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Camp Battles: TE

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Metaphors, Jul 3, 2008.

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  1. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Locked Down Roster Spots
    Starter: Watson
    Reserve: DThomas

    Camp Battle
    Spach vs Pollard vs Nobody for 3rd TE

    Spach got a December cup-o-coffee and did some work on special teams. So that uses up all my knowledge on him. Whew...that was exhausting.

    Pollard is a PT guy...as in past-tense. Hard to go into detail on him without every sentence using the word "was" instead of "is". Nothing left in the tank and even his hands are starting to fail him.

    Metaphorically Speaking
    So do the Pats need a 3rd TE on the active roster? Vrabel gets some goal line work and O'Callaghan gets snaps on short yardage. Would a 3rd TE get enough work other than goal line and short yardage to justify a roster spot? My magic 8-ball tells me its "Doubtful".

    So where does that leave us? Spach has to earn a spot on special teams. If he can't make the cut there he becomes a prime candidate for the Inactive 8 just so the Pats have a TE hanging around if needed. Pollard is the dusty, old insurance policy in case Watson or DThomas aren't recovered or are re-injured.

    Roster to date:
    1-2: QB Brady, Gutierrez
    3-5: RB Maroney, Faulk, Morris
    6-9: WR Moss, Welker, CJackson, Gaffney
    10-11: TE Watson, DThomas
    46: QB O'Connell (gameday inactive)

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

    OTs up next...
  2. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    I know Pollard had a tough playoffs last year and certainly doesn't have the reserves to be a starter anymore but to say he doesn't have enough in the tank to be a solid 3rd tight end might be jumping to comclusions. But if you are right that should be easy to tell in TC.

    big story in this position is health. If Watson and THomas are healthy than either Spach or Pollard are fine as the 3. if one or both isn't than the position might be in trouble.
  3. tombonneau

    tombonneau Rookie

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    Agreed. The thing I'm probably most excited about for this season is to see what a healthy Dave Thomas can do in this offense. I'm expecting big things and wouldn't be surprised if outproduced Watson.

    I still would like a better TE3 option though. Garrett Mills would be looking good about now ...
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  4. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    If both tight end positions are healthy, we just added two very credible pass catching threats to our offense.
  5. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    Thomas had a single injury that must have been more than simply 'breaking his foot.' Word was he dropped a weight on it while working out. Do they use SUVs for weights?

    Still, one injury doesn't worry me as long as he's fully recovered by, say, the third pre-season game. Watson, OTOH, hasn't ever been that durable. I worry about him.

    Given that, I'm sure they'll keep three TEs. The third TE is pretty important to Belichick. I don't have the numbers, but I'm fairly sure BB has had 2 QBs more often than he's had 2 TEs.

    Partly it's the number of times they run their 2-TE and 3-TE formations. That fell off some last year, when the TE-RB-3WR formation pretty much dominated, but it was always a big part of the playbook. It's a pretty useful formation for beating up the opposing DL and for sucking in the safeties when you want Moss to take it deep.

    I wouldn't write off Pollard yet, though I'm inclined to agree with Metaphors that he's likely headed for the shadow roster.

    This is not the most exciting position to watch this summer EXCEPT, Thomas is a favorite of mine. I want to see this guy healthy. Someone's blog reported early in 2007, before he broke his foot, that the brain trust was pretty high on him. I'd like to see him have his chance.
  6. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    I said that last year and got mugged. Good luck to you, my friend.
  7. tombonneau

    tombonneau Rookie

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    Not saying he will, just saying if he does I won't think "Wow, how did that happen".

    Thomas has much better hands than Watson and is a great route-runner. Not so sure about his blocking on the NFL level. But I'm preaching to the choir. :)
  8. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nice breakdown, the TEs seem very one deminsional on the surface. Watson and Thomas are essentially clones, good receiving TEs but can't hold up at the point of attack.

    I was hoping for a blocking TE to get drafted, look for the Pats to monitor the waiver wire for a late camp addition.

    Looking at your skill positons, the Patriots offense will be among the leagues elite. There are a lot of weapons.

    QB Brady
    RB Maroney, Faulk, Morris
    WR Moss, Welker, CJackson, Gaffney
    TE Watson, DThomas
  9. FarScapeR

    FarScapeR Rookie

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    I read somewhere that Watson improved tremendously on his blocking last year. If Thomas can get better at that, our TEs could make our offense truly unstoppable.
  10. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    Pollard = junk who will be cut.
  11. bradmahn

    bradmahn Rookie

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    I think the top two in this group could be special if they are both healthy. They've both shown good ability in the passing game and can both stay in and block (to some degree of effectiveness). One dimensional is Dallas Clark, Kyle Brady, or Daniel Graham, with these two they are both "threats" running routes and staying home to block.

    I think Spach will beat out Pollard if he shows that he is the better blocker.
  12. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Gotter amit that Brady, the big fat one, was a big dissapointment to me last year. I'd thought that a wide body who could shore up the OT point of attack and maybe sneak out and catch a couple balls was just what we needed. Didn't frakin happen. For some reason, the big fat Brady was ineffective protecting the skinny one.

    I'd like to have the Pats stash a young developmental blocking TE on the PS or shadow roster but don't see that happening this season. Don't know enough about modern NFL OL blocking to see why an O'C or Britt couldn't play occasionally as a blocking TE.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  13. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I was really surprised not to see them take a even a blocking TE late in the draft or among the UDFAs.

    I thought given the fact that they had signed Kyle Brady in that capacity, and the fact that they always used Daniel Graham as primarilly a blocker meant that, while they very much want to have at least one all purpose TE on the field, the amount of blocking they ask the TE to do would leave room for a strict blocking specialist.

    But maybe a season with K. Brady illustrated the limits of a blocking only TE to Belichick and he's back to wanting all around backs.

    It's still too early to draw any such conclusions because I'd think they'll still add some bodies in camp and look over the cuts from other teams, but given the number of draft picks used on TE in the past, to see an opportunity for depth on the roster now, is somewhat surprising.
  14. jbb9s

    jbb9s Rookie

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    Folks - someone will have to substantiate the case for Thomas to develop into the type of player some have you have projected. I'm not saying he is not, but I am saying I need more to bite into then what I have seen on the field.

    This is what I have seen on the field over the last 2 yrs: missed all but 1 game last year, probably caught a pass or two in 6 different games over the last 2 years and a notable 80+ yard game the 2nd to last game of 06. Also, has less than 180 career yards, half of them coming with injuries to Watson and Graham in that aforementioned week 16 game. Belichick speaks highly of him too.

    If every team's fans has such high expectations for third round picks with these types of production thru year 2, the league would be overflowing with hundreds of future stars.
  15. satz

    satz Rookie

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    I am confused spach played as a purely blocking TE towards the end of last year and weird enough every game he was in 3 TE formation for maroney , maroney ran for 100 yrds in every one of those of games. Werid still he did not dress for the SB and we were short on TE`s.Usually even with injured watson in we rotated heath evans and spach in or both in .

    can you elobrate what you are implying.
  16. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    Feet have very small bones and poor circulation. They can heal very porly. Plus, they support all weight and cutting movements. If you want to know how devastating foot injuries can be, talk to Bill Walton.
  17. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    I'd like to see another blocking TE in the mix. I think we will.
  18. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Not implying anything...straight out saying that I have no visual confirmation the guy actually exists besides a couple of special teams plays. If he made an impact in the running game, I just missed it. Good thing about these threads is that we all pick up on different things and the finer details of OL play is a blind spot for me. If Spach is a kick-butt blocker, he should have a cozy little roster spot waiting for him.

    So I'll volley back to you...are you implying that Spach had a significant impact in Maroney's success?
  19. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    See, that's what I mean. I don't know exactly what happened. He was injured very early in 2007 and over a year later he was still limited in practice. Even an ACL tear, a ruptured achilles, a torn rotator cuff, would all leave a player somewhat limited, but they'd be running all the drills. Thomas wasn't even running all the drills in minicamp. He was clearly limited.

    OTOH, maybe they were being cautious seing as they brought him back too early last September. If he wasn't just fine and progressing well, it's hard to imagine they wouldn't have drafted/signed someone other than Pollard.
  20. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    I'm guessing he's fine based on them not drafting or picking a young player.

    They can be nasty injuries and they probably don't push them because of chance of reinjury. They obviously like him since he seems to have a job with little competition.

    Who cares about minicamp if they think he can do the job?
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