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The Linebacker position in the patriots scheme

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by DB15, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. DB15

    DB15 Rookie

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    It seems that we just cant get any younger here. Obviously its due to the extreme complexity of the system, I just find it very frustrating, I can only imagine how the coaching staff must feel.

    Drafting LB's seems like a crap shoot for us, its almost as if its better if a player spends 3 or 4 years on another team to get the basics of the game under their belt and then comes to the pats. As we all know that’s not the way it works around here, or anywhere for that matter. The only real example of the pats developing any sort of a success story is TBC, and even he has yet to show anything of any importance when it really matters (not preseason) I may be mistaken but im pretty sure he spent 3 years on the pine learning/growing/developing and only now is coming on.

    Is it fair to say that to draft a LB high is almost a waste?

    Thoughts?
  2. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

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    At the same time you can say the Pats have yet to put the time and investment in to develop young LB's.
  3. DB15

    DB15 Rookie

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    but is there a reason for that?
  4. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

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    Cuz it's a big investment. Maybe they don't want to put the present on hold for a future payoff. They want success now, not to wait on a player to come around in a few years. I have no idea if this is true but it's a guess.
  5. patsfan55

    patsfan55 Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    weve done it with dline: sey, warren, wilfork, hill, green
    weve done it with oline: light, kaczur, koppen, ocallaghan, mankins, neal
    weve done it with wrs: branch, givens, bethel
    weve done it with qbs: brady, cassell
    weve done it with dbs: assante, geno, hobbs, sanders, g scott
    weve done it with rbs: maroney

    so now we must do it with lbs
    all these guys were early to mid round draft picks
    we must draft some stud lbs to groom
    our lbs are gettin way too old and we must do it soon
  6. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

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    I think LB is the heardest player to groom on the defense, and possibly on the whole team, in this situation and scheme. There just seems to be something different about developing LB's than other positions on this team.
  7. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This year may be the one where we do get younger at LB. TBC looks like he is ready to strp up, Alexander has made progress and will be on the roster IMO, is a year behind TBC. I will not be suprised if Wood and Mincey stick and play ST and become developmental LB's. That would be 4 relatively young LB's with an upside.
  8. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Let's see how AJ Hawk does with the Packers
  9. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    First off, Brady was a 6th rounder. only the seventh round is left.
    O'Callahan and Cassell were mid to late round picks and they haven't proven anything in reg season, yet. Not that they won't.
  10. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Oh. I believe Neal was undrafted.
    And Bethel is not a success.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2006
  11. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rookie

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    Age may not be quite as much of an issue as you might think if you are talking about next year. It is, I guess, the oldest position group, so you can be sure it will see some serious attention from BB/SP. If they take care of it in the next couple years, you may not see quite as huge an issue as you might think.

    Bruschi - 33 - should be pretty productive next year
    Vrabel - 31 - should be very productive next year
    Colvin - 29 - the youngest of the top starters
    Izzo - 32
    Davis - 34 - Folks thought he would be cut this year - but it gets more likely next year
    Banta-Cain - 26 - If he becomes a solid starter, there's a young LB
    Gardner - 30 - unknown quality but if he works out, should be good for a couple years
    Woods - 24
    Mincey - 23

    So, as you look at it, if any of four players become solid, you have a pretty good nucleus.
  12. RayClay

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    Why not eliminate the first five rounds then? Just because something happens occasionally doesn't make it the norm.

    I like Pierre Woods. That doesn't mean there haven't been many good LBs drafted in the early rounds.

    When you have to site a QB and OL to make a point about free agent linebackers, you know you're stretching.
  13. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    Totally agree. THIS is the year we begin the transition to a set of younger LBs. Tully Banta-Cain is the first to come to fruition. In future years it'll be some of Mincey, Woods, Alexander stepping to the fore - for now, those three will give us depth and S/T's.
  14. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    I think this learning curve for LBs is overblown. If it was so hard to learn the position, why do we bother taking on free agents and low round picks?

    Shouldn't higher picks be able to learn easier?

    I think this is merely Belichicks plan to address the salary cap.

    Think about it. I was sure you needed high draft picks at corner. Couldn't do without them.

    BB has manage with one 2nd rounder and a bunch of eager youngsters and decent vets to cover the position adequately IMO.

    We had our OL training school. We were never going to draft any top players there since we used a 2 on Light.

    Lo and behold, O Line talent everywhere the last couple of years. And a shiny new running back and receiver.

    Of course the bill will come due for that great DLine.

    Besides the defensive backfield where do we tweak and patch? Hello Junior.

    Can you help us find some diamonds in the rough?

    We'll get a major LB in the draft when BB stabilizes the depth and figures how to pay him and the DLine and Maroney etc.

    I think BB's looking 6 years down the road and is willing to have a possible weakness to build strength elsewhere.

    Maybe a LB enters when Corey exits?
  15. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    RayClay, I thought the discussion was for filling a need at linebacker with a high round pick. Pats55 made a list of our success from the high round picks.
    I was just pointing out that some of those names weren't high round picks.
    They fortunate pick ups. Extremely fortunate, in fact.

    If he could of, I wonder if BB would have drafted AJ Hawk.

    Anyways, we have some linebackers in the fold and it seems that the Belichick way is to develop linebackers or under sized DEs over a couple of seasons.
  16. D-cleater

    D-cleater Rookie

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    No matter how it may appear, I don't think there is an actual strategy of getting by without spending high draft picks at LB, that's just the way it's worked out. BB/Pioli have simply found better value at other positions where we've been picking in the draft. And, until the brief Beisel-Brown era last year, LB has always been one of the strongest groups on the team.

    Perhaps next year is the year we spend a first or second on LB. And when we do, you can bet that the pick will be a friggin stud, like all our other 1st rounders. Imagine being a LB and getting drafted to play for Bill Belichick.... it ain't gonna be just anyone. Free agents are less of a risk and I have to think thats what brought some of the JAGs in to play the position.
  17. jimmyjames

    jimmyjames Rookie

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    I agree.
    Plus, all of our best linebackers under Belichick played DE in college including this years' projected starting LB corps of Bruschi (when he returns), Vrabel, Rosie and TBC (Willie did too.) I think there is a different checklist for evaluating talent at LB in this defense and that guy has not come along yet.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  18. RayClay

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    I guess I'm responding to the "we convert low round picks and free agents" argument.

    Of the linebackers in the Belichick era, some of whom he inherited some veteran free agents, we have not used anyone drafted below round 4.

    That was Colvin and he was coming off two 10.5 sack seasons.

    I'm not saying low picks and free agents can't turn into starters. I'm just saying that wasn't the case for any of the linebackers in the Belichick era.

    I'm sure BB would like to find another Vrabel or Colvin, young vets, but that just isn't that easy. Look at Beisel.

    Sure we usually convert DEs, but our leading pass rusher, McGinest, was a 4th overall pick.

    I think BB's just trying to patch the position because of investments at RB OL and receiver, (Jackson, Branch? and whoever).

    I've got no problem with that.

    I'm just trying to be a mythbuster. Free agent or real low pick LBs or DEs turned into starters or even backups with a lot of snaps? Never happened.

    Matt Chatham would be the closest.

    I actually think they will find a couple depth players and go for a top talent in a couple years.

    The only thing we know from BB is he'd like a young vet if he could find one.
  19. RayClay

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    Agreed. I think h'ed have liked to slide by with Beisel so he could spend elsewhere, but he's got a year of Junior instead.
  20. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    How high is high? 1st or day one?

    Actually wouldn't be surpised to see them go early for a real Mcginest replacement at olb/de. Depends on draft position etc.

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