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Will LB be a "need" in the off-season?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patsox23, Nov 23, 2007.

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  1. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Seems to me it's possible, even likely, that the Patriots will lose at LEAST one of Seau and Bruschi. Furthermore, all of the key LBs currently on the Pats roster are 30+, Adalius included. Are the Thomases, Vrabels, Colvins, etc... still capable of solid contribution? I think so. But, given their age, and their relative good health so far this season, the odds are pretty good that some breakdown is around the corner for at least one of them. In other words, it's time to address this position with top-drawer assets - $$$ and high-end draft picks.

    I think for sure. I think it's more likely than any other development that the Patriots' braintrust will seek to get younger at LB - in free agency AND in the draft. Karlos Dansby? I'd take a chance, 'though I suspect they might not, since he has a history of being injured. Victor Hobson? Maybe so. Worth a look. In the draft there seem to be quite a few options, and we are well-positioned to land at least one of the elite NCAA linebackers, come April. I'd say, even with the possibility of bringing in an FA LB or two, the Patriots will need - maybe desperately - to draft a young, playmaking LB, if not more than one.

    Setting aside all the "Maroney" talk - PLEASE - can we agree that, however we feel about McFadden, there are more important issues to address with our good fortune (i.e., the SF plummet)? And, buying that practically undeniable premise, can we talk about what %age FA-to-draft pick we can presume, and which LBs currently playing might be worth considering in the FA and draft classes of 2008?
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2007
  2. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think that we are looking at a FA pick up. I agree that Bru and Seau can't carry on much beyond this season. It would take a sensational college player to be drafted and they don't seem to exist. OK, someone like Dan Connor is good, but not a fit for 3-4. He is too light and rarely has to fight off OLs.
     
  3. Hollywood_Brady

    Hollywood_Brady On the Game Day Roster

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    i want karlos dansby... he is heading towards the prime of his football career next season... but he is gonna cost a lot of dough to bring him to the pats... i'll keep dreaming instead, but i dreamt of adalius thomas and randy moss going to the pats and looked what happened...
     
  4. RobAllan

    RobAllan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I think you can raid guys from teams who have complex schemes, as they've already proven to have a good combination of intelligence and instincts. So I don't know what the FA situations are with teams like the Bears and Ravens, but I'd be keeping an eye on the LBs for those types of teams.
     
  5. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Very good point. I'll be honest and admit that there is no way I would have thought either would end up with the Pats.
     
  6. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    There have been several college LBs that Belichick would've drafted, but didn't. This is well-documented, so I hope we won't veer into the "BB doesn't draft LBs" lane.
     
  7. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    Great Oogly Moogly. I've given up on figuring how the Pats intend to get younger at LB, (at least to make it another 4-5 years), but there's the draft or under 30 free agents.

    The only other option is a walking Cryogenics program for Bru and Seau.
     
  8. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    And you know this how? I don't think he tells people who he "would have" drafted, I think this is speculation.
     
  9. Hollywood_Brady

    Hollywood_Brady On the Game Day Roster

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    i'll also be dreaming of chad johnson, jason taylor, deangelo hall and lamont jordan and lets see where that takes us...:)
     
  10. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Living in Phoenix I have the chance to see Karlos Dansby play. He was sitting there when the Pats had a pick and I htought the Pats were going to draft him. Instead we picked a TE Ben Watson, who has become a star, and the Cards picking, next took Dansby at the first pick in the second round.

    Now he is a free agent, and has produced. Plus he has the athletic talent and SIZE Belichick likes in his LBs at 6-4, 245#. He si also versatile having played both OLB and ILB. The only question is if he is cerebral enough to fit into the Pats defense. I would think he is the likeliest LB FA import.

    The age in the Pat's LB core is concentrated in two players. Seau and Bruschi. All the others are still in their primes at right around thirty and have several years of NFL career remaining. I could even see the Pats eeking out another year with the five-to-play=four positions of Seau, Tedy, AD, Rosey, and Vrabes, along with developing Pierre Woods, as a sixth. This squad is even younger than the makeup of the 2004 squad, I beleive. Although Seau, a future HOF is older, but a part-timer even now, so he is not called on to play continously, and can pace himself.:D

    There is no doubt that one or more will need replacement within the next two years.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2007
  11. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Well, for one thing, from things he's said in press-conferences (DJ Williams) and from the War Room chapter in "Patriot Reign." Holley was IN the war room at the time. Welcome.
     
  12. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    YES!!!!! BUT I think it also depends on how they look at some of their young LBs...Woods, Alexander and Lua... They will draft a few I am sure..but the real ones/more impact are the FAs...from the more expensive Dansby, Hobson, Pace..to the others..Chillar, Koutouvides or??? I do think one younger more unknown LB may be a possibility..and Bruschi/Seau may stay a year to help groom them. Ted Johnson's replacement is really needed...and not found directly..a REAl run plugger..they don't have any players like that...
     
  13. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    He says things for effect. He's had plenty of opportunities to draft LBs and hasn't. A very minor trade up last year when we had a ton of low picks that ended up cut would have netted a guy he supposedly would have drafted.

    He hasn't been shy about trading for draft spots either.
     
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Of course LB is a need as it has been every year since Belichick arrived. We have three pro-bowl quality LB's, two ready to retire, three youngsters and a special teamer.

    Should we expect Woods and/or Alexander to pick up the reps of Seau and/or Bruschi? I would expect us to brnk in three or so linebackers between free agency and the draft. I don't expect any major free agent linebacker acquisitions. We'll use that money to re-sign what we can: hopefully Moss and Gay.
     
  15. Hollywood_Brady

    Hollywood_Brady On the Game Day Roster

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    i think a ted johnson clone in our defense wont work anymore... opposing offenses evolve in a way where TEs and slot receivers are gamebreakers... you cant put a ted johnson on a witten/gates or a welker/stokely... speed and strength is important in today's ILBs... a linebacker that can plug the run and go sideline-to-sideline as well... i know thats asking to much but this is the new nfl...
     
  16. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    RayClay - so I take it you subscribe to the "BB will never draft a linebacker despite BRINGING THEM IN ON VISITS" camp? Bradie James? Nick Barnett? Jonathan Vilma? (So he was lying for Holley's book in the war room?) DJ Williams?
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2007
  17. Frezo

    Frezo In the Starting Line-Up

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    Hopefully UFA T. Suggs will want to test the waters with eyes towards leaving a sinking Ravens team. He can play DL or LB and at 6-3 260 is a nice fit for the Pats. Maybe AD has his phone number.
     
  18. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve In the Starting Line-Up

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    This team is going to be in need of at least two quality ILB's next season to replace Bru and Jr. Will BB use the high pick to get an elite NCAA DE or mamoth LB (for college)? I dunno. I have watched with horror as quality LB's, DE's (and CB's for that matter. Dont even mention Cromartie) were bypassed in recent years in order to pick up high round offensive players. It is my belief that BB was redesigning the team to reflect the new pass favorable rules, and the change in style the offense needed. The completion came last off-season after they put in the field turf.

    Methinks that perhaps this year, he goes after the D. And we may even see him redesign this D to reflect the changes we've seen. Maybe faster lighter players will start to replace the bigger guys at LB. We shall see.
     
  19. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    There's seems to be a trend lately where some teams are playing an extra db and use a safety almost like a linebacker, especially against big, fast tight ends. Given the relative success of this formation and the increasing size and speed of the guys coming out of college these days, I expect we'll see some teams try to create hybrid players for this type of roll.

    Given BB's adaptability and going with what works, I could see him employing something like this. Considering how amazing Rodney's coverage has been, especially lately, his textbook tackling and his solid pass rush and Sander's steadily improving game, I could see BB making use of this. Usually pretty solid tacking by the rest of the members of the secondary and and the way recent rule changes have dramatically favored the passing game only strengthens this argument. I think this would ease the burdon and some of the wear and tear taken by the linebackers.
     
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    2008
    OLB Vrabel, Colvin, Woods, draftee
    ILB Thomas, Bruschi (or Seau), Alexander, Lua, medium free agent

    I don't think that Belichick will view this as a crisis.

    Corner on the other hand
     
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