Welcome to PatsFans.com

The Linebacker position in the patriots scheme

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

  1. DB15

    DB15 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    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

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    5,072
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    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

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    but is there a reason for that?
  4. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    5,072
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    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

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    2,670
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ratings:
    +4 / 0 / -0

    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

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    5,072
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    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

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    24,230
    Likes Received:
    15
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0 / -3

    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

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

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

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    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

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

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

    arrellbee Rookie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,094
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    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

    RayClay Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,518
    Likes Received:
    40
    Ratings:
    +49 / 0 / -1

    #75 Jersey

    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

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    7,384
    Likes Received:
    9
    Ratings:
    +9 / 0 / -0

    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 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,518
    Likes Received:
    40
    Ratings:
    +49 / 0 / -1

    #75 Jersey

    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

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0


    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

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    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

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0


    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

    RayClay Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,518
    Likes Received:
    40
    Ratings:
    +49 / 0 / -1

    #75 Jersey

    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

    RayClay Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,518
    Likes Received:
    40
    Ratings:
    +49 / 0 / -1

    #75 Jersey

    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 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,518
    Likes Received:
    40
    Ratings:
    +49 / 0 / -1

    #75 Jersey

    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.
  21. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    16,128
    Likes Received:
    36
    Ratings:
    +56 / 2 / -2

    I wouldn't have complained if we took Shawn Merriman in the draft.
  22. DB15

    DB15 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    great post dude


    looking back im pretty sure signing vrable is possibly our single biggest and best signing in the past 10 years.. think about that statement before you respond.
  23. DB15

    DB15 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    haha I dont think anyone would have. Its always fun to think what the pats would do if any of the latest (past three years) big name lb prospects were still on the board come the pats first round pick
  24. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,148
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    Didn't Urban Meyer say that BB
    took Mincey to groom into Willie's replacement?
  25. DB15

    DB15 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    big shoes to fill..
  26. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,518
    Likes Received:
    40
    Ratings:
    +49 / 0 / -1

    #75 Jersey

    The key here is a "real" McGinest replacement.

    Mincey or TBC or Vrabel/Colvin will play the position, but they spent the 4th overall in the draft for Willie.

    Draft position doesn't mean everything, but it means physical ability that doesn't last until the 6th round.

    Much like BB's penchant for 1st round Defensive linemen, Willie's combination of speed strength agility etc. is rare, hence the high pick.
  27. D-cleater

    D-cleater Rookie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0


    Interesting. I might just agree with you on this one. We can easily narrow it down to the past 7 years that BB has been here. So who else would be considered a more impactful FA signing? You could make a case for Cory, but I think 6+ years of solid, often excellent contribution (think of all the SB's !)outweighs one 1600 yd season. You could make a strong case for Rodney, and as much as I love him, he's still going into his 4th season whereas Vrabel is going in to his 6th. Ted Washington.... one season. Phifer and Hamilton were big signings, but they are gone. Vrabel it is...
  28. jimmyjames

    jimmyjames Rookie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0


    Can one of our resident draft experts tell us who the Pats have passed on at LB in order to take Seymour, Graham, Warren, Wilfork, Watson and Mankins?

    What about other day 1 picks at LB we could have had? Is there someone playing LB on another team right now that we could have had?
  29. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rookie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,094
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    Goodness gracious. After all of the heated predictions over the past couple drafts that the Pats would (just HAD to) draft a LB high, it starts AGAIN ?? Jeeeesh. Why don't we just get this season out of the way first. Then we can make WAGs about what the Pats HAVE to do and what BB/SP WILL do.
  30. jimmyjames

    jimmyjames Rookie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0


    I don't think we were looking at it that way. Seems to me that everyone was in agreement that Pats have done a great job on the draft and the right LB has not come along yet. Then I was just wondering if anyone could point at who they may have passed on in order to take the highly impatful payers they did.

Share This Page