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May 21, 2007
The signing of Junior Seau helps address the team’s depth at linebacker. Seau immediately becomes one of the top five linebackers, alongside Tedy Bruschi, Rosevelt Colvin, Adalius Thomas and Mike Vrabel.
The addition of Seau gives the Patriots more flexibility and should allow the team to tap into the versatility of players like Mike Vrabel and Adalius Thomas, who can play both inside and outside linebacker. It also opens the possibility that the Patriots could sometimes line up with all five top linebackers on the field, potentially creating confusion to opposing offensive lines as to where the rush linebackers are coming from.
Seau is purely an inside linebacker and projects to be used on early downs, coming off the field in obvious passing situations. His presence also gives the Patriots some time to develop younger linebackers.
The Patriots’ linebacking corps now looks like this:
Eric Alexander –- Third-year player who started his first contest in the AFC Championship game. Mostly an inside linebacker and special teams presence.
Kyle Bissinger -– Rookie free agent is a longer shot to make the roster and was lining up inside and outside at rookie minicamp.
Tedy Bruschi –- Starter and inspirational leader enters his 12th season. Purely an inside linebacker.
Rosevelt Colvin –- Nine-year veteran lines up at outside linebacker and is a top pass-rushing threat.
Larry Izzo –- Entering his 12th season, his primary contributions come on special teams.
Oscar Lua -– Seventh-round draft choice will be groomed for the future at inside linebacker.
Corey Mays –- Second-year player out of Notre Dame made mark on special teams last season and will look to make the next step at inside linebacker.
Justin Rogers –- Sixth-round draft choice out of SMU will be groomed for the future at outside linebacker.
Junior Seau –- Eighteen-year veteran showed he can help on the field, and will also be a strong influence to younger players.
Adalius Thomas –- Prized free-agent signing can line up at various spots and should be a three-down player.
Mike Vrabel –- Entering his 11th season, the athletic Vrabel is valuable as a run stuffer and as a pass-rush threat. He has been a three-down player in recent years and that should continue.
Pierre Woods –- Second-year player from Michigan was third on the outside linebacker depth chart in 2006 and faces increased competition this year.
Posted By: mreiss
| Time: 03:13:32 PM | E-mail