New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Crable One of Many That Could Take the Spot of Vrabel

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So who is taking the spot of Mike Vrabel, who was traded to the Chiefs this offseason, in 2009? Looks like the first shot will go to Shawn Crable, a third-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2008. Today Patriot Ledger has a piece on the change, and possible other players that could play that spot:

The offseason saw them bid farewell to 33-year-old Mike Vrabel. Now the New England Patriots search for his replacement, an outside linebacker who is ready, willing and … Crable?

A third-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2008, Shawn Crable appeared to be making a rather smooth transition to pro football last preseason before he took it on the shin – a shin injury leading to his placement on the injured reserve list before he’d lined up for a regular-season down.

One year later, Crable is a candidate to succeed Vrabel, a starter since 2001 whose skills the Patriots felt had diminished to the point where they were willing to package him with quarterback Matt Cassel in the Feb. 28 deal with Kansas City that brought the Chiefs’ second-round pick in the April NFL draft to New England.

Crable’s competition will include Pierre Woods, Vince Redd and Tully Banta-Cain.

While there’s always the outside possibility that one of them will step forward and flourish, there certainly doesn’t seem to be a Julius Peppers or a Jason Taylor in the bunch.

Click HERE to read the rest of the piece

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