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It's about the ILB's

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by 37Harrison, May 5, 2011.

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  1. 37Harrison

    37Harrison Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    So after reading thread upon thread, post upon post about the lack of the pass rush from the Pats D and how they can't win a SB without this I got to thinking... Is that really the thing on their D that is keeping the Pats from another title?

    I say no... hear me out.

    I think it's safe to say that everyone sees the SB winning years as the Pats having a significantly better D than they do now (save 2001 maybe). Well let's look at that:
    2001 - Rushing D #19, Pass D #24, Total D #24
    2003 - Rushing D #4, Pass D #15, Total D #7
    2004 - Rushing D #6, Pass D #17, Total D #9
    2010 - Rushing D #11, Pass D #30, Total D #25

    So you see, 2010 was on par with 2001 but the "dominant" Pats D's had a top 6 ranking against the run. The Steeler's who also have been consistently good also consistenly have a top ranked run D, as well as GB this past year, the Jets recently and even the Colts morphed into a run stopping monster in the playoffs the year they won.

    So what happened after 2004? Well the Pats lost their best run stuffer when TJ retired, then Tedy suffered a stroke and was never the same. They never found players that could do what those two did... Beisel, Chad Brown, Pierre Woods, Matt Chatham, Corey Mays, etc., these were they guys brought/thrust in to play the middle. :eek:

    The main stays at OLB (McGinest, Vrable) remained the same and continued to play after '04.

    My point is, the Pats now have two very good ILB's to anchor that D with Mayo and Spikes. The Pats pressure is generated by stuffing the run and making the other teams throw. Also, BB probably feels more comfortable letting the OLB's go after the QB when he has confidence that the inside LB's will be able to shut the run down.

    So I say, it isn't about the pass rush but more about the ILB's stuffing the run and making the opposition one dimensional allowing for more turnover's, sacks, and three and outs.

    Not to mention these past D's were experienced and knew exactly where they needed to be and capitalized on every opportunity/mistake made by the other team. I feel this years team gained valuable experience and will make a significant leap forward this year and this pass rushing freakout will be long forgotten.
  2. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Everone overlooks the fact that the Jets rushed for 4.1 ypc in the playoff loss with Brandon Spikes not playing, in addition to the injured Defensive linemen. When a team "establishes the run" like that they can pass at will. They did.

    Many people overlook the middle and delayed blitzes that Bruschi and company used to do. The ILBs used to account for 3-5 sacks a season, collapsed the pocket so the QB could not step up, and made it more probable the outside rushers would get to the QB.
  3. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Two great points. Inexperience had a big role in limiting what the defense could do last season. Of the back-8 starters last season, 6 were starting for the first time and three were rookies. Hard to get too creative when some guys barely have the basics down. With every projected starter for this coming season being in his second year or later, they'll be able to get creative. That means Mayo should improve on his 2 sacks, Spikes should get a few, and Chung should exceed 2009's 2 (with none last season). And well, we all know about Arrington's pass rushing experience :lol2:
  4. 37Harrison

    37Harrison Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    Exactly, how many times did Bru make a pick and return it for a touchdown or be able to apply some pressure through the middle and cause a turnover?

    How many times did the Pats lose this past year and how did the other team beat them? They ran the ball down their throat, just like Balt did in the 1st round of the playoffs in '09. I don't care if Jay Feely looks like the second coming of Montana as long as the Pats win the game which in those situations almost always do.

    The first loss against the Jets, they allowed Tomlinson and Greene to rush for an avg. of 4.9 yds/car
    The second loss against Cleve, well Hillis made them his b*tch.
  5. Observer

    Observer Rookie

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    Hope you guys are right and we win the superbowl!
  6. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think that yards allowed is a horrible way to rate a defense.
    I also think our overall ILB play last year was possibly the best in the BB era.
  7. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    Gary Guyton aside.

    Was really impressed by Mayo's ascendance, Spikes on-field accomplishments, and the very surprising Dane Fletcher.
  8. andrewgarrr

    andrewgarrr Banned

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    ILB play was terrible in the loss against the Jets. :(

    Izzo, Bruschi, Johnson, and Phifer were pretty good in '03 and '04. Mayo and Spikes certainly have the potential to be better than any of the aforementioned players.
  9. randomk1

    randomk1 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    The 2001 and 2010 D are statistically pretty identical in terms of rankings. 6th/8th in points allowed, 24th/25th in total yards but the 01 defense stepped it up big time in the playoffs and a few years later became one of the best if not the best defense in the NFL. That speaks more about the overall talent playing on that D and not how well just Bruschi and TJ played.
  10. patsfaninpittsburgh

    patsfaninpittsburgh Banned

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    3 of the 4 TD drives were started in New England territory. The 4th was the result of a rookie making a mistake.

    A very young and depleted defense needed a certain amount of protection. Needless to say, that didn't happen and a veteran team took advantage.

    Can't give short fields is a timeless adage and was still ineffect in 2010.

    Also, experience actually does matter.
  11. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    Indeed. For the second year in a row, only a handful of players played up to their regular-season level of play. Not typical of a BB coached team.

    W/regard to stopping the run and ILB play in general, I'll say this:

    1) Stopping the run is a team effort, not just the ILBs. The Pats weren't terrible at stopping the run, but they could do better all-around.

    2) I've said it before and I'll say it again - as long as the team has too many "run specialists" and "pass specialists", they will continue to struggle. Think about their best defense vs. the run - Warren, Wilfork, Brace/Deaderick/ T. Warren, Spikes, Mayo, Cunningham, Ninkovich. Of these 7 guys, 5 or 6 leave the field when it's a passing down. And the pass D specialists - Wright, Pryor, TBC, Guyton, Fletcher - are all poor against the run.
  12. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    Lack of experience is one of the reasons I thought we had trouble closing out big leads early in the season too (well, we eventually won but the final score ended up much closer than was comfortable). If I remember correctly, we had two touchdown leads against Cincinnati, Buffalo, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and Indy, and ended up winning those games by much slimmer margins. Later in the season, this stopped happening, because the young players began to learn how to play conservative without just flat out giving up yards. That must be a tough balance to strike for players used to just playing at high energy all the time.
  13. 37Harrison

    37Harrison Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    I think everyone understands that stopping the run is an all out team effort however, I also believe the the ILB's play a major role in this effort.

    After TJ retired and Bru suffered a stroke, Seymour was still around, McGinest was still around, Vrabes was still around, Wilfork was on the team, T Warren was there so the missing ingredient was the ILB play.

    The front 3 in BB's D is meant to take on the blockers and free up the LB's to do their thing. Not having a stout middle takes away the D's ability to become creative and get more pressure on the QB. I'm not saying that Ninko, TBC, and Cunningham are the answers but I am saying they will look infinitly better stellar ILB play which will also make the pass D better.

    It's a trickle down effect, without the heart of the D having playmakers and being stout against the run the D as a whole is going to suffer. I believe we have those pieces in place now and again will see a dramatic improvement from this past year. It;s about the ILB's.
  14. 37Harrison

    37Harrison Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    I agree that yards allowed is a poor stat to rate a D which is why you need to look at the losses and the key reason why the D wasn't able to hold and that was due to a poor run D that day. I mean afterall they did go 14-2 which remphasizes my point about the run D. It was stout allowing them to win the "shoot out" passing games but failed when it mattered the most.

    The ILB play last year was good but it wasn't as good as the SB winning years due to lack of experience, playmaking ability, and aiding the pass rush. If you can't stop the run you can't control the clock, get teams off the field on 3rd down, or allow BB to send blitzers in without fear of getting burned through the middle for a 1st.
  15. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I would agree with that it was evolving that way, until Brandon Spikes got his pharmaceutical suspension for their last games and the playoffs.

    He added another good CB, to handle multiple WR sets, and then addressed mostly offensive concerns thereafter. I think Belichcik felt that with Cunningham learning at one OLB position, and a platooning at the other with another newcomer Ninkovitch/TBC, complementing each other, he wanted them to get some experience before adding some more rookie talent there.

    He might bring in some veteran talent though. I think that is getting easier to do than before, with more teams now using and training OLBs in 3-4 concepts.

    I surmise that is one of the reasons that Belichick decided to turn his attention to really re-building the Offense.
  16. fair catch fryar

    fair catch fryar Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    I like your points and agree that the Pats have a future at ILB, obviously with Mayo. Although, I was impressed with Spikes last year and believe he will be a bonafide run-stopper, I'm still a little skeptical. I hope he doesn't have a "sophomore slump" and he clears up any possible off-field distractions as well.
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  17. E Belichick Unum

    E Belichick Unum Rookie

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    Team Stat Comparison NYJ NE
    1st Downs 14 26
    Passing 1st downs 8 19
    Rushing 1st downs 5 6
    1st downs from Penalties 1 1
    3rd down efficiency 6-13 5-14
    4th down efficiency 0-0 0-2
    Total Plays 54 78
    Total Yards 314 372
    Passing 194 259
    Comp-Att 16-25 29-45
    Yards per pass 7.8 5.8
    Rushing 120 113
    Rushing Attempts 29 28
    Yards per rush 4.1 4.0
    Red Zone (Made-Att) 4-5 2-4
    Penalties 3-35 6-44
    Turnovers 0 1
    Fumbles lost 0 0
    Interceptions thrown 0 1
    Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
    Possession 25:04 34:56
  18. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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    Guyton is excellent in coverage. I've seen many people complain about him, but I remember him breaking up numerous passes and making some big picks last year.
  19. dhamz

    dhamz Rookie

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    Spikes was not suspended for the playoffs. He played against the Jets.
  20. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Spikes was active, but didn't play a whole lot. I'm assuming he was out of ideal football shape after 4 weeks away from the team.
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