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Pats in a hurry to fix pass rush decline

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATRIOTSFANINPA, Jul 10, 2010.

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  1. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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  2. lillestroom

    lillestroom Practice Squad Player

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    As soon as Cunningham starts getting reps, teams are going to target him and check out if the can wear him down as he goes thru the 4-3 , 3-4 transition.

    Mark my words.
     
  3. Elijah

    Elijah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    They said McKenzie is an outside linebacker. This was me when I read that part: :mad:
     
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I forgive yahoo for thinking that the only linebacker the patriots drafted in 2009 would have been expected to play outside. After all, wasn't OLB our #1 need in 2009? On Draft Day no one knew where Belichick would put him, although most were predicting that he would play inside.


     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Everyone is ready to watch the awesome pass-rush from Banta-Cain, Ninkovich, Burgess and Cunningham (and Crable or Woods). Where would we rate this group compared to other AFC teams?

    We have seen literally dozens of posts discussing Belichick's philosophy of not have major weaknesses at positions. No matter how I spin it, I still see 2-3 JAGs and a couple of wannabees at OLB.

    Perhaps Banta-Cain is more than a JAG; perhaps he is an average OLB in this league. I wonder how many teams he would start for. Of course, he is our #1 pass-rusher.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  6. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Can you explain what you mean?
     
  7. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So, stats wise on pass rush how does TBC compare with his several tens of competitors in the NFL?
     
  8. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think 10 sacks, which is an accomplishment is inconsistent with Just Another Guy, however, if you want to call TBC Just Another Guy, then it shouldn't be hard to get 10 sacks out of whoever wins the job on the other side, huh?

    As much ragging on our pass rush as goes on around here you would think we were the only team in a league where teams get 8-10 sacks a game that never gets one.
    Only 5 of the16 teams in the AFC had more than 35, we had 31.
    None of those 5 made the playoffs, and they combined for a record of 34-46.
    Those 5 teams were also 7th, 7th(tied w each other) 11,12 and 14th ranked in points allowed.
    They werealso 5,9,11,13,14 in opp QB rating allowed.

    As much as readng this board would make you think there is some magical wand that can be waived and we will get pass rushers that cause Qbs to get sacked 7 times a game hit 20 more and go 8-34 passing because they get hit every time they throw, that isn't the NFL any more.
    Sacks are rare, half the pass plays are behind the line or 3 step drops.
    Most sacks are now made by blitzes and by unblocked players.
    Certain rushing the passer matters because there are plays and situations where there actually is a real decent opportunity to get to the QB, and if you cannot, you extend the play. But where we are going to improve the defense that allowed the 3rd fewest points in the conference last year is by covering well enough and long enough to give the pass rushers time to rush.

    I'm mean we could go out and trade for Freeney, and change out whole system to tell him to rush the passer every play and ignore the run unless you trip over the back. That would give us an expected extra one sack every 2 years over what JAG-TBC got us with his 10 last year since Freeney averges 10.5 for his career.
     
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He compares well based upon last season. The question is whether it was a fluke. I posted his stats compared to most of the top rushers a while back, I will see if I can find it.
     
  10. PatsWickedPissah

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  11. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think it is generally agreed that TBC's stats from last season were inflated from playing twice against a terrible Bills OL who couldn't sign OTs quick enough. Half of his sacks came against the Bills. Over the course of the entire season, he generally provided an adequate pass rush and was frequently a liability in run support. Not all that off from Peppers, though, so maybe you're right. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  12. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Get sacks in bunches happens with most pass rushers.
    TBC actually did a good job against the run, which isnt surprising because just about every 'pass rushing' OLB that BB has had became very good vs the run, most notbly Colvin who was bad vs the run when he arrived and very, very good by his last full, healthy season.
     
  14. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I think he means the Vulcan mind-melding method where other teams attempt to sway BB's mind into flip-flopping between the 3-4 and the 4-3 several times during a game, leading to a fatal brain aneurysm caused by too much thinking on Cunningham's part.
     
  15. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ah. I thought it was like the article about the rookie in the Onion and BB was going to make Cunningham work at the checkout in target from 3 to 4 one day, then 4 pm to 3 am the next and that would make him tired.
     
  16. bigfandan

    bigfandan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Freeney is a worthless bum, you are right.
    Don't forgot, Freeny is an all pro, TBC can not get a sniff. Freeny is constantly disrupting pass protection, getting in to backfield, making qb throw in a hurry; if he was healthy, the superbowl ending may be different.

    Just saying.

     
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I didn't mention Banta-Cain's sack total or that of the patriots. In fact, I mentioned that perhaps Tully was in fact an average pass-rusher. BTW, I am a strong supporter of Banta-Cain. I, as Reiss, believe that he is the key to our pass-rush and is reasonable in that regard. Banta-Cain was a fine addition. HOWEVER, I'm not sure that his talent is more than the average of those starting at OLB in the AFC. And even if Banta-Cain is a bit above average, the others are not. Do you disagree?

    BTW, Banta-Cain had 9.5 sacks precisely because there was no one of any quality on the other side. Of course, it would be unreasonable to expect Banta-Cain to repeat and for a JAG on the other side to equal his 2009 totals.

    You are proposing the strawman of sack totals to measure our passrush. And in that your analysis is tortured mentioning that only 5 teams had four more sacks than we did, and that they were not in the playoffs. What of the teams that had only 1-3 more sacks than we did?

    A passrush is measured by much more than sacks. It is measured by hurries, by quarterback ratings of opposing quarterbacks, and by points given up.

    QUESTIONS FOR ANDY
    1) Do you believe that we have at least an average passrush?
    2) Do you believe that our OLB's are average against the pass?
    3) Do you believe that OLB is other than our weakest defensive position?

    MY BOTTOM LINE
    I don't understand why Belichick has chosen to devote such minimal resources to this position. HOWEVER, I believe that improvements in the other defensive units will result in an improvement from a top 10 defense in 2009 to a better one in 2010.


     
  18. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1) I think average is the perfect categorization of our pass rush. I think that the common rhetoic is that it is worse than average just like if Tom Brady gets hit four and the we hit the QB on he other team 12 times the next day there will be pages and pages about how our OL sucks and Brady is going to get killed. Just as the OC gets ripped when a play doesnt work for any reason. Just like we can be among the league leaders in 3rd down conversions on both sides of the ball and you will hear that we need to blitz more because we can't get off the field and we need better 3rd down offense.
    They are all areas of heavy emphasis and expctations are out of what to begin with.
    2) We don't know who are OLBs are going to be. Unlike most other teams half the time our OLBs play DL, so thats a hard comparison to make. I dont know, though, how you call TBC a JAG then say he only gets sacks because the other OLB sucked? Wouldnt that mean it is harder for him?
    3) That is difficult to answer. OLB is a unique position. And we may use different players for the different roles that the position has. We don't even know who they will be. I think last year that corner or OLB was our worst position, and I think the deficiencies at corner hurt us more. The OLBs were passable against the run, and average rushing the passer. Had our corners been better, we would have had more pass rush success. he biggest weakness in our sub package rush though was inside not outside.
    Its all interrealted. I'd rather live with Pierre Woods playing the run and Burgess replacing him to rush the passer in sub than be weak in coverage though, which is why I wished for and got a first round corner and a bunch of DBs drafted high lately. [/quote]




    He doesnt have unlimited resources.
    I think if you really look at the draft in the first couple of rounds there are players at many positions each time we select that project to be better than what we have (at least potentially) or will by the time they develop.
    Then in the later rounds its the same idea with reserves.
    If, very simlistically, your pool for that pick, say in round 2 are all of the guys who project to be bette than what you now have or will still have in 2-3 years, and you pick the best player among that group, that isn't ignoring a position. Its picking the player most likely to help the most.
    I think its very, very easy to see how OLBs would rarely be the best guy among those groups, because 4-3 teams are overvaluing them and taking them earlier than we would.

    Here is an example.
    What if BB feeling that OLB was a huge need traded up to get Gholston?
    What if BB drafted Dwight Freeney 8 years ago?
    Freeney has 84 sacks in 8 years. That is in a system where all he has to do is rush the passer. Every play every down, he is trying to spin, run, twist, go anywhere he has to in order to get the QB.
    It is ludicrous to say he would get as many sacks in our 2gap system.
    If that draftwas redone most people think he would be one of the top picks.
    Where would we value him? If the system only costs him 1/4 of his sacks, where would we rate a guy who will get us 63 sacks in 8 years and be awful vs the run?
    I am certain BB sees value in him, but I would imagine it is a lower value than most other teams would.

    Sure, I think it would be great if BB had a defenive style that caused us to sack the QB more than anyone else. But it would come at a cost. I think that his track record says that its prudent to accept the entire package instead of pining for the flavor of the month because the amount of success he has had dwarfs every one of his contemporaries.

    By the way when I reread my response it sounded pretty bonbastic and belligerent toward your comments. Wasn't meant that way, I was just getting into it with the topic. No hard feelings I hope.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  19. BPF

    BPF In the Starting Line-Up

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    The key to a BB 3-4 defense pass rush is the secondary not OLBs. The 3-4's weakness is that three DL + 1 LB cannot reliably collapse the pocket on five OL + TE or RB, so it becomes much harder to pressure the QB in a quick way. BB's 3-4 has struggled vs the pass when the secondary wasn't physical.

    In BB's 3-4, you select your four LBs for their speed to drop & cover, ability to rush the passer and strength vs the run. Since there are four LBs, the QB can't figure out quickly enough which one of the four will be rushing on a given play. Sometimes the defense will rush two LBs/DE on the same side, so there are two/three DL and one/two LBs attacking three offensive linemen. In order for this deception to work you need a physical secondary, one that can cover as well. It's important for the success of BB's defense to play an extremely physical game, jamming the WRs hard at the line of scrimmage. Like we all remember in the SB vs Rams. The Pats defense looked outmatched on paper vs the fast WRs of the Rams, but by playing a physical game the Pats defense succeeded. Same things vs Colts in 2004 in the playoffs. The Pats outphysicaled the Colts and shut them down. That Colts offense was suppossedly unstopable. So BB has been focusing his resources in the right place, most just don't see it that way -- thus all the high picks on the secondary over the past few yrs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I strongly agree that the secondary has been more in need of resources than the pass rush over the past four years. A patchwork/system set of OLB's is not so bad. A patchwork set of defensive backs is a disaster. And yes, I am glad that we spent the resources to rebuild the secondary with six top picks in the past four drafts (1,2,4,2,2,1) in addition to signing and re-signing Bodden and McGowan.

    I also agree with you with regard to Burgess/Woods opposite Banta-Cain. All are serviceable and should NOT lose us games. That is as much as one can ask of our weakest link. Are Cunningham and Crable really the answer to the future at OLB? BTW, if we are right about Burgess and Woods, why aren't they being signed to longer contracts. Even Ninkovich is signed through 2011.

    I guess I still would have preferred to have drafted one fewer safety and one more linebacker in 2009. We say that we were waiting for McKenzie at ILB. OK, let's stipulate that. Are we really saying that there was no real value for the patriots at OLB in any round in 2009?

     
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