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2011 Offseason Outlook - Offensive Line

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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With the Pats season over and free agency (hopefully) and the draft still a ways away, I figured this would be a good time to look back - and look forward - with some discussion at each position on the team.

    Offensive Line
    Matt Light (free agent)
    Logan Mankins (free agent)
    Dan Koppen
    Stephen Neal (injured reserve)
    Sebastian Vollmer

    Dan Connolly
    Nick Kaczur (injured reserve)
    Quinn Ojinnaka (free agent)
    Ryan Wendell
    Mark LeVoir
    Rich Ohrnberger
    Steve Maneri (practice squad)
    Thomas Austin (practice squad)
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Free Agency of Matt Light, Logan Mankins Headline Uncertain Offseason for Patriots' Offensive Line - Jeff Howe - NESN.com

    Key Rankings for Pats O-line
    2nd in rushing touchdowns
    9th in rushing yards
    10th in yards per carry
    4th fewest in sacks allowed
  3. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I want Mankins back and Vollmer at LT, plus a whole new right 60% of the line. Koppen needs to go, Connolly needs competition, and it's probably not best to plan on Kaczur as the RT for the whole season.
  4. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    My first move would be to talk with Dante.....which of our backups can start in this league? If we have to take a small step backwards to get younger so be it, as long as TB remains upright.
    I dont see how anyone would pay Mankins the same $$ that we could go get Woodley for.... Big money guys make plays! I know what Mankins does but he does not make plays. Sorry. I think Light is well-liked and is more likely to take the home town discount.....but coming off a Pro Bowl year his cost is going up too. Vollmer can easily play LT, Light cant play RT. We do have Kazcur coming back, and I think he is the wildcard. Connolly is servicable if unspectacular. If Neal is healthy I think he comes back, he is GOOD if he is healthy. Koppen is starting to look bad and sloppy. He is under contract so he is back but if Ornberger or one of the backups cant step up soon Dante will have to train a new pleeb. If it were my money...
    LT-Vollmer
    LG-Connolly--maybe RG/C next year
    C-Koppen--last year
    RG-Neal--last year
    RT-Kaczur--or LG

    Draft 1 interior and 1 OT, a highly drafted RT may kick Kaczur back to competing for LG but it still looks like we should have options without Mankins and Light. With our multiple TE formations our Tackles wont be left on islands all that much anyways.
  5. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thank goodness you have no power regarding Patriots decisions.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with you 100%!

  7. Dufflebagz

    Dufflebagz Rookie

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    Do you want Brady to make it through the season?
    [​IMG]
  8. larryo

    larryo Rookie

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    You're the guy who predicted the Pats would take Gronk, Cunningham and Spikes in the 2nd round lat year right? Don't think anyone had even predicted 2 correct picks for the entire draft before that never mind getting 3 picks in the correct round. Amazing. Don't know how you pulled that off.

    Any opinion on Ohrnberger? I know he hasn't played much but what are your thoughts on him?
  9. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Future Focus: Offensive tackle - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston - Mike Reiss

  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Will the Patriots franchise Logan Mankins if a new contract is not agreed upon before March 3rd?

    It Is What It Is -- League still plans on having franchise tag in place next month -- Christopher Price

  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Future focus: Center & guard - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston - Mike Reiss

  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    These are the best examples of guards and centers who were nfl ready. I would add "Logan Mankins, No. 32, patriots 2005)

    I would also note that ALL these players were picked before the 35th pick in the draft. If we don't have Mankins (and want a top center also), we will be using 2 of our top 3 picks.


    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2011
  13. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Let's be clear. This is a mess. We will likely need THREE rookie to bring in and start over the next two years. We could need 3 this year.

    VOLLMER the rock at RT (and maybe at LT)
    LIGHT free agent
    MANKINS free agent
    KOPPEN in the last year of his contract
    NEAL we can have him back for a $6M a year ($3M for half a season)
    KACZUR we can have him back for $3M a year
    CONNOLLY good to have as a backup
    WENDELL good to have as a backup
    OJINNAKA free agent who is a good backup
  14. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est Rookie

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    I haven't heard anything about Steve Manieri. Has he in fact signed a futures contract with the Pats? Or anyone?
  15. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes he has. I wouldn't be surprised to see him as the 3rd tackle next season. The Pats obviously like what they see.
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would definitely be surprised to see him be the 3rd tackle. That would mean that he is the Game Day backup at LT and RT. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see him as the 4th tackle.
  17. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    Ludicrous statement right there. Based on what? 1 Playoff game? You're basically saying that Connoly is the reason they lost!

    You obviously need to see that play again. The entire team is playing zone, but Spikes is covering LT man to man. Cotchery is wide open in the zone that Spikes should have been occupying. Notice also that Spikes was benched after that series for the rest of the game.

    So you want to upgrade the most solid unit on the best offense in the NFL. Great for you! I suppose you think that any OL who gives up a sack or misses a block should be upgraded.

    32 is not that old for an OL. Jeff Saturday is 35. So is Flozell Adams. Chad Clifton is 34. Kreutz is 33.

    Light, Koppen, and Kaczur all have 2 good years left. And as I mentioned earlier, it's a lot easier to find Guards than Linebackers in the draft.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  18. JackBauer

    JackBauer Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    So is it your contention that inside linebacker is of greater priority than the offensive line?

    The offensive line, particularly if Mankins leaves, is in dire straits. It's funny that you say Koppen has two good years left; that seems to assume that in the twilight of his career he'll manage a higher level of play than he did this season. I find that proposition unlikely, at best.
  19. JackBauer

    JackBauer Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    I think a lesson in remedial logic is in order. What you've just written is textbook confirmation bias, and incidentally this has manifested repeatedly in your arguments (Connolly is sufficient because he only had one bad game, Spikes and Guyton should be upgraded because of one bad play, etc.)

    Furthermore, perhaps you didn't notice but the Steelers didn't need to pass the ball much because they were having plenty of success running the ball down the throats of the Jets defense. Using your logic, we can conclude that the Jets linebackers are flawed in all facets of the game, because despite run defense being their putative strength, they just couldn't get it done in the AFCCG.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  20. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    Dan Connolly was by far the worst offensive lineman for the New England Patriots in the 2010 AFC Divisional Playoffs. Sean Ellis owned the right side of the New England Patriots offensive line in the first half.

    The New England Patriots offense gave up five sacks to the NY Jets in the 2010 AFC Divisional Playoffs. It's far more important to keep the New England Patriots franchise upright than marginally upgrade the inside linebacker position.

    Saturday and Kreutz were former Pro-Bowlers while Dan Connolly is a stiff. Apples to oranges, there is no comparison between Kreutz, Saturday versus Connolly let alone Nick Kaczur.

    That's pure speculation on your part. Matt Light is an unrestricted free agent while Nick Kaczur is recovering from back surgery. Dan Koppen has been a lightening rod for criticism on the PatfsFans message board this season.

    The New England Patriots are committed to rebuilding the defense via the NFL Draft. It's far more important to re-sign Logan Mankins and maintain some continuity on the offensive line while the New England Patriots seriously upgrade the right offensive guard position via the 2011 NFL Draft.
  21. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker


    1.) I'm not skewing the numbers. Willis got an extension added on after the final two years of his rookie deal, not a new contract. He's not actually getting $10 million per year over the course of his deal.

    2.) AGAIN, Mayo is a better player than Harris, including in pass coverage.

    You want to pay significant money for an unnecessary upgrade at a position of relative strength, while refusing to pay for a man who shores up what would otherwise be a position of incredible weakness. That's L.A. Clippers/Oakland Raiders level foolishness.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  22. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    To answer your question - I believe the OL unit performed better in 2010 than the ILB unit. Obviously, the OL needs to be addressed with Mankins and Light as UFAs and Neal seemingly on his last leg. If we resign Light, we'll be fine at OT and we can fill in at Guard via either draft or mid-level FA. Or we can sign Mankins and we'll be in good shape for 2011.

    As for ILB, I don't think we can improve it via the draft. But I do think we can improve it via FA And Harris is that guy, with possible Chad Greenway being another. That's why I think we're better off spending FA money on ILB and addressing Guard with draft or lower $$ FA.

    To address your other email with regards to my logic, I think you are putting words in my mouth. I never said that "Connoly had 1 bad game" or "Guyton had 1 bad play". In fact, Connoly gave up 1 sack, but was quite adequate the rest of that game. Guyton, on the other hand, was completely useless throughout the entire game. He was replaced by Spikes in the 2nd half, who made some nice plays vs. the run, but then proceeded to blow the coverage on the 60 yard play and then get benched for the rest of the game.

    As for the Jets/Steelers game, the Jets lost that game because they made the Patriots game their Superbowl and didn't show up in the 1st half. It also helps that the Steelers are much better at rushing the passer than the Pats. But that's something we all agree on. The bottom line is that the Steelers' win had nothing to do with the Jets' linebacker issues any more than the Pats loss had to do with Dan Connoly in particular.
  23. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    Hey, I like Logan Mankins. But I think that he's pretty far from the John Hannah level of excellence. And I think it would be foolish to pay him top 2 Guard money when you can get 95% of the play from someone getting 50% of the money. I obviously disagree with your feeling that ILB is an "unnecessary upgrade" when an outstanding player is available who can make this team significantly better in an area of weakness - defense.
  24. JackBauer

    JackBauer Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I doubt you'll find many people out there who would agree that ILB is weaker than OL. It's risible to me that you endorse spending 6-7 MM to marginally improve one spot on the defense at the expense of a guy you just drafted in the second round, but you know what they say about opinions.

    If you go back to 2007, the common factor in playoff losses is opposing teams getting pressure up the middle; Connolly and Koppen both sucked against the Jets, Koppen was mediocre all season long, and the interior OL as currently constituted has a disturbing tendency of coming up small in the playoffs (that would include Mankins). Even if we do re-sign Mankins, we're not in "good" shape for 2011 because Koppen is marginal and Connolly shouldn't be a starting RG in the NFL.

    At the end of the day, OG is a much, much higher priority than ILB and I don't think you could argue otherwise with a straight face.

    So what you're saying is that allowing Mendenhall to run for 121 at 4.5 YPC doesn't reveal anything at all about the Jets linebackers, but somehow Guytons' and Spikes' respective performances were entirely dispositive and thus they should be replaced.

    That's a novel argument, I'll give you that.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  25. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    1.) The John Hannah line is meaningless.

    2.) Your "95%" argument assumes there's someone out there that fits those parameters. Feel free to name those people, remembering that the team would need two guards if Mankins were to walk. Connolly is nowhere near "95%" of Mankins. Connolly is not a starting caliber guard in the NFL.

    3.) Using your own percentages argument......

    The Patriots can get 95%" of David Harris using Spikes as the run stopper and Guyton as the coverage LB, and they can do it at, possibly, less than 20% of the cost.



    Your ILB argument fails on pretty much every level.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  26. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    The same can be said of Brandon Spikes next season at a fraction of the cost of David Harris. The biggest jump for a NFL player development is from his rookie season to his second season.

    The two biggest areas of the weakness on the New England Patriots defense is the 3-4 outside linebacker position and the 3-4 right defensive end position. The New England Patriots desperately need pass rushers from those two positions.
  27. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    Go and watch the game again. Ellis wasn't lining up on Connolly all the time. Connolly gave up 1 sack, Koppen gave 1 up, 2 were on DB blitzes that were unaccounted for, and 1 was a coverage sack.

    I never compared them to Connolly. I compared them to Light and Koppen.

    What? That Light and Koppen have 2 good years left? That's a pretty safe bet. Their performance has remained pretty steady, as as their health. And OL can easily go till their 33-34. Look at Woody - he was 33 this year and was pretty solid.

    That bolded part is pure speculation on your part. You have no idea what the Pats intend to do in the draft. One thing we know for sure is there isn't an ILB in the draft that would be an upgrade. However, there certainly is at least on in free agency. And the Pats have money to spend if they want to.
  28. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    What I'm saying here is that Mankins is not head and shoulders above the rest of the league, like Hannah was. He gets beat plenty of times.

    No. You cannot get 95% of Harris using Spikes and Guyton. You are refusing to listen to the central point of my argument although I've stated it many times. ILB position is a lot harder to fill than Guard. Especially for this scheme. And Harris has already proven that he can excel in it.
  29. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    Dan Connolly was so bad in pass protection that Sebastian Vollmer had to help out Dan Connolly while Alge Crumpler tried to pass block Calvin Pace. Now what you have observed is not only Dan Connolly needs to be upgraded but Dan Koppen as well. Note that Matt Light and Logan Mankins are both unrestricted free agents, the only quality starter on the New England Patriots offensive line under the age of 30 is Sebastian Vollmer. Dan Connolly sucks does not deserve a roster spot on the New England Patriots.

    Kreutz was a six time Pro-Bowler, neither Light nor Koppen have been nominated to the Pro Bowl that many times. Koppen and Light are on the downslope of their careers since they are both past the age of thirty. Furthermore, the last two playoff games, the New England Patriots offensive line has been manhandled by the Ravens and Jets defense. It's time to start upgrading Neal, Koppen, and Light. Logan Mankins is by far the best offensive guard on the New England Patriots roster and one of the best in the NFL.

    The New England Patriots offensive line allowed five sacks against the Jets defense in the 2010 AFC Divisional Playoffs. The lack of performance speaks for itself.

    The New York Jets are not a pass happy offense and Mark Sanchez is more mobile than Tom Brady. Not only the New England Patriots allowed five sacks against the New York Jets but Tom Brady took a physical beating, as well.

    The New England Patriots are more likely to draft an offensive lineman than another inside linebacker.

    The money is far more likely to be spent on Logan Mankins and possibly a 3-4 outside linebacker if a LaMarr Woodley is not franchised in the off-season.

    Your rational behind a David Harris free agent acquisition has no merit whatsoever since he is no better than Gary Guyton is pass coverage and no better than Brandon Spikes in run defense.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  30. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Re: 2011 Offseason Outlook - Linebacker

    So you are Bill Belichick and/or Robert Kraft? You have no idea whatsoever if contract negotiations have been ongoing between Mankins and the New England Patriots organization since the conclusion of the 2010 NFL Season. If the New England Patriots have money under an assumed salary cap value for the 2011 NFL Season, the New England Patriots can afford to sign Logan Mankins to a long term contract. In the meantime, Tully Banta-Cain and Gerard Warren are expendable and any salary cap savings can be applied to a Logan Mankins contract.
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