Camp Battles: RB

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Metaphors, Jul 1, 2008.

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  1. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    Locked Down Roster Spots
    Starter: Maroney
    3rd Down: Faulk

    Camp Battle
    Morris vs Free Agent for Backup RB

    Only included this battle here because Sammy has yet to take any hits yet to gauge his recovery. If he is ready to go, I think he proved to be a fine compliment to Maroney last year. The uncertainty combined with several vet RBs currently looking for work makes you at least give this some thought.

    Metaphorically Speaking
    The Pats have entertained some free agent RBs but the interest seemed to be luke-warm at best. That indicates to me that Sammy is healthy and expected to be ready to go. That gets him a roster spot on the active 45.

    Didn't include Evans or Eckle here because I believe they will have to make the roster on ST ability, with run/pass/block skills secondary. A healthy Maroney, Morris and Faulk leave precious few touches available for anyone else. Special teams battles will be last on the agenda for the folks that couldn't earn a rotation spot at a position. Will try to hold at least 5 roster spots on the gameday 45 for special teams standouts (seems like a reasonable number).

    Roster to date:
    1-2: QB Brady, Gutierrez
    3-5: RB Maroney, Faulk, Morris
    46: QB O'Connell (gameday inactive)

    WRs up next...
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  2. Crowpointer

    Crowpointer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Let's not forget the epic upcoming battle between Najeh Davenport and Kevin Jones:p
  3. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target Supporter

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    Looking at Miguel's site, I find that KF comes out at number 11 on the team for cap hit ($3,503,720) and number 3 ($2,058,000, after Rodney Harrison :eek: and Matt Light) for cap room gained if cut. Those are rich numbers for a back-up running back who is thirty-two years old.

    I love what KF did for the team last year, but this team is run on ruthless business principles (see under Colvin, R) so I really can't agree that his roster spot is "locked down".

    (I think that the best argument that he is staying is that he has not been cut yet -- the Patriots seem to cut veterans early to help them catch on with other teams.)
  4. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 Supporter Supporter

    #54 Jersey

    Barring injuries I don't see any battles at RB, unless you include Eckel fighting for one of the special teams spots.

    2 QBs? Really? The drafted a QB in the third round (God only know why), if they cut O'Connell then it is time to hire a new set of scouts.
  5. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    Absolutely agree with everything you said. I initially thought the flirtation with Kevin Jones was to give Faulk some competition. Unless the Pats extend Maroney's role to be the guy in the huddle on 3rd downs and hurry-up (which I think he could handle), my take is that Faulk is pretty secure.

    If others think Faulk could be a camp casualty, I could certainly be convinced of that. Especially if another good receiving back makes an appearance in TC.
  6. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #37 Jersey

    Wow, I don't know. He's a heckuva 3rd down back, terrific hands, great pass blocker. Great at selling the screen, critical to the hurry-up. I don't think of him as a backup, but as all three of M&M and Kevin splitting carries.

    Until Moss and Welker, I would have said Kevin had the best hands on the team.
  7. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    O'Connell is roster spot #46 (gameday inactive). See "Camp Battles: QB" thread for details.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  8. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target Supporter

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    My post was not "let's cut Kevin". I love what he's done for the team the last couple of years. (Remember the catch in the Buffalo game that he effectively won? I smile when I think about it.)

    But the point remains. He is a lot more expensive than many who are unambiguously starters on the team. Will he be cut? I don't think so-- and I hope not. Is he a "lock" when we speculate about the roster? I don't think so.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  9. Lloyd_Christmas

    Lloyd_Christmas I can delete my own crap! Supporter

    Although I think you have a valid point concerning his cap hit and cap savings if cut, I still believe the odds of him getting cut to be very close to zero. He would have to hold a gun to someone's head or have a career ending injury to get cut this year.
  10. bradmahn

    bradmahn In the Starting Line-Up

    Kevin Faulk does too many things too well to be cut for $2 mill, IMO.

    I feel like I can say with some certainty that the team will carry a FB for the year but I don't think Evans is a lock to make the team. He's a solid blocker, good special teamer, doesn't provide much when running the ball and isn't a weapon in the passing game. Eckel may be a better backup running back and if he shows that he is as capable as a lead blocker I think he could win the spot. The loser will fight for a roster spot as a specials teams ace (but the fight there is a pretty tough one, too).
  11. tombonneau

    tombonneau In the Starting Line-Up

    I think I'm in the minority here, but I feel this team is too good & too close to have Morris & Maroney as the only legit full-time backs on the team. I strongly feel they need to bring in another vet early on to fulfill the proper RB3 spot.

    Faulk, Evans, and Eckle (who I don't anticipate making the team) are not going to get it done for any extended period if Maroney and Morris are hurt. They need another guy they can depend should this scenario unfold.

    And while many might argue "well any team is pretty much screwed if their top two RBs go down", this is not "any team" this is a team that is a favorite to win the SB. And you don't want to have those chances go out the window because you opted to keep a pure ST guy over a legit RB3.

    I'm hoping that the workouts of a few legit RB3s over the past few months are an indicator BB/SP agree.
  12. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    I agree that the Pats will carry a FB somewhere on the gameday 45. I just don't think that the FB position is where the roster spot will be won. Meaning the winner of the FB role will be the best special teams guy who can also play FB. When you line up Hochstein, Seau, Seymour, Klecko, etc. at FB, you really aren't putting Lorenzo Neal value on the position. I could be convinced otherwise (like arguing that with Sammy's health situation, the FB will get the short-yardage/goal line carries), but I currently think that Evans/Eckel are making their bread on special teams...which as you mention will be a nice camp battle in itself.
  13. BRiZ

    BRiZ Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    i wish we drafted Chris Johnson but the stupid titans took him in round 1 lol. We'll be fine we got LMoney, Morris, and Faulk thats more than enough, and i think LMoney is gunna be a workhorse this year. It would have been nice to bring someone in to groom for Faulk before he retires, Kevin Jones would be a nice addition but it sounds like he wants to be a starter and will sign with TB.
  14. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    I think the mitigating factor is the number of RBs looking for work. If either Morris or Maroney go down, I feel pretty confident that a competent vet RB will be looking for a paycheck. That could change if a slew of RBs across the league start knee-grabbing...but we are getting into a lot of what-if's at that point.
  15. tombonneau

    tombonneau In the Starting Line-Up

    That sounds good in theory, but come week 10 if NE is 10-0 and god forbid the top two RBs get significantly hurt, you can't expect someone to come right in off the street and produce.

    I can't be the only one who remembers Amos Zerogain?
  16. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    Understood. The choice is between carrying a guy on the roster who imitates LdT in the AFCC game until he hears ACL's popping...or using that roster spot for other purposes and building a shadow roster of viable (though not optimal) options for emergencies.

    Your concerns are duely noted and will be revisited before giving out roster spots to the ST-only guys.

    That's "Famous" Amos Zerogain to you, buster!
  17. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #37 Jersey

    Okay, that's a good point. Dollars count. They're 10.8 under the cap, but there's the top-51 rule and rookies and who knows what. Last year my binkie, Rodney, had to take a pay cut. Maybe it's Kevin, this year, esp. in this RB market. Still, if you're serious about getting to the big game, you can't cut this guy. It's not about sentiment, it's about third-down conversions.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  18. flyonthewall

    flyonthewall On the Roster

    While I agree that a third solid RB would be good for the run game, it is not worth the roster spot. Hedging against the risk of losing RB 1 & 2 is short sighted. Future success depend on those roster spots for developing young players into future starters. This is one of the concepts that has allowed us to be successful year after year.
  19. tombonneau

    tombonneau In the Starting Line-Up

    The only fringe player I can think of who initially made the roster on ST and then actually was able to significantly contribute on offense or defense is David Givens.

    You can argue that having a good STer is > than a RB3, but I don't buy that a vet RB would take the roster spot of a promising young player who currently needs to make the roster on ST alone.

    Any of the Pat's (legitimate) promising young players will make the roster due to their future potential/current ability, not their ability to play ST. Their ST play is a merely a bonus.

    I mean, if we are talking Ray Ventrone vs. RB3, you really think Ventrone represents more value in 2008 and beyond?
  20. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 Supporter Supporter

    #54 Jersey

    My bad, too much LDS. Nice breakdowns, sounds like we are itching for training camp to start.
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