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Old 02-23-2010, 12:47 PM    (permalink
Morton
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Default Vince Wilfork theory

So everyone has, by now, been following the Vince Wilfork situation in New England as they try to slap the franchise tag on him and basically string along a franchise-caliber, elite-level NT.

I have a theory related to this matter: Bill Belichick is secretly planning to transition his defense to a 4-3 scheme. Think about it.

- One of the reasons the Patriots had so much success in the earlier part of the decade was because back then, they were basically only competing with the Steelers for their 3-4 personnel. The cornerstones of the 3-4 are a.) big NT and b.) 'tweener OLBs of a certain size. When the 3-4 was not in vogue, the Patriots had their pick of the draft when it came to these guys. It was easy to build an excellent roster when you didn't have much competition for the elite players you coveted. Now that everyone and his mother has decided to switch to the fashionable 3-4, there will be far more competition for all of these important players. Belichick must realize that he has lost this tactical draft advantage.

- But now that many teams are instead switching to the 3-4, the same thing has happened to elite 4-3 personnel. Far more 4-3 players like pure 4-3 DEs are dropping to the lower portion of the first round because teams are instead coveting the 3-4 prospects.

- Belichick has already mostly committed to rebuilding the defense this past season. Wasn't it obvious to everyone that the Patriots defense is in a rebuilding phase? What better time than now to make a switch to a different scheme, when you are committed to rebuilding the roster from scratch anyway? And there are plenty of 4-3 options in the draft with which to build a defense around: ends like Aaron Kampmann and Julius Peppers offer Belichick tantalizing building blocks for his 4-3.

- This brings us to Wilfork. If the Patriots can franchise him, and then trade him away for a boatload of picks or some 4-3 players, this will greatly enhance their roster if they are planning to make the switch. Wilfork is an invaluable commodity in today's market of teams hungry for 3-4 NTs. Any one of the many teams who have recently decided to install the 3-4 are desperate for a franchise NT. Wilfork would give the Patriots extreme leverage to demand some outrageous terms in a trade.

- Doesn't this just seem like a classic Belichick move... throwing the league a curveball by doing the unexpected, and profiting in the long-term at the expense of the "safe" and "conventional" short-term plan?
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:51 PM    (permalink
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:53 PM    (permalink
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:57 PM    (permalink
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There is no secret. BB has openly said he plans on moving to a 4-3.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:16 PM    (permalink
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Wouldn't this transition be not some big of a deal, though? From what I've heard, Bill uses alot of 4-3 anyways, so a transition to full-time 4-3 wouldn't be as drastic as it sounds.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:33 PM    (permalink
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:12 PM    (permalink
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Wilfork played in a 4-3 defense in college and the Patriots used him as a nose guard when playing with a four men front. So there is really no reason why they could not make the switch even if they extend Wilfork. Their lack of qualitiy (outside) linebackers is hurting them right now and makes the 4-3 defense so intruiging.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:16 PM    (permalink
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Wilfork played in a 4-3 defense in college and the Patriots used him as a nose guard when playing with a four men front. So there is really no reason why they could not make the switch even if they extend Wilfork. Their lack of qualitiy (outside) linebackers is hurting them right now and makes the 4-3 defense so intruiging.
The thing is though, they could probably get ALOT for Wilfork in a trade. Think of all the 3-4 defenses sprouting up everywhere in the NFL right now. Wilfork is arguably a top three 3-4 NT, and there are plenty of teams that would overpay for him in a trade. Belichick could walk away with like a billion draft picks in 2010 and 2011, because they already have a fistful of 2nd rounders this year, and multiple first rounders next year.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:27 PM    (permalink
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The thing is though, they could probably get ALOT for Wilfork in a trade. Think of all the 3-4 defenses sprouting up everywhere in the NFL right now. Wilfork is arguably a top three 3-4 NT, and there are plenty of teams that would overpay for him in a trade. Belichick could walk away with like a billion draft picks in 2010 and 2011, because they already have a fistful of 2nd rounders this year, and multiple first rounders next year.
why would a rebuilding team spend that much on a player in his prime? it doesn't make any sense.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:48 PM    (permalink
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why would a rebuilding team spend that much on a player in his prime? it doesn't make any sense.
Not all of the teams who are switching to a 3-4 are in rebuilding mode. There are plenty of teams in the league next year in need of a quality 3-4 NT, rebuilding or otherwise.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:19 PM    (permalink
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The thing is though, they could probably get ALOT for Wilfork in a trade. Think of all the 3-4 defenses sprouting up everywhere in the NFL right now. Wilfork is arguably a top three 3-4 NT, and there are plenty of teams that would overpay for him in a trade. Belichick could walk away with like a billion draft picks in 2010 and 2011, because they already have a fistful of 2nd rounders this year, and multiple first rounders next year.
I dont really think theres any arguement about that in fact you could argue he is the best. This has been discussed in the Patriots team forum about what the tag means. From everything ive heard it looks like both sides are trying to get a long term deal done and that would be preferrable to any scenario. If not they try and trade him for probably a first and a conditional pick
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:42 PM    (permalink
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There is no reason Wilfork could not play in a 4-3 front and dominate.

In fact, you put Wilfork as the NT in a 4-3 and go get yourself a big DT who can beat a man one on one and you have a very good interior push. Same style as what the Vikes do with KWill and Big Pat.
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