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Out On A Limb Regarding Linebackers

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    INSIDE LINEBACKER
    We are fine for the forseeable future with Thomas, Mayo and Guyton. For 2009, we still have Bruschi inside. We need a developmental fourth for the future. Hopefully, that is McKenzie. In the meantime, we will have six OLB's and 3 ILB's, with Thomas moving inside in case of injury and in certain situations. Obviously, at least two of the OLB's will take lost of reps as special team specialists, as backup linebackers always do.

    OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS
    I think that there will be an addition in the next month. I also think that Belichick sees the future in Crable, Redd, Woods and even Banta-Cain.

    BOTTOM LINE
    We are still in transition at linebacker. This year should see the last year of Bruschi and further development of Mayo, Guyton, Crable, and Redd. Woods And Tully may stay after 2009 or not. They are fine special teamers. We should see another free agent addition. First there was Vrabel. Then there was Thomas and now there is ........
  2. PATRIOT64

    PATRIOT64 Rookie

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    I think you are going on a limb with Guyton,While Mayo seems to be the real deal I think Guyton may not be as good as you might think, he appears to me to be sporadically good but I would like to see what he can do more often on the field this year. - IMO Don't think ahead too fast about GG
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I expect Thomas and Mayo to start in 2010, with Guyton as a situational backup.
    I expect Bruschi and Mayo to start in 2009, with Guyton sharing the load with Bruschi.
    I don't think this is too much to expect from Guyton.
    And the reality is that there will be another backup here for 2009 and another for 2010.

  4. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    with who they have, thomas is outside.....period........he's the only one they have who has any kind of pass rush.......the rest of the OLB's are currently flotsam

    the pats are in worse shape this year than they were in 2005 with bruschi out
  5. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    You had to move our outside linebacker in and plug in an unproven FA. Yeah, we're set forever.

    Make that two additions if you're going to move our only proven starter at OLB to ILB. That's one unproven draft pick, two FAs and a proven failure. yeah, guess we'll be all set with another almost retired player plugged in.
    BOTTOM LINE We have two proven starters plus a soon to be retired one. We will be in a transition once we decide what we're transitioning to.
  6. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    i argee if the young guys dont step up and they have to move AD inside they are better off mixing in a lot more of the 4-3 i think they are deeper at D line then they are at LB
  7. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If AD is an OLB at $6.4M, he is an OLB at $9.4M and $10.4M. He is not being paid to play ILB here on a regular basis. Yes, he was moved inside to learn the scheme in his first season, because we had the luxury to do so with Colvin on the roster. But it is not his best use. And unless push comes to shove you don't weaken two positions to cover one. Bill will develop, draft or trade for or sign out of FA another ILB in 2010. And even if Taylor has 2 seasons left in him he will also either be developing, drafting or trading for (or signing a FA) OLB come 2010. This year it remains Bruschi, Mayo and Guyton inside and AD and the proverbial player to be named later (Woods/Crabble or Taylor) opposite him. Otherwise Vrabel plays out the string at his $4M cap hit. Makes no sense to have traded him UNLESS someone already on the roster projects to deliver equal bang for far fewer bucks OR the bucks he would have commanded can be used to acquire far more bang.
  8. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    obviously we all expect great things from Mayo. But I see no reason not to expect good things from Guyton. He is really fast and performed well his rookie year. I expect him to get better.
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think there is a fact of life that everyone seems to want to ignore.
    Our 2nd ILB plays half the time at most. WIth Mayo the long term answer as the primary ILB, we will not move Thomas inside, we will not draft an ilb high, we will not sign a major FA ILB. It is a part-time player at that position.
    In the history of BBs defenses all the way back to the Giants the 2nd ILB has almost always been a JAG. That isnt changing. Think Gary Reasons, Steve DeOssie, Ted Johnson, etc.
    At OLB I think there is talent there that we have not fully seen enough to evaluate but BB is way ahead of us on.
  10. pats63

    pats63 Rookie

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    I agree with you,brother.Bill is so far ahead of us.I am pretty sure he done this before.
  11. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rookie

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    Gary Guyton could start-PERIOD.

    He was a great acquisition and will play along side Mayo.

    When I read the ranking of our defensive players on this board-I really feel some of the opinions are inaccurate.

    This is a good thread though and appreciate you firing it up. This is certainly an area we need to consider but I think we'll work all that out in camp.

    We should get more help
  12. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    I agree with the first part of this statement. Thomas is the team's OLB passs rush.

    Um, a little panicked here? The 2005 team was starting Brown and Beisel. I understand that Guyton and Woods are JAGs by the powerful, mid-decade LB standards, but they have already proven to be better than Brown and Beisel.
  13. pats63

    pats63 Rookie

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    We haven't seen much of Crable.Why would Verbal trade?Bill knows something we don't.I think he is not going take a chance of drafting or signing FA(taylor or Peppers) without a plan in mind.
  14. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rookie

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    I have seen Crable play and he will hopefully develop into a starter.
  15. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rookie

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    Thomas is our leading OLB on paper, according to what we've seen (performance) and pay.
    I agree that currently he is our leading pass rusher BUT to not include him in some inside support would be ridiculous.

    You're incorrect though. The rest of our crew IS NOT flotsam. That is incorrect coach.
  16. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    Gary Guyton was good enough and smart enough to beat out a

    veteran linebacker for a roster spot. Unless he levels off in 2009,

    he should be even better and receive more playing time.
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Apparently, Belichick certainly does not see a great weakness at OLB. He definitely does not see Woods, Crable, Banta-Cain and Redd as flotsam.

    Yes, there is always room for improvement and taking advantage of opportunties (as Taylor could be), but Belichick surely can't be counting on Taylor AND no injuries. He didn't bring in anyone but Banta-Cain in free agency. Belichick cut Robertson indicating that there was no room. He didn't draft ANY outside linebackers, not even on Day Two.

    I really think that Belichick is well-satisfied with what he has. That being said, Woods and Banta-Cain are signed only for 2009. My suspicion is that he likes Crable and Redd alot.
  18. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    The wildcard at outside linebacker may be Redd. He is 6:6 and
    260 pounds. Before he played at Liberty, he played for Al Groh at
    Virginia. He has the size that BB likes on the outside.
  19. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I think you may have made a pre-draft report that essentially indicated that this team was in good shape with all its starters set BEFORE the draft.

    Our depth has improved since then but I think all this talk about the NEED for an LB is exaggerated.

    I think depth and future development is what we're talking about - and while I'd like to have more, barring injury (which is easier said than done) I'm not overly concerned about LB in 2009.
  20. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    Who did he beat out?
  21. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    Ted Johnson was drafted higher than any LB we've used in the BB era except McGinest and now Mayo (Phifer was also a second rounder, but at the end of his career).
  22. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, before the draft started, we had 7 picks available for depth in the first four rounds, and after moving around, we used SEVEN. McKenzie is already gone for 2009. Tate is being projected as 2010 help. There may be a bit of help on special teams in 2009 (from Chung and Butler), but for the most part, we drafted for depth, injury insurance (Brace) and more importantly for the future, and we did draft some competition at deep snapper.

    Alex Smith and McGowan could end up contributing as much in 2009 as many of the draft choices.

    We went into the draft with 25 starters on the roster (I include K, P and nickel). I don't think we planned to add any. We didn't.

  23. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well now, I'm reluctant to classify Adalius as either an ILB or an OLB. The more Pees can move him around in the formation the more difficult it will be for offensive coordinators to game plan around him. Mayo is fixed inside, but flexibility with Adalius could really help the defense for NE.

    I expect Guyton and Woods to play well, and I expect to see improvement from Redd - I just don't know how big a jump he'll make. BB has been comfortable with Alexander as a #4 ILB, he'll be good in that role as a primary Special Teams player.

    Bruschi, Crable, Banta-Cain, and Craig are open questions for me, TBC because he was playing at a heavier weight in SF so his conditioning is going to be a concern, the two youngsters for being unknowns though I've seen good things from both in preseason or college. Bru is still an asset in situational play and as a mentor to the kids, I expect Guyton to allow Bru to be used more sparingly. Ciurciu and Appleby, who can say.
  24. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    This is a good analysis. The clinker is the injury factor which has

    already struck this position.
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  25. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't know why Crable is a mystery. He was highly drafted by Belichick. He played very well in preseason. The only question I have is whether he is 100% healed from his injuries. If he is, then I expect him to continue to develop and to compete for a 2010 starting position at OLB.

    Bruschi is a question mark. The slide has begun. The only question is how fast and how long he can be a significant contributer.

    I expect Banta-Cain to be brought into patriot game shape. I expect that Belichick asked him to make that comittment. At very least, he is the #5 OLB and a fine special teamer. At best, he will be competing for reps with Woods.

    With McKenzie injured, there is certainly an opportunity for an UDFA to beat out Alexander, as the emergency #4 ILB and top special teamer. However, barring injury, or a Bruschi retirement, I think this unlikely to happen, but it certainly could. I am satisfied with Banta-Cain and Alexander as emergency linebackers and special teamers. We used to have Izzo and Davis. I suspect Belichick is OK with them also.

    In any given game, six linebackers probably get 95% or more of the reps on the defense. We need an additional OLB backup and a couple of special teamers.

    OLB: Thomas, Woods, Crable, Redd
    ILB: Mayo, Guyton, Bruschi
    LB/ST: Banta-Cain, Alexander

  26. Box_O_Rocks

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    That is total horse pucky. The third round is no guarantee of anything as you yourself have noted often enough. You can't know anymore than anyone else outside the Patriots organization how Crable has progressed. Yes, he showed some potential in preseason games against second and third string talent: Is he any stronger? Has he improved his technique? I'm not worried about his recovery from his shin injury, but how many practice reps did he miss out on and how far back did that set him? Since you can't answer those questions, he's a mystery.

    Expectations have a way of not being met. I'm sure TBC will work hard to meet the standards he'll be asked to meet, that doesn't mean he gets there and it doesn't mean he lacked commitment. If he plays heavier than the 250 he was reportedly playing at when he left here I won't be sure of his capability and neither will you. I'm not so worried about Special Teams, but I'm looking for him to be at least as good an OLB as he was when he left, we can't be sure yet. If he loses the weight he "should" have his old explosiveness off the edge, there are still a number of factors that can affect his play and we won't know how he's doing until he's on the field.
  27. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    I tend to agree...there are question marks...I am also sure CoachB will know this a bit better than us what to expect and where the window is of playing upside/downside. Maybe less question marks in his eyes..
  28. jays52

    jays52 Rookie

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    IMO, moving Thomas inside is not a viable option. He is our best pass rusher, our best TE defender and a dominant presence on the outside. In the 34, the strongside inside backer is almost a fullback. I don't know if they have a single designated check calling ala a "mike", but assuming the strongside backer doesn't call the checks, it is likely the least valuable position in the front 7. Putting Thomas on the inside would take your only truely freakish athlete and place him in a position that mitigates nearly all of a player's raw athleticism.

    Further, it would remove the best edge presence on the team in a spread heavy league. Regardless of the potential development of C&R, neither is close to being the player AD is. This team is already weak against the TE, and doesn't have anyone other than Thomas who can rush as well as play contain on the outside. Moving Thomas inside would be schematic suicide. The move would be akin to moving Randy Moss to fullback because Evans left in the offseason.
  29. jczxohn1

    jczxohn1 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    IMHO, I was surprised TBC was brought back. I though he was one-dimensional as a pass-rusher, and was usually out of control when he did break containment. Some of his penalties for QB hits were memorable for their stupidity. His record in SF didn't show much,either. Hope I'm wrong, but----
  30. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Even if Tully is only a pass-rusher, last I heard we needed one of those.

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