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Assessing the Subtractions

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Mar 3, 2008.

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  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Every team has additions and subtractions every season. We have seen the majority of our subtractions, with a few still undecided. You cannot consider the additions without the subtractions, or the subtractions without the additions, but looking solely at the subtractions, here is my take so far.

    Stallworth. No real loss. He was productive in the middle part of the season, then faded away. I dont think anything materially changes in our offense with someone else in Stallworths place. This may changes based on whether Moss and/or Gaffney are resigned, but compared to the 07 season, we didn't lose much in Stallworth. (This was a bit disappointing to me because I saw a lot of promise in him, but he couldnt earn pt)

    K Brady. He wasnt what we thought we were getting. Hurt a lot, and his blocking was a huge cut below his rep.

    Colvin. Many are upset about this, but I am not. He was one of 3 OLBs. That is a luxury to have. Sure it would be great to have that luxury, but at his price, it wasn't realistic. Its become fashionable to overstate the impact of Colvin, since he wasn't on the field in the SB (injured players are great fodder in the excuse department) but this is a guy who averaged less than 6 sacks a season in his Pat career. Personally, I thought Colvin, in his years here, had developed into a much better run defender, but his pass rush skills had deteriorated. In retrospect he was an OK signing, certainly not a great one, and his cap number was just too high now.

    Gay. I wouldn't have even made him an offer. I have been openly critical of his awful play, in the SB in particular. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw what he was paid by the Saints. I would not call him awful, or incapable of covering anyone, but the bar to improve our nickel corner position is not very high.

    Samuel. Big loss. Samuel is a very good corner. I never felt he was the kind of guy who was a long term Patriot though, partly because of the greed that was implied about him, and partly because of the impression that he was a very 'me' player. I do not know if I am right or not, but he came off as the kind of guy who would be more happy making big plays in a loss than being invisible in a win. We certainly have some work to do to fill his spot, though.

    Wilson. He was on a path leading to being cut in camp next year. He played well early in his career, but for whatever reason just isnt in the plans anymore, even if he were free.

    With Moss and Gaffney still to be determined, I don't think there has been a huge loss that is not pretty easily replaced (given the resources we have) other than Samuel. Make no mistake a starting cornerback is a critical player, but my impression is that there is an overreaction going on due to the NUMBER of players leaving, compared to replacements yet signed, and the actual severity of subtractions is much smaller.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  2. scout

    scout Rookie

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    I've got to agree with your assessment. Good to see a thoughtful post vs knee jerk falling sky reactions which have been prevalent around here. Noticed the Gay article in today's Herald (yes I read the Herald) in which Gay's agent was commenting on the Patriots. He said that the Pats have a strategy, it just that Gay didn't figure in it at his price. I think we all knew that, just kind of reassuring to hear it discussed from someone who was in on negotiations. Fans also talk about the need for younger LB's. Why would we need younger LB's if an experienced all pro comes available after a cut? If the Pats drafted a LB at #7 (and was intelligent in understanding the system), all that would mean is in a couple of years another high priority player is moving on.
  3. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp Rookie

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    I think Stallworth will be a big loss if they don't re-sign Moss.

    [/QUOTE]K Brady. He wasnt what we thought we were getting. Hurt a lot, and his blocking was a huge cut below his rep.[/QUOTE]

    I thought he did pretty well when he was in there.

    [/QUOTE]Colvin. Many are upset about this, but I am not. He was one of 3 OLBs. That is a luxury to have. Sure it would be great to have that luxury, but at his price, it wasn't realistic. Its become fashionable to overstate the impact of Colvin, since he wasn't on the field in the SB (injured players are great fodder in the excuse department) but this is a guy who averaged less than 6 sacks a season in his Pat career. Personally, I thought Colvin, in his years here, had developed into a much better run defender, but his pass rush skills had deteriorated. In retrospect he was an OK signing, certainly not a great one, and his cap number was just too high now.[/QUOTE]

    I think Colvin is an above-average linebacker. Not great, but certainly not bad. Above-average. But obviously, if he failed a physical, his health is a problem. I totally understand them letting him go.

    [/QUOTE]Gay. I wouldn't have even made him an offer. I have been openly critical of his awful play, in the SB in particular. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw what he was paid by the Saints. I would not call him awful, or incapable of covering anyone, but the bar to improve our nickel corner position is not very high. [/QUOTE]

    Average player. Just another guy. I cannot believe he got the kind of money he got from the Saints. I tell you this: ex-Patriots players have no business complaining about the treatment they get from the Pats, because playing for New England routinely nets these guys huge dollars once they leave that they probably wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

    [/QUOTE]Samuel. Big loss. Samuel is a very good corner. I never felt he was the kind of guy who was a long term Patriot though, partly because of the greed that was implied about him, and partly because of the impression that he was a very 'me' player. I do not know if I am right or not, but he came off as the kind of guy who would be more happy making big plays in a loss than being invisible in a win. We certainly have some work to do to fill his spot, though. [/QUOTE]

    I agree. Again, I think he is overpaid now, but he was very, very good. That's a big hole to fill.

    [/QUOTE]Wilson. He was on a path leading to being cut in camp next year. He played well early in his career, but for whatever reason just isnt in the plans anymore, even if he were free. [/QUOTE]

    I have no idea what happened to this guy. After his 2nd season, I thought he was on the brink of superstardom. Then he completely fell of the map.

    [/QUOTE]With Moss and Gaffney still to be determined, I don't think there has been a huge loss that is not pretty easily replaced (given the resources we have) other than Samuel. Make no mistake a starting cornerback is a critical player, but my impression is that there is an overreaction going on due to the NUMBER of players leaving, compared to replacements yet signed, and the actual severity of subtractions is much smaller. [/QUOTE]

    What matters is how they replace these lost guys. If they replace them with better guys, no problem. If they replace them with worse guys, then the team as a whole suffers. I think replacing Moss will be pretty difficult. Some rumors have Moss leaving and the Pats trading for Chad Johnson. I love the idea of Chad Johnson on this team, but then instead of just paying $$, you're paying $$ and draft picks. It's the same thing if they trade picks for Lito Sheppard. Instead of just paying $$ to Samuel, they pay $$ to Sheppard and give up picks to acquire him.

    Look, they won 16 regular season games and came within a hair of an undefeated season. This is a very, very good team even with some significant losses. They won the division by 9 games, so even if they drop 5 games from last year and go 11-5, the Bills would need to improve by 4 games just to tie. I don't see both of those things happening.
  4. nittanylions52

    nittanylions52 Banned

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    Good assessment. Everyone knocks on Samuel because of the one play in the SB, but he saved the Pats' butts several times (off the top of my head, the running INT late against the Eagles that pretty much sealed the game for NE). He's a good ballhawk that will be hard to replace. Maybe he was a system guy, but NE used him very well in that system. He'll be missed.
  5. Tunescribe

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    I might be in the minority, but I was very, very disappointed to see Stallworth go. He is a legitimate deep threat whose presence complemented Moss and was our best YAC guy. Also good insurance in case Moss went down. We still need speed and physicality at the second WR spot and I wonder of Chad Jackson has been projected as Donte's replacement. This will be the sink-or-swim season for CJ, who has a lot to show in terms of maturity and desire.
  6. Patriotic Fervor

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    As usual, just another good Andy Johnson post that is spot-on....
  7. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    How can losing Stallworth be a big loss when he was basically dropped to # 4 on the depth chart? Gaffney played more than he did for the last 7-8 games.
    I would agree he is a good player, but what is the loss if for whatever reason, the coaching staff felt the other 3 guys deserved more playing time?
    If we are judging ANYTHING by 4th WR, we are getting extremely picky.
  8. JoePats

    JoePats Rookie

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    I agree with basically of all of what AndyJohnson said. But I just thought this was a time to point out that I was driving last night and John Clayton was a guest on ESPN Radio. They were talking about the Patriots losses, and he said Samuel, and Stallworth, fine. Then Randall Gay who he noted played over 50% of the snaps last year, but then, and I almost crashed my car, called Eugene Wilson "a very good safety." I thought that was funny. And failed to note that the Pats aren't even pursuing their own "very good safety."
  9. Tunescribe

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    You could be right, but I'm not sure I buy the idea that Stallworth was completely outplayed by Gaffney and therefore was officially dropped to fourth on the depth chart. Gaffney and Stallworth are different kinds of players who bring different things to the table. Perhaps late-season "situational football" called for fewer formations requiring Stallworth's particular skills, or perhaps Stallworth had a physical setback we don't know about. I just see him as a very dangerous receiver and at this point a lost asset, of course PENDING who we replace him with.
  10. RayClay

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    Agreed. Just add up the salary we didn't pay Stallworth Gay and Asante.

    Only one played a critical role this year and that's almost 20 mil savings.
  11. JackBauer

    JackBauer On the Roster

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    He may not have been worth the money he got, but this is overblown. "Awful" cornerbacks don't usually give up 5.8 YPA and zero completions on seven vertical attempts.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We have six major holes to fill and six months to do it. We all have confidence that it will be done, even though it was NOT done in 2005 (ILB's) or in 2006 (WR's). We now need at least two at ILB, WR AND corner.
  13. bigjunk1

    bigjunk1 Rookie

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    Assuming we sign Moss (just being optimistic here), WR is not really a hole. ILB is something we could improve on, but I don't see it as a "hole".

    A hole is at CB. But like you said, we have 6 months to fill it. And the Patriots have been pretty darn good at filling holes over the past 7 years.
  14. Deus Irae

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    I guess I'll put my two cents in, and I'll do it in 2 parts:

    This leaves open 2 questions. First, how much of this was simply Stallworth and Moss not working well in concert due to similarity in style. Second, will not having a Stallworth come back to bite the team in the ass if Moss goes down with an injury?

    I didn't like the idea of letting Graham go and getting Brady to replace him in the first place, so it will come as no surprise that I agree with you here, although Brady was pretty much what I expected he would be.

    As Colvin's going down with injury, and Vrabel's corresponding struggles, demonstrated, having that 3rd quality OLB is by no means a luxury. It's a necessity in this defense. If Colvin's not replaced with a quality player who can get to the passer, this team will be an ankle twist from real trouble.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  15. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Honestly, I don't think Samuel's going to be that hard to replace. His skillset was great for the system, but his insistence not switching sides was limiting.

    If Samuel were truly a "shut-down" corner, his value would be in that he would be negating the best receiver on the other team. He never did this, and in fact, other teams could neutralize Samuel's impact by simply moving their best receiver to the other side of the field.

    I think if they add Law, they'll be in good shape. There are a bunch of corners in rounds 2-4 that are noted as being good in zone coverage, and if we can trade down to the middle of round 1 and snag a DRC, Cason, Talib, etc, one of the elite corners, then I think we'll have a better secondary than we did this year.

    On top of that is the general fact that Meriweather's inclusion into the starting lineup is going to be a huge upgrade in coverage over the 07 lineup. I am not too worried about the secondary.
  16. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Groves/Gholston would be perfect as DE/OLBs. We could get all 3 of our best pass rushers (Thomas, Vrabel + one of those two draftees) on the field at the same time for passing downs. Really, Groves would be perfect in the scenario in which we've traded down, which would also allow us to address DB within the first or second round as well.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  17. Deus Irae

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    Because of the free agency situation and the loss of a draft pick, this is a bit more painful than it would have been otherwise. However, getting a player for the nickel is something I'm confident Belioli can do.

    I like Samuel, but he was overrated and ended up getting overpaid. Good luck to him, and let's hope a Ty Law, a rookie draft pick, or some other replacement can fill the void.

    I wonder how much the back-to-back Super Bowl injuries took out of his mean streak. He just seemed to lose his nastiness after the Carolina game. Maybe moving on will recharge his batteries.

    Everything is fine as long as Moss returns. The team really needs an OLB, 2 ILBs and a CB, but that's not much of a shopping list, and I think Belioli will be able to find adequate players with 4 'first day' picks (I'm counting 3rd round despite the change) and plenty of time between now and training camp for players to come free.
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    WIDE RECEIVER
    1) We haven't signed Moss yet.
    2) We've replaced Stallworth and Gaffney with Washington and Jackson and we don't have a hole? Call it what you will. We don't have a #2 receiver. One side of the field is empty.

    INSIDE LINEBACKER
    We have Bruschi, Alexander and Izzo
    And this isn't a hole? I suggest that opposing running backs would differ.

    CORNER
    We have TWO holes: at starting CB and at nickel.

    I would note that in 2005 we did NOT do well at filling our critical ILB need
    I would note that in 2006 we did NOT do well in filling our critical WR need
    I would also note that we went to the SB in 2003, 2004 & 2007 (and not in 2005 and 2006)
    This is not a coincidence.

  19. AndyJohnson

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    I didnt see any of "Vrabels corresponding troubles" I thought our D was basically as good after Colivn went down as before, with a small dropoff for having one less player for depth.
  20. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Where do you get that Samuel insisted on not switching sides? When on a BB team could a player insist on something like that, and if it wasn't best for the team, get away with it?

    Samuel is hard to replace, because he is a starter at a very important position. Law is something like 8-10 years older, at a young players position. I'm not real excited about starting a rookie corner. I want one drafted early, but in my plan, he would be replacing Gay in 08, and Samuel by 09.
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