Welcome to PatsFans.com

LB . . . the way I see it

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by BelichickFan, Apr 23, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,312
    Likes Received:
    118
    Ratings:
    +245 / 7 / -9

    #24 Jersey

    I know we'll move them around, etc. But we'll still have a base set that will be played more than others.

    One thing we all agree on is that Colvin goes back to WOLB (the right side) where he was before Seau got hurt.

    The next most likely agreement is that Bruschi stays as the SILB, the run plugger. He's just not fast enough to be the big play Tedy anymore.

    That leaves Thomas and Vrabel. I think a lot of people think Vrabel will move inside. I don't. McGinest played that SOLB until he was a lot older than Vrabel and I think Vrabel is staying out there. The most important part of the position is being strong and setting the edge on the strong side. Like Willie did he can still rush and cover as needed and it's his best position.

    Which leaves the WILB spot for Thomas. Bruschi's old spot. The one Seau played last year. I think he's perfect for it even though it's "inside". He can still blitz. He has the size to play well against the run although he's not the pure run guy. And that spot often covers the TE downfield - remember the opening game when Seau got a game ball for covering the TE downfield allowing Warren to make the sack on the game winning safety.

    Bottom line, I think the LB are EXACTLY the same as how they were last year until Seau got hurt. I don't think Thomas is out of position there, I think he's a great fit with his size against the run and coverage ability. I know he's not thought of as a guy who takes on tackles but we all know Seau wasn't either.
  2. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    5,072
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    I don't think there is any way that Thomas will be an ILB, at least not primarily. He will be used like McGuinest.
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,312
    Likes Received:
    118
    Ratings:
    +245 / 7 / -9

    #24 Jersey

    Which moves Vrabel inside which I don't like. I see no reason Thomas can't be a better version of what Seau brought us.
  4. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,658
    Likes Received:
    15
    Ratings:
    +15 / 0 / -0

    I would like to see Adalius play the same position he played for Baltimore, SOLB. That will set him up for success. I would like Vrabel to play WOLB, the same position he played prior to McGinest's departure. I would like Colvin to come off the bench as a rotational player, as he was before McGinest left. Then I would have David Harris (I hope) and Bruschi start inside.
  5. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,312
    Likes Received:
    118
    Ratings:
    +245 / 7 / -9

    #24 Jersey

    That's the other posibility if we can get more players at ILB. We made it work with three "starters" at OLB before and could do it again.

    But right now that leaves us with an aging, slowing, Bruschi and pretty much nothing else to fill two ILB spots. The draft could change that.
  6. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    5,072
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    Thomas is a OLB/DE tweener which Seau was not. In order to properly use his unique blend of size and speed we need to get him into space and allow him to rush the passer from the edge. Then he would also have the ability to drop into coverage against RBs and TEs as well. We could probably get away with moving him inside just to mess with defenses, but if we did it for a long period of time to me it just would be an awkward fit. ILB in the 3-4 usually have less speed but have to fight off blocks and maneuver through junk to get to the tackle. I don't think that would play to Thomas' strengths.
  7. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    5,072
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    That's what I envision. And don't completely discount Eric Alexander as a situational player. He did get burned a few times against the Colts but being thrown into a starting role against one of the best offenses in the league in the biggest game of the year after minimal playing time is a difficult situation for anyone. Alexander was still in on a lot of plays though, and had a bunch of tackles. And obviously Belichick thought highly enough of him to have him start for the first time in the playoffs, and I don't think one will game will completely change that. I'm not saying he is going to come in and be an everydown player, just that he could play a factor in the ILB rotation this season, which will help to keep Bruschi form having to carry the load.
  8. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,658
    Likes Received:
    15
    Ratings:
    +15 / 0 / -0

    It's wrong to make judgments about any player based on a single game. The same thing goes for college prospects. That said, Alexander had borderline athleticism to play LBer in the NFL when he weighed 225 coming out of the college. It would be a huge upset if he could pull it off at 240. I think it's a real long shot and wouldn't put my eggs in that basket. It's a measure of the Pats desperate state that they were forced to play Eric in such a huge spot last season.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007
  9. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,909
    Likes Received:
    168
    Ratings:
    +354 / 6 / -8

    #75 Jersey

    Thomas will be moved around. We were very strong with a rotation of Colvin, Mcginest and Vrabel outside. We need to develop some ILBs.
  10. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,909
    Likes Received:
    168
    Ratings:
    +354 / 6 / -8

    #75 Jersey

    I agree. We had no competition at LB last year and it cost us a trip to the Super Bowl.
  11. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    40,824
    Likes Received:
    89
    Ratings:
    +150 / 3 / -19

    I am not convinced of this yet, felt all along that his presence had as much to do with BB's lack of confidence in TBC.. at that time of year it had to do with healthy bodies as well. He did have a bunch of tackles, but he has some more to prove before he gets an endorsement. I hope I am wrong, but just don't see it yet.
  12. Triumph

    Triumph Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    6,116
    Likes Received:
    57
    Ratings:
    +89 / 22 / -12

    #32 Jersey

    Interesting take BF.

    The way I understand it is that, Thomas has unique coverage skills for a man of his size and position. Wouldnt there be more opportunties at OLB to utilize those skills?
  13. satz

    satz Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    I do feel bad for the rookie who is going to come in .say he plays 1 game and has 10 tackles,1 forced fumble and 1 sack like eric alexander on his first start against the best offence people are going to want to call him a bust.
  14. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    19,949
    Likes Received:
    29
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0

    For the record, BB said recently in one of his rare interviews that they are keeping in touch with Junior. I believe if/when he decides to play again this season it will be here.
  15. DW Toys

    DW Toys Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    5
    Ratings:
    +11 / 1 / -2

    Cousins,
    If we fill no other positions in the draft because of the hailed BPA theory, ILB outweighs that for a least one draft slot. I think if you look back to last years draft, although I have had disagreements on this, the Pats seemed to be in a pick-for-need mode. Check the positions they needed prior and what the picked. It's 80% need in 2006.

    I have a question and I respect all of your thoughts. From reading and study on the LB part of the draft, It appears that the Pats would prefer Woodley over Harris all things being equal, but the OLB/DE he is being pegged at is a little less of a position need now with AT. Woodley being a very quick, feisty animal and 268-270lbs but smart, is it possible to put Woodley on the inside? They say he seems like he can cover fairly well in the drills and the idea of him is being drafted as a OLB (McGinnest) type elephant backer would be a natural fit.

    Another idea here goes. I think Woodley can move well, he's still a stuffer and he can make the change to MLB. Wouldn't that be scary for our foes if we draft this kid. Correct me if I am wrong, but it used to be the lighter guys with speed like Colvin played outside the tackles at OLB.

    Next question I have for your viewpoint please. Beason has been said to be a better pick at ILB for a 34 than Willis who is a more traditional 43 guy. Why is that? It seems that Beason has Ian Gold type size and speed and is more suited for OLB. How much smaller in real life is Beason over Teddy? Not the tend-to-lie, media guides.

    Maybe Beason and Woodley (or Harris) should be taken to fill the rotation at MLB with Teddy right now? This way AT, Colvin and Vrabel have a set rotation at OLB. I think Beason and either Harris or Woodley are all there at 24 and 28. Then we are set for many years at MLB even if Teddy retires.

    If we can get a safety who can start asap in Round three at #91 if we are lucky, like Piscatelli (most thread champions hate him. Look at the tapes! If this kid played for OSU or USC we'd be talking about where in the first round he lands. The quote is first round talent but still doesn't do enough to satisfy the NFL Scouts appetite) Wendling (good talent, small school), Rouse (gone?) or Gattis (a thread favorite), we have made some good gains on D.

    Still need a CB regardless of Assante, and a RB. If the above guys are gone, maybe Hughes or Young (too high?) at CB or Bush or Henry at RB are still on the Board and we can go to round four for a safety like Stone from Maine (a steal and a Rodney clone) or Payne, both good size productive safeties who can ST as well.

    My sleeper SS is Will Herring from Auburn. 6" 3" 229 with about 4.57 speed, very smart and knows all assignments and led the Tigers in tackles on 05 at SS and 06 at new position OLB the last two seasons! That is hard to do cousins. He took one for the team in 2006 and moved to a vacant hole from SS to OLB. He needed to learn that job. So....Second team All SEC Conferenece. He is being buried by all the media and I can't see why (Major issues?Lack of strength?...... at 18 225's? -That can be taken care of even better with a somber weight program. Weaker in coverage? Actually good. 2 int. 2 PBU and 9.5 TFL at OLB first year in 2006). He can be had in the fifth or sixth round. Is NFL idea to switch him to OLB as well.

    Another crazy idea. I would love to experiment with this kid. Urlacher was a SS at U.of New Mexico and he came into the NFL as a MLB after he gained 15- 20 LBS. Herring has that intensity and 4.57 speed. He even has more LB experience than Urlacher had. Obviously a superb tackler. You gentlemen will torch me for this, but have Herring gain 20 LBS and try him at MLB. He's bigger than many ILBs right now. At a fifth or sixth choice, he offers options.

    Pro Day:
    40-yard dashes in 4.57 and 4.58 seconds, respectively. Even more impressive, however, was Herring's short shuttle (3.99) and three-cone drill times (6.56). Finally, he finished things off with a 35-inch vertical, 10-foot-5 inch broad jump, and 18 bench press repetitions with 225 pounds on the bar. Not athletic? Check the stud safeties. The tapes don't lie either. This kid plays well and is a,ways around the ball. Can play OLB and SS (Roman Pfifer played well with versatility for the Pats). This kid is bigger and faster than Roman.

    Quote:The question is, where does that leave Herring? As a big NFL draft question mark. Which is a shame because Herring is a football player, plain and simple. He tackles well, he works hard, and he's reliable. What's more, he's an excellent cover guy for a linebacker.

    Just picking through the possibilies and some people less thought of.
    DW Toys
  16. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    24,059
    Likes Received:
    132
    Ratings:
    +207 / 16 / -38

    #50 Jersey

    Actually, Seau played the SILB position with Tedy at the WILB position.
  17. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    24,059
    Likes Received:
    132
    Ratings:
    +207 / 16 / -38

    #50 Jersey

    I disagree totally. What cost the Pats a trip to the SuperBowl was lack of depth at LB AND injuries.

    Look at who was injuries prior to or during the AFCCG.
    Harrison, Seau, Wilson, Gay, Dillon, Faulk, Maroney, C. Scott.

    You give the Pats a healthy running game and they are in the SB. Not being able to get critical 1st downs in the 2nd half hurt the Pats just as much as the lack of depth at LB.

    I'm sorry, but no one has convinced me that Alexander is competant enough to be more than a special teamer. Woods could very well be. I like him a lot and believe he has what it takes to be a solid back-up and possibly a starter. Mays, I think was last year's version of Dexter Reid.

    I would love to see the Pats bring back Seau or bring in Hartwell as well as as 2 youngsters with loads of talent (Bradley/DeOssie/Harris/Beason/etc/etc) who can start working into the line-up.
  18. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    24,059
    Likes Received:
    132
    Ratings:
    +207 / 16 / -38

    #50 Jersey

    No one is calling him a bust. To be a bust, he'd offer nothing to the team. Alexander is a good to very good special teamer. However, He's not a great coverage LB. As for the number of tackles. They don't matter if they are all for positive yardage expect for 1.

    As for the sack and the forced fumble, even a blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion. TBC is a perfect example. He is adequate in specific situations, but he's not an every down LB.
  19. JackBauer

    JackBauer On the Roster

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    15,604
    Likes Received:
    148
    Ratings:
    +269 / 6 / -4

    Colvin off the bench?

    Given he's probably our second best LB at this point... I don't see him coming off the bench.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007
  20. Remix 6

    Remix 6 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    7,780
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    Bruschi at SILB? Thats where he struggled last year. Everything was okay till Seau went down and Bruschi took strong side..he struggled there because teams ran right at him

    regardless who plays where..Bruschi cannot play SILB. His only position on this team is WILB . Colvin is locked at OLB..Thomas-Vrabel will switch in and out depending on what were trying to do. A rookie like Harris would be like Ted Johnson so if coaches are comfortable bringing a rookie in for some playing time..Bruschi is likely the weak link because his speed-coverage right now is the worst of the group. SILB needs to stop the run..which is what Harris could do or a guy like Bradley..Hartwell..whoever u want there
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>