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Efficiently Spending On Defense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Feb 19, 2013.

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  1. JackBauer

    JackBauer On the Roster

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    How about Desmond Bryant? Young-ish, might still have upside. Probably won't be prohibitively expensive. Isn't amazing, but a solid all around player on a pretty bad team.
  2. JackBauer

    JackBauer On the Roster

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    Uh......you're missing something......rhymes with bumble.
  3. Brady6

    Brady6 Practice Squad Player

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    #12 Jersey

    Love the pickup but he could cost some have even reported Oak might franchise him.
  4. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    His name was brought up in another thread, actually. Others, likely including Oakland, are higher on him than am I, but I've got nothing against bringing in low cost options. I just don't see the wisdom in overspending on defensive free agents this year.
  5. AndyJohnson

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    You can't measure defensive players with stats.
    Watching the games, it is easy to tell that Ninkovich struggles to get any reasonable amount of pressure.
    He's a nice guy, a versatile player and he is out on the field enough to show up making some plays now and then, but as one of the primary guys we rely on to pressure the QB, he is not close to good enough.
    He should actually be the '8th front 7 guy' backing up LBs and DEs, playing some in base and sub, and being a good fill in when there are injuries.
    Thats just who he is.
    And of course the guy who fails to pressure the passer on a team that stinks at pressuring the passer is one of the biggest problems.
  6. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp Rookie

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    Andy, please. I said Ninkovich was fine. I didn't say he was a pro-bowler, or that he was a big-time sack guy. I said he was fine. You replied with this beauty: "He is the primary reason the pass rush was lacking".

    A guy who gets 8 sacks, 5 stuffs, and forces 5 fumbles is not a guy that we need to be concerned about. The trend, which you didn't comment on, is that Ninkovich's tangible production has increased every year. He's just 29 years of age, and it's likely that his production will increase again next year.

    That he may be one of our primary guys isn't a statement on Ninkovich. It's a statement on the rest of the pass rush. Having an 8 sack guy who forces 5 fumbles is a *good* thing. Having that guy be your #1 pass rusher is not so much. But it doesn't mean that Ninkovich isn't fine or good or useful. It means that they need much more than him.

    If you watched the games you know better than anyone how many big plays the guy made all season long. It was a lot.

    EDIT: FWIW, including the playoffs, Ninkovich had 10 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 15 QB hits. That's more than just "fine". That's pretty solid. Numbers don't tell the whole story, but they sure as heck don't paint the picture of a guy who was one of the real problems with the Patriots' defense either. Not even close.
  7. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Of course he was. The 2 primary pass rushers are the DEs. Our pass rush was bad even when Jones was doing well, and almost nonexistent when he was out.
    Who do you think was the PRIMARY reason?

    As I said, you can't judge a defensive player on stats, and the amount of pressure he produced was poor, much poorer than 8 sacks would lead you to believe.
    Trend? His first year changing positions and rushing every down is a trend?

    What does that meam? Its not his fault because we don't have anyone good to play instread of him?

    8 sacks is not the definition of the player or pass rusher. He did a poor job riushing the passer.

    Jones is our best pass rusher, by far.

    No, it really wasn't and its not about big plays, its about consistent pressure on the QB.

    Again, stats don't tell the story of a defensive player

    Right, you have to watch him play to see that.
  8. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    I think it's beyond clear that Ninko is the definition of an 'effort sack' guy.

    It's nice to have, and he's absolutely a valuable player. But he's the type of player that takes advantages of an opponents mistakes rather than create opportunities. To his credit, if you could screw his head onto Chandler Jones you'd have an all-word player. However, he is limited by his physical tools.

    He's a terrific backup, but not a starter in a DE tandem that wants to be truly disruptive.
  9. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We pay 50% more to our offense than to our defense. And when we don't win it all, the fault is invariably the defense's fault.

    Perhaps it is time to understand that this defense is about 6 players away from being a top defense (DE, DT, coverage LB, CB, CB and S).

    Maybe some of these players are on the team, perhaps not.
  10. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Money is a red herring. The fact is that most of the defense is on first, or low second, contracts, while the QB is on the offense and the two TEs just signed their second contracts so the salary imbalance is to be expected.

    Mankins is the only highly paid player on the line who's not on a first contract. None of the RBs are on a big money deal. Welker was on big money, but that was the franchise tag for an obviously worthy veteran, and he now counts for $0. Lloyd and Connolly are making good, but not great, money for their positions, as is Gregory.

    Wilfork
    Mayo
    Mankins
    Brady

    Those are the 4 big deals for the fully established "veteran" players, and there are two of them on each side of the ball. Even tossing Welker back into the mix doesn't make it unusually lopsided, numerically.
  11. nzahir

    nzahir Rookie

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    George wilson, who will be 32 by next season, can be a great, cheap fit. He was ranked 12th as a safety last season(idk if it was 12 overall or 12 in coverage). He can cover, hit, and make big plays.
    I think this team still needs to make a splash on the defensive side. Melton is a great pass rushing dt(hopefully he doesnt get franchised though). Michael bennett is also great, but he will command a big deal, something the pats dont like to give.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We spend money on our top players. Why leave our Hernandez and Gronkowski? We have lots of money committed to:

    BRADY
    MANKINS
    GRONKOWSKI
    HERNANDEZ
    WILFORK
    MAYO
    as you say, we wish to add SOLDER soon.

    That's 2 defensive players among our top 7 players (or 3 of 9 if we assume the addition of a top corner and a top wide receiver). I think that better balance in spending would help the team.

    =====================
    LLOYD, CONNOLLY, and NINKOVICH are the next level. two offense, one defense
    ===================
    I suppose if Jones, Hightower, McCourty, Dennard, Dowling and Wilson turn out to be our future stars, we are in fine shape. The equivalent guys on offense are Ridley and Vereen. (six defense, two offense)


  13. Deus Irae

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    I didn't leave them out. They were noted in the first paragraph:

    As I said, the money argument is a red herring, because so much more of the defense than the offense is on first contracts, and the Patriots have an elite QB. You understand how contracts work in the NFL, and you know how the team has drafted in recent years, as well as who's been a hit and who's been a miss. In the next few years, assuming the promising younger players work out, moneys will need to be paid out accordingly, or your point will be much more relevant.

    Or, to put it another way, take a look at "big money FAs" from other teams. The offense has Lloyd and that's it, now that Welker's a free agent. The defense has Gregory. The rest, on both sides of the ball, are home grown guys that were either drafted by the team or gotten when they were raw, and coached up.
  14. supafly

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    Deus, does the fact that some of the defenders will need to be taken care of sooner rather than later have any bearing on the future decision of retaining Welker in your opinion? Knowing that Belichick looks toward the future so much, one would assume that he is envisioning more spending on the defensive side of the ball. It would seem to be inevitable based on the fact alone that we have so many first and second lower costing pacts, as you pointed out.

    Or is it more that Belichick just doesn't individually assess Welker's current and future value as much as he would need to in order to keep him?

    Understanding that every dollar counts, wouldn't it be somewhat safe to assume that they'd at least be somewhat closer since all accounts sort of point to Welker not demanding a bank breaking deal? I'm having a hard time figuring this one out.

    We've spoken before about the potential to get Welker's cap hit down this year on a 3 year deal (for example) and the improbability that it would have on sticking them too badly in the future. Couldn't things be set up in a somewhat conservative way, most of all coming up to meet that "6 million" dollar guaranteed amount that Wes' agent spoke of last summer. Would 5 million or so (good faith showing IMO) really be that significant on a 3 yr deal? My concern is that they are penny pinching in the wrong place.

    Or is there a chance that Belichick is simply ready to move on, try to replace some/most (hoping) of the production, and is ready to spend any money that may have been given to #83 on another aspect of the team?
  15. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    He's had tons of effective pressures on the qb
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OK, I'll stipulate that a small part of our cap is spent on major players from other teams (as you say, just Lloyd and Gregory). I presume that we'll add a CB and a WR (or re-sign Talib and/or Welker). In any case, your point stands.
    =============================================
    So, why do we have such an imbalance in talent? It cannot all be because Brady makes the offensive talent into better players; or do believe that this is all about Brady?

    Perhaps, we don't use enough top draft choices on defense. Perhaps we are not as good at picking defensive talent. Perhaps we are not as good at developing defensive players. Perhaps we are not as good at coaching defensive players.

    Yes, perhaps last year's defensive draft will tip the balance. We seem to have a lot of our future riding on this one draft. Perhaps another three defensive draftees will seal the deal.



  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't think that our top corner will cost much less that $6M in cap money. So, the $6M of cap money that Welker might get on a long-term deal will simply be spent on another WR.

  18. supafly

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    Realizing that I am in the minority, I don't really buy into the thought that we are going to use Welker's money to replace another WR, at least not all of it in one lump sum (your use of the 6 million dollar cap hit for example).

    A 6 million dollar cap hit would likely mean that Belichick would go out and bring in a bigger name FA receiver, and I'm not buying into that theory myself. I think if they decide to move on with Welker they'll have to replace the physical body and partial production with at least a couple/few mid to lower level signings. There is also an argument, not that I necessarily agree with it in its entirety, that Belichick could use a combination of players such as Hernandez, Edelman etc at the position and replace him that way.

    I don't really think that the money would be spent as WR heavy as many think, and that the draft (almost a sure thing at this point even if Welker stays) and a couple of smarter and experienced vets would be brought in. It's hard to name names because of the likelihood of some cap casualties, but there doesn't seem to be many in FA besides the big name players.

    In your scenario that would basically mean that Belichick is ready to move on from Welker in order to free up the money for an additional receiver. One would have to assume that he was just not happy with the current offense as much with Welker in that case, and that he is ready to take it in another direction. In other words, a straight up trade off of Welker for another receiver.

    I subscribe to the thought that if he lets him walk, he is going to use that money more for the entire team and try to replace most of Welker's production with our own and a combo of draft picks/mid to lower costing WRs, rather than a one player trade off.
  19. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think it's likely a combination of the two. Using Jason's numbers

    New England Patriots Salary Cap 2013

    When you look at the defense,

    Mayo
    Wilfork
    Gregory
    Jones
    Dennard
    Wilson
    Hightower

    are all guys who've got multiple years left, and Wilfork is an excellent candidate for an extension during, or following, next season, assuming his play doesn't fall off of a cliff. So, when I look at what's coming up

    Ninkovich
    Spikes
    Love
    Deaderick

    I'm not seeing any real problem with keeping the players the team wants. The question should be more about whether or not the team actually wants the players back. Gregory is a prime candidate for a cut after this season, as the team would free up more than $2.3 million in cap space and only accumlate about $830k in dead money for doing it. Add numbers like that to the restructures of Wilfork and (possibly/probably) Brady, and the team will have more than enough money to cover the costs of those it wants back. The issue, after this year, should be much more about how much is available for free agent splashes than about how to retain players already in the fold.

    According to what little has been reported, this seems to be solely about the team not being willing to budge off a number. If that's the case, the smart move for Welker will be to bid a fond farewell to Brady & Co. and go make millions helping another top team get to the SB. Imagine, for example, the Packers deciding to cut loose of their pain in the ass TE, Finley, and replacing him with Welker. Given their current cap number, that would be easily affordable. Or, imagine him replacing Stokely as Manning's outlet binky.

    I've mentioned the numbers before, but 24-27 over 3 years with 20 guaranteed would seem to be a pretty fair deal for both sides. The Patriots could stack that somewhere between 5-8-11 and 6-9-12 for cap purposes. From all reports, the Patriots have never offered anything even in that ballpark.

    He may be ready to move on, but I hope not. It would require a major overhaul of the offense and a heavy reliance on players who've been unable to stay on the field in recent years. I'd really prefer that BB doesn't gamble with Brady's later years like that.
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Life is simple. We have Lloyd. We need three more plus a draftee to develop (surely we can't count on a rookie learning our defense). IMHO, it would be easier to deal with replacing Welker's production if we had a top receiver, of at least the quality of Lloyd.

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