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  • Okay, I know this is from way out of left field especially from me, but I think we should bring back Adalius Thomas. This guy may have badmouthed Belichick, but I think he still deserves a spot on the team. You could make the argument that Thomas is the best linebacker on our defense - Jerod Mayo sure took a step back last year and clearly isn't ready for all the responsibilities he was given, Tully Banta-Cain was probably more a case of being in a good scheme than really being an elite pass rusher (although I'd have to rewatch some games to tell), and I don't think I have to justify Thomas being better than Gary Guyton.

    I'd make the case that Thomas is possibly the worst-utilized Patriot I've seen under Belichick - it seems very much to me like they set him up to fail. No one would dispute that Thomas was an awesome player in Baltimore - he lined up on the line, at inside and outside linebacker, pressed Chad Johnson/Ochocinco as a nickel cornerback, etc., and it was this versatility that made him extremely appealing to Bill Belichick. But ever since he got here, it seems like his many talents have been wasted trying to cover up weaknesses on our defense rather than adding a big strength to it - a high-level pass rusher off the edge.

    When he first got to the team, I think it's fair to say pretty much everyone projected him as our rush linebacker. Instead of doing that, Thomas was asked to play inside linebacker, a job he did...okay on. He certainly did a good enough job that Mike Vrabel was able to pick up a ton of bad sacks (by that, I mean sacks that came from scheme or having a really long time to get to the QB), but I think we all kinda knew that Thomas' talents were being wasted on the inside.

    When Rosevelt Colvin went down for the season, Thomas was allowed to move outside to his natural position, and he did an awesome job for the rest of the year. He picked up 5.5 sacks in eight games, including three strip sacks (one came in the Super Bowl, where he had two sacks.) It became pretty clear that Colvin was on the way out and that Thomas should really be lining up outside and allowed to go after the passer. That's what he did in 2008 - he picked up five sacks in nine games before breaking his arm and getting put on I.R. The only reasonable conclusion to draw from his 10.5 sacks at OLB over 17 games at the position for New England was that he'd continue to do that.

    But that's not what happened in 2009 - Belichick decided to really gamble and get rid of a lot of the players who gave our defense an identity - Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, etc. As a result, we were definitely undermanned pretty substantially compared to previous years, and a lot of the team we even abandoned Belichick's 3-4 for 4-3 packages. Thomas' career has earned him a reputation as a jack of all trades, and so rather than rushing out of the 3-4 and adding to our pass rush, he was asked to cover tight ends A LOT out of the 4-3. He did a pretty good job, but it really felt like he was being misused.

    Try and see things from Thomas' perspective - he was as valuable as he'd ever be in free agency coming out of Baltimore, coming off of a Pro Bowl season where he did a really good job of getting after quarterbacks, and now he's toiling away for years and years in Belichick's doghouse, not getting to do what he does best. He's effectively ruined his chances of ever getting another big contract again. I found his complaining as annoying as you guys did, but at the same time I can kind of see where he's coming from. It must be frustrating to know that you could help your team but you're not being allowed to go out there and do what you do.

    The Patriots have always been known for being a team that really brings out the good qualities in players, but there's a strong case to be made for Belichick really misusing Thomas and effectively ending his stint in New England. It's really hard to imagine Thomas being back next year, which is a shame because it's difficult to argue that New England is a team that's rich in quality linebackers, and the uncapped year probably isn't going to provide the team with any really attractive options to replace him - unless you're enthusiastic about a Joey Porter or Shawne Merriman coming to Foxboro (both of which will almost assuredly not happen.) Hopefully Belichick doesn't live to regret this when the Patriots are giving QBs way too much time to throw next year and Thomas is in a Jets jersey coming after Tom Brady.

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    • I agree that Thomas was mis used here. I don't think anyone here denies that.
      We just think bc of the bickering and bad mouthing that he's worned out his welcome.
      He is talented, 32, and will not get much in trade and releasing him does mean he just goes to the Jets, ugh
      From that stand point I'd want to keep him for sure.
      The main reason I'd want to keep him is bc if he is used in that rush backer role and we draft some OLBs- AT is the perfect guy for them to learn from

      I just don't think its realistic that BB'll keep him. Granted, BB is very unpredictable.
      I don't think J.Porter to the Pats is as unrealistic as u make it seem.
      Money fixes everything
      -Boston Red Sox-New England Patriots-Boston Celtics-

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      • Uh oh ROP just mentioned that guy from SD ... Get him FlyingElvis lol. Seriously though I don't see Porter as an option. He has made perfectly clear his dislike for the Pats and I'm not sure fans would not let them live it down should he come


        BoneKrusher killing it with the sig

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        • Originally posted by AntoinCD View Post
          Uh oh ROP just mentioned that guy from SD ... Get him FlyingElvis lol. Seriously though I don't see Porter as an option. He has made perfectly clear his dislike for the Pats and I'm not sure fans would not let them live it down should he come
          What fans? Gillette was a cemetery this year.

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          • Yea Yea... let him half just one sack on game 1 and he'll be loved. Production resolves everything
            -Boston Red Sox-New England Patriots-Boston Celtics-

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            • Merriman is a steroids product (He's been terrible since coming off of them) and Porter is an idiot. I'll pass on both. Neither are worth a dime.

              The Patriots need to go after a pass rusher in the draft. A Brandon Graham... or someone like him. Jerry Hughes maybe (although I don't care for his motor).
              **** her in da *****!

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              • 1. kindle 2. hughes 3. graham for me, personally for us at OLB

                Thanks to BoneKrusher for this amazing sig!

                Go Gators/Pats/Celts/Red Sox!

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                • Graham has a better motor, better pass rushing skills, and better run stopping ability than Hughes. Hughes is a little bit faster and bigger.

                  I don't really know how to address how kindle plays. Sometimes he's hot and sometimes he's not. Lamar Houston did more in the NC game than Kindle did.

                  For me, it's 1) Graham. 2) Hughes 3) Kindle

                  edit: My sleeper at OLB is Austen Lane. I think he has DeMarcus Ware type potential.
                  Last edited by descendency; 02-14-2010, 12:17 AM.
                  **** her in da *****!

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                  • I'd be happy with any one of them
                    -Boston Red Sox-New England Patriots-Boston Celtics-

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                    • In terms of OLB I want, I would rank them Graham, Hughes, Kindle, Griffen.

                      R.I.P. Junior Seau

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                      • Hughes- Kindle- Graham-everyone else
                        Where would JPP fall in for u guys?
                        -Boston Red Sox-New England Patriots-Boston Celtics-

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                        • For me; not anywhere. Not a good 3-4 OLB candidate IMO.

                          R.I.P. Junior Seau

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                          • I want to see how he does at the Combine before making a decision on JPP. He has great size (BB will love his build, McGinnest v2), perhaps the most explosive first step of any defensive player in the draft and a huge wingspan. In other words, he has many of the attributes sought-after by BB. I'm not sure how he'll handle his coverage duties and I have no idea of what his 40 yard dash will be. If it's around 4.65 I don't see him making it past the Raiders though, perhaps even Tampa.

                            Originally posted by ElectricEye
                            I'm a whiny little kunt. Feel sorry for me as I go masturbate to a picture of my mom dressed as a teletubby.

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                            • JPP is one of those ultra athletic guys at his size. While he might be better off at 43 DE, he could go to 34 OLB. He'd have to put on too much weight to play 34 DE.

                              I'm not sure he can cover, but if that could be coached, he could be a top OLB in a few years.

                              edit: I firmly believe he will be a top 10 pick now, though. Too much upside. Top 15 for sure.
                              **** her in da *****!

                              Comment


                              • Problem with JPP is that he won't even be there for us at this point. Maybe at some time he was a possibility, but scouts love the guy. Also, I really don't like his head for some reason or another. Doesn't express himself well in interviews and doesn't seem to love the game.

                                R.I.P. Junior Seau

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