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Lost in the shuffle...Stephen Neal

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patsox23, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    Not to say we had no posts about his re-upping in N.E., but it just seems to have been an underrated and underreported aspect of the Patriots' off-season. This was a GREAT re-sign, IMO. Not Seymour-level great, not even close, but a very good, important, solid signing in favor of continuity. And a good deal.

    Just thought I'd acknowledge it again.
  2. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I thought Neal was the second biggest underperformer on the Pats last year, Wilson at FS was #1 for me. Maybe it was the switch to the right side, or maybe it was the impending free agency or maybe he had an undisclosed injury or maybe the Koppen injury affected his game, but he did not take the next step forward in my book. At the end of the 2004 season, I thought he was on the verge of all pro status, but in 2005, he laid an egg. He did not get a lot of push in the middle, his pass blocking looked very stiff, he missed a bunch of blitzers because he was late coming off blocks and that awesome knee bend causing the leveraged redirect of the DL guys, was not there last season.
    I hope he gets back on the beam this year, but as of right now, I'm still calling for an overhaul of the right side of the OL.
  3. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    I agree that Neal was a disappointment last year, and I REALLY agree that Geno was. But I think it's probable that both will rebound, particularly Neal - and I think BB believes so, as well, or wouldn't have pursued bringing him back.
  4. Bobs My Uncle

    Bobs My Uncle PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    It couldn't have helped Neal any that he had to cover for not only a marginal starter at OC once Koppen went down but also for a marginal starter at RT for all of the year.

    Fix the OC and RT spots and I suspect Neal is an above average player for us at RG.
  5. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Excellent post, Ochmed. From what I saw that was spot on.
  6. Feep_FLA

    Feep_FLA Rookie

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    I see an offensive line in a lot of ways the same as I view a long, tough par 5. It takes 3 good golf shots to get on the green and 2 good putts to card a par 5. An O-line is similar in that one top player, say the LT, cannot dominate a game. It takes that really good LT and 4 other good players working together to either run-block or pass-rush defend effectively..... They are the sum of their parts. They are a unit in every sense of the word.... I like Neal a lot and love the energy he brings. Obviously Matt Light and Danny Boy Koppen getting hurt threw the unit into disarray last year, but on the upside it gave Gorin and Kaczur and Ashworth lots of playing time..... Mankins was pretty solid as a rookie. Ashworth is gone and seemingly the Pats let him leave for a reason...
    That was pretty long-winded but I like the looks of the O-line going forward to TC but would like to see a center and a swing tackle added. I won't hide my desire to see Mangold in a Pats uniform......If Koppens injury is that severe or they don't intend to resign him I would love to see Mangold at 21....Neal will be fine this year
  7. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I was hoping Neal's position would be upgraded. Neal will be OK and there
    could be a lot worst at his position. Maybe he'll rebound and surprise.
  8. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    A lot of posters have expressed concerns previously about Light coming back, and now I'm sensing concerns about Koppen as well. This brings me back to something Ty Law said a few years back. Does anybody else feel that the Pats medical staff needs some upgrading????????
  9. Feep_FLA

    Feep_FLA Rookie

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    Ochmed.... I hadn't thought about it but you may be right..... Hmmmmmmm
  10. p8ryts

    p8ryts Rookie

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    Hochstein/Gorin marginal?

    I can't agree with that. They may not be pro bowl players but Gorin has played effectively including super bowl years and Hochstein filled in very well. There was a reversal in the run effectiveness and sometimes pass blocking but there were many other factors such as Dillon's injury, 2 rookies on the left side, and a new OC. That doesn't mean I'm complaining about the rookies or the OC, I'm just saying that I think Hochstein and Gorin did a decent job in light of all the inconsistencies and if they are our backups this year, I will feel good about that.
  11. p8ryts

    p8ryts Rookie

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    Medical staff?

    I forgot to add this.
    What does the medical staff have to do with broken limbs and ligaments. There wasn't much they could do to prevent the injuries to Light, Law, Harrison and Koppen. If we were talking a plethora of pulled muscles that would be different but we are talking about game contact injuries. I don't the medical staff can do much about that.
  12. texpat

    texpat Rookie

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    The reason Ashworth is gone is $$$$$. The open market proved he was worth over $2 mil a year for someone else and we didn't have that to spend. Now its funny you say we need a swing tackle and I hope whoever they find for that position fills in as well as Ash did.

    Being in Dallas, I don't get all the Pats games, but watching the rest of the league, IMO, the PAts OL has been well above average, even with all the interchanging pieces.
  13. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't have any evidence that the Pats' medical and training staff is not first-rate and I cannot believe that Bill Belichick would let anything stand in the way of having the very best support staff in the league. It's just totally out of character. He went out of his way to hire Woicik. Just remember, this is the guy who didn't like the way that the grass grew in the stadium and sacked the groundskeeper who'd been there for goodness-knows-how-many years.
  14. GoWhalers

    GoWhalers Rookie

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    I'm inclined to agree with Bobs My Uncle -- Neal likely did have to compensate quite a bit for Kaczur and Hochstein.

    Also, I know two plays don't make a season, but does everyone remember that TE screen play that worked so well for the Pats last season? I think they first used it with Graham against the Bills for a TD (remember Graham hurdling Neal on his way to the end zone?), and they used it later (maybe against the Jags?) with Watson for a TD. In both plays, it was Neal who had to run out wide, plaster the linebacker covering the TE, and free the TE up for a run to the end zone.

    Pretty athletic stuff, if you ask me.
  15. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    All thsi concern about Light and Koppen is entirely subjective. The truth is that both guys are at the Razor working out in the weightroom every day. Thier injuries are seldom debilitating or career ending and both have already (with 5 months to go) had sufficient time to heal.

    The O-line was unsettled last year, no question, Two rookies were broken in; and three guys played out of position. What do you expect in such a case?

    With all the discussion of drafting a Center if Koppen walks, they ALREADY HAVE him. Ross Tucker is an ex-starting Center. The only reason he didn't play is, they stole him late in the season and Hochstein was now settled in.

    In a pure TC competition, Ross would probably beat Russ out as backup Center and perhaps at Guard; but there his Nebraska training would probably let Russ winout. Mrucz is in there pitching too. Despite all the no-love for Russ, Hochstein is a solid pro with two rings he won on the field as a starter on that O-line. He can hold his head high and proud; he carries his load.

    I expect they let Ashworth walk to make room, as they could see Britt coming at RT and Kaczur had wrapped up the backup LOT position He will have his say about ORT this season too. Gorin must be sweating...

    This young O-line is good enough twhen it reachesd its Prime , to potentially be a Probowl mention from tackle to tackle and everwhere in between...
  16. KDPpatsfan

    KDPpatsfan Rookie

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    Bottom line...I feel that our o-line is mediocre period. I think that has more to do with our running game's struggles last year than C Dillon slipping. And I feel the same with Matt Light in the lineup. An overhaul is needed.
  17. Warren=underrated

    Warren=underrated Rookie

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    I agree that the Neal resigning was important. I think Ochmed has a good point, but in watching I thought he was actually slightly better than the prior year. To me it more seemed that he just didn't improve by as much as anticipated after coming out of nowhere the year before.

    Generally I like the where the O-line is going. I think all we really need (optimistically assuming the "DK and ML are done" rumors are false) is one more solid tackle to compete w/ Kazcur for the RT spot. Kazcur was ok at times last year, but I'm not sold on him just yet, and wouldn't mind getting another guy just in case.
  18. rabthepat

    rabthepat Rookie

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    You hit the nail on the head...


    Time to get a tackle who Corey can run behind.
  19. texpat

    texpat Rookie

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    Through all this talk about the running game, whether it's the OL fault, or Dillon's slowing down, I think the 1st round pick gives us some insight as to what BB and the Pats thought.
  20. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Rookie

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    it's happened before

    ha5rd to believe, too.
    but the redsox had this problem for many years. it emanated from having a team MD (Arthur Pappas) who was also a part owner. redsox must have ettled 15 player lawsuits over 20 years from players who sid their careers were afffected by pappas' desire to get them back on the field as soon as possible.
    look at the dallas cowboys' injury list, game-to-game, and compare it to new england's. quite likely that the difference is not due to chance. nlflpa and league rules prohibit underreporting of injuries. in other words, players cannot be forced to suit up and play in spite of diagnosable injuries. so chances are that the difference is real, and that parcells isn't cheating on his injury list.
    i wonder about matt light's leg, faulk's ankle injuries, the back and ankle injuries to gay, samuel, and so many other DBs.
    i wondeer about Koppen's broken leg, graham's chest injuries.

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