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What's the plan to rebuild the defense?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PromisedLand, Mar 3, 2008.

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  1. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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    As Andy has posted, I think our offense is in pretty good shape now. But defensively, we have lost 5 players who were starters or important backups last year (Samuel, Gay, Colvin, Seau and Wilson).

    Right now, our defense consists of a very good defensive line backed up by questionable and thin ranks at LB and DB. So, it would be fair to say, I think, that the priority for the rest of the offseason would be rebuild the back 2/3 of the defense.

    At linebacker, we have released Colvin, Bruschi is a year older, and Jr. will be 39 if he decides to stop surfing and give it one more shot with the Pats. So we have Thomas, an aging Tedy, and Vrabel as proven NFL starters.

    Right now, we have Hobbs and a bunch of nobodies at CB. Ty Law is out there, but is probably no better than a nickel back at this point. Merriweather played some CB at Miami, but has little experience there in the pros. Futhermore, he showed us he has hands of wood in his first season.

    There are still some decent free agents out there, but no impact players at our positions of need.

    For those who tend to overreact (and you know who you are) please let me emphasize that this is not a sky is falling thread. It is very early in free agency, and then there is the draft and the possibility of trades and late offseason cap casualty releases.

    So what I am looking for is a plan. If you were BB, what would your plan be to rebuild the defense for next year?
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  2. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Obviously, a trade trumps any other plan. If we can get value, we will. See belwo for one plan. I would note that first we will likely sign another WR, hopefully Gaffney.

    CORNER
    1) Sign two vets, perhaps Law and Chad Scott (or another low-priced vet)
    2) Draft two where we always do (2nd-4th)

    SAFETY
    3) Draft a backup in the 2nd-4th (we have a fine 3-man rotation)

    LINEBACKER
    4) Sign two vets, perhaps Haggans and Seau
    5) Draft an OLB at #7

    Result
    DL: Seymour, Wilfork, Warren, Green, Wright, Smith, Thomas/draftee
    OLB: Thomas, Vrabel, draftee, Woods
    ILB: Bruschi, Haggans, Seau, Alexander, Izzo
    CB: Law, Hobbs, Scott, draftee, draftee/Richardson
    S: Harrison, Meriweather, Sanders, draftee, Ventrone/Andrews


  3. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rookie

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    We should try to get a quality CB/S in the draft.
    Gholston (DE) could be a sick hybrid weapon for our D too.
    We need Seau back (he can't quit now) and Haggans would be worth a try.
    Who knows?
    BB/Pioli and the boys will get some great deals-don't worry.

    Offensively, Morris and Thomas will be returning too.
  4. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    The Pats have 4 picks in the top 100 in a very deep and talented draft. With pretty much no needs on offense (and certainly no early round needs), the draft should net 4 players (Gholston, Cason, Goff, Godfrey for example) that should contribute quite a bit.

    The 2009 draft is sick with top LB talent and the Pats should have plenty of ammo to get who they want. Looks like 3rd (Samuel), 4th (Stallworth) and 5th/6th (Gay) compensatory picks. Can't trade those but can use the regular picks to move up in 1st round if needed.

    In the next 2 years, the Pats will likely draft 3-4 new starters on defense and get some solid depth. The Pats inability to put away the Colts in the AFCC game pissed off the braintrust enough that they put together the highest scoring offense in history. The Pats inability to put away the Giants in the SB was even worse. Look for "Bend but don't Break" to be replaced with malice, forethought and intent to destroy.
  5. SavioKid

    SavioKid Rookie

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    What's up with Lito Sheppard rumors? Are the Eagles most likely to trade him because of his contract situation?

    That would be a nice veteran CB there with the right trade (not giving the Eagles the 'ship') who is actually younger than Asante and a pro bowl caliber type CB. He's the 'bonafide' starter out there that is needed. Then they can draft CBs without any pressure on the rookie(s) needing to produce like a starter right away.

    LB - a middle of the road level of LB would do (I agree about Boss Bailey)
    & draft a ILB too . Could we get Colvin back if no one gives him the big $?? Else, a nivce young OLB draftee would be good to groom..

    FS / SS - need a draftee to compete/ develop since we're o.k. this year

    DL - enuf said = solid. Watch Seymour this year if he had a great injury free offseason.
  6. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave Rookie

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  7. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    "Carpet bomb" the 2008 NFL Draft with cornerback selections.
  8. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave Rookie

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    The Capers treatment?
    Can we get Gholston first?
  9. 12+81=TD

    12+81=TD Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Now that the big "O" is in place, I would draft like this: (If no other FAs are signed)

    #7 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Hell's yes!)
    #62 Xavier Adibi
    #69 Tom Zbikowski
    #94 Jonathan Goff
    #125 Not much left...Charles Godfrey, Tyvon Branch, Simeon Castille?

    After #125 it's take the best on the board anyways...first four define the youth movement!

    One can wish ;)
  10. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    I could see drafting a monster pass rusher, but that leaves us with no corners and no inside Linebackers.

    Ideally, I'd like to trade down, pick up two corners in the draft and then wait to pick up a vet CB or two. Cornerback is one of those "glamour" positions where teams inexplicably throw money at the flavor of the month, then release decent vets that aren't "sexy" enough.

    How else can you explain Randall Gay's contract while we picked up a pretty good big cornerback in Chad Scott for nada. Scott had some injuries not due to age, or he would have been a steal.

    Linebacker I have not, nor will I likely have, clue 1 what the Patriots plan.

    My plan would have been to draft a couple in 2004.:rolleyes:
  11. DocE

    DocE Rookie

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    I think the no.1 priority for the defense has to be to get faster at every position possible. I don't like any of the available FA CB's because they don't fit my criteria of getting faster on defense. There are 3 RFA CB's that could be possibilities: Denver CB's Domonique Foxworth and Karl Paymah (both require 3rd round compensation) and Tennesee CB Reynaldo Hill (7th round compensation). All 3 have some starting experience in the league, and all can run. 2 other RFA CB's, Eric Green and Daven Holly, would cost more than a 3rd rounder, so I don't consider them options.

    A straight trade for a veteran CB is also something to consider. If the Patriots could acquire Lito Sheppard for their 2nd rounder, it would make all the sense in the world. I am not sure the Pats are interested in Sheppard and the negative with him is that he tends to get injured. I don't see the Pats being interested in DeAngelo Hall at all. He's going to want a huge new contract, has attitude issues in Atlanta, and frankly wasn't very good last year.

    The Pats must take atleast one CB in the first 3 rounds and, hopefully, will take 2. If they can trade down in round 1 and take a CB who could atleast be their nickel back in his rookie season, I think they will do it.

    At ILB, the pickings are really slim. There is nobody at the ILB position who is both an upgrade in speed and big enough to play in the Pats 3-4. I'd consider both Dan Morgan and Al Wilson, but only at a low salary. I don't think either could be counted on to play and would have to be considered a bonus addition. Danny Clark has had some productive years and is available, but wasn't a full time starter in Houston last year, which pretty much says he's unlikely to be an upgrade here. I think the need at ILB has to be filled in house or through the draft. I would much rather play Thomas full time outside.

    At OLB, I think the Pats are in pretty good shape, provided Thomas stays there. Thomas and Vrabel as the starters outside with Woods behind them is pretty good. If they can't trade down in the draft, I'd have to think Gholston is added to the mix. I would like to think the Pats will take a size/speed OLB prospect in round 3 or 4 if they don't take Gholston or Groves early on. Someone like Cliff Avril from Purdue could be available early in the 3rd round.

    On the Dline, the original poster states that it is the strength of the defense and I agree. I think the Patriots need to add another End either through the draft or free agency. They don't need a starter, but could use another guy besides Jarvis Green behind Seymour and Warren. I think they are pretty happy with Mike Wright (given his 2nd round tender) as their backup nose.
  12. nashvillepatsfan

    nashvillepatsfan Rookie

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    i like that. im stealing it. thank you:D
  13. neuronet

    neuronet Rookie

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    #87 Jersey

    Hell, yeah brother!!! Well put. That strategy pissed me off all season.
  14. FarScapeR

    FarScapeR Rookie

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    I personally don't see the point of salivating over a defensive addition that isn't a lineman.

    Meriweather took the better part of a year to learn the free safety position, so I can't imagine how long it'll take a draft pick to learn LB. Hence, whatever LBs we draft are going to be Eric Alexander's (or any LB we pick up during free agency) backup for a while, unless BB decides to simplify the position, in which case, the entire scheme might take a step back.

    So, maybe we shouldn't be so quick to lick our chops at the prospect of picking an LB in the draft. Maybe Woods and Alexander are good enough to step in and play.
  15. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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    That is the problem as I see it too. The draft is not likely to help us this year as much as 2-3 years down the road, with the possible exception of the #7 pick.

    Right now, our #1 corner is Ellis Hobbs and there is no one better on the free agent market. Are we going to draft a rookie and have him playing against the Reggie Waynes and Chad Johnsons? That sounds like a recipe for disaster. I think we almost HAVE to trade for someone like Lito Sheppard.

    We have a similar problem at ILB, where we have Tedy and no one else right now. Even if Junior comes back, we will have two guys named Old and Older. BB has stated many times that in our defense, it takes a lot of experience to play ILB because they are the ones making most of the defensive reads and adjustments. Perhaps our best chance is to draft an athletic OLB and move Vrabel back to ILB, but he excels at OLB so that weakens another position.

    Damn, we really could have used that #31 pick. I think we can get a guy who will contribute immediately if we use #7 to draft a Vernon Gholston, but after that we don't pick again until the bottom of the 2nd round - that's 63 players off the board.

    I know the front office has pulled off some great moves in the past, but right now we have some big holes to fill and I'm not sure I see the answers.

    edit: I forgot about AD - he can play ILB too, but I think he and Vrabel are both better rushing the passer. My biggest concern is how to find a shutdown corner.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  16. Sean Pa Patriot

    Sean Pa Patriot Rookie

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    #12 Jersey


    I said the same thing, but he is going to Denver to play with his brother.
  17. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    This is an interesting proposition, especially with the acquisition of Capers as "Special assistant".

    I've noticed the unpredictable Patriots defense is no longer fooling anyone. Sure, they line up and start to rove near the snap, alternately looking to rush or drop in coverage.

    Yet, they never get that surprise inside rush anymore. Their pass rush is confined to conventional OLB moves.

    Teams aren't surprised because the athleticism in the middle of the field is such that the QB can easily adjust to whatever we decide to do.

    In other words, we roam around and give different looks, but we don't make plays due to lack of athleticism. The plays are the same, but the execution isn't fooling anyone.

    Lots of teams rely more on athleticism and we might need to until we can groom some more linebackers.

    Just my observation, am I wrong?
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  18. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    I doubt Belichick will draft a defensive end to linebacker conversion project with the seventh overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. The New England Patriots will most likely trade down from the seventh overall draft selection even if they don't receive fair value according to the NFL Draft Pick Trade Chart.
  19. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    Can you imagine if the first 2 Pats picks are spent on the O? This board could cause the internet to explode.
  20. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    i agree with the OP to the extent that the offense is more settled than the defense, but i would like to be just a tad more convinced that (a) our O line and, more importantly, Tommy aren't going to be eating turf the next time they are bullrushed by a big, fast, hungry defense and (b) that our Offensive coaching is up to adapting the gameplan when confronted by same.
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