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Seau's loss big hit to run defense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PromisedLand, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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    Watching the game yesterday, I had the distinct impression that our run D was doing it's usual excellent job up to the point of the Seau injury, and after the injury it was giving up a lot of yards on the ground. I did some analysis to test this subjective impression, and the stats dramatically bear it out:

    Run Defense V Bears
    With Junior:
    Att Yds Avg Long TD
    12 34 2.8 14 0

    After his injury:
    Att Yds Avg Long TD
    24 119 5.0 17 1

    The Bears averaged almost twice the yards per carry after Junior went down! This does not bode well for the rest of the season and of course, the postseason. Coming into yesterday's game we were allowing a stingy 3.3 yards per carry - amongst the best in the league - with Seau yesterday we improved on that, but without him we allowed 5.0 ypc which if it were for the whole season is the same as New Orleans 31st rank run defense.

    This is scary, folks, especially considering who we have backing him up. Admittedly the sample size is small, but the pre- and post-injury stats are so dramatically different I think they are nonetheless significant. We'll see how this plays out in coming weeks, but right now I think we will look back on this injury as a huge setback in our bid for #4.
  2. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    Move Vrabel inside and start TBC on the outside. I think the Pats will be OK. I would be more worried about the pass rush and coverage skills. I think Vrabel is a fine subsitute for Seau, its the drop-off from Vrabel to TBC that should be a concern.
  3. BelichickFan

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    I agree that there is a concern but I am not as concerned as you. Remember three guys had to move :

    Vrabel to inside
    Colvin from WOLB to SOLB
    TBC in to WOLB

    Even if this is a lesser alignment, having to make the switch on the fly would cause some problems which will get fixed through time. I'm not saying everything will be fine but a subset of the problem will be fixed just through being able to have these guys together all week and the weeks to follow.
  4. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    Unlike several critical fans, I will greatly miss seeing Seau celebrate after a tackle. Because he made the tackle in the first place.

    I will miss his fire. I will miss him leading the team with tackle after tackle.
  5. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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    That's exactly what they did yesterday which yielded 5.0 ypc. I think Junior was the best inside run-stuffer since TJ retired. Actually better - he was playing really well. It's really the drop-off from Seau to TBC which is occuring, plus Mr. Vrabel is more effective as an OLB than an ILB, so we really took a hit at two positions. TBC was also getting a few snaps before the injury subbing in for Colvin - now we'll have to go to the next guy on the depth chart, which no matter who is somebody very raw.
  6. D-cleater

    D-cleater Rookie

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    I feel the pain. I said earlier in the season that Junior was the best strong side ILB we've had in the Belichik era, even at 37. And this is coming from an admitted Ted Johnson/Roman Phifer apologist. He was more than solid against the run, and big reason for our success this season, especially with Rodney being out.

    We'll manage, and fortunately we have a few lollipops on the schedule to get good against, so any holier-than-thou members just waiting to contribute the self serving 'sky is falling' post please bite it, and admit to yourself that Seau was playing at a high loss and this does limit a lot of what we can do on defense with Vrabel having to play inside.
  7. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It will help when everyone is getting practice in their proper position rather than having to adapt midway through the game. The issue will be how TBC performs on running plays.

    If this is the end of Seau's career, it will be a shame to end it that way. Hope he can come back for another year if he wants.
  8. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    Vrabel had baptism by fire. After game planning all week for outside LB, during the game he was thrown into MLB. Totally different game with bodies flying around you everywhere, different attack points. Give him a week of practice as to what he's suppose to do in the middle it will all be fine.
  9. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    Last year with Vrabel in the middle the Pats rush D gave up 3.6 yards a carry.
  10. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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    Last year with Vrabel in the middle and McGinest on the outside the Pats rush D gave up 3.6 yards a carry, which is still significantly worse than the 3.3 ypc they were allowing before yesterday's game.

    McGinest was thought of as a pure pass rusher but he also was stout against the run: remember the game saving play stuffing Edgerrin James at the goal line in 2003?
  11. cstjohn17

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    Losing a starter in any positional group hurts depth across the board. In most seasons at least one player from each group is loses considerable time and having adequate backups is not a luxury, it is common sense. The Patriots rolled the dice in 2005 by bringing in Beisel to play MLB in case Bruschi could not come back. The issue was compouned by TJ retirement and the cutting ofg Phifer. Going into 2006 the concern was even greater as Beisel had proven to be ineffective. The signing Seau in the middle of training camp hardly shows proactive planning. The move worked out and Seau played great but there still should have been some expectation that either 32 year old Bruschi or 37 year old Seau would miss time.

    Terrible planning to not have a backup in place at MLB.

    ILB - I agree, Vrabel may not be quite as effective as Seau against the run but has better savy and range in coverage. The dropoff at ILB will be on early running downs but may balance out but the lose at OLB is greater.

    OLB - TBC has yet to prove he is anything more than a ST player and average situational player. He has struggled to set the edge and does not have a lot of experience in coverage, he is much better moving forward. Vrabel was very effective at jamming TEs at the line and understands how to use positioning to defend against the pass. Woods now becomes the primary backup to either Colvin and TBC and while showing some signs in ST coverage has no experience as an OLB.
  12. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    3/10's of a yard is significant?
  13. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

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    While I understand what you are saying and agree with you to some extent, I think the defensive line is playing better than they were last year. Ty Warren is playing great, Wilfork has additional experience (he was only in his second year last year) and Seymour has not missed a lot of time due to injury like he did last year. The three starters have had more time to play together and grow their familiarity and consistency as a group, which goes a long way towards success.
  14. BelichickFan

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    I'm not sure I'd attribute all that to Seau. Remember all our DL are still relatively young and still getting better. Also the 3.6 is way misleading as the run defense was horrible early, it wasn't until midseason when Bruschi came back and Vrabel moved inside that they became dominant. I bet the 3.3 number is applicable for the second half last year.

    The questionis, can Colvin at SOLB and TBC at WOLB equal McGinest at SOLB and Colvin at WOLB.

    I guess we'll see. I do think we'll get faster and more athletic as TBC is quicker than McGinest was. We'll lose some against the run but, especially once Harrison is back, I don't think the run defense will be bad at all.

    It's the depth at LB that will give me sleepless nights.
  15. Patjew

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    Maybe we'll see more 4-3 now? Thoiughts?

    Anyway, I was very impressed with Vrabel's ability to move inside on the fly, even if the results weren't great. Give him a week and I'm sure the unit will look alot better.
  16. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Although unlikely they could reach to the scrap heap. I believe Clairborne was signed by the Giants but maybe Ruff comes in as a run stuffer, ala TJ.

    Reiss's pieces
    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/2006/08/lb_workouts.html

    August 11, 2006
    LB workouts
    The Patriots had free-agent linebackers Orlando Ruff and Chris Claiborne in for workouts at Gillette Stadium within the past few weeks.

    The workouts could simply mean the team was seeking more information to update its list of available players. The workouts could also indicate potential interest in signing either player, as the Patriots are without starter Tedy Bruschi (broken wrist) for the preseason.

    The 28-year-old Claiborne has played seven seasons with three teams –- the Lions (1999-2002), Vikings (2003-2004) and Rams (2005). At 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, he would project as an inside linebacker in the Patriots’ 3-4 defense. Claiborne has experience at the weakside, strongside and middle linebacker spots over his career, although his experience in a 3-4 scheme appears to be limited. He started seven games for the Rams last season, and was limited by injuries.

    Ruff, at 6-foot-3, 253 pounds, has a similar physical makeup as Claiborne, and would also project as an inside linebacker. He’s played seven seasons, with the Chargers (1999-2002), Saints (2003-2004) and Browns (2005). Ruff, who turns 30 in September, played under former Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel last year (16 games, no starts), so he would come with some knowledge of the Patriots’ 3-4 system.

    Ruff and Claiborne are part of a free-agent crop of linebackers that includes Jeff Posey, Jamie Sharper, Rocky Calmus, Ron McKinnon and Earl Holmes.
  17. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    The loss of Seau strips the last of the depth. But the depth has served us well. We are ten weeks into the season before running out.

    The Defense is thin now, but it will get better, I trust. Chad, Gino and Rodney will be coming back. Wright and Greene have bolstered the DL, and are still available,after seymour hyperextended his elbow.

    The depth is bound to be a problem with ten guys on IR. Most clubs at this time of year are in much worse condition. Philly anyone? How about Jax? Joisey Giants, s'il vous plait?

    Please count your blessings and remember where we would be without having Tebuckey, Mitchell, Gardner, Gay, Pass et cetera.
    Look what we have gotten out of Seau, TBC, Sanders, Scott, and Troy...
  18. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In a very small sample (30 minutes of football). Let's give it a week of practice with the starters for TBC before we go off the deep end.
  19. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale Rookie

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    I think this is exactly what will happen, especially if the Seau-less 3-4 isn't as stout against the run. Green-Seymour-Wilfork-Warren backed by Vrabel-Bruschi-Colvin works for me. Seymour is a b-e-a-s-t beast at DT.

    Regards,
    Chris
  20. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I actually don't see that happening any more than it has this season. BB said they'll just go back to what they did in camp when Bru was out, with Vrabel at ILB and OLB. Obviously, I expect them to pick up someone to fill that #5 LB void.

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