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ROLB vs LOLB

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by AzPatsFan, Apr 29, 2010.

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  1. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Many Pats fans say we need Pass Rushing OLBs. I agree, but think that there are really two completely different types of players between a ROLB and a LOLB. What is more I believe that Belichick treats them as two different positions.

    What position is the new Pats DE--> OLB going to play? I predict LOLB/SOLB.

    More importantly, what positions do the present OLB candidates play now? Can any play both positions?

    ROLB or Weakside OLB.
    This is the Prime pass rush position. The present starting incumbent is TBC @ 6'-2" 250#, double digit sacks in 2009.
    Strength: Good, but not great Pass Rush.
    Weakness: Setting the Edge and stopping the weakside Run. Just adequate.
    Pass Drop: Immaterial as he pass rushes all the opportunities.

    Other Reserves:
    Shawn Crabel 6'5" 243 # Unknown
    Adalius Thomas 6'2" 270# Since released
    Pierre Woods from LOLB

    LOLB or strongside OLB.
    The prime responsibility is to stop the outside rush. Secondly to provide Pass Rush. Third is to drop for short TE or RB routes to the flat. Fourth to chuck TE at LOS.
    The present starting incumbent is Derrick Burgess, 6'-2" 260# but he is a FA. I expect him Pats will attempt to resign him.
    Strength: Much better than average LOLB Pass Rusher. Once was a double digit sacker.
    Weakness: Setting the Edge. Is better than average, but can be overpowered.
    Pass Drop: Unfamiliar but is trying to learn as was not a former need. Belichick has applauded his efforts last season.

    Other Reserves:
    Pierre Woods 6'-5" 245# Hustles but is a little too slow. Little Pass Rush. Pass Drop Ineffective.
    Rob Ninkovich 6'-2" 255# High Effort but very limited player. Sets edge well. No Pass Rush. Pass Drop: Ineffective.
    Jermaine Cunningham 6"-3.5" 265# Has almost ideal dimensions, comparable to Mike Vrabel. Pass Rush: Unknown but should be like Vrabel, and approaching Burgess. Has size to set edge well, and did so in college. Pass Drop: Unknown but has requisite size and speed.

    From this I suspect that Jermain Cunningham was imported to be Mike Vrabel's eventual successor while Burgess is a short term fix, there.
    Crabel was a high draft pick, but has been constantly injured.

    Summary: The team has two starters one each per position. But little known depth. Cunningham and Crabel might help, and could press for playing time.

    Flexibility: TBC cannot play strongside, as his anti-run deficiencies become obvious. Derrick Burgess should be able to play both sides, but he is adamant that he can best rush from strongside only.

    Any Injury would definitely hurt. But it is possible that by season's end, if Crabel and Cunningham develop, the depth might be much better.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  2. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    I don't think there is as much separation of duties in NE's defense as you would see in Baltimore's or Pitt's. BB pretty much separates them into Right and Left, as opposed to Strong and Weak. I don't remember the last time the Pats' OLBs actually switched sides to the formation strength - as opposed to their ILBs who do it all the time.

    That said, there is obviously something to the fact that most teams are "right handed", meaning the LOLB should be a better run stopper and ROLB be a better pass rusher. But I think the difference is somewhat minimal and all of NE's LBs are expected to be able to play the run, cover, and rush the passer.

    As you said, TBC is clearly the ROLB. Cunningham will most likely fill Burgess' only role with the team - as a nickel pass rusher. But the LOLB position is wide open and I think every OLB on the team, including Cunningham, will get a chance in TC to lay their claim to that spot.
  3. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I keep thinking that Belichcik will eventually resign Derrick Burgess. But many roster don't show him at all, or never mention him. All I recall is Belichick applauding Derricks attempts to learn a Defense he never played before. And willingly doing the dirty work at LOLB/SOLB like pass dropping, and edge setting. Belichcick usually rewards good effort.

    As far as I know he is still a FA.

    Has he signed anywhere else? Have the Patriots said they are choosing not to pursue a contract with him? Are negotiations going on?
  4. Urgent

    Urgent Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    Over a month ago, when asked, the Patriots responded that they would have a decision on Burgess within a week. A week came and went.

    Doesn't seem to make sense, given the roster, but that says something.

    Like many here, I would like to see the Patriots re-sign Burgess. He seems to be the best available option. There's no cap. They can probably do a one or two-year deal at this point with limited competition. If someone else becomes available in trade, losing Woods or Crable doesn't seem too painful.
  5. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    I think they have to resign him, but I also said the same thing about Colvin last year. I think we can all agree that BB is not done with his transactions yet.
  6. PatsFanStnfrd

    PatsFanStnfrd Rookie

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    Effort is simply not good enough. Burgess was a very costly mistake -- costing the Pats a third and a fifth in this year's draft. Imagine avoiding temptation last year -- BB could have picked up a quality pass rusher and another skill player this year. I know BB did eventually maneuver to pick up a third and a fifth. But one third was traded into 2012 and with the fifth we got the punter Zoltan. Had we kept our our original two choices, we might have picked up someone like Everson Griffen or gotten dibs on Eric Decker (WR). At # 153 (our original fifth round slot) we could have taken Austen Lane who went at that spot to the Jaguars.

    It is the evaluation failures of 2009 reflected in FAs like Galloway, Baker and trades like Lewis (from the Iggles) and Burgess, that has led to NE's strong focus on drafting high character, high consistency players (many captains of their football team). It is also the reason NE has not been tempted by Holmes or Marshall this year.
  7. Criptonite

    Criptonite Rookie

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    It's been represented that way, but it's not exactly what happened. That report was based on "sources" and what people were "expected" to do. Due to my post count I seem to be unable to put a link in here, but Reiss put this up on ESPN Boston on March 23.

    The Patriots and free-agent defensive end Derrick Burgess are maintaining an open dialogue and if the sides are to strike a deal, it would likely come within the next week or so, according to a source close to the situation.

    Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday morning that the team was still interested in Burgess's return.

    Burgess has also heard from a few other clubs and is expected to decide on his future within about seven days. At this point, one would assume any deal for him wouldn't be much north of $1 million per season on a shorter term.

    The Patriots, who acquired Burgess from the Oakland Raiders last season for third- and fifth-round draft choices, are thin at the outside linebacker/nickel rusher spot where Burgess lined up for 57.3 percent of the team's snaps last season. Although Burgess didn't have a major impact on the stat sheet, Belichick previously spoke about how he felt he was helping the team and adjusted well to the Patriots' scheme.
  8. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    It's been over a month since that report. I don't think that Burgess is walking through that door unless he's willing to swallow his pride and take vet min.
  9. JMarr

    JMarr Rookie

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    Definitely one of the bigger mysteries of the off-season. Maybe BB is waiting to see if he has anything in Cunningham or Crable, but I doubt it. Woods was signed for depth and special teams, nothing more. Nincovich = fail as a starter.

    To me everything points to Burgess being re-signed. Unless he had a bad case of Adalius-itis last season, I think they definintely want to bring him back. He's prototypical as a 3/4 LOLB or a 4-3 DE, so dare I say it, he could be the missing piece on defense this year.
  10. Criptonite

    Criptonite Rookie

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    Haha yeah I've been wondering the same thing. I figured he'd already be on the roster by now or at least would have signed elsewhere. But you never know what's going on behind the scenes. Sounds like Chris Baker caught Adaliusitis last year too. Hopefully Burgess is clean.
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