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Meriweather v. O'Neal

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by 37Harrison, Nov 24, 2008.

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  1. 37Harrison

    37Harrison Rookie

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    After 12 weeks have passed this season and the way our defense has looked lately, I decided to see how good 'ol Asante was doing in Philly and what if any improvement he would be over O'Neal.

    I expected to see some significant differences but there was only one. Now I know I am comparing stats only and Asante would probably be an upgrade over O'Neal in our defense but this is how things have played out so...

    Samuel has played and started in all 11 games. O'Neal has played in all 11 but started 9.

    Samuel has 27 tackles total, 24 solo. O'Neal has 25 tackles total, 24 solo.

    Samuel has 3 interceptions for 14 yards, O'Neal has 3 interceptions for 49 yards.

    Here is the big difference... Samuel has 22 passes defensed, O'Neal has 8.

    Maybe this is where Asante is missed most? Maybe some of these 3rd and longs aren't completed, rather batted away? Everything else is comparable taking into consideration that both guys are in a new defense this year. I do know that the Philly D gets more pressure on the QB and I'm sure that plays into it as well but other than that... :confused:

    I have been mildly impressed with the play of the secondary. Who would've thought in the beginning of this year Meriweather would have more INT's (4) than Asante (3)? I don't think the main weakness of our D is the secondary rather the front 7. Without pressure guys will get open in the secondary and the QB's are able to just play pitch and catch with his WR's, and TE's without the threat of being smacked into the ground.
  2. cblesz

    cblesz Rookie

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal

    Really? You have been mildly impressed? Yikes. In my opinion, the secondary has stunk up the joint.
  3. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal


    Every secondary in the NFL will stink up the joint when the pass rush fails consistently.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  4. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal

    The problem is we can't play bump and run, corners are too small.
    Bumping receivers helps our pash rush and screws up the QB's timing leading to more int's.
  5. CheerforTom

    CheerforTom Rookie

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal

    Come on. The pass rush can't be expected to put huge pressure on the quarterback EVERY PLAY. You have to draw the line somewhere. The secondary was atrocious yesterday without the front seven bailing them out like in the second half of the Jets game.
  6. CheerforTom

    CheerforTom Rookie

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal

    Agreed 100%

    Instead you see our guys giving massive cushions because they get bullied off the ball if they play press coverage
  7. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal


    Or because the pass rush is so inconsistent that the risk of a huge play is not worth the benefit of playing tight coverage.

    Or the zone the CB is covering requires him to line up further off the line.
  8. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal


    Ok fine, well we also have a lot of youth/inexperience/injuries in our defensive backfield and defense in general (LBs misplay their zones - part of pass defense).
  9. scout

    scout Rookie

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal

    Merriweather is turning into a nice first round selection. He's a hard hitter who is getting is getting good at picks. Haven't seen any Merriweather is a bust threads lately. Not sold on O'Neal, would like to go early in the next draft for a corner. Samuel's was not worth the $$$.
  10. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal


    Wheatley looked to be improving nicely up until he got injured. Hopefully he'll stand out next year.
  11. scout

    scout Rookie

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal

    Forgot about him, I really liked him. Then again, aren't you leary of a guy who's broken both his wrists?
  12. CheerforTom

    CheerforTom Rookie

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal

    Definitely agree

    Put it this way: if the coaches are deliberately planning these things, they need to seriously rethink their strategy. A huge play? The Dolphins marched down the field yesterday at will. Drives took 2 minutes to get a touchdown. I saw an awful lot of huge plays AS A RESULT of the huge cushions.
  13. Brady-To-Branch

    Brady-To-Branch Rookie

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    Meriweather has been great on coverage this season. He's having his best year as a Patriot. Wheatley was having his best game as a pro until he hurt his wrist. I hope it's not career threatening, as he's had wrist problems in college.

    Jury is out on Willhite. Following Meriweather's young career, has taught me patience.
  14. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    meri may be the next ed reed out of miami....

    but well wait on that...

    on corners, we have a prob...these guys play way too off, and give up the deep ball way too much...

    our pass defense sucks, and we do need more pressure
  15. Brady-To-Branch

    Brady-To-Branch Rookie

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    IMO, the staff is maximizing coverage and playing off WRs to prevent the big play. Hobbs and O'Neal are awful and the staff knows this. I call it the "Duane Starks Syndrome".
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  16. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Patriots area of weakness against the pass is not the outside, it's the interior of the field. Guyton and Mayo are both rookies, and they get beaten as rookies do. Meriweather and Sanders are learning to play together without Harrison. This has been highlighted with Thomas on the shelf, since the team doesn't have his versatility to help out the rookies.

    Do people not see the completions to tight ends, and other players, right in the middle of the field?
  17. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    we do, but we also see the deep balls to the outside or to wr's with 5 yd cushins
  18. woolster22

    woolster22 Rookie

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    I remember one play in particular last night where Deltha gave the wr in question a 5 yd cushion all the way down the field on a deep sideline comeback...how is this good technique? I could understand a cushion, but 5 ALL the way up the field on top of the 10+ presnap? How does he/coaches(?) suppose he is going to defend anything playing that way?

    Do agree Merriweather seems to be coming along well this year, lets hope that continues...
  19. Deus Irae

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    1.) The "5 yd cushion" has been a staple of this team since Belichick got here. It's won 3 Super Bowls and gotten the team to 5 AFCCGs.

    2.) The deep balls to the outside argument is, at least partly, a product of the problems in the middle. How often does Hobbs, for example, get help on those deep balls? Compare what you see there with what you see on other teams. When opponents go long to the outside against the Patriots, it's as if New England doesn't have safeties.

    Meriweather is 24 years old and has 6 starts in his NFL career. Mayo is 22 years old and has 11 starts in the NFL. Guyton is 23 years old and has never started a game. That trio, along with the grizzled 25 year old veteran Sanders, is what is patrolling the middle of the defense on passing downs. It's going to take all season for them to figure out what they are doing and to begin to mesh. Hell, it's going to take them longer than that. The question is going to be whether or not they can at least develop enough to hold up their end.


    When people start realizing this, and accepting the natural consequences, blood pressure test results will be lower and there will be less panic among the fanbase.
  20. BRiZ

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    Meriweather will be the leader of this defense soon and for the future. He is the next Ronnie Lott.
  21. Batman

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    Nope Ronnie Lott played at a different time where he could hit receivers when he got his hand on the ball. He is more likely to be a more like Ed Reed.
  22. BRiZ

    BRiZ Rookie

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    Ed Reed is a wuss who plays 100 feet off the line of scrimage in coverage picking off passes all day. Meriweather is a hardcore beast who gets his nose dirty at the line of scrimage and hits like a linebacker, he is Ronnie Lott Jr. Meriweather is nothing like Ed Reed.
  23. 37Harrison

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    Re: Meriweather v O'Neal

    I know that it has looked this way but, without any type of pressure or from the front 7 or even the threat of pressure (i.e. knockdowns, tipped balls, etc.) QB's are able to just sit in the pocket and wait until someone gets open for them. In most cases it's the TE in the middle of the field. Mayo has been a beast but his coverage skills are lacking. Guyton is a nice surprise but he has a way to go and Bru has seen better days.

    All I am saying is that our front 7 has allowed QB's to add a second or two to their "mental clock" before they get rid of the ball and in the NFL that is an eternity. In the games where there has been pressure (1st Jets game, SF game, Denver, Buffalo) we have seen the D play the way we are used to seeing. In other games (1st Miami game, SD, Indy, 2nd Jets game) the front 7 never got pressure and the secondary got beat everywhere.
  24. wdkantro2

    wdkantro2 Rookie

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    While the Pats corners have not always jammed, the real staple in the past was their physicality. There is absolutely none of that, whether it be at the line of scrimmage or elsewhere.
    And I'm not sure I agree with saying it's only the LBs and the middle of the field. Miami's top 3 WRs combined for 250 yards on 16 catches. The Jets game obviously was all Keller, but I'll give them a pass considering it was the first game with no AD. Against Buffalo, tight ends combined for I believe 2 catches and 20 yards. Against Indy, Dallas Clark had his usual good game against the Pats yardage wise but only had 4 catches. Gonzalez and Wayne were the guys coming up with big catches in that game, not the tight end. Against St. Louis, TEs combined for ZERO catches.
    Long story short, with the exception of the Jets game, tight ends have not really been the ones causing damage against this defense. Avery with 163 yards, 3 Miami WRs with over 70 yards each, 2 TDs for Gonzalez, the huge plays for the SD WRs....
  25. Deus Irae

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    They've changed the rules (point of emphasis, if you prefer). The physicality that you dreamers keep calling for will draw about 500 penalties a game today.

    The receivers did not get all their yards against the cornerbacks, especially the starting cbs, by any stretch of the imagination. Vrabel, for example, was put on Bess on one play the broadcast team highlighted. Your 250 yards is a completely misleading stat as a result.

    Gonzalez is the slot receiver for the Colts. He is not generally defended by Hobbs or O'Neal. Wayne and Harrison combined for only 115 yards and no touchdowns. Holding Wayne and Harrison to 115 yards combined is a pretty good game.

    Long story short, you misused your data by assigning all receiver yardage to the outside cornerbacks. Also, despite your assertion, I don't claim that "it's only the LBs and the middle of the field", I simply called that area the passing game's area of weakness. I'm fully aware of the CB problems, particularly at the #2 CB spot and the nickel positions.
  26. Deus Irae

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    Just as a follow up, here's the defensive snap numbers breakdown by Reiss:

    Defensive snapshot - Reiss' Pieces - Boston.com

    Jerod Mayo -- 65 of 65
    Brandon Meriweather -- 65 of 65
    James Sanders -- 52 of 65
    Gary Guyton -- 29 of 65

    With that number of snaps being played by such an inexperienced group, it should come as no surprise when opponents ring up high passing numbers. The hope is that these four learn during the the rest of the regular season and improve enough to avoid being a liability during the (hoped for) playoff run.
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