The Improving Patriots' Defense

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    The Improving Patriots' Defense

         Of late, the "D" has really stepped up. They'll have to continue that trend if the Pats hope to win a championship. Here's a great article on Vince Wilfolk, the Pats' DL, and the improving defensive unit: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/sports/football/16wilfork.html?ref=football

         Here's another great article on the "Patriot Way"...and how players that come from other teams contrast the difference between how things were done on their former teams, and how things are done in New England: http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/01/playing_in_new_england_is_all.html
     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    I think Fork is having a career defining season, and I hope it continues. It isn't that he is playing his best, although I think he is. It is that he is doing it after a huge contract, on a D-Line that is now "his" after the departure of Seymour, and while being frequently moved off nose to frustrate other teams.

    That said, I really still think the single best way to improve this defense as a whole is to add a monster 34 end. 
     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    In Response to Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense:
    [QUOTE]I think Fork is having a career defining season, and I hope it continues. It isn't that he is playing his best, although I think he is. It is that he is doing it after a huge contract, on a D-Line that is now "his" after the departure of Seymour, and while being frequently moved off nose to frustrate other teams. That said, I really still think the single best way to improve this defense as a whole is to add a monster 34 end. 
    Posted by zbellino[/QUOTE]

         Agreed. I'm sure that BB will address the DE position early in the draft. It will be interesting to see what he'll do with the 17th overall pick.  
     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    Good article. Vince has stepped up and become a leader. Like I speculated early in the season these guys would improve as the season progressed. Now after 16 games they do not play like rookies anymore. Guys like Mayo (though he's young, too) and Sanders have followed Wlifork's lead, and the young guys have been receptive. They have improved beyond my hopes, and are now one of the better defenses in the league. They are so far ahead of the rest of the league in turnover differential it's scary. Yesterday's games prove how important that is when you get to the postseason. They have also vastly improved in red zone defense, and many of their takeaways have occurred inside their own 20 yard line. As far as stopping the Jests ground game, it will be key. If Sanchez has to try and win this game with his arm it will be a slaughter! They also should have Spikes back, which will help out against the run. Vince will also be great if they do make it to Dallas. He went to the SB as a rookie, and he'll be able to help the young guys handle all the distractions. The sustained success of this team is due to veteran leadership and young guys who play smart. I don't see how the pundits can tout McCarthy for coach of the year when BB has done what he has with all these inexperienced players! This has truly been an amazing season, whatever happens going forward.
     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    In Response to Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense :      Agreed. I'm sure that BB will address the DE position early in the draft. It will be interesting to see what he'll do with the 17th overall pick.  
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]

    I don't see anything too enticing there, and after the defection of a couple players back to college, and an outstanding bowl game, Fairley will be playing for another team. 

    At 17 there isn't anyone, although I think the somewhat raw Allen Bailey could be groomed possibly into another player with sub downside -- he is a bit light (288), and could use technical improvement, but has good character, and is an off the charts athlete for his size. He could be available at 32.

    But then, I am done with projecting 43ENDs in 34 ENDS, because every draft there is a "guy" who if he could gain 15-20 lbs would maybe make the move, and no one ever drafts them. They draft the big boys that are already that size.

     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    Would it suprise you if he trades up. If he really, really likes a DE that may go 10 would he trade our first (late one), a third (early pick), and a future second. It wouldn't suprise me the rookie pay scale is going to be different in this draft. So money won't be an issue as it has been in the past.

     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    In Response to Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense:
    [QUOTE]Would it suprise you if he trades up. If he really, really likes a DE that may go 10 would he trade our first (late one), a third (early pick), and a future second. It wouldn't suprise me the rookie pay scale is going to be different in this draft. So money won't be an issue as it has been in the past.
    Posted by moorepatsfan54[/QUOTE]


    The problem is that the only two sure fire 34 guys in the first are going to be gone before the 10th selection. Getting from 17 to 6 or 7 to pick Marcel Dareus, who is iffy as a 34 guy IMO, at least in that range, or going from 17 to 1st, what it would take to get Fairley, would cost much, much more than what you are talking about. NE is better off just using their two firsts to restock at other roster spots where they project to be thin next season or want an upgrade.

    I think grabbing some combination of Mike Pouncey at 17 with someone like Brandon Harris at 32 would be great, then making a play for someone like Jeremey Beal in the second or third.

    I honestly don't see the killer DE coming this draft. So NE should just augment other defensive areas that always need extras like OLB and CB. 
     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    ZB, you make a good point about the dearth of DE's , DT's or even OLB's that are worthy of pick #17.

    That  makes it even more likely that we trade down or out of that slot.

     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    yeah, they've come a long way, a +28 turnover ratio is a good measure of their improvement
     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    Prophet, my limited knowledge tells me that #17 is too high for OL also.

    Is Pouncy as good as his brother (who starts for the Steelers)?

     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    I honestly felt that this was a 12-4 team at the beginning of  the year. By contrast, most of the media felt that the Patriots were a team in decline that had lost most of its veteran leadership. The Jets became the flavor of the year to go all the way. The defense has vastly improved from week 2 and developed a knack for getting TOs at pivotal points in the game; meanwhile the offense is the best in the league and hardly ever turns the ball over. If the last 5 games are any indication, the Patriots are a team that is playing its best football at the right time. Fork and Mayo have stepped up and McCourty has become Defensive Rookie Of the Year material (something Belichick and not many other draftniks foresaw). Always felt that, like most Belichick defenses, the D would be much improved by the end of the season (SB?) and that the young players will have absorbed most of the knowledge it takes to run a BB defense.

    I still agree that we need a better pass rush (DE/OLB in draft), however, this team has made huge strides in what many considered a rebuilding year.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Scumion. Show Scumion's posts

    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    Seems to me how good the D is and ultimately how far the team advances in the playoffs hinges a lot on the secondary. 2001 was a very impressive secondary. And by 2004 Belichick was claiming it was the best one he'd ever coached.
    After that it seemed Rodney would go down and we'd get bounced from the playoffs. Well we don't have a Rodney, but we do have a pretty good and versatile 3-headed monster in Chung, Sanders and Meriweather. And McCourty is of course the key. When you have a stud corner you can cheat with those safeties.

    The hope is that with Wlifork and Mayo in the middle doing what they do so effectively that allows everyone else to worry about different jobs. Second half of the season they've looked like a typical Belichick defense.
     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    In Response to Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense:
    [QUOTE]Good article. Vince has stepped up and become a leader. Like I speculated early in the season these guys would improve as the season progressed. Now after 16 games they do not play like rookies anymore. Guys like Mayo (though he's young, too) and Sanders have followed Wlifork's lead, and the young guys have been receptive. They have improved beyond my hopes, and are now one of the better defenses in the league. They are so far ahead of the rest of the league in turnover differential it's scary. Yesterday's games prove how important that is when you get to the postseason. They have also vastly improved in red zone defense, and many of their takeaways have occurred inside their own 20 yard line. As far as stopping the Jests ground game, it will be key. If Sanchez has to try and win this game with his arm it will be a slaughter! They also should have Spikes back, which will help out against the run. Vince will also be great if they do make it to Dallas. He went to the SB as a rookie, and he'll be able to help the young guys handle all the distractions. The sustained success of this team is due to veteran leadership and young guys who play smart. I don't see how the pundits can tout McCarthy for coach of the year when BB has done what he has with all these inexperienced players! This has truly been an amazing season, whatever happens going forward.
    Posted by bubthegrub2[/QUOTE]

    One thing that seems to be overlooked is the stats are based on the whole season. If the numbers were based on the last eight games, their rating as a defense would be considerably better.
     
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    Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense

    In Response to Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: The Improving Patriots' Defense : Pouncey is projected as a guard, but who knows with Dante coaching him up he could have what it takes. 
    Posted by Prophet76[/QUOTE]

    I was thinking guard myself. Although Ne could use another tackle, given how well Connolly has played this season inside, perhaps Carmini is a better option. Anyhow, I could easily see them going OL early. 
     
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