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Josh Uche = Beast

2021 Patriots Season:
Upcoming Opponent:
Next Up: vs Jets
Pick Results: NYJ: 2.1% at NE: 97.9%

Sun
Oct 24th

Current Patriots Twitter Feed:

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
I couldn't believe that the Pats kept having Bentley in coverage. Anytime he gets matched up against a running back in coverage that is a loss for the Pats.
And that's different from ANY of the Patriots LBs how? Similar to the "the defense has to have a 4 down NT" narrative like they grow on trees and just there for the taking without impacting any other position need, there's also one that assumes that there hundreds of LBs that are shut down coverage guys on RBs and TEs as well as being stout against the run.

Hightower, a #25 pick, is probably the best LB in coverage (more because of smarts and technique than athleticism BTW) and even then it's a mismatch that most offenses will exploit. It's why Phillips and Duggar get as many snaps as they do - to have more coverage in there accepting some risk versus the run. And if the Pats pick at #12 or something in the near future and they take a four down LB - they'll be absolutely savaged for not taking a WR - book it.

No, Bentley isn't a star, he's a serviceable player and better than the current alternatives. He is WAY better than last year; more in line with his rookie season when he had a specific role that suited his skills rather than having to try and run the entire defense and cover for the issues all over the rest of the defense that last year had.
 
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JayNM

In the Starting Line-Up
And that's different from ANY of the Patriots LBs how? Similar to the "the defense has to have a 4 down NT" narrative like they grow on trees and just there for the taking without impacting any other position need, there's also one that assumes that there hundreds of LBs that are shut down coverage guys on RBs and TEs as well as being stout against the run.

Hightower, a #25 pick, is probably the best LB in coverage (more because of smarts and technique than athleticism BTW) and even then it's a mismatch that most offenses will exploit. It's why Phillips and Duggar get as many snaps as they do - to have more coverage in there accepting some risk versus the run. And if the Pats pick at #12 or something in the near future and they take a four down LB - they'll be absolutely savaged for not taking a WR - book it.

No, Bentley isn't a star, he's a serviceable player and better than the current alternatives. He is WAY better than last year; more in line with his rookie season when he had a specific role that suited his skills rather than having to try and run the entire defense and cover for the issues all over the rest of the defense that last year had.
I have been busting Bentley's balls for awhile, but insofar this season, he's been our best off-line LB.

We should be worrying that HT is clearly a step behind, and maybe that's why we're seeing him handle those cover assignments (edit - thank u dreighver) less often.

I will add also that Van Noy was pretty good on some cover schemes , even if he wasn't all that good in Miami (Im withholding judgment on his return - Pat Chung is still vivid in my memory), but getting a good Offline LB is going to be a priority next offseason, since Jennings has shown nothing out of ordinary.
 
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dreighver

In the Starting Line-Up
I have been busting Bentley's balls for awhile, but insofar this season, he's been our best off-line LB.

We should be worrying that HT is clearly a step behind, and maybe that's why we're seeing him handle those cover assignments more often.

I will add also that Van Noy was pretty good on some cover schemes , even if he wasn't all that good in Miami (Im withholding judgment on his return - Pat Chung is still vivid in my memory), but getting a good Offline LB is going to be a priority next offseason, since Jennings has shown nothing out of ordinary.

Not sure I follow the logic that Hightower being a step behind would lead him to playing more coverage. Wouldn't they not want to expose him in space if he was a step slow?

Hightower has always needed several games to ramp up, I think what we're seeing (after a year off, no less) is par for the course. I thought he looked a lot better in week 2 than week 1. They had him doing a good bit of blitzing and a little pass rushing off the edge. He looked good, I thought.
 

slash83

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
He reminds me of K.Mack with some of his dominant rushes. Not saying he’s anything close to him as a player, but the way he rushes the QB is damn impressive at times.
 

JayNM

In the Starting Line-Up
Not sure I follow the logic that Hightower being a step behind would lead him to playing more coverage. Wouldn't they not want to expose him in space if he was a step slow?

Hightower has always needed several games to ramp up, I think what we're seeing (after a year off, no less) is par for the course. I thought he looked a lot better in week 2 than week 1. They had him doing a good bit of blitzing and a little pass rushing off the edge. He looked good, I thought.
Sorry, i meant less
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
We should be worrying that HT is clearly a step behind, and maybe that's why we're seeing him handle those cover assignments (edit - thank u dreighver) less often.
As with all BB defenses - the roles are rotated so that offenses cannot specifically target (especially via pre-game scheming) any one player. Notice that HT went from off-ball LB to on the line from one week to the next. Now not having KVN likely also contributed, but it just shows that the Pats will often change coverages so that one player's weaknesses are not a constant to be targeted over and over again.
 

p8ryts

In the Starting Line-Up
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I have been busting Bentley's balls for awhile, but insofar this season, he's been our best off-line LB.

We should be worrying that HT is clearly a step behind, and maybe that's why we're seeing him handle those cover assignments (edit - thank u dreighver) less often.

I will add also that Van Noy was pretty good on some cover schemes , even if he wasn't all that good in Miami (Im withholding judgment on his return - Pat Chung is still vivid in my memory), but getting a good Offline LB is going to be a priority next offseason, since Jennings has shown nothing out of ordinary.
I agree. Get us a Devin White. Easier said than done.
 

Ring 6

PatsFans.com Supporter
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This is a special pass rusher. Not many players in the NFL with that explosion on the first sack.

2019 lead the NCAA in pressure rate
2020 lead NFL rookies in pressure rate
present lead the NFL in pressure rate (small sample)
What I like about uche is his he finishes the pass rush. If he beats his man he isn’t trying to GET TO the QB, he is focussed in bringing him down. He had a nice sack, don’t remember which one, where he was still engaged with the blocker but reached out, grabbed the Qb with one hand and three him to the ground.
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Judon Uche Hightower VanNoy is a solid group. It's run defense that's a problem. Godchaux and Bentley are weak links.
 

PowerRunRevival

On the Game Day Roster
And that's different from ANY of the Patriots LBs how? Similar to the "the defense has to have a 4 down NT" narrative like they grow on trees and just there for the taking without impacting any other position need, there's also one that assumes that there hundreds of LBs that are shut down coverage guys on RBs and TEs as well as being stout against the run.

Hightower, a #25 pick, is probably the best LB in coverage (more because of smarts and technique than athleticism BTW) and even then it's a mismatch that most offenses will exploit. It's why Phillips and Duggar get as many snaps as they do - to have more coverage in there accepting some risk versus the run. And if the Pats pick at #12 or something in the near future and they take a four down LB - they'll be absolutely savaged for not taking a WR - book it.

No, Bentley isn't a star, he's a serviceable player and better than the current alternatives. He is WAY better than last year; more in line with his rookie season when he had a specific role that suited his skills rather than having to try and run the entire defense and cover for the issues all over the rest of the defense that last year had.
The difference is that Bentley is the slowest laterally of all the Pats LB. In terms of man to man coverage I'd rather have any of the other backers in coverage to Bentley. I'm not saying the Pats need to get a pass coverage LB that won't be available, I'd just like to see them limit their slowest linebacker in coverage.

That being said when the season started I expected Hightower to start at outside backer, then move to MLB to replace Bentley when the other team has to pass. Instead, Bentley has been on the field at MLB and they haven't really been sliding Hightower to MLB since he doesn't look like he's completely regained his quickness.
 

TomPatriot

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
This is a special pass rusher. Not many players in the NFL with that explosion on the first sack.

2019 lead the NCAA in pressure rate
2020 lead NFL rookies in pressure rate
present lead the NFL in pressure rate (small sample)

These moves look different to me. One looks like a bull rush and the other looks like a shuck.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

#1 Mac Jones fan
PatsFans.com Supporter
These moves look different to me. One looks like a bull rush and the other looks like a shuck.
What in the world is a "shuck" lol ???

1)Clubs with left hand before finishing with ripping through. Rip is simply that uppercut motion to put your man on your back.

2)Sets up and wins with hesi-move. This is a big go-to for him since hes small it really helps get his guy off balance. After that quick swipe (you can see him use double swipe) before just knifing through. Can't see if he uses anything else but I don't think he does.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
He's been in coverage a lot and doesn't look out of place.
This is the flip side of my earlier post. It's pretty scary now how big the mismatches can be for LBs versus offenses. On one hand, they have to be 240-260lb edge setters and penetrators able to take on 300+ pound blockers while at the same time run with guys streaking along at 4.49 (a common avg for rbs) 40 times. Then on top of that be able to harness quickness and fundamentals of basically its own martial art in pass rushing. Sure, guys like that just grow on trees!

So, only the most elite will be able to do all three at a high level. The second tier, two of three things well, with the vast majority specialists in one of the three areas and journeymen in the others. This doesn't preclude improvement for these players over time, but fundamentals can ebb and flow for a variety of reasons (age, injury, focus, fatigue, etc). Scheme can also play a role, placing players in favorable positions in regards to their skills and weaknesses (in this example minimizing how often LBs have to cover - especially man cover - these players very much faster than they are). As an example - the more linebackers on the field in the NFL can likely also mean more zone coverage (not a rule per se, but just logical due to the speed differences inherent).

All this to say that Uche, to my eye so far, is basically not really all that different in coverage to the Patriots' other linebackers. The two "grizzled vets" (HT and KVN) seem much more fluid and anticipatory because of experience, but they too will be exposed if they are asked to go one on one coverage with almost any RB in the league over and over again. But opposing OCs are smart - if they see Uche in coverage situations (just like any other LB) they will try to attack that mismatch and he may be exposed because of it. Similar to our new QB there's a learning curve where it's read/react right now instead of instinctual.

Uche has the measurables and it appears thus far the want to drive to continue to improve. If that's the case there is no reason he cannot be on the field more, in a variety of situations, moving forward.
 

TomPatriot

PatsFans.com Supporter
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What in the world is a "shuck" lol ???

1)Clubs with left hand before finishing with ripping through. Rip is simply that uppercut motion to put your man on your back.

2)Sets up and wins with hesi-move. This is a big go-to for him since hes small it really helps get his guy off balance. After that quick swipe (you can see him use double swipe) before just knifing through. Can't see if he uses anything else but I don't think he does.

Sorry if my terminology is wrong. I try to learn about the game but still don’t know very much.

I think a shuck is a push off of an OL’s hand/arm during the rush. Sometimes two hands are used. It’s the “quick swipe” you’re referring to, or so I thought until you set me straight.

A rip is the DL use of an opposite shoulder and arm up and under the OL’s shoulder and arm so the DL can lever himself around the OL. Or at least I thought so, until I read your insightful analysis and explanation. Now I’m not so sure.

You really know a lot about football! After Patfranken, who has probably forgotten more than I’ll ever know, you might be the most knowledgeable person on the Board! Where did you play/coach DL/OL?
 

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