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Re-thinking the defensive line/player predictions

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by supafly, Aug 16, 2012.

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  1. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    As guys like Fanane, Pryor, and G.Warren are nowhere to be seen so far, what is the general consensus for defensive line positional predictions as we move into a period to wrap up the last 3 preseason games (10 day period starting Monday vs PHI)?

    I'm guessing 16 myself for front seven:

    1.Wilfork
    2.Deaderick
    3.Love
    4.Ninkovich
    5.Mayo
    6.Cunningham
    7.Brace
    8.Bequette
    9.Hightower
    10.Jones
    11.Scott
    12.Spikes
    13.Francis

    14.Either one OR two of Carpenter, Tarpinian, T.White as our "coverage" LB(s) who will also play special teams. That will either take us up to 14 or 15.

    There's a big difference between 14 and 15 though, as we certainly would need more big bodies for the front line.

    I'm not as worried about Pryor myself, as I am about Fanane.

    Warren was already a bubble/shadow roster player as it was, but has use in run heavy packages and has experience in this system--especially if Fanane and Pryor end up on PUP (EDIT: as mayoclinic correctly points out, Fanane has already taken practice reps in TC, therefore making him ineligible for PUP...so that's my mistake)

    Obviously the popular thought will be that either: one or more of these guys will not be out for too long + the idea of picking up another teams' castoff.

    At any rate, we seem to have a slight problem with some depth on the defensive line if more than one of these guys is expected to miss any time. It could have been argued that we needed more depth and competition before this too.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  2. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    My take.

    Heavies

    2 needed at once; need endurance to deal with double-teams. Would need 3 in a 3-4 base.

    1.Wilfork
    2.Deaderick
    3.Love
    7.Brace


    At least one more is needed; if that's your point, you're absolutely correct. I'd say Fanene, then Warren.

    Lighter ends and rushing-specialist LBs
    2 needed at once; traditionally this is an endurance-need/rotate-the-guys role

    4.Ninkovich
    6.Cunningham
    8.Bequette
    10.Jones
    11.Scott
    13.Francis


    6 is a nice to have. Not sure if it's absolutely needed. Is Francis that good? Will Andre Carter be available at the Pats' price? Does also provide LB depth, and perhaps 3 of these tuys might play at once.

    Unarguably LBs
    3 needed on base-package downs, 2 otherwise (and in some but not all 3-4 base configurations)

    5.Mayo
    9.Hightower
    12.Spikes
    14.Either one OR two of Carpenter, Tarpinian, T.White as our "coverage" LB(s) who will also play special teams.


    I say 2 of the STers, else things get thin the moment Spikes is hurt again.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  3. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I am thinking 2 of the ST LB'ers myself, Fencer. I think that Carpenter is looking pretty good for a spot, and was seen calling plays from the defensive huddle today. More assignments can often lead to a better chance of making the team, especially in Carpenter's situation with Fletcher being out now.

    The other position will likely be a battle between Tarpinian and White, as White is finally healthy. That will certainly be one to keep an eye on.

    For the 6 lighter ends/rushing specialists I just have a gut feeling that Cunningham gets a chance to stay another year. If not, it will likely come down to Cunningham vs Scott in my opinion.

    At any rate I still see 16 front seven players, with an additional big body added--whether or not Fanane is fine. That could also raise competition for Brace too. I personally don't see Carter coming back unless it is into the regular season, which is a possibility. Warren should be a close phone call away too, or will be signed after the 1st game to avoid the guaranteed salary (what they did last yr IIRC). Pryor will likely be a PUP spot, seeing as how he hasn't had any TC reps + the fact that we could possibly use an interior sub guy later in the season.

    That would leave 9 DB's to make 25 on defense total.
  4. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    Based on the Saints game I'd say Cunningham is pretty much a lock at this point. He was the first DE off the bench and was effective rushing the passer and holding up against the run. He also lined up at DT on passing downs a couple times.
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with you comments.

    HEAVIES (5)
    We need at least five. Fanene is my #5, although the position could go to Warren.
    Wilfork, Deaderick, Love, Brace, Fanene, (Warren)

    LIGHTER DE'S AND PASS-RUSHING OLB'S (5)
    Francis is the odd man out. Scott and Cunningham have done well enough to stay.
    Ninkovich, Jones, Bequette, Cunningham, Scott

    UNARGUABLY LINEBACKERS (4)
    Carpenter competed with Fletcher for the fourth spot. It is now his.
    Mayo, Hightower, Spikes, Carpenter

    SPECIAL TEAMS (1)
    Niko seems to be the best choice at this point. This give us 2 LB/ST specialists: Carpenter and Koutouvides.

    NUMBER 16 (1)
    This could go to a 6th DT (Warren), a developmental player (Francis) or a Special Teamer (White, Tarpinian or even a safety). Personally, I would chose Warren. There always seems to be an injury at DT.

  6. Ivan

    Ivan On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    I don't know how bad the injury to Fanene is but short of IR there is no way I see him left off this roster.
  7. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Geez, I forgot about Fanene.

    When did he last practice? Minicamps when he tweeked something?
  8. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    Not sure you guys were doing this with any sort of order in mind but I found it interesting all three of you wrote Wilfork, Deadrick, then Love. To me the two best DL we have wide bodied or not right now are Wilfork and Love.

    I dont think people realize how good Love is he had a real good year last year and looks confident and is a beast out there. I think he had 4 sacks last year and would think that number will be about the same but I think he will be a better all around player. I think he seems to be stronger and more stout and I expect his reps will go up somewhat from last year.

    I said widebodied or not so hopefully he quickly becomes 3 behind Vince and Jones but right now I say 2.
  9. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I agree that 16 should probably go to a DT, but I also wouldn't be at all surprised to see Francis beat out Scott, or even Cunningham if his resurgence has been overstated.
  10. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yep, a lot of short memories here. :) By all accounts Fanene had a great start to camp, and there's still plenty of time for him to come back. With Pryor presumably on PUP, Fanene's the one real inside rusher on the team and an extremely valuable moving part. Plus the combo of a $3.85 signing bonus and $900k salary = lock.

    Here's how I have it, based on the latest we've seen:

    Locks/Near-Locks
    DT/3-4 DE: Wilfork, Love, Fanene, Deaderick
    DE/3-4 OLB: Jones, Ninkovich, Cunningham, Bequette
    LB: Mayo, Spikes, Hightower, Carpenter

    Most Likely Final Spots:
    DT/3-4 DE: Brace (Warren on shadow roster)
    DE/3-4 OLB: Scott (he's pretty cheap, and my guess is Francis makes the PS)
    LB: Tarpinian (this is an ST-first slot, and the coaches see to love him there)
  11. Ivan

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    #75 Jersey



    That's pretty much exactly the way I see it.
  12. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Not for me. I was just quoting the first post.
  13. Deus Irae

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

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    Disable Jersey

    I'm looking for locks, and I'm seeing:

    DL:
    Wilfork
    Love
    Deaderick

    DE/OLB:
    Jones
    Ninkovich

    LB:
    Spikes
    Hightower
    Mayo

    I'd consider Fanene a lock if I knew the injury was minor enough that he'll return, and I consider Bequette about as close to a lock as you get without actually being one, given his draft status this year.

    That likely leaves 6 spots in contention, and it could be just 5 if Carter's re-signed.
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm fine with your first 14 (plus trying to get Francis to the PS). :) So, we agree on the Front Seven.
    =====================================

    Any disagreement is about Special-Teams first players. You have Tarpinian. I have Koutouvides, and would be fine with Tarp or White.

    The open question is whether we will carry a 16th Front Seven Player, either a DT (Warren) or an additional Special Teamer. I could certainly see your implied view of Belichick saying no to #16 and keeping a S/ST instead.
    ========================================


  15. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    So if Brace has a really good three remaining preseason games, does he create enough value for us to trade him for a ROT?

    Because even if Vollmer gets 100% healthy tomorrow (and I do not see that happening), he looks to be really far behind at this point in the preseason and Cannon moves as well as a real cannon with two broke wheels.
  16. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's definitely the big question for me. I could easily imagine keeping another widebody (Forston would be an interesting dark horse). But if you take my front 15 and add DB locks of:

    McCourty
    Arrington
    Dowling
    Gregory
    Chung
    Wilson

    Then that leaves maybe 5 total slots to go around for players like Dennard, Moore, Cole, Ihedigbo, Barrett, Allen, Ebner and an extra DT.
  17. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Does anybody have an extra RT? Whether it takes a player or a pick, that would be a tempting trade. I'm just skeptical that anybody's 4th or 5th tackle would be an upgrade here.

    EDIT: especially since the Jets have already been out beating the bushes for RTs during camp.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  18. Patriot 37

    Patriot 37 Rookie

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    Maybe I'm misreading your post are you saying Faneane will get cut ? 0% chance of that happening.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  19. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I haven't seen anyone speak of Fanane being cut, including myself.

    The concern was how bad his injury is, and the fact that it could have been argued that we already needed another big body even before he was injured.

    Now that there are injuries to Warren, Fanane, and Pryor, there is an obvious need.
  20. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    The 'concern' isn't for Fanane making the team, it is for his injury status and the worry that he may end up missing a couple/few games.

    The only reason I brought it up is b/c we haven't seen him or heard about him in quite awhile.

    Some posters seem to feel that they are just being cautious with him, so we'll have to root for that scenario.
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