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Donaldson: Don't expect much improvement from the Patriots defense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATRIOTSFANINPA, Apr 28, 2009.

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  1. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Rookie

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  2. BradyFTW!

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    Remember that question that SMY posed in the Twitter thread about us not seeming to care about journalists losing their jobs? Articles like this are why. I want five minutes of my life back- that literally consisted of recapping how the last couple of seasons have ended (I'm already aware of how they ended) then listing off the Patriots' defensive depth chart (I already know who plays for them). At no point in this article was anything even resembling insight offered.

    I could have easily written that article myself, but I wouldn't because I would be ashamed to have something so devoid of substance attached to my name. That's the general rule of thumb, though, as far as I'm concerned. If I could have written it--from a few thousand miles away, with absolutely no connections whatsoever to the Patriots organization, and with an understanding of football that's far from advanced--then it's not good sports journalism.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  3. holyredeemer

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    I have a hard time trying to fathom how this defense will NOT be improved this season. I expect the first 4-5 games to maybe be a little rough with so many new guys learning the defense, but I mean...C'MON! If the injury bug doesn't bite, how is this defense not improved? We've added not only proven vets to the secondary, but we also got Bigger, Stronger and Faster. Our rookies are intelligent, and they are some tough ass dudes.

    Let's not forget the additions on offense, with players like Baker and Taylor. All signs point to the O holding onto the ball a bit longer, and everyone knows that all in itself will impact our defense in a positive way.

    The only thing that will hold this D back is if the injury bug bites. Missing one pass rush specialist isnt going to break this defense as much as a lot of ppl on this board try to make it out to be.
  4. BradyFTW!

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    Reasons why the defense will be better:

    --Who's going to get worse? Unlike in years past, when you had Harrison, Bruschi, Colvin and Vrabel all playing prominent roles and on the downswing, we really don't have anyone like that anymore. Bruschi's the only old guy left, and he's not even a starter anymore.

    --Our most prominent "old" guy is Adalius Thomas... who is 32 and an athletic phenom. And, as long as he doesn't break his arm again, he'll in all likelihood contribute *more* than he was able to last year.

    --Wheatley, Wilhite, Guyton, and Mayo all have a year of experience in the system now. This is particularly important with Mayo, who I expect to be a lot more versatile, and be the most credible threat that we've had to blitz from ILB since Bruschi's stroke.

    --Meriweather came on strong at the end of 2008, and showed signs of becoming a real playmaker. Makes sense, really, and follows a pretty natural timeline for a first round pick to develop into a strong contributor in Belichick's D.

    --Chung has all the tools, physical and mental, to be a contributor from day one. Not saying that he'll be starting or anything, but I expect that we'll see him in the rotation.

    --Bodden and Springs are both better than any CB that was on our roster last season. And I say this as someone who actually likes Hobbs. I also say this under the assumption that Springs will be a little worse than he was last year, and will have durability issues.

    --We have real depth at CB for the first time since... early 2004? Over the course of one year, we've turned Ellis Hobbs and Deltha O'Neal into Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden. No matter how you qualify it, that's an upgrade. Even if someone gets hurt or wears down, we have Wheatley, Wilhite, and Butler all waiting in the wings.

    --Our best CB will no longer be our KR.

    --Our linebackers will be BETTER than last year. We lost Vrabel, who, with his bum shoulder and all, was a JAG in 2008. We're gaining a year of experience for Crable, Mayo, Redd, Woods, and Guyton, all young guys who should be expected to get better.


    I'd be curious to see what actual observations this Donaldson guy has made to back up his point. It'd be pretty amateur of him to write that article without at least being able to match what I just came up with on the fly in about ten minutes.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  5. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    Projecting the 53 man roster here...

    Brace replaces whoever our #7 DL was, and likely bumps down LeKevin Smith a notch on the depth chart at NT.

    Springs, Bodden and Butler are replacing Hobbs and O'Neil.

    Chung and Tank Williams replace Lewis Sanders (I'm not including Rodney since he missed so much of the year).

    Vrabel wasn't replaced, but Thomas comes back and all the youngsters are a year more experienced.

    Nope...this defense ain't getting any better.
  6. Deus Irae

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    D-line: unchanged
    Linebackers: 3 of 4 are the same, 1 will be different (2 if the team pulls Bruschi completely)

    So, 6 of 7 will be returning players. The D-Line likely won't improve, although depth might lessen the drop off during substitutions. At LB, Bruschi and Thomas will be older and possibly lesser, Mayo should be better the other OLB spot is still a mystery and Guyton had a long way to go. The argument that this bunch won't be better isn't one that can be dismissed out of hand.

    DBs: really who the hell knows? I expect there will be improvement here, because I think Meriweather will continue improving, but Springs gets injured, Bodden didn't exactly set the world on fire and Hobbs is gone. Despite the seemingly 9 million moves here, this group could be better, the same or even worse than last season. It's just too soon to tell at at this point.
  7. Mosi Moose

    Mosi Moose Rookie

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    I agree wholeheartedly. There is no way we aren't at least a little better - especially on passing TD's allowed. we had nowhere to go but UP in that category. We've added a lot of youth (i.e. speed) in the secondary. That alone should help.
  8. JackBauer

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    No one seems to be mentioning MacKenzie. I know it's a long shot for a rookie to come in and contribute from the get go, but this kid sounds like he has a solid head on his shoulders and has experience in multiple systems, which could help him in terms of his uptake speed. He seems like a solid candidate to eventually platoon with Guyton in the middle.

    I agree that linebackers are a question mark, but they must really like some of the strides the youngsters are making. I do agree that the depth isn't ideal, at least on paper.

    Deltha O'Neal won't be starting. For that reason alone, I can't possibly fathom how the DBs could be any worse.

    Barring another season of ridiculous injuries, this defense should be better. JMO.
  9. Deus Irae

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    Springs doesn't play hurt and Bodden stunk last year. If Springs goes down and the puppies aren't ready, this past season's defensive backfield could start to look like "the good ol' days" in a hurry.
  10. jczxohn1

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    Why were we bad last year?
    AD-broken arm
    Woods-broken jaw
    Crable-IRed shin
    Harrison-quad
    Tank Williams-IRed
    Wheatley- broken wrist
    Hobbs-played injured
    Rudd or Redd-one was IRed IIRC
    How the h*** can anyone say we won't have a better pass rush next year, even if we don't sign anyone new?
  11. JackBauer

    JackBauer On the Roster

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    I suppose you're right. I do think, in Bodden's defense, that most cornerbacks would look like poo on the Lion's defense. I mean, hell, even Champ Bailey has been looking pretty pedestrian on Denver's defense that can't muster even a semblence of a pass rush.

    I think Wheatley was promising before he went down, and Wilhite managed to hold down the #2 spot and looked a lot better than O'Neal when doing so.

    If Springs and Bodden both suck/get injured, and Wilhite/Wheatley/Butler and Richardson all suck wind... well, that would have to be the worst luck ever.
  12. Deus Irae

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    Let me give it a shot:

    AD - another year older
    Woods - nothing special when playing and a step down from Vrabel, to be kind
    Crable - tinkertoy calves
    Harrison - gone
    Williams - useless
    Wheatley - rookie who lost time
    Hobbs - gone
    Rudd or Redd - neither did anything
    Wilhite - not exactly stellar during his time


    The pessimist can make some valid points right now. OTAs, training camp and the exhibition games will shake things out and give us a better sense of what the team has. Until that happens, though, there are plenty of question marks on the squad, at least for those who don't get to see the team on a daily basis.
  13. Deus Irae

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    And I'm not saying it will happen. I just think that we really don't know how it will shake out yet.
  14. QuickOutGo

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  15. mcsully

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    Exactly what I was thinking (of course you said it better :) )

    Our back 7 is light years better than last years back 7.. No more watching HObbs and the other bum getting burned time after time..
  16. spacecrime

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    Did he stink, as in play badly, or fail to put up stats?

    I don't know the answer, but am curious, because although stats like INTs, Sacks, total passing/running yards sometimes tell the story, not always. Deltha O'Neil put up great stats year after year, and you can play very well without getting INTs.

    Which did you mean?
  17. VJCPatriot

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    Exactly. I don't see what all the hand wringing is about with Hobbs leaving. It was time for him to move on. He had become expendable and would have been a 2.5M nickelback for us. That does not make economic sense. Butler will soon make people say Hobbs who? This kid looks special. Also Chung greatly improves our safety depth and adds toughness to the secondary that has been missing for a while. The back 7 is big time upgraded from that of 2008.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  18. sg14

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    I do not remember seeing much of a inside LB blitz scheme last year, I thought they were restricting Mayo's responsibilities,,

    So this year we will be more agressive and both Mayo and Guyton will blitz from the inside way more than last year?????

    Wilfork should have more energy with Brace around for the Pass Rush.
  19. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    No Kidding. Wasn't the secondary ranked 31st in several categories?
  20. Patjew

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    That's exactly right. Which is why an article definitively stating it will be better or worse is a joke.

    I'm starting to hate Twitter less.
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