|08.07.09 at 10:15 am ET|
FOXBOROUGH — Hey all … we’re here at Gillette Stadium for another day of double sessions at Patriots’ training camp. The first practice is set to begin at 10:30 a.m., and the second starts at 3:45 p.m. Coach Belichick is scheduled to address the media at 11:45, and we should have our first blog post up around noon. Expect plenty of Derrick Burgess talk…
|08.06.09 at 8:51 pm ET|
Here’s the Patriots’ practice schedule for the next week:
Friday: Practices at 10:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Saturday: No practice
Sunday: Practice at 3:45 p.m.
Monday and Tuesday: Practices at 9:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Wednesday: No practice — travel to Philadelphia
Thursday: Patriots at Eagles 7:30 p.m.
|08.06.09 at 7:04 pm ET|
WEEI.com has learned that the Patriots have given up a third-round pick in 2010 and a fifth-round pick in 2011 for Derrick Burgess. (UPDATE, 10:50 p.m. The deal includes a third in 2010 and conditional fourth- or fifth-round pick the same year. Excuse me while I go run a penalty lap.)
|08.06.09 at 6:31 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — According to Patriots’ Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio, the team and nose tackle Vince Wilfork’s representatives are still talking about a contract extension.
The 6-foot-2, 325-pound Pro Bowl nose tackle is entering the final year of a six-year contract he signed as a rookie, and has stated publicly he would like a new deal.
“Vince [Wilfork] has been a good player for us in our system,” Caserio said Thursday in a press conference at Gillette Stadium. “He has been productive, he has had some success here, and we want to have him around here. Both parties are working on both sides to try to get something resolved.”
Wilfork’s is scheduled to make a salary of $2.2 million this year. But in an offseason where Albert Haynesworth commanded a $100 million deal with the Redskins, he remains relatively underpaid. Wilfork is a quality nose tackle in a league where more and more teams are switching to a 3-4 defense, which could make him a serious commodity if he is allowed to hit the open market.
A first-round pick out of Miami in 2004, the 27-year-old Wilfork has started 67 of the 77 regular season games he’s played in while with New England, including every regular season and postseason game the Patriots have played in since the 2006 playoffs. He was an All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl in 2007, was named a defensive captain the following year and finished second on the team in 85 tackles in 2008.
Prior to his arrival, New England struggled for consistency at the nose tackle position, with the only real success coming when the Patriots retained the services of the massive Ted Washington for a single season in 2003.
“He has been a productive player in our system,” Caserio said of Wilfork. “How he stacks up relative to other players in the league may or may not come into play, but we know in our system he’s been a productive player and some of those other players, you don’t know how they would fit in your system.
“He has been a good player for us and he has been productive, so he is a good player, and I think we are cognizant of how he stacks up the league. He’s a good player.”
Despite the uncertainty, Wilfork has said several times that his focus will not change, and thus far, he has stayed true to his word. He has been on the field for every training camp practice save the two on Wednesday because his wife gave birth, and has looked like his usual impressive self.
“I will not let that (the negotiations) interfere with what I have going on in the field,” Wilfork said earlier in camp. “If I’m healthy, I’ll practice.”
|08.06.09 at 6:29 pm ET|
Here’s the full release the Patriots just sent out on the acquisition of Derrick Burgess:
Read the rest of this entry »
|08.06.09 at 5:56 pm ET|
Back in May when talk of Derrick Burgess-to-the-Patriots first surfaced, I spoke with a handful of football insiders who talked about what kind of impact he could have on the New England defense. Here’s a portion of that blog post, which can be found in its entirety here.
Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders and Brian Baldinger, an analyst for the NFL Network, agree that while Derrick Burgess isn’t the same player he was back in 2005 or 2006 when he had a combined 27 sacks in Oakland, if the Patriots plug him into the right scheme, the 30-year-old could still do plenty of damage as an outside linebacker in New England’s 3-4 defense.
“The resume is on tape — he’s got good quickness and good, explosive power,” Baldinger said. “That’s exactly what you need in a pass rusher.”
Burgess has managed 38½ sacks in his last four years with the Raiders, including a league-high 16 in 2005. But Tanier, a contributing editor to FootballOutsiders.com and co-author of the Pro Football Prospectus, believes that the wear and tear of playing so many defensive snaps the last few years for a subpar team like the Raiders has taken a toll on his body. As a result, his sack totals have decreased steadily the last four years.
“Burgess’ sack totals are in a four-year decline and he missed parts of the last two seasons with injuries,” said Tanier of Burgess, who has been hobbled by foot injuries over the course of his career. “He’s been an undersized 4-3 end for his entire career, and all the battles against offensive tackles have taken their toll.
“The Raiders haven’t had the talent in the last few years to spot him, so he’s been in the lineup for nearly every defensive snap when healthy. That’s not good for a 260-pound end.”
“He wasn’t very productive last year, but no one on the Oakland defense had a good year last year, other than [cornerback] Nnamdi Asomugha,” Baldinger said. “I think he could be a good, solid player. I don’t know if he’s an every down guy, but not many are these days.”
However, he still has a big upside. Tanier says Burgess is an “underrated” run defender, and offers a statistical argument: According to Football Outsiders, he made 18 tackles on running plays, and 15 of them qualified as “stops,” meaning he tackled the running back for a minimal gain. His 2007 numbers (33 run tackles, 28 stops) are similar.
“Burgess is very good at flattening out and making plays from the backside,” Tanier said. “If the running back is running right, Burgess can chase him from the left side of the formation and make the stop.”
In the end, Tanier believes the Patriots would not be getting a true replacement for Mike Vrabel. However, as a situational pass rusher, Burgess would certainly fill the bill.
“Vrabel could do some things in coverage that Burgess cannot, and Vrabel had experience playing off the line of scrimmage as a traditional linebacker on run downs,” Tanier said. “Burgess fits better in the old Rosie Colvin-Willie McGinest role as the linebacker who plays in a three-point stance wide of the left tackle on passing downs.
“He should probably be thought of as a situational pass rusher who gets 25 to 30 snaps at this point in his career. With that kind of workload, he can register six to seven sacks.”
“New England needs pass rushers, and I don’t know if they’ve replaced [Vrabel],” Baldinger said. “Burgess is not really a standup linebacker. But he’d be a good pass rusher in the New England defense.”
|08.06.09 at 5:47 pm ET|
Via their Twitter page, the Patriots have just announced they have release offensive lineman Al Johnson and have acquired defensive end/linebacker Derrick Burgess from Oakland. More to come.
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