Waking Up: Thomas Williams

Patriots Thomas Williams

Who is your sleeper to make the Patriots squad in 2010?

Every year, fans and media types pick their sleepers, binkies, favorites, whatever you want to call them, to make the 53-man roster this August. Much has been made already about Thomas Williams, an inside-linebacker that weighs in at 248 pounds, that more than one writer has tagged as a sleeper for the 2010 squad.

That said, we don’t see him making the squad.  It has nothing to do Thomas, the former Jaguar and Seahawk, and everything to do with the vastly improved ILB situation of the Patriots.  Jerod Mayo and Tyrone McKenzie will presumably be back at 100%, Brandon Spikes is going to be on the prowl, and Gary Guyton will still be challenging for a spot.

We see the Patriots keeping four ILB’s, which means the Patriots would be cutting ties with Eric Alexander as well.  However, Alexander’s special-teams prowess, 12 tackles in 2009, might be enough to keep his roster spot.

Unless Williams is able to unseat Alexander as a special-teams ace, we see this sleeper waking up in another NFL city.

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18 Responses to “Waking Up: Thomas Williams”

  1. Jared says:

    prioris…quit waving your Crable pom-poms, the fact that your argument for his potential is based on…arm length…height & weight…is laughable at best. Vrabel was quote “the smartest player I ever coached” said Bill. Football is more than how you look with your shirt off. Hes playing with 3rd string guys in mini-camp, which for a guy that…> has 2 + years of playbook and film work…playing with practice squad guys is probably not a good sign. So hello Cunningham, bye-bye Crable… find a new man-crush Prioris & company.

  2. Dave says:

    Crable has 2 + years of playbook and film work…

    Not being with the first or second string defense seems a little telling.

    It’s time to fish or cut bait

    • prioris says:

      >Crable has 2 + years of playbook and film work…

      This is precisely one of the major reasons to keep him. He has gone thru the mental reps. This puts him in a prime situation to make a major impact this year like Tate and McKenzie. Cunningham will have big learning curve so i am not expecting a lot from him.

      The other major reason is because he is the fastest OLB the patriots have so his skill set can’t be replaced by any other OLB on the patriots.

      Put one of the lesser LB on practice squad or injury list.

      Cutting him because his skillset is rusty would be an act of stupidity and surely a wasted draft pick.

      Patriots need to be patient at this point and rehabilitate his skillset if its needed. We don’t need another OLB who is just another mediocre two down player which the patriots have a glut of.

      With his speed, measurements and resume, he will get picked up by another team. This is why they did not put him on practice squad.

      He did get reps with the first or second string defense.

      I don’t have trouble cutting Crable. I have trouble cutting a player who wasn’t fully rehabilitated and never been given a real chance to prove himself.

      remember, if he does get cut for the wrong reason, gets picked up by another team and proceeds to excel – there will be a lot of patriot fans who dissed crable eating their words.

    • prioris says:

      another important reason to keep Crable is his arm length – 34 inches. Like Vrabel, he has long arms and height. Crable also has large hands. Long arms are very sought after in the NFL.

      TCB says he has near perfect physical measurements and speed.

      Vrabel had technique. That can be developed with experience.

  3. prioris says:

    This is Crables first year also. You can’t count injured years.

  4. prioris says:

    The one thing patriots lack at OLB is a speed rusher. Crable would add that. The others wouldn’t. Its like making a cake but you leave the eggs out. Axing Crable because he just didn’t have enough talent, that’s one thing. Axing him even though he shows lots of potential would be stupid. Crable is almost near perfect in measurement. If Ninkovich has Crable’s speed then we could cut Crable.

    I think the patriots have to ask, who will do best in the longer term vs how is someone doing now for just a quick fix and someone who truly won’t be around more than year on roster.

    Who are the Patriots 3rd down OLB players who could excel. I don’t see anyone but Crable unless a little above average to mediocre is ok.

    There has been no real competition yet with pads so we will see who excels in camp and in preseason games.

    Bottom line: we need that 3rd down player who can excel at pass rushing.

    • NEPD says:

      Just a question, but what potential has Crable shown? He has never played a down of real NFL football.

      Cunningham to me is the guy that will be our 3rd-down rusher.

      • prioris says:

        Just a question, but what potential has Cunningham shown? He has never played a down of real NFL football.

      • NEPD says:

        There is a SLIGHT difference in that Cunningham is a rookie and this will now be Crable’s third year on the team.

      • prioris says:

        Any OLB can rush QB but which OLB on patriots is the fastest?

        I hope Cunningham succeeds but I think he will be more effective against the run than a pass. With Crable, it would seem the opposite.

        With more experience, they may become better at the other.

        I think a great pass rusher at OLB has to be a speedster.

  5. Jared says:

    I feel the same way about Alexander, as I do with Woods. I think they’re both dead-ends, but both have value on special teams. Thomas, Spikes, Cunningham,Ninkovich, Mckenzie…Out of that group, who can be effective on specials?? If one shows it in training camp, that they can, they could earn a job. If special teams is an issue for Mckenzie and Ninkovich, gotta keep Woods OR Alexander.

  6. Jared says:

    Definately agree, I just have heard Thomas’ athleticism has been evident. Bill likes versatile guys, with the turnover on defense, someone weprobably dont see coming…will be gone. Alexander and Thomas could both make the team.Mayo,Spikes,Guyton,Mckenzie,Banta-Cain,Cunningham,-all locks. Burgess and Woods are probably safe, thats 8 already. That still leaves Ninkovich,Alexander,Thomas,and oh ya, Crable(new I forgot someone). How many LB’s do you keep? 9,10? I see 8, 9 tops, that means 3 are left off…Predictions right now…Crable,Alexander,Ninkovich. But if Woods or Burgess come into training camp, a step behind, that could be your surprise cut.


    • Ryan Buske says:

      I agree and disagree with some of your insight. So far Ninkovich and Thomas’s names have come up the most. Ninkovinch has come up in many conversations about his ability to drop into coverage, and Thomas’s ability to play many positions such as FB. Dan Conolly has also played some FB thus far. As for Pierre Woods, and Alexander; I think they are gone barring injury or a good showing. Starters as of now Burgess and Cain, what other reports are saying such as Patriots.com, BostonGlobe.com, EspnBoston.com and Bleacherreport.com. They have all said that Burgess is playing much better than last year, and for what we are paying him could be a steal at OLB. Suprise cut I could see is either Crable or McKenzie, to be honest there is not a lot of room at ILB to mess around. That being said, I think it is possible for the Patriots to carry 9, and hide one of the practice squad. That way they will have one backup at each position, and some guys who can play special teams.

      I think what will happpen is you will have two packages of OLB, Rush on 1-2 or other obvious down with. Cain – Mayo – Spikes/McKenzie – Burgess

      Passing Downs – Cain? – Mayo – Guyton/Spikes – Nikinovich

      Now that is all an opinion.

      • Jared says:

        Crable, in my opinion…good as gone. I cant see them cutting 2 more after that. I agree, they keep 9 total. Crable and ?????? Get cut.

      • Ryan Buske says:

        I do not like Pierre Woods, this is all pretty premature anyways. Its not like any of this matters, if they get pads on and Cunningham is tearing it up he may start or Burgess for that matter. I just hope the change it up, and become coehesive.

  7. Jared says:

    Eric Alexander is such a dead-end. With all the young LB’s they have now to play special teams, I think Thomas’ versatility will earn him the spot. From a good football backround, and plays a little fullback(he’d be the only one). Everyday, reading comments on Pats practices, his name keeps showing up. Younger, hungrier, more versatile, keep him. Eric Alexander hasn’t had his named called since Dallas Clark torched him, say…four or something years ago. Alexander has the experience factor and lack of the unknown on his side. But Thomas has made an awful lot of noise down in Foxboro, hard to do at this point with no contact. My opinion, can’t make any accurate assumptions on personnel decisions until they strap ’em on, especially a position such as LB. Pats had multiple dust-ups while in OTA’s’, should be an interesting and hard-fought mini-camp, thats when spots are won and lost-August.


    • NEPD says:

      I don’t think either Williams/Alexander will see the defensive field (barring injury god forbid). I see it coming down to special teams value.

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