The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local Sports

October 3, 2013

Wilfork a load for Patriots to replace

(Continued)

Tommie Kelly, the veteran, shifts to noseguard. Neither Rob Ninkovich nor Chandler Jones is your traditional three-technique end in the 3-4, but at some point, you wonder if their quickness in the pass-rush wouldn’t pay more dividends than you’re giving up against the run.

The move would place linebackers Brandon Spikes and Dont’a Hightower inside, There’s plenty of beef there, and both have shown the penchant to fill and tackle.

I like linebacker Jerod Mayo outside on the tight end side of the field, and that leaves the wild card in the formation. Highly-touted rookie Jamie Collins fits the physical stature of the prototypical rush outside linebacker in the 3-4, the Lawrence Taylor spot if you will.

Shifting at this point of the season won't be easy, but the Patriots defense was once built on its versatility. With all these premium picks exhausted defensively by Belichick in the past six years, why not now?

3. Go elsewhere. Casey Hampton is 36 and remains a free agent that the Steelers chose not to re-sign. The “Big Snack” has been buried by injuries and nagging problems in his latter years.

If there is a replacement nose guard out there, Belichick will run them through Gillette Stadium.

4. Go off the board. Remember the days of the “amoeba” and one or no defensive linemen in the game. Perhaps it is time for the Pats to believe in the athletes on the field and get a little crazy.

Tommy Kelly and Jones up front with five linebackers and a safety switching up their gap control and meandering about gives plenty for rival offenses to ponder.

“We have a lot of talented guys on our team. Vince got hurt in the first quarter yesterday and guys really stepped up and played well for us,” said Mayo. “We ended up getting the victory, which is always is a good thing. That’s our mentality, the next man up.”

There is no panic in the Patrios camp, but there is concern. Wilfork is a Hall of Fame talent, who is done for at least this year, potentially forever. That means the defensive scheme he anchored for so long has been altered for good. 

---

Hector Longo covers the New England Patriots for The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • holdendavis.jpg Stanly All-Star 15 year-olds lose in championship finals

    The Stanly County 15 year-old All-Stars Babe Ruth Baseball team battled its way through the losers’ bracket after suffering a 10-9 loss to the Union County Americans to reach the championship finals.
    Stanly rallied to force a deciding third game but Union County prevailed to earn a trip to the regionals in Varina, Virginia.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • stanly14group.jpg Stanly All-Stars reach state championship round

    The Stanly 14 year-old All-Stars played in the state tournament this weekend at Noel Williams Park in Unionville and reached the championship round of play.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • stanly13bigger.jpg Stanly County 13-year old Babe Ruth Baseball squad claims state title

    Don Montgomery Park in Albemarle played host this weekend to the state championship tournament for the Western Divsion of Babe Ruth Baseball for 13 year olds.
    After having started with a win Friday night over Union County American, the Stanly County All-Stars posted three more victories en route to the tournament title and a berth into the regionals starting July 29 in Sarasota, Florida.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • West Stanly summer baseball team wraps up regular season at Scotland County

    In the final two games of the Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League for the West Stanly squad, the Colts traveled to Scotland County for a doubleheader, making up for Tuesday’s rainout.

    July 22, 2014

  • jakeclayton.jpg Three Stanly All-Star Babe Ruth teams open play in state tournaments

    Three Babe Ruth Baseball teams from Stanly County  began play in their respective state tournaments on Friday night with victories, two of which came in events conducted locally.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albemarle High School athletic director resigns

    The athletic program at Albemarle High School will undergo another change in personnel after the recent resignation of its head football coach.

    July 17, 2014

  • deanlowder.jpg Albemarle fireman and policeman race in school buses at Charlotte Motor Speedway

    Pulling into Charlotte Motor Speedway, the first thing one may think about is getting in one of those really fast cars and taking a spin around the track.
    Cracking the motor, hearing the roar, tearing down the front stretch at 200 mph with numerous other cars doing the same. The rush, excitement and adrenaline pumping all while maintaining focus and poise as you power the aggressive vehicle around the track.

    July 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • williams.jpg North Stanly's Antonio Williams decommits to UNC-Chapel Hill

    North Stanly standout running back Antonio Williams announced via Twitter on Saturday he has withdrawn his verbal committment to attend and play football at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • bobcat.jpg Uwharrie Bobcats suffer loss, bounce back for home victory

    The Uwharrie Bobcats 70+ slow pitch softball team, along with four other Piedmont Senior Slow Pitch League (PSSL) teams, participated in a league tournament at Rock Creek Park Saturday.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • curciomug2014.jpg Can you really go home again?

    The big news that flashed across the screens of smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers and televisions on Friday concerned the return of NBA star Lebron James to Cleveland after four years in Miami.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Seasonal Content