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Our Seven Linebackers (with 1-3 open spots)

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, May 9, 2010.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We have started the camps. We have seven linebackers who seem to be almost locks for the 53, barring injury:

    Mayo, Guyton, McKenzie, Spikes, Banta-Cain, Woods and Cunningham.
    ====================================================

    We really don't know how Belichick will use this combination of seven. For example, Guyton and McKenzie could spend some time outside in certain sets. I expect that many combinations will be tried in camp and in the preseason.
    ====================================================

    It is against the backdrop of the seven linebackers above that we can assess needs and the competition for additional roster spots.

    We have some competitors for the remaining 1-3 spots. None should be considered in any way a lock. We have Ninkovich, Crable, Williams, Alexander, and Murrell. I expect that Belichick will add a veteran or two to the mix. For example, I still expect to see Burgess in camp.

    I think that we need to keep one additional OLB to give us a total of eight linebackers. Ninkovich and Crable seem to have the best shot at this position at the moment.

    We could add a 9th or even a 10th linebacker, or the position could be given to other positions. We have db/ster's Arrington, Lockett, Murrell, Alexander and Slater all competing for these roster spots (assuming 5 "real" corners and 4 "real" safeties on the 53). We could even keep all six corners: Bodden, McCourty, Butler, Springs, Wilhite, and Wheatley. Corners do get injured often.
    ======================================================

    The open questions for me are
    1) Who will be the 8th LB who I hope and expect to be an OLB?
    2) How will we use to presumed final two defensive roster spots, after the minimum of 6 DLs, 8 LB, 9 DB's).

    The choices are 7th DL, 9th LB, 10th LB, 10th DB, Ster with no real position (like Slater). We could even have only 24 defensive roster spots.

    I have no clue with regard to the identity of the OLB. My expectation on the last two roster spots are Arrington and the 7th defensive lineman.
    ===================================================

    Obviously injuries can have a huge effect on the positions of the last 4 rosters spots after these 49. The 3rd TE seems back for 2010!
    QB 2
    RB 4
    WR 5
    TE 3
    OL 9
    DL 6
    LB 8
    DB 9
    P 1
    K 1
    LS 1
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  2. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Though I'm underwhelmed with his performance at LB at times, Alexander might find a way onto the team because of his special teams ability.
     
  3. Elijah

    Elijah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    disregard that, didn't read "almost locks for the 53" :x
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  4. TheComeback

    TheComeback 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Why do people keep saying that Guyton and McKenzie could be used outside? It's not going to happen. Guyton got blown up as an OLB and has no functional strength against the run. Yes, he's fast, but that doesn't matter when a tackle can throw you around like a toy. And McKenzie is even smaller than Guyton, at only 235 lbs last time I checked.

    Our OLBs are Banta-Cain, Ninkovich, Cunningham, Woods, Crable, and Murrell. All of these guys weigh 250+ lbs for a reason (except Crable, but maybe that's why he's so injury prone). Why would we put undersized players at that position? It's like saying the Colts should try Gary Brackett at DT.

    I do agree that we should probably get another OLB, however, Burgess seems like the only viable option at this point. Would he get in the way of developing players like Cunningham, Ninko, and Crable? You could probably throw Murrell onto that "developing player" list as well, as he's only been in the league for a few years.
     
  5. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Burgess is not an OLB. He is a DE, that can only play in nickel/dime sub packages or in the 43. I realize that this is the position guys who are OLBs also play, but Burgess is not a candidate to play OLB in the base except in an emergency.
     
  6. stinkypete

    stinkypete In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think Ninkovich is the most likely to see significant time in the rotation.

    I wouldn't say Mackenzie is a lock. I think he has promise and hope he breaks the rotation, he's a former 3rd round pick coming off injury and with no playing time under his belt. Other guys who have been in his position: O'Connell, Crable, Claridge, Thomas, Scott, not a very good group, though Thomas blossomed elsewhere. Not to rain on the Mackenzie bandwagon, but he has to earn himself a place and has a long way to go to do that.
     
  7. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I really am baffed with the guyton and mcZ as olb they are NOT big enough to be strong against the run. At there size all the offence has to do is rotate the TE to block them and then pull the gaurd into the gut of your defence into your ILB or Run behind a pulled tackle.either way you are going to be torn up .

    Burgess role is now cunningham`s. Burgess was a 3rd down rusher and cunningham is going to start the season doing the same thing till he develops.

    Alxender and McZ are going to fight for the other spot now .spl team 4th ILB

    Right now tully, woods ,ninkovich and cunningham are the starting rotation.

    crabel fringe player.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Agreed...........

     
  9. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    McZ = McKenzie?
     
  10. PatsCanDoIt

    PatsCanDoIt Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    This is pretty much the situation. I think Woods was banged up at the end of last season. Both TBC and Ninkovich's snaps increased while Woods' snaps decreased.
     
  11. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

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    That's depressing..
     
  12. Patriot 37

    Patriot 37 On the Game Day Roster

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    Your title should Our Six Linebackers (with 2-4 open spots). Woods is on the bubble along with the others guys. I think Ninovich played better than him last year and if Crable or Murrell have a good camp he's gone.
     
  13. ALP

    ALP Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    i would agee...i see ninkovich more of a lock than woods at this juncture
     
  14. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    yup ,side effect of too much texting.
     
  15. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Not exactly when you look at this way ,last year we played 50% of the snap in subpackages where you pulled a OLB out to replace him with guyton [coverage guy] as you rush 4 or with a 3rd safety against receving TE package.

    Now with spikes/Mckenzie both SILB you can rush one of them behind the nose or DT if you want to bring 5 or a DB.

    also in 4-3 you do not need a big OLB as you need coverage so you put mayo,guyton and mckenzie in.

    so what i am saying is we will have only 1 OLB in almost 50% or more snaps rushing.so we should be good.
     
  16. Patriot 37

    Patriot 37 On the Game Day Roster

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    Good points, this will allow Cunningham to play as a LDE (outside the RT) on passing downs. This is where he played at UF and will allow him to get on the field while he's learning how to play OLB. They did this with Burgess last year and Mcginest's rookie year (remember Dwayne Sabb).

    The problem is no matter what defensive we are in we need someone to pressure the QB from left side. That is the biggest question mark on this team.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  17. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Partly agree.
    We do play 1/2 the snaps in sub, and that is based on what the other offense does, not our personell so it will continue. But we don't really take an OLB out, we take a DL out and the OLBs become DEs. We go 4-2-5 but if you are comparing it to our 3-4 alignment and the players that play the base positions, its actually a 2-4-5.
     
  18. Bostonian1962

    Bostonian1962 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Nice Post. I have a feeling that there will be either a DE or OLB (or both?) added to our squad that is/are not even on the radar right now. It's an unusual year where teams can unload high priced talent without taking the normal cap hit. I believe there will be some quality players available before real bullets start being fired, and I expect we Pats fans are going to be loving the results. This is such a smart organization. I believe they will take advantage of the current atmosphere.
     
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Woods would make this squad if he never played linebacker. He is a fine special teamer.

     
  20. Patriot 37

    Patriot 37 On the Game Day Roster

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    I think he makes the team, but he's no lock. Especially, if they sign someone (Burgess) and Crable plays well (I doubt it) Even if they keep 5 OLBs that leaves a only one more OLB spot (Cunningham and Banta-Cain are locks). I believe Ninkovich is on all 4 ST units as well. I'm not saying he's a better STer than Woods but it's close.
     
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