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How will the position groups look after the draft and FA?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Fencer, Apr 8, 2011.

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  1. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    So what will or won't we be worrying most about post-draft? Or after the first round of FA, if that happens some time after the draft this year.

    My first take is:

    QB Not a big worry. :)
    TE Ditto.
    RB Ditto. BJGE/Woodhead were a perfectly good duo. The issue is depth, which may or may not include Faulk and may or may not include a rookie.
    LT Ditto, if Light is re-signed, which I therefore think he will be.
    WR The only guys to feel confident in are Branch and Welker. There will be worry.
    Interior OL. There will be worry even if Mankins stays and a high pick is used on a rookie. There will be a lot of worry in any other scenario.

    K/P/LS Not a big worry, although there's always Gost's health.

    DL Probably not a big worry. We should have Wilfork, Warren, Brace, a high pick, and a variety of lesser contributors (but not Mike Wright).
    OLB Big worry. Nobody who could possibly added would in any way be a lock to perform well. Yes, Cunningham and Ninkovich could continue to develop, making this a position of immediate strength. But to put it mildly, that's not the only plausible outcome.
    ILB Not a big worry. Spikes showed both good and bad instincts. The good should start winning out fast.
    S Not a big worry. For 2012 it's another matter, but there's plenty of talent for 2011.
    CB McCourty/Bodden look solid. But depth, including nickel, will still be a worry.
     
  2. Dufflebagz

    Dufflebagz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I guarantee that if we draft a DE who can set the edge our need for an OLB will be much less.

    IMO, DL is as big of a need as OLB (Specifally DE, not so much DT)
     
  3. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    You're not wrong, but I don't think you've invalidated my point(s).
     
  4. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    -- QB √
    -- TE, need to upgrade depth via competition on the PSquad with a slight emphasis on blocking due to Crumpler's age.
    -- RB √
    -- LT, even if Light isn't re-signed, it's not a worry at starter, depth could use competition.
    -- LG, when you factor in the draft it's not a worry even if Mankins is lost.
    -- C, Koppen backed up by Connolly and Wendell is a solid line-up (anti-Koppen wankers may attend a meeting in Borges' & Felger's Fine Whine Emporium any evening this season).
    -- RG, not so much a worry as an opportunity, I'm excited to see who emerges from the scrum.
    -- RT, this only becomes an issue if Light's slot remains open, and even then I think Vollmer is staying put.
    -- WR, too much doom and gloom. Tate had a good redshirt rookie season. Edelbinky needs to remain healthy through Training Camp, but what do you expect from a kid going 100 MPH all the time? I do hope he's taking advantage of his California proximity to Brady to get in some quality timing work.

    -- P, PK, LS -- camp bodies needed.

    -- D-line, competition is needed and this is the draft to put the screws on.
    -- OLB, not as bad as you project. Ninkovich has a very solid first season starting, I'm excited to see where he goes. Cunningham will take a leap forward, I have no doubt. I'm not sure if Moore will make a smooth transition to playing in space, but I'm inclined to hedge my bet his way. TBC is what he is, a 9 year veteran journeyman who can bring the heat on a good day. Murrell is back, I give him a sporting chance to stick. Nink, Cunnigham, and Moore give me confidence in an improved OLB corps, life will be good.
    -- ILB √
    -- CB, well Merry Christmas and now there are whispers about Bodden's health! I'm surprised Gillette's flag isn't at half mast for all the Patriots doomed by injuries last season: Kaczur, Warren, Bodden, Wright ... when will Wilhite get his mournful pronouncement of doom? Not a worry.
    -- S, despite the number of returning starters this seems to be an area of concern as I read the NE tea leaves. I believe Matt Patricia moving over to Safety is an attempt to kick-start some of these guys off their plateaus.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  5. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I didn't know those positions were square roots.
     
  6. Dufflebagz

    Dufflebagz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Wasn't trying to go against your opinions, I was just pointing out that drafting a top DE will lessen the need for an OLB.
     
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Firmly rooted indeed.
     
  8. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    DEs dont 'set the edge' they play head up on the OT in our system.
     
  9. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    and in our std 3-4 the OLB is supposed to take on the pulling guard, TE, FB or whatever forcing the play inside to the ILBs who tackle the RB

    in reality, results vary
     
  10. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Whether forced inside or not, the OLB is still the guy 'setting the edge'. That terms is way, way overused on this board.
    There are many dynamics of playing contain, ome of which is to force the play back inside, but simply forcing the runner to run E-W just by controlling the los allow the pursuit as well as the corner and safety coming up to make the play. Its still a 2gap run D technique, the difference is that if you get pinned horribly inside there is a lot more room to run. In reality its not hard to find an OLB who can play contain, its finding one who can also play off that 2 gap technique to defend the off tackle run inside of him that really makes the difference.
    In any event it is the OLB not the DE who handles that. The DE is responsible for the gap on either side of the T, the 'the edge'.
     
  11. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I'm not sure whether anyone's brought this up, but depending on how long the lockout continues that could potentially impact the ability a rookie or free agent has to become integrated in the scheme and system.

    Presumably that would give guys currently signed an edge as starters, assuming we have a significantly shortened off-season. Either that or Belichick may "dumb down" what can sometimes be complicated schemes for newbies as they learn the ropes.

    Just one of many ways that an atypical offseason can affect the season. Of course, with a few exceptions, the Patriots are better positioned than many teams as they already have their core players.
     
  12. Dufflebagz

    Dufflebagz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    You're right, poor attempt at trying to use some terminoligy that I see on here. By your explenation setting the edge seems to be the same as a contain player (I can't believe I couldn't figure that out myself), which would be the OLB in the 3-4.

    Let me try again using terminoligy I know.

    If we draft a DE who can handle his gap responsibilities (mainly OT), it would lessen the need for an OLB.
     
  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I get your point. And of course if you put better players next to anyone it lessens the need to upgrade. But the OLB in our system is a unique and very critical position.
    They need to play 2 gap run defense, although I think we have never really struggled to find a bunch of guys who could do an OK job at that.
    There is a bit of a coverage responsibility, but it is very limited.
    However, the OLBs in the 34 base are also, almost always, DE in the sub package and our primary pass rushers.
    This is where the uniqueness of the spot becomes critical, because they really need to do all of those things, or we need to have a lot of depth.
    I see Cunningham as a fixture who will be there a long time. Last year, surprisingly he played a lot more in the base than in the sub packages, which is really interesting because he was a college 43 DE. IMO, that bodes well for his transition, and I expect a good season from him, with many to follow. He is, IMO, the real deal.
    As of now on the other side we have Ninkovich and TBC. Adding a high pick, particularly one who can get the majority of his reps in sub packages would give us a solid 4 man rotation, IMO.

    As far as DE, I expect Warren to be back, and he has been solid his entire career. I am encouraged by Brace, although cant understand why he was used so sparingly last year when I thought he looked very good, and Stroud is a good addition who fits the scheme, IMO. With Deaderick, Wright, Pryor and GWarren if he returns we aren't in deep trouble here, but it would be a nice spot to add to.
    A high pick run stopper could work his way in, much as Warren did as a rookie, and can develop if Warren, Brace and Stroud are all 100% next year, and carve a bigger role if they are not.
    Of course, the ideal would be a guy who can be a run stopper as well as having the ability to play off of 2 gap technique and get a pass rush in the base (a very tough skill to find) as well as rush from the DT spot on 3rd down.
    I would welcome a high pick here, but I also could be OK with what we have for 2011 if the draft falls to being able to get better players in other need areas as well.
     
  14. Dufflebagz

    Dufflebagz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I'm in no way against taking an OLB in the 1st round, even trading up for one is enticing. I believe that OLB is the most important position in the 3-4 (I know many arguments can be made though), it's rare to find a player who can not only handle, but excel at the multiple responsibilities an OLB has.

    I'm not 100% sure Ty Warren will be back next season and if he is, can we depend on him? I like Brace also, when he was on the field he was very effective and I can't wait to see more of him. Wright and G. Warren are two big question marks for me. Wright seemed like he'd be out for a couple weeks and we never saw him again, who knows whats really going on with him. G. Warren is obviously on the bubble, especially if we draft multiple DE's in the draft. I agree that we have good depth at DE though.
     
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