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A theory on why our special teams will be fine in '09

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by shakadave, Aug 17, 2009.

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  1. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    It's true every year that there are players whose chance of making the roster depends on their special-teams contributions. But this year it seems clear that there are more fierce roster battles, at more positions, than usual.

    Mike Reiss, in his Patriots blog - Reiss' Pieces - Boston.com recent 53-man roster projection of August 16, leaves Lenon, Alexander, and Williams all off the roster in the LB section, stating "Lenon, Alexander and Williams all on the bubble and special teams impact could help their case." Reiss also comments about Slater: "Slater figures to be on roster, but tough to fit him in this projection with so many offensive skill-position players" --- and Reiss leaves him off the roster. Then think about the depth at TE, at RB, and on it goes.

    By the time this process sorts itself out, won't we automatically be loaded with special-teams talent?
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  2. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Belichick also called the new ST coach one of the best football coaches he's ever come across in his life
  3. PatsFanSince74

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  4. Brady-To-Branch

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    I'd like to see more competition at punter.
  5. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    Yep, the Pats haven't had a good punter in a long time.
  6. fanofthesports

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    For some reason punters are a rare bread
  7. Pats Fanatic

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  8. Rob0729

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    I trashed Hanson in the past, but he was decent last year. What he was good at was not making the punts returnable (he was 11th in fewest return yards and the top 3 only had one punt and 4th only had 12). Granted that means he angled the ball towards the sidelines which at times meant that it would go out of bounds too short.

    Could we upgrade the position? Sure, but punters are always hit or miss anyway. Besides, with this offense, I am not expecting to punt too much this year.
  9. RayClay

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    I would feel better with a proven unit. Hopefully, we will be great, but the known is better than the unknown IMO.

    I'm not worried, we have talent, but i just don't get the logic.
  10. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    We try to limit returns because we assume decent field position due to our offense, hence crafty punters are more desirable than boomers.
  11. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    I watched Scott at training camp and the man is intense, he was running around in that 90 degree (94 humidity) heat that knocked out Logan and Orn on Sunday. I expect a vast improvement in our ST performance this season.
  12. Mike the Brit

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    My memory is not of Hanson angling the ball towards the side-lines to avoid a return but booting it into the endzone because he had no control.

    He was (by far) the WORST of all punters in proportion of touchbacks. He had 10 touchbacks which made him sixth in absolute numbers. Hentrich had the most -- 13 from 87 punts. But Hanson's were from 49. That's > 1:5. No one else had a touchback ratio > 1:6.

    Hanson was 21st in net yards -- the stat that, in the end, is the one that matters. Yes, certainly, we've had worse punters and we can live with that. But let's not pretend the Axe Man is any good.

    P.S. In short. Give me the choice between the sixth-best kicker and the 21st punter or the 21st kicker and the 6th-best punter, it's no contest!
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  13. DarrylS

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    Have to wonder how many fans have the luxury of lamenting the deficits of their punter....

    OTOH I think this years ST's will be much improved...
  14. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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  16. parthasas

    parthasas Patriots Nation PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Do we have to worry about punting ? I guess not, at least this year
  17. Mike the Brit

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    Agree strongly with both thoughts. Being superstitious, I'm kind of glad we have Hanson. No, he's not very good, but he's not so terrible that he's going to cost us a lot. Elsewhere, I keep looking at the roster and thinking: the problem is we'll have to cut so many really good players (BJGE (**sniff**), the English boy, Trevor Nunn, ( ;)) and even Tyson DeVree). You could say that Hanson is kind of an anti-binkie for me. So long as we have one worse-than-average player I can continue to build my hopes elsewhere.

    And yes, I have a really good feeling about O'Brien. I know that the Gosselin ratings were very good for New England last year, and that is because of the really important things that were in place: Gostkowski's kicking, Hobbs's kick returning and Faulk/Welker's sure-handedness on punts. Nevertheless, I didn't have the warm feelings about Seeley I had for McDaniels -- I held my breath on every punt/kick-off return. What I think about O'Brien is (1) he's evidently a very good coach with a high energy level and a lot of self-confidence and (2) he has BB's confidence.

    And that's important. A continuing issue is how many spots will be tied up on the roster by players whose only contribution is on special teams (the Izzos and Alexanders). We can have that debate here, but what's more significant is how it takes place for the Patriots themselves. It's going to be particularly hard this year, given how many potential offensive and defensive contributors they would like to find room for. My impression is that O'Brien will be a strong voice in that debate -- someone whom BB will listen to if he says, "sorry, but I really need that guy" just because he trusts him not to say that unless he really means it. It's going to be really interesting to see how the special teams dimension of the roster plays out.

    In BB and (until further notice) SO'B I trust ...
  18. Box_O_Rocks

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    Yes, he had a number of touchbacks and during the season I was one grumbling, but when you look at NFL.com's stats and divide the limited number of return yards accumulated off his punts by the number of returns you find yourself wondering if those touchbacks weren't a result of a shaky coverage unit being protected by a called touchback. I'm glad we have Hanson too.
  19. Ochmed Jones

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    In perspective, punting in New England in November and December is so much different than punting in New England in August and September.

    A muffed punt attempt in August or September and the team still has time to recover. Brady has decent weather to chunk a 50 yard bomb to Moss and suddenly all is better.

    But a muffed punt in November or espeically December can be devastating to a team. Weather becomes an issue and touchdowns are harder to come by.

    So at the end of the day, I would rather trust a medium legged veteran with experience in these conditions than some young super legged rookie who could crack under the pressure and cost us a critical game late in the season.
    See Slater's special teams fiasco last year against Pittsburgh for further proof.
  20. Box_O_Rocks

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    Yup, Seeley really blew that call.
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    Josh Miller was pretty good in 2005. He almost made the probowl, and in punt average ranks second Patriots history during that year.
  23. WhiZa

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  26. IcyPatriot

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    This thread needs a bump ...

    Way undiscussed area of the team this season now that the team is pretty much settled. Defensive special teams appears decent ... perhaps but how about offensive special teams - many question marks with Hobbs gone and Slater injured. Edelman looked good in the 1st game but that was when nobody game planned against him.


    Who are our 2 main kickoff returners?


    Who are our 2 main punt returners? Edelman and Butler (didn't look good)
  27. Mack Herron

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    Maroney is the only obvious one. I don't remember who else he tried except Slater, and I figure he is hurt. How about Aiken? He showed some moves and is fearless.
  28. Box_O_Rocks

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    Maroney & Slater.


    Edelman & Welker.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  29. BennyBledsoe

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    The last good longtime Patriot punter was....

    Rich Camarillo.

    Has there really been anybody who was brought in as a rookie and lasted longer than a season or two since then?
  30. ctpatsfan77

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    Not really much you can do to game plan against either Welker or Edelman specifically; you just have to find a way to stop a guy who has better change-of-direction numbers than anybody you're going to use to stop him. :D

    [And Edelman's #s on that count are better than Welker's!]
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