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So who in the Front 7 is a keeper for next season?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Fencer, Jan 2, 2011.

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  1. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    At ILB, Mayo and Spikes are obviously staying. Guyton has made a lot of plays. Fletcher has come in for high praise. If you want to count White at this position, he's staying too. (5, counting the STer)

    At OLB, Cunningham, Ninkovich, and TBC are obviously in the rotation and staying. (3)

    On the DL, Wilfork, Ty Warren, and Wright are obviously core players. Brace is surely coming back, and G. Warren seems very likely. (5, and I'm not done yet).

    Other guys who've put in good claims for a roster spot include Deaderick, Love, Pryor, and Moore. (4 more, although not all of them have to stay.)

    My temptation is to say that among the most vulnerable of the group are the ones of whom one says "If he's in on a running down, the team has a weakness" -- i.e., some of Guyton, Wright, Pryor, and Moore, specifically the least established of those, namely Pryor and Moore. It's also not obvious that Love or Fletcher have played except on a "last man standing" basis. So I see Love, Fletcher, Pryor, and Moore as the most likely to not make the team next year, with others being more at risk of being bumped down the depth chart at worst, rather than outright cut/left off the team.

    My total list was 16 regular-downs guys plus one pure STer. That's about as high as the headcount is apt to get for the Front 7; indeed, I'd expect it to be about 1 lower. So it looks like there really are only 3 or so jobs up for grabs.

    By way of comparison, new on or around Opening Day this year were, from memory:


    • White
    • Spikes
    • Cunningham
    • G. Warren
    • Deaderick
    • Love
    • Not yet Fletcher (PS)
    I don't recall Crable or McKenzie as belonging on the list.

    How'm I doing? :)
     
  2. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Fletcher isn't eligible for the practice squad. He's played in more than 9 games. Neither are Love or Deaderick.

    White is a UFA. I hope the Pats sign him to an extension because he's be the clear leader of the special teams unit. Something we haven't had since Izzo left.

    To be brutally honest.. I don't see TBC making the roster next year if the Pats draft another OLB, which I believe they will. He's just not been that good. Ninkovich has made huge leaps in his ability and I think is much more solid as an OLB than TBC. And Moore brings more to the table than TBC does.

    The front 7 takes up 16-18 spots on the defensive side of the roster.

    D-Line: Ty Warren, G. Warren, V. Wilfork, Pryor, Deaderick, Love, Brace
    OLB: Cunningham, Moore, Ninkovich, PTBN
    ILB: Mayo, Spikes, Guyton, Fletcher

    ST: White*

    Players outside looking in: Cohen, Wright, Weston, Richard, TBC

    Now, the reason I list Wright where I do is because of his injury situation. The fact that it's been 6 weeks and he's not recovered doesn't bode well for a concussion. They are very tricky things.. He could recover and win his job back.. He could also never play another snap again.. OR, He could be the 17th player in the front 7 that the Pats keep.

    Fletcher has been very good on special teams and has improved weekly when he's seen regular snaps..
     
  3. MustaphaM0nd

    MustaphaM0nd On the Game Day Roster

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    The only people whose jobs are really safe next year are Wilfork, Cunningham, Mayo, and Spikes. BB will do what it takes to upgrade this football team.
     
  4. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    I wasn't going to say it but...Moore seems to want it and he's physical. TBC seemed tremendous statistically last year but he looks like a permanent spin move to nowhere this year. I don't see them drafting big at olb/de due to bust potential, but they will continue to add vets or acquire affordable players until one or more sticks IMO.

    Won't even guess on DL. Since i think they go all out for a monster DL if available in the draft, you have a hopefully recovered Ty, maybe Gerard and Brace and the draft pick.

    If so, I think the opposite, Fencer. Rather than an "almost as good as" DL, probably a change of pace rushing DL like Pryor will make it.
     
  5. Brandon_Cox

    Brandon_Cox Rookie

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    I'm looking for my main man Darryl Richard to make the team and be a star.

    (OK, I might have an ever so slight Georgia Tech bias:D).
     
  6. MustaphaM0nd

    MustaphaM0nd On the Game Day Roster

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    I wasn't going to say it either, but TBC might be a goner. Ninkovich and Cunningham have clearly surpassed him at OLB, and Moore has been more effective as a sub rusher. Committing rash penalties at bad times more than once this year won't help either. He's also tying up a lot of cap space for a player of his impact.
    At this point anyone young we pick up over the offseason who can't beat him for a roster spot next season doesn't deserve to be on the team.
     
  7. crowell33

    crowell33 In the Starting Line-Up

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    FWIW, it seemed that #98 Moore was lining up at OLB today.
     
  8. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    So the argument is that the OLB/nickel DE group will be Cunningham/Ninkovich/Moore/Somebody Else, and the Somebody Else will be a high-upside young guy rather than TBC?

    I can see the logic in that. TBC has had a rough season. On the other hand, who has BB ever had as a high-pick draftee who's ever worked smoothly into the role? My list is approximately Jermaine Cunningham, Willie McGinest (whether or not he predated BB/Parcells by a year), and Lawrence Taylor, which is not exactly a large group.
     
  9. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    I'd think Pryor is definitely in the keeper list. Not sure what to think of Deadrick's chances next year. Kind of discouraging he hasn't been able to get many snaps down the stretch with all the DL injuries there are. At the same time, way too early on him as we saw with Brace's progress to year 2. I'd imagine there will be a pick spent on the DL to push him for one of the last few spots or [hopefully] a stud like Seymour/Warren/Wilfork. Also expect a pick at OLB to at least compete with TBC/Moore at that position. ILB seems pretty set as is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  10. mcsully

    mcsully In the Starting Line-Up

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    I know its early to say but whats the over/under on Ty Warren staying with the team next year?

    Brace looked solid and much improved.. G. Warren is a nice surprise.. Pryor and Deadrick have take minor steps in the right direction. With that being said, if we use a high pick on a DL, what the answer to my initial question.
     
  11. MustaphaM0nd

    MustaphaM0nd On the Game Day Roster

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    The newcomer doesn't have to immediately be our best guy at the position, he just has to beat out TBC.
     
  12. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'd be pretty shocked if Ty Warren got cut over the offseason. Even if he's 80% of the player he used to be, he'd still be the second-best player on the line by a not-insignificant margin. If the hip has really been hampering his production for several years, and the surgery fixes it, we could very well see a 2008-Seymour level of resurgence (he won't be as good as Seymour, of course, since he never was- just a lot better than 2009). Tough to really predict anything with big guys and hip injuries, though.
     
  13. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Good point re Deaderick not being a lock.
    Pryor certainly could make it, but he's hardly a lock either.

    We can't be sure until he returns, but I'd think it's very likely T. Warren is on the team next year. Worst case is that the need to replace him is accelerated, adding pressure to find the next big DL stud.
     
  14. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    did I miss something??..is the season over for the Patriots?
     
  15. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, Bill isn't keeping more than 7 DL. With TWarren coming back, we'll assume Deaderick is gone. That means a rookie needs to beat out Love/Pryor/GWarren for a spot on the DL.

    Personally, I love all of the ILBs. Mayo is Mayo. Spikes is a great 2-down ILB who can make some plays in coverage. Guyton is a great playmaker as a subpackage linebacker. Fletcher is a special teamer, subpackage ILB, and situational pass-rusher. White is a stud special teamer.

    At OLB, Cunningham is a given. Ninkovich might be best in more of a subpackage role, but is a better pass-rusher than most give him credit for. TBC, in my mind, needs to be a subpackage DE and nothing more, but Moore seems to be better at that. I wouldn't be surprised to see those 4 stick, plus a rookie, like Aldon Smith (who I love).

    Summary:
    TWarren over Deaderick
    A rookie over Pryor/GWarren
    A rookie added at OLB
     
  16. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With BB, the Patriots don't really have keepers, just like they don't have defensive back slots for guys who don't tackle. Each camp everyone contends for a position. OK this absolute is modified by contract situations where a more expensive waning productivity vet say like TBC might get cut for someone who's demonstrably on the upside in camp.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  17. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    The regular season is, as are >80% of the games that count overall.

    What's more, the games that remain are going to be the most heavily game-planned of all, which may make them the least reliable as guides to who should or will be back.
     
  18. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    You're saying there's room for 12 guys at DL + OLB, but if so then then 5 of them are in the OLB/outside rusher slots.

    Since at least 2/5 of the DL + OLB guys on the field on any given down are likely to be OLBs and/or edge-rushing sub DEs, you have a point.

    OK. If you're right that there's a max of 7 "true" DL, then that's probably 5+ very beefy guys and 1-2 interior rushing specialists who, even if they do play on running downs, are a bit light at the point of attack.

    Health permitting, Wright is a near-lock at interior rushing specialist, and Wilfork, T. Warren, and Brace are as beefy guys. I find all the praise for G. Warren this year to be pretty persuasive, so I think he's likely to be back -- however, I must admit that since he'll be a FA, it's not a given. (Perhaps he'll go elsewhere for more money and reps now that BB has rehabilitated him -- it worked for Gaffney.)

    I don't think any of Love, Deaderick, or Pryor has done enough to make them near locks to be back.

    So yeah -- if the right value is there, this could indeed be a time to draft another big guy high.
     
  19. condon84

    condon84 In the Starting Line-Up

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    On the DL, Wilfork, Ty Warren, Brace, and Wright are probably shoe-ins for a roster simply because of their contracts. The other guys like Deaderick, Pryor, Love, G. Warren all have contributed and have looked solid but anything is possible outside of the main guys. Gerrard has played great, but with his age, I don't know if you can expect for him to be as productive as he has been this year.

    I think our ILBs are set with Mayo, Spikes, Guyton, and Fletcher. That's a pretty good combination of different talents.

    For OLBs, the locks are Cunningham and Ninkovich. TBC has showed some burst rushing the passer but is too inconsistent against the run. Moore has played himself into a legit shot at next year's roster too. I think this position will be addressed through the draft and free agency. Lamarr Woodley might be available if PIT doesn't franchise him.
     
  20. Sfpat

    Sfpat In the Starting Line-Up

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    "Lamarr Woodley might be available if PIT doesn't franchise him."

    I don't see BB spending big money this off season on FA's
     
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