Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Flying Fungi, Aug 21, 2007.
You've got to be kidding me. He seems "unhappy"? I guess this guy talks to him on a daily basis, right?. We need to relax and breathe.
"One NFL coach I spoke with Monday night was surprised to see Thomas at the "Mike" inside linebacker spot, because he believes his skills were best suited to outside linebacker"
That's my thought. Why waste all that athletic ability standing in the middle when you could pick up a much less athletic player to do that?
Yes, understood. However, you've got to think that BB will have Thomas rushing the passer from the outside at some points during the season. And if BB wants Thomas at the Mike then you would think that it was a well thought out decision.
Regardless, my issue was with the fan stating that Thomas seemed unhappy. From a typical fan's perspective there is really no way to determine that.
I don't know why we don't value athletic ability in the middle. Bruschi of today vs. Bruschi of 2003/4 shows what additional quickness/athleticism in the middle can be. Between blitzing, coverage and general field coverage I'm thrilled to have an athletic player in the middle. If not why not put Lua there and see how that works out
I would like to hear more about Maroney...
Can Maroney be effective without a lead blocker?
A: I think Maroney will be most effective running out of a three-wide set, with no lead blocker. In training camp, he has been quite explosive when making one decisive cut and finding the hole quickly.
If Troy is ready to practice but Moss and Gaffney are not, the WR picture gets murkier and murkier!
It was interesting to note that two guys on Reiss' cut list - Caldwell and James, are counting $1.55M and $1.35M respectively against the cap. For guys who are likely to be WAY down the depth chart, I think it's quite likely they'll both be goners. Especially so once/if Jackson/Brown and/or Samuel return.
Maybe because, in the coaching staffs determination, that allows them to put all the best players on the field. Thomas may be a better fit outside, but by playing him inside it allows him to move Tedy back to WSILB and keep Vrabel at OLB. I don't know if that is the case, I'm just suggesting.
It seems to be Belichick wants to put the best combination of players out on the field, which is why Bruschi was moved over and Vrabel played some ILB the last couple years, despite their not being in the best positions for them individually. With Thomas, it could be the same, as his playing ILB allows the best defensive combination to be used.
Or, perhaps they are using him there to build skills and versatility, and when the season starts he may not play there as much.
I could see either way being possible.
How long did it take Bruschi three years? (correct me if I'm wrong that's off the top of my head).
Also, Bruschi needed to learn in order to stay on the team, he wasn't making it as a DE or OLB at his height.
BB's just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. He's not going to take one of the most disruptive players in the league and confine him to the middle.
I think there'll be a different FA playing ILB, or a top draft pick next year.
I think he's trying to get his feet wet at the position so he can come from anywhere on a switch, which isn't the same as "playing' ILB
Last year, after Seau went down, the team struggled at times to stop the run. If they can't stop the run on early downs, they'll never find out if they can rush the passer on third and long.
Maybe we'll see Thomas rushing the edge on the play after he's stopped the run in the middle. What could be a better use of great talent like his?
I just had a epiphany on why the Pats signed so many receivers this year and focused on TEs in previous years. When Dillon carried the load he worked better with a 2 TE set. Now Maroney is the lead guy and works better with open space in a 3 wide set. Some of you probably already thought this, but a light bulb just went off.
I expect to see BB use Thomas' versatility to his advantage. Sometimes that will be to stop the run; other times it will be to rush the QB.
How he goes about accomplishing this (ie: playing Thomas in or out) really doesn't matter.
yeah, this year we might see him playing both positions substantially. Though, I think if Bruschi, and eventually Vrabel, retire in the next couple of years, then we would see him more exclusively at inside. They want to build the experience for him as a...gulp...replacement, perhaps.
Light bulbs going on is a good thing
I believe your point was confirmed the day the Pats added Moss, to already go along with Stallworth - two deep threat burners who will clear ample yardage of space for Maroney underneath.
I disagree. Bruschi is in his last year or so. We have no one who could be the leader of the D from the inside, except maybe Vrabel. Thomas has to master this role this year, in order to take over for Bruschi next year or so.
Remember, when Bruschi was at the top of his game from say 03 to 04 we had tremendous defense because none of the dump off throws or underneath stuff was free with such great interior pass coverage from the LBs. Compare that to the sieve of the Brown and Beisel era. It's no co-incident our worst passing game coverage came when our ILBs were also the worst in years.
The idea of the ILB being just a "run stuffing thumper" is where this analysis is so wrong. In a 3-4, the ILB is the center of the defense, and critical to the passing game in that they cover the hot reads and force awkward passing lanes. Look at how many game changing plays Bruschi has made from the ILB spot - INTs, forced fumbles, tipped balls, interior blitzes, and on they go. And being able to shut down a TE or seam rout or crossing route from a 3rd or 4th WR or the outlet route of a RB takes a TON of athleticism. If you can do it with Thomas still in the game even in the nickel and dime package, you gain a tremendous edge - will he cover or will he rush?
And with Thomas size, he's even more of a threat to bat down balls or tip them up to the secondary than Bruschi ever was.
I believe Thomas is going to the best coverage LB on the team starting this year - and make a ton of game changing plays all while playing INSIDE. I could see as many turnovers going his way as anyone on the team.
I found it humorous that NEM was up to his old tricks.
I agree with this. I can't quite figure out why people view the ILB as if it were a postion that isn't as important or one that wastes athleticism. The Bruschi example is a great one in that he was probably the *most* disruptive of all the LBs in 2004 - and that was from the ILB position.
wow--I missed that--nice catch
I wonder if Reiss edited the question by removing the ranting about McDaniels...?
I agree with that, but i hope it's not the case.
That would mean that they have not planned well at the linebacker and they are playing people out of position to compensate for that.
And if he doesn't?
Many players don't play well or ever master a different position.
We're expecting him to and to take over our defense in a year. Wow!
You're taking a guy who's strength is explosiveness to the quarterback and athletic ability and assuming he'll excel taking on linemen and playing in a confined area.
Have you seen him in exhibitions?
Where does this blind faith come from?
I don't think you'll see him consistently in a confined area. Think Bruschi's old role, think Phifer's coverage when in for TJ, Thomas may be thumping heads on run downs but there are loads of way to use his athleticism inside.
This question was asked to BB in a presser a week or so ago. His reply was that in order for Thomas to be effective in other positions, he has to master the intricacies of the D. ILB was the best position for that.
There is no blind faith, other than plenty in the FO. If Thomas is seeing time at MIKE due to BB wanting him to immerse himself in the calls but moves him outside when the games begin, great. If they really do believe that MIKE is a position that AD can excel at, that's fine too.
But it seems plenty clear to me that OLB has better future prospects than ILB. If AD does not grow into that position then NE has absolutely no one on the team to man the ILB spot for 2008 and beyond.
I don't quite get why so many people are so against the move. It is *clearly* the best move for both this year and beyond. If he doesn't pick it up, he will be moved. No harm no foul.
As has been posted on this board before regarding Thomas:
1) In Dean Pees' press conference, he indicated that Thomas would be introduced at the "Mike" as this position must know all the other positions on the defense. He indicated that this was a good way to teach the defense to Thomas. He did not say he was "locked" into that position.
2) At the time Pees made these points, Seau was wearing a red shirt. Seau came back last week and worked at the "Mike" as well.
3) Given Seau's age and his injury last season, it makes sense to a) Prepare another player who has the physical capability to take on blockers to learn the "Mike", b) to have backup flexibility on the team in case of injury or finding themselves in a "no huddle/no substitution" situation, c) and to indoctrinate Thomas on the Pats defense as this position has to understand the D from a holistic standpoint.
4) Now that Seau is back and ready to play, I would expect Thomas to be available for any LB or DL or DB position.
5) I doubt we'll see any indication of Thomas' flexibility during preseason as the team does not want to tip its hand at how this guy will be used.
6) It's a complicated D, and Thomas is a serious guy. He's not going to exhibit happiness or unhappiness as he's learning a completely different form of 3-4 from what he played with the Ravens. His nose is to the grindstone.
I think we'll all start to see the unveiling of Adalius once the real games start.
It was the irony of the whole thing that I found funny. NEM was trying to spin the move as McD needing another "behind the scenes" coach helpin him, when in reality it is a grunt who is just trying to make a coaching roster.
AND an insurance move by BB in case Josh McD gets taken as a HC in a couple years. This Forum now has a much larger signal to noise ratio via addition by subtraction.
That's pretty much what i said. He's on the accelerated course that Vrable took over the years. No surprise that Vrabes did well when needed on the inside.
I doubt Thomas will play a lot inside, I think he's more set for the "elephant" role meaning he might rush from anywhere or drop into a blitzers assignment on a switch.
That's not what Bruschi does and it's unlikely he'll take over Bruschi's role IMO.
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