Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/03/14/for-patriots-losing-wes-welker-isn-important-gaining-something-defense/MypxYv4hWbj0xIPFT6XDMN/story.html

    A lot of this pre-draft piece rings true. I'm not sure that WR is as hunky dory (or irrelevant) as Gasper paints it to be here, but regardless, his major point is about addressing a pass defense that has faltered at some key points, is in an offseason on the heels of allowing 56 points in two playoff games, and has held a bottom 4 ranking for three seasons running. 

    They have re-locked Talib and Arrington to bring continuity. They added Tommy Kelley. They added the extremely athletic Jaime Collins via the draft. And veteran near-HOFer Adrian Wilson -- who is a question mark in some ways given his reduced role last season and age. 

    The question I have, now that the draft is over, and the major FA signing period is done, is has NE done enough to improve on defense this off-season?

    Would adding Abraham change your answer?

     
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  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    just need depth at the DE/OLB position. Abraham is an option. Need more competition...

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    I think it depends on Kelley, is he good enough still? If so then we have solved a problem and weakness on this defense...a big guy that can pressure and play the run. It seems like Deaderick can play the run and believe it or not I think Love provides a little bit of pass rush inside, but gets knocked back in the run game. Kelley is a huge guy and I think a huge piece of this puzzle. Armstead is another piece - I really think this guy would of been a second round pick if he had entered the draft this year.

    So part of me wants to say they improved the defense, but another part feels they needed to do more. We still have money to spend...spend it...be aggressive. I thought for sure we were going to sign one of the younger defensive linemen this off season to a big contract, and we didn't. I also thought we would make a run at Gholdson...and instead we signed a 34 year old safety. Our window is rapidly closing - I'd love to see this defense start to carry this team - and there's no reason it shouldn't...we have high draft picks over there now and we are 4 years into this rebuilding project (never mind the fact that Belichick is a deffensive genius).

    In the end I think we are taking chances on too many older guys that look to be on the downside of their careers and on the other end of the spectrum we are putting hope into guys that are too young (Armstead, Collins). I wanted guys in their prime...we will see how it all shakes out. I will say the Talib signing was excellent in my opinion.

     
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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    In response to mthurl's comment:

    I think it depends on Kelley, is he good enough still? If so then we have solved a problem and weakness on this defense...a big guy that can pressure and play the run. It seems like Deaderick can play the run and believe it or not I think Love provides a little bit of pass rush inside, but gets knocked back in the run game. Kelley is a huge guy and I think a huge piece of this puzzle. Armstead is another piece - I really think this guy would of been a second round pick if he had entered the draft this year.

    So part of me wants to say they improved the defense, but another part feels they needed to do more. We still have money to spend...spend it...be aggressive. I thought for sure we were going to sign one of the younger defensive linemen this off season to a big contract, and we didn't. I also thought we would make a run at Gholdson...and instead we signed a 34 year old safety. Our window is rapidly closing - I'd love to see this defense start to carry this team - and there's no reason it shouldn't...we have high draft picks over there now and we are 4 years into this rebuilding project (never mind the fact that Belichick is a deffensive genius).

    In the end I think we are taking chances on too many older guys that look to be on the downside of their careers and on the other end of the spectrum we are putting hope into guys that are too young (Armstead, Collins). I wanted guys in their prime...we will see how it all shakes out. I will say the Talib signing was excellent in my opinion.



    I still don't mind taking flyers on talented but aged vets. It worked better before because the core around them was better. But addding a pass rusher like Abraham, especially one who is a consumate professional like he is, can't hurt. 

    I forgot about Armstead, but I don't have really high expecations from him up front, I'm thinking of him like a fringe 3rd/4th rounder, which is where most scouting agencies would have put him.

    I agree, augmenting what's been a mediocre pass rush seems to be the next step. Tommy Kelley is an interesting figure to that end. 

    I too would have loved to see another acquisition, but was it really possible? They had to lock up tackles, corners, and the Wes to Amendola swap was a contract that needed to be signed either way (whether they let Wes walk or replaced him they needed someone). 

    Let's say you add Gholdson .... who isn't on the team to make that work?

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    In response to anonymis' comment:

    just need depth at the DE/OLB position. Abraham is an option. Need more competition...



    So, you think the pass rush was fine coming in (15th ranked)? Or you think Kelley, Collins, et al, answers any deficiencies?

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    I see no reason to believe the D will be significantly improved from these offseason moves. Talib was an excellent addition last year and retaining him if he stays healthy should keep the D respectable rather than dismal. He was a key acquisition. I hope BB has added great contributors. I just don't see any reason to think he has at this point.

     
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  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    Belichick's modus operandi when looking to fill a position on the team has typically been to add a draft pick, add a vet free agent and see which one works out.  

    Even though technically a free agent, I look at Armon Armstead like a draft pick, Tommy Kelly is the free agent so by all rights we've reloaded a position that needed reloading; 3/4 defensive end.  BB may not be done, there likely will be others invited to camp but for now there has been a marked improvement.  This also does not including the UDFA's coming to camp...

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    In response to BassFishingII's comment:

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

     

    I see no reason to believe the D will be significantly improved from these offseason moves. Talib was an excellent addition last year and retaining him if he stays healthy should keep the D respectable rather than dismal. He was a key acquisition. I hope BB has added great contributors. I just don't see any reason to think he has at this point.

     




    Please explain how the D last year was "dismal".


    I didn't say they looked dismal last year troll. I have actually said the addition of Talib was a key in making them not so.

     

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    Belichick's modus operandi when looking to fill a position on the team has typically been to add a draft pick, add a vet free agent and see which one works out.  

    Even though technically a free agent, I look at Armon Armstead like a draft pick, Tommy Kelly is the free agent so by all rights we've reloaded a position that needed reloading; 3/4 defensive end.  BB may not be done, there likely will be others invited to camp but for now there has been a marked improvement.  This also does not including the UDFA's coming to camp...

    That is BB's mo indeed. It also buys him time to "develop" the kids.


    Adding Amstead and Kelley (especially) does seem to signal that NE might be running more 34 sets than the past few seasons. 

    I guess the question is, you say those additions are tantamount to "reloading." Are Kelley at 32 and the unproven AA real impact players or just filler? Do they improve the interior pass rush (something that has been especially weak compared to the Seymour years) or just give BB the ability to play a different set with equal quality? Or are they just bodies to cycle in and keep people fresh?

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

    I see no reason to believe the D will be significantly improved from these offseason moves. Talib was an excellent addition last year and retaining him if he stays healthy should keep the D respectable rather than dismal. He was a key acquisition. I hope BB has added great contributors. I just don't see any reason to think he has at this point.



    Hanging on to Talib was a no-brainer. I don't like the length of the deal, but the money worked out well. 

    The question about contributors is kind of broad. What do you mean by contributor?

    Do you mean impact player?

    I think adding Abraham helps in this regard, especially to buttress against the chance that Collins isn't ready this season, or that he doesn't work out. 

    I see potential that a revitalized Kelley could have an impact next to Wilfork as an undertackle or DE in 3 man fronts, but I'm not betting the house on 32 year olds.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    http://nesn.com/2013/04/tommy-kelly-could-have-major-impact-alongside-vince-wilfork-on-patriots-defense/

    An article on Tommy Kelley from a while back. I think it gives a fair estimation, Babe. He did really blossom when he had some quality next to him. I think VW could have a similar effect. Though, I also agree that expecting him to play full time at 32 is a bit of a reach. He may end up doing just that, or taking the majority of the snaps, but if I'm building the team I plan on him adding to the D in spots. 

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsLifer. Show PatsLifer's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    I think Kelly and AA are upgrades say over love and deaderick. AA has shown he has some interior pass rush ability, at least in the cfl, and Kelly when motivated can do a bit of the same. Either can play inside in a 4 man line, or outsid on a 3 man line. I don't think adding them signals more 3 man Lines necessarily. 

    Overall, on paper, the pats have improved their d. Honestly, I think again on paper, that this is the best d we have fielded in some time. A good mix of veteran, 1st, 2nd, etc year players. 

    To be honest, I am more concerned with our pass offense. 

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

     

    I see no reason to believe the D will be significantly improved from these offseason moves. Talib was an excellent addition last year and retaining him if he stays healthy should keep the D respectable rather than dismal. He was a key acquisition. I hope BB has added great contributors. I just don't see any reason to think he has at this point.

     



    Hanging on to Talib was a no-brainer. I don't like the length of the deal, but the money worked out well. 

     

    The question about contributors is kind of broad. What do you mean by contributor?

    Do you mean impact player?

    I think adding Abraham helps in this regard, especially to buttress against the chance that Collins isn't ready this season, or that he doesn't work out. 

    I see potential that a revitalized Kelley could have an impact next to Wilfork as an undertackle or DE in 3 man fronts, but I'm not betting the house on 32 year olds.




    I said great contributors. So I mean difference makers, not warm bodies. Impact players would describe my meaning as well.

    Because of Talib's contract length I was looking for BB to address CB in a more significant way in the draft. Thus my previous statements about Rhodes (however misguided they may have been regarding the particular).

     

     

     
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  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

    In response to zbellino's comment:

     

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

     

    I see no reason to believe the D will be significantly improved from these offseason moves. Talib was an excellent addition last year and retaining him if he stays healthy should keep the D respectable rather than dismal. He was a key acquisition. I hope BB has added great contributors. I just don't see any reason to think he has at this point.

     



    Hanging on to Talib was a no-brainer. I don't like the length of the deal, but the money worked out well. 

     

    The question about contributors is kind of broad. What do you mean by contributor?

    Do you mean impact player?

    I think adding Abraham helps in this regard, especially to buttress against the chance that Collins isn't ready this season, or that he doesn't work out. 

    I see potential that a revitalized Kelley could have an impact next to Wilfork as an undertackle or DE in 3 man fronts, but I'm not betting the house on 32 year olds.

     




    I said greatcontributors. So I mean difference makers, not warm bodies. Impact players would describe my meaning as well.

     

    Because of Talib's contract length I was looking for BB to address CB in a more significant way in the draft. Thus my previous statements about Rhodes (however misguided they may have been regarding the particular).

     

     



    OK. Yeah. Abraham could have an impact. I wouldn't wager the world on it, but I also would love to see if NE could work something out to bring him in. 

    I also really like the athleticism of the kid Collins. He is the kind of guy I usually want NE to take, but they never do. 

    I think one writer (here on the Globe?) put it well regarding this kid and Dobson as athletes ... NE may miss with them, but they will miss in the right way. 

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    In response to zbellino's comment:

     

    That is BB's mo indeed. It also buys him time to "develop" the kids.

    Adding Amstead and Kelley (especially) does seem to signal that NE might be running more 34 sets than the past few seasons. 

    I guess the question is, you say those additions are tantamount to "reloading." Are Kelley at 32 and the unproven AA real impact players or just filler? Do they improve the interior pass rush (something that has been especially weak compared to the Seymour years) or just give BB the ability to play a different set with equal quality? Or are they just bodies to cycle in and keep people fresh?

     



    Kelly is an instant starter if healthy, should BB decide to start the season running the four man, upfield rush front of the past three years than Kelly can man the position next to Wilfork, if he goes 3/4 Kelly can play end.  With a bunch of young players he may decide to wait on the 3/4 or sit players like Collins until they're ready in favor of Nincovich and others until midseason.

     

    I might be projecting too positively but I think Armstead will start from day one as well if they go 3/4.  He wasn't just average in Canada, he was a man among boys. This guy was a 2nd-3rd round pick as a Jr but didn't get the benefit of a senior season to cement himself as a 1st round talent, I think he did that up north, I have to think BB agrees that's why he was the very first off season move he made.

    D Line will always be in heavy rotation, especially now that the league has switched to more no huddle offense's, having guys like Wilfork who can stay on the field and not get winded will be crucial, but if you have a show of force on early downs with massive D lineman and overwhelming pass rush linebackers behind them, offense's will have a harder time staying on the field.

    I've stated for a long time that the Patriot defense hasn't suffered from "bad coverage" or "lack of edge rushers" for years now as was contended here and in the local media, that the issue started in the middle, I'm glad we've gotten around to fixing it, this defense has been a slow rebuild, hopefully we should have 2-3 years now of powerful offense and defense to finish out Tommy terrific's career.

     
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  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    In response to PatsLifer's comment:

    I think Kelly and AA are upgrades say over love and deaderick. AA has shown he has some interior pass rush ability, at least in the cfl, and Kelly when motivated can do a bit of the same. Either can play inside in a 4 man line, or outsid on a 3 man line. I don't think adding them signals more 3 man Lines necessarily. 

    Overall, on paper, the pats have improved their d. Honestly, I think again on paper, that this is the best d we have fielded in some time. A good mix of veteran, 1st, 2nd, etc year players. 

    To be honest, I am more concerned with our pass offense. 



    I think their addition is an upgrade.... whether they are a substantial upgrade is to be seen. 

    I was literally going to start a thread about the WR position later today or tomorrow. I was running through it with PatsEng in another thread and was really taken by how it looks in the cold light of day. A lot of question marks.

     

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    In response to wozzy's comment:

     

    Belichick's modus operandi when looking to fill a position on the team has typically been to add a draft pick, add a vet free agent and see which one works out.  

    Even though technically a free agent, I look at Armon Armstead like a draft pick, Tommy Kelly is the free agent so by all rights we've reloaded a position that needed reloading; 3/4 defensive end.  BB may not be done, there likely will be others invited to camp but for now there has been a marked improvement.  This also does not including the UDFA's coming to camp...

     

     

    That is BB's mo indeed. It also buys him time to "develop" the kids.

     


    I see "developing" as a too often a fool's errand in today's NFL. Free agency has made this so.

    If you do not have an acquired player contributing significantly in some role by their third year you have pretty much wasted the resources expended to get him. The name of the game today is immediate impact.

     

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?

    If you look at it by unit, I think the improvements in the secondary were largely made last year, with the emergence of Dennard, the acquisition of Talib, and the move of McCourty to safety.  I think that unit continues to improve with a year of experience playing together, plus a bit more competition at the second safety and fifth and sixth DB slots.  

    At LB, Hightower should benefit from a year of experience.  I think Collins potentially improves the unit significantly if he can cover well and also rush from the LB slot, plus hold the edge against the run.  If he's a sub LB he helps a bit.  But if he's a truly versatile guy with great athleticism in the passing game (both rushing and covering) and also good against the run so he can be a three down player, I think he could be the piece that transforms our LB unit from good to excellent.  He also may give us a linebacking group that can work in either 4-3 or 3-4.

    At DE, I expect Jones to improve significantly with a year of experience, and expect him to improve our pass rush. Nink probably still plays the other DE spot (at least in 4-3), but I think Francis will continue to improve and may push him a bit on the outside as well as play a role inside on passing downs.  Kelly adds another decent big body at DT, Armstead has some potential to be an inside pass rusher or maybe a 3-4 DE (if he's good enough for the NFL) .  Still the DL is probably an area where another guy like Abraham would help on the edge and another DT would be nice too.  Not sure if this line is a great one for a 3-4 (not enough big guys) so I still expect more 4-3 this year, but we may see a lot of 2-5 type sub packages anyway. 

    Overall, I anticipate some improvement this year--not a complete transformation, but steady improvement building on last year's changes in the secondary, the continued development of last year's rookies, and the new acquisitions made this year.

     

     

     
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