Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

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    Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    A look behind the scenes via Lombardi, a guy BB hired in Cleveland as they worked to invent the best way to build a team in the cap era:

    Bill Belichick & draft philosophy

    April, 21, 2012
    Apr 21
    6:00
    AM ET
    In a video posted on NFL.com, Mike Lombardi shares some of the tips he learned from working with Bill Belichick when the two were with the Cleveland Browns in the early 1990s.

    A few highlights:

    1. Building a team, not collecting talent. "That's one of his favorite sayings. By that he means putting players in the right role, how they can contribute to the team, and defining that role."

    2. Never fall in love with one player. "Bill is very analytical. Bill is all about not falling in love with a player. Bill is looking at value. He wants the correct definition of the player and the correct value of the player. When he determines that, then he understands where he can move around in the draft [with trades]. ... His whole approach is value -- 'if I trade down, I get better value.' But the key component as to why he's traded down all these years was the rising cost of rookie draft picks. He did not want to bring somebody into his locker room that was going to be in the top 5 payroll of his team."

    3. Small draft room. "He's one of the best listeners that I've ever been around. The draft room will be very small. ... It will only be four people. Belichick's big thing is that he's not looking for more opinions, he's looking for right opinions. The scouts do their job, which is prepare him for the draft, then ... there is only one decision-maker in New England. He doesn't want any confusion on draft day."

    4. Trade reputation is well-known. "People know it's one-stop shopping. All you have to do is make a phone call to him and he's easy to make a trade with. He's very good at sensing what is going to happen. I would say around the 15th pick in the draft this year, he'll have an idea of what player he's going to get, and if he'll have to move."

    "I'm not looking for the best players, Craig. I'm looking for the right ones."

     - Herb Brooks, 1979
     
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  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Philskiw1. Show Philskiw1's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    I posted on this and it ate my post... honest.

    Anyway. The draft is IMHO only 1/3 of what a team needs to be successful. you have FA and undrafted players. BB always has a lot of high picks. Sure you hit on some and miss on others. Look at the age of our team. We're pretty young. We will contend for a lot of years. We have depth in most areas. If we get a pass rusher, or 2 we're going to get a lot better in a hurry. I personally think, like Ocho theres going to be some pleasant surprises this year.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ATJ. Show ATJ's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    BB's approach has proven successful over time; the team contends every year.  None of what Lombardi said surprises me; merely reinforces my view that if not BB's the best he's among them.

     
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    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    In Response to Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach:
    [QUOTE]Herb Brooks did nothing in the NHL. So his theory didn't work. I'm taking the best at any position and Coach them, change their mindset.
    Posted by bobbysu[/QUOTE]

    Herb Brooks never had much talent where he coached in the NHL.  Also, he was a college coach more so than an NHL coach.   He also wasn't a GM so he wasn't picking his players like he did at U of Minn or for the 1980 US Olympic hockey team.

    I'm taking winners and people with character.  Ladanian Tomilinson was supposed to the best, too. No thanks.  Character and passion is harder to find than talent.

    Regardless, Brooks had it right when he said that.  The 1980 Miracle on Ice proves that. 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    Personally I think it takes a blend of talent, character and passion. And this is unfortunate - you'd much rather just have passionate character guys on your team, but the truth is you need talent (whatever the ratio is I'm not sure).

    I think Belichick's approach works...when coupled with some high end talent. In all honesty I think most everything works when you have the QB that we have (and I've said this over and over).

    Lombardi wasn't writing cute articles on Belichick's approach to team building when he was in Cleveland...why? Because he had lousy QB's and to write about his drafts or team building would of been laughable at the time. Back then he was known as a solid coach - his teams were big, strong, experienced, disciplined and very tough...despite that they weren't anywhere near talented enough to win much of anything. With the QB he has now things are different. 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from BassFishing. Show BassFishing's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    Umm, Lombardi worked with BB in Cleveland so he woudn't be writing anything "cute" in the early 1990s.   BB hired Lombardi.

    The QB BB wanted to use, he wasn't allowed to in Cleveland.  In 1996, when Cleveland moved to Baltimore, some guy named Testaverde made the Pro Bowl with what BB had set up for them on offense. Maybe if BB had his way years earlier in Cleveland, he not only would have his QB choice, but by having some personnel power, he wouldn't have been fired?  Yep.

    Sure, the Baltimore offenses weren't great in the late 90s, but we all know what Modell said after the fact. He made a mistake with BB. Duh.  Baltimore was well set up out of the gate after moving from Cleveland.

    BB and Lombardi worked closely in putting together this formula we now see today.

    Fact is, no one, absolutely no organization has a better handle on managing the roster better than BB. 

    I think its funny how we see such backhaned compliments on this topic from miserable little Pats fans here, with the talking out of both sides of their mouth.  Read a book, please.  Lombardi and BB are still close.  Take what Lombardi says pretty much as gospel when it comes to Pats analysis.

    Regardless if your QB is Brady or Testaverede, the concept in this discussion is the formula BB devised in Cleveland at the dawn of the cap era.  That's the focus. the same reason why BB wanted Brady drafted, Bledsoe benched is the same conceptual reason why he wanted Testaverde over Kosar.  Kosar was slow in the pocket and a one dimensional QB.  So was Bledsoe.

    Further, what's funny is, the last 2 SBs, Tom Brady wasn't that good.  So, enough with this "Brady made BB" premise.  It's bunk.  Right now, BB is covering for Tom Brady until Brady gets his head together in January again.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    A lot of people think that if they talk to a prospect enough, watch enough game film, take the measurements, interview his parents etc. then they can somehow come to a definitive conclusion on who will become great. The reality is there just isn't an answer, you can't know everything about a player and luck will always be a factor. For every rule on what makes a great pick there are ten guys who broke that rule and still become great. BB doesn't have all the answers but I don't really see anyone doing it better year in and year out.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    The 1994 Cleveland Browns went 11-5 and had the #1 defense in the league. People reminisce about BB's days in Cleveland like they were terrible, they weren't, the difference then was the media was at odds with him dues to his gruff responses to questions or lack of answers altogether. He put together a pretty talented team there in a small market for a cheap owner, that's not easy.

    He takes players who fit his system, poster's here want him to take 4/3 defensive ends, WR's who can't beat press coverage or overrated college pass rusher's who fizzle out in the pros.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from BassFishing. Show BassFishing's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    People also troll and lie here hoping to play to media rhetoric, pretending they know more than more educated fans here, fans who actually know exactly what they're talking about such topics.

    The media does not like BB, hence why most of what is reported is either false, a half truth or spun in such a way they make him look as bad as possible without going over the line.

    This is nothing new to me. What's sad is, we have fans here like Mt. Hurl who aren't bright enough to get this or have even read a book to know facts. Scary and sad, actually.  He drives a car and may or may not have procreated.  lol

    Mt. HUrl will tell you Kosar was better than Testaverde, BB had no ide what he was doing and Modell was a good guy as well as a genius. Oh, and BB's '94 Cleveland D wasn't #1 rated. 

    lmao
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    In response to "Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach": [QUOTE]The 1994 Cleveland Browns went 11-5 and had the #1 defense in the league. People reminisce about BB's days in Cleveland like they were terrible, they weren't, the difference then was the media was at odds with him dues to his gruff responses to questions or lack of answers altogether. He put together a pretty talented team there in a small market for a cheap owner, that's not easy. He takes players who fit his system, poster's here want him to take 4/3 defensive ends, WR's who can't beat press coverage or overrated college pass rusher's who fizzle out in the pros. Posted by wozzy[/QUOTE] This is true. More than just the record was the direction they were heading. He inherited a 2-14 got them better every year, went to the playoffs and even won a playoff game before they announced they were moving and the team fell apart the last year. Some people like Babe contrast this agains Carroll who had a better overall record but inherited a SB team and made them worse every year.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from BassFishing. Show BassFishing's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    Exactly.  It's hilarious to me that anyone would proclaim Carroll was just as good as BB.

    The 1998 and 1999 defenses with Carroll were distintinctively worse and a big part of it was because Carroll ran a country club here.  Guys like Bruschi, McGinest, Milloy and to some degree Law didn't really become very good or GREAT until BB got here in 2000 to fix what Carroll and Grier ended up ruining.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    In Response to Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach:
    [QUOTE]Herb Brooks did nothing in the NHL. So his theory didn't work. I'm taking the best at any position and Coach them, change their mindset.
    Posted by bobbysu[/QUOTE]

         You can't knock the late Herb Brooks. What he did to mold that 1980 US hockey team into a champion will always score high with me. Beating the Russians that year with those kids was the greatest upset, and greatest feel good moment, in sports history. Though it happened 32 years ago, whenever I think about it, it still brings a smile to my face, and an uncontrollable reflex action to do a fist pump!  

         There's a huge difference between molding a team of kids to compete at their best in a hockey tournament, and acquiring and molding a team of veteran players to perform well over an entire NHL season. It's really apples and oranges stuff. 
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from BassFishing. Show BassFishing's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    The 1980 Miracle on Ice and gold medal run is the best thing in the history of sport.

    I;ve never heard anyone proclaim Herb Brooks didn't know what he was doing before. I guess there is a first time for everything. lol
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    In Response to Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach:
    [QUOTE]Exactly.  It's hilarious to me that anyone would proclaim Carroll was just as good as BB. The 1998 and 1999 defenses with Carroll were distintinctively worse and a big part of it was because Carroll ran a country club here.  Guys like Bruschi, McGinest, Milloy and to some degree Law didn't really become very good or GREAT until BB got here in 2000 to fix what Carroll and Grier ended up ruining.
    Posted by BassFishing[/QUOTE]

    I think the point you're making is that Belichick is a great coach - who took very talented players (which he didn't select in the draft by the way...although I think he had a hand in Bruschi and Milloy) and made them better players. He made these players better after they had become stagnent under Pete Carroll...it's what great coaches do. He took average talent in Cleveland and made them a very tough and physical team that was extremely well coached. Again it's something an outstanding coach can do, which is what BB is...an outstanding (if not the best) coach.

    I think what gets lost in this team building concept is that it requires talented players to build a good or great team. Then you have your try hard/heart players and they are all are lead by an outstanding coach. I think this team had passed on some of that talent that we need to build around. This team is built around an outstanding QB and to a lesser extent Wilfork on defense. I think on D some of these value selections (the right player, not the best player) have not come close to helping us. Which is fine - the draft is difficult to evaluate and project, hell BB gave Drew Bledsoe 100 million in contract 10 months after he became the head coach (so even current nfl players can be mistakes).

    The thing is when you have a QB like Brady and a head coach like BB everything you do is considered gold, but is...Butler, Brace, Cunningham, McCourty, Chung, Spikes, Price, Wheatly, Dowling, Vareen...gold? This is our future right there...these are very valuable high selections that make or break an organization. Are these the right players? Maybe? Maybe not? There was a reason why we had to go out and sign a boat load of mid level guys to play on this team this year, it's because we missed on some guys at key spots in the draft. 

    Some of those guys listed above may turn out to be awesome, but they all have some major question marks and an nfl career is way too short to be answering questions 3 years into it. Personally I loved some of those selections listed above - I thought Butler was an outstanding prospect - a real steal. I thought Brace was going to be very good. I hated the Cunningham selection. I loved the Chung selection. You just don't know, but you have to take talent when it's there, because there isn't enough of it and it's too expensive in free agency.


     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from BassFishing. Show BassFishing's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    I don't expect 2nd rookies and 2nd year guys to be "gold", Jerry. I am an educated adult and a realist. 

    The Gronks aren't reality every draft. Lower your expectations on kids coming out of college past Round 1.

    Try that and you may be better off.  Cunningham was pretty solid as a rookie in the 3-4 OLB role.  Brace appears to not be Patriot material, yes, and Butler was a bust for us, yes.

    How many times are you going to mention the same list of names who aren't HOFers and then pretend they hold no value on a 53 man roster? It's like you're personally offended every pick past Round 1 isn't an All Pro player immediately (or ever).

    Just bet happy you aren't a Jets fan watching them trade up for overrated prospects with their fans pretending they're future HOFers.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from BassFishing. Show BassFishing's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    Actually, you make a lot of stuff up constantly. No way I ever said if your 1st rd pick wasn't a Pro Bowler he's a bust.  Never said that.

    I said if he's not a starter, he's a bust. Yes.  You know, like Kylie Wilson.  Or now, Mark Sanchez.

    LOL!

    Your head must be the size of Gomer Manning's the way you walk into doors here, Phat Rex.

    Also, what is a JetMangione?  Please tell us the root of that new board name of yours, Phat Rex.  You're oh so clever with your board creations here.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from BassFishing. Show BassFishing's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    The Pats D has improved each of the last 4 years.  2008 was bad, 2009 not much better, 2010 young and inexperienced, 2011's went to a SB, bailing out the offense in the AFC title game.

    What's ironic is the Jets D's have gotten WORSE since 2009. LOL!!

    That LaROn Landry signing was really something special, Phat Rex. How many scrimmages do you think he'll last for?    How many players do you think Ryan will have to cut to stay under the cap after you spend 5 million in rookie signings/busts?

    How long do you think Revis will hold our for this time?

    Enjoy! 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    In Response to Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach:
    [QUOTE]I don't expect 2nd rookies and 2nd year guys to be "gold", Jerry. I am an educated adult and a realist.  The Gronks aren't reality every draft. Lower your expectations on kids coming out of college past Round 1. Try that and you may be better off.  Cunningham was pretty solid as a rookie in the 3-4 OLB role.  Brace appears to not be Patriot material, yes, and Butler was a bust for us, yes. How many times are you going to mention the same list of names who aren't HOFers and then pretend they hold no value on a 53 man roster? It's like you're personally offended every pick past Round 1 isn't an All Pro player immediately (or ever). Just bet happy you aren't a Jets fan watching them trade up for overrated prospects with their fans pretending they're future HOFers.
    Posted by BassFishing[/QUOTE]

    Most of the guys I mentioned are either firsts, seconds and what? One third? Sorry to break this to you, but second round picks are valuable, especially when you trade back from the first round to select them. If you want me to include more first rounders in the list, I can throw in Maroney and Merriweather if it makes you happy:) Or are you still pretending that Merriweather is the third best safety in the entire AFC!?

    I don't think anyone is expecting HOFers in any round - just people that we don't have to bench or replace in two years.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Paul_K. Show Paul_K's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    My turn to dish a bit on BB's approach: 

    BB regularly goes after injured players these days.  If they get better, BB has hit the gold mine.  If they don’t get better, BB accepts his small loss and walks away from the table.  Examples of injured players include Gronkowski who had a back problem in college, and Cannon who was undergoing chemo for two months after he was drafted.  Gronk doesn’t appear to have a back problem and Cannon doesn’t appear to be bedridden.

    BB likes head cases if they are apparently not head cases.  Pot addicts go to the head of the list because there’s almost no such thing as a pot addict, just dumb football players who smoke the herb days before their drug tests.  Hernandez was a pot addict gamble, a potential waste of a fourth round pick.  Next, BB is ok with trying out some malcontents such as Randy Moss and Corey Dillon.  Moss stayed on the up and up until he couldn’t really play football anymore, then lost it.  Corey Dillon never lost it.

    BB goes after all sorts of other players with major downgrades.  Someday I’ll meet BB shopping through the real junk at Building 19.  He shot a seventh round pick on Cassell, the quarterback who had never started a college game.  He invited the wrestler Steve Neal to camp despite the fact that Neal had no idea how to put on his football padding.  Tom Brady was this skinny kid with a noodle for a throwing arm. 

    Part of BB’s success is trading contrary to the market.  All new coaches want to win now or else they are fired, so they all want to trade into 2012 and they all want to trade up to either get the few promising quarterbacks or the few genuine day 1 starters in the draft.  BB goes the other way and makes a profit, sometimes making as many as 10 trades in the draft for one year.  Buy low, sell high.  The exception is when he jumps up ahead of a rival to grab a key player, such as Gronkowski or Ty Warren.

    I really like the Patriots’ 2010 and 2011 draft selections, and that’s a good sign for 2012.  ProfootballFocus.com just came out with their 2008-2010 draft grades.  Here are my grades at this point on the Patriots 2011 draft:

    Solder:  He was pretty good last year and he should get better, which is what you want to say about a pick #17.  At this point I give the Patriots a +1 for drafting him.  The scouts nailed it.

    Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen, each –.5 at this point for being injured all the time.  I believe that if you draft injured players it’s partly your own fault.  Didn’t you read their injury history?

    Ridley:  He’s fast, but he has to hold on to the ball better.  I’ll give the scouts a +.5 at this point.

    Ryan Mallett:  Tom Brady was also a big question mark at this point, and only showed promise in the preseason of his second year.  Players were complimenting Brady at the end of his second preseason so that’s when we’ll know something about Mallet.  I have no idea so Mallett is even-steven. 

    Cannon:  +1.5, a perfectly outrageous find for a fifth round pick.  If you draft a cancer victim because you discovered that he’s not particularly dead yet, and on top of that he can start at left tackle in the NFL, that’s to your credit.  If Cannon had flopped, the Pats would have heard the boos.

    The last three draft choices were pretty much throwaways.  That often happens with seventh rounders across the NFL, where the chance of success averages 10%.  I’ll give a collective –.5 to cover the whole lot of them.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from sporter81. Show sporter81's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    In Response to Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach:
    [QUOTE]The 1994 Cleveland Browns went 11-5 and had the #1 defense in the league. People reminisce about BB's days in Cleveland like they were terrible, they weren't, the difference then was the media was at odds with him dues to his gruff responses to questions or lack of answers altogether. He put together a pretty talented team there in a small market for a cheap owner, that's not easy. He takes players who fit his system, poster's here want him to take 4/3 defensive ends, WR's who can't beat press coverage or overrated college pass rusher's who fizzle out in the pros.
    Posted by wozzy[/QUOTE]

    Yes, BB was a much better coach in Cleveland that anyone gives him credit for. He led a lousy team to the playoffs only to lose the team when a couple of weeks into the season it was announced that they would be moving to Baltimore after the season. Football players don't like distractions, certainly not BB. Its possible that knowing , your team, and family would be moving at the end of the season to a new city. Thats if you even still had a job. 

    That could have been just a slight distraction to those players and coaches. 

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    In Response to Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach:
    [QUOTE]Personally I think it takes a blend of talent, character and passion. And this is unfortunate - you'd much rather just have passionate character guys on your team, but the truth is you need talent (whatever the ratio is I'm not sure). I think Belichick's approach works...when coupled with some high end talent. In all honesty I think most everything works when you have the QB that we have (and I've said this over and over). Lombardi wasn't writing cute articles on Belichick's approach to team building when he was in Cleveland...why? Because he had lousy QB's and to write about his drafts or team building would of been laughable at the time. Back then he was known as a solid coach - his teams were big, strong, experienced, disciplined and very tough...despite that they weren't anywhere near talented enough to win much of anything. With the QB he has now things are different. 
    Posted by mthurl[/QUOTE]

    You REALLY missed the pint mthurl. The overarching point is that the team as a whle should be greater than the sum of the parts. Further - the value of a pick and of a player INCLUDES the various talents they posses, it includes how and where they improve the total value of the team (often in more ways than one).
     
    It is not having some "high character players" and some "talented" players. Each and every player has some level or both and each player has one or more ways they help the team as a whole. The more ways a player can help the team the more additional value they have for that team.
     
    The focus on "talent" happens when either you are talking about a QB (as usually there is only one role a QB plays) or simply about a player with such a high level of a specific talent that this talent is enough to add special value all by itself without the need to help the team in some secondary or terciary way.

    Just to add to this strategic view on team building, depth is usually way too OVERLOOKED. In this league it is all but a sure thing that a number of players will need to step up every year to fill in for injured players. I have made the illustrative comparison several times in the past months about how the Jets lost their starting C for just a couple of games but while he was out their O was horrible and this becuae their O line was horrible without their C. At the same time not only did the Pats lose their C for the season (much much more time out) but also the second C for a couple of games. Yet their O line continued to play at a relatively high level. This huge advantage the Pats had over the Jets was due to three elements:
    (1) a solid starting five, not just 2 or three solid starters
    (2) a group (not just one) of very solid back ups who could step right in and play like starters
    (3) very strong line coaching

    This same principle illustrated with our O line holds with every unit of O, D and sepcial teams. That is not saying that every unit is strong but that breadth and depth of talent is hugely critical and BB does one of the best jobs of insuring that the team is sufficiently represented in every area in order to compete at a playoff caliber (take notes Jets Mangione). This is also one of the critical elements that makes BB a very good GM and one which is almost always overlooked as most fans and even writers only look at "name" players picked or passed on in drafts. The Pats had to use 4 tackles last year and 3 centers! They had to use a host of Ss and CBs and DLs. Every team has a player filling the same roster spots but BB fillseven the "bench" with good players.... AND THEN HAS THOSE "BENCH" PLAYERS ADD VALUE IN OTHER WAYS.


     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    In Response to Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach : You REALLY missed the pint mthurl. The overarching point is that the team as a whle should be greater than the sum of the parts. Further - the value of a pick and of a player INCLUDES the various talents they posses, it includes how and where they improve the total value of the team (often in more ways than one).   It is not having some "high character players" and some "talented" players. Each and every player has some level or both and each player has one or more ways they help the team as a whole. The more ways a player can help the team the more additional value they have for that team.   The focus on "talent" happens when either you are talking about a QB (as usually there is only one role a QB plays) or simply about a player with such a high level of a specific talent that this talent is enough to add special value all by itself without the need to help the team in some secondary or terciary way. Just to add to this strategic view on team building, depth is usually way too OVERLOOKED. In this league it is all but a sure thing that a number of players will need to step up every year to fill in for injured players. I have made the illustrative comparison several times in the past months about how the Jets lost their starting C for just a couple of games but while he was out their O was horrible and this becuae their O line was horrible without their C. At the same time not only did the Pats lose their C for the season (much much more time out) but also the second C for a couple of games. Yet their O line continued to play at a relatively high level. This huge advantage the Pats had over the Jets was due to three elements: (1) a solid starting five, not just 2 or three solid starters (2) a group (not just one) of very solid back ups who could step right in and play like starters (3) very strong line coaching This same principle illustrated with our O line holds with every unit of O, D and sepcial teams. That is not saying that every unit is strong but that breadth and depth of talent is hugely critical and BB does one of the best jobs of insuring that the team is sufficiently represented in every area in order to compete at a playoff caliber (take notes Jets Mangione). This is also one of the critical elements that makes BB a very good GM and one which is almost always overlooked as most fans and even writers only look at "name" players picked or passed on in drafts. The Pats had to use 4 tackles last year and 3 centers! They had to use a host of Ss and CBs and DLs. Every team has a player filling the same roster spots but BB fillseven the "bench" with good players.... AND THEN HAS THOSE "BENCH" PLAYERS ADD VALUE IN OTHER WAYS.
    Posted by portfolio1[/QUOTE]

    Just a hypothetical...we had a roster last year that had several non drafted free agents playing prominent rolls. We also historically have several guys that are not even on teams on speed dial, that come in and sign some sort of contract - finish the rest of the year on the roster and are never heard from again (yet play pretty good). So what I propose is this...we can find back ups, coach them up and put them into positions to not get exposed (even flourish). Why not heavens to Betsy draft for right now, rather than trade our firsts into next year and next and next? Or my Jesus...sign a top level free agent? I mean we already have the coach to put lesser talented guys into position where they won't get exposed (see our recent rash of second round selections). And lord knows we have a QB that can carry this team on his back while our low ranked defense gets embarrassed time after time.
     
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    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    In Response to Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach:
    [QUOTE]Personally I think it takes a blend of talent, character and passion. And this is unfortunate - you'd much rather just have passionate character guys on your team, but the truth is you need talent (whatever the ratio is I'm not sure). I think Belichick's approach works...when coupled with some high end talent. In all honesty I think most everything works when you have the QB that we have (and I've said this over and over). Lombardi wasn't writing cute articles on Belichick's approach to team building when he was in Cleveland...why? Because he had lousy QB's and to write about his drafts or team building would of been laughable at the time. Back then he was known as a solid coach - his teams were big, strong, experienced, disciplined and very tough...despite that they weren't anywhere near talented enough to win much of anything. With the QB he has now things are different. 
    Posted by mthurl[/QUOTE]

    6 very true points.
    i hope everyone reads them and takes them to heart!
     
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    Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach

    In response to "Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach": [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Lombardi Shares Insight of BB's Draft Approach : Most of the guys I mentioned are either firsts, seconds and what? One third? Sorry to break this to you, but second round picks are valuable, especially when you trade back from the first round to select them. If you want me to include more first rounders in the list, I can throw in Maroney and Merriweather if it makes you happy:) Or are you still pretending that Merriweather is the third best safety in the entire AFC!? I don't think anyone is expecting HOFers in any round - just people that we don't have to bench or replace in two years. Posted by mthurl[/QUOTE] LoL , 2nd best FS in the NFL. Documented in black and white. He'll deny it to the end though.
     

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