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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It looks like we will see some big changes on the DL this year.
    There are a handful of players who saw playing time that are gone, new additions, and others that may have their roles increased or decreased.

    RDE- Jones is the future of our pass rush. Lets hope he is healthy. I would not be surprised to see him play more on the left side too, perhaps moving around based on matchup.

    LDE- Ninkovich does a lot of things acceptably but none particularly well. He struggled mightily to generate a consistent pass rush last year, but knew what to do on the occassions he broke through or had a QB flushed out to him. My biggest hope is that we improve this position, but we have not yet. I could see Cunnigham or Bequette having a good camp and taking this role and moving Ninkovich to a jack of all trades DE, OLB, sub rusher, sub LB hybrid role, but i would have prefered John Abraham.

    I have little, if any hope for Buchanan this year even if he makes the team. We once again seem thin at DE. Perhaps Collins or Hightower will end up seeing sub snaps there. Justin Francis has JAG who had one good game written all over him to me.

    DT- Wilfork. I love Vince as much as anyone but we really need to sub him out more on passing downs. As the game continues to be more pass oriented and our penchant for playing from ahead causes us to be passed on more than most teams, we need more production from inside pass rushers than we have gotten.

    DT- Kelly/Armstead Both bring more pass rush hope than anyone we had at DT last year (except Cunningham who was much better than he got credit for). This could be a big area of improvement.
    Cunningham, if not playing LDE could return to the inside pass rusher role he did well in last year.

    I see potentially more talent, and potentially a lack of depth along the DL.
    I'd like to see Abraham signed, and a young DT emerge.

    Hopefully we can create some real football discussion about players who will contribute unless someone bring the Tebow to DE argument in.
  2. Joey007

    Joey007 Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    While I wouldn't hold out hope on signing Abraham I'd still keep it as a possibility. Who knows if at some point he'll come back to his senses and take a cheaper contract to come here.
  3. Joey007

    Joey007 Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    To me there is no one that is more key to our pass rush success than Jones. If he gets hurt/doesn't play up to expectations it would probably be the deciding factor to whether our pass rush finally gets over the subpar bench mark we've been under the past few years save 2011.
  4. Brady2Moss

    Brady2Moss Rookie

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    The most exciting guy for me is Armstead, reports make it seem like he's a beast. I'm fully expecting Jones to make a JPP type jump he has the talent.

    Defense could be a legitimate top 10 this year, not just points but 3rd down % as well.
  5. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I have been concerned about the talent and depth on our defensive line since the end of last season. Let's hope that we have a better interior push and that no one gets hurt, because we'll be in some trouble.

    Of course we need to hope that both Jones and even Ninkovich step up too while continuing to grow into their roles, which may very well include more responsibilities.

    Obviously I would like to see another player or two added who can provide more talent and depth, so that may occur as the summer progresses.

    As much as I agree with most that Cunningham is on the bubble, he is still one of our most versatile players on the line, so that may benefit him as long as he shows drive and a good work ethic.

    Armstead to me is a complete unknown, and I somewhat disagree with those who automatically feel that he will provide an instant upgrade.
  6. andrewgarrr

    andrewgarrr Banned

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    What was the rationale behind the Love and Deaderick releases? Not enough of a pass rush threat?
  7. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    both are shrouded in mystery but the Love release had rumors of uncertain medical culpabilities tied to it...it's all in the Love thread IIRC

    the Deaderick release also had these persistent rumors hinting at lockerroom cancer that emanated from the twitterverse...

    who knows what the real deal is...we'll just have to wait for Michael Holley to write another Patriot Reign in a few years to find out because we get zero from inside Foxboro.

    Love's release is understandable to a degree but Deaderick is a head scratcher for sure..
  8. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    IMO we never see or understand the whole picture, we see a game on TV without knowing assignments, we read the columns and associated commentary, we watch the Felger's and other news hysterics of the TV world break it down.. but we never really understand all that well. It is in the details...

    So we scratch our heads, not because of what happened, but because we will never know the whole story... but we think we do.
  9. SacPete1

    SacPete1 Rookie

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    Agree with just about every point except Ninkovich. I think he is one of more versatile players and is quite disruptive as a pass rusher. I'm very hopeful that Jones makes a leap. I really thought Cunningham was very effective inside on 3rd downs and then he didn't see the field much after his suspension. Would love to see him come out strong from the start. I don't have much in the way of expectations for Collins initially mainly because I see LB/DE as having the most depth at this point.
    DT is the most exposed position due to the turnover and perceived lack of depth as you have pointed out. Still think someone will be brought in but don't know if anyone worthy. I've read in different spots about using more 3-4 but just don't see the depth at DT at this point to support this and where would Jones play in this scheme.
    good topic.
  10. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    I'm very concerned about the apparent absence of sarcasm in this post.
  11. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    Don't sleep on Fortson at DT. He made a terrible decision leaving Miami early. But, he's not your normal free-agent un-signed player. Highly recruited(5* player on Rivals 1-5) and just never got going because of injuries amid the chaos down there. If Belichick cuts Deaderick and Love. I have to think he's got a lot of confidence in Armstead and Fortson. He paid Fortson more than the minimum to keep him on the practice squad last year.

    Buchanan will have to beat out one of; Cunningham, Bequette or Francis. If all are healthy. Which usually isn't likely. I haven't written off the thought of getting John Abraham here either.
  12. PATS68

    PATS68 Rookie

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    It is very simple for me, Love and Deaderick reached their ceiling and there was no more upside. Another key point, if Wilfork is getting double teamed then player X next to him needs to win the one on one battle and I didn't see it. Love was benched for Deaderick and he didn't bring much to the table.

    What I see in the two guys (Kelly and Armstead) both are more athletic and much better pass rushers up the middle. These two guys could really open up Jones outside game.

    I think overall I see a much better defensive unit all around. Pats have added more size and speed.
  13. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    Depth is a certainly a concern. We are counting on certain players to work out. The team doesn't seem desperate for new DT's or DE's.

    I wouldn't write off Francis. He seemed precocious last year for a first year unsigned rookie. I expect that he had a longer road to get in NFL shape and with an offseason, I hope he can make a good push this year. Between Nink, Jones, Francis, Cunningham, and one or two others, I think the End position will be solid.

    Jones - He's the biggest variable for the most impact. Mayock thought he was the potentially the best defensive draft prospect out of college when he was originally drafted.

    Nink - The dude stays healthy. Played 16 games last year, and 16 the year before too. He had 8 sacks with 5 forced fumbles last year. It's hard to argue with those stats. I think BB loves him because he's one of those players who's very aware and smart on the field of play.

    Francis - I think he could vault to #3 on the depth chart. Not sure about it though.

    Cunningham - Contract year for the player. Hopefully he comes prepared.

    Beyond the top 4, you get into players that will see playing time substantially less. We carried 6 DE's last year which seemed one too many. With injuries, I'm glad we carried them all. Plus, we had DE's lining up at tackle on occasion.
  14. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Rookie

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    Good post. Nice to see some DL talk.

    man#1 on line - Chandler Jones (early, rush)
    man#2 on line - ?
    man#3 on line - Vince Wilfork (early), ?
    man#4 on line - ?
    man#1 off line - Jerod Mayo (early, rush)
    man#2 off line - Brandon Spikes (early), ?
    man#3 off line - ?

    Those, to me, are the certainties. Outside of that its hard to say. Boils down to two questions. Once these questions are answered, Ninkovich's role will be clearer as well.

    *Armstead, Kelly, and Collins: They have the potential but do they reach it?
    *Francis, Bequette, Cunningham, Buchanan, Fletcher, Vega, Forston, Grissom: Who is the least JAG of the JAGs?

    So there's a lot of variance here. Best case scenario, 3/3 of the talented guys step up, 4/8 of the JAGs put their big boy pants on, and we have a really deep DL. Worst case scenario,all the JAGs are marginal and the talented guys flop and we're looking at a mediocre at best front seven.
  15. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Jim Mora - You think you know - YouTube
  16. tonyto3690

    tonyto3690 Banned

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    Rumor is that Love/Deaderick/Lloyd were toxic to the locker room last year, that's why they were released. It had nothing to do with Love or Deaderick reaching their ceilings or any of that nonsense.

    And it's really not that surprising because Deaderick has been a reported trouble maker ever since he got here and Belichick has wanted to cut him since 2010.
  17. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    I still think performance would be a contributing factor imo. If they were really good, then they would keep them (like Spikes). Seeing how they couldn't even trade them (I assume they at least thought about it), their ability level was viewed as limited. We know that the Jags were the only team to pick up Love (not sure about Deaderick).

    As for ceilings, at this point in their careers (fourth years) they are who they are. There isn't a whole lot of improvement that you see out of defensive linemen or many other positions after a certain point. Some players continue to improve but plenty show modest improvement at best after their first contracts are up. Yes, you get the occasional breakout player like James Harrison, but those players are the exception.

    Of course, if they were good in the locker room, then they'd still be around to compete in all likelihood. We can guess that that was the main cause.
  18. satz

    satz Rookie

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    Passing down
    DT :
    Vince needs a backup. When we lighten the front to play the run with Front 6 . We Have no one to play in the inside with 1 less LB to stop the run.
    Maybe Kelly can give him a breather.

    DE :
    We have 3 DE with Vince , Niko is the only one who can cover and rush with some quality. When we bring one of the ILB on a rush he is the only one who can drop and cover as a ILB .

    So you want 2 other DE to be the primary rush guys.
    Chandler jones and other guy[who we have no idea] have to step up.We need one more for rotation.



    Running down
    We always stop the run when needed. so no worries.Front 7 setup never worries me.
  19. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    I'm not one to bet on potential but, Armstead and Kelly seem like a tremendous talent upgrade over Love and Deaderick. It's great when low picks, UDFA progress, but you are what you are.

    So, assuming the new guys aren't total washouts, we're looking at needing role players/backups not starters/rotational players, and we're picking from the same pool as Deaderick/Love came from.
  20. 50-yard-line

    50-yard-line Rookie

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    I don't think they're done adding DL players yet - don't think they wanted to drop Love. My dream would be to log in and see that they've picked up Seymore and Abraham, but that dream comes with a "pipe" in front of it, I fear.

    So maybe one of those guys...

    There are teams thick with DL - Cleveland for example. I expect there will be serviceable and signable back-ups at least of Deaderick and Love's level.
  21. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    I don't know what you mean by automatically, but I do think that Armstead is an upgrade over Love or Deaderick. To me, it's pretty simple to tell if you think Armstead is an upgrade or not: if the Jags offered us Love or Deaderick in an even up trade for Armstead, would you pull the trigger?
  22. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I'm not knocking Armstead. I think it's great that they took a chance on a player who has shown some upside at times in his CFL/college career. It isn't like the interior push could have possibly gotten much worse, could it?

    I think he may have potential, otherwise Belichick wouldn't have chosen him.

    I'm not sure I agree that he'll "automatically" (there it is again) step right in and be an instant upgrade as so many think. Time will tell and we will hope. Here are one GM's comments regarding his potential, which he sees as raw, yet athletic:

    According to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, one NFL general manager sees a lot of potential in Armstead.

    "He has length, and natural pass rush. He flashes power...He's still raw. But he has things you can't coach. At this point he's more athletic than refined."

    Edit: I think you're looking at it as a Love/Deaderick vs Kelly/Armstead kind of thing, and in that regard I'd definitely agree that we are probably better off now. I am looking at it as though I'm not extremely impressed by either option at the moment. Both talent and depth are my concern, although that means nothing when a great football mind like Belichick is comfortable with things, so I'd better get used to it.
  23. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Let's call them Wilfork and the question marks... I am still surprised Love was released with very little depth at DT. Jesse Williams (even with his health issues) and Abraham would have been great but it is what it is. The Patriots have pretty good depth but not a lot of top end talent or at least unproven talent across the entire defense, let's see how it plays out.
  24. Bruins29

    Bruins29 Rookie

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    But that is the whole point. Top end talent, while sexy means less depth.
  25. AzorianPats

    AzorianPats Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I think the good thing with Armstead is that with the signing of Kelly, we won't need to rush him. A kid with Armstead potential learning behind Wilfork and Kelly can only be positive in my view. And from reading up on Armstead, he seems to be a very similar player as Kelly.
  26. AzorianPats

    AzorianPats Rookie

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    Beginning of the off season I was all for signing one of the big pass rushers (Abraham,Freeney, Umenyora) but at this point and looking at the roster I'm starting to see signing Abraham would be more a luxury then a need. I know you can never have enough pass rushers, but the roster shaping up, and I'm real excited to see Jones make that step from first to second year, and to see what Jaime Collins can bring.
  27. cstjohn17

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    It is a balance for sure, to win it all it seems like impact players across the front seven are needed. Hopefully some players can show growth (Jones, Bequette, unknown yet to be named DT)
  28. NEPettyOfficer72

    NEPettyOfficer72 Rookie

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    Chandler Jones - on his way to DROY last year if wasn't for the injury. Was on his way to double digit sacks and causes multiple turnovers. Even with double teams, still gave linemen headaches.. and now he has an entire off season to bulk up and improve his game even more. Could rise to elite status and break out this season. DE/OLB

    Rob Ninkovich - Not flashy but quietly consistent, and according to many analyst who I've heard them say a star on defense even though his name is not heard a lot. He racked up 8 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and a key INT last season which is more then at least 85% of DE's in the NFL. And he is the clutch type of player that always makes the biggest plays at the biggest moments during the game. DE/OLB

    Vince Wilfork - elite talent, top 5 defensive tackle and one of the all time greats. With Tommy Kelly coming in, he should have an even bigger impact being that he now has help both getting after the passer and keeping him fresh.

    Tommy Kelly - former pro-bowler back in 2010, that is a good pass rusher and provides some experienced depth and backup for Wilfork. Can play the run and plays with very good technique still. Won't play every down so impact will be maximized.. DE/DT

    Armond Armstead - CFL consistent contributor with the tools and talent to be a force for the Pats behind Wilfork and alongside him and Kelly. He is quick, has size and is disruptive and will from the best (Wilfork, Pepper Johnson, Tommy Kelly and Bill Belichick) Can play a lot of different looks, situations and techniques and gets after the passer. DE/DT

    Marcus Forston - could be a sleeper, but from MIA and judging from school history he could be a gem (Wilfork, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Sean Taylor, etc) DT

    Michael Buchanan - Very athletic, quick, fast and has good leverage and is a versatile hybrid type of player. Really strong, and explosive.. I heard he only fell in the draft because of character issues. We could line him up anywhere and if he is even half as productive as what Jones was last season then that would actually benefit so many others to allow them room to boom. DE/OLB

    Justin Francis - I like his versatility playing both inside and outside and showed that he can get after the passer and certain passing downs and situations. I think he is good depth personally. DE/DT

    Jermaine Cunningham - has lots of potential but never really panned out. He has been solid but not great, but he is good at being an inside rusher and his versatility is valuable. I'd say he is solid depth. DE/OLB

    Jake Bequette - sky is the limit for this kid, could be a good year for him if sees more playing time. Another versatile one.

    Everybody else I know about but not too much.. But even before them, we have at least two stars on the defensive line and at least 3 potential stars.. Definitely tons of talent, that's pretty much all versatile and faster and quicker then last years group, and speed is always a good thing.
  29. DocHoliday

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    I think it's real interesting that Cunningham showed up to camp bigger than usual.

    Might be the team has asked him to bulk up and play more inside. Not really effective at DE, but with his added size he could be a pass rushing DT.

    Also don't sleep on OLB/DE Marcus Benard. He was a 7 sack player from the OLB before getting injured in 2010 or 2011.
  30. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I'm not as sure as you are about their similarities, but I definitely agree with the notion that there is a possibility that it may take a year or so to fully see Armstead's potential, so that is part of my concern.

    I'm all for 9/10 decisions that Belichick usually makes due to his obvious success with being a proven winner, but out of all of the positions DL may be my biggest concern heading into the season.

    I definitely am happy with the signing of Kelly so hopefully he can get us one more year of good reps and health. Armstead is a little more of a question mark for me personally, although as I said--it isn't like they could have gotten that much worse with Love/Deaderick.

    Not meaning to sound negative, just expressing some personal concerns at a specific position. Overall, I am very happy with the potential of the defense overall, particularly the LB's and the secondary.

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