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Drafting for position AND Special Teams

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Box_O_Rocks, Mar 30, 2009.

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  1. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The main page thread questioning whether LeKevin Smith is history after the new rule change is the catalyst for this question: What shift in the draft might we anticipate as a result of the new anti-wedge rule from the Owner's meeting?

    Reiss' article on the subject speculated as to how Special Teams' Coordinators might adapt their game plans. Brad Seeley was noted to be a proponent of man blocking before he came to New England and gradually shifted to a wedge return. In recent years we've seen him use Mike Wright and Wesley Britt as front line blockers, presumably other big men with decent mobility will draw similar assignments - Stephen Neal comes to mind as a good example. TEs and bigger Wide Receivers block in space during the game, and are used in that role on Special Teams, no change there. RBs and FBs get used the same way. Linebackers and Safeties are expected to square-up and make tackles in space, making a block is just a variant of that skill.

    When building a team, BB looks not only to the position a player might play, but what alternate roles they can take on. Arguably faster, more mobile OL - the kind used in zone blocking - could see a slight up-tick in demand for their services if you believe they can be effective blocking in-line, on the move, and in space as KR blockers. Ditto for DL. Could a five man front line of Wright, Neal, Watson, Woods, and Aiken be effective? If you broke up a 4-man wedge into two 2-man wedges comprised of a Neal/Wright & Woods/Dave Thomas at whatever interval won't draw a flag, can you create the same return lanes? Does one become the point of the arrow and the other become a flanking force playing off the disruption of their charge to creat a return lane? Does an upback/lead blocker FB have more value than a Willie Andrews/Matthew Slater burner?

    Discuss.
     
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    NFL.com Blogs Blog Archive Louisville C Wood drawing lots of interest
     
  3. DocE

    DocE Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I am thinking that fast linebackers and bigger running backs/fullbacks and h-backs/tight ends may replace some of the lineman on the return team. For example, Guyton, Redd, and Ben Watson seem ideal for more one on one blocking schemes. If you can find a big Dlineman or offensive lineman that can really move, I think that player still has a lot of value in a man blocking scheme. Maybe a Jamon Meredith or William Beatty can be a valuable in this role and also serve as the Pats 3rd tackle? On the defensive side Jarron Gilbert seems like an ideal it among the Dlineman. It will be tougher to find 3-4 DE's to play special teams than it will be for 4-3 teams to find DE's to contribute.

    On to the real point of your post :)

    Connor Barwin would appear to have the ideal skill set to thrive on a man blocking kick return unit.
     
  4. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nice of you to mention Barwin, but I'm looking to fill 11 slots, not just one. Some of the most athletic OT/OL in this draft are projected in the mid-rounds: Lydon Murtha, Joel Bell, T.J. Lang, Xavier Fulton...LeVoir did some wedge work last season, he might work out as a man blocker.
     
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