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Anyone else curious why Connolly is exclusive at Guard

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by signbabybrady, Aug 21, 2012.

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  1. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    I find it curious That he has not played center at all thru camp and 2 preseason games.

    Not really sure exactly if it is enough to read into but what the heck lets do it anyway.

    Possibilities?

    1) Koppen will be the starting center again. He will play RG until Waters comes back then will be the key back up interior linemen.

    2) Wendell will be the starting center. He will play RG until Waters comes back then will be the key back up interior linemen.

    3) Waters might not be coming back and Connolly will be your starting RG with either Koppen or Wendell at center.

    4)Connolly will be the starting center but as Koppen only backs up Center he is getting work at guard because if a guard goes down he will slide over and Koppen will be the center. This would seem odd as why not work at both.

    -discuss amongst yourself-
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  2. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Probably because Belichick wants to give other players a shot to compete for the back up at the center position. Greg Bedard said on Twitter last night that Waters' locker is still in tact (doubtful if he was holding out). So I think he will be back.
  3. deters

    deters Rookie

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    I choose possibility #1.
  4. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think Waters will be back this week.. the grind of TC is just about over.
  5. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Waters will be coming back, they need Cannon at RT more than RG right now, and Connolly will be competing for the starting C spot with Koppen again in coaches meetings prior to Week 1.
  6. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    I wouldn't assume that the coach knows the final result at this point. Perhaps the competition for center is still legitimately being waged? Perhaps the coach is letting it play out by giving a legitimate shot to people he's less sure about? Perhaps he's unsure of how good Koppen can be at this stage, and perhaps Wendell is making a real push?
  7. The Scrizz

    The Scrizz Rookie

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    Option 1 is absurd as he is clearly better than Koppen. You don't have a better player as the backup just because he's versatile. You take advantage of that versatility if injury or circumstance demands. You don't sit him just in case.

    Option 2, same option different player.

    Option 3, logical IF Waters does not come back.

    Option 4, Koppen and Connolly are both running with the ones so if Connolly slides to C, Koppen slides.... where exactly?

    So let's use Occam's Razor for option 5: Connolly is the best right guard on the roster right now, hence you put him at right guard. And while he is also the best C as well, there are currently more options there than at guard.
  8. deters

    deters Rookie

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    Could Connolly fill in for Mankins as well until he is healthy and ready to go?

    Solder - Connolly - Koppen - Waters - Vollmer

    Then when Mankins returns to game shape Connolly takes starting C roll and Koppen is backup.

    Solder - Mankins - Connolly - Waters - Vollmer
  9. Big-T

    Big-T Rookie

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    Because he's the best guard available (2nd now Mankins is back) and there's 3 more C's on the roster who have all shown they are good enough to start in the NFL so Connolly at Guard produces the strongest line available?

    If Mankins plays against Tampa I wouldn't be shocked if the line is:
    Solder-Mankins-Connolly-Thomas-Vollmer
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  10. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I love the way that the media and some fans are ready to throw dirt on Dan Koppen's grave. He is just returning from a season ending injury. He has been a solid center (underrated IMO) for several years.

    He needs to get himself back to playing condition and may also be a little hampered by the effects of the injury; I'm not ready to give up on him.

    Wendell has also played well. Without Waters in camp, Connolly is the best option at RG.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2012
  11. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rookie

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    It might have something to do with the fact Wendell is owning the competition for the position up against Koppen, we have no Waters (which effectively makes Cnnolly the starting RG with Wendell locking the Center position up with Koppen in his wake) and we also haven't had Mankins amongst numerous other injuries we've been trying to cover for.

    That's my stab in the dark anyway ;)

    There's simply no ulterior motive or undiscovered logic to it...it just is what it is.

    My guess is if Waters makes a return, Koppen becomes expendable as we can use Connolly to back up both RG and C and then we have the likes of Donald Thomas who can also effectively back up a Guard as well as McDonald who is showing something at Tackle as Well as the ability to play throughout the line.

    As for s******g on Koppen...it's not about loyalties in this game. If you're expendable, you're expendable and we have put three other guys at that position over two seasons and not even skipped a beat. It's a business; man up and get on with it.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  12. JackBauer

    JackBauer Rookie

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    Koppen's play had been declining noticeably prior to the injury. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Connolly and Wendell have supplanted him.
  13. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    My option 4 and your option 5 are pretty much the same. I was saying that with option 4 when Waters returns Connolly will be the starting center and Koppen the back up center. As koppen does not play guard I added that Connolly is working at guard now to get ready in case he needs to slide over to guard in the middle of a game but the way you put it makes more sense he is the best RG on the team right now and so he plays there he very likely will be the best center when and if Waters returns.

    But is still I find it weird that he would not work at center some of the time.
  14. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    How do you know that? He was the starting center when he was injured. If BB and Dante thought that Connolly was better, he would have been starting.

    Someone else posted tha players are expendable, we should accept that. I wonder if his real name is Dick Tracy. That is exactly what happens over and over again in teh NFL and the game moves on.

    But, I'll wait until BB decides that Koppen is not worth a roster spot. If BB and Dante make that call, then it won't be because they are reading media reports.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  15. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He'd been beaten like a rented mule in the 2010 AFCDG game, and has traditionally struggled against bigger DT's.
  16. JJDChE

    JJDChE Rookie

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    I thought it was pretty much accepted that Koppen had been on the decline before the injury.

    He'd been a serviceable player for quite a while, but many people pointed out that he was struggling the last few years, now he is coming off a serious injury and will be 33 in a few weeks. It's not hard to believe that his career may be just about done. Hell of a career for a 5th round pick if it is.
  17. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Dan Koppen and I are not related, we are not having an affair, so I have ulterior reason to defend him.

    But my question is, if what you say, and others, is correct, then why do you think BB and Dante started him over another player?

    From past history, I think it's safe to say that BB will make a change if it gives the team the best chance to win and is not sentemental about it.
  18. JJDChE

    JJDChE Rookie

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    Just because he was declining doesn't mean that he still wasn't the best option available. Two years and a major injury removed from that can change a lot.
  19. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    It's probably because we have a lot more centers than we have guards.
  20. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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    Connolly had not yet proven himself as a full time starter and they may have been giving Koppen time to right the ship but he was clearly declining. He was only the starter for week one last year.

    Starters sometimes lose their jobs, just because Koppen started week one doesn't mean he would have been the starter the whole year.

    Koppen got very little interest this year on the open market. The tape doesn't lie.

    It's not disrespectful to say a player's done when he clearly is. He's had a nice career but it doesn't look like he has much left and the decline was starting in 2010.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  21. Deus Irae

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

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    He didn't get beat out for the job.

    Koppen was better than Connolly last season. Connolly wasn't winning the center job. If he had been going to win that job, Koppen would not have been brought back this year.

    Neither does an age/injury combo, when it comes to early FA interest.

    Connolly got tooled up in game one, just as Koppen did. Koppen was on the field for the Patriots best drive last night. It's by no means sure that Koppen is not still going to be the Patriots' best center come the regular season.
  22. Armchair Quarterback

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    Just because he started one game before he got hurt doesn't mean he was the better player. It means he was named the starter for week one - that's it. What would have happened if he stayed healthy is impossible to predict good or bad. However, many saw a decline in his play starting in 2010. Bledsoe started the 2001 season - does that mean he was better than Brady?

    Koppen and Connolly were both free agents this year.

    Connolly recieved a $3,250,000 signing bonus. Koppen received a $350,000 signing bonus and signed after Connolly did.

    Which one do you think was their bigger priority?


    Think the age/injury thing could possibly not be working in his favor?

    Koppen will not be the teams best center this year, I doubt he'll even make the team.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  23. Deus Irae

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

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    Unless you're trying to say that Connolly is the Tom Brady of the center position, I'm just going to assume you're kidding here. If you are trying to say that Connolly is the Tom Brady of the center position, get help.

    What does that have to do with Koppen being the better center last season? Are we supposed to be shocked that an older player coming back from a serious injury would be given less money?

    Of course I do, but that's not in question here.

    Time will tell. There's certainly nothing definitive in either direction as of now, though, which is the point.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  24. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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    I'm saying, and it's a very simple concept, that who BB makes the starter can change from game to game. Because Koppen started game 1 does not mean he would have done a better job than Connolly or is the better player now. Hell, Ochocinco stared 3 games, Gary Guyton started 6 games, Antwaun Molden started 2, James Ihedigbo started 12 -by your logic he should be penciled in as a game one starter.

    Bledsoe starting over Brady is a glaring example of how flawed your belief of the day one starter being the better player simply because he is the day one starter. Sometimes players get benched, sometimes other players prove more worthy of the starting position over the course of the season.

    While were on the topic of starters, Wendell, McDonald and Connolly all started Mondays game, Koppen did not.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  25. Deus Irae

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

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    See, this is nonsense. BB doesn't go changing his O-line all over the place. Coming into this season, Dan Koppen has started every game he's ever played, save for one in his rookie season. Matt Light started in every game of his career, save for two in his rookie season. Logan Mankins has started every single game he's played in the league.

    :bricks:

    Brady got in because of an injury to Bledsoe.

    Connolly and McDonald are just strawmen here. Koppen's a center, so Wendell, the starting center, is the only player of your troika who means anything, and Koppen outplayed him.
  26. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    My opinion too. First thing I thought of when I read through the OP. There's a real competition for jobs at interior OL.
  27. Armchair Quarterback

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    So BB doesn't go changing his O-line all over the place? I think it's based on performance. Did Light or Mankins play necessitate them not starting? Nice use of the straw man argument you accuse me of using with McDonald and Connolly.



    But Bledsoe was the starter so he must have been better, right?



    Koppen blocked a lot of air from what I saw. Fact is Koppen, Connolly, Wendell and McDonald are all in competition for the Center position and for a roster spot and they all started the last game with the exception of Koppen.
  28. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    Despite a great camp in 01 I think Bledsoe was still the better more polished QB. I think based on stats in 01 for Tom compared to the rest of his career are evident that even though he showed how well he managed a game and the team and how clutch he was that he was still learning. And that while it was clear at the end of 01 that Brady was better he wasn't better at the start.
  29. Armchair Quarterback

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    Actually he was, as it was widely reported Brady played well enough in TC to win the job. Bledsoe had led the team to lose 19 of his last 26 games and looked awful doing so. His contract was the reason he still had the starting job.

    Brady comes in and leads the team to an 14-3 record the rest of the way on the way to the teams first SB title. How can you possibly say Brady wasn't better, even from the start?

    With Bledsoe they were considered the worst team in football, the change is made and they're SB champs. Please tell me you're not serious.
  30. PatsWickedPissah

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    and it was obvious to those of us attending camp at Smithfield (Damn, I miss the up close and personal experience) that unheralded Brady simply ran the offense better than Drew. A big indicator was that BB gave TFB lots of reps with the 1st team.

    Note that Drew led the team to 5-11 the previous year.
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