Fire the Muskets: A Look at Patriots New OLB Josh Uche

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“If y’all wanna talk that talk, we can walk that walk” - Josh Uche

The Patriots made another trade, Bill Belichick’s 79th trade during his 20 years as head coach with New England.  So it is no surprise that he moved back into the second round in a trade with the Ravens and selected Michigan’s outside linebacker Josh Uche.  The Michigan product will join safety Kyle Dugger as the two newest members of the Patriots defense. 

Photo courtesy of DetroitFreePress.com
Last season at Michigan, Uche had 8.5 sacks for the Wolverines.  Uche will join former Michigan teammate edge rusher Chase Winovich to wreak havoc on the quarterbacks of the AFC East.  “That was my boy when he was at Michigan," said Uche.  "Before every game, I remember we’d talk about what techniques we were going to use to beat the tackles that week.  We’d just go over the motions in practice — ‘Okay, this move is going to work on this guy, I feel like this guy struggles with this move.”

Uche is an intriguing prospect due to his burst and athleticism off the edge.  NFL scouts have compared Uche’s skill set to be very similar to former Patriot linebacker Jamie Collins.  Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo had been in touch with Uche during the pre-draft process.  Uche will fit the Patriots scheme well, edge rusher and he can also play off the ball.  He will be able to help both sides of play for the defense and once again Belichick lands versatility with this draft selection. 

At Michigan, Uche didn’t play off the ball well inside the box according to scouts.  The Patriots will need to work on that with him at the pro level.  The one thing we know is Belichick loves coachable players and Uche fits that mold. 

Michigan Wolverines gear at Fanatics.comThe Patriots needed help at linebacker with Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and Collins exited in free agency this offseason.  Van Noy and Collins accounted for 137 tackles, 13.5 sacks and three interceptions last season.  Uche will help fill some of that void.  He should see work at both inside and outside linebacker, and odds are he’ll see time on third down and passing downs.  The versatility Uche brings will allow the Patriots to use him in exotic blitz packages to create pressure on the quarterback. 

Uche was intrigued about joining New England prior to the draft, and even went as far to say “I just knew that they were perfect fit for me”.  He would go on to say, “I would say it’s a good fit for me because I’m a hard-ass worker, and the Patriots work their asses off.  They run the ship just like Coach Harbaugh does, probably better and everything like that because it’s the pros.  It’s just a blessing”.

Overall, Uche is an intriguing talent who will bring a versatile skill set at edge-rusher and potentially both linebacker positions.  He will draw comparisons to former Patriots linebacker Roman Phifer, Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu and Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick.  The Patriots are rebuilding a defense that saw an exodus of players leave in free agency.  With the addition of Uche and Dugger, the Patriots have added two solid young versatile players to their defense.


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Boston Sports Syndicate: Fire the Muskets: A Look at Patriots New OLB Josh Uche
Fire the Muskets: A Look at Patriots New OLB Josh Uche
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