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I want it all, including a #3 WR

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Isaac, Jan 21, 2009.

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  1. Isaac

    Isaac Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Assuming a Cassel trade (big assumption), I believe the Patriots will have the resources (picks and cap room) to address all of their pressing offseason personnel needs, including a #3 WR. I realize that there is a mood that the defense needs all the attention this offseason and that the offense, the WR corps in particular, is good enough such that a #3 WR is a nice but minor need. I disagree--I believe that an upgrade at the #3 WR would be a significant upgrade to this team and therefore is a significant offseason priority.

    I started to think about the value of a #3 WR when the rumor of Deion Branch return was floated--imagine if the Patriots had a small, quick, smart #3 WR that could play the outside and dominate against single coverage. If he had enough speed to threaten the CB, he would be open all day for outs, slants, and stop routes.

    The reality is that when this team loses it is often because the offense struggles. Of course the defense needs help, but in fact they don't lose a lot of high-scoring games. Often, our offense struggles when the QB is pressured, usually by blitzing. Moss isn't a great blitz-beating WR, leaving Welker and screens at this point. If we had a #3 WR that was great at beating blitzes, it could be a significant component of the offense when teams are pressuring.

    I like Gaffney, but he could be upgraded significantly. It'd be nice to re-sign him as a #4, if the special teams could handle it. A #3 WR upgrade would also help if Moss gets hurt, which is currently not an attractive scenario for this team.

    So, any suggestions of available free agents or draftees that could fill this need for a small, quick, smart #3 WR with enough speed?
     
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I agree 100%. If we had Branch in Feb 08, we'd have beaten the Giants, no doubt. I like Gaffney, I like what he brings to the table, but I really want the kind of receiver you are talking about. It would make us unbeatable. There is no quick upgrade to the defense short of getting Asomugha here, its in much better shape than most fans think, its eighth in the league scoring-wise despite some struggles this year. But still, its a work in progress, its young, and as Mayo, Crable, Wheatley, Guyton, Wilhite, etc. gain more experience, the D will get better and better.

    In the meanwhile, there is a quick way to upgrade the offense, and that's another #3/4 receiver who complements Gaffney and provides a different skillset, and the skillset you reference.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  3. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    A #3 WR wouldn't have stopped the Jets on 3rd and 15.

    A #3 WR wouldn't have prevented all the second half turnovers against the Steelers.

    A #3 WR wouldn't have stopped the Wildcat in the first Dolphins game.

    A #3 WR wouldn't have helped the sad sack defensive effort in the Chargers game.

    A #3 WR (aside from Gaffney) MIGHT (big emphasis on MIGHT) have caught the pass that Gaffney dropped in the Colts game. Even that doesn't guarantee a win there though.

    A third threat at WR is a luxury, not a need. Wouldn't surprise me to have them pick up another wideout, but I doubt they pull off any big moves. Probably another Gaffney type and level for depth and competition. With Moss and Welker, how many more resources do you want put into the WR position?
     
  4. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    a #3 suddenly becomes a #2 when #2 takes a hit the way welker did against the steelers.........a #3 is not a luxury.......it is part of the regular offensive scheme
     
  5. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    But we have a number 3, we just don't have an ELITE number 3, which is IMPOSSIBLE to have at every position. You're saying that Gaffney was the reason we missed the playoffs this year? Really?
     
  6. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    You're looking back to the wrong season. We're assuming a healthy Brady back, and if so, you have to look back to the Giants game, and see what would've won us that. Granted, the defense not choking would've won us the game, but on the offensive side of the ball, there is a quick fix, and that's a 3rd wideout who can get to the intermediate part of the field before the D can get to Brady. Moss is going deep, Welker is underneath, a quicker 3rd wideout would be lethal.
     
  7. yopats

    yopats On the Game Day Roster

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    I have this terrible dream that many of our fans want us to turn into the Colts.. Our offensive core is great.. nothing needs to be changed. we need to revamp in our secondary and get younger in the LB Corps.. this should be a top priority period..

    We could essentially have 7 picks in the first 3 rounds and I think that BB is going to load up on Def Speed and Talent..

    I don't see us making a big free agent splash other than Mike Brown or Dewan Landry.. I actually see them extending Mankins/ Wilfork / Seymour etc..
     
  8. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    It is, and we're already doing that. Meriweather, Mayo, Guyton, Crable, Redd, Ruud, Wilhite, Wheatley, Richardson, Robertson, Craig. They are all guys developing in the secondary or the linebacker group. If there was a stud CB we could draft that we knew would have higher upside than Wheatley or Wilhite, than its a no-brainer, we'll take him. And I think we will draft CB on Day 1, but I don't think there is a stud CB that fits for the Pats, and that the CBs that do fit (DJ Moore, Smith) aren't going to have immediate impact and will take some time just as Wheatley/Wilhite.

    So when looking for things that are easily upgradeable in 2009, WR #3 does come to mind.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  9. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Unless that 3rd wide receiver was playing O-Line, I doubt it would have made a significant difference.
     
  10. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    No doubt the OL was a sieve, but if Brady had a guy operating in the field in between Moss and Welker's areas of operation, than he might've had a target to hit before the Giants DL and LB were all over him.
     
  11. yopats

    yopats On the Game Day Roster

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    Most of the guys u mentioned - (minus) Mayo and Meriweather are unknown values.. Guyton showed glimpes but Wilhite played solid at then end and Wheatley got hurt early and had a good game against the colts before getting hurt all the others are just fliers.. and depth in the secondary is HUGE.. do u remember troy brown playing CB..
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  12. T-ShirtDynasty

    T-ShirtDynasty Moderator

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    And who's going to run-block? Welker is capable, but why put more risk of injury on his small frame? Deion is NOT capable. Deion is a great Z receiver. We need a competent X receiver who is a threat to make a play with the ball, and can clear out a lane for the RB. Somebody like... oh... I dunno. Gaffney. Is he gonna set the world on fire? Nah... does he fit the bill for what we need? I think so. If you want to replace Gaffney, fine ... but we need a split end who is capable of run blocking as well as making the catch. Not a Deion, and probably not a "small, quick" type.

    JMHO.
     
  13. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    did I say that? learn to comprehend........nobody said elite #3, again, learn to comprehend..........but they have to be better than gaffney......

    and yes, gaffney's drop against the colts could be seen as the single biggest play to cause the pats to miss the playoffs......not the 3rd and 15 against the jets because the D could have still stopped them........not thomas mental fart against the colts........the single play that should have been made and wasn't was gaffney's drop........he has been around long enough where he should be a regular part of the offense and isn't.......he disappears for weeks at a time

    nobody is saying to go get someone else's number 1 to have as a number 3..........but a shaun macdonald, or brandon jones are improvement over gaffney
     
  14. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    We're more apt to run out of the 2 wide set, though, which this season, was always Moss & Welker. This is a pass heavy offense, when it goes 3 or 4 wide, there isn't much deception there, they are lining up and throwing, as they did against the Giants. Having a faster #3WR who can get to the intermediate routes is more important than blocking ability out of the 3 wide package, IMO.
     
  15. AFPatsFan12

    AFPatsFan12 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I preface this by saying I agree with you that a "better" #3 WR isn't even a top 5 concern personnel-wise for the Pats, and I hope the draft and FA leads them to defense, defense, and more defense...

    But you can't play this game, and it's a huge pet peeve when people try to. Maybe a "better" WR gets open in the Dolphins game, New England gets up 14-0, and the Wildcat never sees the light of day. Maybe that same #3 WR is a kick returner in Pittsburgh, and doesn't muff the kickoff (although with different personnel, nothing about that game is the same).

    Even one small personnel change changes the entire complexity of the game. So to say a #3 WR would have changed the outcome of those games (or the W's, even) isn't impossible. But it's also entirely possible to say that "if we had a better 3rd string OT, we could have won" as well...

    But going back to the discussion, I'm not as down on Gaffney as a lot of people are. In fact, I think Gaff is one of the better #3's in the league. Drops are something that can be corrected with work, work, and more work. Standing in front of a jugs machine for hours a day can help eliminate the dropsies real quick. I don't remember this being a concern in 2006 or 07, either....
     
  16. GostkowSKI

    GostkowSKI On the Game Day Roster

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  17. stinkypete

    stinkypete In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    Gaffney is a very good #3 WR. Major money will not be invested into upgrading though, because the improvement on the field wouldn't be that significant. Gaffney does his job just fine, and catches plenty of hell for the one time he failed to do his job.

    The problem with Gaffney to me is that he is not that versatile. He's solid on certain routes, certain situations, but you wouldn't run him out deep too often, he's not much of a threat on the screen, etc. If we were to obtain a #1 pick for Cassel, I would not object to bringing in Percy Harvin if the right defensive player is not available.

    I have a gut feeling that this is going to be an offensively focused draft.
     
  18. Boston Tim

    Boston Tim On the Roster

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    I think you're correct that a threat in the intermediate space is what the team sorely lacks, but I don't agree that the #3 WR is where you should look for a solution. As others have said, Gaffney is a solid WR with good run blocking skills and he provides good value in his role.

    I see the problem as being a lack of a true threat at TE, despite having spent 2 first round draft picks on that position. Had Graham/Watson been able to stay inside to help with pass protection and also be a consistent threat up the seam (or had those two first rounders been spent on upgrading the defense), the Pats would have grabbed the Super Bowl in 06 and 07.
     
  19. PatsFan2

    PatsFan2 In the Starting Line-Up

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    The Pats have known to spend a Second Rounder or two on the WR position ie...Deion Branch - Bethel Johnson and Chad Jackson. One was a star Branch the others flamed out. To think BB doesn't value the position is a big misconception. I hope the new PR guy can have better luck picking young WR's who develop than Pioli did. Our horrific luck of selection young WR's and TE's is one reason why i am not going to miss Pioli. I have personally had enough of Gaffney he's not suppose to be lagging some much time in any Offense. if he's doing that...that Teams in trouble...ie see TD Drop in Colts game.:mad:
     
  20. PatsFan2

    PatsFan2 In the Starting Line-Up

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    The last time the Pats did that it didn't turn out well.

    1)Maroney = I have already given

    2)Chad Jackson = Is he even in this league?

    3) Dave Thomas = Are you kidding me.:mad:

    4a) Stephen Gostkowski = The kicker made Pioli save face.

    4b) Garrett Mills = This pick made no sense whatsoever to me at the time...sadly even now.

    Other than Ghost the Kicker that's a pretty pathetic Offensive Heavy Draft. Be careful what you wish for.:(
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
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