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Doom & Gloom

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by AzPatsFan, May 17, 2010.

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  1. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I feel there is an unstated aura on these sport pages that feels that Pats are "fading".
    There is Doom & Gloom and general "Malaise" about the Pat's Defense. While understanble going into last season, it no longer applies. For no apparent reason, is it merited any longer, as far as I can see. I felt that the Team was rebuilding the Defense ever since 2006. First with small steps, and then wholesale, just prior to last season.

    Last year was hard. Belichick said goodbye to four Defensive Stalwarts whose time, (or price), had come. The low point had been reached. You simply can't replace a Rodney, Tedy, Vrabes or Richard very easily. That should have been and was a shock to the Defense. But he did, and the Defense only fell off a short way, to 11th overall in the League. That is not bad for a "rebuilding" Defense.

    Inspecting the roster, it seemed to me there were many, new, young, rising players on that 2009 Defense. But there were gaps in it, too. The secondary, with several new, highly-touted, newcomers had yet to solidify, despite lots of the new, highly-drafted, talent. A hole had opened in the Run Defense. While not a bad hole, it was not good either, and something had to be done about it.

    Belichick did. To shore up the porous Run Defense, he imported two first round former DLs, to go with his two established, first round Stars in Wilfork and Warren. He now has Four for Three, and youngsters behind them. Belichick secured Wilfork long term, and got him an understudy to give him an occasional breather. He has watched, and still won, as youngsters develop like Mike Wright, Mo Pryor and yes Ron Brace.

    He has added two accomplished Run Defensive LBs this Draft, and gets back two highly drafted LBs from IR, as well. There is lots of hand wringing about the LBs. What I see now, unlike last year, is four talented, young ILBs, and five or more talented OLBs. The big missing piece, the run-stuffer, SILB is now on board, unlike before.

    From a Pass rushing perspective, he has two, now acclimated and proven, double-digit sack starters, two highly drafted youngsters, with excellent pass rushing credentials, behind them, and an established ST star. That is nine quality LBs and no more room, even though there are a couple more valid candidates. I note that the Team accumulated only one less sack than the #1 Defense in the League, despite the running weakness, that constantly led to 3rd and short, and inexperienced newcomers, adjusting. While still playing his favorite, Read-&-React, no big plays, make-them-earn-it, passive, defense.

    By comparison, Rex Ryan got away with massive blitzing, but once the exotic blitzes are filmed, studied, analyzed and counters developed, as the OCs have been doing all off season, their effectiveness declines, enormously. The Jets pretenders will discover this, the hard way. Their #1 Defense is smoke and mirrors, and the pundits, and Jets fans don't know it. We learned this painfullly in the Pete Carroll years, with 5-3 or 6-2 starts, and then defensive collapse, once the blitzes were seen and handled.

    Belichick directed his attention at finishing the reconstruction of a potentially very good, and very deep, secondary. Consider what is there, now. Three first rounders, three second rounders, an established and re-signed, young star, and a fourth round 'find'. One of the rising youngsters has already gone to the Pro Bowl. Only one is a cagey, instructive, old vet.

    Talent is everywhere. The DL is full up, more than 7 deep. The LBs are full up, more than 9 deep. The secondary is full up, more than 10 deep. The low point of defensive reconstruction is past. The low point falling not too far, after all, and much less than feared. Descending all the way to... 11th in the League had been reached.

    This Defense will have more experience playing together. It has had another infusion of talent, directed at the specific weaknesses revealed last season. This upcoming 2010 edition is now a Rising Defense. Eleventh in the league, is not a bad location to begin that ascent.

    Comments?
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  2. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    I stopped reading after this sentence. 2006 was dominated by offense, 2007 was Merriweather and the rest were pretty much throw-aways. BB finally got the memo in 2008 and that is when they started to rebuild the defense.
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  3. BelizePats

    BelizePats Rookie

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    I think that you've brought up something that many here either didn't notice or couldn't face. That this team and particularly the defense, has been going through a rebuilding phase for the last 2 years. You simply cannot lose your starting RE, a starting inside LB, a starting outside LB and your staring SS all in one year and not have a major fall off in the overall quality of the defense. I still can't believe that this defense only fell to 11th in the league. On any other team these type of positional losses would have precipitated a major defensive collapse.
    And we still won the division.

    The 09,10, and '11 drafts will propel this team to a new round of highly competitive football for the next 5-7 years. This rebuilding has been hampered somewhat by some highly questionable draft picks in rounds 2 and 3 from 2006 to '08, but I think that the '09 draft was excellent and this years class should produce some real players. With 2 firsts and 2 seconds next year, we are well positioned to take more positive steps in this transitional rebuilding process.
    The 2010 defense should be better than last year. Potentially, it could be a lot better.
  4. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    You have stated my thouhgts better than I could. Drafting Meriwether in 2006 was a sign that the Defensive secondary needed reconstruction. The 2007 draft was spent to secure the veteran material for one or two more big Pushes with the existing talent.

    We came up one play short in 2007, and lost Brady in 2008.

    BB then went whole heartedly into Rebuild mode, but he would never admit it. Rebuilding on Defense is about done. Rebuilding on Offense has started, but it will accelerate in the next few years.
  5. BelizePats

    BelizePats Rookie

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    There is a lot to be excited about. The youth on D will only get better.
    I think that Patrick Chung is about to break out this year with a very strong season.
    I like the youth at ILB and while the OLB situation is clearly the weakness of the team, show me a team out there that does not have problems somewhere in terms of starting skills and depth. Th D line should be solid for years to come.
    And the 2 firsts and 2 seconds next year should produce a couple of very good players.
    Out of those first 4 picks in 2011, I'd like to see OL, OLB, running back and maybe a second into a 2012 first?
    The offense needs to see some draft love in 2011, no doubt.
    I hate to say it but the 2006 draft was supposed to have done this for us on offense.

    1) RB Maroney
    2) WR CJak
    3) TE Thomas
    4) TE/FB Mills

    Yikes but that 2006 draft hurt. Thank the good lord for Ghost!
    Hopefully we have much better luck restocking of offense in 2011
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