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Camp Battles - The Final Cutdown

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Metaphors, Aug 28, 2008.

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  1. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    After going through the "Camp Battles" exercise and reading all the other excellent roster projection threads, it looks like the roster is coming together quite nicely. In fact, most of the gameday active spots seem to be filled...as I see 40 of the 45 pretty much set at this point:

    QB (1) - Brady
    RB (5) - Maroney, Faulk, Morris, Jordan, Evans
    WR (5) - Moss, Welker, Gaffney, CJackson, Washington
    TE (2) - Watson, DThomas
    OL (5) - Light, Mankins, Koppen, Kaczur, Britt
    DL (5) - Seymour, Wilfork, Warren, JGreen, Wright
    LB (6) - AThomas, Bruschi, Mayo, Vrabel, Woods, Crable
    DB (7) - Hobbs, Bryant, Wheatley, Harrison, JSanders, Meriweather, Lynch
    ST (4) - Gostkowski, Hanson, Paxton, Slater

    This leaves 5 gameday active spots left and 3 of those are the clear remaining camp battles:

    Backup QB - Cassel vs Gutierrez
    Not much more to be said here. May be too late for Cassel, especially if Gutierrez plays well tonight. If Gutierrez gets the start, Cassel is already gone. Spot to Gutierrez.

    Starting ROG - Yates vs Welbourne vs Hochstein vs Flynn
    Yates would seem to be the natural pick here but he has really struggled in preseason. Hochstein hasn't been healthy enough to get a good read on him. Welbourne has looked fine in his limited time and Flynn is still getting his feet wet. This is kind of a mess so I'll give the spot to Welbourne on a gut feeling.

    Swing OG/C - Hochstein vs Flynn
    If Hochstein is healthy (and I'll assume he is for this exercise), then he gets the call. Otherwise he starts inactive or on the IR and Flynn moves in.

    That leaves 2 gameday active spots left and CB, ILB and ST looking like the spots most in need of bolstering. If veterans (meaning guys who have gotten regular reps in the past) can't make it with these remaining 2 spots, they need to start exploring opportunities elsewhere.

    Final 2 Gameday Active - Izzo, Hobson, Alexander, LSanders, Aiken
    Aiken gets tossed off the list, but is in the inactive mix since he is hurt. Hobson just hasn't shown enough or earned enough reps to make the team. The fact that Izzo survived the first cut and hasn't retired leads me to believe he gets a spot. Since I'm more concerned about CB depth than I am about ST linebacker types (already have Woods/Crable/Izzo not including the other rooks), the final spot goes to LSanders.

    Now comes the fun part...the backend of the roster. To simplify things, I'm going to assume Hochstein is healthy (and already safely on the roster) and Aiken isn't healthy enough to make the cut. Also going to assume O'Connell, Yates, LSmith and Wilhite take the first 4 spots. That leaves 4 spots open for players to fight their way onto the roster:

    Spann has clearly stepped up this offseason. He was ready to play and took advantage of his opportunities. In my eyes, he makes the team because of the work ethic and ability to expand beyond special teams play and into some regular defensive snaps. Lots of safeties on the roster though, which works against him because I don't see him at CB.

    Guyton flashed some in the preseason games, but at times showed that he is very raw. His speed and ability to pursue make him a potential ST demon and he has shown enough to warrant a backend roster spot as a developmental LB.

    Ventrone has done everything asked of him and certainly held his own. His ability to be a Swiss Army player makes him valuable to plug multiple holes if a serious injury bug hits. His effort and attitude are exactly what you want in the locker room every day.

    The last spot it tough. A 3rd TE would be nice but Stupar and Spach haven't shown enough to get on the field in 3 TE sets. A little more DL depth wouldn't hurt and Santonio, Fafita and especially Kenny Smith have shown up at times. Richardson looked good last year and Ruud was drafted for a reason. However, I think Redd has flashed enough potential to keep as a developmental OLB. He has ideal measurables for the Pats scheme and that is hard to find. Too much upside to risk on the waiver wire, he gets the last spot.

    So that leaves us with the following roster (* = projected inactive). Heavy on DBs but I expect Harrison and Lynch to have roles beyond that of traditional safeties.

    QB (3) - Brady, Gutierrez, O'Connell*
    RB (5) - Maroney, Faulk, Morris, Jordan, Evans
    WR (5) - Moss, Welker, Gaffney, CJackson, Washington
    TE (2) - Watson, DThomas
    OL (8) - Light, Mankins, Koppen, Kaczur, Britt, Welbourne, Hochstein, Yates*
    DL (6) - Seymour, Wilfork, Warren, JGreen, Wright, LSmith*
    LB (8) - AThomas, Bruschi, Mayo, Vrabel, Woods, Crable, Guyton*, Redd*
    DB (11) - Hobbs, Bryant, Wheatley, Harrison, JSanders, Meriweather, Lynch, LSanders, Wilhite*, Spann*, Ventrone*
    ST (5) - Gostkowski, Hanson, Paxton, Slater, Izzo
  2. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    I see three weak areas...
    1---The OL....8 is not enough..not when 3 are just coming back from injuries..a team needs 7 active in a game..if 2 are out..reinjured.. a roster move is needed...If all were healthy..I think quite possible..but not this year....
    2---ILB...This is very weak..Bruschi and rooks and Thomas/Vrabel moving inside. Just don't see that happening..no real ILB backup with experience...Can't expect a lot from the rooks..I like Guyton but NOT as a number 3 ILB..A LOT is lost in moving Thomas or Vrabel inside.
    3---ST...Might be a bit weak...Izzo is teh capt...but who else?? the ST players are inactive..
    Ventrone, Spann, Guyton..so???
    Those are where I see the problems...
  3. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    #87 Jersey

    good stuff.

    I'd replace Redd with Alexander. While eric has a low ceiling (and has reached it), he is much more valuable for depth (this year) and plays special teams well. If Redd doesn't make it to ps, then too bad.

    I'd also add one more O-linemen. They will have potentially two guys on PUP who could serve as mid-season reinforcements. This could justify taking just 8, but with Hochstein and Yates we better add one more for safe measure (especially since our tight ends won't be blocking anyone, effectively).

    Too many db's. chop off at least one.

    good stuff though. I'm just being nit-picky
  4. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Agree on the OL. I originally started with Flynn and Hochstein making the roster (Hochstein inactive until he is completely healthy). Entirely possible it goes in this direction.

    At ILB, Alexander would be the one to stick but he just hasn't seemed to progress in the last year or so. It would make sense to keep Alexander and cut Izzo, but don't see it happening at this point. In my scenario, I see Harrison and Lynch seeing a lot of time in the box. I just don't see Alexander as more than a ST guy (though a very good one).

    For ST, Evans, Woods, Wright and Washington are core ST guys that just happen to provide workable depth elsewhere. I imagine that Meriweather, both Sanders, CJack, DThomas, Crable, Mayo and Wheatley will occasionally get their hands dirty as well.
  5. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    I agree. We may yet see Hochstien or Aiken to the IR I think. Flynn sticks on the OL either replacing Hochstien or pushing them to 9. There is NO WAY we keep 4(!!) friggin rookie LBs. Two is fine, three is a big maybe....but this is exactly what the PS is for! Rotate rookies on and off the PS/inactive at your leisure barring health concerns. Guys like Hobson and Alexander have value both here and elsewhere so one of those guys sticks too. Lastly, I dont like the way Slater has been handed the return spot. We have Jackson, Wheatley, and several other guys that can handle return duties. He hasnt distinguished himself enough to justify a spot and I think the battle for the last spot is between him and Ventrone with Ray winning it because Slater can go to to the PS. We will still see him on every return, and there is nothing wrong with having a guy IN PRACTICE to be that guy....but until he breaks ONE, he doesnt have enough position experience to backup anyone.

    NOTE: With this post I just "made the team",LOL
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
  6. Zeke_Mowatt

    Zeke_Mowatt Rookie

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    In my eyes, Slater is a returner and a gunner, something that alexander, aiken, and izzo all lack. Versatility gets him a spot (plus he's on the field with ST every time I see, meaning they plan on him being there longer term) and saves someone else from having to play ST on the kick and return teams, win-win.
  7. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    Nice job Metaphors. This a pretty incredible crop of rookies and only Scott and maybe Bill know who will survive the Waiver wire. I think Ruud will and I think Redd COULD.

    OL is a tricky one this time around for sure. Something tells me being a Pat may light Welbourne up in a good way. Let's watch him tonight.

    I'm becoming a roster management junkie, so I'm jacked about tonight's game. I know it's scrubs vs. scrubs, but if we some of these guys CONSISTENTLY making plays it well help make for one last best guess before Saturday.

    Meta4's, do you have any inkling that we might see an unexpected trade between tonight and Saturday afternoon? I have a hunch.

    I also expect one completely unexpected cut (hopefully Izzo) and one longshot rookie getting signed. Of course there really aren't any rookies that show any less risk/reward than Jackson, imo. Worst case, lop him off the list and sign Slater or Ventrone.

    Also, that's a lot of rookie LB's, but if it went down like that, we could have brilliant rotations and one of the freshest LB corps by mid-season. That would instantly make the D scarier. I'm down with that.
  8. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Why is everyone LOVING to cut izzo and??? who is replacing him?? WHo with a LOT of ST experience.. see what happened last week?? EXpect a LOT more of that if you cut all the vets in teams..It's not all about speed and qiuickness..BUT experience...see that 4th down fake?? If you stick rooks in that place..it will happen more where a vet like Izzo will recognize it and stop it..Experience is needed..1 2 VETS who are really ST only...Aikens if healthy would be the next in line...if he sticks and is healthy it is possible..but not both getting the ax.
  9. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    Guys, this team was ALMOST perfect last year. There are going to be some rookies to make the team, but if there is even a question between a rookie and an incumbent there is no doubt that we will keep the guy with experience!
  10. alvinnf

    alvinnf Rookie

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    It's called evolution....Jeffanthropologist.....
  11. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You sir deserve a special award: 11 defenisve backs indeed!

  12. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Feel free to put Ventrone as a WR if that makes you feel better. He is typically listed as a DB so I didn't want to play around too much with the positions. Ventrone and Spann likely won't get many non-ST snaps this year so you could even put them as ST.

    My comment about being heavy at DB was mainly referring to the safeties that will actually get playing time as DBs. Harrison, Lynch, JSanders and Meriweather seems like a lot of experience for just a couple of positions. JSanders and Meriweather have earned the right to be on the field for most snaps, which is why I think Harrison and Lynch will get substantial time as extra safeties in the box.

    Before free agency, it seemed like Harrison, Meriweather and JSanders would be enough at safety. Add a youngster who plays ST and you are set. Adding Tank confused me a little. Then when Tank goes down, Lynch is almost immediately added. That says to me that Tank (and now Lynch) was acquired with a specific purpose in mind...not just for depth at safety or insurance for a Rodney injury or cutting back Rodney's playing time.

    The extra safety possibilities have been discussed in multiple threads. My point is that this "new" role comes at the expense of an existing roster spot. I think that is the cover linebacker role, which IMO is bad news for Alexander. Alexander is good enough on ST to get a spot anyway, but it seems like he has fallen out of favor as a situational LB.
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