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Greg Cosell discusses impact of Rob Ninkovich, Brandon Spikes on Pats defense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Mar 2, 2012.

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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Interesting article by Christopher Price, based on a discussion with NFL Films and NFL Matchup producer Greg Cosell at last week's combine.

    It Is What It Is » NFL Films producer Greg Cosell discusses impact of Rob Ninkovich, Brandon Spikes on Patriots defense


    “I thought two guys who played really well down the stretch and helped their defense play better — it clearly played better — were Ninkovich and Brandon Spikes,”

    “I thought he played real well, particularly down the stretch,” Cosell said of Ninkovich, one of only two NFL defenders to finish the regular season with at least six sacks and two interceptions. “I think Ninkovich, he became a really versatile player. He’s not a dynamic, explosive playmaker, play after play. I don’t think he’s a guy who offenses say, ‘We better account for Rob Ninkovich.’ But I thought he played really well down the stretch.”

    “I’m a huge Spikes fan, for what he is. I’m not going to ask him to run with Jimmy Graham, but for what he is, I think he’s really good,” Cosell said. “There aren’t many guys in the league like him who play downhill. He takes on blocks with violence. That’s a dying breed in the NFL. A passing league, a spread league, now, you have linebackers that run around blocks. He took on blocks this year, and he usually won.”​
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  3. JackBauer

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    So are we content with Ninkovich as a starting OLB, or what?
  4. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Rookie

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    Spikes is going to be a good ILB for a long time,everyone was concerned about his speed coming out of college but you could fool me,he looks pretty darn fast on game day.

    As far as Nink goes....the more he plays and comes off the edge with tenacity,the more he reminds me of the former player to wear #50 here,Mike Vrabel....he may need a few more seasons to fully become as good as Mike,but he appears to be heading that way each year he in on this defense.
  5. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Rookie

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    I wouldn't say content but what we have there with Nink is pretty good depth IMO ....I think Cunningham is the guy that needs to go,Jermaine was a healthy bench warmer most of last year when it was supposed to be a year for him to mature into a force from the edge,doesn't appear to be a future for him at OLB.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  6. JackBauer

    JackBauer Rookie

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    I agree that Cunningham's prospects are dim. But I also think, should we choose to roll with the 3-4 base this season, he deserves the opportunity to at least come to camp and give it another shot.
  7. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    People forget the impact of Ninkovich is more than just the OLB position. He is great value because he is decent player in a position that commands a lot of money. This frees up valuable cap space for other positions.

    The haters will say, we always don't spend the max cap. For good reason. This gives us the flexibility at season end. We will never spend the max cap. It's like having a renovation budget on your home. Always account 20% for contingency.
  8. R_T26

    R_T26 Banned

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    I think he's better than Mayo personally. Mayo does not make enough impact plays and seems like too much of a nice guy.
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Although the comments are positive and nice to hear, Cosell, IMO, is a horrible evaluator.
  10. Deus Irae

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

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    Mayo's an elite ILB, and is probably the second best in the game. Ninkovich is a rotation-level player/low-end starter, although he seems to be improving over time.


    Ninkovich doesn't even dream of being better than Mayo.
  11. Gronkandez

    Gronkandez Rookie

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    based on what? I've heard many people like Bedard comment upon how they respect Cosell's analysis.
  12. JackBauer

    JackBauer Rookie

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  13. VJCPatriot

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    apples and oranges.

    They play different positions.

    Ninkovich was very solid for our D down the stretch. I think he has one half of the OLB starting position locked up. The question is the position opposite him. Mario Williams, anyone? :)
  14. Deus Irae

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

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    Context.... If you've got a problem with the comparison, take it up with the person who originally posted the comparison.

    Ninkovich isn't anything to write home about, and the Patriots would be better off taking the 'Mario Williams' money and splitting it in half to get two decent OLB starters. The defense, unlike the offense, isn't just one player away.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  15. Ron Sellers

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    I like Ninkovich, but would much prefer him to be a rotational, sub-package, depth for injuries kind of a player. There are a few other players in the same situation (especially on defense), that I think are counted on too heavily when you consider the ceiling of their talent level.
  16. patsderoer

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  17. JackBauer

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    Terrific argument. I suppose Welker's drop is also dispositive to the claim that he is not, in fact, an elite receiver.
  18. patsderoer

    patsderoer Rookie

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    A decent LB makes the pick, or at least batters it down, let alone an "elite" one.

    Like a commenter wrote about that play Eli Manning to Victor Cruz Super Bowl XLVI TD Catch vs Patriots - YouTube

    How on earth does Mayo not pick this off? Tedy Bruschi or Mike Vrabel picks this every single time.

    That's the difference between the old Pats and the new Pats. I love these guys, but they're not the clutch playmakers we're used to seeing.
  19. Deus Irae

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

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  20. IllegalContact

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    ninkivich is roughly equivalent to matt chatham
  21. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    I think the most important lesson that Ninkovitch can teach us is how LONG it takes for a former college DE to learn the OLB in a 3-4 the way the Pats play it, AND the value of PATIENCE when evaluating the position.

    As far as the Vrabel comparison, there are SO many examples. Essentially both were in the league SIX years before they made ANY impact to their teams. Vrabel never had more that 2 sacks in the 4 years he played for the Steelers. Ninko didn't have a sack until he got here.

    Things did improve for Vrabel when he came with the Pats, but fans forget that he only had 7 sacks over his first 2 years here. They forget that it wasn't until his SEVENTH season in the league before he became a legitimate rush threat (9.5) AND he only had one double digit sacks in one year (his 7th with the Pats). Compare that to Mike Anderson who did in his first year as a part time player.

    The point is that when fans keep praying for the "next" Mike Vrabel, remember that you are praying for a solid OLB who could set the edge, give you some consistent pressure (don't forget that he averaged only 4 sacks/yr over his career), and drop back into coverage.

    Well I have news for you, your prayers have been answered. Go back and compare Vrabel's and Ninko's stats for the 2nd and 3rd years on the team. They are almost identical. So before some of you dismiss Ninko as being a "nice little player" who is holding the fort until the "next Mike Vrabel" comes along, check the facts. Vrabel is BACK and his name is Rob Ninkovich.

    And to all those people who are ready to jettison Jermaine Cunningham after just two seasons, take into consideration that Cunningham had a MUCH better rookie season than either of these guys. Not even close. So although, in the lockout shortened off season, Cunningham failed to get ready to play, and in an injury plagued season did NOTHING to contribute. The Vrabel/Ninkovich lesson tells us it is WAY to early to simply dismiss him.

    It is also a lesson that explains somewhat BB's reluctance to select college DE's who are going to be OLB's in the NFL in the draft. Generally it takes just too long for them to develop in HIS system.
  22. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    That is such an idiotic comment that I'm ashamed that I bothered to comment.
  23. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Based upon my opinion of his comments, viewpoints and analysis.
  24. Rich<3TheWoodhead

    Rich<3TheWoodhead Rookie

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    Maybe we can agree on the fact that mayo might be an elite ILB but he is not "clutch". Don't confuse clutch and elite. Most elite players are clutch but some just don't have the gene. Aka Lebron. And please I'm just using that as an example. Mayo is in no way the Lebron of the nfl. Lol!
  25. condon84

    condon84 Rookie

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    Getting mad at Mayo for not making that play is like getting mad at Brady for not being able to scramble for first downs.
  26. Rich<3TheWoodhead

    Rich<3TheWoodhead Rookie

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    You're kidding right? That's a play a feature LB makes. Think Willis or Ray Lewis blow that opportunity? Possible but unlikely.
  27. Joey007

    Joey007 Rookie

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    I wouldn't call Mayo not clutch, he did help win the Washington game. I honestly think Mayo's an amazing piece, just young. I don't remember Bruschi being super clutch early on in his career either.
  28. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    +1 well said.






    ++++1 re Cunningham. This is a tough D to 'get' for a LB especially coming from a DL position. BTW this speaks very well of Fletcher and his future.
  29. Joey007

    Joey007 Rookie

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    And about our LB situation, If we sign Mario Williams, that'd make our LB core Mayo, Spikes, Ninkovich, and Williams. That'd be a top 5 LB core in the league.
  30. Deus Irae

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

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    Adam Vinatieri was 1 for 3 in the Carolina Super Bowl. People tend to misunderstand "clutch", by thinking it means "perfect" or even "perfect in all key extra-intense situations", which it doesn't.
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