Originally Posted by STLsportBlog
This is the biggest area of concern for the fans this year (of course all comments are JMO
). Mankins who was out best OL is holding out we do not expect him back. The team made an offer but it was rejected and no talks since May IIRC.
The Starting tackles are M Light at LT he has been there for many years, a pretty good LT he does struggle with speed rushers, D Freeney and J Taylor in his prime. RT was N Kazcur last year, currently it is 2nd year player S Vollmer (2nd round pick last year) Many felt Vollmer would beat out Kaczur for the position, with Mankins not reporting BB was going to move Kaczur to the LG spot. Kaczur just had back surgery, not put on IR yet it is unclear if he will play this year. RG is being manned by D Connoly at this time, so far he has exceeded our expectations and seems to be doing a good job. S NEal has been the RG for a few years, a good run blocker, but is getting older and has missed time the past few years. D Koppen is the C good player, but not real big and can have problems with big NT's.
Depth at G is big concern this year.
2)QB(s) other than Brady (a little about Brady maybe, if there is news on him)
Brady 2nd season removed from knee injury seem to be back for his pre injury form and very strong leadership in camp.
Backup is B Hoyer, 3 yr out of Mich St, UDFA, the fans are pretty comfortable with him as the Backup, he shows a lot of poise not a big arm but good reads and an accurate passer. MAny feel he is a better QB than M Cassell was. He has played well in the PS so far. I expect Brady to play through the first offensive possession of the 2nd half and them Hoyers working the rest of the game, Robinson may get a 4th qtr series.
Robinson out of OK St is a rookie, not showing much so far may make the PS the Pats will carry 2 QB's on the roster this year.
3) RB situation (sounds crowded to me, who should we watch for Thurs?)
Fans trying to determine if the Pats will keep 4 or 5 RB's this year. Older group with Taylor, Faulk and Morris all well into their 30's. So far BB has featured 1 RB per game Ben Jarvis Green Ellis got a lot of work in the First Preseason game and F Taylor was featured in the 2nd game with S Morris playing some FB. Many think Maroney will get a lot of work this week. A lot of fans are down on Maroney feeling he dances too much and isn't decisive enough. HE is a good cut back runner at times though. Faulk has been here for all the SB wins and is a 3rd down back good hands out of the backfield runs the draw well and excellent at picking up the blitz. BJGE fighting for a spot a JAG but much younger than the others (except Maroney). Due to the situation at TE I expect the team will run more this year than in the past few years.
Weel of course Moss and Welker. Moss is having a great camp and seems poised for a big season. Welker is coming back much sooner that we thought most felt he would be on PUP and be back at mid-season at the earliest. Edleman (2nd year 7th round pick) is developing very nicely, a poor man's Welker, was a QB in college, running an option offensive good YAC and has good elusive feet, could see him on the field with Welker and Moss this year.
B Tate (3rd rnd pick last year) could be the starter in 3 wr sets opposite Moss. Missed last year with a knee injury (from SR year in college) looking very good so far. A nice catch in each of the first 2 PS games. T Price 3rd round out of Ohio U rookie, has had some moments in camp not shown much in the PS games so far. S Aiken figures to be the #5 or 6 Wr he is the ST captain and that is his main role with the team.
Teh TE's are a brand new group A Crumpler was signed from the Titans, and there are 2 rookies Gronkowski out of AZ huge body and A Hernandez from Fl both the young guys are having very good camps and have seen a lot of PT in the PS games, keep and eye on both.
big area of concern for fans. Seymour traded to Raiders last year, Green left as a FA and Warren is on IR all are DE. NT is in Good shape with V Wilfolk a couple of guys can back him up G Warren FA pick up is establishing himself as a starter ar one DE position the other starter is M Wright high motor not really big enough in the 3-4 to set the edge the way you want. Hoping R Brace (2nd rnd pick last year) steps up this year can either play DE or backup at DT. D Lewis and Deaderick (R Ala) competiting for DE spots.
Pryor 2nd year player competing for a backup spot, big game for him. D Richard R seems to be headed for PS.
Keep an eye on Brace, he missed a lot of camp this is a big week for him.
6 of this from should be on the 53 man roster.
Divide into 2 parts ILB and OLB.
ILB is young and could be very good. Mayo was DROY a couple of years ago and will start a 1 ILB slot. missed time with a knee injury and was nicked up last year expecting a big year from him. The guy that fans are VERY excited about is B Spikes 2nd round R from Fl. Has been very impressive in camp and may win a starting spot from G Guyton who was the starter last year. a 2nd year player who missed last year is T McKenzie. I like him a lot his reps in games have been limited IMO he will back up Spikes. D Fletcher R from Montana State and E Alexander are other ILB. Alexander has been a vg ST player very limited as a ILB IMO.
OLB is probably the biggest area of concern on the team. Tully Banta Cain came back to the Pats last year after going to SF for a few years had a good year with 10.5 sacks more of a Pass Rusher not great against the run. A Thomas is gone after a horrible year last year. Addition by subtraction there, a cancer in the locker room. D Burgess 2nd year from oakland not really a 3-4 OLB used as a pass rusher in sub packages not so much in the base 3-4. Made more of a contribution in the 2nd half of last season. Hope this continues. J Cunningham R Fl 2nd round pick, fans hope he will be the OLB of the future, was having a good camp seemed the fastest of the OLB ankle injury during scrimmages against the Saints. Could be back at practice this week fans hoping he sees some action this week. M Murrell from the JEts is one of the surprises of camp could end up as a starter at the beginning of the year, played a couple of years under Mangini in the 3-4 the Pats run wasn't a fit in the Ryan D. Good camp so far. keep an eye on him. Ninkovich and Woods are OLB, competing for spots Woods is a good ST not sure who we will keep.
The LB's to really watch are Spkies, and if he plays Cuningham out of FL.
Possible deepest area on team with some tough cuts. CB's who will be on roster and 3 starters in nickel packages. Bodden 2nd year FA from the Browns, had a very solid year last year. Butler 2nd year from Uconn finished last year as a starter opposite Bodden and this years 1st round pick D McCourty, having a very good camp. IMO he will start opposite Bodden by the end of the year with Butler being suited to be the slot guy. McCourty has been great on ST against the Saints he had 3 KO returns over 40 yards.
Whilite Wheatly and Arrington are fighting for 2 spots most likely. Wheatly was a 2nd rnd pick 3 years ago and has been injured and a big underachiever. However has been having a vry good camp, Whilite was burned as a starter last year in the fans doghouse competent backup IMO, could be cut though. Arrington not the best cover guy but hard hitter and vg on St's Will make he roster IMO due to versatility.
Safety: P Chung (2nd year 2nd rnd pcik) looks to be taking starting job from Sanders last years starter, hits like R Harrison watch him vast improvement from last year, playmaker, Merriweather will be the other starter, Pro Bowl last year former 1st rnd pick from Miami. McGowan got a lot of playing time last year and is in the mix as a backup. One of the Suprises of camp is Sergio Brown an UDFA from ND, he could earn a spot on the 53 displacing one of the vets.
Chung, McCourty and S Brown are guys to keep an eye on.
In the last 2 years we have drafted 24 players and may have 1 or 2 UDFA from the last 3 years make the team, this roster (especially on the D) is loaded with good young talent, BB has really turned the roster very exciting for the fans here ( we also have multiple picks in each of the first 3 rnds on next years draft) the team is restocked to make a run for the rest of Brady's career IMO.
I missed a lot but it's late. Good luck to you guys this year (Just a note I don't think Holt would have made the team if he wasn't injured due to Tate and Edleman's development