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Defensively - Who Surprised You Overall This Season?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Ian, Feb 6, 2012.

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  1. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    Obviously there's plenty of doom and gloom after a tough night, but looking back which player on the defensive side of the ball was the most pleasant surprise for you this year?
  2. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    1. I think Brandon Deaderick can be a stater going forward. And, a good one. Wasn't even sure he'd make the team.

    2. Kyle Arrington can play in this league. Good 2nd or 3rd cb.

    3. Brandon Spikes after coming back from his injury was a force. But, I thought he'd be a decent player even before the playoffs. Feel the same way about Chung.
  3. TriplecHamp

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    Spikes is going to be a great player in this league, Kyle Arrington and Sterling Moore were forced into bigger rolls than they really should have been and they played well. Obviously I didn't think Carter and Mark Anderson would provide the type of passrush they did and the same goes for Rob Ninkovich coming off the edge. Not saying we can't improve on the position but they were better than I expected.
  4. the Patriot

    the Patriot Rookie

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    I remember pondering during training camp, "Is this guy really gonna be that good?" I should have never had a shred of doubt.
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    Deaderick
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  6. oldskool138

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  7. Patriot Missile

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    Spikes for one. I'm not surprised by how good he is. I'm surprised about how fast he has cheated the learning curve. You could argue his big play potential and leadership are leaps and bounds better than any former Patriot if you compare them by tenure in the early years of their career. He certainly impressed me when he came back from injury for this run.

    Sterling Moore has flaws but he shows signs of being a starting caliber Cb on this team. Again for someone with so little experience he made huge strides in his game.

    Dan Connolly, for someone that took so much flack as a guard on this board he proved more than capable of handling the center position. So much more that we may have seen the end of Koppens stay here in New England.

    McCourty's regression surprised me somewhat. I was fully expecting a stellar campaign from him. Regardless if he was moved to safety as a need before that happened he was getting beat quite a bit in man coverage. Zone is his pie, but unfortunately the way the game is changing we are going to need at least 2 guys back there that can stick on their guy like glue. Moore showed more promise in man than McCourty.
  8. Patdown93

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    Brandon Deadrick. Sterling Moore. Devin McCourty's struggles.
  9. A.C Vegas

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    I think Moore was one of the best late in the year he is right there Deaderick is getting better so is kyle love.

    I think switching McCourty to safety will be a good move going forward he just plays better facing the ball
  10. condon84

    condon84 Rookie

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    Love. The kid is one of the biggest reasons why Wilfork had the season he had. He took some attention off Wilfork.
  11. BlueThunder

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    Have to agree...Love...Deaderick...Spikes....Moore ....

    Good base of youngsters to build the D off......
  12. LetsGoPats36

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    Spikes... He outperformed Mayo by a good margin in the playoffs.


    Biggest let down is easily the corner position, which I thought finally looked competent before the start of the season. Seemed to be a nice mix of vets and youth.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  13. PATSYLICIOUS

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    Moore and Arrington for sure. They gave our secondary the reliable contributions we needed in addition to Chung/McCourty in order to have a shot at a title.
  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    When the season began I had high hopes for the defense. On the defensive line the Pats were going to have a rotation of some combination of Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, Mike Wright, Marcus Stroud, Eric Moore, Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Myron Pryor, Darryl Richard, Alex Silvestro, and then they added Albert Haynesworth, Andre Carter, Shaun Ellis and Mark Anderson.

    At linebacker the Pats had what appeared to be a good group of improving young players: Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton, Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Ninkovich, Dane Fletcher and Jeff Tarpinian. The secondary appeared to be solid at both corner (Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden, Kyle Arrington) and safety (Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, Patrick Chung) plus rookie Ras-I Dowling.

    It seemed to me that the defense had incredible depth, and all it would take would be for just a couple of these players to take the next step for them to become formidable.

    Rather than specifically who surprised me, I would say what surprised me was that the defense was able to improve as much as they did over the course of the season when you consider the sheer number of how many of those players named above were lost, whether it be due to injury or lack of production, for either extended parts of the season or the entire season.

    I think if I had to pick one, I might consider Vince Wilfork being able to not just be a three-down player, but being a productive three-down player. That's just unheard of for a player of his size.
  15. MoLewisrocks

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    Deaderick was one of my sleepers that draft, a rarity. Love and Moore who came out of nowhere. If these guys didn't hit their ceiling already that will be sweet. McCourty literally fell off a cliff. Hope he can be revived or retooled into a playmaker with a full off season. Anderson and Carter, hope they can both come back in form in 2012. Ninkovitch continues to show flashes. Hope he can yet become a consistent playmaker.
  16. PATRIOTSFANINPA

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    Most surprising by far is Moore who has been making more good plays than bad ones and Love who is dedicating his career to a fallen good friend.
  17. SpaceOdyssey

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    Deaderick, Spikes, Moore, Arrington, Ninkovich all stepped up. The most surprising was Moore. He stepped up and came in to save the day numerous times.
  18. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Moore, my binky going into 2012. In the four games he played significant time at CB (Bills, Broncos, Ravens, Giants) he made plays in all of them, and that's without him starting. He's a playmaker, and you can't teach that.

    His main weakness seems to be defending corner and streak routes. If he can improve that in camp, or we find a real cover safety to play near him, he should start next year.
  19. BelichickFan

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    I know this is a stretch but Moore and Dowling as the CB, Arrington as the slot CB, McCourtey and Chung as the Safeties gives us a shot at a legit DB. Unfortunately Moore, Dowling, McCourtey are all high risk to be highly successful at those positions.
  20. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The backfield in 2012 has a chance to be the best we've fielded in years, but like you said its high risk.

    We need a real FS badly, whether that's Mccourty, a FA, or a draftee. Moore/Dowling/Arrington could be one hell of a trio, but like you say, it depends on Moore not being a flash in the pan and Dowling coming back good.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  21. Patriot Missile

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    I agree. The pieces are there and of course there is some risk keeping this squad together but if per chance they improve the front seven and the pass rush I think they will succeed back there.
  22. BelichickFan

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    The problem with talking about the front seven is it's hard to know what kind of defense we'll be playing. If it's predominantly a 4-3 then re-signing Carter and acquiring another pass rushing DE (could be Anderson part time) leaves us in good shape. If it's predominantly a 3-4 then a pass rushing WOLB leaves us in good shape. I'm not too concerned about the front seven, I think that needs just a player or two with how Spikes looked. How the pieces fit in the back end is the big question mark for me.
  23. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    Well good thing they have ota's and a real training camp to sort those things out this time.;)
  24. patsfan-1982

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    #1 Rob Ninkovich, he had a good season and was great in the playoffs
    #2 Andre Carter, best pass rusher the pats have had in a long time
    #3 Mark Anderson, by far the best pass rusher in the playoffs
  25. ctpatsfan77

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    Don't have the link ATM, but grantland.com had a great piece about how the Pats are basically running a 3-4 AND a 4-3 at the same time.
  26. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Spikes..kid can play and can be a force in the middle
  27. DarrylS

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    As a unit they grew through the season, despite some serious CB injury issues that depleted that unit...

    I do think you need some veteran leadership back there though, communication was an issue.. often.

    Spikes was a nice surprise, but Moore maybe a real find... he seemed to be around the ball a lot yesterday.
  28. BelichickFan

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    Which makes it hard for the likes of me to know what we need ;)

    Regardless, Mayo, Spikes, Nink, Wilfork should be solid starters next year regardless. If we were to re-sign Carter that's 5 out of a starting front seven.

    Deaderick, Love and a possible re-signing of Anderson would fill most of it out. I think we mostly need a pass rusher whether we call him a DE or OLB.
  29. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I also am not worried about the front seven. I agree that an additional DE/OLB upgrade would be good. I'm not sure that Belichick will see the need. Of course, he will bring in one if the value is there.

    Re-signing Carter and Anderson would be a fine start. I would also want to re-sign White.

    DL: Carter, Wilfork, Love, Deaderick
    LB: Mayo, Spikes, Ninkovich
    Situational: Anderson, White
    Backups: Fletcher, Pryor, Cunningham
    =============
    We also have Tarpinian, Niko, and Markel Carter.

    BTW, I think Ellis has been effective against the run. Obviously, he isn't worth his current salary. Also, G. Warren could be back as an emergency backup and/or camp insurance.

  30. celticboy04

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    Greetings,
    If I am not mistaken this is the defense used in the first Super Bowl win, with Bobby Hamilton playing defensive end on the 3-4 side of the ball.

    Celticboy04
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