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Is it time to replace Koppen?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by VJCPatriot, Jan 13, 2010.

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  1. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    I'm asking this question earnestly from people who have looked at the tape. Is Koppen getting overpowered too often to be a starting center for a super bowl winning team? I don't have any solid evidence but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's really the interior of the line that is the weakness. And where better to start looking than center?

    How would you evaluate Koppen's performance at center in 2009? Does he need to be replaced or should the Pats keep him and hunt for a new RG instead?
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    RG is first.
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Last year a lot of people were very much in favor of considering Alex Mack or Eric Wood in the 34-47 range. Mack went 21 to Cleveland, Wood 28 to Buffalo. But the idea of upgrading Koppen was viewed as quite reasonable a year ago, and I would think it would be even more so now.

    However, as Box notes, RG is a higher priority right now. I could see someone like Maurkice Pouncey playing RG and eventuallly moving to OC once he learns our system, but I could also see us bypassing center altogether for another year or 2 and going with a RG/RT prospect like Mike Iupati, Vladimir Ducasse, or Mike Johnson.
  4. Canadian Patriot 84

    Canadian Patriot 84 Rookie

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    Bingo.

    I think we need an immediate replacement at RG, Neal is doneski, or close to it. I think we need to find our replacement at center now though, so he'll be ready in a year or so.

    CP
  5. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    No, too many needs elsewhere.
  6. Nonentity

    Nonentity Rookie

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    Agreed. We are changing our RT (Vollmer for Kazcur) and RG (Neal is done) so we need to keep the same center in a year of transition for the offensive line. Koppen has great experience on the calls, which are consistently underrated when evaluating the position. Look to upgrade him next year.
  7. BritPat

    BritPat Rookie

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    I'd be taking Pouncey in the second round no matter what.
  8. SeauOUCH

    SeauOUCH Rookie

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    I sure hope the Vollmer is our starting LT next year not RT. The strip sack of TB courtesy of Todd Light on a 3 man rush against Balt was the last straw for me. Our OL is great against the Jacksonville's of the world but whenever they face a stout aggressive D they get abused.

    This off season I hope we..

    1. Trade Light ( hope we can get a 2nd, more likely a 3rd round pick in this years draft )

    2. Resign Mankins

    3. Use 2 of our 1st 4 picks to draft a stud RG & RT, RG to start right away to replace Neal who is likely retiring & hope our RT draftee is good enough to replace Kazur this year. (who will be a decent swing tackle back up )

    If Brady is kept clean he is unstoppable, invest in the OL this year please.
  9. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Maybe we can take an OG in the second round with the intention of sliding him over to C when Koppen's contract expires.
  10. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    I thought Dan Connolly did a pretty good job at RG when pressed into service. There's also going to be guards available in free agency...there always is, and since the salary cap won't be an issue, we might bring one or two veterans in.

    My point is simply that we shouldn't let a perceived desparate need for a guard on January 14 cloud the value of the draft.

    Now, should Koppen be replaced this year? It's hard to say. Light and Kazcur were so bad this year that they constantly needed help from a guard, leaving Koppen one on one, where he can get overpowered. Our offensive line was built with undersized, agile guys who could get out to block on screens and get second-level blocks on draws. Everybody loves the deep passes to Moss, but when blitzed, the line can't give Brady enough time to throw them. We're still mostly a screen and slant offense, so there's value on having a guy like Koppen, who might be the best pulling center in the league. If we can find a guy who can do that, plus shotgun snap, bury his man one-on-one in the running game, and be an effective pass blocker as well, I'd put a premium on him. As far as I can tell, Pouncey might be that guy, and if so, I'd be fine drafting him early.
  11. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I thought that Levior played well when he was in there (just ask that Jets CB, who is still looking for the number of that truck that hit him). I agree that Vollmer needs to be the starting LT, trading Light for a 2nd rd pick is not going to happen. If someone would be willing to give up a 3rd, I'd say take it, but more likely will be that he gets cut or traded for a much lower rd pick.

    They can live with Kazcur (or even better move Light to RT if he can make the adjustment) they have Levior, and then draft another tackle and hope that they hit another HR like they did with Vollmer.

    This team needs another guard first and foremost, that must be addressed before even thinking of replacing either Light or Koppen.

    Plus Koppen is TFB BFF, so think twice before you move him out.
  12. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    Interesting point and one that should not be overlooked if correct.

    I go back to Alabama when thinking of the best zone blockiong OG in this draft, Mike Johnson.

    In the 2011 draft BB may have a shot at Steve Wiesnooski's kid the center for Penn State, he has future "nasty" beast written all over him. And I love nasty on the O Line. I wish Vollmer had more nastiness in his play.
  13. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    It's time to replace a lot of players. Just make sure better players are

    on hand before they are replaced.
  14. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No. Koppen will do just fine as a center for one more year, IMO. It's time to upgrade the play of the RG next to him. Upgraded guard play will help the center a ton.
  15. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    The answer to the thread title is: Yes, for the reasons you mentioned.

    The need for a RG could be mitigated if Kaczur can show at pre-draft OTAs that he could successfully transition there. Otherwise, why did Bill sign him to an extension and still draft a Tackle in the 2nd round? Unless Bill doesn't know what he's doing; and we all know that isn't true...right?

    Vollmer then stays at RT - for one more season, Light at LT - for one more season, LeVoir is the Swing, and Mankins is re-signed (I ass-ume). That leaves only the weakest (literally) link - Center. Could Lil' Richie O'Burger move to Center, a position he has never played in a real game? I don't know; but I do know that he's even smaller that Koppen. To think that Bill traded Ellis Hobbs so that he could draft this midget in the 4th round, instead of Lawrence Sidbury or Austin Collie or...anybody else.

    I want Koppen's replacement on the 2010 roster. I don't want to wait one more year. It doesn't matter to me if he is acquired through the draft or free agency. And I could not care less if he's Tommy Boy's BFF. Todd Rucci & Max Lane were Bledsoe's BFFs - so what?
  16. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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    How about both Kaczur and Light moving inside with Vollmer at LT and Levoir at RT. Neal may retire and Mankins may be a FA. I do like the idea of drafting the center from Florida or Johnson from Alabama but there are alot of needs. I have to agree with you on Richie O'Burger being a fourth rounder. He's too small to play guard and was an overdraft.
  17. State

    State Rookie

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    Yes. He was owned by Ngata on several occasions. And it looked as though they changed the way they played O-Line, with a guard taking on the behemoth NT during the playoff game, and Koppen backpeddling, checking out where he was needed.

    It created seams, however, for blitzes by middle linebackers to work.

    Koppen just looks old now. He's serviceable, but not against huge, athletic NTs, where he is eaten alive.

    All this discussion occurs in the backdrop of our now foolish-looking decision to trade Russ Hochstein to the Broncos for next to nothing. He's the kind of player we were missing this year.

    And indeed if Neal is done, Hochstein had a lot of life left in him. He had a strong season with Denver, before injuring a knee at the end.

    What he did for us in the SB against Carolina was truly amazing. That kind of freakish strength Connolly I don't think possesses. Not at all. I never thought I'd say it but Connolly is like a poor man's Hochstein, and that's saying something.

    So, yeah, we need a RG (Johnson from Alabama looks like a natural fit for us) _and_ in the next year or two need a center.
  18. Hercules Rockefeller

    Hercules Rockefeller Rookie

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  19. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    No. You can't shred the offensive line all at once. Neal has to be

    replaced this year. I hope it is with a high draft pick rather than Connelly.

    The year after, they Patriots may have to replace both Light and Mankins.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  20. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    What did we get for Hochstein, anyway?

    And wasn't he our backup Center, too?

    I was pimping Connelly during TC, mostly because I was tired of midget crap like Yates, Wendell & O'Burger. But Connelly has proven that he is substandard as a starting RG or Center. Too bad Al Johnson couldn't get out of the tub, because he's exactly what we need.
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