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Hate to bring up that linebacker thing.

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by RayClay, Nov 26, 2006.

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  1. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    I know the only thing that counts is receivers, but I think having 4 new guys including the best one in the draft and 3 good tight ends, a pass catching FB in Evans, Troy Brown, Kevin Faulk and the occasional pass to Maroney or Dillon and Pass if he comes back might be enough depth.

    I guess TBC is a full time starter by default. I like Woods for a Rookie UDFA.

    Do we need to pick someone up?
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I can't imagine there's much to pick up. I think we're actually OK with our starting four . . . but the depth is enough to keep me up at night. One more injury to a starter and we may have to shift to the 4-3 :(
  3. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    I don't imagine there is either, but if there's a guy coming off an injury or something.......

    That's how we got Hawkins. I think we've left ourselves in a position where any vet that can give us stability for a few plays.......

    Hello, Mr. Phifer....?
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree that the starting four is fine. We still have one of the best front sevens in the NFL. I am more worried about Seymour's injuries, than in losing Seau.

    I am not a fan of the 43, but I agree. I do think we would still play a 2-gap. In the end, what really happens is that Green is becomes a linebacker, and we expect even more from Wright.

  5. Remix 6

    Remix 6 Rookie

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    FIND ROMAN PHIFER..and yank him out of retirment :)
  6. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    You guys are quite sure that Seau isn't much of a loss? I follow this team from a distance, but I don't really remember the 4-3 being used much at all last year, even at the nadir of the Brown-Biesel fiasco.

    The Vrabel-Bruschi tandem was excellent last year, not just in comparison to the shenanigans that went on before. However, at about this time last year the Pats had two people passable as veteran linebackers to back up, Brown and Biesel, and still folks nearly shat themselves out of fear when Vrabel stepped on Bruschi's foot on that punt against the Jets. Now the Pats have Don Davis. To paraphrase Yoda, if you're not scared now, you will be.

    Davis, you shouldn't need to be told, is not a prototypical Will linebacker in this defense. These inside linebackers are supposed to, at the very least, be able to slow-dance with a guard in the vicinity of the line of scrimmage. Vrabel will usually manage this. I don't break-down tape like Box or pats1, but when I noticed Seau he would as often as not stand the guard up and either slide off into the tackle or make the back cut away. You remember the Atlanta pre-season game, with Gardner and Davis, yes? Gardner showed up at the party and danced with the guards. Davis got thrown out the front door, followed by his hat. Guards would envelop him, or he'd take the scenic route around them one way while Norwood was leaving a rooster-tail of dust up the other side.

    Davis got one play today when Bruschi got his bell rung and it was more of the same: the Bears right guard wandered five yards out (Seau would have hit him at 2 yards) and threw Davis backwards another couple cause Davis was doing one of those ole! maneuvers, then Davis dashed around but by then it was too late, Thomas Jones was already cutting into space on the outside and the best Davis could do was throw himself at T Jones' feet. Jones got 17 yards on that play and it was Chicago's longest run of the night. On a 3rd and 4 I might add.

    TBC is, or will be, a good outside linebacker, but he is not Vrabel good. I believe the reason he was not used till now as an every-down linebacker is because he has trouble setting the corner in run support. Vrabel was very good at this - obviously, because he has the run skills to play inside. Whether the D can maintain their excellent run average with TBC in for Vrabel and Vrabel in for Seau should be looked into going forward. When Seau was in today the run D was nasty - Jones was going sideways and the Bears had to go to Benson to get beyond two yards a carry in the first half, and Benson had to run like someone asking for a concussion. When Seau was out, Chicago started riding Jones.

    Yahoo! Sports, which I realize is not exactly Stats Inc., tells me the Bears two backs ran for about 145 yards on the day, to the tune of 4.4 a pop. I may be wearing beer goggles, but it doesn't seem that jives with the way the Pats run D started out. There are of course other factors to be considered - Pats orienting more towards defending the pass with a lead, the D getting tired after some Methuselan Chicago drives - but in previous games the run D hasn't worn out quite like that, nor has the Pats playing with a lead taken the foot off the defensive throttle, or more correctly, the brake, quite so much. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the run differential pre-Seau and post-Seau to be between 1.5-2 yards an attempt. I also will allow scheming and rust for Vrabel and TBC to be considered, but as Belichick is fond of saying, the backups attend the same practices, and get paid as well.

    Blah, blah, blah, this is going on far too long. Suffice to say I think Seau is a big loss for this D. He wasn't exactly chopped liver in passing situations either. He was very good knifing through that A-gap and smacking the opposing QB in the facemask. People better hope that nobody else gets hurt or we'll quickly find out if Corey Mays is a player.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2006
  7. njpatsfan

    njpatsfan Rookie

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    Excellent, excellent post. I noticed the single Davis play, and you called it exactly right. No way he plays inside. On a BB team, you stop the run first - which means Vrabel-Bruschi. And I suspect that you are spot-on about TBC setting the edge. He's excelled in speed rushing lately, which has got him some playing time - but you never see him in running downs. He better learn quick.

    R
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I agree on the depth. And I'm guessing Vrabel isn't too thrilled about having to move back inside although he'll do it as he did last year. But I think TBC can do the job. It was a tough thing today because three guys had to move (Vrabel inside, Colvin to SOLB and TBC to WOLB), they should be OK the rest of the way . . . barring further injuries.
  9. 14thDragon

    14thDragon Rookie

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    Well, as far as the line up goes, I think I can read the paper through that thinness.

    I know the matra has always been not to draft for need but for value. But in April I do not see how any other position is going to bring as much value to the team.
  10. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rookie

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    I hear Monty Beisel's looking for a team...

    I'm sorry. :eek: I'll get my coat.
  11. 14thDragon

    14thDragon Rookie

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    Yet is a frighteningly close possiblity.
  12. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rookie

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    I guess it must be. At least if he does come back he won't have to face the prospect of that wrecking ball third string QB from the Giants (Larenzo??) because they are going nowhere near the Superbowl.

    I prefer the Phifer thoery.
  13. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    well said - i noted it too clearly
  14. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Don't worry, I think Beisel is playing for the Cards.
  15. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    The Pats are not only very weak at linebacker but also at cornerback.

    They are one injury away from having Troy Brown or Antwain Spann

    as their starting cornerback.
  16. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Beisel is with Arizona...Phifer?? maybe..would be good..BUT I wonder if he wishes to play again....Might be some other who can fill in..I agree, Davis is not the answer..and I doubt Alexander or mays are ready.. Woods is big..but more an outside player..we will see what happens.. I am NOT as worried about CB..Wilson will be back and Chad Scott as well..I am also sure Hakins can play CB..
  17. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    Just for the record, I do not agree that TBC is a good NFL starter right now.

    I would say below average to JAG.

    I certainly hope he steps up and we have a "star is born" type reaction by Woods, Alexander or Mays, but he's got the job by default IMO until he proves otherwise.
  18. miDeuce

    miDeuce Rookie

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    #50 Jersey

    I'd love to see some of the young LBs get some reps over this last month of the season. Especially with the schedule a little bit lighter. Saw Woods last night briefly on a Kickoff and he looked huge. We gotta start getting some experience at ILB, depth there is clearly our biggest weakness. With Rodney due back, as well as Chad Scott and Geno getting healthier I am cautiously optimistic that we'll be okay at DB.

    Anyone have any insights in to who we might see... Alexander, Mays or Woods?
  19. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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  20. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What makes you think TBC replaces Vrabel? I haven't gone to the tape yet, but my memory is Colvin's pressures came off the right side. This is pretty much what I expected would happen, TBC is going to take the majority of his snaps lined up next to Seymour and Colvin will be alongside Warren - odd isn't it, BB moves his OLB experience left to right, makes you think there is madness to his method.

    As for TBC and run D, I get a kick out of people fretting over that. He is a converted 4-3 DE, his job at OLB vs. the run hasn't changed since he was converted to DE from LB in college - he is supposed to set the edge, nothing new for him,except that he gets to pay alongside Sey. BB has said it often enough to be an "it is what it is" remark, but the #1 transition for a DE converting to LB is pass defense. Watching TBC this year, I don't see any great weakness in his game, certainly no greater weakness than Colvin's ability to set the edge against Oakland last season (game 1 for the memory challenged), by this time last season Rosey was drawing double-teams playing LOLB with Vrabel inside. TBC actually looked better against the run than Rosey did to start last year, he's got a fighting chance to be fully tuned up by playoff time.

    As for Vrabel being a run stuffer, he was just fine in the last third of last season playing alongside Tedy and behind Sey, Vince, and Ty. He and TBC both get to practice at game speed against such great teams as Detroit, Miami, Tennessee, Houston, and a Jacksonville club that isn't making the playoffs. So five non-playoff caliber tests, but pretty decent training opportunities.

    We might complain that Chicago moved the ball in the second half, but if you buy the bogus PI theory, you can't say the Bears were overwhelming with their offense against the Vrabel/TBC defense. And if you don't buy it, you are left with speculation that those two passes would have been completed and the fact they would still not have been enough or a direct result of a sieve-like run game.

    Bottom line, an offense that has had some success wasn't able to get much done against the Vrabel/TBC defense featuring two reserve Safeties - I don't see any team between now and the playoffs who can match the Bears' offense. Lets panic after we reach the playoffs and see if a playoff caliber offense can move the ball at will against the D.
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