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ICB's Training Camp Competition Previews: OLB

 
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Who starts at OLB?
Shawn Crable
50%
 50%  [ 10 ]
Pierre Woods
30%
 30%  [ 6 ]
Tully Banta-Cain
10%
 10%  [ 2 ]
Vince Redd
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
The Patriots will acquire a veteran OLB
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 20

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icecoldbruschi


Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Posts: 9608
Location: Titletown
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:07 am    Post subject: ICB's Training Camp Competition Previews: OLB Reply with quote

Shawn Crable vs. Pierre Woods vs. Tully Banta-Cain vs. Vince Redd


The Patriots lost a great player this offseason with the departure of Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs. Not only was Vrabel a great pass rusher and run stopper, but he was also a great leader in the locker room and always made big plays at big times. Whoever wins this job will have some big shoes to fill. Vrabel only had 4 sacks in 2008 after coming off his only Pro Bowl appearance in 2007; therefore, production-wise, the winner of this battle should not only be able to match his numbers, but should surpass them.



Shawn Crable was drafted out of the University of Michigan in the 3rd Round of the 2008 Draft. He looked great in preseason last year with 2.5 sacks, an INT, a couple of pass deflections and a bunch of tackles. He looked great in all aspects of the game. However, a season-ending injury took away his entire regular season. With an entire year to learn the defensive scheme, Crable should be ready to contribute. I really do believe that he is a potential star and breakout player this season should he win the job.
Odds to Start: 40%



Despite being given opportunities, Pierre Woods has never quite put it together. Woods has actually received quite a bit of playing time during his tenure here, having 3 starts to his name last year after Adalius Thomas' injury. His most notable play during his professional career would most likely be the fumble in Super Bowl XLII, which he failed to fall on and secure. Woods has been a special teams ace and could fill the void left by Larry Izzo. His experience in the system as well as his physical NFL readiness are the two main advantages he has in this battle.
Odds to Start: 35%



Tully Banta-Cain left New England for a big paycheck two seasons ago. The lasting impression that most fans have of him is the Colts' second half comeback where both TBC and Eric Alexander were exposed as frauds. Banta-Cain has always been a situational pass rusher and little more. His best season came in 2006, where he piled up 5.5 sacks. The big advantage that Banta-Cain has is starting experience in the NFL. If he regains his form from 2006, I really think that he is the darkhorse to win this matchup and start for us.
Odds to Start: 23%



Vince Redd gets a ton of love from this forum. He's big, he's fast, he's strong. We get it, the guy has all the measurables. However, football is not played in a 40 yard dash, or else the Raiders would win the Super Bowl every year. Make no mistake about it, Redd is still very raw and he is still a project. Could he be a force in this league someday? Sure, he has the physical makeup to do so. This preseason will certainly be telling and I'm sure that Patriots fans would love to see significant improvement from last year. I really think that we are still a bit away from Vince Redd seeing any significant in-game action.
Odds to Start: 2%

My Prediction: I could legitimately see Crable, Woods or Banta-Cain starting this season. This is the competition that will center the most on preseason performances, but I will go with Crable for now. Regardless, I think that all 3 will see significant playing time in rotations. I think that there is a possibility that Vince Redd is cut, but like the others, his fate will also be determined in preseason practices and games. This is definitely a battle to keep an eye on, as it could go any way. Also keep in mind that the starter at this position may not even be on the roster at this time. I would bet against it personally, but there is a possibility of the Patriots acquiring at veteran at this position. The Patriots have had rumored/confirmed interest in Julius Peppers, Jason Taylor and Derrick Burgess this offseason.
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GoldenboyGB


Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 10679
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woods has without a doubt come a long way. Coming from undrafted FA to maybe a starter on defense. He has made strides and you cant be anything but proud for the man. His time to sit back on the bench has come though.

Crable has dedicated the time in the weight room and the film room now we get to see if he can do the things we assume he can. Which is rush the passer and set the edge.

Problem I had with Woods this past year was that he was iffy in coverage and honestly wasnt that great of an overall tackler. Its Pierres job to lose but it should be Crables job day 1 of the regular season.
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Donut


Joined: 13 Jan 2008
Posts: 12537
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GoldenboyGB wrote:
Woods has without a doubt come a long way. Coming from undrafted FA to maybe a starter on defense. He has made strides and you cant be anything but proud for the man. His time to sit back on the bench has come though.

Crable has dedicated the time in the weight room and the film room now we get to see if he can do the things we assume he can. Which is rush the passer and set the edge.

Problem I had with Woods this past year was that he was iffy in coverage and honestly wasnt that great of an overall tackler. Its Pierres job to lose but it should be Crables job day 1 of the regular season.

I agree. Crable had much more to improve on. Woods to me has gotten to the best he can push himself to. Crable I believe can go further. Crable was great in pre season last yr, he now is bigger stronger and looks much more intimidating. I think Crable will dominate preseason and then earn starting job.
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Deadpulse


Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 9579
Location: Boston MA
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Woods will start with the experience he has in this defense. BB likes to go with the "vets" if you could call Woods a vet. That being said, my money would be on Crable getting most of the playing time despite Woods "starting" the games.
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