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Simple Question: Is the LB Core Good Enough to Win?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by aluminum seats, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats In the Starting Line-Up

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    Analysis aside, bottom line, can the Pats win a championship with this group of linebackers, even assuming a veteran pickup? I suppose in one sense of course the answer is yes--the team is obviously loaded in a lot of areas, and will contend. I guess the better question might be will they. It became clear to me in the middle of last year that the LB core was becoming a weakness. Now, Bruschi & Vrabel & Co. are all a year older, and I'm just not sure that that softness in the middle won't hurt more than we think.
     
  2. DefenseRules

    DefenseRules Pro Bowl Player

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    If the starters stay healthy, YES. If injuries happen, NO. I am VERY CONCERNED about the DEPTH at inside linebacker position.
     
  3. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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    Depends who we pick up in FA if any

    If you are asking if our LB is good enough as it is to win a championship?
    Absolutely not - We need another younger guy to help fill that hole - losing pick 28 which should have gone for a young promising LB like Poz or Harris may have been a mistake,But I am not the one doing the drafting so we have to live by thier decision.

    Bruschi and Vrabel may very well be at the point that a 16+ game schedule may seem more like 60 games - Age wil be a factor as the season progresses and they will need a break at times in the lineup
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
  4. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats In the Starting Line-Up

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    Exactly. To be honest, I don't follow the college game enough to have an opinion on whether Harris or Pos would have been a smart pick there or not. I defer to management enough to accept that they probably wouldn't have been (you wonder about Beason). But either way, we didn't draft a first-day LB, so here we are.
     
  5. shatch62

    shatch62 Practice Squad Player

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    Only if the offense puts up a ton of points or the D-line dominates next year.
    The defense has been on the 'decline' for a few season now. Not stats wise so much as talent wise. Bruschi is a shell of what he was. Vrabel is still playing well but he is playing out of position inside. Colvin never really became what we hoped he would be – but the injury is mostly to blame. Banta-Cain is no big loss and Adalius is 100x better. So, as a group of starters I would say the team is slightly above average. The depth right now – unless these guys are better than we think – is awful. Izzo is a special team only. Alexander I will give the benefit of the doubt. Mays and Woods are complete unknowns but as they were both undrafted I will refrain from saying they will be the saviors UNTIL they prove to be more the ST’ers.
    Lua and Rogers are also unknowns.

    I love the guys we have as they have all proven to be warriors, i just wish we had one young guys they has shown anything that we could feel good about
     
  6. shatch62

    shatch62 Practice Squad Player

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    Just to clarify, i still think the Pats are going to be a good team but I think it will have to be more with offense as opposed to defense
     
  7. Kdo5

    Kdo5 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Heck even if someone goes down and Alexander starts we could still win due to our sick nasty offense.
     
  8. Snarf

    Snarf Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    << The defense has been on the 'decline' for a few season now. Not stats wise so much as talent wise. >>

    This statement makes no sense at all.
     
  9. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    It does if you don't include DLine. Look back 3-4 years. Outside of a healthier Colvin, we had more talent then.

    DBs Ty law, healthy Rodney and Wilson Asante.

    Phifer, Johnson, Bruschi, Vrable ,Colvin, McGinest.

    Asante and Colvin are better, I'd argue Bruschi and Vrable look more worn out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
  10. hwc

    hwc In the Starting Line-Up

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    Vrabel, Colvin, Brushi, and Thomas are "slightly above average"?

    Damn, an average set of starting linebackers must be pretty frickin' good.

    Depth is an issue, but it just blows my mind when people say our starting linebackers are mediocre. Remember, last year when Vrabel moved inside, we didn't have much to take over the outside. Now, we have a Pro Bowl linebacker in Thomas.
     
  11. hwc

    hwc In the Starting Line-Up

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    Guys, the Pats really had one glaring weakness last year on defense: the inability to cover TE's and slot receivers on the short underneath stuff. They couldn't make a third down stop. So, let's look at the two big additions on defense:

    The best coverage LB in the NFL. A suberb "coverage" safety prospect drafted in the first round -- a guy whose specialty is covering the slot as a free safety or nickle corner.
     
  12. Snarf

    Snarf Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    << It does if you don't include DLine. Look back 3-4 years. Outside of a healthier Colvin, we had more talent then. >>

    But the defensive stats were impressive last year.

    How can you say the talent is declining when the stats & production aren't?

    Saying that "talent is less" is an opinion not based on fact.
     
  13. SunnyDenmark

    SunnyDenmark Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I am basically on your wave of thinking Snarf but I want to elaborate on a few of your comments. The D stats were very impressive and not to be forgotten (especially when people ask about how good our LB's are). I would rate our starting LB's in the top 10 if not top 5 in the league.

    However, let us not forget we played some easy teams last year so the D stats could be alittle skewed.

    The talent is NOT less -true. The LB talent / the experience is still there. However, the speed maybe a step slower and the durability and conditioning (due to age) will certainly be less. Hopefully the coaches will substitute generously and maybe play some more 4-3 to give the LB some breaks. Furthermore, hopefully our new Colts-like offense will keep the D off the field and possibly a few more blowout games would allow getting the reserve LB's in for more experience hereby spelling the regulars. So is my hope....
     
  14. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I think quite a few people are getting overly swayed by how NE's defense did in a game where:

    * They were down to their #3 SS and FS.

    * A sick Wilfork had to play nearly every down due to Wright's absence.

    * Seymour got hurt on the first play.

    * Vrabel was playing with severe back pain.

    * NE was facing their 5th straight playoff caliber team, 4 of which where on the road - and the preceding game invloved two cross-country flights.

    * The flu had drained quite a few NE defenders.

    * NE's offense did its defense no favors in the second half with a bunch of short possessions.

    Is NE's LB corps good enough to win the SB next year? The only answer is a resounding YES! Hell, they were good enough to win last year with TBC instead of Thomas. Does anyone really think that Chicago would have given NE a tough time?

    Sure they flopped in the second half of the AFCCG, but didn't the same defense hold Indy to 6 points in the first half?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
  15. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Aren't we forgetting AD? He can play inside, outside, and cover the TE.

    I'd like another ILB and I think we will add one before it's all over. The most intrigueing pick of the draft was the kid from SMU. He won't be ready to play LB soon but that's whyhe was drafted. It's made no sense to draft him as a DE.
     
  16. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Gee, we came within a couple minutes of going to the superbowl last year, and now we trade Banta-Cain for Thomas, and we have no shot. Was TBC that good?
     
  17. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think the answer lies in the spelling of this thread title. The LB core is absolutely good enough to win. Thomas, Colvin, Vrabel and Bruschi is clearly a championship-caliber group of LBs. The LB corps, though, still has plenty of question marks. If any of the "core corps" misses significant time--and they're all 30+--I don't see how anybody could be confident with Woods or Alexander having to start for extended periods. (And I like both players.)

    Paging Junior Seau, come in Mr Seau...
     
  18. primetime

    primetime Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Don't forget that Eugene Wilson will also be coming back. When he was healthy he was probably one of the top cover safeties in the league, but he's been injured for most of the last two seasons. Randall Gay should finally be making a return, too, and he's pretty good covering in the slot.

    With the addition of Thomas, I'm really not worried about the defense. Maybe Pierre Woods will be a surprise, and I'm sure they'll add a depth LB before the end of the offseason, like Dhani Jones (he's a Patriots type player, real smart guy) or Junior Seau.
     
  19. SunnyDenmark

    SunnyDenmark Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    The 'kid from SMU' Justin Rogers -according to the Dallas Morning News - will be a OLB in the Pats system. More about him:

    SMU defensive end/outside linebacker Justin Rogers, sixth round (180th overall):
    6-foot-4
    250 pounds
     
  20. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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    When nearly all of your LBs are 30 years or older it should be a concern - last year was last year,Guys like Bruschi and Vrabel won't suddenly get faster,they may play steady as last year at best.

    We possibly could have a catastrophe next year on defense when its a very realistic possibility that Bruschi,Harrison maybe even Vrabel hang it up,If we get to and win the Super Bowl it makes it even more likely that at least 2 of them are gone.

    That is what is so disturbing on how we did not go for LB early and used it at #28 - Harris,Poz and Beason must not have been very good in BBs eyes but who knows why we didn't?

    Maybe the FO knows for sure of a Patriots type LB getting free soon this year in FA,Thats all I can figure right now.

    Maybe we will do a similar thing next year like sign a high profile LB like Thomas early in 2008 FA or rely on a rookie who we probably will select with the #1 pick
     

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