FA OLB out there, Roosevelt Colvin. He had some problems adjusting and then got hurt, and took 2+ years before he started producing for us.

    In 2004 BB passed on one of my binkies, Karlos Dansby, at #32 in favor of Ben Watson. I think that hurt us.

    In 2005 BB drafted Ryan Claridge from UNLV in the 5th round, who was considered a solid prospect. He had personal issues and never played for us. I personally think that BB had his eye on Lofa Tatupu and would have taken him at #64 (he was projected as a 3rd-4th round guy) but Seattle shocked everyone by "reaching" for him at 45 and we traded out of the 2nd round. BB clearly was mistaken in his assessment of Brown and Beisel, who were too slow and/or clueless to play in our scheme.

    In 2006 a lot of people thought the Pats would take Bobby Carpenter, who Mel Kiper compared to Mike Vrabel, but Dallas took him at #18 and he has been a bust. We passed on Manny Lawson at #21, and he hasn't done much either. We drafted Jeremy Mincey in the 6th, but he got beaten out by UDFA Pierre Woods (who had been projected as high as a 2nd-3rd round pick prior to his senior year but fell into disfavor with Lloyd Carr at Michigan). Our LB corps clearly began to show it's age, most notably in the AFCCG against Indy. BB immediately went out and signed Adalius Thomas.

    In 2007 Jarvis Moss was considered the top DE/OLB conversion prospect, and was a popular pre-draft pick for the Pats. Denver traded up to take him at #17, and was offering him for a 7th round pick during the last draft. We had just brought Adalius Thomas in as a FA, so going after Lamarr Woodley was never that likely. A lot of people thought we should have taken David Harris at #28, but BB didn't like the value and traded the pick, and we eventually ended up with a much better player. BB was also rumored to have targetted Stuart Bradley in the 3rd round, but Philadelphia took him at #87 right before we picked at #91, and we traded our pick away (for what we eventually traded up to get Ron Brace this year). Like Colvin, Thomas struggled a bit to pick up the system and didn't make quite as big a splash as envisioned in 2007.

    The aging of the LB corps was obvious by the end of 2007, and BB reacted in the 2008 draft by bringing in not only Mayo but also Crable (the two highest drafted LBs in BB's tenure) as well as FA's Guyton and Redd, and 6th rounder Bo Ruud. A lot of people wanted Vernon Gholston, but he went #6, and did nothing. BB also brought in FA LB Victor Hobson who has been a 2nd round pick, but he was beaten out by Guyton and didn't make the squad.

    So I don't think BB has exactly ignored the LB position. He has passed on some of my favorite prospects (Dansby, Barwin), but he has brought in 2 top FA LBs (Colvin and Thomas) and spent a high 1st and 3rd on the position recently. I think he just missed on 2 prospects who could easily have ended up Pats in Lofa Tatupa (at WILB) and Stuart Bradley (at SILB). And most of the top DE/OLB prospects were off the board long before the Pats have picked in most drafts.

    As for the claims that Pittsburgh takes top LBs and is always loaded, I think those are also skewed. Joey Porter was a 3rd round pick in 1999, Clark Haggans a 5th rounder in 2000, Larry Foote a 4th rounder in 2002, and James Harrison an UDFA in 2002. The Steelers did take LBs in the 2nd round in 2001 (Kendrell Bell) and 2003 (Alonzo Jackson), but they didn't produce much. Pittsburgh took LBs at #15 and #46 in 2007; the Pats took LBs at #10 and #78 at 2008 (and they were going to take Crable at #69 before SD offered to trade their 2009 2nd round pick). Pittsburgh signed FA James Farrior, who was not considered an elite FA in 2002. The Pats signed FA LBs Roosevelt Colvin and Adalius Thomas, who were the top rated FA LBs in their respective years.

    At this point BB has invested time and effort developing Pierre Woods (2006), Shawn Crable (2008), Vince Redd (2008) and Gary Guyton (2008). If he thinks they're worth continuing to develop, I don't see a problem with that.
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