Jonathon Fanene

DE/DT 

6-4, 285, 

 

 

 

Might be Mix of Mike and Hamilton.

By TOM

This is a real  nice signing for the Pats. He is jus the type of guy BB loves. He seems to have worked his way up from nothing. Hard work and constantly improving has kept in the League for seven years. He plays with nice strength and can play multiple positions. Last seaosn had Sacks from both D-Tackle positions, and the Right D-End position. Usually guys who can play both D-Tackle and D-end make the best 5-Techniques. 

At first I thought he was just a JAG. But BB gave him 12 Mil, and has a singing bonus of 3.85 Million. BB does give out that kind of dough with expecting some time in the oven. This kid is going to play, and play often for the Pats. The first thing you notice about this guy is that he loves the fight. He a physical PassRusher of the most wonderful sort. He loves to punch, chop, and club in the rush. He is not a finesse rusher. He is a get low and dig his way tot he QB rusher. 

The biggest concern of course is that the Bengals play a significantly different scheme. Their D-Linemen are given much more of a green light to just charge up field and hit the QB. Run responsibilities are a punch line in that defense. Here, if you can't stop the run you can't play on the D-Line. Now I'm not saying Fanene can't stop the run, but they got him for his passrush skills. He has that knack for hitting the Quarterback. He will sub-in for one of the three Nose Tackles we have as our D-Linemen, and rush. He can also play any of the four 4-3 positions on the D-Line and rush the passer.   

This is another sign that BB has seen the new NFL landscape, and is changing his priorities. We already have the big fat Nose Tackle-type run stuffers: Wilfork and Love. Gerald Warren is not signed yet, but he should be back, and he is another big fat run stuffer. Deaderick is not as big, but getting there. What we need more of on the D-Line are some slick passrushers. Fanene has shown over the past few years, he can get to the QB from multiple positions on the D-Line. 

I am comparing him to Mike Wright. Now they don’t really have similar games, but that is the role he will be filling. The Utility guy on the D-Line who can rush a little and rest the big fat NT guys. Let’s face it, their not taking Wilfork out on 3rd and 1, their taking Wilfork and Love out on 3rd and ten. Fanene had 6.5 Sacks last season, and six Sacks in 2009. He missed 14 games with injuries in 2010. Mike Wright had 5.5 Sacks in 2010, and 5 Sacks in 2009. In 2012 he only played in 10 games and really looked like he was turning into something special. If the Pats can get 6-9 Sacks out of Fanene in two of the three next years, I think they will be happy.  

However, his play reminds me of Ben Hamilton. They are about the same size, 6-4 285. They play similar games, a little undersized but lowest man wins. Hamilton’s highest Sack totals were seven. Hamilton was much better against the run than Fanene, but they play a similar style, and Fanene is better rushing the passer. 

Now I’m not saying he is going to be a star, or the starting LDE like Hamilton for a few years. He's a utility guy. A Mike Wright. He will come in on passing downs in multiple positions. He'll get a few starts when injuries strike. In the past three seasons when he played in all 16 games (2011, 2009, 2008) he started only 16 games, and 10 where in 2009. He is a role player, and his role will be to come in and hit the Quarterback. This is something he has shown he can do. He rushed from all over the D-Line. From the inside he got to the QB, and from the outside as well.

It is amazing how fast things get out on the Internet. This is a really great Tape of Fanene by PatriotRazor.com. It shows a lot of nice plays. 

The first play he is lined at RDT, and he shades it a little. This is really more of a right place right time play. However, he gets a nice swim move on the OG, though he is trying to get outside for the Screen. The second play shows just what the pats want out of him. Come into the game and hit the QB from inside. He makes a nice move upfield. He has good hands and he really shows it here. Did you see how he hits the OG’s arms before they can get near him (:26). The D-End had crashed inside. He sees the outside space and takes off. I thought it was a stunt when I first watched, but I think the D-End just made a strong inside move, and he took advantage of it. He shoved off the OG and then zipped around the OLT and the RB. That is a nice burst to the outside (:47).

Another Sack by Fanene. When he plays and stay slow he looks real good. I don’t know how consistently he plays this low, but if can play that low consistently it will be fun to watch (1:00). He is actually at the LDE spot in the 4-3. I like how he comes off his stance with arms extended. What I really like is that he doesn’t just stand there hockey fighting. So much of Pass Rushing is to just keep moving and keeping the hands off your shirt. He hits the OG, keeps his hands off his shirt, and then moves laterally, and Rips right into the QB (1:33).

Here he sets the edge from the RDE position. He is the only player that notices the ball is out and goes and attacks it (1:46). I like this play. It shows he is versatile, smart, and aware. Just like BB likes.

Just like the other Sack, he digs in under a guy and Sacks the QB and nobody can see him. This time he lined up at LDT, and he slaps off the hands Rips low to the QB. Then he dives and just trips him up (2:43). You get a good look here at his club. He does such a nice job attacking those arms. Shove off the arm, club the shoulder, and Rip, perfect. Then attacks the QB as low as you can go (2:58). 

This is a real nice play. He is playing LDT. He actually gets double teamed here by ORT and the ORG. I like how he gets stoned at first, but keeps on rushing. He doesn’t let the two O-Linemen turn it into a hockey fight, and just grab shirt and dances around stalemated. He moves laterally in the rush so well (3:11). Watch him gets his hands up into the OG’s hands in a flash (3:33). (3:35) Boom, he is in a Hockey Fight. The OG has won. Arms extended grabbing shirt, now dance for a few seconds and the rush is done. But instead, Fanene make a real nice move. He slaps his hands down and then Swims over him. He doesn’t just grab shirt and hold on as well. No hockey fight. Then gets real low and advances on the ORT. He shoves his arms off, gets skinny, and splits the two O-Linemen (3:37). Then he spots the QB, slaps off the pesky O-Guard again and dives at the QB’s feet. 

I love how this guy gets low inside. He hits the QB again, and you can’t even see him again. He is playing LDT So far we have seen him get a Sack form every position accept LDE. He gets a nice blast off the line, gets skinny, and splits the double team for the Sack. This was his most explosive Sack. Watch how he uses his burst to get the inside shoulder of the OG, then he just Rips through and the QB is done (3:49).

Here he is at LDT. He uses a bullrush to disrupt the QB. He gets real low and gets the OG moving backwards, and doesn’t let him re-anchor (4:20). You can just see him reaching out and slapping at the ball. He comes under the ORT, and jabs the ball out nicely (4:40).

Here he is at RDT. Again showing what a good hand fighter he is. He stays out of Hockey Fights by slapping, chopping , and clubbing and moving laterally. (4:46). Boom, he takes the punch, shoves off the arms and moves his left (4:48). He gets stuck again by another nice punch by the OG, but slaps off his arm again and move to his right. Then he looses the OG, who are not known for their feet, and cuts back to the left and shed the OG with his lateral quickness (4:49). Then he has a free run at the QB, and hits his legs and jumps up (4:51). Then he shows his awareness by spotting the fumble and chasing it down. He shows his smarts again by running the ball into the Endzone even though every one had stopped. Make the refs make a bad call to stop the play.

 

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