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The Clay Matthews effect makes me a bit nervous

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Crazy Patriot Guy, Jan 27, 2011.

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  1. Crazy Patriot Guy

    Crazy Patriot Guy Rookie

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    I've been reading reports that say the Pats have learned their lesson a bit by passing on Clay back in 2009 and that they're probably more willing to take a risk on a player that doesn't exactly fit what they're looking for from a physical standpoint.

    Clearly the Pats are not going to simply ignore the height and weight of a prospect and only look at their production. Anyone they draft will have been scouted very well. But with the 1st round being so good for the Patriots, (even the "busts" made contributions in their time here) I'm afraid of the Pats picking someone up that turns out to truly not be right for the team.

    It reminds me of something Mike Leach said a few years back when he was still at Texas Tech. Ever since Welker was there, he was constantly having high school coaches call him saying they had the next Wes Welker. Leach said occasionally they would turn out to be good players but the majority of them were just short, slow, small WRs.

    Again, I know how smart the Pats are. I just don't want them to make a mistake in the 1st round considering what it's produced for us, and I don't want Clay Matthews to be the reason they miss.
  2. TriplecHamp

    TriplecHamp Rookie

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    Id rather the Pats take a chance on a guy that they think might make an impact in the pass rush than go with TBC, Cunningham and Ninko next season.
  3. IcyPatriot

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    I think Ninko is a valuable role player on this team who they tried to use in areas he is not able to cover. Ninko is still a valuable up the middle pass rusher ... along with Wright ... we still need that outside rusher who can also seal the edge when needed which TBC definitely is not. Cunningham may not be that either ... but he has another 2 years here I think.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  4. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    It has been clearly documented previously that the Pats took in quite a haul as the end result for passing on Matthews. I don't know what reports you are referring to, but I seriously doubt the Pats are the type of organization that does things because some armchair GM is second guessing their previous drafts. At the very least the jury is still out in regards to passing on Matthews versus getting the four other players they ended up with.

    The Pats will draft a player that they feel gives them the best chance to succeed - not one who will get them the highest approval rating or the best day-after draft grades.
  5. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Where are these reports you speak of? Passing on Matthews was 100% the right choice. He got completely dominated by Gronk and Crump in the run game. There's no room on the roster for somebody like that, and especially not in the first round.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  6. alvinnf

    alvinnf Rookie

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    I don't know? Let's flip a friggin coin. Is it better to get washed out at end in our scheme or field an "undersized" OLB pass rusher. It's easy to stick to your guns when you have guys like Seymour and Willie Mac on your roster. When you have neither, just get somebody who can make plays.....
  7. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  8. Crazy Patriot Guy

    Crazy Patriot Guy Rookie

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    I agree with you. I don't think the Pats are disappointed with what they got instead. I know I'm not. 2522 total yards and 16 TDs from Tate, Edelman and Gronk this season. If Butler can develop into a solid nickel or dime CB, it's a slam dunk. However, that doesn't mean the Pats can't look back and say they were wrong in their evaluation of Matthews. Hypothetically speaking, let's say the Pats decided they didn't like Troy Polamalu and that's the reason they took Ty Warren. I'm certain they wouldn't look back and regret taking Warren but it doesn't mean they can't look back and realize they were wrong in not liking Polamalu.

    As for those that are wondering where I heard this, it's in the Patriots Extra Points blog at boston.com. (couldn't get link to work but it's in the latest report from the Senior Bowl, talking about Von Miller) I also read something similar when I was searching through mock drafts but I can't remember where.

    Let me again say that I'm very, very, very happy with what we got in the trade for Clay Matthews and don't think it was a mistake whatsoever. Again, it doesn't mean it can't make the Pats re-think their scouting going forward. And I don't want it to affect their scouting negatively.
  9. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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    BB is certainly smart enough to know, in the face of overwhelming evidence, when it is time to change their strategy. Maybe they are starting to realize that you're not going to get many 6'5 255lb linebackers who can run 4.5 40 "set the edge" and also rush the passer while picking in the low 20's and 30's. Their current crop of OLB's produce almost zero pass rush and maybe just maybe they need to pay attention to players who have the ability to pressure the QB as well as "setting the edge"

    A one dimensional player is OK if he can play the run but not OK if he can't rush the passer? If they need to draft different players with different strengths than that's what they need to do. If Von Miller or Aldon Smith are available at 17, I would hope they would seriously consider them even if they play only on passing downs for a couple of years. The staus quo (lack of a pass rush of any kind) is not working, in fact it is holding back a potentially great team. Think how much better this defense would be with the ability to pressure the QB
  10. BPF

    BPF Rookie

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    I agree with most of what you said but Aldon Smith is simply not ready to be an NFL player at this point. That kid should have stayed in school.
  11. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A one dimensional player who can only rush the passer (i.e. Von Miller) is fine as long as he's not a high pick. As Bill has said, early round linebackers need to be able to play 3 downs, and Miller projects as a player who will never be able to do that.

    If he were a 3rd or 4th round pick who could play on special teams, he'd be fine. Gary Guyton and Dane Fletcher are guys who Bill saw as subpackage linebackers and special teamers, but not 3 down guys (ideally). No coincidence that both of them were UDFAs rather than high picks. I feel like Miller is the OLB equivalent of Gary Guyton, and that's not worth a 1st round pick.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  12. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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    So another year without a pass rush because of value? IMO improving the pass rush should be priority #1 whether or not you have to deviate from the value based pick. Sometimes you have to overpay.
  13. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The willingness of Belichick to wait rather than reach for guys is one reason the Pats have stayed competitive year after year. If Pats fans had their way, Bill would've taken Hughes in the first last year. Even if Hughes was a 8-sack guy, that still would've come at the price of missing out on a player of better value in McCourty. Bill is going to draft the player who he thinks will make the team the best team possible. It if involves passing up on an undersized pass-rusher who will never be able to play in the base package in order to take a better player at a position of less need, then he won't hesitate. It's how he does things, and in the long term interest of the team, it works out very well.

    Random off-topic comment: McCourty had more interceptions (7) than Hughes had tackles (6) this season. PoLOLian much? :lol2:
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  14. condon84

    condon84 Rookie

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  15. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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    They don't always turn into a McCourty, sometimes they turn into a Maroney.
  16. Crazy Patriot Guy

    Crazy Patriot Guy Rookie

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    That's the point. I hope the success of Clay Matthews doesn't change how the team values that position enough to make a bad decision in the draft.

    Going into the 2009 draft, Pat White's stock had gone way up because of the Wildcat formation spreading so quickly in the NFL. It turned out the Dolphins valued that position WAAAAAAAYYYYYY too much, took White in the 2nd round and he was gone before the 2010 season opener.

    I honestly wonder if we see more Danny Woodhead-type RBs picked up late in the draft this year. Guys that might have never been anything more than a UDFA might now be 6th or 7th round picks because of Woodhead's success this season. That's how it goes.

    Does the success of Matthews cause Belichick to re-evaluate how he looks at the OLB position early in the draft? It's very possible. Again, I hope it doesn't change how they value it enough for them to draft someone that proves the very strict requirements he's always placed on the position were right all along.
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There are several related questions

    QUESTION 1 - IS THERE ROOM ON OUR ROSTER FOR A DESIGNATED PASS RUSHER?
    Would such a player fit in to our schemes? Is is useful to use an active roster spot for such a player.

    QUESTION 2 - IS SUCH A PLAYER IMPORTANT TO OUR TEAM, OR JUST A MINOR LUXURY?
    Even if we thought such a player is useful, it still isn't clear whether this role player would be a top contributer.

    QUESTION 3 - HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH IN TIS DRAFT TO SECURE SUCH A PROSPECT?
    If this position is important enough to our 3rd down effort, then this resource is worth as much as our 17. After all, for some this position has the potential to have more impact that any other player we could draft. Even if the position has the potential to have amjor effect (although not the most, the position would be worth a top 40 pick.

    QUESTION 4 - WHO IS AVAILABLE TO MEET THIS NEED AND AT WHAT COST?

    =============

    BOTTOM LINE
    This has been discussed for years. As another thread asks "Is A Designated Pass-Rusher Worth a Top 40 Pick?"

    Belichick has thought not for years, although he traded a 3rd and 5th once to try to get such a player.

    The season just ended. The draft is far away. There will much time for analysis. I think that the key will be how much the position is valued. After all, if we were absolutely sure than we need a top guard to start, then we would draft one, even if the fit weren't perfect. There are many OLBs and passrushers. The open question is whether Belichick will again look for a perfect fit and value the position as not being worth a first rounder.
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    An impact level pass rusher is not likely to be relaibly available in late 3rd or 4th rounds. I understand that you think that a pass rushing specialist is only worth as much as Guyton or a 4th rounder.

    That is indeed the issue before us. Is an impact level pass rusher worth a 4th rounder, a 3rd rounder, a 2nd rounder, or a 1st rounder.

    Considering that we were DEAD LAST in defending on third down, this position might be more valuable than you indicate.

  19. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot Rookie

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    I think one of the issues at play here is that maybe there just aren't that many guys like he wants walking around these days. Oh there are players built like he wants but rarely do they have the complete skill set he wants. Often they are conversion projects and those often do not work.

    If there is an adjustment on BB's part I think it comes from that angle, not the "we should have drafted Clay Matthews" angle.

    Regardless, of the current OLBs we know exactly what we've got with Ninko and TBC. The only player with any upside left to explore is Cunningham. More bodies needed.
  20. jsull87

    jsull87 Rookie

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    you wouldn't take clay mathews with a 1st round pick... you are outside your mind
  21. Rob0729

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    First of all, where are these alleged reports? I have never heard anything like this.

    Second of all, people like to revise history and make Matthews this slam dunk prospect that everyone wanted. If people thought he was going to be good as he is, he would never have fallen to the 26th pick in the draft. There was rumors of steriods hounding him and he arguably had the lesser year of the three USC LBs entering the draft that year. Both Cushing and Maualuga were ranked higher than Matthews on some experts big boards (I just went back and looked for mock drafts from 2009 and the ones still available had him going anywhere from 15th to falling to the second round). Matthews was no sure thing at 26.

    Third of all, who said the Pats passed on Matthews because he doesn't fit what they look for from a physical standpoint. If that was the case, Belichick would never have signed Roosevelt Colvin. Matthews is 6-3 and 255lbs. Colvin when he was here was 6-3 and 250lbs playing the same position that Matthews would play in the Pats' defense.

    The fact of the matter is the Pats have never said why they passed on Matthews. It could be that if he was available when they picked in the second round, they would have drafted him. They just might not have had a first round grade on him and expected him to be available when they picked in the second round.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  22. Sicilian

    Sicilian Rookie

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    I think the problem really is that when you draft a player who has one particular skill set (rushing the passer, for example), your eggs for that player are now all in that basket. If their pass rushing skills don't translate to the pros, there's nothing else you can really do with that player. That's where it's dangerous to use a first rounder on a one-dimensional player. Regardless of how much you might need that dimension, there's no guarantee you'll actually get it and not end up with a completely wasted pick. Most Clay Matthews don't turn into Clay Matthews.
  23. condon84

    condon84 Rookie

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    Personally, what happened with Matthews and some other prospects that we passed on in the past that turned out to be good players in the league, is that we simply misevaluated them.

    I know people like to think that Belichick is never wrong or Brady never has a bad game, but it's simply not true. They f'ed up but it wasn't the first time and it's not going to be the last time.
  24. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, as was noted, White didn't want to and likely wouldn't have been able to switch to WR. Ironically, both the Patriots and LOLphins brought in both White AND Edelperson for visits; the Pats bringing in White appears to have spooked Miami into thinking they would take him at 58.

    See: Cassel, Matt. Welker, Wes. :)

    But also, keep in mind that Kevin Faulk—who's not all that much bigger than Woodhead—was a second-round(!) pick in 1999.
  25. Sciz

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    Absolutely not. This is a scheme that would magnify all of his weaknesses (inability to hold his ground against the run, tendency to overrun plays) and not take advantage of his strengths (speed rush, gap-shooting).

    And I don't know which is worse, the fact that he was 240 coming out of college, that he supposedly added 20 pounds of muscle last offseason, or that he still gets blocked by TEs in the running game.
  26. flycessna

    flycessna Rookie

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    The pats have always done a good job of bringing in versitile players who do many things well and yet the pats have also been flexible in that they allow players to excell in areas they feel most comfortable in... hense a solid team that appears to have a bunch of over achievers and depth for when the season progresses and injuries compound... I think we hear the word value a lot when speaking of the Pats personal.

    I for one however feel the Pats have done a good job of building the defense and offense like this.... but minus a few one demensional impact players..

    I am not necessarily talking Moss type.. One of my all time favs Rodney Harrison was not the best Safty and at times struggled with coverage.. But he was a tough beast and for me was an impact player.. QB's looked to see where he was lined up every down and WR feared him..

    Mayo is a tackling machine but I havent seen those BIG playes from him.. like the 3rd down sack in the last minutes of the game to win the game ect..

    So if what your saying is true then I might not be suprised to the see them target a 1st round impact player type who might not fit our traditional specific size and versitile type of player..

    Personaly I would love to see them do something in free agency.. AHEM..larry fitzgerald..

    And considering this could be the last draft without a rookie cap expect that to fit into all equations for BB... why pursue a top 10 this year when you can roll it forward to another year.... At least that is my fear :)
  27. DW Toys

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    Have to disagree with you on Miller."Projects"? Who said that? "They" did? It was 100% wrong that "they", whomever "they" are said he could not be a 3 down backer. With NFL coaches and personnel on the field this week he proved his case. 'They" are wrong once again. We (most of us) all wanted Aaron Schobel for a pass rush DE at 6'4" and 245 last summer*. A better example is Mathis of the Colts at 6'2" and 245. Shorter and only a few pounds heavier than Miller and a DE. Would you take Mathis here? You can't compare an UDFA like Guyton to Miller as far as resume goes or potential.

    I hate to say it but those trashing Matthews would pick him up at the airport for Bill if we could get him here. In my opinion it all boils down to "football player" not measurables (see Danny H and Kevin Faulk and Wes Welker). Would Miller make this Team better in 2011? Unless he is as you all say here in a forum favorite over-used term "Epic Fail", I say yes. Don't worry. He's gone in the top ten and will be outstanding. Then next year we will all say, "Why did we not move up to get him?"

    I believe Brandon Spikes was a second round pick. Would you label him as a 3 down LB? Kiper "projected" Spikes to be a early down LB. He was and he did pretty well. I might keep this in mind. Most NFL Teams will try to throw it early so Spikes still has to attempt to cover somewhat. He is not that bad.I think Miller is more of a 3 down LB than Guyton or Spikes.

    By the way Schobel could have really helped in my humble opinion.
    DW Toys
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  28. JackBauer

    JackBauer Rookie

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    Whether or not Schobel would have helped, he wasn't coming here. So there's no point in lamenting his absence.
  29. VJCPatriot

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    I think that the Pats have the framework of a good team on defense now. Their team speed is much improved. Mayo is indeed a tackling machine, and Spikes presence appears to free him up to do what he does best. McCourty is a bona fide #1 CB. Bodden will be coming back from injury and be solid as #2 assuming no complications happen in his recovery.

    So where does that leave the need on defense? Another big DE would be nice. There are a lot of possible fits at 3-4 DE this year. There are probably 3-5 1st and 2nd round prospects that would fit this category.

    An OLB who can rush the passer would also be nice. The way I look at it free agency might be the best way to address this need. Woodley comes quickly to mind. BB has attempted to address passrush through FA before with varying success. Colvin was a good rusher for us until he got hurt. AD well... that didn't work out but it doesn't mean you should stop trying to address the problem area.
  30. jays52

    jays52 Rookie

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    Clay Matthews is the most overrated player in football. The sooner we all come to terms with this the better off we will be. It doesn't matter how much muscle you have when your tendons haven't been able to recover like your juiced up muscle. He's quick as hell but any player with decent feet and the sand to anchor owns him. Plus, it's only a matter of time until he misses four games from the league, then blows a tendon, then becomes Shawne Merriman.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
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