Jump to content


Yo! You're not logged in. Why am I seeing this ad?

SOSH

OK we're back on our main server.  It was taking a super long time to move *everything* back just to save a day's worth of messages.  I've been at this all day now and need to get back to my real job so.,... sorry.  Working on a better plan in case this happens again.  nip

Photo

Primary Concern: The Secondary?


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Reverend


  • needs sharper knives


  • 19348 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

Judging by the interest a day after this was leaked, I'd say there's a ton of interest in Revis which will only up the price.  Multiple people think Revis will command a #1 even coming off an ACL surgery.  Hell, coming back from a torn ACL is so routine these days I wouldn't think twice about offering up a price equal to if he was healthy.  Look at Adrian Peterson if you want to see how someone can come off that injury.  Judging the Patriots' needs and the prediction that this year's free agency won't be a big bidding war meaning you can get good value for guys that will give you good production, trading for Revis would be a no-brainer from a Patriots perspective. 

 

Now, if you're the Jets you would make the Patriots pay a premium for him and I'd be fine with that.  You pay a premium for premium talent.  The Patriots need to realize that you need to pay money if you want to bring in secondary help.  We all know Revis won't get the money he's seeking from anyone, but I'd pay over 10 million a year for him.  We all say they need a #1 corner to shut down the best WR, well here he is.

 


Lots of talk scattered across threads: seems like we need a thread on the secondary.

 

Revis? Talib? Draft? FA?

 

What do we think about the future of I-Dowling, anyway?



#2 Papelbon's Poutine

  • 4307 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

I don't think there's any chance the Jets trade Revis to the Pats unless they overpay significantly. They would get skewered by everyone, the press, fans, etc. No way a new GM walks in and that's his first move.

 

I think you have to resign Talib - first order of business, before Welker or anyone else. I'm not sure they'll have the cap room to go after Byrd or Goldson (assuming they aren't tagged), but if they have it, I'd love to see them go after either.

 

Draft, I don't think Vaccarro slides to them and I don't see another S worth a 1st rounder, so you're probably looking at either best CB available or waiting until our second round pick for a S.

 

Dowling (the I is attached to his first name), can't be counted on for anything, If he manages to be healthy, great, nice surprise. But don't even factor him into the equation heading into the offseason.



#3 Reverend


  • needs sharper knives


  • 19348 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:34 PM

Dowling (the I is attached to his first name), can't be counted on for anything, If he manages to be healthy, great, nice surprise. But don't even factor him into the equation heading into the offseason.

 

I say it like "I-Robot" in my head. I had high hopes for him. Heck, his health may be the difference for one or two Super Bowls.  :smith:



#4 Super Nomario


  • SoSH Member


  • 6398 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:48 PM


Lots of talk scattered across threads: seems like we need a thread on the secondary.

 

Revis? Talib? Draft? FA?

 

What do we think about the future of I-Dowling, anyway?

I don't think Revis is really realistic. Talib is the obvious move, but a combination of injury history, knucklehead history, and cost might make that not a good option. The draft is a possibility, but they really need someone who can contribute next year (Talib and Arrington are both FAs) and I'm not sure you'd pencil anyone in as a day one starter.

 

Dowling was basically fourth on the depth chart at the beginning of the year behind McCourty, Arrington, and Sterling Moore, than he suffered a season-ending injury the extent of which is unknown. I don't think it's at all clear that he's a contributor even if healthy.

 

 

If Talib is too expensive, we could see McCourty back at corner. Part of it depends on how Wilson's development progresses; I think it says something that Wilson played over Chung as the dimeback but Chung played over Wilson at safety when McCourty slid back to CB. I think Steve Gregory was probably our worst starter on either side of the ball at the end of the year, but clearly he does something the coaching staff likes.

 

Arrington is also a free agent and the Pats have to decide whether he's OK as slot corner or they need to upgrade. I think he's probably back regardless , as I don't think he'll be too expensive, he can play two positions semi-competently and he's a good special teams player.



#5 mwonow

  • 1361 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:30 PM

As was noted in another thread, two of the five DB positions (everyone is in sub enough so that you want to have real depth for two outside corners and a slot guy, plus two safeties - else, you end up with Marquis Cole) are in pretty good hands with Dennard and McCourty. The need for Talib/equivalent (CB1) and Arrington/better (3rd corner) is pretty acute. So, too, though - at least in my opinion - is a safety who complements McCourty by thumping people. As a safety, Gregory is pretty well at the extreme low end of the "thump" scale, so there are three pretty glaring holes in the secondary going into FA/draft.

 

You wouldn't think at most of these positions - CB3, safety capable of hitting/TE coverage/run support, and for that matter, coverage linebacker with special teams value - would be impossible to fill (and yet, you'd probably say the same about 1B and LF in baseball...). CB1 isn't an easy position to fill at all - and we've seen the Pats whiff so consistently in the draft that I'd be fine with a FA overpay. Talib back, even if it's at Welker-like (or "almost Welker") money, makes sense to me...



#6 Papelbon's Poutine

  • 4307 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

That's way to much to pay for Talib. He's not a top ten CB. He's the best we had and is close to that level, but if he costs that much, thanks and have a nice career. With his injury and off field issues, $5-6m per max. $10m per year he's not getting.

#7 Super Nomario


  • SoSH Member


  • 6398 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:52 PM

As was noted in another thread, two of the five DB positions (everyone is in sub enough so that you want to have real depth for two outside corners and a slot guy, plus two safeties - else, you end up with Marquis Cole) are in pretty good hands with Dennard and McCourty. The need for Talib/equivalent (CB1) and Arrington/better (3rd corner) is pretty acute. So, too, though - at least in my opinion - is a safety who complements McCourty by thumping people. As a safety, Gregory is pretty well at the extreme low end of the "thump" scale, so there are three pretty glaring holes in the secondary going into FA/draft.

Tavon Wilson seemed like a pretty good thumper when he played, and he was used a lot to cover TEs in his dimeback role. The problem is he was vulnerable as a deep man in a cover-2 setup. But the solution depends on how the Patriots use their safeties. As the season went on, they played a lot of man-free with McCourty playing deep centerfield and Gregory underneath in a robber role. Since none of the LB are particularly good cover guys, it made sense to have the two safeties as coverage-type players and let the linebackers lay the big wood. If the Pats decide one of their safeties needs to be a physical dude, they need a LB who can cover to compensate.

 

Ultimately, I don't agree that a hard-hitting safety should be a priority. On some of the biggest plays Sunday Brandon Spikes, the Pats' hardest hitter, was on Dennis Pitta, and he couldn't do anything because he can't run with Pitta. I think it's a sounder strategy to have players cover TEs over the middle than to try to intimidate them into dropping passes even though they're wide open.



#8 Shelterdog


  • SoSH Member


  • 8597 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

I can live with what we have at safety assuming we keep McCourty there, and hopefully Wilson is able to push Gregory next year.  

 

The corner position is dire.  We have one decent player under contract in Dennard and after that it's Dowling and Malcolm Williams.  The team needs to add about four corners, at least two of whom (the presumptive starter and the presumptive nickel back) have to be pretty damn good.



#9 phragle


  • wild card bitches


  • 10803 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:08 PM

I don't know how much demand there is going to be for Talib. He was only acquired for a 4th round pick. That's less than what it costs the Jets to get Tebow. I wonder what the average free agent contract is for players acquired for a 4th round pick. 



#10 SeoulSoxFan


  • SoSH Member


  • 10160 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

I don't know how much demand there is going to be for Talib. He was only acquired for a 4th round pick. That's less than what it costs the Jets to get Tebow. I wonder what the average free agent contract is for players acquired for a 4th round pick. 

 

The 4th was for a malcontent who had a fallout with the FO and the coach. With his choir boy behavior, and the overhyped "transformation" of the Pats secondary after his arrival, not sure if you can still project him as a "4th pick" player. 

 

I can live with what we have at safety assuming we keep McCourty there, and hopefully Wilson is able to push Gregory next year.  

 

The corner position is dire.  We have one decent player under contract in Dennard and after that it's Dowling and Malcolm Williams.  The team needs to add about four corners, at least two of whom (the presumptive starter and the presumptive nickel back) have to be pretty damn good.

 

This makes a ton of sense for me, and Tavon Austin doesn't.

 

Not to drift into the draft talk but shouldn't Xavier Rhodes (6'1" / 217lbs / 4.54) or a reach of one David Amerson (6' 3" / 194 lb - great breakdown here) be in the mix as one of the 4 spots? 

 

Posted somewhere else, but:

  • OCB: Talib (resign)
  • OCB: Dennard
  • OCB: Rhodes or Amerson (draft)
  • OCB: Dowling (last chance)
  • SCB: Arrington (resign)
  • ST/CB: Williams or replacement 

With a number of DB cap casualties/releases (Asomugha, Eric Wright, Terrence McGee, or even Carlos Rogers) being complete wild cards.



#11 Super Nomario


  • SoSH Member


  • 6398 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:23 PM

This makes a ton of sense for me, and Tavon Austin doesn't.

WR's in the same position as CB, essentially, with just Lloyd and flotsam and jetsam (Kamar Aiken, Matt Slater, Jeremy Ebert, Andre Holmes, Shun White) under contract for next year.

Not to drift into the draft talk but shouldn't Xavier Rhodes (6'1" / 217lbs / 4.54) or a reach of one David Amerson (6' 3" / 194 lb - great breakdown here) be in the mix as one of the 4 spots? 

That breakdown of Amerson makes him sound like more of a Gregory replacement. With his height and zone instincts he seems like he would great covering TEs and robbing underneath routes, and such a role would minimize his sub-average speed.

Posted somewhere else, but:

  • OCB: Talib (resign)
  • OCB: Dennard
  • OCB: Rhodes or Amerson (draft)
  • OCB: Dowling (last chance)
  • SCB: Arrington (resign)
  • ST/CB: Williams or replacement 

With a number of DB cap casualties/releases (Asomugha, Eric Wright, Terrence McGee, or even Carlos Rogers) being complete wild cards.

If Dowling is the 4th or 5th corner, I don't think he makes the team because he has no special teams value. I think this approach makes sense though; re-sign guys and build some depth through the draft and low-end FA but don't count on the new guys.



#12 phragle


  • wild card bitches


  • 10803 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

The 4th was for a malcontent who had a fallout with the FO and the coach. With his choir boy behavior, and the overhyped "transformation" of the Pats secondary after his arrival, not sure if you can still project him as a "4th pick" player. 

 

He had a fallout but he was available to every team and only brought back a fourth, and a Patriots fourth is like a fifth. For a player of his talent, that's basically no return at all. He was only here a couple months. It's not like he's been reborn as some off the field angel. He still shot at a guy. You're crazy if you don't think there's still serious off the field risk.

 

The biggest part of the defenses "transformation" was McCourty to safety. He's the first safety we had that could play the ball and not blow coverages all game.



#13 SeoulSoxFan


  • SoSH Member


  • 10160 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

If Dowling is the 4th or 5th corner, I don't think he makes the team because he has no special teams value.

 

I'd bet he still makes the team even as a project to a converted FS. Many posters back in the original draft thread about the similarities between Eugene Wilson and Dowling.

 

If the front-seven can continue to develop with 2nd year Jones, Hightower, and even a decent year out of Armstead (not counting on it), it could mean BB continuing with 2 FS with Gregory playing his -- rightful -- reserve role. 



#14 SeoulSoxFan


  • SoSH Member


  • 10160 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:35 PM

He had a fallout but he was available to every team and only brought back a fourth, and a Patriots fourth is like a fifth. For a player of his talent, that's basically no return at all. He was only here a couple months. It's not like he's been reborn as some off the field angel. He still shot at a guy. You're crazy if you don't think there's still serious off the field risk.

 

The biggest part of the defenses "transformation" was McCourty to safety. He's the first safety we had that could play the ball and not blow coverages all game.

 

Hope you're right phragle, and other teams may view Patriots as one of only a few teams that can keep Talib in check. 

 

Agree on the second part also -- thus "overhyped" in quotes. 



#15 Shelterdog


  • SoSH Member


  • 8597 posts

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:09 PM

So the franchise tag for corners is going to be about 10.6

 

I'm starting to think they use it on Talib.  



#16 Super Nomario


  • SoSH Member


  • 6398 posts

Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:41 AM

I have my year-end numbers on the secondary up on my blog, if anyone is interested:

http://davebreaksdow...al-numbers.html

 

I have McCourty as a corner with about the same stats as Talib. I think Talib is asked to do more (McCourty couldn't have followed Andre Johnson around in man coverage all game), but McCourty's more durable and has less of a knucklehead factor. Can you get a replacement FS for cheaper than you can resign Talib?

 

I have Arrington as statistically the best Patriots corner for the last 10 games - 44% completion against, 6.33 Y/A. Even against Baltimore I have him as 7 targets, 3 catches, 49 yards.

 

Brandon Spikes in the playoffs: 9 targets, 9 catches allowed, 73 yards and a TD. He's not a 3-down player for a team that's serious about defending the pass.

 

Dennard was good again Sunday. He's been good almost every week. Statistically he was the best New England corner this season. Who knows whether he'll improve next year or take a bit of a step back, but if he's ready to make the leap to a borderline Pro-Bowl CB, does that affect whether you re-sign Talib?



#17 Reverend


  • needs sharper knives


  • 19348 posts

Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

That breakdown of Amerson makes him sound like more of a Gregory replacement. With his height and zone instincts he seems like he would great covering TEs and robbing underneath routes, and such a role would minimize his sub-average speed.

 

I started poking around after wondering about what SSF posted about Rhodes (6'1" 217???) and found this interesting blog post on CBs and 40 speed. It's not crazy rigorous or definitive, obviously, but it offers a very nice data-driven overview on how CBs have fared in the NFL in relation to their speed.

 

FWIW, Dennard ran a 4.55. Talib ran a 4.44. Arrington a 4.55. McCourty a 4.41.

 

Also found this--careful, it stings a bit.



#18 ragnarok725

  • 3975 posts

Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:41 PM

I have my year-end numbers on the secondary up on my blog, if anyone is interested:

http://davebreaksdow...al-numbers.html

 

I have McCourty as a corner with about the same stats as Talib. I think Talib is asked to do more (McCourty couldn't have followed Andre Johnson around in man coverage all game), but McCourty's more durable and has less of a knucklehead factor. Can you get a replacement FS for cheaper than you can resign Talib?

 

I have Arrington as statistically the best Patriots corner for the last 10 games - 44% completion against, 6.33 Y/A. Even against Baltimore I have him as 7 targets, 3 catches, 49 yards.

 

Brandon Spikes in the playoffs: 9 targets, 9 catches allowed, 73 yards and a TD. He's not a 3-down player for a team that's serious about defending the pass.

 

Dennard was good again Sunday. He's been good almost every week. Statistically he was the best New England corner this season. Who knows whether he'll improve next year or take a bit of a step back, but if he's ready to make the leap to a borderline Pro-Bowl CB, does that affect whether you re-sign Talib?

 

The bolded is a huge deal and I think really the secret to the deficiencies of the pass defense. Their numbers against top receivers this year were never all that bad. It was third receivers and TEs that killed them, and it's because they really have no personnel that can match up with the Dennis Pittas of the world. Tavon Wilson is probably the best bet - he did OK in TE coverage when given that role, but it didn't look like BB ever had confidence in him as a full-time player (and rightly so after the disaster in Seattle). Maybe he progresses and becomes that guy, but I really think they need a big safety/quick LB hybrid player that can play on 2nd and long/3rd down, not be an enormous liability against the run, and competently cover in space and press TEs. 

 

If they can retain Dennard/Talib on the outside and Arrington in the slot, then upgrade that TE coverage role I'd feel OK about the safeties. If they can't find an upgrade to that position then they need more advanced play from the role Gregory is playing. He's adequate at best at what he does.



#19 mwonow

  • 1361 posts

Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

I started poking around after wondering about what SSF posted about Rhodes (6'1" 217???) and found this interesting blog post on CBs and 40 speed. It's not crazy rigorous or definitive, obviously, but it offers a very nice data-driven overview on how CBs have fared in the NFL in relation to their speed.

 

FWIW, Dennard ran a 4.55. Talib ran a 4.44. Arrington a 4.55. McCourty a 4.41.

 

Also found this--careful, it stings a bit.

 

Good article on speed - thanks!

 

The Ras-I one would've stung a year ago - now, I've come to grips with the fact that he just doesn't have a pro athlete's body - like a bunch of other guys (Jed Lowrie, anyone?) he seems like he has the skills to be an asset, but can't stay on the field long enough to translate that into a contribution to team success...



#20 Super Nomario


  • SoSH Member


  • 6398 posts

Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:09 PM

I started poking around after wondering about what SSF posted about Rhodes (6'1" 217???) and found this interesting blog post on CBs and 40 speed. It's not crazy rigorous or definitive, obviously, but it offers a very nice data-driven overview on how CBs have fared in the NFL in relation to their speed.

 

FWIW, Dennard ran a 4.55. Talib ran a 4.44. Arrington a 4.55. McCourty a 4.41.

Thanks, this is interesting. Per NFL draft scout none of the top 10 CB prospects are below 4.4 ("elite" speed per the author of that link). David Amerson (4.59 40) is worse than the 4.55 time the author identified as a minimum threshold for success, and a couple other guys (Xavier Rhodes at 4.54, Johnathan Banks at 4.52, Logan Ryan at 4.53, Will Davis at 4.53) are also in that range.

 

Historically, the Pats have tended to steer clear of CBs with 40 teams worse than 4.5:

2001 3rd Brock Williams 4.46 (didn't make team)

2003 2nd Eugene Wilson 4.48 (moved to FS)

2003 4th Asante Samuel 4.49

2005 3rd Ellis Hobbs 4.45

2008 2nd Terrence Wheatley 4.37

2008 4th Jonathan Wilhite 4.38

2009 2nd Darius Butler 4.41

2010 1st Devin McCourty 4.38

2011 2nd Ras-I Dowling 4.40

 

Only 9 players, so it's not a huge sample size, but they've tended to take faster guys and the higher the pick, the better the 40 time.



#21 MarcSullivaFan

  • 1814 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:40 AM

 
I started poking around after wondering about what SSF posted about Rhodes (6'1" 217???) and found this interesting blog post on CBs and 40 speed. It's not crazy rigorous or definitive, obviously, but it offers a very nice data-driven overview on how CBs have fared in the NFL in relation to their speed.
 
FWIW, Dennard ran a 4.55. Talib ran a 4.44. Arrington a 4.55. McCourty a 4.41.
 
Also found this--careful, it stings a bit.


Thanks. That is a thoughtful post. Two questions sprung to mind: First, is combine speed alone an accurate measure of 40 time? Every year it seems like a few guys generally thought to have goo speed run a lousy 40 at the combine and then do much better at pro day. I wonder whether averaging the two times would result in an even stronger correlation with AV. Second, I'd like to see whether 40 time matters as much for corners who play primarily in the slot. I'm guessing it doesn't--I would guess that quickness and cutting ability would be more important when you're trying to cover the Welkers and Browns.

Also, I wonder whether 40 time is similarly important for guys who return kickoffs.

#22 j44thor

  • 3969 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:08 AM

The 40 time really seems rather useless as a measure of effective CB play.  I really wish the Pats wouldn't use this as a defining metric.  Lets take a look at the 40 times of the top CB duo in the game today.

 

Brandon Browner - 4.63 (prob why he went undrafted)

Richard Sherman - 4.54 (prob why he lasted until the 5th rd)

 

Another one worth mentioning is Brent Grimes - 4.55 (also undrafted FA)

 

Why does anyone care if a CB can run in a straight line really fast?  That skill is only put to use if the CB is beat deep because of poor route judgement.  They could have a blazing 40 but if they can't get their hips turned quickly enough they could be slower on the field than someone running a 4.7  40.

 

 

 

Just read that link upthread and wonder if there has been a shift in the game over the last couple years that allows bigger slower CB's to be more successful now as opposed to the 10yrs during that study.  It is possible that the 3 I listed are simply anomalies but I wonder if their is a fundamental change that is now allowing more physical albeit slower CBs to be successful.  Perhaps with teams really emphasizing the pass rush they aren't asking their CBs to cover deep like they might have a few years back?

 

I don't know the answer but it is probably worth investigating why suddenly CBs with +4.5 speed are succeeding when historically that has not been the case.  Perhaps there is some value in the draft or even UDFA market by targeting some of these CB's.


Edited by j44thor, 28 January 2013 - 08:20 AM.


#23 Shelterdog


  • SoSH Member


  • 8597 posts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:52 AM

The 40 time really seems rather useless as a measure of effective CB play.  I really wish the Pats wouldn't use this as a defining metric.  Lets take a look at the 40 times of the top CB duo in the game today.

 

Brandon Browner - 4.63 (prob why he went undrafted)

Richard Sherman - 4.54 (prob why he lasted until the 5th rd)

 

Another one worth mentioning is Brent Grimes - 4.55 (also undrafted FA)

 

Why does anyone care if a CB can run in a straight line really fast?  That skill is only put to use if the CB is beat deep because of poor route judgement.  They could have a blazing 40 but if they can't get their hips turned quickly enough they could be slower on the field than someone running a 4.7  40.

 

 

 

Just read that link upthread and wonder if there has been a shift in the game over the last couple years that allows bigger slower CB's to be more successful now as opposed to the 10yrs during that study.  It is possible that the 3 I listed are simply anomalies but I wonder if their is a fundamental change that is now allowing more physical albeit slower CBs to be successful.  Perhaps with teams really emphasizing the pass rush they aren't asking their CBs to cover deep like they might have a few years back?

 

I don't know the answer but it is probably worth investigating why suddenly CBs with +4.5 speed are succeeding when historically that has not been the case.  Perhaps there is some value in the draft or even UDFA market by targeting some of these CB's.

 

First I doubt the patriots use the 40 as a "defining metric."  Like virtually everybody in the leagye, they draft fast corners.

 

As to why a couple of slower corners have done well, the most obvious point is that Browner, Carr and Sherman are big dudes. Browner and Sherman are 6'3' or 6'4' and Carr is 6'0", 205ish.  The refs are generally letting corners be a lot more physical lately so this favors big powerful guys.


A second thing to keep in mind is that the 40 yard dash only tells you what a fresh, rested athlete does.  I'd be a lot more interested in what a corner can run in pads his 10th 40 yard dash in a half hour, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of the corners who have outplayed their draft status are players with great functional speed and endurance. 


Two other points:

 

*Published 40 times are often a little sketchy--they're not always apples to apples comparisons as the timing methods at the combine shift a little from year to year, and pro day times are just kind of made up.

 

*I'm sure player speeds change after they've been in the pros a few years.  Repeated contact can slow you down, conditioning, strength training, additional physical maturity and increased flexibility can make you faster, but certainly some players hit a point where they get so big they lose speed (Mayo looks like a case in point).


Edited by Shelterdog, 28 January 2013 - 09:02 AM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users