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What We've Learned: LB Jermaine Cunningham

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  1. PatsFans.com Article

    PatsFans.com Article In the Starting Line-Up

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    Ian's Daily Blog - Here is a compilation of news reports on New England Patriots rookie Linebacker Jermaine Cunningham in today's edition of "What We've Learned".

     
  2. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I don't think the Burgess re-signing means they're not pleased with Cunningham's progress. I think that's more the reality of having a rookie DE to OLB conversion project. You're not going to depend on that rookie to get significant reps in their rookie season in all situations. Burgess gives them another vet option in case the kid needs a little more time to season.

    I like that the kid seems to have a motor though. We've been lacking energy from the outside in recent years. If he can find a niche on 3rd downs, it would be more than enough for me to be happy this season.
     
  3. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Personally, I think it's more an issue of Burgess' developing comfort with the system near the end of the season, and trying to have a mix of vets and young players (especially important when you add as many young players as the Pats have the last two seasons).
     
  4. PatsFaninME

    PatsFaninME Practice Squad Player

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    Burgess signing has nothing to do with Cunningham's progress. Just insurance and another veteran in camp to show the young guys what's expected. I'm not even 100% convinced that Burgess makes final roster.
     
  5. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    I don't think the Pats pay do too much attention to rookie evaluation at the OTAs. Although I am certain that they do try to determine some sort of baseline to measure progres, I think the major focus is on helping players (especially the new ones) prepare for training camp. The evaluations that happen during, and at the end of training camp are the important ones.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  6. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The only way I can see Cunningham making an immediate impact THIS year is on STs, and as a situational pass rusher. The DE to OLB conversion is NOT a one or even two year process. We won't see the true value of Cunningham until well into his 3rd year. It is what it is. The best we can hope for THIS season is to see the "flashes".
     
  7. italia44

    italia44 In the Starting Line-Up

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    You certainly covered all your bases with this post,pfk.......however,I'll gently chastise you,by referring to what Peter O'Toole said to Omar Sharif in the beginning of "Lawrence of Arabia"...
    "NOTHING ,is written"

    ......just ask Julian Edelman:rocker:
     
  8. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    having cunningham develop quickly and be productive in 2010 would make a HUGE HUGE HUGE! impact for the pats defense. right now, the pass rush from the OLB position stands to be next to non-existent

    as for burgess, cheap signing for someone who started playing better late......he can help in case of injury or simply general depth
     
  9. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    I wouldn't read too much into the burgess signing either. I think the Pats just felt he came on more during the end of the season and gives them some nice veteran depth.

    As for cunningham the news is exciting and I hope he can contribute some this year and shows that he deserves a roster spot going forward. Not everyone can impress right off the bat like Vollmer or Edelman, but there's certainly some hope here for this year's rookie class.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  10. woolster22

    woolster22 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    It would be nice to see him make an impact this year but I'm not getting my hopes up. now Spikes/McKenzie on the other hand...I think we will see good things from these two, whether it be in a combination of the two making smaller impacts or one of them having a year similar to Mayo's rookie showing.
     
  11. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There have been many college DE/pro 34 OLBs who have contributed a lot as rookies.
    Its not like he will need to learn an entirely new skillset.
    His job, or the job of whoever is the primary OLB is to play the run and rush the passer, about an equal amount of times.
    The pass rush skills are not different than what he has done his entire football life, however, he will now be facing tougher competition. Many rookies adapt to that, many dont.
    As far as run defense there certainly is change from what he is used to in college, but it isn't rocket science.
    I know that the common reposnse will be that he has never covered. OK All of our OLBs COMBINED last season were in coverage 343 times. That amount to about 10 times a game a full time OLB. I don't suppose that a rookie DE-OLB comversion will be as comfortable as a vet, but we are talking about 10 plays a game of covering the flat.
    I know it is widely believed that BBs system is so complex that rookies can't be expected to play in it. Here we have abandoned year 2 as well.
    I think that most of the reason for this is because BB has done a good job over the years acquiring veterans and keeping them around, especially at the LB position. So there are few early round picks at LB over the BB years, and the ones that were picked were behind great players.

    I could be wrong but who are the examples of the guys who sat for 1-2 years playing sts then figured out the system? To me it seems if you are good (Mayo for ex) you get on the field. If you get an opportunity due to lack of players at the position you get on the field (Guyton) if you can't really play (Woods, Alexander) you sit, not because you need years to learn.
     
  12. BionicPatriot

    BionicPatriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    It's beyond being huge. They need him to contribute or they wont do a damn thing this year. I see one guy who is a proven pretty good pass rusher on our roster and that's TBC. Wether it's fair to expect huge things from a rookie or not isn't the point. The point is BB pretty much has sealed the deal on the OLB position this season. For this season, all his chips rely on the development of young prospects/new rookies.

    We absolutely NEED cunningham to contribute, forget about it being merely a "nice addition" This isn't 2004, our defense is average, nothing great. They can use all the help they can get
     
  13. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What my paisan said ................... :yeahthat:
     
  14. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm waiting for Kontradiction to weigh in - he watched him at Florida and am guessing he can provide some more insight :cool:
     
  15. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think Cunningham has every chance in the world to exceed expectations because almost universally this pick has been panned to some degree. The expectation currently is that he won't help the team for 2 years... :D

    The guy is a beast. He is like a 15 lb. bigger version of Roosevelt Colvin (pre-injury), with the ability to continue to gain weight if needed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  16. Synovia

    Synovia In the Starting Line-Up

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    Are you making the assumption that NE, Dallas, SD, etc play the same defense? Because they don't. They ask completely different things out of their linebackers. SD's OLBs almost never drop into coverage. New England's do quite a bit.
     
  17. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Where did I say they have to play exactly the same defense?
    And according to profootballfocus participation stats, the Chargers OLBs dropped into coverage 314 times vs 343 for the Pats, so with 2 OLBs and a 16 game season you are talking about less than 1 more time a game that an OLB drops into coverage in the Pat system than the Charger system.
     
  18. stinkypete

    stinkypete In the Starting Line-Up

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    TBC is the only one I can think of. IIRC, he didn't see a defensive snap until week 17 of his rookie year and wasn't a really defensive regular until his 4th year.

    TBC was also a 7th round pick and playing behind a rotation of Vrabel, Willie and Colvin. Cunningham comes in with much greater expectations and much less talent ahead of him.

    I see no reason why he can't contribute as a rookie. I think the perception that OLB's struggle to find the Patriots system is more a result of the immense talent that the team has had at the position.
     
  19. reamer

    reamer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    If anyone wants to better acquaint themselves with Cunningham, then do yourself a favor and check this out: Video Player The SEC Digital Network is the SEC's official online resource for news and full games, so it's totally legal and legitimate. Every single Florida game from last year is available in its entirety if you scroll down the list. You can watch all three of the Gators we drafted. Also, if you click on any of the other team's video channels, you can watch their entire games as well. Very handy tool.

    So far, I've rewatched a handful of games, focusing exclusively on Cunningham, and I'm getting more and more excited about his potential in our system. I really believe he gets significant playing time this year, and will most likely start by the end of the season. By year's end, the youth movement will be in full effect.
     
  20. scott99

    scott99 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think this is 99.99% correct. The other .01% is if he just "get's it", blows people away at camp, and just proves to be a stud like Mayo. Ya never know.
     
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