Time for Plan B?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AzPatsFan, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I have to admit that when TBC didn't step forward last season to get into the OLB rotation, I thought maybe he had plateaued in his development.

    But it turns out he had a bad wheel for most of the season, training camp onward,something that BB's injury reports helped conceal.

    BB is about as willing to hand out encomiums, as a miser is to give away nickels.

    We all heard camp reports of BB chewing on TBC, and interpreted that as TBC getting into BB's doghouse. We forgot that BB wouldn't waste time on people that he thought were irrelevant.

    For him to say that this is TBC's best camp is very encouraging. Tedy took four years to become a regular OLB, and then another year to shift inside to ILB. This is TBC's fourth season, so he should have absorbed the Defense by now, and matured. It appears he has.

    Recall the season he was drafted. Pre-draft publications had projected him as a second round draftee at DE. But he was injured slightly, and slid into the seventh round. I remember this Board thinking we had a potential steal. He flashed on occasion, in his rookie year, too.

    In the time he has played, he certainly seems to be able to pass rush. Three sacks in the small number of snaps he has seen, indicate a very good pass rushing ability, confirming his college reputation as a tweener and a quick, fast, rush end.

    BB has said the tough thing for a DE/LB conversion, is learning the pass drops and less so, setting the edge against the rush, as that is a standard DE responsibility.

    I have felt all along that the solution to the ILB problem was there from last year, in spite of constant howling from the more shortsighted of our fellow fans. A Bruschi Vrabel duo, has already demonstrated Top Eight statistics against the rush for more than half a season and two games in the playoffs. Together they yielded but 3.6 ypc, equal to 2004 stats, and probably even better, as they had to erase the horrendous starting game results.

    Both Tedy and Vrabes have demonstrated the ability to QB the defense, call defenses, and set the Defense. This is important, since we can project that either player could be team with a lesser accomplished teammate, and still present a formidable if not great rushing Defense.

    It seems obvious that course of action was what BB had in mind at start of TC. Then Brown showed he was serious about playing another season, got into good shape, and was re-signed. This added to the OLB depth. TBC progress has helped, and Mincey and Woods look to be a little rookie assistance too.

    The all reserve ILB players didn't perform well against the #1 rushing team in the League. Some have noted Sully's troubles on the Nose, in his first outing as a NT, playing against the constant clipping of the Alex Gibb's coached Falcons line. It should be interesting to see how theh ILB reserves perform, against the poor rushing Cardinals.

    I think Plan A was Tedy and Monty with a fall back to Plan 1A, Tedy and Barry.

    Plan B, was to go back to Vrabel and Bruschi but only if necessary, with perhaps Plan C, a move to more 4-3 formations.

    More and more events are unfolding that lead me to think Plan B is what will occur. Unlike the CL's here, I always knew that BB had that move in his back pocket, in reserve.

    So I was much more sanguine about our LBing situation that many here.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
  2. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Uh, thanks for the many lessons....
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2005
  3. Murphys95

    Murphys95 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I'm trying to get over my personal bias against TBC. Even for a 7th rounder I expected more. It is very encouraging to hear BB compliment him. Still, I'm taking the wait and see approach on TBC.

    Thanks for noting that Bruschi took many years to earn a starting role. I think many people have forgotten that early on he wasn't considered able to be a full-time linebacker. On that same note, I don't like comparing TBC to Bruschi. Tedy was a situational player, a pass rusher, and standout on special teams in his first 3 seasons (in fact he had 4 sacks in each of his first two seasons) - whereas I feel we are still waiting to see that spark from Banta-Cain.
  4. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I agree with a lot of what you're saying here, very good post. FTR, though, the Cardinals can't really be considered a "poor rushing" team anymore, what with signing Edgerrin James and all. Should be a very stiff test this weekend, IMO.
  5. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract


    That is a fair criticism. Bruschi was a AllAmerican college star, a third round pick, and may even still hold the NCAA record for collegiate sacks. But I would be happy if TBC becomes merely an above average starter at OLB. He doesn't have to be a star and sometimes pro bowler. (Not that I'd complain. He can sack the QB!)
  6. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    My aunt and uncle own a two-bedroom encomium. it's in tucson, just south of sanguine.
  7. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave In the Starting Line-Up

    The idea of plan B (Bruschi and Vrabel inside) seems to really be taking hold around here. Most of us a coming to the conclusion that sliding Vrabel inside and sticking TBC or sombody else outside in Vrabel's spot, is easier than finding somone to fill the gap at ILB.
    That's assuming that nobody emerges from the heap inside.
    Could be worse.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2005
  8. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    As a Scottsdale resident I see the Cardinals every once in a while. Their rushing problems have much more to do with their poor offensive line than with thier RBs.

    They drafted Tutui in Round 2 and want to hand him a starting guard spot. That should tell you what the Coaches opinion is, of their interior line play.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
  9. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    Once Willie Mac departed and no vet, starting-caliber, replacements were forthcoming, then Bruschi and Vrabel should have been Plan A. Barry Gardner as Plan 1A? Based on...that he's better than Izzo and Davis, I suppose.

    I still feel that Dan Klecko's best position on this team is at ILB. He could make it as a DT only on teams like Indy, Tampa, Detroit, Minnesota and Buffalo. Maybe I should start a Trade Klecko for a WR/LB Thread. And if I can make Klecko an ILB, then why not make Beisel an OLB? Let's see how he plays in space, since he does not like playing in traffic.

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