Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

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

    Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    No one has really even mentioned this, but what do we expect from Hightower in his second season?

    It seems like many forget he is a 1st round selection entering his second season. 

    Is a breakout year neccesary?

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    I wasn't as impressed with Hightower as most were last year. Maybe I missed something, but it seemed like he took some plays off. I can think of a few plays where it seemed like he was jogging and allowed the runner to gain an extra few yards.


    I want to see a little more consistency.

     

    Oh yeah, and tackle the guy. Don't bounce off of him while trying to make a big hit.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    here is where his problem is for what little i saw of him.  Timing.  He waits a little too long to attack and i think its due to him always looking for the second hit; a big one.  Year two they hopefully teach him to not be a hero and just make a play.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    I've said it this off season - this guy was a first round pick...he is the key in our defense improving. We need this guy to be everything they hoped he would be when they drafted him - they thought they were getting a well rounded player with size, that could do everything. He had better be all that, because last year as expected he wasn't...no more excuses, it's year two, we need this guy.

    He's big...he looks like he can pass rush a little. He looks like he will be able to play the run when he stops playing like Andy Katzenmoyer. I imagine he will go into camp and start taking on blocks like Belichick likes, and he will start dropping into coverage the way they need him to. If he comes into camp looking like he spent the off season eating bags of doghnuts, we are in trouble.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    If he and Jones can stay fully healthy, and can take the next steps, this defense could be dominant. Both looked good in stretches last year, Jones especially early in the year. Having a full year in the system can only help them coming into this year. Hopefully they can help acclimate the other new guys.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    Good thread.  I think that we will see Hightower really emerge as a leader and great player for us this year.  I'm expecting to see a big second year jump out of him after getting that first year under his belt.  The LB position requires a bit of a learning curb, and I think he will play a lot faster and more confident this year. 

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    Hightower made some really nice plays last year and dominated at least 2 games.  He's my #1 LB.  He will make both Spikes and Mayo (if he moves back inside, which he better since he has no business playing outside) expandable.  Mark my words.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    In response to tcal2-'s comment:

     

    Hightower made some really nice plays last year and dominated at least 2 games.  He's my #1 LB.  He will make both Spikes and Mayo (if he moves back inside, which he better since he has no business playing outside) expandable.  Mark my words.

     




    That's the key, they have to get Mayo back inside. I think they drafted Collins in part because of that. Mayo is fine inside...not special, but at least compared to the outside he won't be out in space where if there isn't a D lineman taking on the trash for him he's getting locked up on third string tightends while the runner easily blows past him around the corner. This happened too often last year, he made the outside runs way easier than they ever are supposed to be in the NFL. Never mind what the guy is like in coverage. Get him back inside where all he needs to do is have Vince clear a path, so he can run and tackle straight ahead and drop back 10 feet. That's it.

     

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    Times I saw him last year, he was dynamic Pass rusher, in which they didn't use him enough in this roll. Guy is a Bull, strong and powerfull.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    No one has really even mentioned this, but what do we expect from Hightower in his second season?

    It seems like many forget he is a 1st round selection entering his second season. 

    Is a breakout year neccesary?



         ABSOLUTELY! Hightower was a first round pick, whom the Patriots traded up to get. He has the physical measurables that BB craves, for his LBs. Surely, much is expected of him. He doesn't have to make the pro-bowl this year...but he must show dramatic improvement over his rookie year.

     

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    With bigger, stronger D linemen in front of them it's highly likely our defense will play much more aggresively this year and will attack forward instead of falling back, like we've done too often the past few years.  

    Hightower looked great to me, so much so that I wouldn't be opposed to letting Spikes walk if he gets greedy, Dont'a and Mayo might be the best 3/4 inside linebacking tandem in the NFL health permitting.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    The key with Hightower is he is smart and coach able. He will improve every year health permitting. I think Hightower can play inside and outside, as well as DE in the 4/3 is sub packages. 

    Other than coverage, he played like a stud first round draft choice IMO.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    Hightower played quite well for a rookie. LOt's of time on the field in this not so simplistic D. Of course we expect some improvements over last year as his reaction times should be improved and he should be able to play a little more instinctively ... and so a little more aggressively.

     

    I have high hopes for him. I think he becomes the new McGinest... but he could be the new Sam Hunt (huge ILB from the hugely physical and dominant 1976 Pats). Even if not he should be a strong player in this D.

     

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    Yeah, alot of these rookies in that position sometimes have to think too much.

    The defense they're playing is much more complicated than what they run in college.

    So, as portfolio1 said, he should improve when able to play more instinctively.  

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    That he could come in and contribute says a lot about him.  I think he has a lot of upside once he really learns what BB wants from him.  Versatile guy who can pass rush and hold up against the run.  Future leader of this defense. 

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    He didn't look like a bust his first year. To say he was a good 1st round pick requires him to step it up this time around. Looking promising gets old after your rookie year when big resources were used to acquire you.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    The top 3 inside linebackers from last year's rookie class, in my opinion, were Luke Keuchly (Panthers), Bobby Wagner (Seahawks) and Dont'a Hightower. They were all high draft picks. The following were their rookie year stats:


    Stat              Luke Kuechly       Bobby Wagner      Dont'a Hightower

    Games                 16                         16                           14

    Tackles               103                        87                           43

    Assists                 61                         53                           14

    Sacks                    1                           2                            4

    Pass Defended       8                           4                            3

    These stats support what we saw on the field. Dont'a did not have as strong a year as the other two. Maybe that's because he wasn't in as many plays as the other two, and that would be the coach's call. But I thought Dont'a started stronger than he finished. Hopefully, a year of experience will make him smarter but I would give him average grades for his rookie year.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    In response to neinmd's comment:

    The top 3 inside linebackers from last year's rookie class, in my opinion, were Luke Keuchly (Panthers), Bobby Wagner (Seahawks) and Dont'a Hightower. They were all high draft picks. The following were their rookie year stats:


    Stat              Luke Kuechly       Bobby Wagner      Dont'a Hightower

    Games                 16                         16                           14

    Tackles               103                        87                           43

    Assists                 61                         53                           14

    Sacks                    1                           2                            4

    Pass Defended       8                           4                            3

    These stats support what we saw on the field. Dont'a did not have as strong a year as the other two. Maybe that's because he wasn't in as many plays as the other two, and that would be the coach's call. But I thought Dont'a started stronger than he finished. Hopefully, a year of experience will make him smarter but I would give him average grades for his rookie year.




    Kuechly is immense.  If he had played in the SEC he'd have endorsements like Matthews or Urlacher.  If he had gone to ND instead of BC he would have been a Heisman Finalist.  No way Teo is as good as Kuechly.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    In response to neinmd's comment:

    The top 3 inside linebackers from last year's rookie class, in my opinion, were Luke Keuchly (Panthers), Bobby Wagner (Seahawks) and Dont'a Hightower. They were all high draft picks. The following were their rookie year stats:


    Stat              Luke Kuechly       Bobby Wagner      Dont'a Hightower

    Games                 16                         16                           14

    Tackles               103                        87                           43

    Assists                 61                         53                           14

    Sacks                    1                           2                            4

    Pass Defended       8                           4                            3

    These stats support what we saw on the field. Dont'a did not have as strong a year as the other two. Maybe that's because he wasn't in as many plays as the other two, and that would be the coach's call. But I thought Dont'a started stronger than he finished. Hopefully, a year of experience will make him smarter but I would give him average grades for his rookie year.



         Maybe that was because he was over-drafted, too. Though he wasn't terrible as a rookie, he wasn't much of an impact player, either. Her needs to show marked improvement this year...and be a much more consistent contributor.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    Kuechly is the best linebacker of his draft class and a hell of a player, but the Panthers played a 4/3 which means lots of tackles for mlbs and the Panthers aren't exactly the Patriots.  

    Hightower also will play a slightly different position inside in the 3/4, or even outside in the hybrid four man front they employ, but inside he is a just scary as a "Mike" linebacker that Spikes is now playing.  He covers ground much more effortlessly than Spikes and is talented enough to excel at any linebacker position.  

    Those guys have to take a pounding in todays NFL, meeting a pulling guard is strenuous work. For that reason Hightower is huge, mobile and athletic, he's Ted Johnson 2.0 but maybe a shade quicker at 270 pounds (35 more pounds than Luke).

    With four linebacker positions to man, a starting unit of Spikes and Mayo inside with Fletcher providing relief, and a rotation of Nincovich, Jones, Collins outside with Hightower being the swing guy is dominance.

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    as a 1st rounder, I expect him to progress and Take a leadership role in the offense.

    breakout year? I am not sure how you quantify that. I thought his stats from last year were pretty good. When compared to kuechly and Wagner, it mentions games, but how many defensive snaps did each take to produce those results? 

    I don't think we can simply look at the stats as an indicator of a breakout year. Example, if our expectations he has more than 4 sacks, is that realistic given bb may use him differently, or that he may get more or less defensive snaps and shots to sack? 

    As long as I see a progression I am happy. This includes his reaction time. I thought he was a tad slow last year trying to diagnose. I maybe this is learning related. With a year in the system, I want to see him diagnose better and attack quicker. That will produce better results. 

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    In response to TexasPat's comment:

    In response to neinmd's comment:

     

    The top 3 inside linebackers from last year's rookie class, in my opinion, were Luke Keuchly (Panthers), Bobby Wagner (Seahawks) and Dont'a Hightower. They were all high draft picks. The following were their rookie year stats:


    Stat              Luke Kuechly       Bobby Wagner      Dont'a Hightower

    Games                 16                         16                           14

    Tackles               103                        87                           43

    Assists                 61                         53                           14

    Sacks                    1                           2                            4

    Pass Defended       8                           4                            3

    These stats support what we saw on the field. Dont'a did not have as strong a year as the other two. Maybe that's because he wasn't in as many plays as the other two, and that would be the coach's call. But I thought Dont'a started stronger than he finished. Hopefully, a year of experience will make him smarter but I would give him average grades for his rookie year.

     



         Maybe that was because he was over-drafted, too. Though he wasn't terrible as a rookie, he wasn't much of an impact player, either. Her needs to show marked improvement this year...and be a much more consistent contributor.

     




    Or maybe you just have unrealistic expectations as usual? TP, is there anyone on the Pats that you think is even just adequate?

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

    Re: Under-discussed: Dont'a Hightower?

    If the Pats use a 3-4 alignment I'd like to see who goes where Chandler (elephant) and Hightower and Collins included. Or who gets used in the sub packages. Obviously different LBs bring different skills sets and some need to be coached up a little.

     
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