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Camp Battles: OL

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Metaphors, Jul 4, 2008.

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  1. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Locked Down Roster Spots
    LT: Light
    LG: Mankins
    C: Koppen
    RG: Neal

    Camp Battle
    Kaczur vs O'Callaghan vs Britt vs Ross for RT and Swing Tackle

    Kaczur did a solid job at RT in 2007 if you can ignore the occasional whiff that resulted in Brady getting lit up. Clearly the weak link on the line and his dealings with the DEA don't help his cause.

    O'Callaghan is a mountain and has held up OK when pressed into action. Ditto for Britt. Both have been in "the program" for a couple of years and made enough of an impression that the Pats didn't look OL in the draft.

    Ross was a solid performer for Pittsburgh but has been lost in the desert recently. Not a youngster and is likely fighting for his final contract.

    Camp Battle
    Hochstein vs Yates vs Mruczkowski for OG/C

    Hochstein has been around for a while and gotten meaningful playing time all along the interior line. Has played some special teams and also gets time at FB in the power package. A useful guy but you have to get over the SB 42 flashbacks.

    Yates seems to be a favorite of the coaching staff since he has hung on for a while and was even re-signed last year. Mruczkowski returns after the frightening experience known as the 2007 Dolphins. Neither has much of a resume to speak of.

    Metaphorically Speaking

    The idea situation would be for O'Callaghan to step up and claim the RT job. Running behind O'Callaghan, you would have a hard time finding Maroney, much less tackling him. I just don't think it will happen. The OL seemed to bond and grow together in 2007 and the coaching staff may be reluctant to mess with that. Assuming Kaczur isn't punished by the NFL, he gets to stay at RT.

    O'Callaghan and Britt should still have roles in 2008. O'Callaghan gets snap at TE in short yardage and goal line (remember we don't have a 3rd TE yet on the roster) and Britt is a true swing tackle able to fill in on the left side. O'Callaghan gets a spot on the active 45 and Britt is a gameday inactive. Ross gets to look elsewhere for gainful employment.

    Hochstein shakes off the PTSD from the Super Bowl and backs up the interior line (starting for Neal if he isn't recovered yet). Yates joins Britt on the inactive list and Mruczkowski battles Pollard for captain of the shadow roster.

    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
    Gameday Inactives
    46: QB O'Connell
    47-48: OL Britt, Yates

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

    DL up next...
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008
  2. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    thanks again for posting these threads. good stuff. bump.
  3. kolbitr

    kolbitr Rookie

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    Do you get any indication that O'C can play RG consistently? Neal would still seem to be a question mark, injury-wise, and he may not be ready to play full-time by the start of the season. I believe O'C has played that position before, at least in college, and at least one scout projected him to start there in the pros.
  4. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    I don't have many memories of O'C playing at either tackle position. I vaguely remember a pre-season game against the Titans and seeing him getting killed on stunts. Also a game against the Cowboys where Light was injured and I thought O'C came in briefly and during that time, the Cowboys were running Brady all over the backfield.

    Can someone reassure me that these memories aren't typical?
  5. Lamanai

    Lamanai Rookie

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    Pats OG's are usually the more atheletic type, used for pulling and moving around. I think O'Callaghan haa shown that he is more of the big, mauler type. I'm not sure he's cut out for OG in our offense as presently run. JMO.
  6. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Could be wrong on both of these, but
    Kaczur has the physical skills but seems deficient in
    mental/emotional/whatever-it-is stability.
    That seems to be quite an impediment to his development and reliability.

    O'Cal can play RT, i think.
    His question is durability - concussions, etc.

    Agree that the braintrust doesn't seem worried by these or any other doubts
    about this unit.
    If we need Mruc ... that would say the OL
    isn't quite as strong as last year's version
    ... even if they're they same guys.

    In any event, it's a nice change from the start of the multi-championship run
    ... when at this time of year we were always bemoaning the OL's flaws.
  7. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    OL analysis isn't my thing, but my recollection is slightly different. I recall him struggling in pass protection...particularly with quick outside guys. Feet weren't overly quick getting off the snap and lunged a lot. Loved him in the running game though. He just seemed to engulf defenders and move people around without much trouble. If he can move his feet, he should be able to lock on just as well in pass protection.

    Obviously this is from a small sample size but I find O'Callaghan's potential interesting. If his footwork doesn't improve dramatically, he won't see the field since that would be hazardous to Brady's health. Would love to see his size and strength in the running game. As a side benefit, I would like to see him as a TE in the power formations as well.
  8. DefenseRules

    DefenseRules Rookie

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    O'Callaghan spent all of minicamp at Right Tackle. Kaczur spent all of mini camp at Right Guard. I don't think that's an accident or an experiment, IMO.
    When training camp starts, and if both players are lining up at the same spots, then we'll know for sure. The Insiders (scout.com) claim that O'Callaghan will get every opportunity to claim that Right Tackle position. Kaczur has some issues, not to mention a potential suspension coming from the league. The Pats need to be prepared. I'll be shocked if the "ALL POWERFUL ONE" does not suspend him.
  9. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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    I agree, LPF. I also wonder about Neal's health. He's a VG RG when healthy, but he has had trouble staying healthy through the years - he is coming off offseason shoulder surgery and also was dealing with a knee injury during the Super Bowl.
  10. KevinFaulk-33

    KevinFaulk-33 Rookie

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    Offensive Line situation

    With the "Kazcur drug incident" and the injury of our starting guard Neal we could lost two of our 5 starters.

    We add to our depth only Ross, so what do you think of this situation? I'm a little bit worried, especially if Neal and Kazcur will not play. I hope that Hochstein is better than the version that played in the SB. :D
  11. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The bottom line is that we have one extra player at each position, with some outstanding health issues.

    FOUR TACKLES
    Yes, there is a battle for the tackle position, with one being the odd man out. We have five with four roster spots, as it should be in camp: Light, Kaczur, O'Callaghan, Britt and Ross. With Light as a lock to start at LT, I have no strong preferences for the other positions. That's what camp and the preseason is for. All should be there until the last cut. I expect Ross to be able to start at RT. But then again, he could retire in camp.

    FIVE INTERIOR LINEMEN
    Koppen and Mankins are locks.
    This is easy if Neal is healthy. We would then have Hochstein and Yates as backups. If Neal starts on the regular season PUP list, then Mruczkowski will take his roster spot for awhile.
  12. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Re: Offensive Line situation

    Without a doubt the Patriots opponents will be licking their chops to attack the right side of the line. It should be interesting to watch the cat and mouse game.
  13. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    Re: Offensive Line situation

    The line played well all of last year and I would not say that the right side played any better or worse than the left side in the SB. So I am not sure teams will be going at our right side that much more than the left side relative to the rest of the league.
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Offensive Line situation

    Please post the sacks from the right side of the line last year compared to other teams. I think that you will find that they did just fine.

  15. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Re: Offensive Line situation

    Please post pro-bowl players on the right side of the line.

    Left side - Light, Mankins, Koppen (I will add him because it helps my argument, technically he is neutral)

    Right side - Neal (coming off injury), Kaczur (likely to be suspended), O'Callahan (5th round pick), Yates/Hochstein/Mruczkowski (below average journeymen)

    You are good as your last game, in the Superbowl all the entire line had issues but the right side was a bigger weakness.

    Lets pretend you are a coach, you have a chance to attack Matt Light/Mankins or Neal/Kaczur or Yates/O'Callahan or Hochstein/Ross... it seems obvious to me.

    I am glad to see everyone is feisty, I thought I was posting something innocent but I guess if you can argue that the right side of the line is as good as the left side then there is nothing beyond debate.
  16. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    Re: Offensive Line situation

    On almost any team the left side is better than the right because they cover the blind side. Also with probowl they don't split between right and left and a lot of times you get guys mostly all from the left.
    As I said I don't think teams will be going after our right side more than they do other teams right sides.


    You have to think of this relative to other teams and there is something to debate. I nor the other guy are debating who is the more talented on the team the guys on the right or the guys on the left. But I ask you this will teams attack our right side more relative to how much they attack other teams right sides????
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  17. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Re: Offensive Line situation

    Hey I like the energy, it is all good. Honestly I barely know a single player on any other team, I won't comment on them.

    Back to my original point, IMO opponents will target the right side Patriots line especially if they see players like Yates, Hochstein, Ross. I am interested to see the adjustments the Patriots make, extra TE help, RB chipping, running right at the rush, etc.
  18. bradmahn

    bradmahn Rookie

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    Re: Offensive Line situation

    There is a difference between targeting an opponent and licking one's lips in preparation of an opponent.

    The Patriots have an above average right side of the line when Neal is healthy.
  19. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Re: Offensive Line situation

    It is survivial of the fittest, above average right side is less than a good to very good right side. It falls quickly to below average if Neal is not playing.
  20. fgssand

    fgssand PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #17 Jersey

    Re: Offensive Line situation

    Neal certainly is the key to the right side......not to mention a TE that can block, Brady was a huge disappointment last year to me - I thought he would not have lost as much he did both with blocking skills and his mind. What a huge loss Neal was in the SB - freaking huge.
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