Welcome to PatsFans.com

Focus on Special Teams

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by rookBoston, Aug 19, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ratings:
    +9 / 0 / -0

    With roster spots at a premium, it's pretty clear that ST will be the deciding factor for many players, like Bolden, Barrett, Ihedigbo, Ebner, Koutouvides, Rivera, Brown, Cole and Scott. I did a close viewing of the Saints game to see who our starting STers were, and who showed up.

    Kickoff... from right to left
    32 McCourty
    11 Edelman
    59 Carpenter
    43 Ebner
    44 Ihedigbo
    3 Gostkowski (K)
    31 Brown
    18 Slater
    52 Fletcher
    38 Bolden
    24 Arrington

    Have to be able run, beat the blocks and make the tackle
    - Almost always a touchback, anyway.

    Kickoff Return

    39 Woodhead (KR)
    34 Vereen (FB)
    62 Wendell (lead blocker)
    50 Ninkovich (lead blocker)
    59 Carpenter
    90 Koutouvides
    27 Wilson
    87 Gronkowski
    38 Bolden
    44 Ihedigbo
    43 Ebner

    Get a hat on a hat and sustain your block. Bigger bodies in this unit, less speed.
    - Koutouvides whiffed his man. Ebner picked him up, but got pushed back and was unable to sustain the block. That guy made the tackle on Woodhead. We should recruit that guy.
    - Wendell looked completely lost. He the only one not moving a million miles an hour.

    Punt

    14 Mesko (P)
    30 Barrett (Gunner)
    18 Slater (Gunner)

    on the line...
    25 Chung (HB)
    34 Vereen (TE)
    90 Koutouvides (OT)
    45 Hightower (OG)
    48 Aiken (LS)
    52 Fletcher* (OG)
    47 Rivera (OT)
    44 Ihedigbo (TE)

    * after the injury Fletcher was replaced by 99 Scott

    Protect against the rush until the ball is off, then get downfield to make the tackle
    - I thought Vereen struggled against the edge rusher. On the third punt, his man got past him and (luckily?) got flagged for running into Mesko
    -I was a little surprised to see Aiken consistently show up downfield for the gang tackle. He was in more plays than Hightower or Koutouvides.

    Punt Return

    11 Edelman (PR)

    on the line...right to left
    30 Barrett (DE)
    52 Fletcher* (DT)
    96 Cunningham (DT)
    44 Ihedigbo (LB)
    90 Koutouvides (DT)
    18 Slater (DE)

    over the gunners...
    32 McCourty
    23 Cole
    24 Arrington
    31 Brown

    * after the injury, Fletcher was replaced by 47 Rivera

    Rush the punter. Protect against the fake. Drop back and try to block for the return man.
    - First punt return, Cole was overaggressive and got flagged for block in the back.
    - btw, watching PR blocking in slow motion is a real trip. It's complete chaos with bodies flying in all directions.

    Roster summary

    Four units: 44 Ihedigbo
    Three units: 18 Slater, 52 Fletcher, 90 Koutouvides
    Two units: 11 Edelman, 24 Arrington, 30 Barrett, 31 Brown, 32 McCourty, 34 Vereen, 38 Bolden, 39 Woodhead, 43 Ebner, 47 Rivera, 59 Carpenter
    One unit: 3 Gostkowski, 14 Mesko, 23 Cole, 25 Chung, 27 Wilson, 45 Hightower, 48 Aiken, 50 Ninkovich, 62 Wendell, 87 Gronkowski, 96 Cunningham, 99 Scott

    Showed me something:
    - Ihedigbo is a big part of ST. I hadn't credited him for it.
    - Fletcher. Big loss to the kicking game.
    - Aiken getting downfield. I was impressed.
    - Gronkowski had a solid block on kickoff return.
    - Slater. Always around the ball on coverage. Makes Barrett, who's less consistent, look bad on the other side.
    - Ebner. Gets his hat in there.
    - Scott came in for Fletcher with the punt unit, and did a nice job keeping the runner in front of him for a gang tackle.

    Didn't see anything special:
    - Hightower. Rarely in the play.
    - Cole. Isn't he supposed to stand out?
    - Koutouvides is on three units. But he never really influenced the play, with a number of opportunities. He did run one guy out of bounds :/ Maybe it was a bad game, but I'd love to see Tarp and Rivera get more opportunities.
    - Bolden. No visible impact.
    - Vereen. Seemed at constant risk of giving up the outside rush in the punting unit.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  2. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    15
    Ratings:
    +25 / 0 / -0

    Nice job and pretty detailed. I didn't watch special teams in detail the way you did but late in the game, cole and williams stood out as gunners and either one of them could be a surprise addition to the 53 man squad.
  3. WinstonSmith

    WinstonSmith Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    Talk about serendipitous, I was curious if my man Barrett could become the Slater of the DB’s and was looking for a write-up regarding the Pats special teams play for their preseason game; I logged into the forum to see what I could find and your thread basically auto loaded (I must have had some clicks queued up somehow and the web gods were kind to me).

    Great break down, and thank you for taking the time to do this. I thought that Barrett had an outside shot at making the team on the strength of his special teams play but it looks like he will need to have a better showing in the next few preseason games to have any chance.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  4. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ratings:
    +9 / 0 / -0

    In the second half, BB had totally different ST units out there. I saw Lavarais, Cole and a handful of scrubs in on coverage.

    But by then the TV coverage was completely not interested in the game (and certainly not the ST units), so there wasn't a lot of video input to parse out the players who were actually on the field. I saw enough to realize that those guys are deep on the depth chart.

    I'll be interested to compare the Saints starting ST roster with the Eagles game tonight.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>