Re: What is BB doing with the front seven?
posted at 4/29/2013 8:21 AM EDT
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
One of the more interesting stories, I think, as we head toward training camp is what will BB do with this front seven? With the pick of Collins, there's lots of speculation that we're headed back to a 3-4. Maybe. But when I look at the DLs, I don't see a lot of guys who look like traditional two-gap style DEs. Wilfork, of course, can be a two-gapping NT and Kelly is another versatile guy who could play a lot of two-gap, but when you look at the DL the one thing that stands out is how many of the guys on the roster right now are really edge type players--lighter and faster than typical two-gappers.
My take is BB is going to continue the evolution toward a faster, more versatile front seven (or even front eight, since I think safeties will often play like LBs.). He'll probably play two DTs in the center who, along with Spikes, will create a powerful, run-stopping core of the defense. But around that core, I see a lot of guys who are going to be hard to categorize as either LBs or DEs. In fact, I think the defense is going to be full of hybrid type players--guys who seem like blends of DEs and LBs and also guys who seem like blends of LBs and Safeties. I don't think it's going to be easy to characterize this as 3-4 or 4-3. Instead, I'm seeing a defense who's hallmark is flexibility, with a lot of guys who can attack the LOS or drop back into coverage. Can't wait to see what BB does, but I think we'll see some interesting innovation from him this season. Don't expect the ordinary!
I completely agree that the “4-3/3-4” doesn’t really apply, the Pats definitely have a hybrid type of defense. They already had guys like Ninkovich who has played 3-4/3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE, I think Hightower is another guy like that maybe Cunningham too, as he has played on this inside of the line and as a 3-4 OLB and 4-3DE.
Anyone can rush the passer, drop into coverage, etc. at any time, and there will always be someone to fill a position if there is an injury. It would be really interesting for someone (smarter than I) to come up with some different possible “looks” this defense could put out there.
Anyways, it is going to be fun to watch this defense come into it’s own, I really feel that they have a lot of talent, not too many weaknesses and a plethora of depth (that is assuming the picks from last year take the year 2 leap).
A guy like Logan Ryan who probably is talented enough (although we haven’t seen him actually play an NFL snap) to be a number 2 corner, can be their #4 or #5 corner.
The only position on the team that I’m a little worried about depth is the interior O-line, but I trust that Scar will coach some guys up, and they will be fine. Maybe Cannon makes a move to Guard this offseason?