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James Sanders is the difference in the improvement on D

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATRIOTSFANINPA, Dec 28, 2009.

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  1. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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    I sit and wonder if Sanders had more of a predominant role in starting and getting the secondary to play better before the team looked vulnerable,would we have beaten Indy or N.O. or one of the other 5 games we lost.

    Was using McGowan too long at starter a mistake as signs of his progression became more noticable as the weeks went on?

    I think the combo of Sanders and Springs as veterans and leaders of the secondary have made a difference and should make us more competitive when we face the big boys again.

    We could only wonder if Sanders who has clearly taken ahold of leadership of the D would have been a difference in getting the bye - The biggest problem of this defense has been that no one had stepped up to show leadership and control and little did we know that Sanders who was on the sidelines much of the early going was to be that guy.

    I think BB has done a fine job of getting the right players to start at the right time and it is starting to show...IMO its Springs and Bodden and Meriweather and Sanders to take command of the starting position for us to have the best chance to shut down playoff teams passing games.

    I do wonder if the switch to McGowan in week 2 was the result of the secondary getting burned by the Bills passing game in the season opener.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  2. justinb

    justinb Practice Squad Player

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    I think our DB's are mostly solid....but most DB's arent that good for more than 4 or 5 seconds....its like riding a bull...eventually you get kicked off
     
  3. Willie55

    Willie55 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I don't think any defensive back is good when having to cover for 5 seconds, that's an eternity. But that is what the Pats db's have faced year because lack of pass rush.
     
  4. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We had the same problem in 2005 when Rodney was lost. Eugene Wilson looked like a pro bowl safety in the making when playing alongside Rodney meant he didn't have to think, for himself let alone a unit. Some guys have elite of talent or instinct and if put in position to just play they thrive. Rodney was that rare bird who could think for the group and execute for himself simultaneously. Sanders is an excellent group thinker although he lacks the elite talent to execute consistently as an impact player himself. If others develop the ability to think and execute simultaneously he becomes less significant. But for now the young or inexperienced in this defense secondary needs a central brain and he's it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  5. condon84

    condon84 In the Starting Line-Up

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    As much as I bagged on this guy, his recent insertion in the starting lineup has had a positive effect on our team. I hope he keeps it going and keeps proving his doubters (including me) wrong.
     
  6. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron In the Starting Line-Up

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    Sun was as good as I've seen Sanders play.
     
  7. DW Toys

    DW Toys In the Starting Line-Up

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    Cousins,
    I have my opinion on JS. I feel McGown who is still second in team tackles was a better athlete and defender (and obviously a better tackler) but not as versed in the play calling being here only one pre-season. Here is the BB dilema-Do you pull Merriweather who had troubles to call the DB coverage plays and had his troubles on his angles or abilities to line up correctly himself at the beginning of the season and beyond, which were the result of some big plays by the other team, or McGowan who is decent on coverage and plays in the box well but is not your coverage caller and has never been? You can't limit Merriweather snaps.

    I will give JS credit he calls a better DB game but his physical ability is very limited and is slow. Chung is the heir and future, but alas a rookie. I just don't believe that Merriweather has the mental capacity to call plays but is the most gifted between McGowan and Sanders and that is fine.

    Somebody needs to make the calls. As long as he doesn't have to cover anybody JS is fine for now. I don't want him starting for the Colts or Chargers games. McGowan stuffed Clark pretty well in the Indy game. Do you want Sanders to cover Clark or Gates? ...............No thank you signal caller or not.
    DW Toys
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  8. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Sanders has 18 tackles in the last 4 games leads the team .

    He is solid and lets merriweather roam and use his instinct to make plays.Yesterday they moved Sanders in the middle on short yardage and he played ILB.-4 down stop in first quater.

    we played 3 safety anyway and sanders gives you the flexiblity to play ILB which merriweather,mcgown and chung don`t.Rodney has always said James sanders is the man. Merriweather said 2 weeks ago that sanders is the smartest player he has played with recently.

    He is not fast but is a thumper and is very effective when you have him near the LOS to lay the wood on Slot WR, TE and RB.With him we can play have him as a backup as sometimes we see mayo and guyton struggling calling plays.

    amazing that so many high draft pick struggle in the mental aspect when a mid day pick like him excels at it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  9. TheComeback

    TheComeback 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I think teams caught up with McGowan's inability to cover wide receivers. He's still a good player and gives us excellent depth at the position, especially as a prototypical strong safety, and should keep improving as he becomes more familiar with the system. Brandon's a big-hitter and has a knack for covering tight ends, which should really help us in the playoffs--we could end up facing Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark down the stretch. That used to be a big weakness for us, and now it's a strength.

    Sanders has improved a lot over the years. For a fourth round draft pick, he brings superb value to the team. He knows the Patriots system better than any other defensive back the Pats have, and the importance of that shouldn't be underestimated. It seems like guys are finally staying in position and making most of their tackles before the ballcarrier can get to the first-down line. They are playing smarter, more disciplined football in the secondary. That's much more important than coming up with big hits. What Sanders lacks in athletic ability, he's made up for with intelligence.

    The other benefit I've seen from his presence is that Brandon Meriweather has been used in the box more often than before, which I think takes advantage of his explosiveness. I'd like see BM used on blitzes and short yardage situations more often, as he is similar to Rodney in that role.
     
  10. condon84

    condon84 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Sanders is limited physically and may not be suited to cover the likes of Gates or Clark, but we can't deny the fact that since he has been inserted in the starting lineup, our chemistry has been better. Whether this continues or not, remains to be seen. But we have to ride the "hot" player at the moment, much like we rode McGowan when he was the "hot" player earlier this season.

    Thing with Sanders before that I couldn't stand was his tentative playing style. He played it too safe and was always hovering around after the play was over.

    Now do we want a player like that? Or do we want a player that sometimes can be too agressive and give up the huge play?

    What were seeing right now and what I'm liking is a more aggressive Sanders. He still lacks the athleticism of McGowan, Chung, and Merriweather, but seems to me that he's using his smarts to overcome his deficiencies and playing aggressive style football within the confines of this defense.

    I'm surprised and I hope he continues.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  11. unoriginal

    unoriginal In the Starting Line-Up

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    Back when Sanders was a rookie Rodney Harrison said many complimentary things about him in the media. I think one of them was that he was a natural leader and a smart player. So it makes sense he's now filling the Rodney Harrison leadership role back there.
     
  12. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I think the problem earlier in the year with the Pats secondary was communication, or lack thereof.

    Sanders, while not the most physically gifted defender, is however excellent at communication and getting the secondary on the same page thus eliminating the breakdowns.

    Having Sanders out there to help aligned a Springs or Butler while still communicating with the rest of the secondary has been the biggest reason in my opinion for the secondary's improved performance.

    However in order for our secondary to become elite,, we must have a pass rusher or two. Only consistant pressure on opposing QB's will allow us to increase our take aways and maybe even get us back to having occasional defensive scores.
     
  13. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I absolutely agree with this. Well said. I do think he'll continue to look at times as good as he did in the first 1/2 of the season. Many of us had him as our #1 MVP on defense in a thread started after the first half. I agree that his weakness was exposed more, due to having to cover WR's in the Indy and New Orleans games.

    As far as the OP's question about putting McGowan in due to getting torched in game 1 vs BUF, if I had to guess I'd think it was more about McGowan's signs of strength, then the secondary's inability to cover, etc.

    Remember, 7 of those 24 pts from BUF came when our offense was on the field, so I don't know if giving up 17 pts in the first game demanded severe changes.

    McGowan already had 17 snaps in game 1, which I remember thinking was very hopeful at the time. He was also 'practice player of the week,' so I think his insertion to the defense was due to his hard work and strong work ethic, etc--more than a punsihment of sorts to the secondary.
     
  14. Schmo

    Schmo Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Bruschi wasn't the most physically gifted LB, but would we have won more SB's with Ray Lewis? Sanders is a huge asset to this team for what I think will be long term. I also don't see a reason why one of Merriweather, McGowan, Sanders or Chung will be pushed out of the lineup. With all the new Nickel and Dime formations, there will be a role for all 4 of them. BB knows how to play to the strengths of his own team, and our Safeties are one of them.
     
  15. MVPatsfan13

    MVPatsfan13 Practice Squad Player

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    I feel like once most impactful moments of the game yesterday was when Sanders popped the Jags TE on BM's pick and knocked him out for the rest of the game(just found out that he has a concussion, hope he recovers fine). Its not like Lewis is a great TE, but he is their 3rd leading receiver in yards. Oh yeah, hes 6'6, 275, so not having him in blocking probably hurt & not having that dump-off option when your Oline isnt holding up well probably sucks too
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  16. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    He has been playing well, plus it's great to see everyone getting involved in a game. Rotating players is hardly a bad thing if done right.
     
  17. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    No Jersey Selected

    IMHO, the main reason why we are not looking forward to a bye week with a 12-3 or even a 14-1 record is because of the offense's inability to score TDs instead of FGs (see: @NYJ, @DEN) or to even gain mere yards that would've sealed the deals (see: @IND, @MIA).

    The defense is merely what most of us thought it would be at the start of the season, so it should come as no surprise that there are pass-rushing "issues" up front and tackling "issues" in the back.

    Would a small, short, slow, tackling- & aggressiveness-deficient, but with system experience Jimmy Sanders have made a difference in any, or all, of our 5 defeats? I kinda doubt it.
     
  18. PowerAlley.com

    PowerAlley.com Practice Squad Player

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    Even though he is not a rookie. It was like Mcgowan hit a rookie wall. He was making so many plays when first inserted. Then he just kind of went away. I was wondering during the Saints game where all his great hits went.
     
  19. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Great Points.

    Im a big advocate of McGowan and I love Brandon and Sanders too.

    It's nice to have some depth with our db's this year-not just safeties but -Bodden, Springs, Wilhite, Wheatley, Butler etc.

    McGowan is the better tackler out of Sanders and Merriweather but in a way it apples to oranges. McGowan can play in the box more BUT as stated Merriweather and esp. Sanders are good at reading/calling the plays. They all have great speed but I have to give the physical edge on coverage/angles/body pos/tackling to McGowan. A rotation of the guys would be excellent.

    It is great to have Sanders back though. He's a smart football player but I totally agree (at this point )with the points from DW Toys

    Opposing teams will see a recharged team in the off-season-we have more stuff they haven't seen on offense and defense up our sleeves.

    "We're not goin' out like that!"

    YouTube - Cypress hill - Aint goin out like that
    :cool:
     
  20. BradyMossWelker

    BradyMossWelker Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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