Why put Brace under the microscope?
posted at 11/27/2009 9:26 PM ESTI realize that we spend our time here when we're on our computers as an alternative to Facebook, solitaire, WoW, et al, but I think that the time spent contemplating Ron Brace as a bust 7-8 months into his rookie year is asinine.How many college teams play a two-gap system? How many college d-linemen have to use technique as a means by which to beat their inferior opponents from cupcake schools on a regular basis? Or have coaching staffs that teach technique at a pro-level?Off of the top of my head, I can only name two college coaches that would teach NFL-level technique on the defensive line (Nick Saban and Urban Meyer), and out of those two I can only see Saban teaching two-gap for a 3-4 system. I do remember Belichick mentioning that Ty Warren's college team had utilized a system in which the fundamentals were somewhat similar to the Patriots' (Texas A&M???), but other than those three, who else plays ANY 3-4 at all, let alone 3-4 with 2-gap principles?This implies that there are three major learning curves for a defensive line prospect to overcome:(1) Facing top-level talent on EVERY play in EVERY practice and game - there are no I-AA teams in the NFL(2) Learning NFL-level technique - some players who dominated purely based on their talent in college find themselves at the stark realization that every player in the NFL is talented(3) Learning the Patriots' system - and it's pretty complex, featuring two-gap defensive line techniques in the 3-4 that players probably wouldn't have encountered in college, as well as an extensive playbook.Does anybody remember thinking that Ty Warren was a bust his rookie year? That he was a nobody - a lost body next to Richard Seymour? I know some people might not remember, but Ty Warren took a couple years to truly come into his own.Come back to me if Brace hasn't started contributing in two years. I'll try to disregard all other posts that I see about him being a bust in the mean time.
Re: Why put Brace under the microscope?
posted at 11/27/2009 10:09 PM ESTWilfork also sat out most of the time his first year. The next year he was on the field but struggled at times.
The other thing to note is that you don't keep a guy on your roster if he can't get on the field. Roster spots are too precious. If he's a turd he'll get cut or hit the waiver wire. He's still on the team so there is a value there and not a bust.