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Current Linebacking Corps comparison to Championship years
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Canton


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:17 pm    Post subject: Current Linebacking Corps comparison to Championship years Reply with quote

With this year's linebacking corps of
Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Don'ta Hightower, Jamie Collins, Rob Ninkovich, and Dane Fletcher how does that compare too.........

Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinest, Roman Phifer, Ted Johnson and Roosevelt Colvin
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rabbisson


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Current Linebacking Corps comparison to Championship yea Reply with quote

Canton wrote:
With this year's linebacking corps of
Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Don'ta Hightower, Jamie Collins, Rob Ninkovich, and Dane Fletcher how does that compare too.........

Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinest, Roman Phifer, Ted Johnson and Roosevelt Colvin


I wouldn't really count Ninkovich as a LBer. If anything, the closer comparison is Willie McGinest to Chandler Jones, since both play functionally the same thing in our defense when extrapolated across the time frame.

With that said, going into this year...

McGinest > Jones
Bruschi >> Hightower
Johnson << Spikes
Vrabel > Mayo
Colvin > Collins
Phifer = Fletcher

HOWEVER, it must be noted that, other than Hightower surpassing Bruschi, I could see every other DE/LB pass their predecessor by the end of this year. So going into 2013, the '01 to '04 corps are better. However, once the season ends, if Chandler Jones plays like we think he can and Jerod Mayo continues his ascent, this could look very different.
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Billy Spikes


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Current Linebacking Corps comparison to Championship yea Reply with quote

rabbisson wrote:
With that said, going into this year...

McGinest > Jones
Bruschi >> Hightower
Johnson << Spikes
Vrabel > Mayo
Colvin > Collins
Phifer = Fletcher


Phifer = Fletcher in your opinion? really? Phifer was the Patriots best covering LB even at an advantage age [oldest LB of that group] for a long time and was a good player against the run, Fletcher for the most part is a speical teams player who gets a few snaps a game on defense.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Current Linebacking Corps comparison to Championship yea Reply with quote

rabbisson wrote:
Canton wrote:
With this year's linebacking corps of
Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Don'ta Hightower, Jamie Collins, Rob Ninkovich, and Dane Fletcher how does that compare too.........

Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinest, Roman Phifer, Ted Johnson and Roosevelt Colvin


I wouldn't really count Ninkovich as a LBer. If anything, the closer comparison is Willie McGinest to Chandler Jones, since both play functionally the same thing in our defense when extrapolated across the time frame.

With that said, going into this year...

McGinest > Jones
Bruschi >> Hightower
Johnson << Spikes
Vrabel > Mayo
Colvin > Collins
Phifer = Fletcher

HOWEVER, it must be noted that, other than Hightower surpassing Bruschi, I could see every other DE/LB pass their predecessor by the end of this year. So going into 2013, the '01 to '04 corps are better. However, once the season ends, if Chandler Jones plays like we think he can and Jerod Mayo continues his ascent, this could look very different.


Not counting Ninkovich as a LB but including Colvin? Phifer equal to Fletcher? Johnson 2 degrees worse than Spikes? Comparing Vrabel to Mayo? If anything, Mayo should be compared to Bruschi and Vrabel to Hightower.
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rabbisson


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Current Linebacking Corps comparison to Championship yea Reply with quote

Billy Spikes wrote:
rabbisson wrote:
With that said, going into this year...

McGinest > Jones
Bruschi >> Hightower
Johnson << Spikes
Vrabel > Mayo
Colvin > Collins
Phifer = Fletcher


Phifer = Fletcher in your opinion? really? Phifer was the Patriots best covering LB even at an advantage age [oldest LB of that group] for a long time and was a good player against the run, Fletcher for the most part is a speical teams player who gets a few snaps a game on defense.


Phifer was pretty washed up by 2003...

Quote:
Not counting Ninkovich as a LB but including Colvin? Phifer equal to Fletcher? Johnson 2 degrees worse than Spikes? Comparing Vrabel to Mayo? If anything, Mayo should be compared to Bruschi and Vrabel to Hightower.


Colvin was a stand up OLB, and Ninkovich mostly plays as a hand-down DE now, so yeah, I would count Colvin as an OLB but not Ninkovich. Phifer, again, was extremely washed up by 2003. Spikes and Johnson function(ed) in the same role except Spikes makes more impact plays - I would EASILY take Spikes over Johnson. Mayo and Hightower are interchangeable, and the results would probably remain the same, with Vrabel slightly better than Mayo and Bruschi much better than Hightower.
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Billy Spikes


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Current Linebacking Corps comparison to Championship yea Reply with quote

rabbisson wrote:
Phifer was pretty washed up by 2003...


rabbisson wrote:
Phifer, again, was extremely washed up by 2003.


Is it pretty washed up or extremely washed up?, doesn't matter, How do you compare a starting LB who was a big part of the Patriots dynasty to a special teamer and call them even?

Even if he was "pretty washed up" by 2003 as in, he wasn't in his prime, he was still a full time starter from 2001-2003 and a part time starter in 2004, during that time he recorded 337 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 6 FFs and two INTs and was the Patriots best coverage LB... how does Dane Fletcher even compares to him? [and I actually like Fletcher as i stated in the past]
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rabbisson


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Current Linebacking Corps comparison to Championship yea Reply with quote

Billy Spikes wrote:
rabbisson wrote:
Phifer was pretty washed up by 2003...


rabbisson wrote:
Phifer, again, was extremely washed up by 2003.


Is it pretty washed up or extremely washed up?, doesn't matter, How do you compare a starting LB who was a big part of the Patriots dynasty to a special teamer and call them even?

Even if he was "pretty washed up" by 2003 as in, he wasn't in his prime, he was still a full time starter from 2001-2003 and a part time starter in 2004, during that time he recorded 337 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 6 FFs and two INTs and was the Patriots best coverage LB... how does Dane Fletcher even compares to him? [and I actually like Fletcher as i stated in the past]


Fletcher was unfortunately injured last year, but in 2010 and 2011 he made over 20 stops behind the line of scrimmage, two sacks, and an interception. This is all in his first two years of football while switching positions from DE to OLB and, later, ILB. In less than half of the snaps that Phifer played (because, again, Fletcher got injured), Fletcher provided more pass-rushing punch and also was better in coverage than Phifer was at the end of his career.

I don't really know where you're getting your numbers from either, because according to Pro Football Reference, I only have Phifer getting two interceptions in that time frame, all while playing many more snaps than Fletcher has due to injury.

Was Phifer a better LB than Fletcher if considered throughout his whole career? Definitely. Has Fletcher's progress been impedimented due to injury? For sure. However, for this question, if healthy, I think I would take Fletcher. He's been more impactful in less snaps and still has an upside he has yet to reach. If durability is part of the question (which it definitely COULD be) then I would take Phifer over Fletcher, I suppose, but to me Dane is a more talented LB.

Yeah, I really like our front seven this year if you couldn't tell Laughing.
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Billy Spikes


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Current Linebacking Corps comparison to Championship yea Reply with quote

rabbisson wrote:
Fletcher was unfortunately injured last year, but in 2010 and 2011 he made over 20 stops behind the line of scrimmage, two sacks, and an interception. This is all in his first two years of football while switching positions from DE to OLB and, later, ILB. In less than half of the snaps that Phifer played (because, again, Fletcher got injured), Fletcher provided more pass-rushing punch and also was better in coverage than Phifer was at the end of his career.


So in two combined seasons he had the same amount of sacks and INTs as Roman Phifer had in just 2001 not including the other 3 years?

As far as stops behind the line of scrimmage, unless you have Phifer's stats to compare, It's not really fair to even post it.

I consider the fact Fletcher only got limited playing time and his main role was on special teams to be a minus actually because Phifer was good enough to be a full time starter. [And we're not just talking about Fletcher's rookie season, he wasn't a starter his second season either, he declined actually as far as i remember]

rabbisson wrote:
I don't really know where you're getting your numbers from either, because according to Pro Football Reference, I only have Phifer getting two interceptions in that time frame, all while playing many more snaps than Fletcher has due to injury.


Not sure what you read but i said he had two INTs in that post Laughing

rabbisson wrote:
Was Phifer a better LB than Fletcher if considered throughout his whole career? Definitely. Has Fletcher's progress been impedimented due to injury? For sure. However, for this question, if healthy, I think I would take Fletcher. He's been more impactful in less snaps and still has an upside he has yet to reach. If durability is part of the question (which it definitely COULD be) then I would take Phifer over Fletcher, I suppose, but to me Dane is a more talented LB.


Still not sure how you can say he was *more* impactful in less snaps, Phifer had just as much success and more, and he was better in coverage than Fletcher aswell.

And yeah, about durability, Phifer played in a high level up to age 36, Fletcher already has issues staying healthy. [13 games in 2010, 10 games in 2011, 0 games in 2012]

rabbisson wrote:
Yeah, I really like our front seven this year if you couldn't tell Laughing.


I like them a lot too [and hate the lack of depth after Buchanan at DE and no real NT replacement]... still kinda feel that Fletcher been "even" with Phifer is disrespectful to a Patriots great.
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rabbisson


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bad, must have mistook your 6 FFs for the INTs.

I can't find Phifer's stops behind the LOS statistics, unfortunately, so that's a fair point to throw out Fletcher's. But considering how many more snaps Phifer played, that would make sense. And I don't necessarily downgrade Fletcher because he was on the bench - the Patriots shifted to a 4-3 look in 2011 and given how good the starting LBs were, there just wasn't space for Dane. That, compounded with the injuries, made it tougher for him to break through. I don't think Phifer would have started from 2002-2004 in a 4-3 defense considering how good Colvin, Vrabel, and Bruschi were.

But the durability is a very fair point that I had not considered in the past, and the more I think about it, the more it SHOULD matter in an evaluation. I just hope Dane is healthy this year. I've liked what I've seen from him when he's on the field.
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Billy Spikes


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rabbisson wrote:
My bad, must have mistook your 6 FFs for the INTs.

I can't find Phifer's stops behind the LOS statistics, unfortunately, so that's a fair point to throw out Fletcher's. But considering how many more snaps Phifer played, that would make sense. And I don't necessarily downgrade Fletcher because he was on the bench - the Patriots shifted to a 4-3 look in 2011 and given how good the starting LBs were, there just wasn't space for Dane. That, compounded with the injuries, made it tougher for him to break through. I don't think Phifer would have started from 2002-2004 in a 4-3 defense considering how good Colvin, Vrabel, and Bruschi were.


Just to address the bold part, Colvin was on the Bears in 2002 and was out for almost the entire 2003 season with an injury [only played 2 games], so yes, Phifer would have started during that time, in addition Colvin hardly seems like a good fit for a 4-3 LB. [on a side note, i think you're over-rating Colvin a bit, just in general]

rabbisson wrote:
But the durability is a very fair point that I had not considered in the past, and the more I think about it, the more it SHOULD matter in an evaluation. I just hope Dane is healthy this year. I've liked what I've seen from him when he's on the field.


I've liked what I've seen from him aswell in the past and this pre-season but my point was just that it felt unfair to compare someone like that to someone like Phifer.

Lets hope for the best though Laughing
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colvin was a 40 front DE in his brief 2003 appearance and played mostly sub DE in 2004. He didn't play a lot standing up in 2004. If the Pats run 3 man fronts this year, Ninkovich would play a similar role. It's the same position more or less.

I also think saying Mayo is interchangeable with Hightower is borderline crazy and I'm a big Hightower fan.

Your overrating of Spikes relative to Johnson and Fletcher to Phifer seems to be a case of overrating the guys you're familiar with. Fletcher has shown nothing in the pros and Johnson was just as stout as Spikes vs the run. Spikes might make more 'splash' plays but Johnson had better football IQ and overall instincts.
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24isthelaw


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn and I thought I was optimistic.

Even if you make the statement that Mayo is more impactful than Bruschi (which I would contend, but lets go along with that for a minute...) then you have:

Seymour > Jones (neither are linebckers, but since people are including Jones)
Vrabel > Ninkovich
McGinest > Hightower
Johnson < Spikes
Phifer > Fletcher

And how could Fletcher, a guy who's barely even shown the ability to play the LB position, much less be good at it in the regular season, be compared to a guy who actually plays LB and actually made plays at LB?

IMO this is far from close.
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rabbisson


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcmurtry86 wrote:
Colvin was a 40 front DE in his brief 2003 appearance and played mostly sub DE in 2004. He didn't play a lot standing up in 2004. If the Pats run 3 man fronts this year, Ninkovich would play a similar role. It's the same position more or less.

I also think saying Mayo is interchangeable with Hightower is borderline crazy and I'm a big Hightower fan.

Your overrating of Spikes relative to Johnson and Fletcher to Phifer seems to be a case of overrating the guys you're familiar with. Fletcher has shown nothing in the pros and Johnson was just as stout as Spikes vs the run. Spikes might make more 'splash' plays but Johnson had better football IQ and overall instincts.


I wasn't saying that Mayo is interchangeable with Hightower in terms of skills - more in terms of roles when comparing them with Bruschi and Vrabel. Mayo is better than Hightower for sure.

And I can make a similar argument re: Johnson in that you're overrating him due to nostalgia. Johnson was a JAG. Granted that neither of them are great against the pass, but Spikes had more PDs last year (7) than Johnson did in his whole career (5). Johnson forced five fumbles throughout his career. Spikes forced four last year. And I don't think many people doubt Spikes' instincts: he's not athletic in coverage, but his coverage instincts are superb, and he has shown a knack to make the right run fits when he has to. I would take Spikes over Johnson easily - he combines the splash plays with the instincts to put him over the top.
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rabbisson


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

24isthelaw wrote:
Damn and I thought I was optimistic.

Even if you make the statement that Mayo is more impactful than Bruschi (which I would contend, but lets go along with that for a minute...) then you have:

Seymour > Jones (neither are linebckers, but since people are including Jones)
Vrabel > Ninkovich
McGinest > Hightower
Johnson < Spikes
Phifer > Fletcher

And how could Fletcher, a guy who's barely even shown the ability to play the LB position, much less be good at it in the regular season, be compared to a guy who actually plays LB and actually made plays at LB?

IMO this is far from close.


First of all...can you make me a new paint sig? Please? Very Happy

Second of all, I would compare Chandler to McGinest because, again, they play similar roles in the two defensive schemes as presence guys - defenses are going to be forced to gameplan around Chandler this year similar to McGinest in the past.

My thoughts are more based on projections rather than what has happened thus far in their careers. I think that a starting front seven of Chandler, Ninkovich, Wilfork, Kelly, Mayo, Spikes, and Hightower with Collins and Fletcher as sub-LBers can be an absolutely devastating group, and as good as any group we have had since 2004. The athleticism and power there is off the charts.

And when Fletcher played, he excelled, at least when I watched him. He clinched the GB game in 2010 with a key sack. He helped to seal the BAL game in 2010 with a PD in overtime. This preseason, I saw the athleticism that had excited me in the past. I hope he doesn't get hurt this year.
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This guy gets it. Seriously, the ideas being espoused here need to get to 88 mph so they can go back to the 1950's.

I'm a cold-blooded dickens.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rabbisson wrote:
mcmurtry86 wrote:
Colvin was a 40 front DE in his brief 2003 appearance and played mostly sub DE in 2004. He didn't play a lot standing up in 2004. If the Pats run 3 man fronts this year, Ninkovich would play a similar role. It's the same position more or less.

I also think saying Mayo is interchangeable with Hightower is borderline crazy and I'm a big Hightower fan.

Your overrating of Spikes relative to Johnson and Fletcher to Phifer seems to be a case of overrating the guys you're familiar with. Fletcher has shown nothing in the pros and Johnson was just as stout as Spikes vs the run. Spikes might make more 'splash' plays but Johnson had better football IQ and overall instincts.


I wasn't saying that Mayo is interchangeable with Hightower in terms of skills - more in terms of roles when comparing them with Bruschi and Vrabel. Mayo is better than Hightower for sure.

And I can make a similar argument re: Johnson in that you're overrating him due to nostalgia. Johnson was a JAG. Granted that neither of them are great against the pass, but Spikes had more PDs last year (7) than Johnson did in his whole career (5). Johnson forced five fumbles throughout his career. Spikes forced four last year. And I don't think many people doubt Spikes' instincts: he's not athletic in coverage, but his coverage instincts are superb, and he has shown a knack to make the right run fits when he has to. I would take Spikes over Johnson easily - he combines the splash plays with the instincts to put him over the top.


I respect you a lot rab but calling Johnson a JAG is flat out ignorant. He was one of the best run stopping LB's of his era, a good leader on defense and deservedly part of the Patriots all 90's team. He was every bit as good as Spikes vs the run and IMO a bit better vs the pass though he played in a different era of passing so it's tough to compare.

You should know me well enough by now to know that I don't wax nostalgic about players of the glory years. Johnson was a force against the run in a run heavy era.
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