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Dont'a Hightower off the edge?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by 1%er, Nov 27, 2012.

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  1. 1%er

    1%er Banned

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    Couple of questions/thoughts..

    1. Do you think we will see Hightower rushing for a OLB/DE position at all to fill the Cunningham void?

    2. Why haven't we seen more of him so far? He seem rather successful in college as an edge rusher in sub packages and in his limited opportunities as a blitzer this year he has gotten pressure.

    My thought is that they were allowing him to adjust to the NFL and the responsibilities of a LB and now as he moves forward we could see it. I just think it would be nice to keep him, Mayo, Spikes, Jones, Ninkovich and Wilfork all on the field for all 3 downs as often as possible.

    Imagine the versatility of Wilfork, Jones at DT, Ninkovich at RE, Hightower at LE and Spikes, Mayo at LB in a sub package? Plus I think Jones could dominate up the middle in that package.
     
  2. Joey007

    Joey007 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I'd love to see Hightower off the edge. He has produced 3 sacks this season, and we could certainly use him with Cunningham gone and Jones hobbled for sure. When we initially drafted him that's what I loved about Hightower was he was a guy who was supposed to be able to come off the edge as well. Just an all-around linebacker.

    I say put him on the edge and let him get to work.
     
  3. Elijah

    Elijah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hightower is not an OLB/DE. He's a pure linebacker, whether it be OLB/MLB in the 4-3 or ILB in the 3-4. I don't get why people think he could play DE. From what I've heard, he didn't do that much at Alabama and when he did, it wasn't that great. He has gotten pressure from the inside this year, so why not just keep that going?
     
  4. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Thank you!

    I've been wanting to see Hightower being worked in as an edge rusher for a while now. I'm not asking for a total change of position. I honestly think you need a quality rotation at DE/OLB.

    So, When we play out of a true 3-4 alignment; Hightower will play off the edge. You see it for a few snaps every game. I remember one play against Tenn where he took on the RT, drove him back, and slammed into the lead blocker and it lead to the tackle of the RB. The guy is a beast.
     
  5. 1%er

    1%er Banned

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    Elijah he played DE in college frequently. That leads "people" and I to believe he could do so in a sub package in the NFL. 6'3 270lb guys with speed and power tend to be good in pass rush. Justin Houston of the Chiefs came out of college a similar player.
     
  6. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    You can see almost every snap from him at Alabama on You Tube. He played both ILB and off edge at DE/OLB....where he was a playmaker.

    Dont'a Hightower vs Tennessee 2011 - YouTube

    Also, when we play out of a 3-4 front Hightower does indeed play off the strong side edge at OLB.
     
  7. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Nothing against Hightower off the edge but I would rather just see Jones back in the lineup and healthy and have Scott fill in for Cunningham.
     
  8. Spergon Wynn

    Spergon Wynn On the Game Day Roster

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    One of the reasons I wanted Hightower so bad in the draft is that I believed he could play almost any where within the front seven. I don't like to see him get more snaps at DE and maybe in the interior like Cunningham did.
     
  9. 1%er

    1%er Banned

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    I don't think Scott has the strength at DT in a sub package. He is listed at 6'5 255lbs and more of an outside rusher. The only players on are roster who can fill Cunningham's role are Bequette and Francis IMO.

    Honestly I expect that we will see more of Deaderick and maybe use Jones inside more often.
     
  10. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

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    I've thought this since we went to this version of the 4-3. The LDE is standing up and can rush the passer or drop back into coverage. Donta can do both. That's where I want him at. He may have run a 4.68 at the combine. But, at 270lb he isn't that fast any longer or have the agility go cover people in space like a 4-3 olb has to. Now, if you think Spikes will leave after next year. I'd be fine with Donta sliding into his role at MLB. If we extend Spikes, I'd put Donta at LDE. Hell he's much stronger than Cunningham and could slide into that dt role in pass-rushing situations.
     
  11. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think that we can assume that as his tenure increases, so will his responsibilities.

    To this point, he is still learning and trying to progress, and has certainly looked "green" at times doing so.

    Next year we'll probably see more Hightower in terms of responsibilities and production.
     
  12. VrabelJr

    VrabelJr In the Starting Line-Up

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    You can't just look at players heights and weights and plug them into various positions. We have no idea how Hightower does with his hand in the dirt. In a three point stance or a four point stance. How his body reacts to leverage from a taller LT versus a more stout Guard, etc. etc.
     
  13. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As you point out, there are lots of variables involved that Belichick and Patricia/Pepper will take into account. There could be other potential options for this proposed question that will work better at the moment, or it's possible that they feel Hightower is the best choice for his role(s) that are currently being played.

    I would guess that Belichick is getting him reps and helping to understand some of the responsibilities and nuances of the defense first, before throwing too much at him.

    Like I said, I would expect Hightower to continue his current role with maybe a flash or two of additional responsibilities as we head into the playoffs, but nothing too major. Next year should be a bit of a different story with an additional year under the training and supervision of this staff.
     
  14. PatsFan2

    PatsFan2 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I don't mind seeing Hightower anywhere *Except* in coverage he looks horrible there.
     
  15. Kenneth Sims

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    I've wanted to see Hightower at DT in the sub packages even before Cunningham was suspended. He's bigger and more experienced playing in the middle of the line making him less of a liability against running plays, you'd think. He's a pretty good athlete for his size and would be a lot for most OG to handle one-on-one. Can't see why they wouldn't, at least, try it now that Cunningham is out.
     
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