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Early look at 2009

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  1. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, it's never too early. So here's an early look at how I think the Pats will approach the beginning of their offseason, whenever it shall come:

    Quarterback:
    Retained: Tom Brady, Kevin O'Connell
    Re-signed: Matt Gutierrez (ERFA)
    Depart via FA: Matt Cassel (UFA)

    Running back:
    Retained: Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, BenJarvus Green-Ellis
    Re-signed: Heath Evans (UFA)
    Not re-signed: LaMont Jordan (UFA)

    Tight end:
    Retained: Benjamin Watson, David Thomas
    Re-signed: Tyson DeVree (ERFA)

    Wide receiver:
    Retained: Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Sam Aiken, Kelley Washington, Matthew Slater
    Future contract: Maurice Price
    Re-signed: Jabar Gaffney (UFA), Ray Ventrone (ERFA)

    Offensive line:
    Retained: Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Stephen Neal, Nick Kaczur, Billy Yates, Ryan O'Callaghan
    Future contract: Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell
    Re-signed: Russ Hochstein (UFA), Mark LeVoir (ERFA), Wesley Britt (RFA)
    Injury settlement: Barry Stokes

    Defensive line:
    Retained: Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, Jarvis Green, Le Kevin Smith
    Future contract: Titus Adams
    Re-signed: Mike Wright (UFA)
    Injury settlement: Kenny Smith

    Linebacker:
    Retained: Mike Vrabel, Adalius Thomas, Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton, Shawn Crable, Bo Ruud
    Future contract: Darrell Robertson
    Retire: Tedy Bruschi
    Re-signed: Pierre Woods (RFA), Eric Alexander (RFA), Larry Izzo (UFA), Vince Redd (ERFA)

    Defensive back:
    Retained: Brandon Meriweather, Ellis Hobbs, Terrence Wheatley, Jonathan Wilhite
    Future contract: Mark Dillard
    Re-signed: James Sanders (UFA), Tank Williams (UFA), Antwain Spann (ERFA), Mike Richardson (ERFA)
    Retire/Not re-signed: Rodney Harrison (UFA)
    Not re-signed: Deltha O'Neal (UFA), Lewis Sanders (UFA), Jason Webster (UFA)


    Special teams:
    Retained: Stephen Gostkowski
    Future contract: Tom Malone
    Re-signed: Lonie Paxton (UFA), Chris Hanson (UFA)

    ...I put the secondary in bold because that's where I think the most change could come. I have Sanders and Williams both being re-signed, but it could go either way. Meriweather, Wheatley, Hobbs (for now), and Wilhite are the obvious base, and how the Pats go about (re-)building around that, I am not sure. Could be FA, could be a draft, could be a mix.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  2. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    we need a pass rush. no ifs ands or buts about it.
  3. SoCal Pmen

    SoCal Pmen Rookie

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    #54 Jersey

    The number one pick will most likely be a DL
  4. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I disagree, where would he play? He would just be another Marquise Hill - a high draft pick with no chance at seeing the field.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  5. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Traditionally this has been supplied by the OLBs for the Pats. You have Vrabel, Thomas, Woods, and Crable. You can make an upgrade here or there, but the pass rush capability is already there.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  6. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    maybe the potential is there....but we dont know about the capability....
  7. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, Vrabel and Thomas should be successful pass rushers. Have they lately? No, not really.
  8. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    they aren't getting the job done.

    Woods has potential, no production. same with Crable.

    Thomas is alright, he hasn't lit it up yet, I hope he does.

    and Vrabel hasn't really gotten to the QB(some would blame it on the shoulder), but we need a demarcus ware, james harrison, joey porter, or shawn merriman.

    we haven't gotten much consistent pressure with our front 7 with just a 4 man rush. I emphasize consistent.

    Some may blame the secondary for not being able to cover, but I'm of the thought not being able to get to the QB. we should be beating up the opposing QB.
  9. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    agreed. I also wonder if because of the new players in the system they haven't been able to disguise defensive schemes like they normally do.
  10. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But they've never had a player of that caliber at OLB - in 2003-2004, they had three steady rushers in Vrabel, McGinest, and then Colvin in late 2004. So when 3rd down came, you had a steady dose of at least Vrabel, McGinest, Green, Seymour, and then usually another LB and/or a safety.
  11. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's what I'm trying to figure out. I just took a look at some tape from the Titans playoff game and the Eagles Super Bowl. Lots of blitzes, and more importantly, lots of impact on the QB (including a key intentional grounding penalty on McNair when he threw it away with Rodney coming in clean on him).
  12. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    Thomas was pretty good at rushing the passer. You don't see it through sack stats but I remember him being in the backfield fairly often before he went down. Vrabel has been relatively invisible in the backfield this season. Not sure if it's the defensive scheme he's in or if age has finally caught up to him. All I know is that this defense sure could use a lot more of #50.
  13. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    I'd have to argue that McGinest was pretty underrated. He was essentially a d-end who could cover. Colvin was pretty quick and could make plays. When you had those three(Vrabel included) getting after the passer it produced results. vrabel was a defensive end in college.

    that's why if anything I'd like to see a one trick pony drafted who can get after the passer who has a non stop motor.

    it seems like for so long they have drafted big guys who can control the line of scrimagge. i think the giants proved that you can win with smaller faster guys.
  14. slash83

    slash83 Rookie

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    Good point, we have three great players that can cantrol the line in Wilfork, Sey, and Warren. Vrabel is still really good at setting the edge and controlling his blocker vs the run. A pass rushing OLB/DE beast is needed in the offseason via the draft, free agency or a trade. Thats a higher priority then a DB imo.
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  15. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But that's not the Pats' scheme, and it has never been under Belichick. You can say the same thing about the Steelers too, and they're certainly not in the "smaller and faster" category. The Pats experienced success with the 3-4 just as the Giants have more recently had success with the 4-3 - you don't need to start playing a 4-3 because of that, though. The point of having smaller and faster guys (like a Mathis or a Tuck) is to shoot the gaps in the run and beat blockers in the pass. McGinest, Vrabel, or Colvin never did that, even when they were all great pass rushers.
  16. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And such a player would be entirely one-dimensional unless he can have a presence in the running game like Vrabel. You simply cannot apply the Giants formula to this Patriots defense. It's apples and oranges.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  17. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    Also, when the Giants play a team with a great offensive line, ala the Browns, who can stop that pressure, they're going either get torn up or find themselves in a shoot-out. The reason why they will probably go to the Super Bowl through the NFC again this year is because really only one team in the NFC (besides the Giants) has an offensive line that could be considered great- the Cowboys, a team that finds itself on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture.
  18. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    I acknowledge that it is not the pats scheme. their scheme has been with the OLB who can suddenly convert to D-end or cover. Unfortunately we don't have quick OLB's and I'm starting to wonder if their strength is subpar because Colvin was deceptively quick but I think he played to his leverage and was pretty strong. Colvin was a bit more quick than what we have now.

    I'll conclude saying that Woods is a backup. there's a reason he went undrafted. I'm getting to be skeptical on AD and Vrabel is nearing the end. We need some big time upgrades at OLB or this defense will be not that good for a while.
  19. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, but the secondary and inside linebacker is a more pressing need; Vrabel and Thomas are still good players, and will be beyond next year, especially in Thomas' case. If Crable develops, then you have a good rotation going there.
  20. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    I'm not as confident as you with our pass rushers. I thought this was a glaring need in the superbowl and end of the season. it wasn't really addressed. I think you can get away with guyton at ILB or move AD or vrabes inside. I think we need a legit bonafide passrusher.

    as for d-back. I can't argue there as oneal was a last minute addition and has been alright(some good, some bad).

    this is why I'm still ticked we lost that 31st pick.
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