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Eyes on the Prize - the battle of the bubble

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Sep 4, 2009.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    Well I have to admit that I DIDN'T get to see the game last night. I was playing poker at Foxwoods last night and some damned New Yorker insisted that that only TV I could see from my seat be turned to the Yankee game. It was probably for the best, since the game would have distracted me, and we WERE playing for real money. ;)

    So instead instead of analyzing the game, I thought I'd "analyze" the posts I have read since this morning including the late breaking Walter news. BTW, I have seen a number of highlights, so I'm not completely in the dark.

    1. I'm kind of surprised at the run BJGE is getting here and in the media. I STILL don't think he makes the team. YES, I agree that he's an NFL quality RB. YES, I agree that he's earned the right to be in the NFL...but unfortunately...not on THIS team.

    The FACT is that RB is one of those positions where there is a plethora of NFL quality players. Case in point. Over in Jets land they have almost duplicate threads calling for Danny Woodhead to make THEIR 53. In case you didn't know, (and why would you), Woodhead ran for 156 yds on just 18 carries (btw that's more yds on FEWER carries than BJGE)

    Believe me when I say this. EVERY team has its BJGE, Danny Woodhead, or Terrence Nunn. We do this EVERY year. When will we learn. The fact is that if one of our top 4 RBs went down, there are at least, a half dozen RBs, who would be just as good as BJGE who could fill in. Guys who will run hard, hit the hole, and get the ydage that is available. Who knows, it might even BE BJGE.

    IMO, the only way he makes the team is if there already IS an injury among the RBs, OR if has made himself indispensable on special teams...and I haven't noticed him there.
    We just CANNOT afford the luxury of 5 RBs, especially now that is very likely that we will start the year at least with 3 QBs on the 53 man roster.

    2. The same can be said about Terrence Nunn. There are a whole slew of guys who made a lot of catches last night who will be looking for work on Sunday. I'd very much like Nunn to make it to the PS. I wish BJGE was eligible too, but he isn't. BTW, I don't think he'd get picked up by another team. Remember this kid was out of football last season, and he's not a physical specimen. There will be other more tempting cuts to attract other teams looking to fill out their 53 man rosters. Its my belief that for every RB that's going to be cut that is worth of being in the NFL, there are 2 WRs in the same catagory

    3. Lets not Bash Patrick Chung. He's the victim here. ;) I've seen the highlights, or rather lowlights of his plays, and it WAS as bad as it looked. But listen. There are probably 5 safeties in the entire league who could have gone one on one, on the OUTSIDE, with SMoss and looked much better. The one in the corner of the endzone, was simply a misread route (been there, done that ;) ). It happens to every safety

    To this day I don't understand why some fans get so infuriated at the defense when a pass is completed. Do they think that the only reason Moss and Welker get their receptions is just because the opponent's defense sucks. How often do we see when the receiver is covered as well as humanly possible, and the catch is made anyway. It happens. It happens so often that 60% completion rates are the norm now...for average QBs.

    Bottom line here is I think that our secondary, come December will be a huge upgrade over the one we had last December. AND over the next few years (assuming we resign Boddin) could become one of the better secondaries in the league. However for now it is a work in progress. Much better than last season, but certainly not a "shut down" group. I recommend patience on Chung....and it WILL be rewarded

    4. The Giants rolled out their first team offense. They are one of the better running teams in the league, and they have the reputed BEST OL in the game......and our SECOND line D did a pretty good job of stopping it. That's a big plus. I can single out one play I saw Ninkovich make early on, setting the edge and then stuffing the RB, who looked as big as him, BEHIND the LOS.

    5. Anyone who interprets Watson playing late in the game as a sign he is on the bubble could be wrong. It is just as good (in fact better) to think that he was in that long because he's missed so much time that he needed the work, while Baker and Thomas had seen action in all the other games.

    6. I wasn't a great believer in Walter. Maybe because I'm still in shock that KOC was THAT bad that he deserved to be cut. I think we can upgrade him from the usual candidates. As I noted after the Philly game, that I was impressed with Feely. He was even MORE impressive in the 2007 regular season game. Personally I don't think we have to trade for him. He's gone in Philly. They can't keep 4 guys, and Vick and Kolb are the ones who will stay. I say wait till Saturday and he can be ours for nothing. If he's smart enough to be worthy of the Pats, he'll choose them over any other opportunity

    I don't know how he did the rest of the game, but his position versatility, and STs play might very well earn him a roster spot. Something I wouldn't have thought possible when he was originally signed.

    Speaking of LBs, I have know idea how the pass rush looked last night. Was it as good as it has been? Let me know.

    5. I'll end this with several questions that ASK for opinions. I think by now you've heard enough of mine. ;)

    a. How did the back up OL look. Did any of the young interior guys stand out?

    b. Did Butler see any action. If so how did he look. If he didn't it would imply that he has a key roll in the regular D.

    c. Any improvement in Wheatley's game?

    d. Who did the punt and KO returns. Any good?

    e. How did Smith look? Good enough to trade?

    f. 3-4 or 4-3? In the Highlights I saw it looked like a 3-4.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  2. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    in general the team looked better and better as the night progressed. of course this was largely because the 2nd and 3rd stringers of the Giants were being cycled in gradually. by the end of the game, we were performing strongly on both offense and defense.

    Butler did get out there and looked solid. i didn't really notice him, which is always a plus

    punting and KO's were solid. Hanson was punting beautifully and the Giants never got much on punt returns.

    i didn't notice Wheatley too much. i saw him on the sidelines.

    they lined up in the 3-4 for possibly all the game (if my memory serves me well)

    the back-up O-Line struggled predictably against the starters, and improved as the night waned. I noticed Wendal started at center. they were solid in the second half.
  3. RodThePat

    RodThePat Rookie

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    You can't really compare BJGE with Woodhead. Law Firm was productive and got the job done, carrying the running game on his shoulders last year when many of our RBs were injured. Most of these other "unknown" RBs tearing it up on the preseason have never even seen the field with the first team in regular season action. Gree-Ellis has proven way more then theses other guys, so his great performance against the Giants isn't a nice surprise, it's only the reflection of his development as a player. Therefore, it can't just be lumped in as a good showing against guys who will be packing groceries next week.
  4. olschool

    olschool Rookie

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    With 3 rb's over 30, and the injury history of the past couple of years, I think BB keeps 5 backs. They're up to their eyeballs in wr's and linemen, I think that's we're we'll see some tough cuts. Plus I don't see them keeping 4 te's.
  5. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    It was not a misread route, it was a simple pick play. Chung got a pick put on him.

    Anyone who bashed Chung on that first Giants TD is ignorant about football. The fault actually lies with Slater who as the left side zone S should have rolled over. He should have recognized the pick play and moved right away.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  6. mcmurtry86

    mcmurtry86 Rookie

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    Correct. It was the rest of the plays he looked bad on. On top of last weeks disaster in coverage, I think it's safe to say that he needs work.

    As for the original post, Wheatley didn't play. Chung did the PR duties but didn't do much. Nunn did the KR, had one nice long one and one or two of his usual 10 yards and run into someone jobs.

    Backup OL looked OK. Ohrenberger flubbed a snap, Vollmer got beat and held his man to prevent a sack. Otherwise, they looked fine

    Played a 3-4 most of the game.

    Smith did nothing, dropped a pass (the play where there was a roughing the QB penalty), and got hurt
  7. jefmblrd

    jefmblrd Rookie

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    I've said all along that BJGE makes this team; he runs hard and plays the game the right way. I've also thought that Ninkovich has a shot at making the club. He has a good motor, can set the edge and put pressure on the passer. Seems like he would be productive on ST too.
  8. JD10367

    JD10367 Rookie

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    It's hard to have bubble talk because it's hard to know how many guys Belichick will keep at each position. Will he go light on, say, the O-line in order to keep an extra offensive skill position?

    TE: Baker, Thomas, Watson, Smith. He's not keeping four. He may not even keep three.

    WR: Moss, Welker, Galloway, Lewis, Edelman, Aiken, Nunn. (Leaving Slater out of it due to last night's injury, 'cause he's probably IR-bound.) Seven guys he could keep. But he'll only keep five or six... or will he? I wouldn't put it past him to carry seven.

    RB: Maroney, Morris, Taylor, Faulk, BJGE. No way he keeps five backs? Then again, he's not carrying any fullbacks.

    He's already made some room by cutting down to two QBs. Is he going to add a third, or run with two for a while?

    Just for giggles, let's assume an even roster split of 25 for O and D. (The other three being K, P, and LS.) If he goes with only two QBs, and only two TEs, he could easily keep seven WRs and five RBs, leaving him nine spots for OL. He's got a TE (Thomas) who can FB, an RB (Faulk) who can catch balls, a WR (Edelman) who can emergency QB, and a boatload of guys who can return kicks and punts. (And it's not like they can't make more roster moves. Hell, he could set his roster on Saturday and by Monday have made five more cuts and waiver-wire pickups...)
  9. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    a) the pass protection for Hoyer was great in the second half. Ohrenberger made a couple mistakes, but nothing huge.

    b) Butler was apparently out there, but I didn't notice him at all, which suggests that he was getting the job done.

    c) pretty sure Wheatley didn't play. I didn't see him, at least.

    d) Nunn, and he looked very good

    e) Unremarkable. Not bad, not great.

    f) 3-4
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  10. BradyFTW!

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    I'd be shocked if they only carry 2 TEs. That's a pretty big risk, and kind of a waste of depth when you have as many good TEs as the Pats do.
  11. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Let's see if you're correct. I'm pretty much with you... though I think there's also value in keeping an extra TE, one could be trade bait
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  12. JD10367

    JD10367 Rookie

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    :confused: "As many good TEs"? Smith has shown, to borrow a phrase from Jim Mora, diddly-poo. Watson can't hang onto the ball. The WRs, on the other hand, are making plays. Let's say, just for argument's sake, that Belichick is keeping the two vets Galloway and Lewis (along with Moss and Welker). Of the group of five players--Aiken, Edelman, Nunn, Watson, and Alex Smith--he only keeps three of them. Wouldn't you prefer he keep the first three, and not the last two? True, those back-end WRs may not be as good at blocking as Smith or Watson, but they seem to have more pass-catching potential. And the O-line has a history of pass-blocking well*, and Brady is a quick decision-maker.

    *not counting the Game that Shall Not Be Named
  13. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    Keeping in one area means taking away from another, Olschool. So you would keep 5 backs because you are assuming at least 2 RB injuries, because that's when Ben would be needed. Instead of picking a guy at a thin position like OT or LB where a guy is one injury away from playing. It makes NO sense.
  14. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    I think it was Wendell....the commentator got it wrong..
  15. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    I want at least five running backs.
  16. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    Ken, you know I love ya, but I think you're off on this one. BJGE does NOT equal Bam Morris, Patrick Cobbs or anyone else we can think of, imo. He is a 4-year 1,000 yard rusher in the Big 10 (2 yrs) and the SEC (2 yrs) and has a number of skill-sets that have proven to be effective against NFL competition. He's young, he's playing behind 3 guys with injury histories, one of whom IS injured, and this is a team that DID carry 5 RBs just last year.

    I understand your point, but this isn't one of those "typical things we get burned by every year." This is different.
  17. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Regarding the pass rush Pierre Woods had another 1.5 sacks. I also watched and he had at least five first pressures, too.

    The Pats finshed 5th in the sack stats this pre-season. Considering the great concern earlier and relentless demands we sign Peppers, Taylor Burgess etc., it turns out we got Burgess and little so far, perhaps two or three pressures. AD, TBC contribute and the ILBs have been allowed to expandtheir game too. I judge that somewaht imaginary "problem" is resolved, though.

    Meanwhile Woods is turning into a quality pro, who we knew handles the run well, and whose pass rushing is coming on. as well.

    But this game was all about Brian Hoyer. Some QBs just have "it". Whatever "it" is. Just like Tom Brady has "it". KO'C and now Andy Walters leaving, confirms that Bill Belichick sees the same thing. The most apt comparison for Hoyer is "Chad Pennington with a better arm", and it fits. BH also dispalyed some running ability, Not KOC level but better than Brady level, but not as good on QB sneaks.

    Many are now thinking we trade Smith for Feely but I suspect that Bill will want only the draft pick. You can find third string QBs to run the scout team, elsewhere, for the PS.

    Another thing to note from the game is that Paris Lenon played and did not set the world on fire, but the Giants didn't run wild rushing either. He is exactly what was wanted, qualified, experienced ILB depth. Ninkovich played OLB too, but I suspect he loses the numbers game. I don't think a single ST LB is kept, and I still don't like Eric Alexanders game, but he played a lot.

    As to the question of 3-4 or 4-3? Both, but the base is still 3-4 as ever, and 4-2-5 is most common, also as usual.

    Hope this helps...

    BTW, George Bussey finally showed up. But he didn't play Guard; he played LOT ans did well.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  18. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I watched the DVR replay to find out and it was Ohrnberger who flubbed a shotgun snap. But I also thought it interesting that he continued to play Center and did well, therafter. I always thought of him as a C/G tough guy anyway.
  19. Synovia

    Synovia Rookie

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    Carry the running game on his shoulders? To 3.7 ypc? THe guy is terrible.


    Did you watch the game the other night? Like 2 yards per carry until NYG pulled the real players and put in the scrubs. Hes simply not good enough.
  20. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Dunno why this board is so perpetually down on him. Yeah, he didn't hold onto that fumble in the SB, but other than that his career arc has been everything that you could want from a guy in his position. It's been clear for a couple years now that he was well on his way to becoming a strong contributor.

    Whatever happened to State, anyways? He should probably come back and eat some crow on that whole month-long "Woods sucks, Crable's gonna be awesome!" tear that he went on.
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