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Idle thoughts....for the paranoid Pats fan..

2021 Patriots Season:
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everlong

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This team has depth and skill at the LB spots to play the 3-4. We're one LB and a 5 tech DT away from being able to do it.

They're better suited for a 3-4 at LB but they're two DE's short in a 3-4. Deaderick is good depth but not a starter.
 

VrabelJr

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I agree on Deaderick being a depth guy. However I think we're only one DE short. Love is good enough to play the 3 technique DE. That's essentially what he's playing right now.
 

jah

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I agree on Deaderick being a depth guy. However I think we're only one DE short. Love is good enough to play the 3 technique DE. That's essentially what he's playing right now.

I wonder if either Bequette, Francis, or maybe even Jones could bulk up and play 3-4 DE. Doubtful, but they all seem too big to play 3-4 OLB. To me, that just shows how BB is building this defense to be a 4-3 in the long run.
 

VrabelJr

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Bequette might be our only chance there. He would need about 15 lbs. Not a bad idea though.
 

supafly

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Unfortunately you can only tie up so much money in one position. If Hightower turns out to be more of a ILB than a OLB why pay for 3 starters? Granted, Hightower's salary is friendly since he was closer to the end of the 1st round.

Edit: Let's also not forget next year we will have Dane Fletcher returning from injury.

I'm hoping that they resign Spikes for a nice future deal, as his gutsy play and run stopping ability will be needed no matter what the other moves are in my opinion.

I see the return of Fletcher as more of a ST/coverage LB role that guys like White, Tarpinian, Carpenter, and Koutivedes played---nothing more. In other words there will be a spot for him on this team, but it shouldn't be more than depth and a bit role either.
 

supafly

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I wonder if either Bequette, Francis, or maybe even Jones could bulk up and play 3-4 DE. Doubtful, but they all seem too big to play 3-4 OLB. To me, that just shows how BB is building this defense to be a 4-3 in the long run.

I wonder if Belichick isn't keep both options open not only for the ability to use both/a combination in certain scenarios, but also for a more longer-term capability depending upon who stays/who leaves/who is added via free agency and the draft.
 

VrabelJr

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Fletcher's role will be much more than just ST. He had a growing role in the past. He wore the green dot at times in the preseason. I'm not really sure about his coverage skills though. He seems like more of a north south player. He's a converted DE from college. Fletcher and Francis are really exciting prospects.
 

supafly

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Fletcher's role will be much more than just ST. He had a growing role in the past. He wore the green dot at times in the preseason. I'm not really sure about his coverage skills though. He seems like more of a north south player. He's a converted DE from college. Fletcher and Francis are really exciting prospects.

Fletcher was certainly one of our most hyped "coverage LBs," and it was quite a surprise to many that T.White started in that role over him in the most recent SB.

His speed and coverage ability (although certainly not great) was probably the best on the team, but apparently Belichick felt that White was better prepared to face the Giants possibly due to the fact that he played significantly in the regular season game vs them last season too.

I am not saying that Fletcher is "just a ST guy" by any means, but he is certainly in the role of the White/Tarpinian/Koutevedes/Carpenter role for sure.

He did play a bit more at times in the past due to injury of a starter though last season.
 

Brady_12

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Do many people really expect the Pats to part ways with Spikes?

I consider him our best LB to be quite honest. Hard to see Bill parting with a stud LB when we have so little others.
Me too. I know sometimes he guesses wrong but he seems to make plays just when we need them (the FF in the Arizona game, the FF on Spiller, and I thought there was one more but it escapes me at the moment)...
 

1960Pats

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Other Thoughts:

1. It is likely that we will be without 4 starters on the offense this week (Welker, Hernandez. Mankins and Connolly. Very few teams can lose 4 starters in just over a week and have so little mentioned about it.

I like that the Pats as an organization don't play the injury card, but I still ticks me off to see the media constantly give so many other teams the injury excuse while they pretend te Pats never get injuries. BTW- I'm thrilled that neither Mankins or Connolly wound up on the IR this week, because I fully expected at least one do wind up there.

2. With neither Welker or Hernandez playing, it will be very interesting to see how McDaniels decides to target the receivers he does have. Will Edelman just take over Welker's role? Which of the back up TE's will get be the featured 2nd TE role, Fells, or Schiancoe? Will Branch get a bigger role? Will Lloyd have a big game and it will end up being the Lloyd and Gronk show? OR wil the RB's finally get a featured role in the passing game after years of being an after thought.

3. It almost makes it worthwhile to sit Welker so we can see how it all plays out. as well as it make sense to give him at least 4 more days to completely heal. We've already found out once that haste makes waste in rushing an ankle injury. Better find out now what we have when we don't have Welker and Hernandez than wait until the playoffs.

4. I'm really comfortable playing some combination of Thomas, Cannon, and McDonald on the interior OL for Mankins and Connolly, but I have a lot of concerns about the depth for this game. It would NOT be a good time for anyone else to go down.

5. Mathis and Freeney will get their sack or 2, but I suspect we will see protection much like we saw against another really good pass rush combo in Dummerville and Miller. For most of the 30+ times Brady drops back on Sunday he will have plenty of time to throw the ball.....except those 3 or 4 times when he won't. Those are the times he'll get sacked or hit. You can't win every battle against good guys, BUT with our 2 OT's we can expect to win MOST of them ;)

6. Given the injury situation, don't be surprised to see the Pats rush the ball over 30 times in this game, with Ridley getting 20 and Vareen/Woodhead splitting the rest

7. With BB doing a good job of shutting down Wayne and Luck having to play on the road, I see this as game the Pats start pulling way on early in the 3rd quarter and win by 15-20. I also see this as a game where the Pats D holds the Colts to under 20. My biggest fear about Luck is what he can do after the pocket breaks down, with both his legs and arm. He can be a lot like Rothlessberger in that way...or at least will be like that down the road.

8. I thought it was disturbing to some degree that Justin Francis has leaped beyond Jake Bequette on the depth chart. Not for Francis of course, but when an UDFA moves ahead of your 3rd round pick (albeit a very late 3rd round pick) it has to make you go hmmmm. In the end it won't matter which one becomes the player, I think you'd rather it be the draftee. Still the Cunningham example should be a cautionary tale about writing off a draftee too soon.

9., BTW- the rest of the draft class has been spot on, with 4 rookies starting or having key roles on the defense, and Ebner a regular on multiple special teams. Only Bequette remains basically unassigned, along with Ebert, the last pick who, not surprising, didn't make the team. I think that would make it 3 excellent drafts in a row....so far.

10.Minor Pet Peeve: Its just too early to start worrying about Playoff seeding and the bye. Right now we've pretty much locked up a division win in what amounts to a weak AFCE, but as to a bye or what it will take for a bye to happen, we are just too far into the future for that. That's talk for the last 2 weeks of the season. Believe me, if we win all the rest of our game, we will be getting a bye. That's all I need to know for now.

11. BTW- in a way, I'm starting to like that the Pats are flying under the radar when national mediots are talking the superbowl. Reminds me of the "old days" when we use to be able to play Rodney's "respect card" all the time (even when it was unwarranted ;) ) Let them all look at the Ravens, Broncos, Steeler, and Texans for now. Bad enough as it is we had to lose that 1pm game. Damned the the notariety of Andrew Luck.


A couple of things.

I still don't see anywhere near as much moaning here as I do moaning about the moaners.

In spite of what the meaningless numbers say, my eyes see the same defense we had last year, the one that's soft at the worst times. Not always, but certainly too much. They also give up a ton of big plays on 3rd down. I'm surprised that everyone doesn't see that.

You need to pick your mediot sources better. That seems to be where most of the negativity is coming from.

I don't want to hear about how good they are, or might be. I want to see it. Even the running stats you mentioned are close to the same as last year. The only thing different is on offense where they finally woke up and starting using the run. For that I'm grateful.

I couldn't care less about who plays where. My hope is that, as was the case last year and in the past, the Pats will add some wrinkles to their defense and show lots of improvement down the stretch. They have the speed and quickness to be a very disruptive defense down the road.

1 - I think any mention of injuries is wrong. You play with the available players and concentrate on that. Talking about injuries is the same as talking about bad calls. They sound like excuses.

2 & 3 - The Pats would be fools to let Welker go. It would send the wrong message to the team.

4 & 5 - I think the OL is showing itself to be a strength this year. One that we didn't think we had. Thanks Dante.


6 - They better keep rushing the ball or they'll be hearing from me. ;)

7 - I think it would be crazy for Luck to continue running with the ball. If he does that this week they'll clean his clock.

8 & 9 - The draft is a crap shoot. I also think that having a UDFA move up the depth chart is a good thing. It seems like it happens all the time in the NFL.

10 - It's never too early for bye talk.

11 - There's no better position to be in than under the radar, especially coming off of the AFCC.
 

mgteich

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The media has consistently considered us a top team, with a great shot to win the Super Bowl. There is much more negativity on pats message boards than anywhere else.

You need to pick your mediot sources better. That seems to be where most of the negativity is coming from.
 

Dutchmaster617

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Every team has injuries, and every fan can use what if's.

The defense is poor, for years now, healthy or not, early or not. It isn't ruining the team but its a fact that can't be denied.
 

patsinthesnow

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Does anyone else think Ebner should be getting more time at S? (I'm aware he was part of getting torched on the bomb to Rice play) He's played sparingly, mostly in garbage time, but he looks fast and quick on the field. He made a great coverage play in the Rams game, and wouldn't it be nice to have two athletic safeties for once in Mccourty and Ebner; instead of these borderline-FCS athetic stiffs in Gregory/Ihedigbo.
 
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jah

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Does anyone else think Ebner should be getting more time at S? (I'm aware he was part of getting torched on the bomb to Rice play) He's played sparingly, mostly in garbage time, but he looks fast and quick on the field. He made a great coverage play in the Rams game, and wouldn't it be nice to have two athletic safeties for once in Mccourty and Ebner; instead of these borderline-FCS athetic stiffs in Gregory/Ihedigbo.

I think at this point Wilson is better than Ebner. Also, as we learned last week, BB would rather start Gregory than Wilson.
 

Ring 6

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This team has depth and skill at the LB spots to play the 3-4. We're one LB and a 5 tech DT away from being able to do it. Here's a quick rundown in my opinion:

Certainties:

Hightower is definitely a SAM in the 4-3 and 3-4. He's probably a better SAM in the 3-4 once he learns not to try and shoulder-bump tackle every one.

Spikes is as much of a Mike 3-4 ILB as there possibly could ever be.

Chandler Jones is perfect as a 3-4 ROLB.

Where we could improve:

I used to think Mayo could play either 3-4 ILB spot but he looks a lot more like a Mike than a Will. He's average to below average in coverage. Bruschi is always ranting and raving about his speed and coverage but I just don't see it. He's good enough in coverage to be a 3-down player but we need a coverage LB next to him badly in passing situations.

This defense is missing two things to go from below average to elite:

1. A LB with coverage skills that can come on the field in lieu of Spikes in passing situations. We would then slide Mayo over to the Mike and this coverage LB to the Will.
2. A DT that can play the 5 technique

If we get that then it doesn't matter who's in our Secondary.

edit: Before I get flamed for leaving Ninkovich out of this, his contract expires at the end of next season. I imagine a role sharing between him and Hightower in the future. Unless the plans are to let Spikes go and move Hightower inside. Then we need to extend Ninkovich again.

The LBs are going to gave the same coverage responsibilities in a 34 or a 43. Alignment isn't going to change that.
And we played a lot of 34 vs the Bills.
Finally, LB coverage in the base D isn't the issue, its the sub packages that are critical.

This defense is missing more than a DT and a coverage LB to be elite.
 

Ring 6

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Does anyone else think Ebner should be getting more time at S? (I'm aware he was part of getting torched on the bomb to Rice play) He's played sparingly, mostly in garbage time, but he looks fast and quick on the field. He made a great coverage play in the Rams game, and wouldn't it be nice to have two athletic safeties for once in Mccourty and Ebner; instead of these borderline-FCS athetic stiffs in Gregory/Ihedigbo.

No. Ebner should only play S when all the safeties are injured and all the corners who can be moved there are injured too, and maybe even if Sergio Brown isn't available to pick up.:D
 

Dragda

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Your post got too long for me to finish reading, but I liked the first twenty pages of it.

McCourty is a good player. He would probably get better at safety if we kept him there, but I'd like to see us healthy enough at safety that he can play his usual corner spot. Let Dennard and Talib battle for the other spot. Maybe Talib can play the nickle and Tavon Wilson comes in on the dime. Arrington comes in in sub packages or in case of injury. Having Arrington as our worst option is better than Sergio Brown.
 

VrabelJr

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The LBs are going to gave the same coverage responsibilities in a 34 or a 43. Alignment isn't going to change that.
And we played a lot of 34 vs the Bills.
Finally, LB coverage in the base D isn't the issue, its the sub packages that are critical.

This defense is missing more than a DT and a coverage LB to be elite.

Not true. The Mike in a 34 has much less coverage responsibilities than a Mike in a 43.
 
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