A Jake Ballard theory

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Mainefan, Aug 29, 2012.

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  1. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Ok, Ballard is now on the PUP list, apparently to protect him from poaching. But maybe something else is going on....

    Stallworth and Gaffney are released.

    Hernandez has a great camp, is being tried out in several different positions.

    A possible explanation:

    Hernandez is going to be a WR--no need for Gaffney or Stallworth. Ballard is in better shape than anyone knew. He'll be filling Hernandez's place at TE.

    Fells and Shiancoe are backups, and only one will stick.

    What do you think, guys?
  2. stevedogc

    stevedogc Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I thought the same thing when they released Gaffney and Stallworth. Not so much of your Ballard theory, but Hernandez being used mostly in a WR mode. I still think we are a tad thin at WR, but Hernandez at WR changes that. From an article I just googled about Ballard, they said an optimistic timetable for return is 9 months, which puts that in November. So its certainly is possible if he is ahead of schedule.
  3. WinstonSmith

    WinstonSmith On the Game Day Roster

    Not sure about Ballard coming back soon, but I think Belichick wants to utilize Hernandez more as a receiver (or at least running routes) and if the TE's don't keep dropping like flies we will see more 3 TE sets than last year.
  4. Funktopus

    Funktopus On the Game Day Roster

    I'll take a wild guess. Agree on AHern WR role. Shianco goes on PUP. Comes off PUP week six when they cut Silvestro.
  5. willard

    willard On the Roster

    Seems plausible to me. Welker came back in less time and Mankins came back in less time.

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

    #12 Jersey

    The theory of Hern at WR makes sense even if Ballard can't play this year. A TE trio of Gronk-Fells-Shiancoe is still the best in the league easily
  7. BB4PRez

    BB4PRez On the Game Day Roster

    BB likes the flexibility that Gronk and Hernandez provide and the fact that it is hard for a defense to match personell with them particularly with a quarterback like Brady who will recognize who is on the field and audible the play according that exposes the weakness. I wouldn't be surpised to see more three tight end sets this year with Hernandez more in a tweener role between WR and TE.
  8. Nehalem

    Nehalem On the Game Day Roster

    Ballard is more of a true Gronkowski-esque TE, a mini-Gronk if you will than Hernandez.

    As soon as I heard the Ballard signing I liked the potential

    Ballard and Gronk as true TEs. Lloyd as you true outside WR. Hernandez as jack-of-all-trades WR/TE/RB. Then throw in a RB like Woodhead or Vereen who can play as RB or slotback.

    :D :D :D
  9. PatsFan2

    PatsFan2 In the Starting Line-Up

    #87 Jersey

    We want Hernandez matched up with a Slot or Nickel CB not with a #1 or #2 CB. He would have harder time shaking thoe guys...Jake Ballard is slower than molasses. Jake Ballard really benefits from a good running game so he can do most of his stuff off play action. But in our pass first Offense he couldn't get open if his life depends on it.
  10. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    #12 Jersey

    I don't see much in a change of philosophy...Hernandez has been used in primarily a receiver role for the last year now so I don't get why it's only just being talked up. You could have labelled him alone last year.

    Simple fact is they could have waited until final cut downs and placed him on IR without being subject to Waivers of they felt he wasn't ready at all. I see the Pats envision bringing him back. They have a couple of weeks to start training him after the week six marker comes around and then, by the team they've eased him in, he will be at 9 months and culd easily have been healed by then.

    I expect Fells to make it for now and be that guy that Ballard is going to be in the long term future. If Ballard is healthy after week six he will no doubt be activated and replace Fells or just head to IR.

    I think we will go with three TEs for now and, depending on personnel if Ballard comes back, we could go with four...we'll have to if we envision keeping Fells as he would get picked up if we cut him.

    We aren't going to entirely exclude AH as a TE. We used him in a WR role a lot last year but his overall position will always be TE.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  11. Spergon Wynn

    Spergon Wynn On the Game Day Roster

    Shiancoe isn't eligible for PUP.
  12. Funktopus

    Funktopus On the Game Day Roster

    Well there goes that "theory". :D
  13. Lamanai

    Lamanai On the Game Day Roster

    some thoughts on Ballard and the TE situation:

    I doubt Ballard is able to see the field this season due to his injury. However, I do see a minor advantage to putting him on PUP instead of IR. I don't know all the complexities of PUP vs. IR, but I believe that if he's on IR then he is done for the year, can't practice with the team, etc...At least with PUP the team would have a three week window in the middle of the season to get Ballard on the practice field, in meetings, etc...He could do walk throughs, limited contact, etc...This could benefit him next season as he tried to acclimate to to the team. Yes, probably a marginal benefit but worth the effort, no?

    As to calling AH a WR, that is OK. But I don't think that'll mean the team carries three other TEs. That'd be extremely rich if you start looking at who'd be active on game day. Especially since none of those guys are likely ST studs. I know Gronk and AH have played ST in the past, but i'm kinda hoping that ends. Looking at the potential/likely roster there are a lot of solid ST players this year that can constitute an excellent ST roster. I don't think they'll need to dip into Pro Bowlers to fill out the ST squad. JMO.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  14. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

    actually, ballard is bigger than gronk
  15. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Take a guy who is a mismatch at TE and turn him into a medicore WR?
  16. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    He meant mini-GRONK in the same way that Edelman is Welker's "mini-me." ;)
  17. PP2

    PP2 In the Starting Line-Up

    #12 Jersey

    Same height, bigger by only 10 pounds and with a 40 time a lot worse than Gronk's. Don't get me started on the difference in athleticism.
  18. Big-T

    Big-T Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #51 Jersey

    40 time doesn't really matter when you can line up Gronk & Ballard next to each other in the redzone though, that's a lot of human to try and cover.

    Not to mention how good they both are at blocking.

    Granted, that's not what the discussion was. :D
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  19. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    Though MaineFan's point really doesn't make too much sense, Hernandez has lined up at both TE and WR (and tailback for that matter) a lot. He's a mismatch all over the field. Harder to cover for corners because of his size, harder to cover for LB's because of his elusiveness and speed. With this in mind, I think mediocre is a little bit of a harsh word to use.
  20. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

    Here's some interesting stats about where Hernandez lined up last year:

    Snap Distribution and You - Football Daily Dose - Rotoworld.com

    To summarize...

    Hernandez was in the slot or wide 64% of his snaps. He was an in-line tight end on only 29% of his snaps (compared to 61% in-line for Gronkowski).

    What's interesting is that Hernandez was targeted at a much lower rate when he was split wide. Which, maybe suggests he wasn't getting open on the outside - maybe not, we can't really make that leap I suppose.

    Bottom line, Hernandez played wide receiver a lot last year. And the Patriots rewarded him accordingly, I believe, knowing that WRs make more than TEs, generally. Hernandez plays everywhere in the Pats system, to call him a WR or TE, almost doesn't matter.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
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