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Some insight into Pats' Linebacker needs

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Box_O_Rocks, May 19, 2007.

  1. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/patriots/
     
  2. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Don't you sleep??
     
  3. Phoenix111

    Phoenix111 Banned

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    Thats a good piece right there, very telling. It kind of answers my question about bringing in Al Wilson or another FA. Success in another system obviously will not simply translate over here.
     
  4. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Intermittently.
     
  5. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    I wonder, does Groh have an idea why Parcells could draft Bruschi, McGinest and Ted Johnson day 1 as well as all those Giants top LBs, and be very successful?

    BB would rather eat a bug than draft an LB or tweener on day 1.

    Some may think I'm being critical, but I am really trying to figure out what the plan for the future is.

    I would say apparently, according to Groh, Parcells needs were similar.

    His linebacker, (tweener) draft picks seemed very successful for years in BB's offense.

    What am I missing?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I think the plan for the future is what the plan has been :

    Draft LB on the second day, hope to get lucky with a good fit, and sign veterans to fill in whatever holes remain. And draft a LB on the first day on the rare (hasn't happened yet but supposedly has been close) occasion that value meets fit meets need.
     
  7. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    You mean hope to get lucky for the first time ever?

    I don't see TBC or Chatham in the lineup.

    I buy a lottery ticket occasionally and have had the same success.

    By the way, they haven't drafted many linebackers on day 2 either, compared with other positions.

    Parcells LB drafts seem very successful to me. They've provided a good deal of BB's Linebacker snaps.

    If Parcells had the same philosophy, who would have played linebacker in our Super Bowl years?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Well they got Vrabel cheap, admittedly not their draft pick and a day one pick himself - but he still qualifies as a cheapie. We have Woods, Rogers, Lua plus the guys who played a bit of LB last year in Alexander and Mays - maybe one or two will actually develop :)
     
  9. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    They are good at finding these conversions after other teams have made them. I'm fine with Vrabel, Colvin and A.D.

    My problem is, especially with more teams trying this defense, what's the guarantee one of these players wil be available once we identify who we like?

    Can we get a player in their mid 20s every couple of years Like Vrabes or Colvin?

    A.D. is an impact player, no doubt, but he's over 30 and if we can only acquire over 30 year olds, I don't see how we do it.

    Cumulative injuries come into play over 30 too.

    Next September we'll have 6 LBs over 30, (with Chad Brown).
     
  10. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    I still think they draft 1 guy and try to train backups from th day 2, UDFA pool.

    I like Woods, but it seems like they have all OLB and nobody wants to go in and muckit up in the middle like Bruschi.

    Unfortunately, you could have zero ILB tomorrow and this has me worried.
     
  11. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Actually, he doesn't turn 30 until August. So I guess he's "over 30" when the season starts but his a little younger than you make him sound . . . regardless, I'm not disagreeing with you - I'd have liked a day one LB here and there too - just answering what I see the "plan" to be.
     
  12. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    Yeah and Colvin not til September. Grant me a little poetic license, will you? I'm trying to create a doomsday scenario here!:D

    Great dialogue though, BFan. I do think this needs to be hashed out.

    In my opinion, BB has tried to add to the "core" LBs with old vets and an occassional FA score, (Vrabes, Colvin).

    If they picked up 2 mid 20's FA's like those two, problem solved.

    When Bruschi goes the original core is gone and I don't see them getting that lucky in FA.

    Maybe next draft is the one.:confused:
     
  13. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    With a complex defense I think the 2006 draft would have been the one to draft players for 2008. That's why I assume we need to hope we get lucky with one or two of these guys or continue to sign veteran replacements. Hopefully a guy like Lua can make it as a Ted Johnson type run down guy.
     
  14. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    They certainly stockpiled for next year. I really hate to speculate on low picks, UDFA.

    TBC started a few games last year and people were saying he was as good as McGinest. If Lua sticks around a couple years we can reevaluate.

    By the way, have you read BB talking about Lua? You know we got a USC bargain in Cassel and BB was saying Pete this and Pete that while talking about Lua.

    I always assumed there were bad feelings with Carroll and Belichick, but it seems BB has really cozied up to him. Another branch on the BB networking tree!

    That stuff really matters on the low picks where the coach knows a lot more about the player than the scouts do!
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  15. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I thought the same thing, you're right that Belichick and Carrol seem to like each other - partly out of convenience, a good relationship with Carrol helps Belichick and a good relationship with the head coach of a dynasty has to help recruiting.

    I disliked Carrol when he made remarks about the Patriots' record in 2000 but I think the bottom like is that Belichick has won super bowls and Carrol has won national championships in the ensuing years so it's tough for either to be too upset about anything these days :)
     
  16. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #37 Jersey

    They may feel that some positions are hard to project and they feel better about taking veterans. I think that has more to do with it than anything else. If you look at their track record, they haven't gotten lucky with drafted LBs and generally have hit the mark on at least a few vets.

    You might say that if they drafted higher they'd have more luck. But it might be that the right players haven't fallen to them (Bradley) and they haven't wanted to spend all their later picks to trade up because they didn't see enough value -- or didn't find a trade partner. (I know this was hashed over and forget the conclusions of that thread).

    At the end of the day, they've been so successful bringing in veteran LBs that it's hard to question that strategy. You can spend your capital in draft picks or in dollars and for LB's, they seem to think that the best currency is dollars.
     
  17. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    hahahaha. Good one.
     
  18. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Groh said the same thing BB has said for years, the cost of not developing LBs is that you have to pay top dollar in free agency (Colvin, Thomas). The man likes his cars fast and his LB old, who can argue.

    I saw BB touching Lua's helmet, I wouldn't read to much into it. He is still a late day 2 pick with limited upside and a less than 25% chance of being on the 53 man roster.

    It is an interesting contrast with Parcells who drafted Ware, Burnett and Carpenter with Day 1 picks (two first rounders) in 2005 & 2006. BB has focused on the building the D Line likely because of some of the depth Parcells handed him.

    Next year we draft a first day LBs... (I have said this for four years in a row, I have to get it right one of these times...)
     
  19. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #24 Jersey

    maybe the plan is for bb to aquire the few remaining parcells drafted lbs in a few years when our guys are done....seriously though bb as aquired three good lbs in vrabel colvin and thomas and he has signed other quality players too phifer seau and some others. I think we will be fine at LBer spot and i will feel that way until something makes me feel different. The LB position is and will be for the next few years the heart of our de...
     
  20. Patriotic Fervor

    Patriotic Fervor Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    The "plan for the future" is what you've seen executed over the last few years.

    Quite apart from the fact that linebackers, especially ILBers, is the heart and soul of this defense, there are a number of problems with the "draft day 1 linebackers and get the superstar of tomorrow" approach.

    First, this is an incredibly intricate, complex defense that radiates from the ILB position out. It requires a certain type of player (a true "tough guy") who's not only athletically gifted, but smart, in the sense that his brain is truly a sponge.

    Even veterans who have come in from other systems have difficulty picking this system up. Because of this innate difficulty, it takes your incoming rookie considerably longer to learn this system and apply it, proportionally so. On the job training yields big dividends, but that's down the road, and since the learning curve is steep, this often translates into mistakes, which invariably can negatively impact the outcome of games.

    Why pay that price on your team, when other organizations can, and will, do it for you?

    The corollary of this point is, you don't entrust your keys to to the kingdom to a rookie unless his name is Lawrence Taylor, or the proven reincarnation of Ray Nietzsche.

    Second, there is an exotic symbiosis between the ILB position on this team and every other position on defense. Few teams exhibit this symbiosis, but this one does.

    Not to argue too harshly against the "draft the possible superstar" syndrome, but I strongly suspect the thinking of this team's brain trust is, if you draft that "superstar", and he develops into that which you think he will, then there is the inherent danger that the defense becomes dependent on him. If he should subsequently go down, the hole created will cause a drop in production, not just at that position, but the entire defense, as the team's chemistry becomes upset.

    One of the distinguishing hallmarks of the BB-era defenses is the remarkable way in which they handle injuries, even when numbers approach catastrophic levels. The secret herein lies in the fact that this team is much more wont to take players who are good, very good, but not necessarily great, and coach them to the system. The system is everything. When a player goes down, his replacement will play to the same approximate level as his predecessor. There is no real drop-off in level of play, with the consequence being the defense's chemistry remains intact.

    In this system, the team's coaches necessarily ask a lot of their players, but no player is asked to do more than he can. That's an important part of the symbiosis I mentioned earlier. When the "superstar" goes down, who fills that large hole, especially after the team has become dependent on him?

    Two years ago, I thought they'd draft the big kid, Manny Lawson, and maybe take a stab at Abdul Hodge, but the drafted Maroney and CJ instead. That led me to believe they were going to stock up big-time in this year's draft, given the number of picks they had, but the value wasn't shown to be there.

    It's entirely possible that next year, the brain trust will try do do something about the ILB position on Day 1, maybe even in the first round! But I'm not going to bet the mortgage on that.

    Neither should anyone else.

    It's obvious - this team simply likes, and puts it's trust, in veteran linebackers that they think have shown the requisite levels of talent, both physical and mental, for this important position. That's what the record shows, and since the past is prologue, I submit this is the "plan for the future".
     

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