Starting LBs in the 4-3

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Patriot 37, Aug 12, 2011.

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  1. Patriot 37

    Patriot 37 On the Game Day Roster

    In the first half of last night's game when they were in the 4-3 Base they had Guyton as the SLB, Fletcher at MLB and Ninkovich at WLB.

    When Spikes comes back he'll be the MLB. Mayo is either the SLB or WLB, but whose the 3rd guy ? If they think Ninkovich is fast enough to play the WLB then could Fletcher play there also ? Is Guyton going to start ?

    It really could be any of them interested to hear people thoughts on this haven't heard much discussion about it.
  2. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    It's just too hard to have a discussion about it now. Just not a big sample size last night being that most of the starters sat.

    The mystery remains another week.
  3. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback In the Starting Line-Up

    #37 Jersey

    I want to see Mayo, Spikes and Fletcher on the field at the same time if they're playing a 4-3. I don't see why the can't move Fletcher to the outside but I believe he's played mostly MLB so far. I'd much rather have Fletcher out there over Guyton or Ninkovich. I'd also like to see them sign Tatupu if they're going to play more 4- 3.
  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    What about Fletcher in the middle, with Spikes and Mayo outside?

    The combination of Fletcher's improvement and more use of a 4-3 could lead to fewer snaps for Ninkovich. If so do the Pats consider trading him or Guyton?
  5. reflexblue

    reflexblue Supporter Supporter

    #91 Jersey

    i think spikes is to slow to play outside
  6. Professor Frink

    Professor Frink On the Roster

    I agree, the trio of Spikes, Mayo, and Fletcher seems most appealing to me. If those guys are playing in front of a quality line that keeps lineman off of them, I think they could have big years.
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS Supporter Supporter

    Think that Guyton is on the bubble, Spikes will start in the middle, Fletcher will back him up on a base 4-3, with Mayo on one side and Ninkovich/Cunningham on the other. .

    Still think that this defense will present so many different looks it will defy traditional description.. many moving parts, remember the 2 down linemen last year? The innovation and creativity will continue this year and with a solid d backfield, BB & krewe can play with the folks in the front.

    Read somewhere off season how much other coaches like Ninkovich and how well he plays the position..
  8. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative In the Starting Line-Up

    I like this question because we really can't have a friggin' clue at this point, except to make note of some player's limitations. It will be a lot of fun to see what the coaching staff does with this over the course of the year. I can't remember a time when this versatility of talent, combined with probability of a wide variety of defensive sets, showed up.
  9. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams I'm no Mona Lisa Vito.... Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    Spikes was made to be the MLB in a 4-3, he will be an absolute tackling machine, especially behind Wilfork and Hanesworth (hell I would be a tackling machine behind those two). Mayo wil be the Strong side and has the ability to go sideline to sideline. I think Guyton on passing downs and Nikovich/Fletcher all the other times.
  10. bucky

    bucky 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Actually, you got Guyton and Nink reversed. The 34 OLB techniques has a number of similarities with the SAM LB in a 43. So it's only natural that Nink would play that position. In fact, I think he's the only guy on this team who can do it. I would think the starters will be Nink at Sam, Spikes at Mike, Mayo at Wil. Guyton can back up Wil and Sam. Fletcher can back up Mike.
  11. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave In the Starting Line-Up

    Not hearing Cunningham's name mentioned in this conversation.
  12. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    He'll be the strong side DE not a LB.
  13. TheBaronPatriot

    TheBaronPatriot On the Game Day Roster

    #91 Jersey

    Fletcher is a baller and needs to be part of the starting D.

    He makes good things happen on D and plays with tenacity and mean streak.
    He can cover (he did it last year as a rookie in games and in camp), bring pressure, and tackle.

    Ninko is a solid player but Fletcher has been playing linebacker for a little over a year (He was a hand down DE @ Montana). His ceiling is quite high.
  14. strngplyr

    strngplyr In the Starting Line-Up

    He played great last night, no doubt, but you're putting him at starting for Mike over Spikes who you haven't seen yet? Everything I've read about TC says Spikes has been a monster.

    I'd like to see our true defense play before putting nearly anyone from last night above them on the depth chart. The coaches obviously started the majority of the second string defense to evaluate them, if they thought Fletcher was ahead of Spikes I'm not sure we would have seen him last night.
  15. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    I don't want Guyton anywhere near a starter's postion. He's too inconsistent in tackling, especially in open space. I think Fletcher might have played himself into a starter's role or at least some serious snaps in a rotation with another LB like say Ninkovich or Cunningham although I believe we'll try to use Cunningham more on the DL as a DE this season.

    Cunningham hasn't looked very good in camp but maybe he'll catch fire during preseason and win himsellf a starter's role which is what we expected from him coming into the year. The only lock starters I see right now are Mayo and Spikes.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  16. TheBaronPatriot

    TheBaronPatriot On the Game Day Roster

    #91 Jersey

    I think the starters should be Mayo, Spikes, and Fletcher on run downs. Sub in Guyton for Spikes on passing down and move Fletch to the middle.
  17. fester

    fester On the Game Day Roster

    I think you are hitting the nail on the head, thinking about snap counts rather than "starting" designations, esp. for this defense that is most likely going to be coming out in at least six unique formations on the first snap of the game during the regular season.

    Assuming perfect health and no blow-outs that encourage the resting of the top tier players, here is how I see the playing time allocated for players who are standing up at the snap but not in the secondary.

    Mayo 98%
    Spikes 50%
    Ninkovich 50%
    Fletcher: 35%
    Guyton: 25%
    Cunningham: 25% (plus plenty of snaps at DE)
    Moore: 10%
    Other/Safeties playing a Rover-Backer (15%)

    That averages out to about 3 "Linebackers" per play which might be a little bit high due to 4-2 nickel situations, but also accounts for a decent chunk of 3-4 looks as well.
  18. Sciz

    Sciz Supporter Supporter

    LE: Shaun Ellis
    LT: Vince Wilfork
    RT: Albert Haynesworth
    RE: Andre Carter
    LLB: Dane Fletcher
    MLB: Brandon Spikes
    RLB: Jerod Mayo
  19. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster Supporter

    I can see Ellis on the strong side over the TE w. Ninko.

    Cunningham and Mayo on the weak side. If you have to account for VW & AH inside teams will be pressured to keep the TE in a lot and a favorable matchup for Cunningham/Mayo being blocked by a OT & RB.
  20. strngplyr

    strngplyr In the Starting Line-Up

    Not to knitpick, but it would be just be DT, they aren't left and right tackles, and its weak/strong in the 43.
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