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Unathletic LB's

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsMan26, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. PatsMan26

    PatsMan26 Practice Squad Player

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    We will need a strong defensive game plan this week to mask the unathleticism we have at linebacker. Tomlinson out of the backfield and Gates are going to pose serious problems for our linebackers. Bruschi and Vrabel are smart players who have always gotten the job done when it comes down to it but they are slow as Molasses. Either one of them one on one with Gates or Tomlinson spells trouble. We have gotten away with not drafting athletic linebackers the past few years, hopefully that will continue this week but it is going to be tough.
     
  2. MrTibbs

    MrTibbs Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Agreed. That is my fear as well. I can see the Chargers making the Patriots LB's defend Tomlinson and Gates. In either case it's a serious mismatch.
     
  3. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Practice Squad Player

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    Here's a set they're sure to see...
    Tomlinson split wide, gates inside, Vincent Jackson in the slot, Eric Parker @ WR, Michael Turner at TB.

    Vincent Jackson is a burner and nearly as big as Gates. It's gonna be interesting to watch how Cam Cameron executes his gameplan.

    Because as much as Marty vs. Belichick will be the story... this game is going to be called offensively by Cam Cameron... as it has been all year.

    I like our chances. But the Patriots were the one team I was concerned with playing.
     
  4. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I will take savy and experience over athleticism any day of the week. I have beating drum for some young LBs for years but yesterday was a great example of why football sense is more important. Monty Beisel was a good athelete, Michael Vick is a great athelete... I would rather have Bruschi and Brady.

    There was a play yesterday I watched about 5 times. I was blown away by how smart Vrabel was. He started inside, moved to the slot, re-routed a receiver and then ran all the way across the field to be in position to tackle Coles short of a first down. (I think it the play in bold below)

    Vrabel is 6'4 , 260 and in college ran a 4.8, I don't think he has gotten any faster but he really understands the game. A lesser player would have chased the WR down the field like a dog and a frisbee.

    Sunday's game will come down to execution.


    NY Jets - 7:47
    1st-10, NYJ30 7:47 L. Washington rushed up the middle for no gain
    2nd-10, NYJ30 7:07 C. Pennington passed to L. Washington to the left for 11 yard gain
    1st-10, NYJ41 6:20 C. Pennington incomplete pass to the right
    2nd-10, NYJ41 6:12 L. Washington rushed up the middle for 1 yard gain. NE committed 15 yard penalty
    1st-10, NE43 5:45 C. Pennington incomplete pass to the left
    2nd-10, NE43 5:39 P. Ramsey passed to B. Askew to the right for 1 yard loss
    3rd-11, NE44 4:56 C. Pennington passed to L. Coles to the left for 8 yard gain
    4th-3, NE36 4:11 B. Graham punt, no return
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  5. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In the 3-4 the key is gap discipline not speed. We have the smartest team in the league. I like our chances if the SD team is anywhere near as ****y as their fans they will get killed. I wonder if they believe their own press clippings?
     
  6. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Practice Squad Player

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    The answer is no. The players have their heads on straight, unlike many of our fans. I have the utmost respect for the Patriots. But like Lorenzo Neal said... "If you wanna be the best, you gotta beat the best." I consider the Pats the best team of the current decade. But I've seen things from this Chargers team that I haven't seen in my 30 years following them.

    My feeling is this: If the Chargers can't win the Superbowl with this team... they never will. They are THAT talented. You can bet they have nothing but the highest regard for the Patriots... which is why they'll be focused, determined, and will play their best game of the year.

    So while the fans are c()cky as hell, the players will be taking this game as if they're the underdogs. Because by game time, 90% of all "experts" will be picking the Patriots to win... despite whatever odds the bookies are throwing out there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  7. PatsMan26

    PatsMan26 Practice Squad Player

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    Everything you said is true with the exception of Vince being a burner. He is fast for his size but calling him a burner is a stretch. Watching him play at UNC for four years i never saw him blow to many people away with pure speed.
     
  8. tedy hagler

    tedy hagler Practice Squad Player

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    Tomlinson is a tough matchup for any linebacker: too fast for big guys and too strong for speed merchants. But I don't agree that Vrabel and Bruchsi are "unathletic". Vrabel is a big backer who has a quick first step (not elite top end speed) for such a big body, long arms to shed blockers, and pure football smarts. Bruchsi moves well laterally, and just is always in position to make plays.

    I see the Patriots making LaDanian work extremely hard for his 90-110 yards and trying to disrupt him at the line in the passing game (more of a Banta Cain and Colvin duty, ala the mugging McGinest did Marchall Faulk in 2001).

    If only Rodney was playing: the return to San Diego might inspire him to actually decapitate a Charger running back.
     
  9. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Practice Squad Player

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    That was my point... big as a tight end, but much faster. He always seems to be the guy getting open deep. And he catches everything thrown at him. It's gonna be a tough matchup for the LBs or Safeties.
     
  10. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Not trying to be the devils advocate here but I disagree completely with the opinion that Vrabel, Rosie, Bruschi and TBC are not athletic.

    To the contrary I believe they are incredible athletic.

    Vrabel is a good enough athlete that as a LB he has more TD receptions than some pretty good WR's in the past few years.

    Bruschi is an athletic freak. He was a DE in college...set the NCAA division 1 record for sacks and we moved him to LB and he has been unbelievable. Some of his interceptions are jaw-dropping. He's caught lasers 20 feet from the LOS and held on with gloves that have padding for protection...not WR's gloves.

    Rosie Colvin has freakish speed. Some of his sacks this year came on delayed blitzes where he covered ground so quick the QB's looked like deer in the headlights.

    TBC has some proving to do but since he has played regularly...he has made one great play after another. I love this guy.

    Sorry if you don't agree but I see our LB's as some of the better LB's athletically speaking in the league in the last 5 years IMHO.
     
  11. SVN

    SVN Hall of Fame Poster

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    i dont think bruschi is the same player as in the past...he may have been great in college and even past yrs ..but sadly he is not the same player this yr and believe me i like him a lot...
     
  12. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Granted...I know he's lost a step but he still is doing a great job...I'm sure if a ball runner gets in Tedy's sights he's not thinking "oh good, its only Bruschi".
     
  13. maddmann

    maddmann Rookie

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    id watch out for LT's stiff arm
     
  14. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I bet a lot of our LB's and DB's have seen it in practice with Maroney ;)
     
  15. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    This Bolts team is good. But its not perfect no matter how you Bolts fan think so.

    There are weaknesses:

    You're playing a rookie OLT
    You're playing a mediocre RT
    You're playing power Guards not pulling Guards
    You're playing smallish inside LBs
    You're playing secondary players whose clippings outweigh their play
    You're possesion receiver has gone over the hill
    You 're missing a competent possesion receiver.

    Some of these might not be weaknesses as much as attributes that can be exploited. Of such are game plans built.
     
  16. SVN

    SVN Hall of Fame Poster

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    watch the jax game...maurice drew ran over him...maybe folks like Box and Pats1 who break down film week after week can be more accurate but he has been avg this yr IMO..i hope iam wrong. of course the leadership he provides is unquestioned and valuable but not the same physical player..in fact i read in si.com also today
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/don_banks/01/07/snap.judgments/1.html
    of course this statemnet may be over the top but its not entirely in accurate
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  17. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I have a feeling that Maurice Jones-Drew will be running over LB's alot in the next few years.

    Hopefully Tedy will read that SI article this week....and show a few "Experts" that he ain't done yet. I, for one, still believe that he has it in him.
     
  18. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually ran under him, more like! :D Drew was a problem for everyone this year.

    I accept that Tedy hasn't been the fearsome playmaker of other years, but he has had injury problems -- and the record of the team against runs inside this year (even after Junior's sad departure) has been great. It's runs to the outside and passes to LT that challenge the tackling of the secondary that have me more worried. I wish we had Rodney there.
     
  19. maddmann

    maddmann Rookie

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    theres no Stiff arm like LT's
     
  20. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I doubt Rodney will play this weekend but the game sunday is what Rodney Harrison was born for......
     

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