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LBs health & special teams

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by cstjohn17, Nov 7, 2007.

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  1. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Outside of Tom Brady this was my biggest concern going into the year. Now I would add Randy Moss' health as number 1B.

    At first glance it seems like 8 total LBs is a low number. But looking at the special teams units from Boston.com they are able to get contributions from the secondary and the RBs to minimize the usage of LBs in STs.

    The Patriots are doing all they can to ensure that the big 5 (Colvin, Bruschi, Vrabel, Thomas and Seau) stay healthy. Of all the special teams units only FG block uses the elder statesmen. Expect to see Eric Alexander in most of these units when he returns, along with Mel Mitchell.

    I remember Kirwan writing that he was concerned about how the older LBs would hold up if they were used on special teams. The answer is by rotating them throughout the game and by holding them out of most special teams action.

    In some situations they have even used the 4-2-5 reducing the number of LBs on the field. Something to watch as the year moves forward, the other very important player is Rodney Harrison, his play at Safety can be replaced but his ability to blitz or play a OLB/SS hybrid cannot be duplicated by any other player on the roster.

    In summary, at first I was worried. Now I am not that concerned about the age/health of the LBs (although I do wish they were just a little bit faster). Looking at this team it is damn impressive how deep they are.


    -------------------------
    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/2007/11/special_teams_l.html
    PUNT RETURN: Willie Andrews, Rashad Baker, Kyle Eckel, Heath Evans, Randall Gay, Larry Izzo, Brandon Meriweather, Pierre Woods, Wes Welker, Mike Wright, Kelley Washington.

    KICKOFF RETURN: Willie Andrews, Kyle Eckel, Heath Evans, Ellis Hobbs, Larry Izzo, Stephen Neal, Le Kevin Smith, Ray Ventrone, Kelley Washington, Pierre Woods, Mike Wright.

    FIELD GOAL BLOCK: Willie Andrews, Tedy Bruschi, Rosevelt Colvin, Randall Gay, James Sanders, Richard Seymour, Adalius Thomas, Mike Vrabel, Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright.

    PUNT COVERAGE: Willie Andrews, Rashad Baker, Kyle Eckel, Heath Evans, Chris Hanson, Larry Izzo, Lonie Paxton, James Sanders, Adalius Thomas, Kelley Washington, Pierre Woods.

    KICKOFF COVERAGE: Willie Andrews, Rashad Baker, Kyle Eckel, Heath Evans, Stephen Gostkowski, Rodney Harrison, Larry Izzo, Brandon Meriweather, Ray Ventrone, Kelley Washington, Pierre Woods.

    FIELD GOAL PROTECTION: Kyle Brady, Stephen Gostkowski, Chris Hanson, Russ Hochstein, Nick Kaczur, Logan Mankins, Stephen Neal, Ryan O'Callaghan, Lonie Paxton, Vince Wilfork, Pierre Woods
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2007
  2. Seacoast Fan

    Seacoast Fan Rookie

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    great post, c-17, thanks, I hadn't seen the full ST lineups like that before.
  3. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Great find. Thanks!! I'm always one of the people who tries to figure out the ST units.

    Some thoughts:

    1. BB famously has used a lot of starters on STs, especially the LBs. Now? Not so much. Even so, every unit has at least one starter on it.

    2. You're right -- having a couple of RBs who're big on STs helps reduce the stress on the LBs.

    3. If somebody pulled a Cromartie on a missed FG, who would tackle him?

    4. You forgot to bold AD on punt coverage.

    5. Guys on all four non-FG teams are Andrews, Izzo, Woods, Washington, Eckel, Evans. Wright is on three.

    6. Since the regular teams have all the same guys, I wonder who they practice against? :) The special teams "scout teams" may contain more starters than the STs themselves ...
  4. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1) Surprisingly few starters this year (outside of FG Block), as injuries occur expect to see some of the more regonizable numbers running down the field.
    3) We don't kick FG over 40 yards, we go for 4th downs even with big leads. BB thinks FG are for whimps.
    4) So that is where he has been hiding...
    5) Lets call the 'core', Alexander and Mitchell will hang with them when they get back.
    6) Must be a lot of starters with 'No Contact'
  5. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Putting up those teams rosters is very helpful !
  6. stevepratt

    stevepratt Rookie

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    -In years past guys like Bruschi and Vrabel have been all over the Special Teams. Due to their age and injuries they have had it makes sense to keep their play on those units to a minumum.

    -During training camp and the off season Belichick is always stressing the need for non starters and younger players to carve out a role on special teams. If you look at the 45 man roster over the last few weeks every guy is playing in some capacity. A guy like Le Kevin Smith who isnt part of the d-line rotation needed to carve out a role on kick return unit or he would completely useless.

    -It is interesting to note the lack of linebacker on our special teams as in years passed they have been loaded with them. Obviously the Alexander injury has an effect on that. A guy like Eckel who seemed like a one or two week roster filler has taken advantage of his chances on special teams. Even if Morris was healthy I believe Eckel would still be part of the 45 man.
  7. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This a major change for bb, and a good one. We can't afford to have our starting LB's play ST's.

    1) I hope that when Mitchell comes back, we will see Thomas off the punt coverage unit.

    2) I still don't want to Seau as a fullback.

    3) I'm fine wil Vrabel as a TE in the jumbo. He does indeed a lot to our probablity of success.
  8. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Bumping this for updating:

    1. Wright will have to be replaced.
    2. Jackson is now a/the return man.
    3. Watson had been playing some on kickoff return. Is it simple as saying he was in Ventrone's spot? Anyhow, he's gimpy. Will the new TE Spache take his reps there? Even his first week on the team?
    4. Reiss blogged 12/13 about kick coverage. The differences from the OP were Mitchell and Meriweather in place of Baker and Ventrone.

    Baker has been gimped, so he's not a totally healthy scratch.
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