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The Quandry at the ILB position: An Analysis

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by italia44, Aug 24, 2008.

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  1. italia44

    italia44 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I used the word quandry,because this is not a question of talent,but unbalanced numbers at one ILB position.

    For the sake of simplicity,let's identify the linebackers by LEFT-OLB,ILB and Right-OLB,ILB.

    So,given this premise the proj.starters are:

    LOLB-Vrabel ROLB-Thomas
    LILB-Mayo RILB-Bruschi

    The subs,before any cuts are:
    Woods-OLB
    Crable-OLB
    Alexander-ILB
    Hobson-ILB
    Guyton-ILB
    Redd-ILB

    I'm not counting Izzo,because he's a LB in name only.
    6 of these players could play Left-ILB:
    Mayo,Vrabel,Thomas,Bruschi,Crable,Woods
    5 could play RIGHT-ILB:
    Bruschi,Hobson,Alexander,Guyton,Redd

    The imbalance I see is at RILB.There isn't much behind Tedy and this is the reason for the Tank,Harrison,Lynch hybrid position.

    You can pick up Seau,but he and Tedy are basically the same player.When either of these 2 were in you would still need the hybrid of Harrison/Lynch.

    My solution is this:Cut Alexander and Hobson.They just don't bring the athleticism and intelligence needed at RILB.

    Keep Guyton at RILB for his speed,while keeping Seau on speed-dial.

    Pierre Woods,now becomes the x-factor at RILB.Even though he would be abnormally tall for this position,his speed and tackling ability would fit,IMO.

    Harrison and Lynch are what make Woods and Guyton work at RILB.That'e the way I see it.
     
  2. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    I think we have a lot of bodies but not much depth. If any of the starters goes down there is a serious dropoff. Signing Seau helps at ILB but at OLB neither Woods or Crable are good enough to be starters.
     
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    The analysis is fine, but IMHO your solution is not. You correctly state that the decision is about two backups for Bruschi. And you correctly state the options as Hobson, Seau, Alexander, Guyton and Redd.

    You decide to keep Guyton and Redd. I would keep Seau (or perhaps Hobson) and Alexander. I agree that Hobson has not yet fit in. I'm fine with Seau instead. My choices of Seau and Alexander give us three RILB's with experience with the system, experience in the NFL and NFL talent.

     
  4. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    Every year we get gaga over linebackers with the hope that someone will emerge but in the end we just have practice squad players or special teams backups. Who was it last year? Oscar Lua. There are a bunch of others I just can't remember. Just Rogers. The kid out of UNLV.
     
  5. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Alexander and Hobson might as well have applied for witness protection they have have been so hard to notice. Guyton has had impact inside, he sticks I think to the very last cuts, then it's a matter of injuries...

    Ruud and Redd never make it through waivers. I bet one of them lands in Indy.
     
  6. italia44

    italia44 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    I see what your saying,but my contention is that the hybrid position is the experienced back-up.This makes Hobson and Alexander superflous.

    BB is not just experimenting with this hybrid position,he has a plan to make this into an 3rd ILB.Nothing else makes sense to me.

    This is essentially a 3-5-3 defense,it's innovative and I've never seen anyone use it.By using the hybrid,he's trading size for speed and this is what makes Hobson and alexander superflous.

    It indicates to me,mush more interior blitzing.The 3-4 is OLB blitzing,the 3-5-3 is from anywhere,without having to use CB's.
     
  7. Canada's #1 Pats Fan

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

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    Don't be surprised to see Hobson stick. To learn how to play ILB in a BB def. must be incredibly complex. The only one I can think of that stepped in right away was A. Thomas but he also had a lot of experience inside in a 3-4 in Baltimore. He is a vet. and may take some time learning the role. But what do I know, he could be cut 5 minutes ago.
     
  8. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    Yeah, I remember the conjecture when Tank went down that the "experiment" was over. Obviously not and half the board guessed right about Lynch (for a change). He might not have as much obvious upside as Tank, but you can bet he won't miss a lot of tackles and I'd even chalk him up for a few injuries (not that anyone's hoping that goes down).

    Since they filled that need immediately, it seems like BB, DP, PJ, MP and DC walked into 2008 with a plan and their sticking to it.

    When I think of it that way, it ALMOST makes sense that the D is playing soft in the pre-season to leave other teams spooked when they steamroll KC and NY.Call me foolish, but I somehow don't think we've seen a whiff of what we're going to get on defense.

    3-5-3... might be time to whip up a custom playbook on Madden and see what that looks like. Still, seems like a special package (though maybe a common one this year). Do you think it's a formation type that can morph into other more common D's at the line?
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008
  9. italia44

    italia44 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    I hate to say that we have played terrible because BB is hiding things,but I think that is exactly what is going on.

    The only thing the defense is practicing is this hybrid or what I call the 3-5-3.

    Remember,this alignment which indicates more interior blizting,is also a RUN-Blitz defense.If you have Vince Wilfolk at NT with 2 gaps on either side,the hybrid fills the open gap against the RB,or the shortest route to the QB.

    The antidote to the West Coast QB is to disrupt the offense from the middle,not from the OLB's.
     
  10. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    Has anyone reported the Pats actually taking snaps at this 3-5-3 formation you're talking about? Link please.
     
  11. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    Depending on the look, I'm not positive the press cads would necessarily notice. But maybe our resident reporters can look back over their notes and see if it jumps out?

    If we're right, we just outed Bill and he's changing everything. CRAP!! LOL
     
  12. italia44

    italia44 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    They're doing it all the time.Watch the replay of the Iggles game,you will see a "triangle" formation.This means Mayo and Tedy are aligned closer together than normal in a base 3-4.At the head of the "triangle" is Harrison or Lynch.

    This spacing allows any of the three to be a MLB.They'e not closer to the line,indicating a safety in the box,just bunched closer to the middle.
     
  13. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Is there any way to get some overhead screencaps and circle this stuff out?
     
  14. Keegs

    Keegs In the Starting Line-Up

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    IMO we can add Ventrone into that ILB rotation. He has shown that he can play all the positions.
     
  15. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Mayo is a rookie and he seems to be doing okay.
     
  16. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    They did run it aganst the Eagles, the Eagles then ran the ball 6 times for 2 first downs, completed a 23 yard pass and finished off a 67 yard drive with a TD.
     
  17. italia44

    italia44 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    ....with zero blitzes and missing 3 starters.

    But,don't let me interrupt your 1,000th "the sky is falling" post.
     
  18. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    I didn't like what I saw on Thursday, maybe you did. As far as the LBs my guess is that BB stays consistent and boring, both Alexander and Izzo make the team along with Guyton. Redd, Ruud get cut and maybe picked up by another team, we will all clamor for them but neither will do anything in the NFL.
     
  19. loosebearing

    loosebearing On the Game Day Roster

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    Italia44

    Thank you for laying out the quandry in a fine manor.
     
  20. italia44

    italia44 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: The Quandry at the ILB position:An Analysis

    I didn't like it either,but,that isn't what I was watching.I was watching the LB's and safeties,keying on down and distance substitutions.

    I paid particular interest to Woods and Crable at OLB and how they set the edge.
    Woods moved to ROLB,this game,and was not nearly as effective as the previous game at LOLB.

    I was excited to see some blitz packages with the 2nd and 3rd stringers in the 2nd half.The Pats showed none of this with the starters out there.

    Barely watched the offense,except for the OL.
    The iggles were bringing CB's and everyone on their blitzes,but,Josh Mcdaniel wouldn't take the bait and played this pretty straight-up.

    Tackling was poor again.Redd looked a little mentally overwhelmed at ILB.Wheatley
    looked a little lost in the 2nd half.I attribute this to playing with more scrubs on defense.

    I tried to watch Slater at safety.This is difficult because of the LOS camera angles on TV.He seemed to be fast and assertive and did not look out of place at FS.
     
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