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Should BB be more aggressive about playing rookies?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mayoclinic, Dec 21, 2009.

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  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There have been a lot of rants on this site recently about BB trading back in the 2009 draft and missing out on guys like Michael Oher (23), Vontae Davis (25), Clay Matthews (26), James Laurinaitis (35) and Rey Maualuga (38) in favor of guys like Chung, Butler and Brace.

    BB is notoriously cautious about playing rookies. He has a strong bent towards veterans, and generally brings rookies along slowly. I have a couple of questions about this:

    1. Does anyone think that Oher, Davis, Matthews, Laurinaitis or Maualuga would have anything like their current success if the Pats had drafted them? Or would Oher have sat behind Kaczur, would Davis have been a nickel back, and would the LBs have gotten limited playing time?

    2. Is BB too conservative about playing rookies? Or would playing rookies more aggressively hurt the team over the course of the season?

    3. Is BB too picky about getting guys who fit his "system" instead of just picking guys like Matthews and Maualuga and letting them play?

    4. Are we missing out on top talents by trading back, or just not giving our own talent a chance to show what it can do?

    I thought that Darius Butler would have worked himself into the starting rotation by midseason. I also thought that Ron Brace would get more playing time to speed his development. I also thought that once Patrick Chung had showed what he could do that we would see more 3-safety big nickel packages.

    Ron Brace showed against Buffalo that he isn't a total bust, he's just a prospect who needs developing. How much will he develop if he's a healthy scratch most of the season? Is keeping Butler from starting good judgment about not rushing a rookie too fast, or over-cautiousness on the part of the coaching staff? Would Chung be putting up Louis Delmas numbers if Detroit had drafted him and started him all season?

    There are exceptions like Mayo, Mankins and Vollmer who get extended playing time as rookies. But the vast majority see relatively little action their rookie year, including 1st round picks like Meriweather (0 games started as a rookie), Wilfork (6 games started) and Warren (4 games started).

    Right now we're seriously behind in certain areas on this team: OLB, pass rushers, and OL. We've got 4 picks in the first 2 rounds for 2010. But what does that help us if those guys aren't going to see the field much until 2011?
  2. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    BB should be more agressive about playing his rookies because in

    most cases they are on four year contracts. Pro football teams

    are now like colleges, they have a player for 4 years and then the

    player is gone.
  3. Deus Irae

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

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    Oher (and Clady from the year prior) would probably have been starting in week 1. But they are both extraordinary prospects even for first round picks. I think that Matthews would be starting by now or at least taking a lot of snaps (The Thomas situation would just have begged for such a development, imo), and Laurinaitis and Maualuga are players that I'm still not sold on in the Patriots' system.

    Rookies make rookie mistakes. That's easier for lousy teams to handle, because they're losing anyway. Good, veteran teams want to win. I personally like the toe in the water approach for winning teams.

    I can't answer this honestly, because those players don't go to other teams with the same system as the Patriots, so we can't really judge how they'd have been.

    I think the team clearly misses out on talent, but takes a 'value' approach as justification. Sometimes that'll be the right move and sometimes it won't.

    The rest of the post was good stuff as well.


    Great O.P. on this one, Mayo.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  4. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    Good post, Mayo. Thinking the same thing today actually...


    Oher would have blown Kazur out of the water. I have no doubt about it. Matthews, Laurinaitis would be nice additions too.

    History has proven that when BB gets a top shelf rookie (Mayo) he will play him. With the exception of Brace, BB had played the rooks quite a bit this season.

    A resounding "yes" from me. This drives me nuts. If the kid in college is smart, tough, strong, fast, can get after the QB like a madman but is crappy in coverage you see him as a late 1st as opposed to a mid/high 1st and not grab him? It seems that the logic. Risk vs reward vs value metric that they follow...

    I think yes. I wanted Darrelle Revis over Merriweather. Pats should have unloaded a pick this/next year for him..Shutdown corners don't fall off trees. Safeties are more prevelent.

    \

    Agreed. Would have liked to see Brace get more time. Butler and Chung seem to be coming along. Its a balancing act. I remember Ty Law getting eased in in 95. He played a little more than Butler, but played more.

    We don't know the whole story with Brace. But based on Sunday's game, he looked like a godo prospect. Impossible to tell with Chung, but I do expect him to start next year. Love the kid.

    No OLBs is not a product of not playing kids. More of a product of maybe being too rigid with their drafting philosophy. With that said, regardless of how the kid is in coverage or setting the edge, if he can get you a bunch of pressures and 7-10 sacks next year YOU TRADE UP!!!! He can learn to play with leverage and read coverages. You can't teach someone to race off the edge around a tackle or blow up a TE or RB on a pickup. That is a gift.

    My .02$
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Jets traded #25, 59 and 164 to move up to 14 for Meriweather. We had no 2nd round pick, having given up #60 to sign Wes Welker. I would have loved to have gotten Revis, but not sure how we could have done it other than treading #24 and #28 (and possibly a 4th round pick, to even out the points) for #14 and #45. Not sure BB would have done that. Of course, if we'd done that we could have had Revis and our choice of LaMarr Woodley or David Harris, so maybe that would have been preferable to getting Meriweather in 2007 and Mayo in 2008. It's debatable. But I agree with your point about going after shutdown CBs.

    If Joe Haden is available within 5-10 picks of when we pick this year I would be interested in trading up for him (assuming that Rolando McClain is gone). I think he'll be another Revis. We could add an OT/OG and a couple of DE/OLBs in the 2nd round.
  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1. Oher would have started. Matthews and Laurinitis would have started or be getting lots of reps by now. Yes, I would rather have these two than Chung and Brace. I think that we would have trade up to 40 to make sure we got Butler in any case. I guess Maualuga would have playing a lot if we had drafted him, since Mayo was injured early.

    2. No, we shouldn't play rookies just because they are talented rookies and we'd like them to develop. That is sign of a weak team or one desparate at a particular position. I think our 2009 rookies have been given plently of playing time.

    3. Yes, Belichick is too picky about his standards for players who fit in his system. That is not a reason to take a player who Belichick thought was totally unqualified to learn the system. There are defensive schemes where intelligence doesn't matter. It matters on the patriots.

    4. Yes we are missing oput on better talent by trading down. That doesn't make it wrong to trade down. There is no need for rookies to be major contributers in their rookies years. If that were Belichick's requirement, he would trade up every year.
    ===============
    THE REAL DISCUSSION ARE YOUR CONCLUSIONS
    that Butler, Chung and Brace somehow deserved more reps. I strongly disagree. To sit McGowan and Meriweather early so that Chung could get reps would have put a weaker player on the field. I have no doubt that performance would have been worse. Should we just throw out last year's rookie at corner so that Butler can get more reps? It makes no sense to me. And yes, I would have like to see Brace get reps instead of Sands.

    Did Belichick's strategy really not work with Wilfork, Warren and Meriweather? Developing players is a good idea for good teams. Sometimes injuries give rookies great opportuinities. Otherwise they generally be given time to develop. They do have FOUR year contracts, not one year contracts.

    NOW WE ARE BEHIND IN CERTAIN AREAS?
    Well, we always are. We are DEFINTELY NOT behind at offensive tackle. We are NOT behing at safety or at corner. We're not even behind on the DL since we have Brace and Pryor in the mix for 2010. Sure, we need to draft a DE, but belichick has never failed to do so when he saw the need at that position.

    MY POSITION
    I honestly don't see the problem. We CANNOT be strong at every position. We cannot use top resources at every position. In the 2009 draft, Belichick

    1) completed the secondary with a couple of players that will contribute for years,
    2) brought in a couple of future contributers on the DL,
    3) found a developmental ILB to work with Mayo and Guyton,
    4) found a stud OT, and
    5) took a couple of shots at WR, one of which is likely to be a contributer
    (both were injured this year)

    This was a fine draft. I know that more the half the board would have prefered Barwin as the developmental linebacker. Perhaps we'd be better off. I rather doubt. It is really easy to go back and find the linebackers who have succeeed and say we should have drafted them. I do believe that keeping Seymour DEFINITELY would have help this team.

    BOTTOM LINE
    This is about Belichick and linebackers. Belichick has always done fine in finding starters and depth at other positions, although occasionally not fast enough.

    Please state if you all would have drafted Barwin instead of Butler. Belichick clearly believed that we needed DL help for 2010, so Brace and Pryor were consistent with this assessment. And how many of you didn't want us to draft a top safety and were upset when Chung was picked after we lost Delmas? No, the real option was at 41.

    As I have said so many times, I certainly would have passed on Chung and picked a linebacker or a guard.

  7. SVN

    SVN Rookie

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    FWIW reiss was asked about oher and he felt he would not fit the pats system for o line.
  8. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I never thought Oher would fit the Pats system for O-line. The fact that he's done well for Baltimore doesn't really change my view of that.
  9. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This thread is ridiculous ... do Mayo and Koppen count just to name two?

    How about Edelman? barring injury he'd have been a regular all season?

    Does Mankins count?
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  10. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    It would be interesting to look back at year three and up for rookies who started every game sonce day one. I've noticed a lot of them have regresses, or developed bad habits.

    I can't quantify this, of course. I definitely like his approach.
  11. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    Are you talking about Mankins?
  12. RayClay

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    Not really, mostly other teams players. iI think we do a pretty good job of seeing the players heads continue to fit inside their helmets.
  13. Wheelssps

    Wheelssps Rookie

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    We should also keep in mind special teams when considering playing time. Someone like Brace is pretty unlikely to find much special teams work, but others like Chung seem to be in on several special teams packages. Special teams are well suited to Chung's skill set at the moment, but it also exposes him to the NFL speed without weakening our defense by playing him too much, too soon.
    This really doesn't address paying time in regular O and D snaps, but it does get some of the rookies onto the field sooner that base O and D snaps would make us realize.
  14. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    here is my take. in the past the pats where a very talented team you can't win 3 super bowls with out top talent

    so rookies where not going to beat out guys like vrabel, willy mac. teddy b. so tradeing back for value and dept was a good move. we see this year all the rookies that have made the team and are playing so i don't think BB dose not want to play rookies. he will play who ever he can win games with.

    now that the talent leve is not as high i don't think it's the best move to trade out of the first round

    Sebastian Vollmer, was a good pick and IMO will be just as good if not better then Michael Oher, who is more in the spot light because he has he's own movie.

    Darius Butler, was a nice pick and has played will and may turn out to be just as good as if not better then Vontae Davis,


    Patrick Chung, and Ron Brace, i think where both picked to high. chung is not very good in coverage and is not much more then a run stoper at this point. brace IMO is noting more then dept for wilfork,

    Clay Matthews, and James Laurinaitis, would have helped a lot more then brace. and chung. this year

    and i don't buy the whole he don't fit the system stuff cause thats the same thing as saying dom capers, can get 10 sacks out of clay matthews in he's 3-4 defense. but bill belichick can't get 10 sacks out of him in he's 3-4 defense. realy is capers, a better coach then BB ? i don't buy it.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  15. SEPatsFan

    SEPatsFan Rookie

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    Better? NO, and the historical numbers bear that out. Different 3-4 systems/styles? Yep no doubt about it. 3-4 GB is running is not the 3-4 Pitt runs is not the 3-4 NE runs.

    SSDD
  16. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think Edelman can be used as a point for both sides of the argument; he was inactive in Week 1, but it's possible that it was the lingering effects of whatever injuries he had in the preseason.

    Who knows what would have happened, however, if Welker had been able to go in Week 2.
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