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Our SEVEN defensive linemen include Burgess

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Last year we played the same defense as we will play this year. Burgess, Pryor and Brace should all know the system better. Green is the only player gone. His absence will mean some shifting of roles among the returning six defensive linemen and his roster placement (G. Warren, Lewis or Deaderick).

    But make no mistake, Burgess isn't an OLB staying back in coverage or even setting the edge on a run. He is a defensive end with his hand on the ground. At least that was his role when he played in OVER 50% of the defensive reps in 2009.

    When spending the months on rostes last year, we often recognized the reality.
    DEFENSIVE LINEMEN - 6
    DE/OLB's 2 (Banta-Cain and Burgess last year)
    OUTSIDE BACKERS 3
    INSIDE BACKERS 3
    SPECIAL TEAMERS 1

    BOTTOM LINE
    There will be lots of competition for these spots, as there should be. But there is no reason to have one fewer defensive back in order to have an excess defensive lineman.

    My only disagreement with Greer on the defense was his insistence on the 7th DL instead of the 6th corner (really the 5th since Arrington isn't really a corner). Of course, if Arrington is really able to play corner at a reasonable level, we could go with 5 and add a special team like Slater.
     
  2. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Mgteich,

    Every one of our OLBs is a DE--> OLB conversion without exception. BB believes they have had to play the college DE position to learn how to hand-fight, and hold their own against the run; and shed blocks to be successful in a Read & React scheme like the Patriots play.

    Have you forgotten BB addage and his corrollary. "We take [mobile]college DEs and convert then to OLBs; we take college OLBs who are very tough and convert them to ILBs".

    You might find an occasionsla ILB who was not an OLB but they are few and far between. Burgess played more like a DE because he was a situation substitute as a pass rusher without the benefit of a TC, his first year.
     
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree.

    Given that all the OLB's must be able to DE, there is absolutely no need for seven pure DL's. Do you disagree?

     
  4. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    No, because the duties are entirely different. Our Dls are not trying to survive and not simply get run over like the OLBs and converted DEs. They are trying to win the position battle with size, power and determination ensuring that the opposition run game does not average 4.0 yards per carry. They shed by quickness and power; or physically knocking the offensive lineman backwards and defeating his blocking attempt.

    The entire Belichick theory of Defense is predicated on stopping the constant run. Something the undermanned DL & team could not do, with the missing Seymour. It is hard to get off the field facing constant 3rd and short.

    I see that Richard has signed a UFA tender with Oakland. Perhaps he will have had enough of losing, come free and rejoin the Pats next season. The Pats could save a high pick for the Offense by signing him if as it appears the money does not have to be spent on Mankins. I have always wondered what the Patriots would look like with one more First rounder playing for them that Mangini and the league stripped them from having.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  5. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The problem that I see is that the Patriots haven't needed a young, up and coming player at DE in quite a long time, since Seymour and Warren held their own for so long. I think Deaderick makes it as an 7th DL (8th with Burgess).

    Having Lewis, Wright, and Pryor all on the roster seems redundant, so I'd cut Lewis. G Warren takes Green's spot, and Deaderick is added. Other than that, it'll be the same as last season, imo.
     
  6. Deus Irae

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

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    Disable Jersey

    Reiss talked about this:

    Following up on the Patriots' OLBs - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston
     
  7. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks for the post. It is good to see Burgess being used in more schemes. Perhaps it is simply that he is better than the rest, and wasn't better than Thomas last year.

    I just don't see us having more than 15 front seven guys. If Arrington is being counted as a corner, then we need six corners.

    The bottom line for me is that there is a tradeoff once we get beyond the 2 NT's and 3 top ILB's. There are lots of alternatives in filling the remaining 10 DT, DE and LB roster spots.

     
  8. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Again, confusion reigns.
    Burgess is an OLB in the 34.
    Burgess is a DE in the nickel and dime.
    Burgess is a DE in the 43.

    When we practice the base D in camp, the position that Burgess goes to is OLB. When we practice nickel/dime, he is a DE. When we practice 43 he is a DE.
    He has a very different spot on the depth chart in each of those alignments.
    He is at the top of the nickel/dime DEs, near the top of the 43 DEs, and at the bottom of the 34 OLBs.
    Just because the players we get for this job typically have all of the skillsets doesnt mean every player has equally the same skillsets. It appears that Woods is the inverse, where he would be higher on the depth chart in the base and buried in sub.

    So when we run 34 in practice, since all 80 players take reps, even the guys who rarely will see the field in the base go to the position they would play if they did. That is Burgess.

    Now whether he is classified an OLB or DE is tricky, because our OLBs have always aligned as DEs in the sub packages but were always called OLBs. TBC for a time was only a 3rd down player, aligining as a DE but was considered an OLB because that was his position in the base. Its the same as calling Seymour a DE when he played DT in the sub packages.

    Typically players are identified by the position they play in the base. That is why Burgess is called an OLB even though the job he actually does is one normally done by DEs, and if you named the position he was lined up in when he was on the field, you would call it DE.

    I am sure if we went back to last seasons practices and looked at where Burgess played when we practiced the base, we would see him at OLB, even though in games he was the last option. I suggest he is the last option again this year; that he will only be in on 34 alignment in an emergency situation or on a specialized call.
    That said, it is possible that he is our best pass rusher, which makes it possible that BB diverts from his long stnding pilosophy toward the position. It is feasible to play the base 34 so that one OLB is always the 4th rusher, and never covers. BB has shown time and again that he values the unpredictablility of having versatile OLBs so that either can rush or cover, and prefers it to be close to 50/50. If he changes that mindset, he would also have to get past Burgess' liability as a run defender in space to the boundary, and conclude that TBC in coverage is wise choice.
    The primary, BY FAR, objective of the base D is to control the los and the running game. Burgess simply lacks the skills to defend the running game as the contain OLB. It not like BB to use a player who's largest weakness is the top priority of the defense in order to get secondary skills on the field.
    As far as where to put him in deciphering roster spots, I would say he belongs with the OLBs, because he is an OLB, just one that isn't useful in the base D. Playing DE in sub packages is half of the OLBs job, and the DL on the roster do not play that role, if they are on the field they are inside rushers.
     
  9. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    If you mean be 300 lbs and take on double teams, no. Our 3-4 DEs are defensive tackles on 4-3 teams.

    Besides, the players that make the team,or practice squad aren't necessarily because they are the next best in line at that position. We're trying to replace the function of a perennial all pro DE so we don't have a weak link. Looks like we might be trying to use a strong rotation of veterans.

    At the same time, we have a lot of developmental lineman for possible future DE, at least one developmental NT and a real good looking DL in Pryor who is likely more suite to a 4-3.

    We also, obviously, have a lot of OLB and or pass rush candidates that are relatively unproven.

    I think, rather than position, there will be evaluations of the best backups, then the best upside players we don't want to chance losing. It's going to be the toughest cuts we've seen in a longtime. Potential, current ability to step in, special teams, likelihood we can stash on the P squad will be just some of the criteria.
     
  10. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thank your for the clarification. I was waiting for you post on this subject.

    With regard to how to count Burgess, in the end I don'tthink that it matters much. If I count him as a DE, then I have 7 DL's and 4 OLB's. If I would him as an OILB, I have 6 DL's and 5 OLB's. In either case, I have 4 ILB's on this year's roster.

    I understand calling Burgess an OLB because he would be that in the base set, if he ever played in the base set. However, I think he played more reps at DE last year than Warren did.

    With regard to Woods, he is a starter in the base set and plays less than 30% of the reps since he is out of the lineup in other sets.

    My guess, subject to check, is that Burgess and Woods were rarely on the field at the same time, expect in special teams situations.

     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  11. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    I would count him as a DE/OLB as opposed to a 3-4 DE because that would put him in the same category as similar players, whether they are situational rushers, or base OLB who aren't great pass rushers or somewher in between.

    We can quibble about the exact mix, and that's fun, but these are similar type players, I think everyone can agree to that.
     
  12. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I think MG just hit the nail on the head when he basically called it semantics as for purposed of putting the numbers to a roster it doesn't matter if you call him a DE and carry an extra on there if you are light one at OLB or vice versa.


    As to the discussion of what to call him I think Andy is spot on when he breaks down what to call him in each scheme. And it points out the issue as he has mostly played 43 DE throughout his career. Because of our needs and his body type we all assumed him to be a 34 OLB when we got him but instead he was a sub rusher or nickle and dime DE. So as Andy pointed out he really runs the gammit as far as what you can call him.

    Then to further complicate things you have Reiss reporting that he seems to be working at OLB alot and whether that is just a practice rep thing or a "position change" remains to be seen. One thing that I think is worthy of pointing out is that as he mostly played 43 DE switching to 34 OLB likely isn't something that happens in half a TC and it is possible the timing of the deal forced him into the sub rushing role as he did not have time to learn the 34 role. Now with a offseason it is possible he is gonig to make the switch.

    So I guess to answer the question of what to call him you have to project whether his lining up more at 34 this mini camp was a depth thing or a realization of the persumed reason he was accuired in the first place.
     
  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He isn't 'lining up more at 34 OLB' this year. First, he wasnt here last year for mini-camp and 2nd there is nowhere else to line him up in a 34, and never has been. Thats the point I was trying to make. Reiss reporting that he lined up at 34 OLB is no news because thats where he has to line up in the 34. Reporting that he is playing with the first unit in meaningful situations would be news.
    Look at it this way. When Larry Izzo was here his position in the base D was ILB. If you watched mini-cmps you could report he was getting reps at ILB. But his limitations in being able to play that position meant it only would happen in an emergency.
    Burgess' limitations are the least at OLB in our base 34, but those limitations are still too vast for him to be in the mix in that alignment. Not to mention I have no idea why we would want the guy who appears to be our best pass rusher and is no spring chicken playing more than the just over 50% of the snaps he played last year anyway. Not only is that a burden that will make him less effective in sub situations, it will force us to make allowances we don't want to make in the base.
    I've written way too much on my iopinion on Burgess so far anyway, so I willl stop rambling now.
     
  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't know if I'm ready to assume the defensive roster will be set with the quantities outlined above (plus four safeties and six corners.) For example, I think there's a good chance the Pats go with four inside linebackers, or five corners for example. There's also a chance they go with 26 on defense and 24 on offense, especially if Welker starts the season on PUP.
     
  15. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The positions of the final six roster spots are often in question until the end.

    I list three ILB's because there is no need for four in our defense and at least one is almost always a special teams position (Izzo, Davis and Alexander recently). We know that Guyton is a top special teamer. I think that the special teams position (the 15th fron seven position) will likely go to an ILB/STer. There is usually one such player.

    I agree that we could keep an additional defender, a 26th.

    I agree that we might only have 5 corners. However, in the case, I would just call Arrington a special teamer. In the end, it is a matter of labels. On my roster I have four special teamers. They are often listen as the last OLB, ILB, CB and S. This is just labeling.
    ==================================================
    I agree that putting Welker on PUP frees up a defensive position, perhaps the extra DL everyone wants so badly, perhaps Slater.




     
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Why does everyone want that extra DL so badly?
    I don't ever remember us using that much DL depth.
    Even last year when Warren and Wilfork spent time on the sidelines and a big opening was created for depthguys with the Seymour trade, our 5th (by playing time) DL only played 284 snaps, and our 6th played a total 55. What are we going to do with 7 of them?
     
  17. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In my prediction, Deaderick is kept because the team sees him as a starter in the future and doesn't want him to be picked up off the practice squad, so he is stuck there for the year. He could also be one of those rookies that goes on IR for a redshirt year.
     
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I must admit that I don't understand the need either.
    Warren, Wilfork, Wright
    Lewis, Brace, (G. Warren or Pryor)

    The only reason I could see for the extra defensive lineman is if we want to make sure that we have Deaderick to develop and are afraid of losing him from the Practice Squad. Deaderick seems a decent DE prospect, but I don't him being snatched off our Practice Squad.


    LETS BE CLEAR (2009 % of defensive reps played by each player)
    Wright 57.9
    Green 57.2
    Wilfork 51.8
    Warren 44.4
    Pryor 27.1
    Brace 5.1

    Brace should get increased reps.
    Lewis and Warren compete for two spots with Pryor.
    Only FIVE defwensive lineman got many reps last year.

    We don't need more then six. There just aren't that many defensive reps.

     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  19. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Interesting that Brace, who was deemed worthy of being picked in the top half of the 2nd round has less potential in your mind and is less of a loss to expose to other teams picking up than a guy who was drafted in the 6th(or was it 7th?) round.
    Are you saying Brace is worse for having shown up and gone through an NFL season than a guy that almost didnt get drafted and hasn't gone through an NFL season?
    There are reasons Deadrick was an afterthought on everyones draft boards. By he way, the idea of keeping a player because other teams are drooling waiting for our cutdowns is an annual rite on this board, and when you research you will see only a handful AT BEST of rookies that are cut and don't make it through to the practice squad and even fewer that are plucked off someones practice squad. Teams generally follow the precept that if he was bypassed for most of the draft (meaning they didnt pick him because they had him rated lower or had more important needs, usually both) and he went through someone elses camp and didnt make the team, they arent going to cut a guy who went through their camp, and made the team, in order to bring in a flyer who can't help because a) he doesnt know the system and b) he doesnt know the NFL so probably wont learn it real quickly.
     
  20. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Its crazy to keep a player who no one wanted to draft in order to keep all of the teams that didnt want to draft him to break down his door begging him to play for them.Every team cuts guys they wish they could keep and none are sitting there thinking they can pick up all the rookies the PAtriots cut and get better that way.
    Deadrick was a draft afterthought for a reason, and the very teams that were disinterested will continue to be.

    Back to point.
    If you look back further we have always had starting DEs, and 2 reserve. Often one would be THE backup, but at times (08 comes to mind) 2 shared the backup reps. I don't remember when we carried 5 DEs, but it would take a lot better memory than that to find when we USED 5 DEs, except after adding one due to injury replacement.
    Of course, its just as rare to keep more than 2 NTs.
     
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