Welcome to PatsFans.com

How Often do We Actually Play 4 LBs ?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by BelichickFan, May 8, 2006.

  1. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,784
    Likes Received:
    250
    Ratings:
    +631 / 17 / -16

    #24 Jersey

    Does anyone have a feel for it ? Obviously we do on 1st down plus 2nd and 5 or less. Do we have 3 DL, 3 LB, 5 DB (basic Nickel) the rest of the time ? If so the "who's the 4th LB" question, while not moot, is really not that significant.
     
  2. the taildragger

    the taildragger Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    i wouldn't mind seeing the breakdown (ratios) of nickel and 34...sorry I can't help out.

    if we're scoring more points next year, you'll see nickel even more.

    it's a fair point actually.
     
  3. Lloyd_Christmas

    Lloyd_Christmas I can delete my own crap! PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,420
    Likes Received:
    5
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0

    Good question and relevant.

    However, for anyone thinking that the necessity of a good 4th linebacker is diminished by this stat or by our improved offense... keep in mind that if we can't effectively stop the run, we will have to field the run stopping unit more as teams try to exploit it.

    Still a great point though... I hope someone has the answer.
     
  4. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,784
    Likes Received:
    250
    Ratings:
    +631 / 17 / -16

    #24 Jersey

    True, although with Vrabel and Beisel able to do a good job against Fred Taylor in the playoffs, I have a feeling that Bruschi and Beisel will be better than adequate in 2006 - at least I hope so.
     
  5. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    23,367
    Likes Received:
    270
    Ratings:
    +1,053 / 20 / -20

    I dont know the specific stats, but my impression is:
    about 75% of the time on first down. (We play nickel on 1st vs some teams)
    about 50/50 on 2nd, probably less
    only a bit on 3rd down, its usually either nickel if more than 3rd and 2, or short yardage is less than that.

    All told, I say somewhere under 50%
     
  6. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    9,800
    Likes Received:
    8
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0 / -0

    I don't think the number..percentage matters...if it is a low percentage having two run stuffing LBs is just as important.
     
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Messages:
    20,550
    Likes Received:
    25
    Ratings:
    +25 / 0 / -0

    NE plays 4 "LBs" in the nickel package, but uses two or more of them as DEs. Put simply, BB has his players in a 3-4 most of the time on 1st and 2nd downs, and in a 4-3 most of the time on 3rd down - using safeties as 4-3 OLBs, especially in the dime package. A better question to ask is how many defensive linemen get used on a given down...
     
  8. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    23,367
    Likes Received:
    270
    Ratings:
    +1,053 / 20 / -20

    They have done that on 3rd down, but that is as much personell as scheme. There is no reason we wouldnt use DEs as DEs on 3rd down. Its just that personnel-wise with Colvin, McGinest and Vrabel available we used them.
    In 03 when we had a bunch of LB injuries we used DE as DE on 3rd.

    What you left out is the 3-3-5 nickel package, which we use somewhat frequently. Example: vs the Colts last year we used it as a base, but interestingly, took an OLB out instead of an ILB. (Colvin sat Vrabel and Bruschi lined up inside, Willie was SOLB and we removed the weak OLB for a DB. We stopped that sometime in the 3rd quarter) We wont go dime on 2nd down often, but dont have the full 3DL 4LB complement either, we bring in the nickelback and pull out a LB.
     
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    23,367
    Likes Received:
    270
    Ratings:
    +1,053 / 20 / -20

    They have done that on 3rd down, but that is as much personell as scheme. There is no reason we wouldnt use DEs as DEs on 3rd down. Its just that personnel-wise with Colvin, McGinest and Vrabel available we used them.
    In 03 when we had a bunch of LB injuries we used DE as DE on 3rd.

    What you left out is the 3-3-5 nickel package, which we use somewhat frequently. Example: vs the Colts last year we used it as a base, but interestingly, took an OLB out instead of an ILB. (Colvin sat Vrabel and Bruschi lined up inside, Willie was SOLB and we removed the weak OLB for a DB. We stopped that sometime in the 3rd quarter) We wont go dime on 2nd down often, but dont have the full 3DL 4LB complement either, we bring in the nickelback and pull out a LB.
     
  10. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    10
    Ratings:
    +23 / 0 / -1

    #37 Jersey

    Wouldn't that reduce the coordinator's flexibility? A LB playing as a DE can rush the passer, take on blockers or drop into coverage. It's that ability to drop into coverage that matters most on later downs. DEs don't have the skills and body type to drop into coverage.

    I disagree with some of the other posters (not necessarily AJ) that BB didn't draft a LB because he didn't see the need. The good LBs were gone at 21, BB didn't find one in FA or the draft and the need remains. He may have had a plan to get a LB and simply couldn't execute it for lack of opportunity, either in FA or the draft, and is now biding his time. It may be that he'll enter the season with the team as structured, aware that he has a weakness at LB and unable to fix it and unwilling to change the defensive scheme since it's been taught to his players for so many years.

    Sometimes you live with a problem as best as you can. Every team has weaknesses.
     
  11. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    gotta dominate the middle

    no matter what else is going on elsewhere on the field, a 3-4 requires that 3 players have to be controlling their opponents: the NT and the 2 ILBs.
    think of it as a triangle.
    ya can invert the triangle, do 2 DTs and 1 MLB. it's still the same.
    5 down linemen, the triangle still counts. if the opponent needs 3 and more blockers to keep from being trashed, good situation for the home team.
    as an intrinsic football tactic, ya can do damn near anything ya want wit the other 8 as long as the triangle is yours.
    using that concept, ya can do 2-4-5, 3-2-5, and even the nfl formation i thought i'd never see: 0-5-6.
    patriots defense is like a kaleidoscope. any permutation they can think of.
    why and how? patriots DLs and LBs are MUCH smarter than the average bear. not that ya have ta be a genius, but ya have to have excellent play reconition and understand what the entire D is wowrking. if ya have a chessboard inn your head, even a NT can do wild stuff when ya know where the other pieces. we dont have any front 7 types who have average football IQs. IMHO they're all well above.
    the opponent can't establish blocking assignments. even when patriots stand still in fron of them, they can't be sure that it's the formation that actually be pleyed.
    what do the OLs do when patriots show a 0-5-6?
    HAVING MCGINEST VRABEL AND COLVIN IS A BLESSING. they all play standup and as DEs. just adds to the confusion.
    so percentage of time in 3-4 is important. but confusing the opposing QG, and the OLs, is more important in that scheme.
    OMO we dont have enough good LBs to run and effective 3-4. uh-oh.
     
  12. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    8,329
    Likes Received:
    17
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0

    He didn't need one enough to draft one. There were still some good LBs left at 21. In each case, he likely took the player that would most improve the team. In no case was that a LB.

    That really ought to say something about how much BB "needed" a LB. He could have traded up if he needed one, or thought that one provided value.

    It isn't just the draft. There were and are LBs that were and are FAs, and some that could be traded for.

    The fact that BB didn't sign FAs, draft, or trade for a LB (except a couple of ST guys this week) says to me that he is not voerly worried about the position.

    Fans look to replacce players who left. I think coaches build a team with what is available. They don't necessarily have to replace a pass rusher with another pass rusher. They look at the overall makeup of the team and strive to make it better. Sometimes it takes adding high quality position players (RB, WR, TE) and sometimes in doesn't (CB. LB, QB).

    If we assume that BB/SP had the goal of making the 2006 Pats the best they could be, and there is no resaon to think they want the team to be less than they can be, they you have to believe they brought in the players they think were required to do the job.

    They may still be looking to trade for Donnie Edwards or looking at Jamie Sharper, but it sure isn't very high on their list of priorities.
     
  13. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    6,551
    Likes Received:
    153
    Ratings:
    +369 / 33 / -16

    What the dog did NOT DO in the night...


    If you know anything about BB know this. He will make every effort to avoid having a hole anywhere. He may not have strength everywhere. He might actually be average in some places, but he will make every effort at his command to ensure he has no glaring weaknesses ...anywhere.

    Unlike other years he has the resources this year to spend where he feels he needs to do so. He has the cap and more than a full allotment of draft picks in 2007. (And significantly nowhere to use them all...)

    I think it is very telling that he has NOT DONE SO. It convinced me my fears about the LB corps were somewaht overdrawn. When we come out of TC we will see what it looks like; but it will be a lot younger group than it was 12 months ago.

    Just a hypothetical. I can see Davis 33, Izzo 32, along with McGinnest 35, Phifer 38 and TJ 33 all replaced over the situation going into 2005. Who will stay I can't say, but here is a likely LB corps:

    Bruschi 33, Vrabel 31, Colvin 29, Beisel 28, TBC 26, Clarige 23, Mincey 23, and Roach 22. Gardner 29 (ST), Safety instead (ST). PS: Woods 22.
     
  14. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    8,329
    Likes Received:
    17
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0

    I don't think you will get an argument from anyone over the last two :rolleyes:
     
  15. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    10
    Ratings:
    +23 / 0 / -1

    #37 Jersey

    I think you're reaching to draw a single conclusion from a lack of action. It may be he decided not to outbid another team thus far, that he didn't like the LBs he saw at the positions he would have had to take them, that he couldn't find a trade partner at the right time and place.

    We've had a lot of talk about LBs on this board. Maybe it's all unnecessary anxiety and all will be well. Maybe not. But a lack of action on BB's part at this point in the (off) season isn't enough evidence to convince me that the answer lies in the existing roster.

    Last year he didn't make a move on a decent backup running back and that proved to be a problem. The man's a football genius, one of the greatest coaches, if not the greatest, in the history of the game. But simply because BB is the coach and he hasn't yet acted doesn't mean all is well with the LBs.

    Case in point, in PFT right now, it says,
    So the fins chose a LB instead of WR in the 2nd round. BB chose a WR that had dropped out of the first round, perhaps instead of reaching for a LB. Plus, the need for WR was great. But that doesn't mean the need doesn't exist at LB.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2006
  16. D-cleater

    D-cleater Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    I guess we won't be seeing a lot of the 2 DL, 5 LB sets this year , will we?

    I think we used that for much of the last SB against Philly. Took Westbrook right out of the game and kept McNabb from scrambling. I could swear I saw it a few times towards the end of last year, too.
     

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>