Patriots Position Preview: Explosive Young Core Of Linebackers In 2012

July 24, 2012 12:00 AM
Patriots Position Preview: Explosive Young Core Of Linebackers In 2012
" With Patriots training camp set to open on July 26, CBSBostonSports will break down the outlook for every position on the roster. Today’s breakdown is on the linebackers.

Position: Linebacker Major Players: Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dane Fletcher, Don’t’a Hightower, Rob Ninkovich, Bobby Carpenter On The Bubble: Jermaine Cunningham, Niko Koutouvides, Mike Rivera, Tracy White, Jeff Tarpinian

Outlook

With a few new toys in the mix, it’s unclear what Bill Belichick will do with his linebacking corps. He has plenty of versatile players that can play inside or out, the 3-4 or the 4-3, but most importantly, Belichick has depth that eluded him in 2011.

He also has a trio of youngsters he can build around.

Once again the key to the linebacking group will be Jerod Mayo. He has slowly taken over as the leader since being drafted 10th overall in 2008. Since then, he’s totaled more than 500 tackles, leading the Patriots in each of his first four seasons. Mayo was rewarded with a five-year extension in December last season, securing him through 2017, and will be looked upon as the leader of the linebacking corps for years to come.

This season, he’ll have some more youth around him as well "

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