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Expectations of Hernandez

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patriot lifer, Jul 14, 2010.

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  1. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    While I love the prospect, how big of a year can we realistically expect out of the player? For starters, the Pats usually don't use TE's in the passing game that much. In 2006 when the team had few WR's, we all thought that Ben Watson would be the recipient of many a passes (49 actual). When we picked up David Thomas, the favorite target of Vince Young's at Texas, we all thought his soft hands would materialize into oodles of receptions (and yes injuries hampered his tenure). There seems to always be a reason why so-and-so player is different, but the pattern remains the same. This time it happens to be because he's from a pro-style offense and was a 2nd-round talent.

    So what can we really expect out of a rookie TE? Considering his lack of bulk, other teams will know he's out there to pass-catch, not block (which is like showing your cards in poker). He better be prolific at pass-catching to consistently make it out onto the field.

    Also consider that last year we had two decent pass-catching TE's in Watson and Baker and they played in a little over 60% of the offensive snaps each. The veterans combined for a total of 43 regular season receptions.

    So that being said, what type of production are you guys expecting? Not to be a debby-downer...
  2. Sicilian

    Sicilian Rookie

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    I actually don't expect a ton of production in total, but I expect his contributions to come at significant times. He may not be a bulked up blocker, but his presence still causes some uncertainty. If he lines up in a blocking position, it's not like the defense can just say, "We'll bull rush him because he won't be able to block us," because he could just as easily be slipping out into the seams underneath on that play.

    I expect around 30 catches from him. Nothing spectacular, but not because he's not getting it or holding his own. More because he'll be splitting reps and responsibilities with Crumpler and Gronk, but also with some WR's who will be running similar routes.

    I think if we get 60 combined receptions from the TE spot, we'll be doing ok, and I expect Hernandez to have the most of those 60.
  3. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    Actually, he looks much sharper and more aggressive than some I've seen and I'm guessing if he gets open he'll get the ball some.

    Watson is a great physical specimen, but let's face it, he did the absolute least with his natural athletic ability. He did a good job of getting open, but rarely got any YAC, preferring to step out of bounds or go down as if the play was over when he made the catch.

    What killed me about him, though was watching 180 CBs wrestle the ball away fro him in the end zone. Maybe it was only one prominent time, but it should be never for a guy with his muscles.

    Hernandez looks like a serious dude on tape. Great cuts, grabs the ball and screws.
  4. mcsully

    mcsully Rookie

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    29 receptions and 340 yds and 1 td














    Dallas Clark's rookie year stats ;)
  5. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Couple of thoughts:

    - Watson was a different type of receiver. Watson took forever to get in gear but had superior speed to separate downfield. Unfortunately the ball needed to be out of Brady's hands before that could happen most of the time.

    - Hernandez is a move guy that will be used all over the field...but look for him to be used to quickly attack mismatches on shorter routes.

    - Hernandez should contribute most against teams (like the Jets) that look to blitz Brady to slow him down. The Jets were the worst screen defense in the NFL and getting Hernandez the ball quickly in space against a linebacker or safety should be effective against them.
  6. Calciumee

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    I expect to see him get 30-40 receptions and maybe 2-3 TDs.

    But I don't see him getting most of these as a TE, but moved out wide or as previously said on quick screen passes against blitzing teams.
  7. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan Rookie

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    I don't care about total receptions, I just want him to be a red zone threat.
  8. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Rookie

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    It seems more likely to me that Gronkowski would become that guy, with Hernandez more help between the 20s.
  9. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Gronk will be, but I think AH has potential, if there is a match up they can exploit, he will be in.
  10. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    Dallas Clark had his leg broken by Ty Law the 12th game of the season or it would have been better.
  11. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    That'll slow you down all right.:D
  12. Deus Irae

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

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    His production will be impacted by the Welker PUP decision. He's essentially on track to be WR4/WR5, which means that he's going to be competing with Edelman for plays and receptions when Welker is in the lineup.
  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Agreed, however there are 2 inside receivers when we spread out 4 wide. It seems that BB might be trying to find one to complement Welker.
    There is also the possibility of some HBack reps that could affect his production.
    At this point who knows. We had the same hopes for Dave Thomas and Garret Mills after their receving prowess in college.
    I think there is a lot of role there for him to carve out, its just a matter of whether he's ready to do it, and whether his NCAA talent transfers into NFL talent.
  14. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That was my assessment of Hernandez earlier in the offseason. Depending on how long Welker is out (if at all), I see Hernandez hauling in somewhere between 375-650 receiving yards and 3-4 TD's. That's a pretty impressive season for a rookie in our system. High expectations, I know. But he's a Florida boy and I never claimed to be impartial. :cool:
  15. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Most seem to expect Hernandez to have a more of a role in 2010 than Gronkowski. I simply have no reason to believe that this will be the case.

    As Deus posted, the question is whether Hernandez is the #4 receiver when we have four receivers on the field. First, I would expect us to have five "receivers" on the field whenever we play a 3 WR set, especially on third down. Gronkowski and Faulk should be expected to be competent receivers. It is not clear how often that one these (or Maroney) will be benched for the better option of Hernandez, especially when Welker is on the field.

    And when we are in more "normal" sets, Gronkowksi will get lots of action, Hendandez relatively little.

    BTW, I am not down on the potential of Hernandez at all. he may be that h-back we have been looking for for years, and we may use him as a #2 or #3 receiver as the colts do with Dallas Clark. Or not.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2010
  16. Reckedtrek

    Reckedtrek Rookie

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    MG- I hope both AH and Gronk are immediate contributors- but do you see Crumpler taking a considerable amount of Gronk's time away, at least during the first half of the season? I think the Pats (with what little we know right now 2 weeks before camp even starts) will ease Gronk in over the season. If they do, it accomplishes two things

    1- it takes some of the initial pressure off of Gronk from game one to maybe game 6 or 7...

    and 2- Rookies who play significant minutes from game one are usually hitting the rookie wall around week 11, 12. By easing Gronk in more slowly, he'll still be fresh (enough) to contribute later into the season and hopefully the playoffs.

    The two (AH and Gronk) look like perfect complimentary pieces of the TE puzzle. I just see Crumpler and Gronk only on the field at the same time when they need max protection for Brady.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  17. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    I think Hernandez has an advantage in the number of formations he can fit. Gronk and Crumpler are more classic inline TEs so they will split time and not see the field in non-TE formations. Doesn't mean that will translate to playing time for Hernandez. That will depend on his ability to block (FB and inline TE) and how well he clicks with Brady (H-back and split wide).

    I would think it also depends on the defense. Hernandez' skill set seems to fit better against teams like the Jets, Ravens and Steelers...less so against Cincy, Buffalo and Indy.
  18. Bobs My Uncle

    Bobs My Uncle PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hernandez played in a similar styled offense to what the Pats run so he should hit the field running and, I suspect, not slow down too much. That is if the Pats playcalling allows for it.

    I think he's gonna be a stud player for us.
  19. scott99

    scott99 Rookie

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    Wait, Ty Law hit someone ?
  20. Smash-MouthD

    Smash-MouthD Rookie

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    I think if he helps a little on 3rd down and the redzone that would be huge but thats a big question, he is going to have prove himself early I think. As we have all seen if you can't hang on to the ball (Watson) on a regular basis Brady will go in other directions esp when you have faulk and endleman and a vet like Crumpler.
  21. AndyJohnson

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    I dont think Welker affects Hernandez playing time, unless Welker and Edelman together do. There are 2 inside receivers in every formation really.
    I don't think the plan is for Hernandez to be covered by a dime corner in a 4 WR set. I think the plan is to create a lineup where he must be covered by a S or LB...i.e. 3 WR,TE formation that we can and will run from as well.
    Doesnt make sense to get a receiving TE then only use him to be covered by a corner, that makes him a slow WR. We want him playing TE being covered like a TE and being a very fast TE.
    Of course WHERE he runs his route distinguishes that vs a zone.
  22. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    Aaron Hernandez, 15 rec 220 yards and 1 TD


    Rob Gronkowski, 32 rec 410 yards and 5 TD's


    Alge Crumpler, 12 rec 130 yards and 1 TD



    and that would be a lot more yards rec and TD's then the pats have got out of there core of TE's in a long time



    if anyone expects more then that from 2 rookies and a old vet at a position that the pats do not realy use for more then blocking IMO will get let down.
  23. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ---- JAG ----- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Every year we get the usual expectations for rookies threads.

    How can you possibly have any expectations for a rookie?

    If they play and contribute without getting hurt then it was a good season.
  24. nabwong

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    I see him as a major contributor. Imagine coming out with a 3 TE formation and then splitting AH out. There's just so many possibilities. I just hope we're creative with our playcalling.
  25. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    I would be excited to see him in posse (311) as you say, that way he could set as FB in play action and ghost or release. The possibilities are endless.
  26. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Here's a thought for a five-wide set. . . . Edelman, Welker, Tate, Hernandez, Moss. Imagine just how much havoc they could wreak on opposing Ds with that grouping on the field. :D
  27. Jared

    Jared Rookie

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    From the nickel:

    CB1: Jam Moss at the line
    FS: Play over moss
    SS: Drop into the box, play a short zone on the 2 receiver side
    NB: Short zone, 3 receiver side
    CB2: Hook zone
    LB1: short zone middle/3 receiver side
    LB2: Shoot gap
    DLx4: Shoot gaps

    Ideally you'd like to get pressure with just your down linemen. If I can (which teams with at least one good pass rushing DT and two good DEs have been able to do in recent years) then my second LB stays in the zone originally intended for the SS, and the SS backs off to play deep. Note that this assumes I have coverage LBs on the field.

    This is the kind of defense that was killing us late last season when we insisted on throwing over and over rather than just running the damn ball.
  28. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But that's the beauty of that formation. . . . On any given play, you could have almost any of them (except Moss) run a reverse, or you could take Hernandez off the LOS and move him to a RB/FB position, etc.
  29. Uncle Rico

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    Playing and not getting hurt would definitely be a good start. We've seen way too many rookie injuries over the decade.

    I do think this year is different than many recent years, just because there's more opportunity (and need) for rookies to produce. A lot of the Pats teams the past decade have not had a lot of room for rookies.

    Plus it's mid-July - -if you can't be optimistic about rookies now, when can you be? :)
  30. WelshPat

    WelshPat Rookie

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    It depends on the Rookie. You don't think Detroit has any expectations for Suh this year?

    Most rookies drafted in the 1st/2nd rounds are expected to contribute. There are some exceptions, like a team being stacked or someone taking a chance on upside (like the Giants with JPP).
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