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View Full Version : Patriots pass-rush in jeopardy?


J-Mike88
07-24-2011, 05:52 PM
Veteran New England Patriots outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain underwent a surgical procedure on his abdomen on Friday, a source confirmed, while estimating a four-to-five week recovery period.

The source said Banta-Cain had sustained the injury last season, and in meeting with team doctors at the end of the year, it was decided that no surgery was required. But Banta-Cain tweaked the injury in recent workouts, the source said.

Missing five weeks would place Banta-Cain's status for the Patriots' season opener Sept. 12 at Miami in serious jeopardy.

Source -Mike Reiss has the Patriots blanketed for ESPNBoston.com

tjsunstein
07-24-2011, 06:10 PM
The Patriots always seem to find a way. It's in jeopardy for sure, but remember, everyone discounted the Patriots from the playoffs last year because of concerns on defense.

Halsey
07-24-2011, 06:24 PM
The Patriots can likely plug many guys into Cain's spot and get similar production. Losing him is no big deal to them. What they really need is a true double digit sack threat.

"everyone discounted the Patriots from the playoffs last year"

Everyone thought it was an issue, but most people thought they'd make the playoffs.

descendency
07-24-2011, 06:40 PM
What pass rush?

He isn't that good of a rusher anyways.

J-Mike88
07-24-2011, 09:40 PM
What pass rush?

He isn't that good of a rusher anyways.
I admit I didn't watch as many Pats games last year as I had before (cost of Sunday Ticket!), but I thought he was their leading pass rusher....

J255979-11nine
07-24-2011, 09:52 PM
He was hardly on the field the final 10 games. I expected him to be a training camp cut as I assume most Pats fans did.

Jvig43
07-24-2011, 10:47 PM
We never had a pass rush to begin with even when Tully started.

Razor
07-25-2011, 02:51 AM
What pass rush?

He isn't that good of a rusher anyways.

This, this and more of this! Tully Banta-Fail is grossly overrated by non-Patriots fans. He plays mostly on third down as he is terrible at setting the edge. He's due to make $4.5 mill in 2011 so I fully expect him to get cut during or after TC. Too many mental mistakes as well.. Let's just get FA going so we can go get Matt Roth...

Seamus2602
07-25-2011, 03:57 AM
I admit I didn't watch as many Pats games last year as I had before (cost of Sunday Ticket!), but I thought he was their leading pass rusher....

I think talking about the Patriots best Pass Rusher is a bit like talking about the Colts best Defensive Tackle or the Browns best Quarterback.

Ness
07-25-2011, 05:08 AM
I'm sure Belichick will circumvent this.

Jvig43
07-25-2011, 06:10 AM
I'm sure Belichick will circumvent this.

I highly doubt it. BB doesn't seem to care what so ever about our needs at pass rush.

Matthew Jones
07-25-2011, 06:41 AM
This isn't a big deal - he's not a starter in the base defense and towards the end of the year he wasn't playing much in sub packages either. He struggles to drop into coverage and is a real liability vs. the run, in return offering average pass rush ability. It sucks because our depth was already thin at linebacker, but he wasn't much better than anyone else we have. Eric Moore seemed to be taking over his job at the end of last season.

killxswitch
07-25-2011, 08:18 AM
Hey, you've still got Rob Ninkovich! CHAMPIONSHIP!!

Matthew Jones
07-25-2011, 08:38 AM
Hey, you've still got Rob Ninkovich! CHAMPIONSHIP!!

Rob Ninkovich was actually a very pleasant surprise last season. He isn't much of a pass-rusher, but can set the edge effectively and did a nice job in coverage in well. I have no qualms with starting him in the base defense if necessary, but the Patriots do need some more guys who can bend the edge.

killxswitch
07-25-2011, 09:04 AM
I know he's not a bad player but didn't he have the most sacks for NE last year? That's a bad situation.

Matthew Jones
07-25-2011, 09:10 AM
I know he's not a bad player but didn't he have the most sacks for NE last year? That's a bad situation.

He had four sacks, which was sadly good for third on the team. Mike Wright collected the most sacks (5.5), and Tully was second with 5.0. I'm not arguing that the pass rush is ugly - someone like a Roth or Kiwanuka would be a big upgrade over what the team has currently. Jermaine Cunningham will be expected to improve his sack totals as well this year.

SolidGold
07-25-2011, 09:12 AM
FA supposedly starts tomorrow so they can sign someone if they feel its a need.

bigbluedefense
07-25-2011, 09:41 AM
The last time the Patriots had a pass rush, Willie McGinnest was still on the team.

And Bellichick didn't draft him, he was already on the team. BB just doesn't seem to care much for a pass rush. He's a coverage DC. His schemes for the most part are all about disguising coverages and playing sound zone defense.

You might see more man coverages now though with McCourty being the sex.

Plus, he loves big tall long limbed pass rushers, he's from the Bill Parcells school of defense. Lately, we haven't seen a big hulking guy available in the draft that has the hips to play OLB in a 34.

He's waiting for a DeMarcus Ware to fall in his lap, and that type of player hasn't been available.

J-Mike88
07-25-2011, 09:47 AM
The last time the Patriots had a pass rush, Willie McGinnest was still on the team.
Was that not the last time they won a Super Bowl as well?

And Bellichick didn't draft him, he was already on the team. BB just doesn't seem to care much for a pass rush. He's a coverage DC. His schemes for the most part are all about disguising coverages and playing sound zone defense.
That appeared to have more playoff success when the DBs were allowed to mug, assault, accost, fondle the receivers as they used to employ. Also, was that pre-Spygate?

bigbluedefense
07-25-2011, 09:55 AM
Was that not the last time they won a Super Bowl as well?

That appeared to have more playoff success when the DBs were allowed to mug, assault, accost, fondle the receivers as they used to employ. Also, was that pre-Spygate?

Yes and Yes.

Which is why I'm surprised he's been ignoring pass rusher for so long. He needs a pass rush, he needs to stop being arrogant in thinking he can find a guy in the middle rounds to fix his team's most glaring weakness.

His system worked better back then bc his defenders were able to reroute WRs more successfully with the old rules. Now you can't touch WRs anymore, so zone defenses have become far less effective then they were in the past.

That's why in today's league, I favor press man coverage. There's too many holes in zone defense nowadays.

That's why Bellichick has put such a strong emphasis on the secondary the past several years. His way of combating the new rule changes is by trying to have an elite secondary. Unfortunately for him, so far the only player that he draft high that has panned out is McCourty.

And Chung. But the rest have been duds or disappointments. Merriweather has disappointed, Butler is a bust, Wheatley is a bust, we'll see if Dowling can become something.

J-Mike88
07-25-2011, 10:01 AM
Yes and Yes.

Which is why I'm surprised he's been ignoring pass rusher for so long. He needs a pass rush, he needs to stop being arrogant in thinking he can find a guy in the middle rounds to fix his team's most glaring weakness.

His system worked better back then bc his defenders were able to reroute WRs more successfully with the old rules. Now you can't touch WRs anymore, so zone defenses have become far less effective then they were in the past.

That's why in today's league, I favor press man coverage. There's too many holes in zone defense nowadays.

That's why Bellichick has put such a strong emphasis on the secondary the past several years. His way of combating the new rule changes is by trying to have an elite secondary. Unfortunately for him, so far the only player that he draft high that has panned out is McCourty.

And Chung. But the rest have been duds or disappointments. Merriweather has disappointed, Butler is a bust, Wheatley is a bust, we'll see if Dowling can become something.
Nice "term" for it LOL.

You're right, in today's NFL, a good pass rush can make an average secondary look great. And a great pass rush can make a crappy secondary look good.

Your 2008 Champion Giants had the great pass rush. Nobody knows that better than you guys. That secondary was not great, but they looked great in that playoff run with that pass rush.

Giantsfan1080
07-25-2011, 10:09 AM
Actually our secondary was very good during that playoff run. Webster stepped it up big time and did a great job shutting down WR's. Ross and Wilson played well also.

bigbluedefense
07-25-2011, 10:13 AM
Nice "term" for it LOL.

You're right, in today's NFL, a good pass rush can make an average secondary look great. And a great pass rush can make a crappy secondary look good.

Your 2008 Champion Giants had the great pass rush. Nobody knows that better than you guys. That secondary was not great, but they looked great in that playoff run with that pass rush.

Yeah I believe in pass rush for obvious reasons. I do believe you need to invest heavily in CBs as well though. I think they feed off each other.

The Pats weren't that bad with rerouting. I'm biased though, I'm a defense guy, I love smashmouth football and physicality. So to me, it's not raping WRs. WRs need to tuck in their vag and man up. You want to dance and prance after every first down, celebrate every touchdown and brag about your stats, then you gotta be willing to pay the toll. And paying the toll is getting rerouted and getting taxed every time you come up the middle.

That's my personal take on it. I had no problems with how the Pats used to play defense.

hockey619
07-25-2011, 10:33 AM
Yeah I believe in pass rush for obvious reasons. I do believe you need to invest heavily in CBs as well though. I think they feed off each other.

The Pats weren't that bad with rerouting. I'm biased though, I'm a defense guy, I love smashmouth football and physicality. So to me, it's not raping WRs. WRs need to tuck in their vag and man up. You want to dance and prance after every first down, celebrate every touchdown and brag about your stats, then you gotta be willing to pay the toll. And paying the toll is getting rerouted and getting taxed every time you come up the middle.

That's my personal take on it. I had no problems with how the Pats used to play defense.

reading this makes me miss the violent, manly nfl of the past. not even the big hits, just being able to push a guy around down the field and be physical, the run game, all that good stuff.

bigbluedefense
07-25-2011, 10:40 AM
reading this makes me miss the violent, manly nfl of the past. not even the big hits, just being able to push a guy around down the field and be physical, the run game, all that good stuff.

Me too. I miss seeing LBs rerouting WRs in the middle of the field. Make em earn it.

I've always favored physicality in sports. It's a contact sport. Why take away the contact?

Matthew Jones
07-25-2011, 10:47 AM
Rotoworld per ESPN Boston:

Beat writer Mike Reiss expects Eric Moore to step into Tully Banta-Cain's (abdomen surgery) role. Banta-Cain is expected to be sidelined about 4-5 weeks. The Patriots will likely add pass rushing talent in free agency, but for now Moore is penciled in as the rush end specialist. The career journeyman and ex-UFLer managed a career-high two sacks in four games with the Patriots last season.

Beat writer Mike Reiss projects Rob Ninkovich and Jermaine Cunningham as the Patriots' starting outside linebackers. Ninkovich had 61 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions a year ago while playing on early downs. He figures to have the same role this season, with the Patriots likely to go after a pass rusher in free agency as well. Both Matt Roth and Mathias Kiwanuka have been mentioned as possibilities in New England.

Source: http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/30181/banta-cains-surgery-and-his-role-on-d

ryno626
07-25-2011, 10:54 AM
(The pass rush was in jeopardy way before TBC was injured.)

Bill Polian ran crying to the competition committee and had them change the rules to where you can't breath on an opposing wr without getting a flag. And like BBD said Coach Hoodie never really adapted his gameplan/drafting philosophy after the rule changes. This team doesn't need an all world pass rusher to succeed, the defense needs to get off the field on a somewhat consistent basis. If the score is close and Tommy has the ball in his hands with a decent amount of time left I have faith that we can pull it off. That's what killed them in the Jets playoff game, they could not get off the field on third down.

Coach Hoodie thinks he can keep plugging in late round/ufda/castoff DEs and OLBs and catch lightning in a bottle. Can it happen? Sure. Will it happen? So far it hasn't. Yea they have some nice role players/sub players. The key component to the defense in the Super Bowl years was the line which was Seymour, Wilfork and Warren. Three massive guys (all first round draft picks by the way) who controlled the line of scrimmage but had the athleticism to generate a passrush.

That's what has been so frustrating about being a Pats fan the last few years, the draft. The team was primed to pick up an impact player or two that could have got the defense back on its feet but instead they did the usual trade back out of these premium spots. Oh boy they picked up picks in next years draft. More picks for them to trade out of next year like they did this year. They drafted a tackle who will probably be "redshirted", a bunch of RBs and a QB that may never see the field. Hoodie isn't going to be around forever. Brady isn't going to be playing at an elite level for much longer either.

The time to win is now in New England but it seems the front office begs to differ. We knocked last years draft out of the park and I was hoping that'd the team would continue off that momentum. I know the mantra for all us Patriots fans is "In Bill We Trust." It's starting to seem more and more that Pioli and Dimitroff were the real brains behind the operation. But of course this could all be a mute point once free agency starts. I'm ready to recieve my tongue/keyboard lashing now...

killxswitch
07-25-2011, 12:39 PM
Learn to paragraph!

Don Vito
07-25-2011, 01:39 PM
The last time we had a legit pass rush was when Crennel was here. Since BB has been calling the defense we have been a lot less aggressive. I watched the Bills-Giants Superbowl on TV a few weeks ago when Norwood missed the FG and BB was calling the Giants defense then. Late in the game the Giants went into that "bend don't break" conservative defense that the Pats have been employing lately and it should have cost them the game. I found that really interesting because they had a great set of pass rushers but they still were dropping 7 or 8 into coverage a ton during the second half, which is what I see a lot with the Pats. It goes to show that whether you're top pass rusher is LT or TBC, if you aren't aggressive and you give a legit NFL QB a lot of time then you will probably get burned.

How Fly Boy
07-25-2011, 02:23 PM
So a major weakness on the squad becomes even weaker? Cunningham has to step up big this season because Ninkovich on the other side is a merely average-below average starting outside backer in the 34. He's decent in coverage, but that's about it.

J-Mike88
07-25-2011, 03:46 PM
Coach Hoodie thinks he can keep plugging in late round/ufda/castoff DEs and OLBs and catch lightning in a bottle. Can it happen? Sure. Will it happen? So far it hasn't....
That's very funny when you look into it.
You mean late round/UDFA castoffs like:
-Frank Zombo (undrafted FA last year)
-Eric Walden (castoff last year)
-Brad Jones (7th rd grab 2009)

It actually HAS worked, but that's because opposite that OLB is Clay Matthews.
Now if only the Patriots had a guy like that on one side.... then.....

nepg
07-25-2011, 03:51 PM
So a major weakness on the squad becomes even weaker? Cunningham has to step up big this season because Ninkovich on the other side is a merely average-below average starting outside backer in the 34. He's decent in coverage, but that's about it.
Nink does an amazing job setting the edge. He's perfect for what they want out of that spot.

Simply put, the Patriots don't value sacks.

descendency
07-26-2011, 11:38 AM
Per a twitter source:

TBC to be cut.

Matthew Jones
07-26-2011, 11:40 AM
From the Patriots team board:

Patriots will release LB Tully Banta-Cain

Shortly after getting word that he would miss the next four or five weeks due to a recent abdominal surgery, the Patriots have announced that they will release linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, who recorded just five sacks last season. Banta-Cain was mostly used as a pass rushing specialist in the team's sub package, but did not find the same amount of success he did in 2009, when he totaled almost ten sacks. Releasing Banta-Cain is projected to save the Patriots $2.3 million, and they will be responsible for paying him another $2.2 million or so. His role in the sub package appears to belong to Eric Moore now, at least temporarily.

descendency
07-26-2011, 11:47 AM
Please let that be clearing space for a real pass rush specialist.

And quite frankly, you can cut all of our OLBs outside of Ninkovich and Cunningham. We probably have the worst OLBs in the NFL.

Matthew Jones
07-26-2011, 12:00 PM
Please let that be clearing space for a real pass rush specialist.

And quite frankly, you can cut all of our OLBs outside of Ninkovich and Cunningham. We probably have the worst OLBs in the NFL.

I think Markell Carter should make the final 53 because it would be risky to subject him to waivers. Eric Moore was more of a DE than OLB last year but I thought he did a pretty good job. Marques Murrell could probably safely be cut, but at this point it wouldn't save enough money ($550,000) to bother.

killxswitch
07-26-2011, 01:13 PM
Please let that be clearing space for a real pass rush specialist.

And quite frankly, you can cut all of our OLBs outside of Ninkovich and Cunningham. We probably have the worst OLBs in the NFL.

I hear Adalius Thomas is available.

Dam8610
07-26-2011, 03:33 PM
Bill Polian ran crying to the competition committee and had them change the rules

I wonder how many more times I'll read this fallacy before all the idiots get it through their head that defensive holding has been on the books since 1984?

cmarq83
07-26-2011, 03:51 PM
I wonder how many more times I'll read this fallacy before all the idiots get it through their head that defensive holding has been on the books since 1984?

It doesn't really matter if the rules were in place or not, because there was pretty much an understanding on how defenses could cover wide receivers. This had been done for the past 20 years, but with Polian suddenly on the competition committee and his team being at a disadvantage he threw his weight around and substantially changed the game. It may have been written down as such, but the application wasn't done in practice.

Look at the NFL now. We see 6-8 QB's flirt with 100 ratings, and average passers like Matt Schaub can throw for 4000 yards and 28TD's. Every time there is a defensive stop you hold your breath for a defensive holding, illegal contact, pass interference, or personal foul call. Polian's influence on the competition committee has done as much damage to the defensive game as anybody. He whined because his style of building a team was inherently flawed and instead of working to adjust his ways or making his team tougher he decided to fundamentally change how refs call the game. I'm sorry but a guy like that will never get my respect.

End rant

Jvig43
07-26-2011, 04:36 PM
Holding and touching are two very different things. And pollian is a ginger ***** that should never be stood up for.

hockey619
07-26-2011, 06:51 PM
Look at the NFL now. We see 6-8 QB's flirt with 100 ratings, and average passers like Matt Schaub can throw for 4000 yards and 28TD's. Every time there is a defensive stop you hold your breath for a defensive holding, illegal contact, pass interference, or personal foul call.

it kills me that a defense basically cant play defense anymore, its a change that has definitely made the game worse. it really is that way, after every single play you look for a flag, and so does every player. that just sucks.

and i pointed that out before too, that we now have very average guys looking like stars and throwing for tons of yardage (schaub, orton) that in decades past wouldve been exposed for the average guys they are. im glad you pointed that out, i feel like it cant be said enough. what was once a milestone for truly great players (4000 yds for example) is now a mark that any decent qb on a team that plays from behind a lot can reach. it too sucks.

J-Mike88
07-26-2011, 07:55 PM
I hear Adalius Thomas is available.So is Jason Taylor I believe. And Joey Porter.....