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Getting Serious About Linebackers

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Clearly, we don't understand pioli's grand plan. We posters have been calling for drafting quality young linebackers for years, and for top free agent additions to replace the aging McGinist, Phifer and Ted Johnson. The need wasn't exactly a secret.

    Pioli hit the jackpot with Vrabel and struck out on the other dozen or so. Is that too harsh? Oh sure, we can believe that this year will be Banta-Cain's year, or Alexander's, or Beisel's, or Brown's. After Bruschi's injury last year, pioli had the draft and the rest of the offseason to address what had not been addressed for years: the retiring of Phifer, and rapid aging of Ted Johnson and McGinist. Did we really have a perfect plan that was upset by the retiring of Ted Johnson? Did the team doctors really not have a clue regarding Ted Johnson? Would the aging Johnson really made that much difference? Surely, they didn't count on Bruschi coming back last year.

    But pioli had a solution, sign up Biesel and Chad Brown. Draft Claridge. After all, we had Alexander and Banta-Cain.
    ------------------------------------------

    And this year, we parted company with McGinist, and went forth with our best laid plans, a late draft choice, a couple of UDFA's and Gardner.

    Surely, pioli and bb are not worried about linebackers. They never have. It is the fans that don't understand that we again have one of the best linebacking units in the league.

    Why do I find this so hard to believe? It must be because I don't understand pioli's grand plan. We all know that bb can do anything. We won with Troy at nickel. We won with Davis at safety. Could we win with Davis at inside linebacker? We might, but why have this as Option #1 before the season starts; surely we can better prepare for the season!

    Those who believe that late round rookies can do what veterans have never been able to do have no issues. After all, Mincey, Woods and Roach will step in immediately, learn bb's system, and be major contributers.

    We have waited for the drafting of a top linebacker; we have waited for trades; we have waited for free agents; and we will wait some more.
  2. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    It is really inconsiderate for BB & Scott not to share with us their grand plan. And, the LB coaches must be too afraid of BB and Scott to tell them that their personnel choices are horrible.

    Now, here we are a whole pre-season game into the 2006 season and we don't have any answers -things look bleak- our LB's look like they will just be run over.

    This could be Scott's last year if he doesn't smarten up.

    I've never felt so gloomy and doomy in my life. But, there are some good LB's in this years draft class so if we finish the season so we get a top 10 pick- all of our troubles will be over,next year.
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I agree that there has been a lot of misfiring here, unfortunately. I think the "grand plan" is that Belichick thinks LB is a spot like OL where he can spend less and still get a good product (although I realize he's drafted more OL than LB). The misses are unfortunate and will soon become problematic as the LB age one by one. I am optimistic, though, about Mincey, he looked good in several phases on Friday given his lack of experience at LB.
  4. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    mgteich is right on here, the LB corps is very thin. Considering that a 3-4 defense is really all about your linebackers, it is hard to understand BB/Pioli's failure to keep this unit very strong. If Beisel bombs the Pat's are in real trouble - and this is assuming Brushci comes back early in the season. Since Monty did play pretty well late last year I have hope he will succeed this year despite being invisible in Atlanta. But by this time the Pat's really should have had a talented youngster behind Brushci learning the ropes so he could step in when Tedy is finished, which is much sooner than later. Clairidge evaporated, TBC and Alexander were lowly rated so have limited expectations, and the same can be said of Mincey and Woods. In other words the front office has failed to produce the stud(s) they should have in place now. And they do need a superstud CB as well, but that is a another story.
  5. Bertil

    Bertil Rookie

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    I don't understand all of this paranoia about the state of the linebacking corps.

    Certainly, there were major issues last year. But ultimately, where did the Pats falter? Red Zone Offense, that's where. What has been significantly addressed (if not hopefully upgraded)? Red Zone Offense. With Maroney, Thomas, Mills and Chad Jackson adding to the return to form of Corey Dillon, I expect a major upgrade which will offset the loss of Vinatieri. Then again, I'm an optimist.

    The Defense may well start off shaky, but it WILL strengthen as the year goes on, like all BB coached Defenses do. This despite the lack of a "Shutdown Corner". As long as Richard, Rodney and Tedy can remain healthy (knocking wood), I'm confident that the D will be able to do all of the things we've come to expect from them, schematically.

    I'm up for football season. If you can't be positive now, then...
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Well what we can say for sure is Belioli thinks they can get LB cheap if they have a good DL. We don't even need to read between the lines to know that, it's in bold headlines for all to see. Maybe they were spoiled by Vrabel and Bruschi. Maybe two of Mincey/Woods/Roach will turn the tide in a positive direction. But we do know that they have had opportunity after opportunity to draft LB on the first day and haven't done it. So I think the answer is that they think the 3-4 is all about the DL and if that's playing well they can go cheap on the LB.
  7. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    It's nice to see that we have at least one forum member, mgteich, who is not

    completely blinded by the aura of BB and Scott Pioli.

    Beyond Tedy Bruschi, we have no good middle linebacker on this team.

    It remains to be seen if any of them are even adequate.

    Since BB became head coach, he has never had to rely on young

    linebackers. He inherited Ted Johnson, Willie McGinest, and Tedy Bruschi

    from Pete Carroll. Scott Pioli later signed Roman Phifer, Mike Vrabel, and

    Rosevelt Colvin.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2006
  8. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    This is our biggest potential flaw, IMO. We do have 3 studs - Bruschi, Colvin, and Vrabel. But after that, I don't trust any of our LB's.

    Here's a thought that I'm going to throw out here. How about making Rodney Harrison a linebacker, and play Sanders and Hawkins at FS and SS? This is assuming Eugene Wilson is one of our cornerbacks.
  9. BelichickFan

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    #24 Jersey

    Give me a break, well more than 50% of people here are very concerned about LB. Read the damn posts on the various threads.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2006
  10. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Spending less on linebacker is a major change for the patriots and for bb. We brought in Vrabel and Colvin and are paying them at the top of our food chain.
    Until now, the linebackers and the DL are where bb has chosen to spend money, especially as the secondary has become bargain basement.

    I'm absolutely fine with allocating more to the OL and to other positions. However it seems that the money will be allocated to 2007.

  11. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Why is that nice to see?

    How long have you been a Patriots fan? Before 1994?

    With 3 SB's don't you think that they have earned our trust, just a little?
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    For the record, I think that pioli is the best personnel man in the history of the NFL and that bb is the best coach.

  13. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Colvin, yes. Vrabel I think has re-signed, he was a cheap signing when we first got him as a journeyman DL from the Steelers.
  14. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    For the record, I know that you are not a disloyal fan as that guy implied.

    You have an opinion and expressed it and there is nothing wrong with that. In my first post, I was being sarcastic as a way to disagree, that's all. ;)
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2006
  15. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Ditto for me. BB and Pioli are excellent because they think like businessmen, look for good values, and screen for players who can be assets and grow into important pieces. They do the best they can with what is available in FA/draft/waivers. Sometimes you have to take calculated chances, and mgteich is merely confirming that our LB depth has deteriorated due to lack of value in this market.

    It's not really a knock on BB/Pioli. Sometimes the talent available to sign is just not there, or is not worth the cost.
    .
  16. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    if the Patriots hadn't persons like BB and SP (the best in the Nfl) i could have been VERY concerned about LB - with them i'm only concerned a little bit

    this is the reason why, first of all, i hope Tedy Bruschi will return allready from week.1

    and if i have to be honest i trust 100% too only on him + M.Vrabel and R.Colvin

    i had honestly hopes for Claridge and today i hope in TBC and Mincey
  17. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Rookie

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    Serious About Linebackers

    from the crew including TBC, mincey, woods, roach, beisel, and brown, i only expect to find 1 guy who can get the job done and start. One or two LBs wll join izzo and davis as ST players. but ya need 5-6 LBs to make a 3-4 work. 4 wears out the guys on the field.

    IMHO a 3-4 defense FEATURES the LBs. it's used because a team has more good LBs than DLs. it puts the team's best defensive players on the field.

    IMHO the DLs are the defense's best players. seymour, wilfork, warren, green, are as good a set as there is in the AFC. trouble is, there are only 4 proven DLs. so there's a shortage. patriots need either a 5th established LB or a 5th proven DL. both would be bettet. we have neither. maybe switch back and forth, 4-3 and 3-4. go to the patriots card deck, 2-5, 1-6, 5-2, all that dtuff.
    need to pull a rabbit out of the hat here. want to see what bb/sp do. would be nice if Ted the Great or Bobby Hamilton were still here
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Vrabel came in cheap, but is now a $4M a year player.

  19. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    BB was able to salvage the defense last year when Bruschi returned and Vrabel was able to play the middle, with Colvin and McGinnest on the outside. We don't have that option this year. I personnally think the Pats will struggle defending the run unless Vrabel is moved inside and he and Bruschi are healthy for the season. That will leave us with Colvin and presumably TBC/Chad Brown/Mincey to fill McGinnest's shoes. At this point, unless Biesel starts to produce, there are no legitimate starters to back up Bruschi and Vrabel on the inside.
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Serious About Linebackers

    yup; we have seven proven front seven players. At least three more get significant playing time. The dropoff is severe.

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