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Idle thoughts - Thank god that's over.

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Aug 30, 2012.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    #91 Jersey

    Ok, I'll do another one of these, even though I'm having trouble justifying the effort. I guess a lot of these kids who have worked their butts off over the last 6 weeks deserve a comment thread even if this will be "it" for them. They all played very hard, and some of them played very well.

    1. Who were those guys on defense and where were they last season on that last drive.

    The Giants put out their #1 offense for 4 or 5 series, while we were going with our 2nd team DL, our 3rd team LB's and refugee's from rugby teams, the University of Illinois , and the Lincoln Ne county jail made up the backfield, and pretty much stoned them. Hell Sergio freakin Brown got secondary snaps and didn't embarrass himself Quite frankly it was impressive

    2. The 2nd DL was very solid the entire first half. But once again Ron Brace stood out against the Giants first OL. His play is going to be a huge boost for the Pats, not only adding quality depth for Wilfolk, but in various sub packages. Its like digging down into an old Christmas sock and finding a present you forgot to take out a few years ago.

    3. The same can be said for Jermaine Cunningham. That first sack was an impressive piece of work by anyone's standards. Again made more exciting by the fact it was against the Giants first OL. But almost impressive as his consistent pass rush was his strong work against the run. I especially liked when he dropped down to DT in certain sub packages. He seemed very hard for them to control down there. I think its safe to say that Cunningham was better than we realized his rookie year, and allowed the lockout to derail his last season by being unprofessional. Something he wasn't this off season.

    4. Trevor Scott did enough I think to keep his roster spot. Set the edge well and did enough rushing to stay ahead of the game....until at least Andre Carter is ready to come back.

    5. Koutavidis and Tarpanian both played well enough to cost Tracy White his roster spot. Both are just as good on ST's and both are better LB's. Again it was pretty impressive against the Giant first O

    6. It was Nate Ebner who blew the coverage on Victor Cruz on the TD pass that wasn't, not Stirling Moore. That being said, Ebner should be made to teach tackling to the rest of the team, he's THAT good. And the blown coverage granted, he around the ball enough of the time to make one ask the question, "if Ebner could only get 3 snaps at S during his career at Ohio State, why weren't we drafting their starters. :eek: Those guys had to be all world.

    I've always liked him as a special teamer, but felt that he would have been served better on the PS for a year to "learn to play safety". Well I'm very late to the "Nate Ebner makes the final roster" parade. I can't be more impressed with how quickly he's progressed (and what a long way he has to go). Still hard to believe OSU staff couldn't get him on the field more.

    7. Is there another rookie S outside of Marc Barron who looks better than Tavan Wilson. At this point he might not be a HR pick, but a good solid Double for starters. Always around the ball and like Ebner and Dowling, excellent tacklers

    8. The OL - The closest thing we had to starters out there came in the first quarter of the game and it seems to me that the protection was better, a bit more in sync. It got ugly at times as it can when you give up 5 sacks, but when you look at who was out there, it really won't matter past Friday.

    9. I just don't get Boldin. PS is fine with me, but unless Vareen is going to be out a few games, I'd rather have a FB or 4th TE. Demps impressed me in that he so willingly carried the ball right up the middle. You can tell that he's going to make a lot of teams very skittish when he's in the backfield down the road. (IBTW did he sign a 4 year rookie deal, or is he on a one year deal)

    10. I will remind you that however bad you think Hoyer or Mallett is doing, Matt Cassell was much worse back in the preseason of 2008. IIRC, zero scores and about 5 1st downs. And that's all I have to say about 2 guys we will see no more of for the next 5 months.

    11. Alex Silvestro is better than anyone has the right to expect of him and I hope his reward for taking one for the team this training game is a spot on the PS... and I will be very surprised if he doesn't get one.

    12. Special teams - This has been a very unreported on area of the team, and as you can tell from high number I put it at, I'm not that much better. However I think we have improved our team in this area, by a lot. Good special teams players are going to be cut for better ones. I'm very happy that BB pays more attention of this area of the team's game than we fans do.

    13 - General comments - On the surface we really should be concerned about the state of our offense off of this preseason. This was a team that averaged close to 30 ppg last season, and yet the first team offense hasn't topped 14 and needed to go into the 3rd quarter to manage that measly number. We all know that its "only" preseason, but its still disappointing nonetheless.

    14. I will take one inference as very encouraging. Last season when BB was very unhappy with the Pats offensive unit, he made them play in the 4th game for most of the first half. Evidently for some reason that is not apparent to the rest of us, he clearly didn't feel that way last night. Well if BB is satisfied with the progress to date (though I doubt that "satisfied" is the right word), who am I to disagree. Evidently he sees the pieces coming together even if we do not.

    15. We all love how this defense is looking, but am I alone in feeling like the punch drunk fighter who has been hit with the left so often that I'm praying for the right. Have we been lulled into a false sense of accomplishment? (not seen since the first TB preseason game) Are we being set up for another disappointment. Can we really turn this defense around so dramatically as Houston did last season?

    I just don't know.....but so far so good. :D

    Well good night. The next time its for REAL!!!!
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  2. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Demps signed a 3 year contract. He will be a restricted free agent in the 2015 offseason.
  3. Kicking_Game

    Kicking_Game Rookie

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    Agreed, an awesome tackler. And yes, there is egg on the face of the OSU coaching staff at this point.

    Yes, I would say Ebner. Reverse their draft positions and view the tape, and Ebner's play would justify that second round pick. I want to like Wilson just as much, but need to see more than I have. I'm not sure what we have with him at this point. He's not a liability like Sergio Brown, but not convinced he is a play-maker yet.
  4. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Quite frankly, the offensive line play has been atrocious the last three preseason games. Dante will need to roll up his sleeves next week and whip these boys into shape pronto!

    A Brian Waters appearance (or reappearance depending on your point of view) would most likely improve the situation at right guard, as well.

    None of the third string offensive lineman seem worthy of the practice squad either.
  5. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    I would be satisfied if the defense improved from 31st overall in opponent passing yards allowed to 16th overall in opponent passing yards allowed.

    NFL Football Stats - NFL Team Opponent Passing Yards per Game on TeamRankings.com

    In addition, I would be satisfied if the defense improved from 28th overall in opponent 3rd down conversion percentage to 16th overall in opponent 3rd down conversion percentage.

    NFL Football Stats - NFL Team Opponent Third Down Conversion Percentage on TeamRankings.com

    Finally, I would be satisfied if the defense improved from 27th overall in opponent average time of possession to 16th overall in opponent average time of possession.

    NFL Football Stats - NFL Team Opponent Average Time of Possession (Net of OT) on TeamRankings.com
  6. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    I've been a consistent supporter of Cunningham starting from when I watched replays of all his senior year games at Florida. He had exactly the same number of sacks as Carlos Dunlap had and a ton more hurries. His rookie year with the Pats he made his share of mistakes, but he consistently got to the quarterback. His problem was clearly lack of NFL strength to finish off the plays. He was in position to have had 6 or 7 sacks his rookie year were he stronger.

    I have no idea why he didn't improve his 2nd year, perhaps because of injury, but it's clear this year that he spent the offseason weight training. He looks enormously stronger and it's showing in sack production. In addition, he's developing some moves which I never saw from him at Florida, where he would typically just try to out quick the tackles and run past them.

    He now looks like the player Belichick was hoping to draft when he passed up Dunlap. And I *love* having him play next to Jones on passing downs...
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  7. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's one thing I think was certain before seeing him play!

    He is a world class rugby player, at 7s aswell, so has to be a solid tackler!
  8. Finnishfan

    Finnishfan Rookie

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    Great OP, thanks for the quality read.

    Ebner wasnt the only one to blame in that "Cruz TD that wasn't" since even though it was his coverage, Moore was playing press man coverage and he missed bumping Cruz after the snap and got left far behind. Cruz was always going to be doubled on that play but Moore left Ebner alone there. That missed bump also gave Cruz a lot faster release than Ebner anticipated.

    Nonetheless, he seems to be a great prospect and I couldnt be more happy about our future at the secondary right now.
  9. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ebner's my binkie this year, and I feel I chose well! :rocker:
  10. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks Rookie

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    Cunningham was simply dominant, after that first sack of Manning, the Giants pretty much double-teamed him the rest of the game.

    One thing that I found a little irksome about the offense was the number of checkdowns Mallet threw. I would have liked ot see the WRs get more involved. However, considering the sate of the Patriots WR depth, I suppose it is understandable that none of them got open.

    I think the Patriots have a serious lack of depth at the WR position and I pray that the starting two stay healthy, because they really have nobody after that.

    Bolden was decent, but nothing special, certainly nothing special teams.

    I thought Demps put too much wiggle into the returns and should have picked a lane and turned on the jets, thought I was impressed with his ability to stay on his feet.

    Defense was impressive all he way through. David Carr has all the skills of a number 1 QB and to hold that offense, 2nd team or not to only 6 points is impressive.

    Overall, the Patriots backups did a great job.
  11. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    No one has mentioned Mesko. I thought he was above average last season but he has really turned into a beast. Better hang time, better accuracy and he looked like he's starting to believe in his playmaking abilities.

    One reason why the game was so low scoring could be due to the fact that both team punters turned it on last night.


    Also interesting to see the video clip of last year's superbowl where BB was coaching the D. "Make him go to Manningham." We were just beaten by an awesome play. Still sucks but I can accept that.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  12. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Hey, shut up and keep writing!
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  13. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Kneejerk reactions.

    Players played hard and were a credit to the jersey.

    Really encouraged by the backup defense. Pass rush and run defense were excellent. Can't tell much about pass defense from that game but the secondary were enthusiastic in run support.

    Disappointments? O-line (expected). No diamonds in the dust among the receivers. Bolden/Kettani.

    Judgement withheld: quarterbacks.
  14. patsfaninpittsburgh

    patsfaninpittsburgh Banned

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    Hey, why not breakout the leather helmets and run some "Wing T" and "wishbone" offense?

    Add in average dreadlock length and shoe size.
  15. ForThoseAboutToRock

    ForThoseAboutToRock Rookie

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    I echo the praise for Brace and Cunningham. I thought they were both very active both in pass rush and in shedding blocks for run containment. There were about 2 runs where I couldn't tell if Brace over-pursued his gap (leaving a hole) or if the LB behind him was simply blocked out by the fullback or another OL, (thus, leaving a hole) - but the effort was good and I'm sure that's classic coaching material.

    I'll be very interested to see how the defensive backfield shakes out. Did I count correctly - 0 snaps last night for Cole? (yes) I wonder what that means for his chances... I couldn't really get a read for how much I liked Ras-I out there - I only saw him really stand out on one running play that was right at him - the RB dove inside for 3-4 more YAContact. Dennard had that forced fumble, but otherwise I really can't recall / didn't see much despite him being out there a lot.

    The offense was strange last night, it was basically a handoff to Bolden (or Demps a few times) or a pass to Holley - I don't recall a single throw to Ebert.
    I think Demps is getting a little too much press as a weapon. I saw a guy that got knocked down very very easily last night. Maybe he's an asset on kickoff returns, but from a stand still in the backfield he seems like a guy that can be tackled with 1 arm by a decent DT. We'll see - he's still very exciting, and announcers can't seem to stop talking about him (DID YOU KNOW HE WON A SILVER?!)

    I thought Reiss was right to put the NFL in the "down" category. The sequence where the ref had a deer in headlights, 2nd grader at a spelling bee kind kind of moment(s) making the call had me giggling (camera work showed the pats sideline having fun w/ it too, it seemed.) This BS won't be fun in the regular season though. :bricks:
  16. patsfaninpittsburgh

    patsfaninpittsburgh Banned

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    Based on the way offenses are going and this one in particular; it appears the evaluation process will morph into a holistic "skill position" grade vs WR/TE/RB.

    Ofcourse, if the plan is "I" formation take a decade to run a play football, then that's not true.
  17. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    1) I remember Ebert catching a very nice 20 yarder over the middle, getting clocked and holding on sometime in the 2nd half.

    2) Re: the refs - Down here they showed the Redskins/Buccaneers game. They actually had a review situation where the head ref came back out announced the call, then there was a 2 minute discussion with a linesman, then the head ref sheepishly announced "We're going to look at that again" then ran off the field to review a second time. Both sidelines were incredulous.
  18. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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    If he didn't slip on that screen pass in the fourth quarter he probably would have scored. Having a player like that puts a lot of stress on a defense. I don't think you can overstate that.
  19. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    There was an article this week (forget by whom) that mentioned he is currently a good 10 lbs under his usual football playing weight, due to being all about the olympics sprinting the past 8 months.

    I'm reserving judgement on how easily he goes down until he gets into he gets into football shape.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  20. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    #3 Jersey

    Brother Virginia ~ putting the "me" in Ebner the Super Binkie. :rolleyes:

    You're a little late, pal. ;)

    OK.

    VERY late.

    Ebner was at least HALF the Board's Binky, from the hour he was drafted. :eek:

    *I would've said the moment he was drafted, but we first had to figure out who the @#$% the guy was!! :D
  21. ForThoseAboutToRock

    ForThoseAboutToRock Rookie

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    Yeah - he's exciting - and I don't mean to be rainclouds on a sunny day about him. I'm just saying that, to my untrained eye, he looks like he needs perfect blocking to rip off a good run between the tackles.

    Swing passes, wheel routes, screens where he can get moving and put some turf between him and the biggest, strongest defenders, then - look out.
  22. Buchanty

    Buchanty Rookie

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    I agree that WR depth is shallow, almost non-existent. Ebert looks like a candidate for the PS (if he clears waivers), but the others will be handing in their playbooks on Friday. I still can't believe how Holley stopped running on that last play, a hesitation on commitment that will be reflected by 31 other teams in the NFL when thinking of picking him up. I keep hoping once the dust settles on the released FA grabfest we can pick up Gaffney again (assuming it was an injury influenced release). If any of our 3 starters get injured we have little to replace them.

    I like the thought, and you could be right. I still think he was concerned about the 3 games in 10 days and didn't want to risk playing starters twice in 4 days. I also think he is much more concerned with getting the pieces on the D to come together, and last night they appeared to do that as several of them, while not starters, will see plenty of playing time through the full season (Cunningham, Brace, Deaderick, Scott, Dowling, Wilson, Ebner all had solid games - 96 especially). I was hoping to see more of Carpenter and Bequette, but still feel they are on the right side of the bubble.

    Going back to coach satisfaction, I had the sense that the least satisfied one on the field was Coughlin. He must have been exploding to see his 1st team O struggle to get anywhere against our 2nd D. 1 first down for Eli in 4 possessions. I only got the New York commentators (who were abysmal) but they couldn't find anything positive to say about their elite QB. They had suggested he would only play a couple of possessions, but Coughlin must have been sputtering on 3 pathetic attempts because Eli did not look happy being sent out a 4th time.

    Last 3 minutes of each half is where the Giants made their stats look decent (O and D) - I think BB took his foot off the pedal, and even if he didn't some of the players did.

    Yep - nice as it has looked over the pre-season it's still the pre-season, and we have no way of knowing how they will respond when the real games begin. I think we may have a better D but I dont think it will be significantly better (not Houston Texan level), though enough to reach the middle tier of Defensive stats, ie 16th on those stats we were in the 30's in 2011.

    Strangely I am where I wanted to be heading into the season. Comfortable on individual skill sets, positive that the D will improve and the O wont regress, excited for the future but not with expectations through the roof. There are enough question marks to prevent SB predictions and sufficient confidence factors to suggest a winning record but even that is dependent on the injury gremlin. The game last night had much to please, though I would like to see Bill overcome Coughlin soon (they still think they have our number).
  23. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    #91 Jersey

    A couple of things to clarify:

    1. I think we vastly over think the WR depth issue. There are literally dozens of teams who would love to have our "problems" at WR. Think about it we have as good a 1 - 2 combination as there is in the league with Welker and Lloyd. Behind them we have a consummate reliable "old pro", and a promising slot receiver in waiting. Sure, its fair to cry "washed up and unproven" for both of them But that's not the point.

    Like I've been trying to say for a while now, you cannot separate the TE's from the WR's. You have to look at what the Pats can put out there as RECEIVER threats at any one time. On virtually every play Brady will have FOUR elite quality receivers to choose from, plus a choice of 4 better than average receiving RB's. For 90% of the league that is at least 2 more than they are working with. Its not how many WR's Brady has, but rather receiving targets and where they can target across the field

    Think about it. 80% of the time the Pats will line up in some kind of a 2TE - 2 WR - 1 BR alignment. As a former DC, let me tell you that is not an easy basic formation to defend, even before you think about the 101 different looks you create from formation and motion using that personnel; group. The wide outs spread you, while the 2 TE's present a real running threat to both sides.

    Now add that you also pose FOUR separate threats to "elite" receivers, and you present a match up problem on every play if you have a QB who can find it. Really the only chance you have as a DC is to keep changing your match up weaknesses and hope the QB doesn't find while at the same time try not to give him the time to find it. And that's hard because with so many great targets, you will probably have more than one weakness.

    So even if down the road injury takes some of those options away, 2 facts are clear. First their replacements won't be at the same level, but certainly serviceable. 2ndly, Brady will STILL have at least a couple of elite receivers to throw to. It will never be 2006-like. In other words plenty of receiver depth.

    Branch Edelman and whomever are interesting discussion points for over zealous fans with too much time on their hands. And could very well become key players given some injuries. However at this point the "WR depth issue" is really much ado about nothing, because Brady is going to start this season with more than enough receiver targets.

    2. I have nothing aginst Boldin as a RB. He's a pretty good prospect, but I've seen some guys from other teams who flashed more, who also probably will get cut as well. (take the Giants RB from the 2nd half - Brown IIRC). He's a good RB, but the league is filled with them. I want him on the team, but NOT on the 53 man roster. He belongs on the PS. Given the solid yet unspectacular nature of his TC, he will most likely get there

    3. The choices between White, Tarpinian, Koudavidis, Scott, and Forston will be among the toughest. Bequette has shown just enough promise to get the 3rd round pass. Scott is likely to stay...at least until Carter can return....if he doe return.

    4. Its anyone's guess who the last DB will be. If its common wisdom, then Stirling Moore will be the guy. We shall see.
  24. BananaRepublican

    BananaRepublican Banned

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    Maybe we had entered the Pre Season Twilight Zone that cast its spell over Eli and Brees.

    But maybe, just maybe, we were looking at a top ten defense.
  25. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    I'd say you're on to something.

    I know it's preseason, but those guys out there were playing VERY well. Seems to me that Coach lit a fire under them and explained how things are going to be this season.
  26. BananaRepublican

    BananaRepublican Banned

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    I feel a little uneasy with the lack of overall speed at WR, so it's natural to ponder a guy like Stallworth or even the waiver wire. If you don't feel comfortable then you don't feel comfortable and you need to think of ways to get the comfort level.

    I consider Lloyd to be a football-speed man because of his uncanny moves. I consider him to be a guy that gets separation. If he gets hurt though, I don't think we have anybody who can threaten a defense like that. We're back to last year if Lloyd gets hurt. After all those guys trooping through Foxboro we are absolutely not covered if Lloyd gets hurt.

    Unless Ebert or Slater can actually do something. This depth issue is a fact I believe. I'd love to hear evidence to the contrary. The best I can do is, "Keep Deion off the field as much as possible to save his legs for the emergency."
  27. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks Rookie

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    The other problem is that the Patriots have nobody after Welker and Lloyd who can get off a jam.
  28. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    Even Welker isn't that great at it.
  29. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Lloyd's thing isn't getting seperation, it's making plays on the ball absent much of it. That is why he and Brady are taking some time to get their chemistry worked out. He's not going to be throwing to a wide open Lloyd, he's going to be throwing to a Lloyd who can appear well covered and then beat it.
  30. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    One of the most un-noticed or at least un-remarked observation, is just how good a run blocker Marcus Cannon really is.

    Has no one else noticed how often the RBs, especially the big guys Ridley and Bolton, have been sprung for big running gains around Right End?:confused:

    Everyone has been IMHO overly quick to criticize Cannon for his lack of pass blocking, but why is not credit being given to his obviously superior Run Blocking? He seemingly constantly seals, and allows the RBs to easily turn the corner Some times with TE help, but it opens a lane reminescent of "the Lane" that the Lombardi Packers used to open with their power sweep pulling Guards.:eek:

    To me that is also an indication that his real future is at RG, the power running position. It may not be this year as he is needed at RT, but he will eventually be a prime contender for Brian Waters position, after BW hangs it up for good next season, and we acquire a good swing tackle, next draft.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
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