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Michael Matthews

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  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Does anyone but me really want to see this kid get some playing time?

    He's 6'4" 270# and was apparently a heck of a blocking TE for the Giants, who had a pretty fair running game the past 2 years since he's been on the team. He was a UDFA from Georgia Tech but played in all 32 Giants games since signing in 2007. With only 8 catches in 2 seasons, he didn't get all that playing time for his downfield pass catching ability. He also played fullback some at Georgia Tech.

    I could see a lot of valuable uses of this guy. I thought we would see him in the Jets and Ravens game where we could have used a blocking TE to help deal with the pressure on Brady. Now, with Taylor hurt and LoMo the likely starting RB, I could see a lot of value to using Matthews as a FB to pave the way. Maroney needs a lead blocker to clear some space for him. Finding daylight in a pile of jerseys is not his thing. Put him behind a truck who can plough through some backers to create some daylight, and I think Maroney would be a different runner.
  2. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thinking about this some more, I wouldn't mind seeing how the following works as a base formation:

    5 OLs as currently
    1 QB (Brady, obviously)
    2 WRs (Welker and Moss)
    1 TE (Watson, sometimes Baker)
    1 RB (Maroney, with Morris as a short yardage back and to spell him)
    1 FB/TE (Matthews)

    Matthews could line up at fullback with Brady under center in a base formation. On running plays, he would act as a fullback for Maroney. On passing plays, he would look to pick up the unblocked man and protect Brady, or release and go 3-8 yards down field, turn around and present an extra target. Watson could stretch the field and cover the middle like a big WR. We could modify the basic formation by bringing in Edelman or Galloway as a 3rd WR selectively, or using Watson and Baker together in 2 TE formats selectively.

    I would be curious to see how it would work.
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A couple of Paul Brown-era power sweeps with Mankins or Vollmer along with Matthews clearing the way for Maroney?

    Yeah, that would be fun to watch. Something to give the opposing defense to think about as well, and set up a play action pass later on too.
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think the bottom line is that we only need two wide receivers on the field. I absolutely agree. Watson can certainly stretch the field as needed.

    Has Matthews played h-back or fullback? He better have had LOTS of experience if you want this to be the base formation.

    What you have done is to elevate Matthews from a non-entity to a starter. Surely there is something in between.

    I do indeed strongly support your base formation. I just disagree with the conclusion that the best one to be the second TE or fullback is Matthews. I could see Morris as the fullback. I could see Baker or Matthews as the 2nd tight end.

    I also support greatly increasing the reps for tight ends, both Baker and Matthews.

  5. Hercules Rockefeller

    Hercules Rockefeller Rookie

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    Mayo I love this idea. I think that Matthews will see more playing time as the season progresses and the offense evolves. I know he has been playing a lot on special teams, and I'm excited to know that he played as a college fullback at times. I agree that he could help Maroney a lot, as he is a very dangerous runner when he can get to the second level. His problem has been getting there.
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I said "I wouldn't mind seeing how this works", e.g., trying it out. I certainly wouldn't elevate Matthews to a starter or make it a base formation immediately, but I would try some reps with it and see if it was more effective. And I totally agree with your point about it not necessarily having to be Matthews, with Baker and Morris being reasonable alternates. I focused on Matthews because his size, blocking prowess, and experience at both TE and fullback would make him ideal if (and it's a big if) he can handle it. And as with our defense, I would expect frequent use of "sub" packages so that there's not that much significance between who is the "starter" and who isn't. Matthews, Baker and Morris would all get a lot of playing time along. 3 WRs would be used less often, but still fairly frequently.

    Thanks or the feedback.
  7. furry

    furry Rookie

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    It's worth a look as we need to do anything we can to get the running game, and specifically Maroney, into games now. What's he for the year, 2.6 per carry or something like that?

    Also like the fact it can offer more protection to Brady on passing plays, and sub package wise if you are going to be use it as a base with a FB you can look for guys like Faulk or Morris instead if Mathews can't catch the ball like his stats would suggest
  8. Bostonian1962

    Bostonian1962 Rookie

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    It's definitely worth a shot. I mean, at some level the Pats coaching staff doesn't trust the run. It's been like that more often than not. PERHAPS, part of what sometimes gets Brady beat up, is that teams pin their ears back and rush the passer, because if they guess pass they are usually right. If putting Matthews in makes the team more balanced, I am all for it.
  9. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    His 2 snaps last week are probably a combination of game-plan and easing him in.

    The snap counts could be tricky this weekend, which could keep him limited, but I agree. I expected him to be activated last week, and I'm assuming that will be the case again this week. His being specifically a run blocker will force the defense to watch for his number as a rip-off.

    That said, his limited number of catches might also relate to who his QB was.

    Whatever the case, I expect the TE's to be big factors again this week. Say what you want about Watson, the guy can make the big catches and win most 1-1 match-up's pretty handily.

    3 TE's active with this mix of guys also essentially gives us more WR's. Add in that 3 of 4 of this week's RB's are proven to have good hands, and the options and ability (in theory) to hide the upcoming play, and this should be a fun game - possibly the one that locates and exploits weaknesses in the current #1 Defense.
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't see him as just a run blocker. Plug him in a FB, use play action, and on passing plays he becomes essentially an extra lineman to pick up the unblocked guy, or he can release and be a short yardage safety outlet. Don't know how his hands are, though.
  11. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    This guy will DEFINITELY get playing time this year - - particularly down the stretch in the bad weather games.
  12. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan Rookie

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    I want to see some 2 TE sets and power running for the game next month vs. the Colts, at least.

    I think we can simulate some of the blocking schemes Miami was able to pull off with the wildcat while not actually running a wildcat. Sure there is one less blocker with the QB on the field, but vs. Miami the Colts were able to single cover the outside recievers because there was no passing threat, putting 9 guys inside. Still they were helpless.

    If we run a two receiver set they will have to cover those guys and not just man-to-man, so we have one less man to block and one less blocker. Well, we also have no Ronnie Brown, though it seemed like the 'Fins were getting 5 + yards up the gut before any contact.

    I would love to have a power running attack with Sammy Morris tuned up and ready to go, and I see Matthews as a key in accomplishing that.
  13. DW Toys

    DW Toys Rookie

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    Why Maroney? Sammy should start.
    DW Toys
  14. TheComeback

    TheComeback Rookie

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    My friend is a Giants fan and said Matthews has done a good job blocking for them as a fullback in a few games. He said he is excellent in blitz pickup and good enough in run-blocking. Of course they have Madison Hedge**** blocking over Matthews... Hedge**** is a beast.

    With Taylor out, Morris needs to be protected from further injuries, since he should be getting more carries. I think it would be unwise to expect him to be our #1 FB as well.
  15. BPF

    BPF Rookie

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    I loved the move when the Pats picked up Matthews. I was excited to see what he could do in this offense and I wrote on it back then. He was mostly a backup with the Giants but he did start 11 games when they went with double TE formations. He's big and he's strong and was a very productive part of the Giants rushing attack as a blocker the past two seasons. In addition to being strong, a good blocking TE has to have proper leverage and good hips in order to get movement so I think he can play FB as well.
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree that Morris is a better back. That doesn't mean that he is the one that should get 20+ carries a game. I'd rather save the old vet for crunch time in the game, for critical yards late, for short yardage, and as a fullback.

    Morris has just so many carries left in his body. We should use them well.

  17. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    I love seeing Morris catching and I think he's a guy we want healthy when it's 4th and 1 and we HAVE to convert. Let Maroney or BJGE pound it the other times.
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with that. Even with Taylor healthy in the Baltimore game Morris was the guy BB turned to on short yardage to pound the ball, and he responded. I don't want to wear him down or get him injured unnecessarily.

    Give LoMo a shot, preferably with a lead blocker. If he flops, give BJGE his shot. Complement them with Morris as a short yardage and limited use power back and FB, and Faulk as a 3rd down back/receiver out of the backfield.
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with your comments. I think most of us are on the same page. The difference seems to be that some would prefer starting Green-Ellis now rather than Maroney. For me, Maroney has shown that he can carry for over 4.4 yards per carry for his first two seasons, and in all games in his career where he has at least 20 carries. I think that Maroney should be the man for at least the next few weeks. The trio of Maroney, Morris and Faulk was good enough in 2007. It is good enough now. The only change I would want would be for their to be MORE carries for the running backs. Of course, getting ahead early as the offense get more stable will take care of that.

  20. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes to more carries to the RBs.

    Regardless our our individual RB preferences on this board, Maroney has been on the 45 man roster and BJGE has been a healthy scratch, so I presume LoMo is ahead of Law Firm on the depth chart and would get a shot first.
  21. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    I agree with everything in this thread; I want to add that I would like to see Matthews run 5 yards on 3rd/4, turn around, and make the catch & first down.

    Then again, I thought that was one of the reasons why Baker was signed.

    Then again - again - maybe Baker's been too busy trying to bail out Light & Kaczur.

    Speaking of our "try-hard stiffs", any success that LaMa, LawFirm, Faulk & Morris enjoy on Sunday & thereafter will depend mostly on those 5. Scary thought.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  22. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    Yeah, he was playing save-your-butt on his two whole snaps. :rolleyes:
  23. TTornado

    TTornado Rookie

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    I agree with essentially everything everyone has said, but just wanted to add a little more background.

    It has already been stated that Matthews played in every game the Giants played over the past two seasons, including 11 starts (one of which was the Super Bowl). If you look back to Matthews rookie year, when both he and Boss were rookies, Matthews was listed as the 2nd string tight-end coming out of training camp and played in that position until Boss was game ready about half-way through the season. Obviously when Shockey was injured that year, Boss was elevated to the starter as the better receiving tight end and Matthews remained as the 2nd string blocking tight-end. Matthews was also the 1st string tight end that year until the Giants signed Hedge**** some time through through the season. The point is is that he has not only played fullback at Georgia Tech, but he has played that position in the NFL as well.

    The guy is huge, strong, and quick for a guy his size. He wasn't active for the first couple games of the season, before being activated for the Falcons game, because he was still getting adjusted to the system, but, as has been stated, he should become a bigger part of the run game as the season progresses. He is a heck of a player when he is used correctly, and if we know anything, it is that Belicek knows how to use guys correctly. He is also the typical prototype of a Belicek/Patriot player: an UDFA, overlooked guy that works his tail off and contributes to winning organizations. I look forward to seeing more from him.
  24. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    I meant Baker, not Matthews. I've edited my post to reflect that.
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