Improved or not?

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by RayClay, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    I hope we pick up some late cuts, but it's probable we go with selections from the current pool of players.

    In BB we trust is the default BUT personnel wise are we improved at:

    QB Brady always improves but can't get much better. Cassel should improve with practice since he hardly played in college. Not a big fan of the Flutie acquisition but lack of an experienced backup is a dropoff.

    [Not improved]

    RB Corey's back with a vengeance. Even if Maroney doesn't play much this year, we made the future move.


    WR Lost Givens, gained Caldwell, Branch unhappy. This should have been foreseen. More and better tryouts should be in camp considering the spots we need to fill. What about injuries?, (we have a ton at WR every year). Actually, with Jackson this could be a wash, but a vet is money in the bank so.

    [Not improved]

    TE New guy in. Mills isn't really a TE, but should add to the mix.
    Starters have been inconsistent and Thomas is probably better than Fauria who stunk the last couple. It's a mish mosh but on the whole...


    Oline Injuries happen, but so does healing. They've been restocking and signing and they should really benefit.


    DLine Like wine a great young unit improves. They should be gellin' like Magellan this season. Grreat competition between Holmes? Le Kevin, The Whopper, Wright, even Klecko.


    LB I've made enough posts on this to fill a notebook. If you disagree, I'd say the burden of proof is on you.

    [Not Improved]

    DBs tough to call. Compared to what is the question. If we lose 6 to Ir, will we be better? I'll say getting Tebuckey reasonably tips the balance. A lot of athleticism an experience to draw on and an extra year of experience for Artrell. Safety prospects much better, CBs probably not as good as pre-injury prospects in 2005. Overall:


    STs I can't really tell til I see results. Izzo a year older, Mitchell out Tebuckey in. They say Mills, but I really prefer defensive guys on special teams. We'll see.
    Bethel was off his game and Dwight was decent. If this Willie guy is a go getter he's got a great opportunity. you can always use an extra defensive back. I can't tell, but because they emphasize it I was leaning, but losing Adam tilts the balance. But you have to replace players so not to worry about this one. Transition

    [Not Improved]

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    I agree with everything except WR. I actually think we are improved once d!ckface Branch shows up. I realize you acknowledged this and went with the vet, but I really like Caldwell and Jackson over Givens and Davis. Of course, WR being improved sounds silly until our #1 guy chooses to show up for work.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2005
  3. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    Glad you replied. Was going to elaborate on that once I remembered our backups.

    Dwight was a pretty nifty 4-5 and Bethel and Davis had long ball potential, though it was becoming obvious Johnson didn't get it.

    Also, we were lucky with injuries where these vets would have really stood out.

    However, if dickface, (you can't say that?:D), returns and is signed and happy and Jackson is as good as we hope, I'd be happy with a couple cheap ambitious youngsters at 4-5.

    If Caldwell has a good attitude he replaces Givens period. We've got to get over overrating our players just because other teams do. We should just bottle the magic super bowl dust and sell it to them.:D

    But that's a lot of ifs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2005
  4. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

  5. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

    #12 Jersey

    RayClay: i agree with you 100%
    well said imho
  6. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    Sir, you must be a man of superior intellect and keen observation, because I agree with each of your verdicts.
  7. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    Mankins played left tackle his whole college career. I think Britt and O'Callaghan could be used there, (we're talking backups now). I'm no OLine expert, but I believe we have more depth there now than we did before.

    And And Kaszur

    Left tackle will not be a dominant position for us, but I think we have
    More talented players that can fill in.

    We're comparing our depth to Ashworth and Gorin, remember.

    "Holmes???? Poor Thomas." LOL. I don't know that many guys named Santonio.

    When you're making a big post like that, the 3rd or 4th string NT just ain't worth a google.

    Sorry Santonio. Keep plugging, (pun intended:D ).

    P.S. I think Ross Tucker is greatly underappreciated as a backup or spot starter at c/g.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  8. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    I am comparing our depth to Ashworth and Gorin - Ashworth was a very good swing tackle, I had no qualms when he played LT and he was a better pass blocker then Gorin. For all Gorin's faults, he is a decent RT, better run blocker then pass blocker, but he has gotten the job done for us. I have grave doubts about Gorin at LT, and the fact he is taking reps there instead of Britt, suggests Britt isn't ready for LT - remember Kaczur took reps at both in TC.

    Without Kaczur, Mankins is our best reserve LT. I'm surmising Kaczur will be back soon since BB hasn't (reportedly) given Mankins any reps at LT but, until Kac is bac :D, Gorin as the number 1 LT reserve scares me, I'd be comfortable with Ashworth in that role. That's where I get unimproved on the O-line (LT).

    Looks like we need another PATSNUTme intervention post for fans who don't have the roster open in another window as they type. ;)

    I expect Tucker to push Mruczkowski hard for the starting roster, if Koppen doesn't go to PUP to start the season, I expect one of those two to backstop Hochstein.
  9. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    If memory serves, Givens got 59 catches, Dwight I think had like 19, and Andre Davis had 9 and Bethel had 4. That's 91 catches. Anyhow, I think Bam Bam with a good attitude is gotta be better than Bethel. Caldwell as the vet seems to have a good attitude and doing good in camp, and we got Jackson. Considering the fact that only 15% of Brady's completed passess were to TE last year (compare to 2003 when it was 21%), with more throws going to TE anyways, in theory it should be a wash. It seems hard not to see Jackson and Caldwell combining to beat Givens #. Bam Childress had 3 catches the last game of the season. With inevitable injuries, if Bam can do what Dwight did last year year (around 20 catches -- we should be fine).

    I see the WR position as reasonably decent as it was last year.

    I think Branch will come back week one. We got the salary cap room, and so I think BB and Branch will come to terms and get it done right before week one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2005
  10. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Sorry Ray Clay, but I think its between BB/SP and you. So the burden of proof is on you. LOL
  11. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    It's a quibble, but Dwight was a pretty nifty backup if injuries hit. No injuries? I like our top 4 just fine if they've got the right attitude.
  12. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    In the review you had categories of improved or Not Improved. While I don't think that is a bad way to do it I would think Improved, Not improved (i.e Same) and Worse would be better.

    Belichick's philosophy is that one weak link counters several improvements. He would exploit hole and expects others to do so too. Amazingly enuf, some don't...

    I differ at WR I think at Start of Season the WR are Same
    But over the course of the season Improved is the category and tending toward Upgraded is my overall feeling.

    TEs are Improved. No debate

    RBs are Upgraded. No debate.

    QBs Improved.
    Cassel is a future starter quality QB off his rook year. He isn't a rook anymore. OTOH Flutie is goen. But did Flutie's arm never arrive? and was it left in San Diego?(apologies to Tony Bennett)

    LBS is really two evaluations.

    ILBs are Improved. Gardner is better than Davis or rookie Alexander. Bruschi is better than career threatened strokeout half year Bruschi. Year more expereinced Beisel is better than last years version.

    OLBs are Not Improved. Brown for Willie is close but Willie was and may be still better. Mincie, Woods better than IRed Clarige. TBC is another year wiser but OTOH Chatham is gone. Its close.

    Safety is Improved leaning to Upgrade.
    Added ex Starter Tebucky as a reserve. Hawk has a trianing camp and no fluke. Guss back from IR; Sanders is no longer a rook and probably a future starter this season. Hitman should be here for more than 3 games, eventually...

    CB is Improved. Oldies Stark and Poole gone; Wilson, Gay, Scott, and Warfield bring depth. Hobbs no longer a rook. Can't lose six to IR again.

    ST are three decisons
    ST Coverage INcomplete?

    ST Kicking Not improved
    But did Av's leg leave two years ago?

    ST returns
    Not improved

    BJ and Dwight were feared returners. Andrews is an unknown but with credentials.

    I can't find anywhere that the situation is WORSE.
  13. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Interesting. I tend to agree that the breakdown should be ILB and OLB. Gardner as a backup at ILB is probably an upgrage over Izzo or Don Davis.
  14. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    An upgrade of at least 10 pounds with some experience behind it.
  15. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    Indeed. I'm pulling for Gardner to unseat both Davis and Izzo. Neither can play LB on the NFL level, and STs weren't very good either. So why keep 2 slow, undersized, old farts around? The LB unit must become younger; I can't think of a better place to start.
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    I like Davis and Izzo for Special Teams and as team leaders. Izzo did alright in goal line work last season too. We want a faster team, it may be that DBs will beat out Izzo and Davis for Special Teams slots, but with Mitchell being injured I doubt it.
  17. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    I go on the theory if you're not moving forward you're falling back.

    Because the DLine is young and excellent I give them an improve just for playing together one more year.

    The LBs the opposite, although Colvin could improve I see Bruschi at peak or maybe past, (sorry, love Tedy but time and injuries...).

    Of course attempts to bolster backup talent at DLine and lack of talent infusion at LB were more important.

    Of course I qualified the heck out of some like WR, (probably more upside this year, but more definites last year).

    All in all, I'd rather try to find the deciding factor than call a draw. Makes it more interesting.

    Also, since Vrabel would be one of the two best at either position, I like to go with the unit.

    One real solid player at either position would make a world of difference IMO.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2006
  18. Willie55

    Willie55 In the Starting Line-Up

    Haven't we been basically saying this same thing for the past 3 years. I've got my fingers crossed but I'm not betting against the injury bug leaving this team.

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