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As the season moves: Potential Roster Amendments

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by JSn, Oct 9, 2009.

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  1. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    These threads are often MG's thing, but I was pondering some things in the wake of the Taylor injury and the Galloway benching and D. Burgess' amazing disappearing trick.

    How the roster could go:

    QB - seems good to me. Less guys means more reps and a better likelihood of Hoyer being ready.

    WR - The only real question mark is Galloway. If he can't cut it I'd expect to see Tate or Nunn turn up on the squad by November. Luckily we have a lot of pass catching options at other positions.

    HB - Taylor going down sucks, but I'd like to think we can hold his roster spot open until he gets back to playing. He could come in VERY handy in the playoff's. If he goes to IR, I don't suspect they sign another RB, but an LB to fill the spot. Maroney, in the immortal words of Woody Harrelson, needs to nut-up or shut-up. He's good in space and maybe making him more of a legit receiving threat will open up better chances for him to run. I expect Faulk, Morris and Law Firm to do a great job keeping the run/pass balance in tact. If Law Firm comes in and runs like some think he can, that will be a huge bonus.

    TE - Brilliant set up. I'm hoping to see Matthews getting more and more snaps and see if his reputation holds up.

    O-Line - I feel like we've been rolling the dice at this position a little, especially at tackle. That said, we're just a little away from getting LeVoir back. As we saw last year, he's a solid swing-tackle and gives us a lot more breathing room. Tough to guess who gets dumped when he's back, but I'd guess a mystery injury could turn up for the rookie OL'man, Ohrenberger (or whatevs his name is).

    So Offense is generally in pretty good shape, but I'd not be shocked to see a change at WR after the bye if the benching of Joey Gallows Sway doesn't motivate properly.

    Defense is more interesting.

    DL - seems to have more solid rotation of equally decent parts than in the past. We haven't seen for sure what we have in Morla (Sands) and I just don't know about Burgess. Is he an OLB or DE? Does it even matter?
    He's not making an impact for whatever reason. However, I have a feeling the appearance of Seau will help that. Wright is really standing out in his elevated position.

    LB - Mayo, Guyton, Woods, Thomas, Alexander - That's an excellent (and quick) group. Add in Seau - ageless, smart, and a great leader - and I think this group will be brilliant. Thomas isn't showing up on the board much, but again, the LB group is running a little bit of a patchwork set-up right now. Mayo and Seau, the rhyming LB'ers will bring this group to another level by putting people back in their right positions and coaching them up a bit from the field. No worries, and I can't see any major, non-injury related changes in the future.

    Safety - Well the rational amongst us know that Hit Stick, BMx2 and The Colonel make up a very good safety group. Some don't like Sanders and they have their reasons, but when your number 3 safety is decent and considered good enough to be #2 as the year opens, I think we're in good shape. Chung is a player, but he'll have to work like a freak to crack that line-up this year. Slater is apparently a WR now, so I guess he doesn't fit here. We have Lockett too, but I'd guess he's a spare part - man #53.

    Corner - I think this is the strongest group on the team. Springs, Bodden, Wilhite, Wheatley, Butler are all capable starters and probably all better than Deltha. Maybe even Hobbs. Wilhite and Wheatley have their down moments, but they're young. Butler hasn't made any glaring mistakes, but his playing time is coming along slowly. We've seen these guys sticking to their WR's longer and that should start enabling the rush to get to the QB even more.

    So in all, I think defense is solid and actually see only Burgess as a question mark. Still, my gut feeling is he, like Galloway, could still prove their worth.

    ST's - The biggest place for question marks. I don't personally have a problem with Hanson, but I could see why we might sign a Punter to the p-squad. Still I think Hanson only needs minor improvements to be kicking real good field position. I also think we need a better return option. Edelman can return punts, but to my memory he hasn't yet (has he?) and maybe Tate is the answer at KR. Slater could return them, butmaybe something about the condition of his elbow is limiting him to playing other spots on ST.

    Now I only questioned 2 personnel there, but those are big roles and they either own them or don't. We have no KR on the field right now that scares anyone. The Punter needs improvement, which Hanson can do, but he also could be replaced.

    Summary:

    Players in danger of being upgraded:

    Maroney - Though he wouldn't be cut, he could end up a healthy scratch if BJGE happens to come on the field the next couple of weeks and outplay him.
    Galloway - He'd have to go if another WR joins the team and he SHOULD go if things don't improve.
    Hanson - We're all split on this guy, but Bill seems to like him. Tough to say what might happen.
    Kick Returner - We need one and unfortunately that guy requires a roster spot. Either get Wheatley back there or maybe Butler, or get Tate on the field and solve two of these issues at once.

    So these are just my thoughts. Feel free to add or expand. I'm sure there are other players I hadn't considered and I'm sure at least one of you think we can upgrade over Sanders (though I think that's just being greedy at safety). If you really feel you have to, go ahead and denigrate my considerations here. I can take it. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  2. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Unless Fred Taylor's injury is so severe that there is no chance of recovery this year, I think we leave a roster spot open for him. I'd be fine waiting until the playoffs to get him back healthy - he will be a big plus. Also, I think he can provide mentoring and leadership to the RB group even while inactive.

    LeVoir clearly gets activated after week 6. We either IR somebody (I could see Ohrnberger suddenly developing a nagging injury) or cut Connolly. I'm hoping that Simmons will start to get on the 45 man roster, and possibly get some limited playing time.

    TE is a strong group. We haven't really scratched the surface of what that group is capable of. I hope to see more 2 TE sets, more Chris Baker, and Matthews used at both TE and FB. Watson has been terrific this season, by far his best season yet if he continues on form. I see Watson being essentially our 3rd WR much of the time, but we do need to clarify the other WRs besides Moss and Welker. I don't see much from Aiken. I think that either Galloway picks it up in the next 3 weeks or he's gone, and Tate could get activated (not that I would expect much from him as a WR, but he could start to get some experience as a leg up on next year). Edelman is a bit of a wild card. I'd like to see more Welker/Edelman at the same time.

    The defense has been fabulous, and will continue to gel. The pass rush improved last week, but as you say, Burgess has still been missing. Maybe we could trade him to SD for Shawne Merreiman. :singing:

    The biggest changes that I see coming:

    1. More 2 TE and lead blocking schemes with more play action on offense.
    2. Return of Mayo and the development of the defense as a near-elite unit.
    3. Continued need to get pressure on the QB and create turnovers and points on defense. With the secondary proving itself, I see the coaching staff letting the dogs loose more and more.
    4. I'd like to see Tate get activated (assumign he's physically ready) and see what he can do as our return man. ST could use a shot in the arm, plus a punter who can do more than punt 35 yards into the opponent's end zone.
     
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OFFENSE

    1) Galloway isn't taking as long as Gaffney to develop. I think Gaffney had one catch a game for his first 16 (or was it 25). Galloway will be fine. Edelman is developing. Their total catches project to 76 for the season, similar to the 82 for Gaffney and Stallworth in 2007.

    2) Maroney averaged more than 4.4 yards per carry in his first two seasons. For his career, he has averaged over 4.6 yards per carry when he carries more than 20 times per game. Just GIVE HIM THE BALL.

    There are no style point in the NFL. It doesn't matter whether he get his yards inside or out. We have Morris for short yardage. And if Maroney is the base 1st and 2nd yard back, he will get lots of yards receiving in ADDITION to his running yards. He will spead the defense because of the threat of him as a receiver.

    So, for me, it is not a matter of Maroney putting up or being demoted in his 5 or 6 carries per game. It is a matter of commitment to the running game and to the same three running backs that we had in 2007. We will have Green-Ellis if we need him. Hopefully, we will have both Green-Ellis and Taylor for the playoffs. In the meantime, let's develop a solid, normal, running game, with Maroney as the lead back.

    And yes, it would be good to see a FB or a TE in there blocking for Maroney and protecting Brady!!!

    4) The OL risk at tackle is almost over. LeVoir will be back soon. If Simmons is able to backup at center, then Connolly should go. Otherwise, the decision will be more difficult. After all, Simmons and Ohrnberger are here to perhaps compete for a 2010 starter guard job in 2010. If we need to carry 10 OL's, we'll do so (as now), but one must go when LeVoir is back.
    ============================================

    DEFENSE

    DL
    I can't see wanting more. Pryor has been a great find, as well as Sands (a contributer in his first game). Burgess hasn't done much, but the others have more than made up for him, especially Tully. Brace is waiting for 2010, but that's fine. There aren't enough reps for him anyway unless he improves a lot.

    LB
    Banta-Cain has been a fine addition. I think he has been more important to the defense than Alexander (a ST force!). I am certainly happy to see Guyton develop. However, I will also be fine when he is a top backup.

    SPECIAL TEAMS
    Welker, Maroney and Faulk are our retuners. Welker and Faulk are fine as punt returners (better blocking would help), but we do need improvement is the kick return unit.

    We miss Hobbs. I would like to have him on the squad as a returner instead of Ohrnberger who we traded him for. However, it is what it is. Maroney should improve. He is indeed explosive in space. I suspect the problem is the blocking on returns. It would be good to see Tate in action. The team has seen a lot of Edelman's returning skills in camp and the preseason. I suspect that is why he isn't returning punts or kicks much. Ditto for Wheatley.
    =================================================

    UPGRADES
    Other than the injured coming back and Seau, I don't see much happening. There will need to be some roster REDUCTIONS for the additions of Seau, LeVoir and Tate when they happen. So, in order to have any further upgrades, we would need to waive or IR FOUR players.

    Obviously, we will have players go on IR in the last half od the season, so there will be some further second half additions, but I don't see any reason for action before the bye and the PUP returns.

     
  4. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Awesome thread.
     
  5. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Since we're talking "Turk", who goes if one of those changes is made? I suppose that Lockett is the most obvious "bubble" guy. Nincovich? Or even Slater? Other thoughts?
     
  6. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    :agree:

    BINGO! As usual, MG hits square in the black.
     
  7. tedylb

    tedylb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Great analysis by guys who are a lot more knowledgeable than I am. A few concerns:

    Can Hoyer step up if Tom goes down? Who knows? I'd love to see a veteran 3rd QB.

    Maroney & Galloway are on probation. There was enough depth to compensate for Maroney until Taylor got injured. As for Galloway, if he doesn't perform we can only hope the unproven young WR's can come through.

    I agree the DB's are a big upgrade fom last year-especially Meriweather, who's going to be an all-pro soon. I hope we find a kick & punt returner who can get us better field position. And you're right. Even without Hobbs & Seymour, the D is much improved this year, with more depth.

    As for Hanson, I'm not worried. He's got a big leg and he'll stick some punts inside the 15.
     
  8. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The questions of 'why Seau?' and 'why now?' had me pondering the news of his signing. Junior was fairly specific in saying he had about six good games in him, whether he's over or understating his case is yet to be seen, but even those who wanted him back were predicting a later comeback. So why now?
    -- Guyton is getting better each game.
    -- Mayo is off crutches and practicing again.
    -- There are no other injuries that we know of (the reason Adalius hasn't practiced certainly wasn't planned around Junior's return).

    The one thought that is making sense to me is "practice time." Last season Seau came straight off the beach to fill in for an injured Guyton. He played well enough for the team to win, but poorly enough for fans to doubt his tank capacity. It may be that Bill is trying to get ahead of that by bringing Junior back to spend some time getting into "football shape" before he is forced to throw him into a 40 rep game.

    ----------

    Back on topic: Reserve QB. There is no Vinny Testerverde option, and with Brady in his 10th season you don't need the old vet to mentor him during a playoff push. The closest parallel to Testerverde is Andrew Walter who apparently left on bad terms, but then I never checked into how many drama classes he audited in school. It wouldn't surprise me to see Walter re-signed and to find he took the playbook home to memorize. None of the other available options are doing much for me.

    Slater is a Safety, not a WR - but mostly he's Special Teams. Edelman has a ways to go as a lead blocker to match Slater - a long ways to go. I have to wonder if they're grooming Edelman as the up man on returns or if he's the default until they are 100% certain Slater's elbow has healed and he's going to be able to control the ball? I have seen him making plays on coverage (he loosened the ball Alexander punched out), but they may not trust his arm cradling a football.
     
  9. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    And has his bags packed for Denver

    According to the injury reports after the elbow incident, he was listed as a WR.
     
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In preseason he never saw any reps at WR, all Safety. Most media kept using his WR designation from last season.
     
  11. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Ah, ok. I thought that was weird, because I was sure he was a safety.

    He's certainly fast and fearless enough. I wonder if he'll ever play the position.
     
  12. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In garbage time.
     
  13. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As we all realize, Slater should never be on the field as a safety or a wide receiver. He is a special teamer and not good for much else. But he is so good as a sepcial teamer that his play is worth a roster spot.
     
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With Slater healthy, I agree that Lockett is the most obvious to waive when Seau is signed. Ninkovich is possible, but I would prefer that we keep him, at least for a few weeks, until Mayo is closer to 100% and Seau has been integrated into the defense.

    When LeVoir is activated, I expect us to waive an offensive lineman or put one on IR. Many have been suggest that Ohrnberger might be injured in practice in the next couple of weeks. Connelly is an alternative if Simmons can be counted on to back up at center. Simmons should be safe since he is considered a competitor for a starting guard spot next year if Mankins or Neal goes.

    If Tate is ready, we'll see where we are injurywise. If Mayo is back playing and Seau is healthy, I suspect Ninkovich will be gone.

    So the most likely three are Lockett, Connelly (or another OL) and Ninkovich. We would then add Seau, LeVoir and Tate. I would certainly consider these changes an upgrade.

     
  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would hate to see us lose Ninkovich. He's looked decent, and has a shot at being a solid backup. I've been kind of assuming that he sticks for now (and probably ends up fighting it out with Shawn Crable for a LB spot next year, with Crable getting one last chance). Seau is a nice short term addition, but with the return of Mayo I'm not sure he adds enough to sacrifice Ninkovich at this point.

    Slater has yet to play this year, and most thought he would be IR'd when he got hurt. That is still an option, especially if he truly isn't ready. I was intrigued when we signed Lockett, but he hasn't been activated the past 2 games. We could certainly use one or the other on ST.
     
  16. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A very interesting question and a good suggestion (and not completely OT, so forgive me for continuing it).

    It would make sense to spread the "six games". From what I know of full-contact sports, it's a lot easier to play six games at two-week intervals than six one after the other. It's like the bye week.

    Or they could use him sparingly (not expect 40 reps).

    Both of those depend on their having enough players on the roster who can expand their role. If they're cutting (say) Ninkovich, someone will have to take that Special Teams work. Will it be Junior?

    But the basic question: why Junior?, remains. What has he got that evidently, in Bill's opinion, the younger Bruschi no longer has? Previously, the answer would have been: he has the bulk to stuff the run up the middle. Is that still the answer, even with the new defensive emphasis on speed and flexibility?
     
  17. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Actually, Slater has played this year on STs. Last week.

     
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Seau plays at least 5 years younger than Bruschi. He is a freak of nature. That being said, it is not clear why it makes sense to have him on the squad, especially if he doesn't play until Mayo is healthy.

     
  19. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    OK, so here we are at week #6 with a lot of things happening in the front office.

    3-2 and lucky to be well in the hunt thanks to luck in game #1 and the Dolphins in week #5.

    Upcoming changes:
    • Seau has signed and so we know someone is on the way out TODAY.
    • Galloway has been on the bench for 2 weeks.
    • Tate is eligible to join the team over the next few weeks.
    • Matt Light is on Crutches.
    • LeVoir is eligible to join the team over the next few weeks.
    • Fred Taylor is out indefinitely. He could return later in the year and we'd love to have him, but his roster spot might be needed.

    There's a lot to sort out. Add to that the notion that some of the bottom of the league teams may be shipping out marquee players as they begin the long climb of rebuilding and this could be an interesting week or two.

    Any predictions?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2009
  20. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    People will make wild suggestions for things that won't happen, and will be surprised by what actually does? ;)
     
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