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Reiss' take on FA LBs

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by cstjohn17, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/2007/02/top_need_lbs_1.html

    PATS POSITION: The Patriots' need at this position was evident when second-year player Eric Alexander was given his first career start in the AFC Championship game. While Alexander might develop into a solid linebacker, the fact he was called upon in such a critical situation highlighted the Patriots' need to add more depth and speed to this position. This is also the oldest positional spot on the roster.

    Some new names added to the mix, the Pats need at least one FA to start at ILB.
     
  2. NEPatriot

    NEPatriot Banned

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    I found the piece helpful. I still believe that the answer to LB will come in the form of FA with a high draft choice being worked into the lineup.
     
  3. SeanBruschi54

    SeanBruschi54 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    I'm surprised he didnt mention the other LB from the Ravens Jarret Johnson (?)

    But overall a good take from Reiss.
     
  4. SeanBruschi54

    SeanBruschi54 In the Starting Line-Up

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    He also left out Carlos Polk which is another under the radar free agent.
     
  5. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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  6. unoriginal

    unoriginal In the Starting Line-Up

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    Anymore? Alexander has played one season. If he's an adequate special teamer, there's no reason to assume he won't improve as a coverage linebacker.

    Izzo and Davis are what they are.
     
  7. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's funny -- Reiss said second-year, you say one season. In fact, Alexander's draft year was 2004. He has played parts of 3 seasons with the Patriots, spending the remainder of the time on the practice squad. I'm not expecting any big surprises out of him at this point.
     
  8. unoriginal

    unoriginal In the Starting Line-Up

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    Check out the difference between Alexander's 2005 and 2006 seasons on his Patriots bio page.

    One season.
     
  9. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

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    Reiss mentioned a couple possibilities that I hadn't considered before:


    Both these guys would be great because of their size and age (veteran, but not over the hill). However, I don't really know enough about either of them to guess at whether they would fit the Patriots' system well or not. Anybody have an opinion?
     
  10. SeanBruschi54

    SeanBruschi54 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    I was never high on Harris personally something strikes me as a lazy player. I honestly cant prove that but i have never liked him even when he was in Oakland.

    Kawika on the other hand has all the making to be a great LB for us. Hes young smart talented and has 4 years experience in a 3-4 system at ILB. Played well for the most part the last two seasons but has been called serviceable by his KC fans. KC fans wont miss him but i dont know what they expect from him. He plays next to Thomas so i guess they compare the two constantly.
     
  11. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I understand that his playing time was minimal before this season but that's like calling Marquise Hill a rookie based on his playing time. Alexander has been with the team year-round, in all practices, for three seasons straight. He saw action in 3 games all the way back in 2004. Part of each season was spent on the practice squad, but the distinction between PS and inactive on the 53 is negligible when it comes to development as a player.

    I have nothing against Alexander, I just don't think it's realistic to consider him a first-year player with significant untapped potential.

    Here's his NFL player page:
    http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/493767
     
  12. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Unfortunately the Patriots are almost forced to spend money at LB because they lack the pipeline of young LBs to step right in and start. They have only drafted 2 LBs since 2003. http://www.nfl.com/draft/history/teams/NE

    Alexander has gotten better each year but it would be extremely questionable to have him assume anything beyond special teams and occasional spot duty on 3rd down. His upside seems to be limited.
     
  13. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Given this history, I have to conclude that it's a deliberate choice. There has been plenty of opportunity to draft promising LB candidates. Manny Lawson looked like a perfect project last year, and even if Maroney was better value at that point, Mark Anderson seemed like an incredibly obvious option in round 4 when they took Garrett Mills instead.

    So maybe they just don't think it's worth spending picks on a position that takes so long to develop. Maybe they figure they're better off with vets. It's a reasonable viewpoint, especially with the new restrictions on rookie contract lengths. If so, time to make some signings -- LB is a relatively deep position in this year's FA market.
     
  14. unoriginal

    unoriginal In the Starting Line-Up

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    The difference between Marquise Hill and Eric Alexander is that Alexander is learning the hardest position on the Patriots (linebacker) where we have never seen a young player step in and contribute in any way, shape or form. Every other position besides punter has seen at least one 1st or 2nd year player step in and perform admirably, even quarterback (especially quarterback) and certainly defense end, which is where Hill plays. Also keep in mind Alexander was a 1st year starter at Sam his senior season at LSU, after first progressing through SS and Will, while Hill has been a defensive end since signing his college letter of intent.

    Given all that, I'd don't think its rash to expect more improvement out of Alexander than your garden variety 3rd year player. He could well become a decent contributer two or so years down the road.
     
  15. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Watch for the 'tweener D lineman, in terms of the draft. You know they're always thinking about standing up a lineman... I just wanted to slip this note in there. Our linebacker prospects might not have "LB" next to their names on draft day.

    I've been starting to get onto this linebacker bandwagon, but with little or no real reason to believe the Pats will make the moves my Patsfans-invaded imagination most recognizes as good ideas. Adalius Thomas seems like he will eventually vanish in a puff of numerals ending with a lot of zeroes, as much as I like the idea of signing him. I'll still stick with my Edwards prediction though.

    PFnV
     
  16. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    All fair points, I have to agree. And what's more, I think you've just demonstrated why the Pats haven't been drafting linebackers. If three years with the Pats -- out of Nick Saban's LSU defense -- isn't enough to bring you close to your potential, that's a draft nightmare. At that rate your young LBs will be hitting free agency by the time they learn the position.

    But at some point the Pats MUST find a younger impact LB SOMEWHERE. Sooner rather than later.
     
  17. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    1) Perhaps Harris is too smart for his own good? He did play at Northwestern, after all. He also has the measurables, however.

    2) I'll pass on Kawika Mitchell, thank you. How many guys from a lousy KC defense (Beisel, Warfield) do we have to see in TC? I remember the game at KC in 2004; it was Meion's return from injury, and Mitchell couldn't tackle anyone in the open field. No thanks
     
  18. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    You've been reading my mind, PC. Lawson would have been nice, but I have no problem at all with the Maroney pick. Mark Anderson, however, is an entirely different matter. The FO blew it. Mills may have been available in the 6th round, and if he wasn't - so what? I also wished that LB Karlos Dansby would have been chosen instead of Bumblin' Bennie Watson. If the patsies wanted Watson that badly, then they could have traded their 2nd and 3rd rounders for him, similar to what they did to acquire Hangin' Chad Jackson. It's not like those 2 picks were spent wisely, anyway (see: Hill, Marquise, and Scott, Guss).

    I also agree with you and CSTJ re: Alexander. The jag just isn't talented enough to play for us, I'm afraid. Never was, never will be.
     
  19. Triumph

    Triumph Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #32 Jersey

    Are you really a GAL?

    And how do you know so much about football?
     
  20. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    "Made his first NFL start at middle linebacker and led the team with 10 solo tackles ... Registered a sack, a pass defensed and a forced fumble ... Sacked Peyton Manning for a 1-yard loss in the second quarter ... Knocked down a pass over the middle intended for Bryan Fletcher late in the fourth quarter."

    -- from the article.
    For a guy who played RB/Safety he is going to take time to convert as does any DE.He is not a LB , but a conversion project.
    I see hope thsi season he needs to get more play time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2007

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