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Do We NEED Five Running Backs?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, May 4, 2013.

  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We don't NEED five running backs.

    However, as analysts keep on reminding us, no running back should be expected to complete the season with injuries. More than any other position, running backs get injured.

    Keeping only four RB's does allow us a 9th OL. However, our 9th and 10th OL are often on the Practice Squad attending Dante's Academy.

    The bottom line is that carrying 5 RB's provides needed insurance at the position.
  2. Stilla

    Stilla Rookie

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    As long as we have depth for the o line on the PS I am OK with 5 RB.
    Ultimately Washington will be expected to stay fresh for returns, so really all our backs will be utilized no one is sitting the bench.



    Ridley and Bolden alternate starting roll to rest each other, but Ridley starts over Bolden .
    Vereen, 3rd down back.
    LeGarrette, short yardage and goal line?
    Washington, return man.
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If all five are on the 53, I would expect Bolden to be inactive.

  4. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

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    I have always thought 4 should be the max. If you want more then they should be on the practice squad. We had 4 last year and bolden and vereen barely played. At no point in time were we thin at this position. Hell, even when we had all injured prone old guys we still didn't go through all of them. Faulk at one point was even a benchwarmer.

    We need to save those spots for wrs. Last year we didn't even have enough quality wrs to go 4wide like we use to back in the glory days. Please no more than four rbs.
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With Hernandez and Gronkowksi on the 53, there is no reason to go 4 wide, unless one of them is one of the "wides". Besides, as was the case in the glory days, a running back could be one of the four. Vereen is fine in that role.

    As of now, we'll have Amendola, Dobson, Boyce, Edelman and someone else (likely Jones). This is more than plenty. One is likely to be inactive. We don't need to activate 5 receivers. And yes, we will have one or two kids on the Practice Squad.

    As we do the rosters, keeping one fewer RB would likely allow us to carry 9 OL's or 10 DL's.

    Of course, it is just possible that we will just go with 4 receivers, with 2 on the Practice Squad.

  6. Stilla

    Stilla Rookie

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    I would expect that we dress all of our RBs on the 45 man roster.
  7. tonyto3690

    tonyto3690 Banned

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    The glory days? You mean the year we didn't win a SB?

    RB, Gronk, Hernandez. Those three need to be on the field at all times. That leaves you 2 spots for WRs.

    That is unless you suggest we either bench Hernandez for Edelman or become completely one dimensional and bench a RB for a #4 WR.
  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think part of the reason that we had five in some recent years was because the Pats had veterans (e.g., Kevin Faulk, Fred Taylor, LaMont Jordan) who typically don't double duty on special teams and/or were nursing injuries, and then the Pats had green rookies (e.g., Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden) who had not yet fully gained the trust of the coaching staff; those factors probably led to utilizing an extra roster spot on the position.

    Neither of those are the case with the 2013 RB corps, so I can see the Pats going with four running backs rather than five this year. In my opinion the camp competition for the final roster spot comes down to a choice between Bolden and LaGarrette Blount. Less likely but also possible is Belichick using a roster spot on a true fullback such as Ben Bartholomew. I think for that to happen though somebody else would need to show that they can effectively handle Leon Washington's duties, making him expendable.
  9. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So, you would NEVER run a 3-WR set? That would severely limit the team's offense. It extremely unlikely that we run a 3-WR set less than 20% of the time.

  10. Weishuhn

    Weishuhn Rookie

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    I think we get to that set by splitting out Hernandez or Gronk, or motioning Vereen out of the backfield, creating the 3-wide set but building in matchup issues at the same time.
  11. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

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    This is great but I also have a problem with this because when it comes down to it they are still tight ends. I want to be able to do this with actual receivers that are usually faster than tight ends(not the branch's of the world) and can potentially make long completions. This might be the first time in years that we might be able to do this. Im not trying to take over this thread but im just saying instead of 5rbs one more spot to a wr instead or anything else.

    I also don't understand why some people are acting like this is dumb when we have seen gronk and hernandez both have durability issues. When we had to count on fells and hooman as receivers we struggled and branch was kinda useless and edelman was ired. So i was just trying to find ways for us to be more explosive. When i see the packers and saints wrs all spread out and you have no idea where the qb is going with the ball is so much how we use to be. We weren't as explosive as them but brown, givens, branch, patten, and even bethel collectively really gave us alot of options that we haven't had in a long time.

    Lastly, maybe we might even run better against lighter fronts if we occasionally have more wrs instead of te because the lb will come off the field in favor of dbs. I seen a thread earlier that showed we had the fewest tackles broken and i think this correlates with that. I would assume it is easier to break the tackle of a db to that of a lb. Im done ranting.
  12. Bobs My Uncle

    Bobs My Uncle PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With all the uncertainty at the wideout spots I wouldn't be surprised to see an emphasis placed on running the ball more this upcoming season. If so, I think 5 RB's will be kept ..... and played.
  13. lurker1965

    lurker1965 Rookie

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    Two questions:

    1) Are you counting Full Back as a running back? Yes, technically he is, but he's more of an extra blocker.

    2) Are you counting any Running Backs in name only? You know, a guy who is really a kick/punt returner who goes on the rooster as "RB," but only gets in as a RB if injuries get bad.

    Yes to either, I can see five.
    edit: BTW,any that see earth shattering importance of this, please tell me the year the 53 in September were the 53 in October - December is too difficult.:) Oh, I'm commenting because it is the off season - like 95% of the posters.
  14. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    seems to me that we have a lot of young talent on this team, which in essence means we have players who are question marks to one extent or another

    when such is the case, you must keep more of these players so that you can evaluate them throughout the season

    for this reason i believe we cant really bring in more than 4 backs into camp, and the locks are ridley, vereen, and leon, then one of bolden or blount (blount would have to have a hell of a camp to beat out bolden, and if he does beat out bolden, then and only then may we keep all 5 rbs, just because bolden will fall into the "still being evaluated" category

    for this season however most of our "still need to be evaluated" players in the WR, LB, CB and DE positions, hence we will more than likely take 4rb's into season, and reserve that spot for a guy still being evaluated
  15. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I cant imagine dressing 5 RBs. Have we ever? What is the point?
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Blount's salary is no longer an issue. He is now at vet minimum.
  17. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It will be up to LaGarrette Blount to try and beat out Bolden for a roster spot if Belichick chooses to only keep 4 RB's. The other side of the coin states that it will also be up to Bolden to beat out Blount, especially since his suspension and possible placement squarely in Belichick's doghouse...

    Of course there's also the thought that our RB's were pretty healthy last season and the chances of that happening again 2 yrs in a row may be a lot slimmer, so we may end up needing that 5th RB.

    One would have to assume that Belichick had a plan in place by trading an additional draft pick to Tampa Bay just to "get rid" of Demps. There will be many who think that Blount may only be camp fodder due to his low salary etc, but I'm not entirely sure that's the case here.
  18. Finnishfan

    Finnishfan Rookie

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    I would only carry 5 if the flexibility (regarding skillsets and injury backups) would be well planned.

    Vereen has a clear role, as does Ridley. Washington is also extremely usable because our special teams and the return players did not exactly have a great season last year. I was looking forward to Demps filling that role, but now Washington seems like the only electrifying return man we have.

    When it comes to Bolden and Blount, I'm not quite sure we should carry both. Either one would be a good 2nd half / red zone bruiser and a decent backup to Ridley, but they cannot fill in for either Vereen or Washington so their flexibility value is limited. Carrying two backups for one player would seem a bit weird.

    But just like with every other position etc, BB always tries to take the best players with him, so if both Bolden and Blount impress at TC/Preseason then I would guess that both might end up in the final 53.
  19. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would not at all be surprised to see Bolden gone if Blount works out.
  20. Chopblock CB

    Chopblock CB Rookie

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    The accusation of Blount indicates the possibility that Bolden is potentially a little more injured than we have been led on to believe...plus the fact that BB always brings in players to create competition at particular positions
  21. NEPettyOfficer72

    NEPettyOfficer72 Rookie

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    You can never underestimate the importance of good to great depth at the running back position, especially on an extremely productive and prolific offense because of the simple fact that injuries occur every season. And besides, who wouldn't want 5 very good options at running back who all have different sizes, skillsets that can add different dimensions to an already dangerous offense? That's a great thing to have. Think about.. like Ridley said, they can all contribute and think about how much of a hard time defenses would have trying to guess and switch personnel each play according to who we have taking the hand offs.

    1) You know what Stevan Ridley brings, the speed, and power combo with very good vision and patience.

    2) Boom, hit them with a punch in the mouth of bruising, punishing and hurdling LeGarrett Blount, perhaps the most talented runner of NE and 2nd most, just when you think they've had enough.. So he can truck a few people

    3) You can shift things up behind throwing little hitch screens to Shane Vereen or Leon Washington to give a little Danny Woodhead flavor, make a few people miss for a first down on third and short or even third and long.

    4) Brandon Bolden gives you some of LeGarrett Blount, he is deceptively strong and very quick. Hopefully he stays healthy..

    But do you see what I'm saying? Because the main focus of defenses will be to stop Tom Brady and those outside weapons that he now has including the TE's but now look what they also have to contend with if we keep all 5. I'd say why not, it just makes us that more scary on offense...
  22. Triumph

    Triumph Rookie

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    Id rather see Fells or Hooman gone.

    Bolden is the next BJGE only better.
  23. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I know I'm in the small minority on the RB issue here, and MG will strongly disagree. :D But I see the starting RB spot up for grabs.

    -First, Vereen has secured his spot as the Faulk/Woodhead successor. BB wouldn't ditch Woodhead for peanuts if he wasn't confident Vereen could be the next 3rd down back. Washington hasn't seen regular 3rd down action in over 4 years, he's not the guy. If Vereen can become the next Faulk at pick #60, that's a fine draft pick.

    -Blount's only making the team as the starter if he really worked his tail off (unlikely). We aren't going to keep a malcontent as a reserve, thus I end up seeing us carry the 4 RBs of Ridley, Bolden, Vereen, Washington.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now onto the unpopular opinion (remember BJGE vs. Maroney, good times)

    -Bolden in the preseason had 3.5 ypc and fumbled the ball twice on kickoffs, yet BB didn't even try to sneak him on the PS, giving him a spot on the 53. He got suspended as an undrafted rookie and BB still kept him. Before getting injured in the early part of the Seattle game, he passed Ridley on the depth chart. You could see the difference in burst between the two of them in the Buffalo game.

    For people that are so eager to cut Bolden, he displayed alot before the injury/suspension wound him in the doghouse. He was the most sought after UDFA RB and would've been drafted before Ridley in 2011 if he came out. I was at TC, the hype was real around this guy.

    I may end up being way wrong and can be tarred and feathered come September, but Bolden is the better RB and will be our starting RB this season.
  24. Triumph

    Triumph Rookie

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    You see Boldens value as well.

    I dont believe he will start over Ridley though. Cutting Bolden would be a mistake some here propose to make and I agree on Blount. If the Pats cut Blount its no loss because Demps wasnt playing anyway.
  25. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Bolden never passed Ridley on the depth chart.
  26. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    False.

    Bolden 6 rushes for 28 yards 4.8 ypc going into the second quarter. He got injured with 11 minutes left in the second quarter. He started the entire 2nd and 3rd drives over Ridley. Ridley had 2 carries for 3 yards on the opening drive and was benched for an entire quarter. Is that BB doing that for sh**s n giggles? Btw with Bolden out Ridley went 16 carries for 34 yards.
  27. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    I would rather keep just 4. What I'm hoping is Bolden/Blount are competing for the 4th slot and the other is given the boot but who knows. We have lots of competition at WR and DB where we don't really have enough proven guys but also guys I wouldn't be quick to give up on so I'm hoping more spots are used at those positions. RB we know we are good there IMO, a 5th would be a waste of a spot
  28. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Bolden as BJGE is an interesting idea.

    Unfortunately for your argument, Ridley is not Maroney. Ridley has done all Belichick has asked and more.

    I don't think Vereen is the next Faulk, but that is a side issue.

    FInally, there is no evidence that minimum salary Blount would be a malcontent as a reserve.

  29. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    Bolden was an absolute Bell Cow in the Buffalo game. Hope he juices up again and gives us that kind of output.

    To the ninnies out there - all RBs juice, the stupider ones get caught.
  30. Ivan

    Ivan Rookie

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    I really don't see Blount makinjg this team, i would take Bolden over him any day.

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