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Pats Offseason Review - Defense/STs

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  1. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Patriots Defense Off-season Preview.

    NT – Vince Wilfork, Titus Adams– Wilfork played very well this year. Adams spent the year on the practice squad. Wilfork is a UFA next season and the Pats need to prepare for the potential that he’ll be gone. Drafting a NT this year seems to be a given.


    DE – Richard Seymour, Ty Warren, Jarvis Green, LeKevan Smith

    Seymour and Green will be UFA after this year. Smith will be an RFA. Warrren signed a long term extension prior to the start of the 2007 season. Drafting a DE, possibly in the first round, seems very likely. Adding another via the draft or off-season also seems very likely.

    ILB/OLB –Mike Vrabel, Adalius Thomas, Shawn Crable, Tedy Bruschi, Jerod Mayo, Vince Redd, Gary Guyton, Bo Ruud, Darrel Robertson, Angelo Craig -
    The Pats brought in a LOT of youth last year with the crown jewel being Jerod Mayo, who was voted Defensive Rookie of the Year. Gary Guyton was the steal of the UDFAs, coming in and being a factor in the nickel sub-packages coming out of camp. Crable and Ruud were injured and never developed. Vince Redd got promoted to the team when Thomas was hurt after earning a black practice jersey 4 times in 9 weeks.

    The Pats pass rush just wasn’t happening from the LBers. They weren’t able to get consistent pressure from the 4 positions like they normally have. This could be because Vrabel played the year hurt and Bruschi was spending more time back helping Mayo out. The Patriots also didn’t have Mayo rush the QB much, instead, having him focus on his run-stopping and coverage assignments.

    Only the Patriots coaching staff knows what it has in Robertson, Craig, Redd and Crable. Keep in mind, though, that prior to tearing a pectoral muscle prior to the combine, Robertson was rated as a second round pick and being compared to the likes of Jason Taylor. Vince Redd and Angelo Craig were both very good pass rushers in college. Crable was a very good, all around, LBer who could rush the passer when needed. The Pats answer to their Pass rushing woes could already be on the team. We, as fans, just don’t know.

    That being said, this stands to be the strongest LBer class in the last 15 years of the draft. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see the Patriots add 2 or 3 LBers so that the corp is fully replenished.

    CB - Ellis Hobbs, Terrence Wheatley, Jonathan Wilhite, Mike Richardson -
    The Fernando Bryant era in New England died in pre-season. The Deltha O’Neal experiment was a flop. Jason Webster was signed, cut, brought back and then left again with an injury. Terence Wheatley broke his LEFT wrist after he went arse over elbows deflecting a pass and landing with all his weight on it. Wilhite and Richardson had the normal rookie troubles, but played solid.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Patriots sign a veteran like a Bryan McFadden. If they could somehow steal Kelvin Hayden from the Colts, I’d be happy. The Pats could be looking at another CB in the draft as well.


    Safety - Ray Ventrone, Brandon Meriweather, Matt Slater, Antwain Spann-
    Meriweather played great, really stepping it up by the end of the year. Ventrone broke his jaw late in the season, but should be ready come TC. Slater had his good and bad moments. Spann was cut and then brought back off the Practice Squad

    The Pats, with Harrison, James Sanders, Lewis Sanders and Tank Williams all being UFA, will likely be involved in free agenty to either re-sign or replace these guys. One intriguing name is Sean Jones, formerly of the Browns. The Pats will also likely draft a Safety. Some intriguing prospects include Will Moore, Taylor Mays, Chip Vaughn, Rashad Johnson, and Kevin Ellison.

    Special Teams:

    Kicker – Stephen Gostkowski -
    Stephen Gostkowski became the Patriots single season leading scorer this year. He did extremely well on improving his kicks, though he still had a mistake or two. Gost is someone I hope the Patriots will keep for a long time.

    Punter –Tom Malone - Chris Hanson had a decent season. But it can be improved upon.

    Look for someone via free agency or via the draft, though Hanson could be brought back in a pinch.


    Long-Snapper - None– This is a position that should be address prior to the draft.
     
  2. slash83

    slash83 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: Pats OffSeason Review - Defense / STs

    Kelvin Hayden?
     
  3. wdkantro2

    wdkantro2 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Re: Pats OffSeason Review - Defense / STs

    Pretty good break down. However, I know the secondary sucks, but I have no clue why you would want Kelvin Hayden. Why would you throw out his name like he is a savior or something?
     
  4. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Pats OffSeason Review - Defense / STs

    Umm.. Because he's the only guy I know of that can rape a WR in the End zone on numerous occasions and get away with it.... :p

    As much as I hate the Colts and their players, I have to give them props when they are due. Hayden has developed into a good corner who can bring the wood on occasion.

    Stealing him from the Colts make them weaker. Just like stealing McFadden from the Steelers would make them weaker.
     
  5. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Pats OffSeason Review - Defense / STs

    Another good one. However, I do disagree with your sentiments about the Vince Wilfork situation. I fully expect him to sign an extension at some point before he is a UFA.
     
  6. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Pats OffSeason Review - Defense / STs

    Kontradiction - I didn't say Wilfork would be gone. I said that the Pats had to prepare for that possibility. And, as it stands right now, they still don't have a true reserve NT. So, it would benefit them whether Wilfork stays or not.
     
  7. alvinnf

    alvinnf In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: Pats OffSeason Review - Defense / STs

    I wonder what the D would have looked like had Tank Williams not been injured. It seemed like they were developing a role for him. I also like having Rosie around he just seems to know how to play in this system.
     
  8. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Pats OffSeason Review - Defense / STs

    Ah okay then. I'd love to see Wilfork stay. Man is the ancor of our defensive line.
     
  9. BradfordPatsFan

    BradfordPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: Pats OffSeason Review - Defense / STs

    I think McFadden would be a fine fit and weakening a top AFC team would be a bonus. Adding Jones and McFadden would allow the Patriots to focus on OLB, MLB, or DE within their first three picks.
     
  10. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    Re: Pats OffSeason Review - Defense / STs

    I believe both seymour and wilfork will be extended this off season.......
     
  11. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I thought vince got promoted when woods broke his jaw...emm what am i missing from a list where woods is not their ? .

    Wilfork is the heart of our defence and how many teams you know are drafting a NT every year hoping for 1 hit.If the pats as you said were preparing looking at wilfork development time should have drafted one 1 yr ago to learn for 2 yrs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  12. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Woods is in the Free Agents thread since he is an RFA.

    Thomas went down in game 9. Redd played in game 10.

    Adalius Thomas
    Vince Redd: Game Logs

    Was splitting starting time with Keith Traylor during his second year. One of the things about the draft is that the Patriots draft based on Best Value available. If there was a NT who they felt was good value at the time their draft position came up, then they would have taken him... And, in all honesty, I don't remember there being any NT prospect last year that was available when the Pats drafted early on.
     
  13. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I do not see a NT develop in 1 yr to the point he is going to anchor the line . it like DE to OLB is a conversion project. Vince was very highly rated and a tremendour prospect who took a few years to develop . If we do not find the next vince we are still looking at a few yrs of development.so if we are planning to live with out vince his replacement should be in the roster now.

    He played 597 of 950 snaps (63 percent) which means somehow this snap count has be filled by some one who has to learn this position faster then vince a reason i believe he has to be resigned .

    Vince redd played 35 snaps for the entire year so i do not believe he replaced AD but you are correct that he was moved up after the injury i mistook the statement. i hope he steps up or crable to atleast replace woods 247 snaps this year if woods is not resigned. I also put woods in as a must resign as he was league ahead of banta cain espeically in coverage,against the run and pass rush.He is 26 and if he follows AD , Mike vrabel OLB coversion lines will get good as he his his prime in the next years.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  14. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I was thinking along the same lines and stealing Hayden or McFadden also weakens two top foes. Another guy I like is Dewan Landry who was put on IR this year so he'll fly a little under the radar. Having Landry and Meriweather together would give the Pats two very fast safeties who can play either position. Landry would be better in the SS role and perhaps give us the play maker that Rodney and Lawyer have been in the past.
     
  15. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Satz - Wilfork took a bit over a year to get to the point where the Patriots felt comfortable letting him start.

    Also, why would the person have to fill Wilfork's snap count faster than Wilfork did? That doesn't make any sense at all.

    While I would LIKE to have Wilfork re-signed and while Wilfork has said he wants to stay in New England, the reality is that no one can see the future. The Pats could re-sign Wright and draft a NT prospect and could feel that the combination is better than laying out a 5 year contract that would pay Vince 30-50 million. Only time will tell.

    I like Woods. I'm not sure that he'll ever be to the level of Vrabel and Thomas, but he could, very well, end up that way. At the very least, he's a damn good special teamer and brings more than Larry Izzo does in terms of being able to take snaps on the field. The Patriots may just sign him to the 1 year tender offer. Or, he may get signed away by someone else. If he does, I am sure the Pats will accept the 2nd round pick happily.
     
  16. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Landry was mentioned by someone else. But what was also mentioned is that Landry is not a UFA, but an RFA. So a lot will depend on the type of tender offer that Landry receives. Landry, being a 5th round pick, could be signed to a 1.5 Mill tender (2nd round compensation) and that could cause people to shy away. Or, the Pats could pull a Wes Welker type deal to acquire Landry by adding an additional pick to get Landry's rights and sign him to a long term deal.
     
  17. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    In a year i mean , wright has great game and then alot of stinkers. Green is a great pass rushing tackle but again we struggle in the running game when they are in consistently. Also, i believe NT is a position that is hard to find yes you can get a jenkins,shawn rogers for a year but nothing long term. san deigo ,steelers have older NT and keep drafting to no success. again i hope he stays as their just arn`t dorminant young players who can last a few years.

    I like woods too , but AD was a 6th rd pick who developed late , vrabel was a spl teams , part time rusher who developed late so i cannot judge how woods will develop now.All i see is some one who shows alot of promise in the DE to OLB conversion under BB in the last few years.He got more playing time then vrabel or ad did when they were 26 which makes it even tougher to compare.
     
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    DEFENSE

    DL - Prepare for 2010
    We will have Warren and we will have LeKevin Smith coming back as an RFA is 2010. Do we re-sign Wright to starter's pay as we did Green a few year's ago. Do we make Wilfork the highest paid DL in football? Do we extend Seymour for big bucks? (Does anyone think that he will show up for his salary this year; that is NOT is history)? Do we extend Green as we did before? Answer all these questions in the affirmative and we would then decide whether to draft a defensive lineman to push Smith. If any are not extended, then we definitely would draft a DE on Day One and another early on Day 2, and be prepared to carry as many as 8 DL's as we have in the past.

    LB - Do we have the appropriate mix of veterans and potential?
    Starters (4): Vrabel, Thomas, Mayo, Guyton (appropriate mix here)
    Veteran backups (2): Bruschi, Colvin
    Developmental youngsters (keep 2): Crable, Redd, Ruud, Robertson, Craig
    RFA or re-sign option: Woods (1) (I expect to sign him as insurance, at least)

    I believe that this is a very strong unit. However, I also agree that we could draft an linebacker or two. I would like to see a stud ILB in the first 100 picks, and perhaps a DE?OLB.

    CB
    Hobbs, Lew Sanders (or replacement vet), Wheatley, Wilhite, Richardson
    I would expect to see a top draft 100 pick who would likely take Richardson's spot.

    S
    Spann and Slater are exclusively STer, except in Tranining Camp and in pre-season games. We have Meriweather. We need re-sign our secondary signal caller James Sanders or replace him in free agency. We should re-sign Tank Williams as a perfect backup safety. I also expect us to re-sign corner Lew Sanders, who is also a backup safety. I expect a top 100 pick for a backup safety or to compete for even more reps if James Sanders is not re-signed.

    DEFENSE BOTTOM LINE
    The primary uncertainty for me is which DL's will be re-signed. I believe that this defense is being transformed from 2007 through 2008 and into 2009. This is a great draft. In the top 100 picks, we should re-laod at ILB, CB, S and if needed at DE. My hope is that we can extend the DE's and have the luxury to use the picks at TE and WR. Later picks can be used for potentail competitiors at several positions






     
  19. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    You're correct. I misread the site I was looking at over the weekend and thought he was listed as a UFA.
     
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Specialists and Special Teams

    SPECIALISTS (you call them Special Teams)
    Gostkowski is the best in the league. Paxton is the best in the league, and is a free agent. While I expect him to be re-signed, this is not an issue that will affect free agency since I expect Hochstein to be re-signed. Hanson will likely be re-signed, and we have Malone already signed as his competition. If Belichick signed another punter instead of Hanson, the effect will be minimal.

    SPECIAL TEAMERS
    I usually separate out 6 roster spots that are filled by players who are usually active to play on the special team units. Obviously this number can be lower ir high in various seasons, and a spot or even two can be needed for developmental players. I expect Evans to be re-signed.
    INCUMBANTS: Evans, Washington, Ventrone, Slater, Spann, Redd
    These players will make the team as special teamers, or not at all. On in the case of Redd, is the play at a position relevant to the decision to keep the player. Of course, many top STers are backups or even starters at regular positions (e.g. Woods, L. Sanders, T. Williams and Aiken). This year, I think that these players are especially vulnerable. Note that I have not included Alexander and Izzo who could be back.



     
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