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Mike Vrabel's replacement...

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by AzPatsFan, Apr 24, 2010.

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  1. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Many of the Pats draftniks wanted the Pats to draft a WOLB or ROLB Pass Rusher. A guy who could pass rush like Demarcus Ware or Jason Taylor in his prime.

    Instead Mr. Belichick noted that his great OLB Mike Vrabel, his SOLB or LOLB, had grown old, and was handed a golden parachute sinecure in his dotage. He found a suitable home for him with Mr. Pioli, as a reward for great service, where he could train a new team and provide leadership, while earning his pay.

    Mr. B diagnosed that he needed a DE/OLB replacement with the emphasis on Vrabel-like talents on containing the strongside run, setting the edge, diagnosing the play, playing adequate but not great pass defense, being a team leader, and a team captain and respected locker room voice and leader. Oh, and a guy who get half a dozen sacks or so, a year from that strongside position.

    So he conducted a job search for such a candidate, interviewed knowledgeable acquaintances who might know such a fellow, get a recommendation. Apparently he got one from Mr. Meyer who had two such candidate youngsters one with a big reputation; and also Mr. Cunningham., He recommended Mr. Cunningham, and ultimately Mr. B selected one at the 90th position in the draft.

    It is remarkable how closely the young candidate is to the original. Both are 6-4 and between 260-265 lbs. Both run right around 4.7 or slightly better. Both can pass rush but are not spectacular pass rushers, since he plays both pass and run, not selling out on either. Both were drafted in the third round of the draft. Both were voted team captains, on teams with more spectacular stars. Both are natural leaders on talented college teams and respected by coaches and players alike. Both are highly intelligent and well spoken.

    Hopefully, it won't take Mr. Cunningham the three years of adaptation that it took Mr. Vrabel, before he was a full time player and Star. Some fans would be very upset if he is not an All-Pro in three games.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  2. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If Cunningham replicates Vrabel's Patriots career I will be an exceptionally pleased fan.
  3. Coach42

    Coach42 Rookie

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    Good post. When you look at the OLB's BB has had here over his tenure only Willie Mac would be considered a very good pass rusher. Maybe our expectations of what BB is looking for in a OLB are off. Maybe the OLB he is looking for is A.) sturdy against the run B.) Solid but not spectacular pass rusher C.)6'4"+ 255+ D.) Versatile/Intelligent. For me the drafting of Cunningham seems to speak volumes of what BB expectations are in OLB's. I think everybody here is pretty sure he will never be a double digit sack guy and maybe that's ok with BB. When you look back at the golden years for the D it seemed that there were multiple guys with 5-7 sacks rather than one guy getting 15. Maybe he's trying to get back to that, I really don't have a clue.
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