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  1. Brady#12

    Brady#12 On the Game Day Roster

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    sorry if already posted :)

    Inside Linebacker
    Tedy Bruschi's comeback from a stroke this past offseason is a big boost, but he's turning 33 this offseason, and nobody knows just how well he will play. Even with a return to form, the Patriots have a large need at ILB. Chad Brown has had a nice career, but he's turning 36 this offseason, and hasn't been anything special thus far. Beisel has been unsuccessful thus far in trying to replace the Teds (Ted Johnson, who retired, and Bruschi), and doesn't seem like more than a backup. Larry Izzo is a great special teamer, but isn't much at ILB, and Chatham doesn't seem like starting material either. They desperately need some youth at ILB, and should look towards Iowa ILB Abdul Hodge in round 1 or a guy like Justin London in round 2.

    Outside Linebacker
    As much as some Pats fans might disagree, they are in serious trouble here. McGinnest and Vrabel are both free agents this offseason, and even if they manage to keep both LBs, McGinnest turns 35 next season. While Vrabel is playing as well as he ever has, I doubt he takes a small contract in return for his services, and the Pats don't have much cap room. They could also use some youth here with both starters in their 30s, so even if both are signed, a future starter is needed. Rosevelt Colvin has the talent to replace McGinnest, but hasn't been himself since the injury. I could see him doing the job well, but I don't know if the Pats can depend on that. And Tully Banta-Cain? Just not a good starting option. Iowa's Chad Greenway and Alabama's Demeco Ryans could be options if they fall in round 1, along with Bobby Carpenter from Ohio State and Spencer Havner of UCLA, in late round 1 or round 2. It should be a deep position this April, and other solid options include Omar Gaither and Terna Nande who both should be available on Day 2.

    Wide Receiver
    This has the potential to be a huge need this offseason, with Troy Brown's retirement looming and starters David Givens and Deion Branch both slated to be free agents. Assuming they are all kept, they would have a very small need, but that is doubtful, and they still might want to upgrade here. Branch has the ability to be a great number one receiver, and this season, is starting to show it. However, a great receiver warrants a big contract, and even if he does receive it and stay, they may lose the money needed to re-sign Givens, who also has played very well this season, but is expected to leave the team via free agency this offseason. Bethel Johnson has the talent to be a good receiver, but it doesn't look as if he will ever pan out there, despite his speed. If he can learn to run routes, however, he could be a solid option as a slot receiver with a ton of upside. Tim Dwight is aging and isn't much of a receiver. Arizona State's Derek Hagan and Miami of Ohio's Martin Nance would be good mid-late round 1 options, while Mike Hass and Demetrius Williams would be solid round 2 options.

    Safety
    Rodney Harrison turns 34 next season and his backup, Guss Scott, has been placed on the IR in each of his first two seasons. Eugene Wilson has been a very solid starter thus far in his career, but even he can be improved upon. Rookie James Sanders doesn't look like he's going to be a star in this league, so this could be a big need, even if they just draft a future replacement for Harrison, who will serve only as a backup in his early career. I could see them taking a safety as early as round 2 or 3 with options such as Florida State's Pat Watkins and Nebraska's Daniel Bullocks likely available. Jarrad Page of UCLA and Marcus Demps of San Diego State would be solid Day 2 options.

    Runningback
    Corey Dillon turns 32 next season, and the Pats might want to find a future starter at RB this offseason. His production has already dropped from last year's spectacular season in which he averaged 109 yards per game played. Thus far this season, he averages 67 ypg. Kevin Faulk and Amos Zereoue are poor backups and both will be 30 next season. They wouldn't be good options as a backup or a future starter. I see them targeting an RB with one of their two third round picks. DonTrell Moore of New Mexico would be a great fit if he falls, along with Louisville RB Michael Bush, as a power RB is the best fit for the Pats system on offense.



    what do you guys think? :)
     
  2. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    The Patriots have a way of finding diamonds in the rough when it comes to ILBs and OLBs - be it in the middle rounds of the draft or in free agency (this past season not included).

    So I'm confident the team will find a way to address those needs one way or another.

    Finding help in the secondary and at WR is a tougher nut to crack.

    The best guys in those positions - especially CB and WR - are tall, fast, shifty guys. There aren't too many of them that sneak by other teams unnoticed and are usually only to be found at a premium in FA or as high draft picks.

    Ultimately the Pats are going to have to restock in both these realms - and WR would be my top priority out of the two.

    A good start would be to somehow keep Givens at least for one more season. We went into last seaons with Branch and Givens at #1 & #2 and the talent level dropped off dramatically after that.

    This season, without Givens, we have Branch and a major drop off in talent... and this in a year when WRs are tough to come by.

    I'd be willing to spend some money or a high draft pick to give Brady his Jerry Rice - a young tall guy with good hands and speed.

    I think with that type of player the entire offense and the entire team can take it to a whole new level.
     
  3. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    By the way - Branch is signed through 2007 I believe

    And I was not aware that Dillon was already averaging 67 yards per game. I agree that's a little low, considering the defense isn't even on the field. ;)
     
  4. Brady#12

    Brady#12 On the Game Day Roster

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    :yeahthat: i think we do need to get a WR that nearer to the quality that Givens is which is hard :mad:

    but BB and co seem to do this kind of thing all the time in every position and i think that CD doesn't have much left in the tank :( so we might need a replacement.
     
  5. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    for branch, it's 2006

    your RB has to scare the $h!t out of the opposing LBs. it makes play-action work later. when LBs are like, hey he's not gonna get more that 10 if he busts loose, they'll ignore the play fake. and the screens.
    whatisnaame, that RB from Atlanta, can average 60, 55 yaerds a game. but when he gets the ball....
     
  6. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    I'd actually flip your discription of WR and OLB in this regard. A Patriots OLB is an exceptionally rare athlete -- very tall, very big, very fast. Vrabel may have been a "diamond in the rough," but Colvin was a widely coveted free agent and Willie was a top draft pick. In fact, even Vrabel was drafted on the first day...and in today's NFL with all its new 3-4 defenses, he could have gone in the first round. 'Tweener is now a desirable label.

    WR, meanwhile, has been shown to be the single least reliable position to pick at the top of the draft. It's just too hard to project from college offenses to the NFL.
     
  7. cellshade

    cellshade Rookie

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    While I haven't beign a fan of football since some 2 or 3 years ago, I do agree that NE needs a new RB, though I still think Dillon can give us another year or 2, since he makes the LB'S to think if they should rather go and get him or Brady.
    Also what about if on the draft they take WR from USC in College, since USC hhad pretty good WR'S.
     
  8. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    Also, no offense but it's not great to copy an entire article like this, especially without even mentioning the source! (It appears to be the work of Jason Chernofsky on footballsfuture.com.)

    Yours truly,
    An oft-plagiarized writer
     
  9. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I'm not saying that Patriots caliber OLBs grow on trees - its just that the Pats seem to do a decent job of finding them - mostly through FA once they can accurately guage their ability and upside for their system.

    As far as WR, you're right - in fact if they are looking to the draft I'd feel better if they worked some deals to move up into the top 10 to get a WR where there is more consistency. We don't need another Tony Simmons, which is why I'd go along with using a high draft pick, trade or spending some $$ in free agency (though the pickin's are slim this year).
     
  10. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Enjoyed reading this, but disagree with some of the OLB stuff.

    For one thing, why are we worried about a contract for Vrabel? He was EXTENDED last off-eason. Also, Colvin has steadily improved since the injury and seems all the way back.

    I agree that McGinest only has a year or so left and we need to draft some youth - at all LB positions - but the straits New England is in at this particular spot is hardly as dire as you make it sound.
     
  11. Brady#12

    Brady#12 On the Game Day Roster

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    thanks for the replys guys you all make good points and we shall see what BB and co do come draft and FA time
     
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I find it interesting that we have needs in ALL the units, on offense and defense. No unit is set for 2006 and 2007. See below for 13 needs.

    We are talking about team needs, which can be met in free agency, the draft, or by using on of the UDFA's or ex-practice squad guys. I think the best way to approach this is to look at the current rosters, add the ERFA's (who have nowhere to go) and see where the holes are. We will then have 2006 needs and future needs.

    2006 Needs
    -----------
    #1,#2,#3 WIDE RECEIVER
    As of now we have Branch (for a year), Bethel Johnson and Childress. We could go with what we have at any other position but this one. The need is critical and we need to fill FOUR or FIVE rosters spots, after Branch.

    #4 CORNERBACK
    Last year bb brought in about a half dozen. Some are comfortable with Samuel,Hobbs,Gay and a couple of jag veterans. I think we need more. Scott should be brought back as a start, and Starks renegotiated, if healthy.

    #5 SAFETY
    This need could be met from current players. We have Wilson. We need at least three more. How ready is Harrison? Is Sanders ready for primetime? Is
    Guss Scott? Should we re-sign Hawkins (a big yes from me).

    #6 QUARTERBACK
    We have two; we need one more.

    #7 TIGHT END
    We need three tight ends that can start in the NFL for a playoff team that uses TE's extensively. We have one long-term, and one through 2006. Both have been injured more than once. BTW, this is a GREAT Day One TE draft.

    #8 OFFENSIVE LINE
    We have Light,Mankins,Koppen,Hochstein,Kaycur,Gorin and a few young prospects (Mruc,Yates and Britt). As of now, Koppen and Light come back to take the roster spots of Neal and Ashworth. I think one more Day OL or mid-level veteran would make a huge difference to our running game, and to Brady's health.

    #9 RUNNING BACK/FULLBACK
    Who will be our fourth running back this year? Will we carry five? Will we draft another Cobb, hoping for 2007 contributions. I would add a veteran. The draft doesn't ahve much, but I'm fine adding a draftee ALSO.

    #10 KICKER
    Oh yeah, we need a kicker.

    2007 AND BEYOND
    #11 LINEBACKER
    I'm fine with canning TBC and Chatham to bring in a kid that likely won't play until McGinist leaves or someone is hurt. For my money, we are set for 2006 with four great starters and two veteran backups. BTW, If Chad Brown or Beisel is to go, I think we would bring in another veteran. Personally, I think bb has done fine bringing in veteran linebackers.

    #12, #13 DEFENSIVE LINE
    We need to assess the situation with Seymour and Hill. If they are both contributers long-term, we have the best in the league. If on the other extreme, if one is in his last year and the other is a bust, then we need help now. Klecko's spot is open.
    ===================================
     
  13. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    [

    #9 RUNNING BACK/FULLBACK
    Who will be our fourth running back this year? Will we carry five? Will we draft another Cobb, hoping for 2007 contributions. I would add a veteran. The draft doesn't ahve much, but I'm fine adding a draftee ALSO.

    #10 KICKER
    Oh yeah, we need a kicker.

    2007 AND BEYOND
    #11 LINEBACKER
    I'm fine with canning TBC and Chatham to bring in a kid that likely won't play until McGinist leaves or someone is hurt. For my money, we are set for 2006 with four great starters and two veteran backups. BTW, If Chad Brown or Beisel is to go, I think we would bring in another veteran. Personally, I think bb has done fine bringing in veteran linebackers.


    Addressing the LB... Long before Chatham or TBC is cut Larry Izzo joins the players over the hill and round the bend. He has slipped badly this past year. He was outplayed by Don Davis, Mike Stone and both TBC and Chatham...

    And Chatham can play regualar defensive snaps as a backup, without embarrassing the team. He had double digit tackle totals ( 16?) playing with the all second string game against MIAMI, AS AN ILB. We know he played well filling in for Vrabel a few years ago, at OLB.

    MiIke Stone, 28, is the new Cherry/Izzo and is a LOCK to make the team, IMHO. He had almost as many ST tackles as Izzo while playing less than half as many games...

    Elsewhere, AV is not a cowpoke, yet...

    I agree, BB will sign an aging vet FA RB and draft one later too. Only Lendale White might entice BB ifhe fell to the Pats, IMO...
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2006
  14. DaBruinz

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

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    #50 Jersey

    Whomever wrote that article did a lousy job on their homework and no one has mentioned this line:

    Neither McGinest NOR Vrabel are free agents. McGinest is signed through 2007 and Vrabel is signed through 2009. So all his blathering bout the cap room is irrelevent.


    The guys analysis is pretty bad, in all honesty. Just from the numerous mistakes he makes.

    Chatham is a UFA. Taking him into consideration is worthless. The guy doesn't mention Claridge who has a year with the Pats (granted he traveled back and forth from Las Vegas, but I still bet he was doing the workouts per Mike Woicik and the Pats team dr.)

    The the fact that the guy was wrong on Branch being a free agent.

    How can this hack say that Sanders doesn't look like he will be a star after 1 season? That is just ignorance talking.

    Or, how about the fact that Amos Zereoue hasn't been with the team since November or early december.

    Pretty much a worthless read other than the positions themselves.
     
  15. DaBruinz

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

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    #50 Jersey

    MG - You forgot Michael McGrew, Rich Mushinski and John Stone. McGrew was on the IR for the Pats all year. Mushinski was a camp invitee last year and played decently. Still doesn't change the fact that the Pats will probably bring in 3-4 more WRs, 2 of which will be veterans.

    Well, the Pats have eliminated Starks from the equation for the time being. I agree that they will bring in another couple of JAG veterans. Possibly Poteat and Chad Scott again.

    I agree with you on Hawkins. I also think that Michael Stone earned a return ticket. It will be interesting to see if Guss Scott received a tender offer.

    Personally, I hope the draft FB Matt Bernstein. I honestly believe that he has the ability to be an H-back type player. He runs good routes, has good hands, and is an exceptional blocker in the backfield. The Patriots could, theoretically line up in a 3TE/1RB/1WR set and give it several different looks with Bernstein lined up behind Brady or off to the side. Then they wouldn't know what was coming at them. And Bernstein loves to hit players.

    I think that this is a higher priority than TE or QB, honestly. Neither Gorin nor Hochstein are more than decent back-ups. Gorin is actually worse than Grant "The Turnstile" Williams. The Patriots need at least one more OT/OG and one OG/OC. A guy who could fit all three is Daryn Colledge. Another guy is Jon Scott (who can long snap).

    Adding Bernstein as a FB/TE would cover both spots. I agree that the Pats need to add a RB. Joseph Addai or Maurice Drew would be nice.

    I would like the Pats to take a shot at Derek Smith from the 49ers. He could be just the type of vet LB we were hoping to get in Brown. The Pats DO need to address OLB in the Draft, at the very least but I just don't think that TBC is going to cut it as an every down player.
     
  16. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    http://www.footballsfuture.com/2006/teams/patriots.html

    There's your author. Nobody high-profile.


    And since we're in correct-mode here, it's Musinski, DaBruinz, not Mushinski. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2006
  17. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I posted DaBruinz's complaint in the site's feedback forum.
     
  18. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2006
  19. DaBruinz

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

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    #50 Jersey

    Thanks Pats1...

    I don't my being corrected by someone who actually knows something about the game.
     
  20. DaBruinz

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

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    #50 Jersey

    Forgot to give me the credit there though ;):p
     

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