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RF365 Looks at the Pats Secondary

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by NavinR.Johnson, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. NavinR.Johnson

    NavinR.Johnson On the Roster

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    Despite popular opinion, Law wasn't a need for New England

    Since the New England Patriots lost out to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Ty Law sweepstakes, many in the Boston area have begun to worry over their favorite team's secondary in the coming year. Not to panic, though, New Englanders. Law was one of the greatest defensive backs in Patriots history between 1995-2004, but he simply wasn't a must-have for head coach Bill Belichick and the rest of the organization.

    Once again, the Patriots elected to conduct business their own way by not paying big-time money to a player they don't necessarily need on their roster. The team's current secondary isn't exactly lower-echelon, even though it could stand to improve.

    Had Law been added to New England's fray, No. 2 cornerback Ellis Hobbs would have been moved to the nickel corner position, but he's more than capable of starting. The former third-round pick out of Iowa State finished his rookie campaign last year with 44 total tackles, an impressive three interceptions, and an even more eye-opening nine pass deflections. It's evident that the 23-year-old has what it takes to become one of the NFL's better playmaking and coverage cornerbacks, despite the fact that he's just 5-9.

    Meanwhile, the Patriots' No. 1 corner, Asante Samuel, has proven to be a capable starter, too. The three-year veteran from Central Florida ended last season with a career-best three interceptions, improving on his total from '04, when he had two. Samuel may not be a household name to the average fan, but New England's loyalists appreciate the ex-fourth-rounder for his coverage abilities and playmaking skills.

    The current starting free safety in Foxborough is Eugene Wilson, a three-year veteran. The 25-year-old experienced a down season in 2005, picking off a career-low one pass. However, in his first two seasons as a member of the Patriots, the 5-10, 195-pounder grabbed a total of eight interceptions and accumulated eight pass deflections.

    Undoubtedly, the Pats' ace in the proverbial hole is Rodney Harrison, who has been one of the best defensive backs in football for the last 11 years.

    The 33-year-old was only able to play in three games last season because of injury, but his return has the coaching staff excited, and the fans hoping he can channel his old form. Two seasons ago, when Harrison was healthy, he ended a Super Bowl-winning year for New England with a whopping 138 total tackles, three sacks and two interceptions. When the 6-1, 220-pounder is playing his best, he's one of the league's principal defenders.

    There's no question the Chiefs' weak secondary was in need of Law's services, but the New England Patriots didn't feel like the corner was an essential for them. And frankly, with Hobbs, Samuel, Wilson and Harrison penciled in as the starters, they're right.

    http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/2006/07/ty-law-patriots260706.html
     
  2. DefenseRules

    DefenseRules Pro Bowl Player

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    #12 Jersey

    I wish that I was as optimistic about our secondary... :(
     
  3. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And why aren't you? :)
     
  4. DefenseRules

    DefenseRules Pro Bowl Player

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    To many question marks. It just feels like something is missing.
     
  5. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I caution fans who are only satisfied if a player has been a proven player in the past, even if he is no longer what he was. They fear the newcomer even if he has given indications of success. In the case of the Patriots they have rebuilt their secondary, are not counting on any rookie or veteran FA as a starter, with youthful talented players who are still rising and not declining.

    And yet there is still good depth consisting of former established starters.

    Players good enough to have been former starters are much better than UDFA scrubs or rookie later round picks, so prevalent on other clubs. As a hypothetical front line, a Patriots secondary consisting of Chad Scott, Eric
    Warfield, Tebucky Jones and Rodney Harrison, league starters all, would hardly be the last rated secondary in the league. Yet these are the prime depth, players not expected to play except in an emergency.

    How bad can it be? What's missing?

    This secondary may not be the most heralded YET, but in my opinion its better than a couple of Super Bowl clubs.
     
  6. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Navin, you Jerk! Keep on dancin', you'll get it right someday!!!!!!

    Man, the posternames keep getting better and better. Welcome aboard.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2006
  7. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    We actually have a good crew that will gel better throughout the year-pending injuries-we've got some spec. team players.WR/KR etc that could fill if needed....we'll be fine....we will fill the holes as the year progresses-Im excited!
     
  8. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Hear, hear, Az!
    You have a welcome gift for making durable truths ... seem unassailable.
     
  9. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    This is a totally optimistic scenario.

    And what's wrong with Gay? On the PUP after more than a whole off season?
     
  10. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Uh, not to be the wet blanket on the party here but there must be reason to worry about a Defensive Backfield that was scorched last year and then returns this year pretty much intact. This very same group finished NEXT TO LAST in the ENTIRE NFL in passing yards/game! Only San Francisco had worse coverage; ah, yeah, that's encouraging.

    You can rant about injuries and circumstances but as one famous Bill said, "you are what you are."

    If Randall Gay doesn't return to 2004 form this group of CB's could be in real trouble, they need his steady play and, ironically, his 'veteran' presence. Hobbs has real talent, I agree, but Asante Samuel can run very hot and cold for a starter. Law is hardly the player he once was but his arrival would have eased the pressure on a group of players that regularly were singed last year - even though they were playing behind one of the best front sevens in the game, think about that.

    Of course, Rodney's return would be beneficial and help solidify the coverage (and the run support) but he is coming off a devasting injury and will need time to get back into form. I am very concerned and don't see how BB couldn't be also, given the facts. Why would the Pats have even talked with Law, knowing from the start he would ask for serious money, unless they had some real worry about the status of the DB's?
     
  11. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Exactly correct NEM, the trials of last season will bear fruit this season.

    Young players got experience under fire, we went through a lot of guys trying to find someone to play safety, I felt Hawkins did a fine job. By the end of the season it was a very good secondary IMO. With the injured returning, this will be an excellent UNIT. No stars, but as BB has pointed out Defense is a team game. Barring catastrophic injuries the Pass and Run will be better than good.
     
  12. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    He's on pre-season PUP, not regular season. I'm all for bringing guys along slowly at this time of year. Who knows, he could be practicing next week.
     

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