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Is Koppen Too Small

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by State, May 9, 2009.

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  1. State

    State Rookie

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    The resurgence of the 3-4 defense in which a massive NT is essential to make it work, centers like Koppen who are just shy of 300 pounds may be an endangered species.

    Two-gap run stuffers like Ron Brace are coveted. People are already talking around here about Alabama's Mt. Cody for the Pats next year.

    This may be a harbinger of this season--Patriots run blocking--Koppen knocked back into the backfield to blowup a play.

    Defenses can expect runs off tackle more than up the gut with the exception of a draw during an anticipated pass.

    So I had my expectations dashed that the Patriots were going to draft a center in the 2009 draft. There were three goods ones: Eric Wood, Max Unger, and esp. Alex Mack.

    All three had an upgrade on size over Koppen.

    I wonder if Hochstein would be an improvement today.
  2. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    Koppen is fine for now. He has done well against almost all the competition he has faced including the 3-4 teams and I don't see any reason for that to change anytime soon.

    Teams are way behind the 8 ball when it comes to the 3-4. These teams that think they are going to just switch to 3-4 are woefully wrong. Good NT's in the draft don't grow on trees and there are not too many veteran ones either. Teams will be realizing that they need a special player in the middle to make it all work after they give up a few 200+ yard rushing games. Look at the 02 Patriots before Ted Washington arrived.

    There is more to being a center than just bulk and size. Technique such as hand, footwork and scheme are often overlooked.
  3. Remix 6

    Remix 6 Rookie

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    Koppen had a pretty bad year last year getting driven back by DTs a lot. Kris Jenkins especially dominated him
  4. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    I don't think so. The run blocking was stellar last year, what exactly changed has around the league this offseason that would change that?

    The Jets still have Jenkins
    The Phins still have Furguson
    Denver switched to a 3-4, but have no NT
    KC will run a hybrid 3-4/4-3 mix, but have no NT
    Green Bay isn't on the schedule.

    Aside from Raji, who we will see no more than 3 times in his entire career, the only other big NT in this draft was drafted by the Patriots.

    And given Koppen practices against Wilfork and soon Brace every week, I'm sure he knows how to handle these guys.
  5. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rookie

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    It's a double-edged sword.

    Koppen has the advantage in some areas but can be played out in others.
    That's the case for any player.

    I''m a big supporter of Dan and his role is under appreciated.

    The size issue though can be debated continuously....just remember...

    big things come in small packages.:cool:
  6. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    :D

    [​IMG]
  7. klinefan

    klinefan Banned

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    I wanted them to draft a guard like Funuki Tupuo who is really strong enough to root out DL. But instead they drafted this unathletic little guard who doesn't "get much movement in the run game" according to sites. Not good.:(
  8. Deus Irae

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    Koppen had an elbow injury last year
  9. holyredeemer

    holyredeemer Rookie

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    "YOU ******* SUCK!!" :cool:


    Yes, let's also not forget the wonderful attitude these undersized athletes possess. LMS cannot be taught, but it sure does spread like wildfire :p
  10. Box_O_Rocks

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    Hoch was starting to struggle as a Guard, you could see it in 2007 and again last season. He's still good at Center where he has help, but I'd not consider him an upgrade for Koppen.

    Wood, Mack, Unger, Koppen, there's trade-offs to be made. I wanted Wood as a reserve Guard behind Neal and Mankins, and as a back-up for Koppen, Mack or Unger would have been the same for me.

    Koppen struggled last year, but so did Mankins and Yates at the beginning of the season. For all the troubles attributed to Koppen, please note that Joyner attributed 197 run attempts behind him - #2 on the team by a good margin.

    The battle inside is often one of leverage over brute strength, one of the reasons Neal is so good with his wrestling background. Mankins and Koppen are both known as technicians, they get good leverage too. Ohrnberger and Bussey both get good marks for being technicians, as does Wendell who came out the Fresno State program under BB's old O-line coach to also developed Mankins.

    I'm content with Koppen as #1 Center.
  11. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    And on multiple plays was wasted double teaming the wrong guy.
  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I can vividly recall Koppen being pushed back in the San Diego and Pittsburgh games last year, but I don't remember him having any other bad games last season. As others have pointed out, the entire offensive line was out of whack in pre-season and early season games last year.
  13. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Somehow, I think the entire offensive line will look better with Brady at quarterback, with Taylor and Maroney running the ball, and with Baker blocking.
  14. Deus Irae

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    You think Baker's coming here to be the #1 tight end?
  15. CoachK

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    I think that question will be answered in camp, but I wouldn't be disappointed if it turned out that way.
  16. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He'll certainly have his chance to compete for it. But, as of right now, Baker was brought in to be a Daniel Graham-esque blocking tight end.
  17. DarMan

    DarMan Rookie

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    Thats a question best answered by his wife and the guys in the locker room
  18. satz

    satz Rookie

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    Too small for what ?.

    We are a great screen team and the key is our downhill blocking OL players and also we pull tackles ,gaurds and centers.

    we can build a OL like the cowboys big huge players but then give up our bread and butter RB screen ,wr bubble screens and pulling runs.

    so do you think we should give up all this and go towards mamoth like of the cowboys and also this means faulk ,scat backs and wes welker screen plays become less effective.

    a 3-4 NT is not supposed to be taken on by 1 Center ,he is suppose to be doubled but last year due to all the struggle our gaurds needs to identify and help the center when one of them are free.the gaurd never came as it was down.
  19. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He must be small ... the proof is in the position.

    He is basically the team's "short snapper".

    We know this because they just drafted a new "long snapper".
  20. Brady-To-Branch

    Brady-To-Branch Rookie

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    Koppen is fine.

    I'm happy he's locked up.
  21. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As a whole, you'd be correct. However, at the beginning of the year, the O-line was hit or miss. They didn't really stabilize until Neal came back. And don't let the games against poor run defenses cloud your thinking. The Pats wracked up a TON of yards on some pretty poor teams (Denver/Oakland)

    KC has no NT? Ron Edwards has the size to be a NT. Also, AZ was thought to not have a NT either. Yet Pendergast, who helped Casey Hampton become a star, helped get the 3-4 going in AZ. Don't be surprised if KC picks up someone like a Grady Jackson at some point before the start of the season.

    You can't dismiss that Koppen had troubles last year against Jenkins and Marcus Stroud last year. As well as Ferguson. Part of it could have been trying to compensate for the loss of Neal. But some of it was that Koppen was just dominated.

    One of the things that I've learned is that BB will make do with the players he has at some positions if he feels the need is greater at others. And I believe that was clearly the case with not taking a center this year. I wouldn't be surprised to see BB draft a center in the 2010 draft though.
  22. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan Rookie

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    Pick your poison--

    With bigger less mobile guys you get more blocking on the nose and can run better though the center-guard gaps, but with smaller more mobile guys you can get more downfield blocking on screens and counters.

    What we may give up on short-yardage offense we gain in other ways and more, IMO, particularly with plays using Faulk and Welker.

    Of course you'd liketo have super-mobile big guys with good hands and quick feet to be able to do everything, but it's impossible to stock a roster with the very best of everything in a cap-constrained world.
  23. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This needs to be pointed out in so many threads.... It seems that people here like to forget this.
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  24. Sicilian

    Sicilian Rookie

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    Not only that, but honestly if a former pro-bowl center is the "concession" you have to make on your roster, I think you're doing pretty well.
  25. TheBaronPatriot

    TheBaronPatriot Rookie

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    I remember Jenkins knocking him back 2-3 yards within a second of the snap.
    That was a sad site to be behold.

    Can those of us who have experience coaching or playing Oline in the pros comment on how a 300 lb er can take a 350 lb er??

    I'll chime in with my 3 (that's right, 3!!!) years of varsity (top level) high school experience (a notch or two below NFL, especially MA football). When I played bigger guys it was about technique, getting lower, and getting better leverage, but with Jenkins it seems he was under Koppen and driving him back like his daddy.

    But given equal technique Koppen would still lose due to Jenkins size and strength combo. So he either has to use his own momentum against him and take him away from the play or... Double team or trap the big monster.

    But either way, Koppen did not have the strength or technique to take Jenkins 1 on 1 last year.

    The real question is:
    Should any center be able to handle a good NT 1 on 1?
    The answer is no.
    So I think Koppen is fine for now.
  26. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    But really big things need big packages.
  27. Sicilian

    Sicilian Rookie

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    A notch or two, huh? Riiiiiight...
  28. AzPatsFan

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    In alll your considerations, you overlooked the most likely. If Volmer pushed Kaczur out of a job at RT, Nick would be free to join the Guard battle. Where upon he would instantly go to the top reserve position above Hochstein.
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  29. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not necessarily. In fact, I don't know if Kaczur would be as good of a guard as Hochstein. Not that Hochstein is a guarantee for the guard position. I'll be honest, with him being on a 1 year deal, I wouldn't be surprised if he was cut in TC.
  30. Deus Irae

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    Well, they have to make space for the two rookies, so someone's going to be out of luck.
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