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Breaking in the young players

Posted by Albert Breer  July 2, 2010 01:08 PM

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Now, considering all the turnover on defense, and attrition (Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour), I found it interesting that only five of those 16 players were in their first year with the team.

Those five were Bodden, McGowan, Burgess, Springs and Butler, with Butler being the only player among those with less than four years of NFL experience.

You can glean a couple things from this.

First, the best projection might be to figure a situational role for the rookies (like maybe Brandon Spikes in short yardage, or Jermaine Cunningham as a nickel rusher). And second, a leap in playing time and roles can be expected for young vets like Patrick Chung (195 snaps in 2009), Myron Pryor (284) and Rob Ninkovich (127), who drew significant enough snaps last year to indicate the coaches trusted them to fill a role while breaking them in to the system.

Chung, in particular, is one guy I'd expect to make a leap.

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