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Early Concerns?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by E1Downey, Jun 16, 2012.

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  1. E1Downey

    E1Downey Rookie

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    Hey guys!
    It's been a pretty interesting offseason this far and there is plenty to be excited about. I just wanted to get some opinions on any of your concerns about this team as we get ready for training camp to kick into gear.

    I like many of you I'm sure, can't wait for training camp to start. We are all excited about the WR battle (although it won't be as interesting as I first thought due to the thinning of the herd), about seeing who will emerge as the number one RB, and especially about these new studs we have for our sometimes frustrating defense.

    While I'm happily anticipating the answers to these question marks, there's a few that I'm concerned about. just a couple of thoughts.

    1.) The line...on both sides of the ball.
    I was very impressed with Solder last year. I thought he contributed a great deal for this team, and really showed his versatility by doing any and all tasks asked of him. I'm just a little nervous about how well he can protect TFB from the biggest and baddest rushers the NFL has to offer week in and week out. I'm also pretty concerned about Vollmer on the other side. He looked great a couple of years ago but I don't know what he will look like returning from all his back problems, and how long that back will even hold up once he is ready to go.
    My concern with the D-line is of course the pass rush. It looked a lot better last year, but the majority of the sacks came from two guys whom aren't on the team right now.(hoping Carter comes back) and who knows what to expect from Bills brand new toys he just got.

    2.) The defensive backfield.
    I'm really hoping that last year was a fluke for Devin McCourty. Talk about a freaking let down. Year one he has all of drooling and year two he has us all crying. Also interested to see how Glassy Dowling looks if he manages to stay healthy because he showed some real promise last year.
    I just don't want to see our team make the Chad Hennes of the league look all-pro again.

    Any way I'd love some input. Thanks guys!
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  2. bagwell368

    bagwell368 Rookie

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    OL depth

    Picking the correct front 7 for the 53 man
  3. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry Rookie

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    Defense. Until it is proved otherwise, Defense. I am sick of feeling like a Colts fan these last 5 years.

    I just want a D with a big set of brass ballllls. Is that too much to ask for?
  4. drew4008

    drew4008 Rookie

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    Yup, obviously defense, particularly the pass rush and DB play.
  5. scout

    scout Rookie

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    I am really optimistic. Compare going into this year with the past couple of years. I like the competition with the defensive backs and linebackers. This will help the defensive line, which seems to have depth. Running backs with another year experience with a vet helping out...........come on, I need t-shirts.
  6. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Secondary...
  7. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Last night's Patriots All Access program had a brief part in it where mcCourty describes how this year's offseason and OTA's have helped him immensely over last year's lockout prep. He went on about how he has been working on things he's never done before.

    He'll be ready. Let's hope Dowling can stay healthy and they'll be fine.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  8. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    Both concerns could potentially be strong this season, but until proven otherwise they are concerns IMO.

    Secondary - Lots of new faces that may help alot and Mccourty/RID are big question marks.

    DE - Again new faces, plus if Carter returns full strength that improves it alot.
  9. Triumph

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    Until the Pats pass defense improves immensely, the Pats will not win another SB trophy.

    No amount of blind homer-ism will change that fact. Andy.
  10. Observer

    Observer Rookie

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    Going by last year's (and prior) experience, the only thing I am concerned about is playing the Giants in the Superbowl.
  11. Fencer

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    Is it your position that the Pats' defense would have needed to be "immensely" better for the Pats to win the Super Bowl last season?
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  12. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rookie

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    Pass Rush...there was barely any more of it in 2011 than there was in 2010. It was nice to see us have a couple of ten sack guys but we didn't do much better as a team. Just 4 more sacks than the previous year and they were just less evenly distributed. It's far too inconsistent.

    If you get a pass rush, your secondary concerns can go away very quickly and we wont see may 3rd & 5+ conversions against!
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  13. Daigle

    Daigle Rookie

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    O-line, loosing Light is a big loss. Solder is good but is he that good already ?

    Lets say Mankins is out for some games as well and we might be struggling with throwing the ball. With the current state of defence that might end up really bad.
  14. borg

    borg Rookie

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    I'm concerned that draft day '13 will be boring compared to past years of multiple premium picks. Waiting for the 32nd pick of each round is unfamiliar territory.....and I bet it is driving BB nuts. How and when will he return to the days of owning the first 2 rounds??? Will a significant vet get traded this offseason? Will BB sacrifice the '13 draft to get back multiple future picks? You know something has to give at some point....doesn't it?
  15. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What a completely ridiculous statement.

    They were within a Gronkle of winning it last year with far less talented defensive personnel.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  16. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He had to deal with that in 2005, and he still came away with a pretty decent draft in a crappy year: Logan Mankns, Ellis Hobbs, Nick Kaczur, James Sanders, Matt Cassel. Not the worst draft the Pats have had.
  17. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Pats were one minute from winning the Super Bowl this past year. I would argue with the exact same defense and a healthy Gronk, the odds are incredible high that the Pats win that Super Bowl.

    Ironically, the Pats lost this past Super Bowl largely on one Eli Manning pass where the coverage was spectacular, but the pass and catch was just amazing. No matter how good the Pats' pass defense was, there was virtually no way of stopping Manningham from catching the ball. The only way would have been to commit pass interference and hope the refs didn't call it.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  18. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    For some reason I am not that worried about the o-line. Daunte Scarnnechia has a long history of making chicken salad out of chicken crap. Yes, there are concerns on the line (can Solder handle the LT position? Will Brian Waters return and what shape will he be in at 35? Will Mankins be ready for the start of the season? Depth concerns.). But Scar has made some lines filled with some mediocre at positions talent keep Brady upright in Super Bowl seasons.

    All my biggest concerns are on the defensive side of the ball.
  19. Sivy

    Sivy Rookie

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    biggest concern? handling the pressure of going 19-0 again
  20. bagwell368

    bagwell368 Rookie

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    I demand a rematch. Nothing else - not even two SB wins a row against the 49'ers and the Lions (for instance) will wipe away the last two as well as an old fashioned solid win against the NYG.

    And enough on how the D must be much better or we will never win again. Un-injure Gronk before the game or TB in the game, or have Welker make the catch and it's a win. 19 freaking points allowed by the D isn't good enough? Like hell it wasn't.
  21. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I find it creepy that you are so obsessed with me.
    It does appear however that you are approaching it blindly, as the team would have won the last SB with its worst pass D of the BB era if Welker makes a catch.
    Its blind and ignorant to say the thing you want to focus on is the only way.
    They can clearly win despite the pass D being as bad as it was, even if its a hell of a lot easier to if the primary weakness improves.
  22. bagwell368

    bagwell368 Rookie

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    Unlike last year if we lose two starting T's or G's we are screwed. The '07 team was 1st all time in scoring in the SB era, last year's team was tied for 9th. This year should be better, but if the OL's lack of depth is exposed via injuries then forget it. Coach Scar is the best positional Coach in the NFL which is why I am concerned and not morbidly hysteric.
  23. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think out OL is the deepest we have ever had.
    We have Gallery, Cannon, Koppen or Connolly and Wendell as backups.
    When have we ever had that level of depth on the OL?
    Typically we have one T that has some expericence, and our interior backups are a bunch of guys who have been around a while and not played much at all.
    Gallery could be the best backup OL of the BB era.
  24. Rob0729

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    Most teams if you lose two starting tackles you are screwed. Even last year, the Pats couldn't have overcome losing both starting tackles at once. I think you are making too much of this. Look at the Super Bowl years and look who started at RT for those teams and they were all JAG back ups who stepped up and did a serviceable job as starters.

    If Waters returns and Mankins starts the season, the Pats have more depth at guard this year than last year with the addition of Gallery.
  25. Ron Sellers

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    I think every team in the history of pro football would be pretty much screwed if they lost two starting tackles and two starting guards.
  26. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yup. But note that the Pats could have Matt Light and Brian Waters retire, Logan Mankins out with an ACL, and Sebastian Vollmer sidelined by back injuries, and still put out a starting OL of Nate Solder, Robert Gallery, Dan Koppen, Dan Connolly and Marcus Cannon. That's probably competitive with 80% of the starting offensive lines around the league. We'd be thin at backup tackle, but we'd have decent depth at interior OL with Nick McDonald and Ryan Wendell. That's truly remarkable.
  27. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Mankins will be starting the year on the PUP due to his ACL recovery. But that doesn't have me concerned in the least.

    Vollmer does concern me, though not as much as it did last year because I believe that Cannon could sub in for him without issue.

    Solder was stellar for a rookie last year. I see no reason for him to take a step backwards. He and Cannon shut down one of the best pass rushers in the league in Cameron Wake. And did so without much help from the TEs.

    The interior depth is the best its been in awhile and it will be better with Mankins return.

    The addition of Gallery is huge because he brings a dominant presence that we've only seen from the likes of Mankins and Waters. Once all three are healthy, the Pats will be able to rotate and keep all 3 fresh.

    With Koppen and Connolly battling it out for the starting center position, the worst we'll have is an above average center starting. And don't count Nick McDonald out. He's my darkhorse to take the starting center position.

    The Pats have shown an ability to be successful with journeymen O-lineman starting for them (Tom Ashworth, Russ Hochstein, Brandon Gorin).

    The D-line is somewhat concerning. How will the Pats line up? Will it be BB's traditional 3-4? Will it be the Hybrid? Will it be the old-style 4-3?

    The D-line has some good starting talent with the likes of Wilfork, Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Jonathan Fanene. They also have Gerard Warren, Ron Brace and Marcus Forston. That is good depth for the 3-4 and possibly for the hybrid, though none of them are the RDE that we fans have been hoping for.

    For the OLBers, you'd have Jones and Bequette joining Ninkovich, Carter and Cunningham..ILBers you'd have Spikes, Mayo, Fletcher being joined by Hightower. OLBer would be somewhat weak unless Jones and Bequetter really stepped up right away.


    The Defensive backs are the area of biggest concern. Will McCourty rebound? How will Dowling do? What about Dennard? Will Arrington be the starter again or will he the the "STAR"? How will Gregory adapt to the Pats coming from the Chargers? Will Wilson be in the safety rotation mix by the end of the year? Where does Sterling Moore fit into the mix after a stellar play-offs?
  28. goheels22002

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    I completely disagree. The Pats' pass blocking needs to improve against the elite defenses in the playoffs. The Ravens and the Giants both brought great base and blitz pass rushes that slowed the offense down.

    Pass defense was not the Patriots' problem in the AFC Championship nor in the Super Bowl. If anything, the pass defense did a fine job. The clincher (Manningham's catch) was perfectly defensed - it was just a great throw and an amazing catch. Hats off to Manning and Manningham on that play. Don't confuse the first 8 games pass defense with what emerged down the stretch after all the transition on defense.

    The pass blocking in both Giants Super Bowls was an issue and I think they addressed that with the tight end signings and the big backs the Patriots have. I hope the fullback position will be a core strength in 2012 - 2013.
  29. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Until I see change on the field when it counts, I'll have the same concerns as last year, although the WR concerns are certainly looking as if they've been dealt with, at least for the most part. In addition to that, I think it's fair to be concerned about the left side of the O-line, given that Light has retired and Mankins is recovering from his injury, and the RT, given his injury history.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  30. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As far as the DL, I think it you look at it as:
    43 LDE = 34 LDE
    43 DT = 34 NT
    43 DT = 34 RDE
    43 RDE = 34 OLB

    It becomes clearer. Ignore with the RDE is a RDE or ROLB in a 34, and we have 3 DL spots. The guys who are LDE in the 43 are very different than the 2 DTs. LDEs in the 43 of course could flip over the RDE in the 34 as well. Some of the DTs are only NT in the 43 and some are only DEs.
    Whichever way you slice it, viewing it this way kind of clarifies the 3 DL positions and separates them from the RDE/ROLB who would never play any of those other spots in either base alignment.
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