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What does BB have in mind for the defense?

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  1. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm VERY intrigued by BB's decision to assume control of the defense for '10. He's putting his reputation on the line as a defensive guru, for one thing. He obviously was not pleased with the job Pees did. So, I'm wondering if we will see noticeable changes in scheme/philosophy. Will the defense be significantly better this coming season? Will it be more aggressive? Or, will it be the same 3-4 contain philosophy only with better execution? I, for one, have high expectations. What say you?
  2. fair catch fryar

    fair catch fryar Rookie

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    I too expect the D to be much better this year just for the simple fact that Belichick is holding the reigns, but I wonder if BB even knows yet what his D will look like considering the uncertainty of Wilfork and other components. I would think that he has several scenarios, but it ultimately rests on what kind of pass rush they'll have with or without Thomas and Burgess, if he runs a 3-4 who will take over the inside slot with Mayo, do they resign Bodden and/or McGowan......? There just seems to be too many ???? right now not knowing who is actually going to be on the roster.

    Do you think Guyton played well enough there to keep the starting spot with Mayo if he does go w/ the 3-4 again?
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  3. Mike the Brit

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    I've got to admit that I'm pessimistic for personnel-related reasons.

    It looks like the Pats may well lose Wilfork and Bodden to go along with Seymour. With (arguably) Mayo and Warren, those are the only defensive players the Pats have that would make you want to cross the street. (Then, of course, there's AWOL Thomas...) The rest are decent, at best, but the pass rush is obviously weak and, despite my hopes for Meriweather, they lack a really smart, intimidating wide-ranging safety. Bringing in the Paris Lenons and Fernando Bryants may get the Messageboard excited but won't fundamentally change that and even a bulls-eye draft pick won't have a significant impact next year, if the past is any guide.

    But it's not all personnel. A sure sign of a well-coached (and well quarterbacked) team is that it plays better in the second half and fourth quarter by reacting and making the appropriate adjustments. That was the hallmark of the Patriots in the early years of the decade. Last season was just awful (Jets, Broncos, Dolphins, Colts ...)

    How you do it, BB, is up to you -- but make it so!
  4. micronin127

    micronin127 Rookie

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    Guyton played well enough to remain a starter. He could probably play either inside or outside as he has decent speed and height. Got a lot of good experience starting 6 games in Mayo's absence.

    Mayo didn't play well enough or fast enough as too often a guard would engage him 3 yards downfield and he couldn't shed. Noticed this more in games that Wilfork missed at the end of the year. I am chalking this up to his playing hurt.

    We'll learn a lot about what Belichick will do by the players he retains and signs prior to the draft (e.g. if he goes after Aaron Kampman, expect more 4-3). Retaining Wilfork and signing Jason Taylor, expect the same basic scheme but hopefully with better talent and more pressure.

    Burgess and Thomas should both be gone, neither is what I would describe as a physical player. Thomas could be, but he refuses to play physical and mopes unless he is allowed to chase the QB. Some leader. Burgess can't contain against the run and wasn't all that effective rushing the passer. Both are over 30 and should be replaced with younger faster players.

    I hope he wants the defense to be more physical and aggressive. You sit back and play contain to avoid giving up the big play, but the Patriots gave up more big plays than I can remember last season so .... that didn't work. Even when they called a blitz, they couldn't get to the QB and they got picked apart by Brees, Manning, and even Henne to a degree.

    Wilfork, Warren, Wright, Green, and Pryor might all be nice players but aside from Wilfork the rest of them rarely got double teamed and couldn't win their one-on-one battles to get to the QB. Wright was probably the best of the bunch. Banta-Cain was better than any of the bigger linemen at generating pressure.

    The front-7 needs an overhaul whether they are successful keeping Vince or not. I'd say that Green, Thomas, and Burgess are definitely gone. They need to resign Banta-Cain. Ninkovich, Woods, and Alexander aren't world beaters and could be replaced but only if they can get better players. Brace, Crable, and McKenzie need to prove they belong in the NFL.

    The Patriots substitute a lot and play a chess game, especially on third down. This hasn't worked out so well as their 3rd down efficiency on defense has been consistently poor. I can see running guys on and off the field to keep them fresh, but when you collect a group of specialists and 2-down players it makes your defense easier to read based on who is on the field. It also exposes match-ups that the opponent quickly exploits by isolating an inferior player and picking up an easy first down. It would be nice if the Patriots could have more 3-down players and have flexibility without massive substitutions.
  5. N.Eman

    N.Eman Rookie

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    Part of me says he's thinking "if you want something done, do it yourself" but also a part says might he be overwhelmed and in need of help? But I guess it all starts with a good Free Agency and a great draft. Then I'll wish its Sept already !
  6. Box_O_Rocks

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    The Hall of Fame has pulled his game plan? I don't see this in anyway as a risky move, reputation-wise or otherwise. You wouldn't toss Elvis out of the Hall of Fame if his space ship landed and he introduced 'slither and hop' as the new music fad would you?

    Interesting premise, Michael Lombardi was on NFLTA the other day talking about the DC situation and there was nothing in his report to indicate any 'disappointment' from Belichick - the opposite if anything.

    Significant scheme changes, I'd be surprised. I expect the defense to be better. Aggressive? Looking at the pieces in place there's not a lot of evidence to suggest they are morphing into a Pit-style blitzkrieg.

    Bill had a ready made Belichick defensive coordinator when Mangini jumped ship, a guy trained under Nick Saban - there was no need to develop and shield a defensive coordinator the the way he had shielded and mentored McDaniels. I was expecting this move as it's time to put the finishing touches on an up and coming DC.

    A second factor goes along with his hire of Corwin Brown, this is a very young defense, and other than James Sanders and Ty Warren the leaders expected to carry the fight on the field are guys who could use some serious mentoring - the man whose imprint on this team created the "dynasty" isn't just taking the reins, he's taking the time to shape the next Pepper Johnson/Tedi Bruschi Field General(s).

    High expectations? Not so much. Youth is still youth, which is why I expect no significant philosophy shift, let's give the kids a consistent system within which their God-given gifts can bloom. Even if NE re-signs all the defensive UFAs, there is going to be a pool of new kids on the practice field, a scheme shift just makes everyone a novice and puts the young leaders already in the system at the same starting point - BB may tweak things, but he's not making wholesale changes.
  7. Box_O_Rocks

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    Exactly, to my eye he actually outplayed Mayo a bit, though it seems people need their whipping boys.

    That and I think he was thinking too hard about trying to get the defense aligned, I suspect Bill's time with the defense is as much for grooming Mayo, Guyton, Meriweather, Chung, Butler, Wilhite, and Wheatley as it is a DC.

    I wouldn't see signing Kampman as a 4-3 emphasis, it's a lot like trading for Burgess last season, getting the last mileage out of a top notch veteran.

    Burgess I have no issue with, he was learning a new and complex system as well as a new role - and it's not as if he was ever a top run stuffer anyway, that was a known quantity. Should he be re-signed I expect some improvement. If he's not it's not a great loss. Bill can get a bag of donuts for Thomas, give him a new home in the NFC.

    I attribute much of that to youth.

    Warren came off a couple surgeries to start the season, he was playing catch-up all year, he's still a monster at the point of attack and assuming he's healthy through the offseason I expect him to have a better year.

    Wright did an excellent job at collapsing the pocket, I would rate him as better than TBC at creating pressure. Pryor also was quite good at this, I'm looking for a second year leap from him.

    Wilfork and Green are UFAs, I want both back, but won't be surprised if one is tagged and traded and the other is picked up by another team.

    The infusion of youth into the front seven is well underway, I'd just like to see more of it at OLB.

    Bill seems to have emphasized his offense to adapt to the pass happy NFL rulebook, this left aging players on the roster a bit too long and the youth movement of the past couple drafts is still developing - which is why Corwin Brown and Bill Belichick default DC has me thinking about player development.
  8. RayClay

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    I think a couple additions in the front seven could turn potential into reality, which is what the problem is in our defense IMO.

    I'm fine with getting a #1 and avoiding the Seymour contract situation, but it exacerbates the problem.

    They would like to switch between a 3-4 and a 4-3 as they used to. Players like Pryor have nice versatility in that way. However, the lack of a real stout OLB/DE pass rusher run stopper limits them.

    It's a matter of good complimentary role players without the solid starters in the right spots able to do it all.

    3-4 DE
    Warren fine in run support
    Seymour - Lose a pass rusher and monster who commands double teams replaced by backups (we like the backups, but they are backups. Need big athletic specimen from draft or vet.

    Wilfork, great if we sign him. Get someone who commands a double team in place of Sey and he has the potential to switch from NT to T.

    Thomas = gone

    Burgess 4-3 rusher in a 3-4 system. He tackles (no biesel) and will hopefully make the switch.

    TBC 4-3 rusher in a 3-4 system. Great job as a situational rusher. Hopefully becomes complete 3-4 LB.

    Hopefully Mayo gets a stout linebacker next to him, freeing him to use his speed more in the 3-4. Ability to play multiple positions in the 4-3. Probably at the linebacker position which least takes advantage of his speed now.

    Woods, hopefully continues to excel at special teams. Career backup. Guyton has versatility.

    Hopefully has played a big role in the linebacker corps since about 2005. A couple legitimate starters, maybe a stud OLB and smart, stout, avg athleticism ILB turn our mismatched parts into great depth and versatility.

    Hopefully McKenzie and Crable are added to the mix.

    Hopefully a LB will have to beat someone out for a change. Hopefully.
  9. Ochmed Jones

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    I believe that BB will play the same soft zone defense that we have played for years.

    I expect BB to use the draft to find 2 playmakers early for the offense and sign veterans to plug into his defense. The middle of the defense MUST be toughened up in order to allow everything to be pushed to the outsides where the defense can control the matchups and maybe make a few plays.

    In my mind that starts with drafting Mt. Cody to man the middle and control the LOS from B gap to B gap. We need to add 1 run stuffing stout DE to play opposite of Warren. Odrick?Wooten?

    Next BB must bring in two tweeners to man the OLB spots. Guys that can set the hard edge and guys that can rush off the edge. Carrington? Lane?

    And finally we need a strong safety enforcer type. Move Merriweather to FS and bring in a tough guy to make opposing receivers fear going over the middle.
  10. Tunescribe

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    I don't believe it's a stretch to figure that most observers will have higher expectations for this year's defense with BB taking the reins as DC. Depending, of course, on what happens with personnel, any slide in overall performance will have folks bleating that the game has passed him by. Would a bad defensive year ruin his legacy? Of course not. But what BB is doing is unprecedented in his New England tenure. Considering that his rep was built on defensive innovation, the microscope will be trained on him and what this defense does all the more closely.

    No matter how you cut it, Pees's exit suggests a "parting of the ways" beyond merely his contract ending. Considering that BB isn't ready to designate either Patricia or Johnson as DC, logic would suggest that having an experienced man in place to mentor them on a day-to-day basis would be the head coach's preference. Obviously, BB didn't feel Pees was the man for the job. Which leads us to ...

    So what does your crystal ball tell you about who this will be?
  11. JackBauer

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    Regardless of what happens, I don't want to see Green back.

    To my eyes, he simply isn't worth what they're paying him at this point, since he's unable to get any pass rush and is a complete liability against the run. In retrospect, the assumption that Green would be a suitable replacement remains one of the most baffling aspects of the Seymour trade.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  12. HarkDawg

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    I like it..... He is a defensive minded coach. Kinda like Wade Phillips now in the sense that he has full responsibility on defense. From other years past I enjoyed how Bellichick would take a dry erase board and be informing the Defense of their wrong doings. Or what to do.

    I still predict a 3-4 scheme. But.... what Belichick needs to realize is calling blitzes on field>predetermined sideline blitzes (which you can) obviously see by watching body language of coaches/personell from the sidelines.

    Blitzes need to happen from the field and one must take in to consideration the current formation/set of the opposing offense. (BY Field I mean LOS)


    1. We need an O-Coordinator (we lost 2 of the best)
    2. Peppers would be a nice addition (don't shoot me)
    His 3-4/ 4-3 is very useful and he can play OLB or DE
    3. Blitz from field.... by recognizing coverages and formations
    4. we need more animals on D.... I still think we lack proper players for a Successful Blitz.
    5. Draft OL, WR, Defense for the rest...... DE obviously

    Defense wins Championships. We can rebuild it greatly this year and after next year PATS could be on top again.

    2010/2011= Big Drafts
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  13. Box_O_Rocks

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    Not so much, NE won't be under the microscope as much after being bumped out of the playoffs the way they were - Sexy Rexy, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees - the pressure is on.

    No matter how you cut it people read what they want to read into it without having a clue. Lombardi didn't make a big deal out of it and as pundits goes he's fair but speaks his mind - I just don't see any reason to make more of it then what was announced. Like it matters either way.

    Not a clue. BB currently has three options on the staff - Brown, Johnson, Patricia - I could see any one of them. We should get a better handle by Training Camp.
  14. convertedpatsfan

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    I don't think we'll see a huge change in the scheme, as BB isn't about to change everything around while also handling all of his other responsibilities. But I think the comments about him mentoring the younger guys and developing leaders is right on the mark.

    Despite the loss of Seymour, this defense played really well at times this season, but was incredibly inconsistent. Against the Colts, they did a great job against Manning for most of the game, but fell apart at the end. The overall defense was pretty solid, but was atrocious in key areas such as red zone and 3rd down defense.

    As for how people might perceive BB, especially if the defense struggles, it could happen. But BB doesn't care what people think, and I doubt he's wasted 2 seconds on it.

    I'm quite excited. I think he spends a season grooming the defense, then passes it off to Pepper or Patricia. My guess would be Patricia. I also wonder if he feels if O'Brien will do a better job this season and has learned from his past mistakes so that BB can focus on the defensive side of the ball more.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  15. Box_O_Rocks

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    Seems like.
  16. Deus Irae

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    An NFL player beating out a one-legged man isn't something to be bragging about. Mayo was not a starting quality linebacker upon his return from injury. Guyton has never been a starting quality linebacker. Hopefully, BB will either look for Guyton's replacement season, even if it's a platooning situation (Guyton as a situational player on passing downs), or McKenzie will impress so much that he takes the job and remains healthy. It's possible that Guyton will develop enough to be acceptable on early downs, but relying on that is a dangerous idea.

    Green's a pass rushing D-lineman who hasn't been generating pass rush and has never been good against the run. As with Burgess, if Green returns in a meaningful role, it's a bad sign for the defense.

    Unless Brace has a 'breakout' kind of year, the infusion of youth into the front seven consists of 1 starter (Mayo) and a bunch of role players. That kind of infusion of youth eventually results in bottom tier teams.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  17. Box_O_Rocks

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    I see Capt. Downer has a new Lieutenant.

    :welcome:
  18. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    :confused2:

    If the reality of the team's current state is a downer, that's not on me, or any other posters. I simply think that questioning the moves of head coach and GM, and hoping he does a significantly better job this offseason, is where energy should be focused, instead of focusing on keeping a pass rushing defensive lineman who's managed all of 3 sacks in his last 25 games, or building up backup defensive linemen and relying on ILBs who can't shed blocks.

    It's nice to have a solid 53 man roster, but that's only important if your front 22 is good enough to start with. The team has some talent on it, but claiming it has more than it really does isn't going to do people any favors. I would think the debunking of the "Green is almost as good as Seymour" craziness from last year would have driven that point home.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  19. Box_O_Rocks

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    Different realities. :cool:
  20. Deus Irae

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    16-0
    11-5
    10-6

    Pretty clear reality. It's not a question of "if" the team's in decline. The questions are "why?" and "how do they reverse it?"
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