Linebacker Play Was Great for now and into 2006

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. mgteich

    mgteich Veteran Supporter

    Beisel and Chad Brown did fine. Vrabel, Colvin and McGinist were awesome. And it will get better (through the Super Bowl and in 2006) with Bruschi back. We are set at linebacker into 2006 with TBC, Izzo and Claridge/Chatham in the mix.
  2. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    McGinist, Bruschi, Vrabel, Colvin looks to me like one of the most formidle LB lineups since the 1990 Giants. But I'd still love to see a top draft pick spent on a future elephant type. Who the heck is behind Willie?
  3. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

    If the LB depth in this draft is what all the scouts claim it is, I would like to see us add a young guy, maybe even 2 to groom for 2007 and beyond.

    That said, our LB group is playing better now than it ever has.
  4. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    LB group is very good right now, but McGinest, Bruschi aren't exactly spring chickens - a few more years of production, I hope.

    Vrabel and Colvin are in their prime and good for at least 4 more years.

    TBC, Chatham, Claridge - we have little to no idea if they can be impact players in the NFL.

    We NEED to draft LBs next year, even though they are playing terrific football right now.
  5. mgteich

    mgteich Veteran Supporter

    Every year, you guys want to use a top draft for a LB for two years down the line. We now have an excellent set of flexible linebackers for 2006 and probably 2007. Our linebackers must be able to play DE and be top special teamers, especially the backups.

    I suppose if you want to cut Chatham and Banta-Cain, drafting a linebacker makes some sense. Surely, Claridge will be given another year to develop.

    But in the end, bb hasn't used Day One picks for linebackers, and I don't expect him to do so now. After all, last year, he had just lost Phifer and Bruschi, and Ted Johnson was questionable as a starter (healthy or not). Surely would use a Day One pick for a linebacker. There were so many good ones. NOT!

    When was the last time this team drafted a linebacker on Day One; not a DE convert (McGinist and Bruschi), but an actual linebacker???

    bb and pioli will meet the need at linebacker, using their system, not ours. Some positions are better filled though top draft picks, some through lower ones, some through top free agents and trades, and some through low level UDFAs and free agent projects.

    BTW, we still have developing youngsters on the team: Banta-Cain, Chatham and Alexander.

    As we look at this playoff team, do we really think that bb and pioli should change their strategies with regard to how to fill the linebacker positions?
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    When Bruschi is in, this is one of the best LB groups ever. Getting Colvin to replace TJ/Phifer (with Vrabes moving inside) put the finishing touches on an incredible group. We do need to draft some youth but not necessarily in the first round. We don't know how they feel about TBC and Claridge but with the extra picks I would expect to see a couple of LB taken at some point. Willie is 34 and Bruschi is 32, they won't go on forever.

    After 4.5 sacks yesterday from Willie I bet Colvin has a big game next week with the offenses moving extra help to Willie's side.
  7. mgteich

    mgteich Veteran Supporter

    Behind Willie is the type of player that bb trusts much more than a draftee. If Willie were hurt, Chad Brown would step in and start. He is an experienced and skilled OLB and pass-rusher.

    Many here also believe that Banta-Cain would be fine with more reps if given a chance. Chatham started last year and played well at OLB. When Willie is ready to retire, bb will likely find a free agent or trade to replace him (if the answer is not any of the above or Alexander or Claridge).

  8. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    I'm not so sure this year's approach demonstrated a general strategy so much as a response to draft board reality. (Remember the strategy not to pick OL high?) If a Demarcus Ware had been around at 32, I have to think he'd be a Patriot right now.
  9. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

  10. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    Maybe Monty was promised a special treat at home if he didn't screw up.
  11. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    MG -
    Chatham and Davis are UFA next year. I haven't been impressed with Chatham or TBC this year as both haven't done great on special teams and have had more than a few penalties there as well.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pats draft another LB or 2 this year.
  12. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    MG - When people say stuff like this, I have to chuckle because it shows they haven't been following the Pats drafts the last couple of years.

    Up until the 2004 draft, the Pats under Belichick and Pioli had only drafted 1 underclassman. In 2004, they drafted 3, much to the chagrin of a lot of board posters. The Pats also draftted James Sanders this year.

    Up until 2005, the Pats had never drafted an interior lineman on day 1. What happened? The Pats drafted Logan Mankins in the 1st round because Mankins was the best value available.

    And that is what people need to remember. To the Pats, VALUE isn't just about team need. Its about team need, player talent and player intangibles. If there is a LB next year that has 1st round talent, that has the intangibles the Pats are looking for and the Pats have LB as a top priority (which they probably will with the age issues they have), then the Pats will likely draft a LB in the 1st round. It could be a guy like Tamba Hali who they want to make into a McGinest Clone. Or it could be a guy like Ahmad Brooks, who can come in and learn the ILB position from Bruschi and Vrabel.

    Chatham isn't a youngster. He will be 29 by the start of the next training camp.

    Banta-Cain hasn't shown much this year and hurt the team on special teams with his numerous stupid penalties.

    I wouldn't count on Alexander being back next year unless he really showed something on the Practice Squad.

    Face facts. Alexander, Chatham and Davis are free agents. That leaves us with an excellent, but aging group in Vrabel (31 to start next season), Bruschi (33 to start next season), McGinest (35 during next year), Colvin (29 to start next season, TBC (26 to start next season), and Larry Izzo (32 during next season), Chad Brown (36 to start next season), Monty Beisel (28 to start next season), and Red Shirted Ryan Claridge (25 next season).

    Many of us have stated that we don't believe that Chad Brown will be back, opening up another hole. Some have stated they didn't believe Beisel would be back. If that happenes, there is another hole. There are probably one or two more slots at LB. And I believe that, with the LB talent available in the draft and the Pats needing and to bring in youthful talent at that position, the Pats will draft someone in the 1st 3 rounds. Mainly because there is no guaranteeing that McGinest will continue to be his dominant self. Same with Bruschi. And we don't need another fiasco like how this year started.
  13. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Once again people are chirping about what Belichick "doesn't do." Belichick may or may not draft a Day One LB. MAybe the fact that he doesn't generally, and hasn't in awhile, means that he WILL or MUST now. Especially with such a terrific LB draft-class, I think it's more likelyt than not that he does. When you have guys like Vrabel, Bruschi, McGinest and Colvin, there's not as much call for it, but some of the LB's are aging, and it's about time. I fully expect BB to draft a LB in round one or two.

    By the way, he didn't draft OL on Day One, either, but then he up and went for an INTERIOR lineman at #32 overall. The Belichick rule: Never rule ANYTHING out.
  14. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    PatSox, Bill actually HAD drafted an OL on Day one. Matt Light in 2000 in the 2nd round.
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    Lets get the rule right folks: BB doesn't draft interior linemen on the first day, you know Guards and Centers? Don't know if that is a rule or a guideline, but that is how his drafts have worked out.

    Mankins was a Left Tackle - the "experts" projected him as a G at the pro level. He is our starting LG, but he has also played LT for us - now why would BB want a college LT trained by his old O-line coach? The value here is in his versatility. We didn't need a replacement for Matt Light, right? Now we go into the postseason with a LT depth chart of Kazcur (another versatile LT first day draftee), Ashworth, and Mankins - and we have a C depth chart of 5th rounder Hochstein, UDFA Mruczkowski, and UDFA Tucker (all who play G as a hobby).
  16. rookBoston

    rookBoston 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #12 Jersey

    Drafting LBs

    I dont think the Pats have any hard and fast rules for who they'd draft in each round. The thing that all BB's first rounders have in common is that they were all sure-thing starters: Seymour, Graham, Warren, Wilfork, Watson, Mankins... no prospects, no projects... these are all proven contributors with special talent.

    We know for a fact that BB was targeting Vilma if he had fallen a bit further (see: Holley's book). And name a LB that the Pats should have drafted in the last few years? I wanted them to take Justin Tuck, but I think it's clear now that he's not ready. I wanted them to take Mike Goolsby, who had zero tackles for the Rams. I wanted Karlos Dansby, and I wanted Teddy Lehman. (Acutally, I still dont understand drafting Ben Watson over Teddy Lehman... Ben is great, but Lehman would have been great. I suppose, we still had TJ and Phifer at the position that year, so it really wasn't a compelling need. Not like it will be in 2006.)

    Granted, to date, all BB's first rounders have been "in the trenches". No skill players (QB, RB, WR). But IMO, now that the DL and OL are basically "solved", BB/SP have the luxury to start drafting players at new positions.

    The thing with anticipating exactly who the Pats will draft is that such a large portion of their rating is based on Personality. Consider that Mankins and Kaczur are (by their own admission) incredibly similar guys: quiet, serious, hard working, smart... but not much for the limelight. Branch, Watson, Wilson, Seymour, Graham... these guys have a very similar personalities: softspoken, mature, contemplative, but very physical on the field and dedicated to the game.

    It's obvious that BB would never bring a player like Terrell Owens or Pacman Jones onto the team. But goes deeper than that. BB's only going to draft players that fit mentally. Mental fit is why Ryan Claridge's coach predicted that he'd be drafted by the Pats. He's a film room junkie. He loves the game. He'll run through a brick wall for the team.

    So, I think Demeco Ryans and Paul Posluzny are more likely to be drafted by the Pats than Ahmad Brooks, among the LBs. It's just a matter of heart and seriousness.

    And here's the thing: the last few years haven't had a Ryans or Posluzny available at the bottom of the first round.

    BTW, I really, really, really hope Posluzny declares, because the knee injury will ensure that he's still there for us at #32-- no way we'd have a shot at him, otherwise. It's fate. He is a quintessential LB for BB, and boy would he look good beside Bruschi.
  17. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    Arguably TE is a "skill" position, but your first paragraph immediately focused me on the point you made here - they're trench warriors. Their first year they may not have been starters, but they contributed immediately and their second year has them starting. Can you say as much for a LB in BB's system? Granted, drafting 32 a developmental LB isn't a stretch, but for the money, a trench warrior does seem to be a safer bet.
  18. rookBoston

    rookBoston 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #12 Jersey

    I think any LB that BB drafts in the first round would work with the starting unit in training camp, and be a regular starter by mid-season. That's what BB/SP expect from their first rounders, and it would be no different for first round LBs.

    That's why Vilma was a candidate: he was ready as a rookie. And that's why I think this year may be the year for us at LB-- there are a few players who might be ready to start for us in their first year, and who might last long enough to fall to us. Greenway, Carpenter, Ryans, Posluzny... if BB/SP thinks any one of them is "ready", we should have a shot at him.
  19. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    I'll look at candidates in February, for now I'm thinking strategy.
  20. rookBoston

    rookBoston 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #12 Jersey

    Alright, so here's the strategy: if there's a LB that we think can be a 5-year starter for the Pats, draft him!

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