Patriots: Linebacker depth reshuffled

| 3 years ago

Patriots: Linebacker depth reshuffled

PFF-headlinesWith injuries to Jerod Mayo and Chandler Jones depleting their linebacker depth, the Patriots were forced to look for options on the trade market over the last two weeks. First Akeem Ayers arrived from Tennessee, and then Jonathan Casillas became the latest Buccaneer brought to New England. Here’s a quick look at what they have to offer the Patriots.

Last year Ayers was in coverage as often as he rushed, but for his first game in New England he was used exclusively as a pass rusher. Looking at his numbers last year it is easy to see why.  He wasn’t dominant, but one sack and 32 total pressures gave him a 12.3 Pass Rushing Productivity score and a respectable +7.8 pass rush grade. However in coverage he allowed 41 of 47 targets for 385 yards, at 1.90 Yards per Cover Snap, the worst at his position last year.

Enter Casillas, who is at his best in coverage; while he’s never been a full time starting his YPCS have ranged from solid (1.02 last season) to very good (0.77 in 2012). Similar to Ayers, Casillas will probably be used in the role he’s most suited for, as a coverage specialist. With neither player being asked to do too much the opportunity is there for them to become solid part time contributors going forward.

  • rogue

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. The Pats won’t miss Mankins or Mayo. Mayo is the Rajon Rondo of the Patriots – a player who’s only prolific in one stat. Whenever I point out that Rondo can’t shoot, rarely gets to the line, and is turnover prone, Cs homers throw his assists at me. When that fails, they resort to using the “L” word. If you look at the whole of Mayo’s career, despite a great 2012 season, he’s been poor in coverage and struggles coming off blocks in the run game. In response, I get his tackle stats. Tackles are good, but only to a certain point. Eventually, I get the “L” word argument. Whenever I point out how overrated Mankins is (and overpaid) and reveal pass rush stats which prove my point, the “L” word gets thrown at me. This article illustrates just how replaceable Mayo is. The same is true of Mankins.

    The moral to the story, beware of players who’s greatest attribute is LEADERSHIP. It’s like describing a chick on a blind date as “fun to be with” and a “great personality”.

    • LakeDrive

      Good one

      Rex Ryan always says he has ” leaders ” , “hard-working guys” , LOL
      Rex is the epitome of someone who knows he has no talent .
      It’s hard for him to be a “defensive genius” without Ray Lewis , Ed reed and Terrell Suggs

      • rogue

        I’ve always liked Rex.The sad reality was that when Woody fired Tanenbaum, it only prolonged his agony. ESPN’s Mike Sando pointed out that when Woody proclaimed that Rex would remain as HC, it removed all of the experienced GMs from taking the job. New GMs must be allowed to pick their own coach. That’s not a jab at Rex, it’s just the way it is. Idzik is in over his head and has had no GM experience. If you have ESPN Insider, check out Sando’s article.