If Thomas were to play most of his snaps at ILB, the whole roster might make more sense. He certainly has both the speed and strength to do so. It's not obvious that he's a superior pass rusher to Vrabel. It is indeed obvious that he's a superior pass defender to Vrabel -- and the ILB has a lot of coverage duties. It's easier to imagine the Pats grooming young OLBs than ILBs. Why not a core LB rotation of: Bruschi (inside) Thomas (inside, nickel, and rotating outside) Vrabel (outside; backing up inside) Colvin (outside) Seau (rotating inside) youngster (some situational nickel rushing; backup outside)? Plus Izzo, Alexander, et al. for STs and backup, and maybe in situational sets.