Is Hightower All That?

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

    Is Hightower All That?

    "


    1. High praise for second-year linebacker Jamie Collins from Dont’a Hightower: “I feel like he’s blossomed a lot sooner than anybody [thought]. I feel like he was a lot more mature in his first year than some people are in their third year. Him coming in and learning the way he did his first year, you couldn’t tell he wasn’t a three- or four-year player. He’s helping out a lot, getting the younger guys in there and watching film and getting everything situated with them. Just like [Jerod] Mayo said, ‘we have old souls.’ We mature faster.”


    2. Hightower was asked if the defense was ahead of schedule, and while he wouldn’t say that was the case, he acknowledged that the players are having a lot of fun because of their experience in the system and understanding the various checks within the scheme. Hightower felt his own play elevated late last season when he got to that point himself.


    "


    http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4764017/cleaning-out-patriots-ota-notebook" rel="nofollow">http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4764017/cleaning-out-patriots-ota-notebook


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    What do fans think of Hightower going into the season?

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    I don't get the feeling with Hightower I get with say, Collins, with Collins I say...yeah he's the real deal. With Hightower he didn't make that jump, in fact he played terrible for a large portion of last year, there was a time during that first Denver game that Manning would actually point to him, change the play and go right at him (with great success). He was a target out there many times last year and with good reason. I understand he was playing "out of position", but it was alarming that a first round pick was made to look so bad. This is a guy that we drafted because of his "positional flexibility", because he would "never have to come off the field", because he "did so many different things in Saban's defense". He never should of looked that bad.

    Hightower played better toward the end of the season and I think with him most likely taking on the roll Spikes played he should be alright, but alright won't be good enough, he needs to be more than that. I still see him taking on blocks using his shoulder and not using his hands (the way Katzenmoyer used to). I question his speed after what I saw last year...and athleticism too. My expectations have been lowered - right now I'd be thrilled if he turned into a good 2 down run stuffer - this time last year I was hoping he'd be our best/most complete linebacker. I don't see that happening anymore.

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

     


     I think we have to be careful judging Hightower's play without understanding his responsibilities in a scheme. I'm not sure of course, but I thought his role after Mayo was injured was often to drop back and wait for the play to develop while Spikes attacked the LOS aggressively.  With the DTs weakened by injury, they wanted Spikes to come up and add muscle aggressively behind that smallish front.  Hightower, meanwhile, had to lay back a bit to ensure nothing got through to the secondary.  He seemed to track the play a lot and not commit until it was clear what was going to happen.  I think, though, that was intentional--not a sign of slow reactions or poor speed.


    I could be totally wrong of course, but I really do suspect that many times when Hightower seemed slow, he was really just "doing his job."

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ghostofjri37. Show ghostofjri37's posts

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    I think we are going to see a defense this year that is more suited to Hightowers skill set. I think Pro hit on something regarding Hightowers responsibilities/play when Mayo, Wilfork and Kelly went out.

    I think we are going to see Hightower be used differently this coming year. I like the athleticism Collins and Hightower bring to the front 7. If they all stay healthy I think might see the passive bend but don't break D go by the wayside and we should see an attacking defense this year which will be fun to watch.

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    Hightower will thrive in the middle where Spikes used to roam.  He is larger and more athletic, I think BB knew some time back that Spikes had limitations and was foaming at the mouth to get Hightower.  He will be a tackling machine, when he comes up to meet a guard the way Spikes used to you'll actually see some pop.


    He played out of position on the edge of the four man front last season but gained a lot of experience in coverage which isn't his strength, with two speedy playmakers in Mayo/Collins on either side of him and healthy Vince/Kelly in front of him our D will be nasty.  They were nasty last year until injury derailed them, I can't wait for the season to start.


    For Pats fans who enjoy defense the first few games of last season was just a glimpse at how good they could be, but now we have even better personnel.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonSportsFan111. Show BostonSportsFan111's posts

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    Hightower took on a great deal more responsibility for the front seven after Wilfork, Mayo and Kelly went down. He was force fed a leadership role. Wasn't always pretty and wasn't nearly perfect, but it got markedly better as the year went on as Collins, Chris Jones, Vellano, Siglia etc. gained experience and confidence. Some of those guys likely won't be here this year, replaced by more experience, and better, players, and what Hightower learned last season will be invaluable this year. 


     

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to wozzy's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Hightower will thrive in the middle where Spikes used to roam.  He is larger and more athletic, I think BB knew some time back that Spikes had limitations and was foaming at the mouth to get Hightower.  He will be a tackling machine, when he comes up to meet a guard the way Spikes used to you'll actually see some pop.

     

    He played out of position on the edge of the four man front last season but gained a lot of experience in coverage which isn't his strength, with two speedy playmakers in Mayo/Collins on either side of him and healthy Vince/Kelly in front of him our D will be nasty.  They were nasty last year until injury derailed them, I can't wait for the season to start.

     

    For Pats fans who enjoy defense the first few games of last season was just a glimpse at how good they could be, but now we have even better personnel.

    [/QUOTE]

    If Collins excels at his position(s), then I think he will become one of the cogs to the defense - who's play will dictate what the Patriots can do on defense. Very similar to Talib's importance to the secondary when he was with the Patriots.

    Hightower, imo, was slow - and appeared to wait for opponents to come to him.  I am more than happy to give him the benefit of the doubt as his role certainly changed when Mayo went out. It seemed like he did not pursue; perhaps on purpose - or because he simply couldn't. He does not appear to have good footwork - but he is 265 lbs, so, it may not be a big surprise that he may not be able to pursue well or cover well.

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to BostonSportsFan111's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Hightower took on a great deal more responsibility for the front seven after Wilfork, Mayo and Kelly went down. He was force fed a leadership role. Wasn't always pretty and wasn't nearly perfect, but it got markedly better as the year went on as Collins, Chris Jones, Vellano, Siglia etc. gained experience and confidence. Some of those guys likely won't be here this year, replaced by more experience, and better, players, and what Hightower learned last season will be invaluable this year. 


     

    [/QUOTE]


    hope so. He will need to step up this season......with a lot of experience in the 2nd half of last year....not sure how much more leeway fans can give him.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from mellymel3. Show mellymel3's posts

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    I'm not worried about Hightower at all...he's going to be a very, very good pro and it will start to show this season.  Especially with those extremely weak jokes the NY Jets.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from agill1970. Show agill1970's posts

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    Some of you guys are being overly critical of Hightower because he wasn't able to make the second year jump like we'd all hoped.  As was pointed out, when Wilfork, Mayo, and Kelly went down, he was thrust into a leadership role and was handed more on field responsibilities that didn't play to his strengths.  Who else was going to do it?  You can't ask your DE's to run the front, nor could you ask Collins (a rookie) or Spikes (just plain crazy).  He did well, but not great.   This year he will be asked to do much less and put in a position to take advantage of his strengths should things go according to plan.  I expect the defense to have a very big year this upcoming season, and I expect Hightower to be a big part of why. 

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to mellymel3's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I'm not worried about Hightower at all...he's going to be a very, very good pro and it will start to show this season.  Especially with those extremely weak jokes the NY Jets.

    [/QUOTE]

    LMAO....sucks for you since you're a Jets fan.

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to agill1970's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Some of you guys are being overly critical of Hightower because he wasn't able to make the second year jump like we'd all hoped.  As was pointed out, when Wilfork, Mayo, and Kelly went down, he was thrust into a leadership role and was handed more on field responsibilities that didn't play to his strengths.  Who else was going to do it?  You can't ask your DE's to run the front, nor could you ask Collins (a rookie) or Spikes (just plain crazy).  He did well, but not great.   This year he will be asked to do much less and put in a position to take advantage of his strengths should things go according to plan.  I expect the defense to have a very big year this upcoming season, and I expect Hightower to be a big part of why. 

    [/QUOTE]

    I think he will be good at stopping the run...not sure if he will be as good as Spikes.

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to agill1970's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Some of you guys are being overly critical of Hightower because he wasn't able to make the second year jump like we'd all hoped.  As was pointed out, when Wilfork, Mayo, and Kelly went down, he was thrust into a leadership role and was handed more on field responsibilities that didn't play to his strengths.  Who else was going to do it?  You can't ask your DE's to run the front, nor could you ask Collins (a rookie) or Spikes (just plain crazy).  He did well, but not great.   This year he will be asked to do much less and put in a position to take advantage of his strengths should things go according to plan.  I expect the defense to have a very big year this upcoming season, and I expect Hightower to be a big part of why. 

    [/QUOTE]


    I hope everything works out for Hightower because he needs to be the player we need him to be, but you keep mentioning "his strengths". What are those exactly? Because we already know it's not coverage (and that's fine). Are we going to say his strength is to stack and shed, like a Ted Johnson or Spikes? Because he doesn't do that very well either, despite being so big. I've seen him many times not take on blocks, or not make the tackle in the run department - so I'd like to say he will replace Spikes, but I haven't seen enough to say that is a lock. I think he shows a little something as a pass rusher, but how many sacks has he had? Is he a good blitzer? Because I've seen QB's shake free of this guy rather easily with a fake and run.

    I think this is a make or break year for him, no more excuses, it could go either way.

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    I thought Hightower was really exposed last year as a tweener. He lost weight, but in this case it worked against him. He was still a step slow and was poor in coverage. As said above, other QB's were looking for him. If Hightower comes in at 270-275 he is going to be a 2 down player in this defense, assuming Collins and browner are healthy. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from tcal2-. Show tcal2-'s posts

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    I think so, he showed flashes last year so the potential is there.

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    Hightower was very good as a rookie and looked a step off last year in the more involved Mayo role.

    Things should be very much back to normal for him this year, likely taking over in the Spikes role.  I expect him to take that next step.

    Thank god BB took Hightower and not Upshaw, the latter an outright bust in Baltimore for Ozzie.

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to DougIrwin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Hightower was very good as a rookie and looked a step off last year in the more involved Mayo role.

    Things should be very much back to normal for him this year, likely taking over in the Spikes role.  I expect him to take that next step.

    Thank god BB took Hightower and not Upshaw, the latter an outright bust in Baltimore for Ozzie.

    [/QUOTE]


    The Ravens took Upshaw in the second and lucky they did or we would of picked him up when we picked...then again we selected Tavon Wilson with our pick. At least Upshaw was slated to go where he was selected, where on the other hand Wilson was supposed to go in the 6th round.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from DougIrwin. Show DougIrwin's posts

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to mthurl's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to DougIrwin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Hightower was very good as a rookie and looked a step off last year in the more involved Mayo role.

    Things should be very much back to normal for him this year, likely taking over in the Spikes role.  I expect him to take that next step.

    Thank god BB took Hightower and not Upshaw, the latter an outright bust in Baltimore for Ozzie.

    [/QUOTE]


    The Ravens took Upshaw in the second and lucky they did or we would of picked him up when we picked...then again we selected Tavon Wilson with our pick. At least Upshaw was slated to go where he was selected, where on the other hand Wilson was supposed to go in the 6th round.

    [/QUOTE]

    BB had TWO 1st rd picks, so I am not sure it matters. Chandler Jones is a very good player, as will be Hightower here.

    Show me a GM that hits on every pick.  You've never done that, so you lose.

    Ozzie has been struggling for years getting good picks into Baltimore.   Their pick last year Brown at LB that Baltimore native Mel Kipey was ranting about, was benched mid season.

    If you actually watched other NFL teams and were honest in comparison to our talent here, you wouldn't be so easily led by ESPN, Cupcake.

     

     

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from agill1970. Show agill1970's posts

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to mthurl's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I hope everything works out for Hightower because he needs to be the player we need him to be, but you keep mentioning "his strengths". What are those exactly? Because we already know it's not coverage (and that's fine). Are we going to say his strength is to stack and shed, like a Ted Johnson or Spikes? Because he doesn't do that very well either, despite being so big. I've seen him many times not take on blocks, or not make the tackle in the run department - so I'd like to say he will replace Spikes, but I haven't seen enough to say that is a lock. I think he shows a little something as a pass rusher, but how many sacks has he had? Is he a good blitzer? Because I've seen QB's shake free of this guy rather easily with a fake and run.

    I think this is a make or break year for him, no more excuses, it could go either way.

    [/QUOTE]

    I think this sums him up best.  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1145366-the-6-biggest-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-donta-hightowers-game" rel="nofollow">http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1145366-the-6-biggest-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-donta-hightowers-game

    He has obvious weaknesses, and last year he was put in a position that exploited them, but he did get better over the course of the year.  For him to really shine though, you need to play him much in the same way that Spikes was played, downhill.  And just like Spikes, he can get after the passer when asked to.  I think he's a better athlete than Spikes, but not as fiery.  He was fiery in college though, but he was surrounded by a great D that made big time plays so it was easy to get fired up.  Here's hoping this years D helps make that beast emerge. 

     

     

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Pats7393. Show Pats7393's posts

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    Man I know we are tough but I see it this way, no mayo, wilfork, kelly... on down the line.  You have a limited Spikes (down hill) DTs that most of the year struggled against the run.  When your DTs are singled match leaves big bodies to reach the second level.  So extra traffic big dude blocking big dude while little dude with rock runs around.

    I really like hightower, He was put in a situation in which he probably is not his best at.  I think in the middle with limited drop back and the big uglys taking up blocks he'll be able to do what he does best side line to sideline or down hill tackling.  Just my opinion.  

    I'm very excited to see this group of LBs, it should be fun.

     


     

     

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from joepatsfan111111. Show joepatsfan111111's posts

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    I think he did a fine job last season trying to make the best of a tough situation.

    He was thrust into a leadership role playing out of position (mayo's spot) and struggled some.

    But, he had a great rookie season which showed a lot of promise and now with Mayo back he can fill Spikes' shoes and play to his strengths.

    I also think we may see hightower on the end at times this season subbing for Nink. That could be a huge impact spot for Donta seeing as he did that some at Bama.

    I expect great things from all of our LBs this season and the defense in general

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    Not entirely certain what people were expecting of the guy.  As so many others have pointed out he was really placed in a tough spot with the injuries already mentioned.  I think he'll be fine in the middle.

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to DougIrwin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to mthurl's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to DougIrwin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Hightower was very good as a rookie and looked a step off last year in the more involved Mayo role.

    Things should be very much back to normal for him this year, likely taking over in the Spikes role.  I expect him to take that next step.

    Thank god BB took Hightower and not Upshaw, the latter an outright bust in Baltimore for Ozzie.

    [/QUOTE]


    The Ravens took Upshaw in the second and lucky they did or we would of picked him up when we picked...then again we selected Tavon Wilson with our pick. At least Upshaw was slated to go where he was selected, where on the other hand Wilson was supposed to go in the 6th round.

    [/QUOTE]

    BB had TWO 1st rd picks, so I am not sure it matters. Chandler Jones is a very good player, as will be Hightower here.

    Show me a GM that hits on every pick.  You've never done that, so you lose.

    Ozzie has been struggling for years getting good picks into Baltimore.   Their pick last year Brown at LB that Baltimore native Mel Kipey was ranting about, was benched mid season.

    If you actually watched other NFL teams and were honest in comparison to our talent here, you wouldn't be so easily led by ESPN, Cupcake.

     

     

    [/QUOTE]


    Just for the record we were talking about Hightower before you came in and tried to defend his selection by referring to a team and GM that live 700 miles away and don't play in our division. Try to lay off the vicodin for ten minutes and call your manager at Rite Aid to see if he'll give you your old job back...baby steps.

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

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to agill1970's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to mthurl's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I hope everything works out for Hightower because he needs to be the player we need him to be, but you keep mentioning "his strengths". What are those exactly? Because we already know it's not coverage (and that's fine). Are we going to say his strength is to stack and shed, like a Ted Johnson or Spikes? Because he doesn't do that very well either, despite being so big. I've seen him many times not take on blocks, or not make the tackle in the run department - so I'd like to say he will replace Spikes, but I haven't seen enough to say that is a lock. I think he shows a little something as a pass rusher, but how many sacks has he had? Is he a good blitzer? Because I've seen QB's shake free of this guy rather easily with a fake and run.

    I think this is a make or break year for him, no more excuses, it could go either way.

    [/QUOTE]

    I think this sums him up best.  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1145366-the-6-biggest-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-donta-hightowers-game" rel="nofollow">http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1145366-the-6-biggest-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-donta-hightowers-game" rel="nofollow">http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1145366-the-6-biggest-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-donta-hightowers-game

    He has obvious weaknesses, and last year he was put in a position that exploited them, but he did get better over the course of the year.  For him to really shine though, you need to play him much in the same way that Spikes was played, downhill.  And just like Spikes, he can get after the passer when asked to.  I think he's a better athlete than Spikes, but not as fiery.  He was fiery in college though, but he was surrounded by a great D that made big time plays so it was easy to get fired up.  Here's hoping this years D helps make that beast emerge. 

     

     

    [/QUOTE]


    I read that article when we drafted him and I agree with most of it. The thing I will say is that there have been too many times where he doesn't play that run stuffing role well enough (especially for a guy that big). I don't know if he thought it would be easy like it was in college for him, where he was bigger than everyone and probably could get by with bad technique, but from what I've seen he will have to start using his hands better. I thought he played better towards the end of the season and I hope that carries into this season as well. One thing for sure...he will be surrounded by better players this year, so he should look better just because of that alone.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from DougIrwin. Show DougIrwin's posts

    Re: Is Hightower All That?

    In response to Pats7393's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Man I know we are tough but I see it this way, no mayo, wilfork, kelly... on down the line.  You have a limited Spikes (down hill) DTs that most of the year struggled against the run.  When your DTs are singled match leaves big bodies to reach the second level.  So extra traffic big dude blocking big dude while little dude with rock runs around.

    I really like hightower, He was put in a situation in which he probably is not his best at.  I think in the middle with limited drop back and the big uglys taking up blocks he'll be able to do what he does best side line to sideline or down hill tackling.  Just my opinion.  

    I'm very excited to see this group of LBs, it should be fun.

     


     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Excellent sensical post.  An absolute rarity around here.

     

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