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The 2010 Defense Will Be Better

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mgteich, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The 2010 defense whould be expected to better than this year, even with almost no heroic action, with no major additions. Let us presume that we extend or re-sign Bodden, Wilfork, Woods and Burgess. Further let us presume that we use one of our top draft choices for a top 3-4 DE to replace Green and a second late round developmental DE.

    Now, I am certainly hoping for more improvements, but even this should bring us improvement.

    =======================
    WHERE WOULD WE BE WITH THESE VERY FEW TRANSACTIONS?
    I would think that the defense would be better than this year's.

    THE DL
    We would still have Warren, Wilfork, Wright and Burgess. Both Brace and Pryor would expect to be bigger contributers. And we'd have added a top draftee.

    LINEBACKERS
    If we keep what we have, Mayo would be back at 100%. Guyton and Ninkovich would be expected to continue to improve. We should get some production from either McKenzie or Crable. We hope for even more improvement, but as a baseline, we had a reasonbale defense in 2009.

    SECONDARY
    If Bodden is extended, we should reap the benefits from improvements from the kids: Wilhite, Butler, Wheatley and Chung, with some expected decrease in performance from Springs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  2. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    I'm not totally following you here. First off, a top draft choice we'd rely on to take Green's snaps fits my definition of "a major addition." Second, the bulk of your argument seems to be that the rookies should all improve...but most of the current concern about the defense focuses on the pass rush, and there are no rookie pash rushers to improve.
     
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I accept your change in definition. If we want to call someone to replace Green's reps a major addition, then so be it.

    We posters continue to focus on the passrush and lack of sacks as a "problem", rather than a choice of defensive scheme. I don't think that Belichick sees the severe problem that posters see. He certainly didn't see it during the 2009 draft.

    I do believe that our pass rush will continue to improve as long as our defensive line is solid and as long as the secondary continues to improve. The pastriot passrush depends on flexibility of scheme rather than premier passrushers.

    Sure, I'd like to see us draft a top pass-rushing stud OLB, but then I have wanted this for many years. Somehow, Belichick has succeeded quite well without drafting such a player.

    BOTTOM LINE
    We have four top draft choices. I expect at least two to be used for DE's and OLB's and one to be used on an OG. Lots and lots can happen by the time of the draft, but the need for young studs at these positions won't. I don't expect to be disappointed with regard to line help on both sides of the ball. Linebackers I can only hope for.


     
  4. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not sure I completely agree with you.

    First, I think that many on this board bemoan the lack of top OLBs, and don't necessarily equate that with sacks or ability to rush the passer. Yes, a lot of people do get caught up in sacks and statistics, and see guys like Brian Orapko and Clay Matthews put up double digit sack numbers and wonder why we didn't go after those guys. But many people recognize that BB values a lot of things in his LBs besides ability to rush the passer, such as the ability to set the edge, read defenses and react, and drop into coverage. Some people even go so far as to recognize that putting up big sack numbers for another team does not mean that a player would have been successful with the Pats. But the fact is, we have a lack of talent at the OLB position, not merely a lack of pass rushers. Pierre Woods, Rob Ninkovich and Shawn Crable are not likely to develop into Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinest or Roosevelt Colvin caliber OLBs, though they may be adequate backups. Adalius Thomas has regressed, Derrick Burgess hasn't really adjusted to playing LB, and Tully Banta-Cain has been great as a situational pass rusher but really isn't a complete OLB for us. We need to develop long-term solutions at the OLB position, and that will probably take a year or two.

    Second, while I don't think Belichick particularly emphasizes sacks, I think it's fair to say that the top Pats defenses of the past have always been able to get pressure on opposing QBs, and that getting such pressure is more important now than ever with the pass-oriented rules in the NFL. I think BB is smart enough to recognize that it's hard to stop Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers if you can't get pressure on them. Sacks are only one component of defensive pressure, but they do reflect something. The top Pats teams of this decade - the 5 teams under BB that made it to the AFCCG or further - all produced 40+ sacks (41 in 2001 and 2003, 45 in 2004, 44 in 2006, and 47 in 2007) - whereas the teams which did not make it that far all produced less than 35 sacks (34 in 2002, 33 in 2005, 31 in 2008, and 30 so far this year). Only once in the BB era has a player recorded more than 10 sacks in a season, and we have never had a "top pass rushing stud OLB", but we have always had solid OLBs who have been able to generate pressure.

    I don't believe you will see that Pats end up with an OLB who has the kind of sack numbers put up by DeMarcus Ware, Shawne Merriman, James Harrison or Elvis Dumervil, or even Terrell Suggs or LaMarr Woodley. That just doesn't happen in BB's system. And, as you say, the system has been successful and there's no need to change the focus to emphasize sacks per se. But Belichick has always recognized the importance of the OLB position, and he has consistently attempted to bring in talent at the position (Vrabel, Colvin, AD, Burgess), with varying success. I suspect he expected more production out of Thomas and Burgess, or he would have been more aggressive last year in the draft. I think he is probably aware that the talent at the position is lacking, and that the lack of QB pressure has hurt the overall performance of the defense. I suspect he will address it in the offseason, but perhaps I am being overly optimistic.
     
  5. Canada's #1 Pats Fan

    Canada's #1 Pats Fan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Where is Banta-Cain on your list?
     
  6. Brarrell

    Brarrell Practice Squad Player

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    There are a few agents I would spend money on if available. I think they would be Peppers which I truly believe they would pull the trigger on and a reciever such as Lee Evans.
     
  7. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Banta-Cain should not be expected to change in 2010.

     
  8. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    In theory this makes a lot of sense, but I don't think you can call this a base year and make judgements about next year based on how a player played this year. I don't think the NFL works like that. And while I do agree that the offseason between the first and second year of a player's career is huge and can lead to huge year two leaps, I don't think it applies to years after that unless a player is entering the final year of his contract.

    I also think players in the first year of a new multi year nonrookie contracts, ie: Wilfork, Bodden, Woods, and Burgess tend to suffer declines in performance directly porportional to how large their signing bonus was. In other words, the larger the signing bonus, the more decline in performance on the field.

    I think that for the D Line and Secondary BB tries to have a balance between youngsters and veterans where their is always developmental material in the pipeline in case a veteran falters.

    With LBers, I have no clue what he is doing. He has no pipeline and does not seem interested in developing any. Our backup ILB's consist of a 40 year old, a rookie on IR, a ST demon and a couple of guys on speed dial.

    At the OLB spot we have one digruntled starter and three backups sharing snaps and as a group are currently over performing based on their collective skill level, but under performing based on performances of past teams OLBs. Again nothing in the pipeline.
     
  9. State

    State In the Starting Line-Up

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    #70 Jersey

    Ouch! Stop singing our song.

    Tully Banta-Cain is playing a lot better than most of us thought he would.

    We were burned last summer by Bellichick groupies who assumed he was never wrong.
     
  10. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I guess we all admit to not understanding what Belichick is doing, or has been thinking with regard to his outside linebackers.

    INSIDE LINEBACKERS
    Belichick is fine with Mayo and Guyton as starters. Aren't you? As far as backups, Seau is expected to be replaced as a backup by McKenzie. That makes sense to me. And as usual, there is no need for a #4 ILB, except to play special teams like Alexander. Alexander seems fien for this roster spot. So, while I'm fine with upgrades (and would have drafted Laurinitis), and with bringing in competition for ILB roster positions. However, I think that Belichick does indeed have a plan, with a stud veteran, a young developing/improving starter plus a youngster and a special teamer.

    OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS AND PASSRUSHERS
    Banta-Cain excels in his role.
    Woods seems fine in his role, and is a keeper even as a #4 OLB and special teamer.
    Thomas is overpaid but serviceable.
    Burgess seems to be the kind of role player that Belichick likes.
    Ninkovich and Crable are the developmental youngsters.

    We all wanted more at OLB in the last offseason. I suspect that we will be disappointed again.


     
  11. carolinatony

    carolinatony In the Starting Line-Up

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    We have four top draft choices. I expect at least two
    to be used for DE's and OLB's and one to be used on an OG.



    I agree with you mgteich however will BB? After last years draft we can only guess at what position he will draft.
    It won't shock me IF he goes another route than what we believe.

    Does anyone really expect DE,LB,OL with the first 3 picks?
     
  12. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Agreed.

    Correct.

    :ditto:


    :agree:


    Not overly -- BB won't ignore a glaring weakness.

    IMHO, I'm guessing two new faces will be brought in to play the position. One FA/RFA, and one drafted, as I seriously doubt BB would rely on any rookie to be the quick fix to the pass rush woes. Competition among the two new additions and whoever remains from our current roster is my best guess.
     
  13. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Belichick has certainly drafted DE's and OL's highly before, including 2009. I do indeed expect us to finish the second round with a DE and an OG.

    I think that we could go many diffrent ways with the other two picks. We could draft a LB as we hope, or even trade two picks to move up to get one. We could draft a second DE. We could trade a pick into 2011. We could draft a RB or a TE. All are reasonable approaches.

    ================================================.
    I agree with you mgteich however will BB? After last years draft we can only guess at what position he will draft.
    It won't shock me IF he goes another route than what we believe.

    Does anyone really expect DE,LB,OL with the first 3 picks?[/QUOTE]
     

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