In defending any dynasty, many teams are unable to replace aging parts. Some people must leave, and no one is there to replace them,at all. Some are physically present, but they are just not the same talents as they age.
Let's inspect the "old timers" on the Pats and assess whether there is a good or at least adequate replacement in the wings. Realize that "adequate" may mean replacing a pro bowler with a pro bowler to just stay the same. The Older veterans are still playing because they were very good players in the first place, or they would already be gone.
There is no starter over thirty years old.
Maroney is going to be replacing Dillon; but he got a head start last year. Dillon then decided to retire. The question is still open, but the talent is definitely there. OK.
Rodney Harrison SS.
He has missed portions of the last two years. James Sanders and Artrell Hawkins have played in his stead. Hawkins is a patch; Sanders may develop into a good starter. Harrison may have been the best SS in the league Even as a good starter, Sanders does not replace Harrison, but he leaves no hole either. Meriwether has the talent to be better in coverage than Harrison, but may not have the size and or the intangible called leadership.
As the same height and five pounds lighter but faster than Lawyer Milloy, Meriwether could be a good, even pro bowl, SS. Sanders is half an inch shorter than Milloy but 10 Pounds heavier. Both have adequate dimension as a SS star, but neither have the size or weight of Harrison who is 6-1 220#s,
Good adequate replacements. Although the replacement candidates will have different things that he does well, the answer is INComplete but likely OK.
Tedy is the play caller of the Defense. and a star at WILB, providing play diagnosis, Defense setting, and interior Blitz and INT capability. Adalius Thomas is new. He will play alongside Tedy this year but he is a equal or better replacement. OK.
Mike Vrabel is only 31, and is likely to have a job for three or more seasons, perhaps even becoming the Mike Man at SILB as he slows. right now unheralded Pierre 'woods would be his replacement. This is an INComplete but not really a problem until 2009. Answer NOT OK.
Captain of the STs and a sometimes pro bowler as a pure ST coverage player. The ST coverage units fell off the past two years and were downright inferior last year. Candidates to replace him as ST leader, are Willie Andrews, Mel Mitchell, Eric Alexander, Pierre Woods, Garret Mills, Dante Wesley. Long shots include perhaps Mays, Lua, Hawkins, Sanders.
Andrews has the look of a ten year ST player. Mitchell was the ST leader in NO. Wesley the near team leader behind pro bowler Ajanbedjo in Chicago. Mitchell and Wesley might be able to take an occasional regular Defensive snap unlike Larry. My prediction is heads will roll for last year's coverage on ST. Larry might be a surprise cut.
The Patriots carried two rookie punters on the PS last season and brought in two veterans, Walthers, and Sauerbrun to punt when the 37 year old got hurt. They tried to keep Sauerbrun and lost him to a contract textual problem. Baugher led the NFLE this past season. Berger was brought in for a tryout. Miller 's time is coming to an end. Whether he ekes out another season, he will be gone by next year.
I predict Baugher will take his job, and Miller will go to the "Shadow roster" waiting an emergency phone call.
I have not looked a old pure reserves and now non-starters. The are here for the season and will be replaced by others next year. Guy like Chad Scott Tory James, Chad Brown, Jr. Seau.
Do you Agree?
First of all, EXCELLENT idea for a post, and very well executed. Thanks.
Secondly, I agree mostly, 'though I don't recall our ST's being worse last year than they had been the previous two years. I'm not saying you're wrong, but that was the one thing that really stuck out to me. Were they really "inferior" last season?
That really puts it in perspective and shows the middle finger to those who claim we have an old team. We may have age dotted here and there on the roster but most of it is either easily replaced or already replaced.
Vrabel turns 32 next week August 14th..nothing major but he will be 32 by week 1 if you want to get technical
Honestly, if you take away our LB core each position has a group of young guys pretty much. My concerns are as folows : LB, S, WR
#1 LB - We'll never have a hot rookie, lets just forget about it so come April we'll save 3 months of predicting us drafting one. BB likes vets, love it or hate it thats the way it goes. I don't mind, cuz the results have not been half bad. But will he always be able to find LBs for us? We'll see.
SS- My only worry here is will Sanders progress enough? I'm reaching because Sanders is becoming one of my favorite up and coming guys.
WR - Who is going to play for us after this season? Will JAckson reach his potential?
IMO those are my only concerns.
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