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Camp Battles: DL

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Metaphors, Jul 7, 2008.

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  1. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Locked Down Roster Spots
    RDE: Seymour
    NT: Wilfork
    LDE: Warren
    Rush End: Green

    Camp Battle
    Wright vs Le Kevin vs Santonio for Backup Spots

    Wright has proven to be versatile and also mucks in on special teams. Le Kevin Smith and Santonio Thomas really haven't had much of a chance yet but have shown enough to stay on the roster and keep the Pats from taking DL in the draft.

    Metaphorically Speaking

    This is the last of the "Duh, no kidding" battles. Wright is almost certainly on the active 45. Depending on injuries, 5 DL should be enough since AD could line up at end in a pinch. Le Kevin has been in the program for a couple years and may be ready to get some meaningful snaps. Santonio seems to have stepped up his game and made an impression on the coaching staff.

    To keep Keegs from starting a petition to have me banned, Le Kevin gets a spot on the gameday inactives (with possible promotion to the active 45 at the end of this exercise) and Santonio is on the outside looking in.

    The DL is an area of tremendous strength as long as Wilfork can stay on the field in the base 3-4. If he goes down, there isn't a natural replacement...so everyone has to shift around and a 4-3 base becomes a distinct possibility. Now the DL isn't so deep and the LB responsibilities change. While the DL isn't much of a roster battleground, it does remind us to pray for Wilfork's health.

    Roster So Far...
    1-2: QB Brady, Gutierrez
    3-5: RB Maroney, Faulk, Morris
    6-9: WR Moss, Welker, CJackson, Gaffney
    10-11: TE Watson, DThomas
    12-18: OL Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, Kaczur, O'Callaghan, Hochstein
    19-23: DL Seymour, Wilfork, Warren, Green, Wright
    Gameday Inactives
    46: QB O'Connell
    47-48: OL Britt, Yates
    49: DL LSmith

    Cut or Traded: Cassel, Pollard, Ross, Mruczkowski, SThomas
    Battling for Special Teams: Evans, Eckel, KWashington, Aiken, Spach, Stupar

    ILB up next...
  2. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    Great post, as always. As you point out, which I find remarkable, there aren't that many battles among 'starters'. I can see, so far, only flanker and RT are in heated position battles. Most of the battles are for health.

    You're saving the best for last: CB, Safety, ILB.

    Wright has always been a standout STs player. I think it was his block that sprung (Andrews? Hobbs?) for a TD on a return. Great speed for a big guy, but not enough meat for a NT.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  3. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    yawn....


    no battle here. If Seymour is fully healthy and returns to form than we have the best d-line in the game. Best backup linemen in Jarvis, and Best D-line ST in Wright.
  4. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Nice job, the pieces are starting to come together. Although the last players at each spot are insignificant within the individual positions it has a huge impact on the final 53. DLine is a good example, the first 5 spots are basically set. Ideally the team could carry 7 DLine to ensure depth but that starts to cut into the special teamers.

    Let me see if I can find the opening roster from 2007 to compare positions.

    From Reiss Pieces - 09-01-2007
    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/2007/09/roster_breakdow.html
    - key notes - Harrison suspended, Seymour on PUP, Asante Samuel had exemption through Sept. 10

    Nicely organized breakdowns, thank you.

    Quarterback (3)
    Running back (4)
    Wide receiver (6)
    Tight end (3)
    Offensive line (9)
    Defensive line (6)
    Inside linebacker (5)
    Outside linebacker (3)
    Cornerback (5)
    Safety (6)
    Specialists (3)
    Kicker -- (1)
    Punter -- (1)
    Long snapper -- (1)
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  5. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    That totals 56, but I like the spread.

    7 DL for 3 starting spots seems like a lot. Especially when you normally don't see many DL play on ST.
  6. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Who will back up WilforK?? THAT is a concern and a battle...The last time this team won teh Bowl..it was Wilfork as a rook and vet Traylor...a good combination. I really think a backup is needed, just to give a bit of rest to WIlfork..a change of pace sort of situation. With a NT that is quick, that may be an interesting way to change from Wilfork's physical play. Not only might a player like that give Vince a needed rest here and there, but having physical play bang up OL players and then having a quicker NT, it may be a better 1-2 punch. I know years ago, it was Ray Hamilton with the speed quickness and Bishop and others wilth the physical play. Who might fill that slot?? Wright is OK, but more an ST player and Smith is versatile but not really a NT. SThomas is more an outside player. Fifita though might be the backup guy this year. Last year later in the season, it was Moore at backup, but they do need someone who can fill in here and there, effectively.
  7. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    Mike Wright is that quick DT who spells Wilfork, where the real problem is if Wilfork were to go down for an extended period the only guys who could play the nose are Seymour and Warren.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  8. bradmahn

    bradmahn Rookie

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    For a stretch of a couple of games, Wright is acceptable starting at NT. If Wilfork were to go down for the season, Wright would become a much larger liability.

    At the end of '06, MW was starting and the defense didn't completely falter (which it could have, considering Vrabel was inside and Banta-Cain was starting). He can do the job if the pieces around him are good enough to hide some of his weaknesses.

    That said, I would like to see someone who is more stout and thick capture the backup spot (Fifita or LeKevin, for example).
  9. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    I too don't think it would be a huge problem if Wright were playing NT for a game or 2 but much more than that than I would be concerned. Not saying that we must go out and find a guy because in all honesty you can't back everyone up with a perfect fit.
  10. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Except for Brady (obviously) I think an injury to Wilfork would be the most devastating to our team. If the run defense gets leaky, it will suck up the ILB's and SS and that leaves our porous secondary (which lacks playmakers) extremely vulneable.

    Didn't we pick up Fifta from the Dolphins in the off season? I am not sure of his skill, but I think he has the size to work out in a rotation with Wright.

    I thought Smith was below average in pre season two seasons ago as an NT.
  11. tombonneau

    tombonneau Rookie

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    As others point out, there is no true backup behind VW. I would have loved to have seen them add a body like that in the offseason. They still might try, we'll see ...
  12. bradmahn

    bradmahn Rookie

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    Why don't we wait to see who the starters even are before proclaiming the secondary "porous."
  13. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    your statement kind of explains why he thinks it is porous. With Hobbs health concerns there isn't a clear cut starter at CB Harrison is creeping towards over the hill and Merriweather and Sanders are still developing (Sanders less so). I wouldn't go as far as saying porous yet and I agree lets wait and see how it shakes out but you have to understand where this guys concern came from.

    I am high on Bryant and as my sig shows I am high on Hobbs as well, so if he is healthy than I think we will have a good secondary
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  14. bradmahn

    bradmahn Rookie

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    I, for one, am absolutely not worried about Hobbs being healthy enough to start the year. He's also shown that he will play (and play well) through all sorts of injuries, so he's a lock to start (at which CB spot, though, is still a question mark).

    Rodney is still effective (like Bruschi) when he is not asked to do too much. With Sanders, Meriweather, and potentially Tank, he shouldn't be relied upon to play the majority of snaps. This should increase his effectiveness while also limiting the chance of injury. There is quality depth at safety.

    The other cornerback spot (left or right depending on where Hobbs plays) has so much competition it is hard for me to be concerned about it right now. Someone should be able to step up and play well enough to not be a sieve.

    I take no issue with concern, but until proven so, any declaration of "porosity" is premature.
  15. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    Like you, I'm obsessive enough to have done the arithmetic. The explanation is that the last three slots (punter, kicker, long snapper ARE the specialists mentioned just previously).

    So there is the usual problem of counting special teamers like Izzo under their nominal playing positions, even if they don't strengthen the team there. I prefer Metaphors' was of doing it.
  16. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    This is it in a nutshell, a pure fat slob NT has absolutely no utility other than to anchor against the run. Smith, Thomas, Wright are not perfect but at least the can be adequate a several positions. It is a waste of a roster spot to have a backup NT. Last year they were relatively heathly down the stretch and knew that they were playing some run first teams (Jacksonville, SD, etc.), this allowed them to bring in Moore.

    Rant Warning - If that fat goof wouldn't have fallen down on the 4th and 2 on the Giants final drive he would have been able to stuff Jacobs for a loss.
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