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Connolly - The Perfect Patriot OL

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Jun 2, 2012.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With everyone healthy, he may or not start (although he could start at center, with the idea of moving 2 players if there is a game day injury, with Koppen as game-day backup inside).

    However, even if he doesn't start, Connolly would get lots of reps subbing at all the interior line spots. For dante and bill, our 4th inside lineman (who is a decent starter at all three positions) is indeed worth starting money.
  2. pork3

    pork3 Rookie

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    You forgot, he's also a great return man.

    -Jamman
  3. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    I think the question is more likely to be 'where will Connolly start' than 'will Connolly start'.
  4. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Surely he has the best return average on the team?
  5. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Until I see Mankins on the field, I'll have Connolly penciled in as the Patriots' week 1 starting LG.

    As for his value being something the Patriots would uniquely recognize, I'm not sure BB's legendary love of versatility is really the issue here. It's not as if he cannily moves guys like Connolly from position to position based on schemes and matchups, like guys on the defensive front 7. What team WOULDN'T value a guy who can start respectably at all three interior OL 3 positions?

    Surely that's why they gave Connolly a $10 million contract: because he had multiple suitors.
  6. Frezo

    Frezo Rookie

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    Connolly = Ashworth x 2
  7. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I will be disappointed if Kopen starts over Connolly at center when
    Mankins and Waters are back.
  8. TheComeback

    TheComeback Rookie

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    According to Reiss, center is Connolly's job to lose. He had a great season last year.
  9. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Let us look at the team when Mankins is healthy.

    Solder, Mankins, ???, Waters, Vollmer/Cannon

    I would start Koppen, even if Connolly is a bit better. IObviously if Koppen doesn't look good at all, he would be benched, perhaps for Wendell or MacDonald.

    Koppen will likely already started several games, with Connolly starting for Mankins. If Connolly starts at center, the Game Day backup for the interior linemen is Koppen.

    If Mankins or Waters is injured, Connolly starting at center this requires TWO changes. Connolly moves to guard, Koppen to center. If Gallery is the Game Day backup, there is no backup center.

    Belichick prefers to make only one change if there is one injury. This is discussing in-game changes. If a player is out the next week, there are more options.
  10. patriotscpfc

    patriotscpfc Rookie

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    Connolly will be starting on this team, full-of-health, or not.
  11. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    You would prefer to not put your best lineup on the field?


    The logic makes sense - but only if all else is equal. Why purposefully make yourself weaker based strictly on 'what if somebody gets hurt' logic?

    I think you may be over-thinking this.
  12. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Right, but I'm pretty sure that's assuming Mankins is at LG. Absent Mankins, the question would be the combo of Connolly & Koppen vs. ?? (Maybe Gallery & Connolly?)
  13. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    If Mankins is out then there are a myriad of possible combinations, though you hit on probably the two most obvious ones.

    • Connolly-Koppen
    • Connolly-Wendell
    • Connolly-McDonald
    • Connolly-Richard
    • Gallery-Connolly
    • Gallery-Koppen
    • Cannon-Connolly
    • Cannon-Koppen
  14. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Even with Matt Light's retirement, the Pats currently have 7-8 "starting" caliber linemen:

    - Logan Mankins - a multiple Pro Bowler who has started all 104 games in which he has played. A certain starter if healthy.
    - Brian Waters - a multiple Pro Bowler who has started 165 of 179 career games, and who played at a Pro Bowl level in 2011.
    - Sebastian Vollmer - an All Pro in 2010, has started 29 of 36 games. A certain starter if healthy. Can play both right and left tackle.
    - Nate Solder - started 13 games as a rookie at both right and left tackle, and played well. Seems set as the successor to Matt Light at LT.
    - Robert Gallery - has started 103 of 104 career games at both guard and tackle (his only non-start coming his rookie season), so it's hard to not argue that he's NFL starting caliber, even though he will likely be a backup for the Pats barring injury. Injuries slowed him in 2011.
    - Dan Koppen - similar to Gallery, has started 120 out of 121 career games at center, with his only non-start coming his rookie season. Assuming he's fully healthy, it's hard not to argue that he's a starting caliber center, whether he starts or not.
    - Dan Connolly - has started 24 games the past 2 seasons at both guard and center, and has played at a starting caliber at both positions.
    - Marcus Cannon - the most questionable name on this list, Cannon played in 7 games as a rookie after coming off PUP. He appears to be playing with the first unit in Sebastian Vollmer's absence, and is a likely starter at RT if Vollmer is not ready. Has reportedly acquitted himself reasonably well so far this year. May also have positional flexibility at guard.

    If Marcus Cannon is indeed ready to make the jump to a starting caliber lineman, that would give the Pats 8 linemen who can play at a reaosnable NFL starting caliber. Most of them have the ability to play more than one OL position. I'm not sure if another team in the NFL can boast that kind of depth.
  15. Frezo

    Frezo Rookie

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    I would say that Wendell is as close to being a starting caliber center as Canon is to being a starting guard.
  16. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We disagree on Wendell. I consider him a JAG, and I think Nick McDonald will be ahead of him on the depth chart.

    I wouldn't call Cannon a starting caliber GUARD, but I think he'll be the starter at RT and will acquit himself reasonably well if Vollmer can't go.
  17. Frezo

    Frezo Rookie

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    He seemed to do a good job when he started for Connolly last year. No?
  18. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, like so many Pats OLs, he played LT at TCU, where he did a pretty good job of protecting Andy Dalton's blind side. . . .
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Cannon will be active, and be our backup at LT and RT. Cannon is our #3 OT, and Vollmer has had injuries. For 2012, Cannon is an OT. I suspect that he will remain so.

    Given the players that we have, I believe that Cannon is expected to be able to play LT, unless we are counting on Gallery.

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have Gallery as #8 at the moment, although until Mankins is back, that matters little.
    I expect to see Gallery inactive if Mankins is healthy.

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