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NFLE Observations Week 10

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Box_O_Rocks, May 24, 2006.

  1. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nick Steitz: Played one non-Special Teams down. I can only guess; he either lost the starting job or his Head Coach owed someone in San Francisco and moved their guy up the depth chart for more reps before the season ended.

    Rich Musinski: Made one of his standard move the chains catches and had a nice Special Team’s tackle on the KO team. He also had a couple nice blocks. He left in the 2nd quarter with a hamstring injury and wasn’t expected to return so I didn’t finish the game.

    Jeff Roehl: Had a solid game for the most part, but gave up a strip sack/turnover for a TD. (The whole team played like crap while Jeff played fairly well except for giving up the sack, but a strip sack for a TD is sadly noticeable.)

    Antwain Spann: Had one excellent pass defense on a quick slant and gave up a first down with too much cushion, otherwise they stayed away from him after trying his side on several first quarter plays and finding out there was nowhere to go.

    Ray Ventrone: Played his usual quality game, making some sweet plays, although he ran into a speed differential problem trying to stay with Buffalo’s speedy RB missing a couple tackles he normally makes.

    Todd Mortensen: Played the first quarter for Hamburg and earned his third win as starting QB, even though Hamburg’s formula has Todd starting and Brock Berlin playing the rest of the game (over weeks 8 & 9 Brock has a 118 QB rating playing behind Todd, whereas he had a 51 for the first six games where he started). Hamburg always has Todd playing a ball control game, but he got a chance to make a couple really sweet throws, one klunker off his back foot as he felt the pressure, and one ‘give him credit for staying with the stupid Detroit TE who always gets him in trouble’ so the defense stays honest.
     
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Reiss' report on the NFLE allocations:
    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/2006/05/pats_in_nfl_eur.html

    duh Box’s take:

    Earl Charles was on IR for the first half of the season and never got in a game that I ever saw.

    Zuriel Smith was doing an excellent job on PRs (he had some big returns even if it isn't reflected in his average - the usual penalties and shaky blocking) and as second man on KRs, he also served as a clutch receiver for Drew Hensen since both played together with the Cowboys. I caught him throwing a few good blocks too. He went out on IR with a knee injury midseason.

    Rich Musinski led his club in receiving and became the number one receiver by the end of the season. He is a solid possession receiver, he makes some great catches, but he isn’t the ball magnet gumby we all drool about. He improved on Special Teams and as a blocker as the season went on. His hamstring injury should be healed up in time for Training Camp, especially if they sat him down as a precaution. He may have a chance to stick on the Practice Squad as a poor man's David Givens.

    Nick Steitz is a very mobile guard with good strength. He is excellent at getting to the second level and taking out LBs. He started at LG though week 7 before being replaced in the lineup. His replacement doesn’t appear to be an improvement to my novice eyes, but he also isn’t a step down in their offense. Nick’s one big failing has been his cut blocks, I didn’t see him make a successful cut block before week nine. I had him pegged for a Practice Squad candidate through the first half of the season, now I’m not so sure given I don't know why he was demoted.

    Jeff Roehl gets points for making the move to LT and starting there all season on the team with the best record on their way to the World Bowl. He also got severely exposed playing on the edge, giving up several sacks and QB hurries. He is very susceptible to the bull rush, losing the leverage battle to lighter DEs. He moves well and is good getting to the second level, his experience at G and T gives him a shot to stick as a back-up somewhere, but I don’t see him making it in New England.

    Todd Mortensen didn’t play the first half of the season, when he did get in he immediately made an impression, moving the offense well and doing a good job protecting the ball. He earned starts the last three weeks of the season, but was used in the first quarter only, allowing Hamburg's original starter Brock Berlin to play the last three quarters - I'm not sure what that showed except that Todd got the team off to a good start. Todd reminds me a little bit of 2001 Tom Brady the way they used him in a very conservative, ball control manner. Presuming Matt Cassel has a good shot at holding down number two and Tommy is experienced enough to not need a vet to hold his clip board, Todd has a legitimate shot to grab third string.

    Ray Ventrone is a very good, run stuffing SS and could even play some linebacker in a Dungy defense. He is good at knifing through traffic to attack the run game on the line of scrimmage and has four forced fumbles on the season (I remembered three, but will settle for Reiss' numbers ;) ). He started the first game going for the big hit, but dialed it back and has played more under control the last nine games. Nobody seems to wrap-up when tackling anymore, but Ray is about as sure a tackler as you could otherwise want. Teams seemed to attack the opposite side of the field to avoid him, though I can’t say with 100% certainty that was why they went away from him. His Special Teams play appeared to improve as the season went on. With the competition at Safety he will be hard pressed to make the Practice Squad, but he has the potential to provide some good young depth behind Rodney - though he won’t do as well at FS in the Pats' interchangable S role.

    Antwain Spann started working his way into the lineup before an injury of some sort slowed him down, he then came back to start the last three games and essentially shut down his side of the field. At 6’ 180 he seems to have the strength to play press coverage and enough make-up speed to limit YAC if he leaves too big a cushion when playing off. He did a solid job in run support - and his number one BB qualification, he is a very good tackler. I think he will be very competitive in Training Camp.
     
  3. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    A masterpiece, Sir Box.
    Thank you.
     
  4. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Great breakdown!!! Wonder what Charles's injury was...leg??? Ashame...I really wanted to see him get a chance...although that was pre-Maroney. But still...having another RB is always good!! Bad break for ZSmith as well with his late season injury...might both PUP at least some in TC???
     
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  5. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    (Idol speculation) Charles ran on a bum knee his last year at Marshall, he wracked up 800+ yards, but I think he may also have wracked up his knee a bit. Z was injured in the 4th game of the season, so he has already missed 6 weeks, if his injury is minor enough (sprain or some such) he may be ready for TC, if not, I can see BB putting him on IR right off the bat the same as he apparently did with McGrew last year.
     
  6. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I can see that as well..ZSmith looked pretty fait when I saw him early in the year...esp punt returns.
     
  7. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #3 Jersey

    From the sound of things (including your previous reports), it sounds like he brings to the table two important Rodney-like qualities: the ability to instill FEAR :D, and the ability to legally inflict PAIN. :rocker:

    I'm hoping he sticks on the 53-man roster, because I don't know if he'll clear waivers to get to the practice squad.
     
  8. Shoofyou10

    Shoofyou10 Rookie

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    Hey Box,

    In your opinion which one of the NFLE players has the Best shot at making the team this year?
     
  9. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Good work.

    I think about the only one who stands an outside chance of making the team this year is Ventrone. He might be able to make another teams 53 man roster. If he doesn't, he will be a PS player for us again.
     
  10. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    My vote goes to Spann.
     
  11. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I think Ventrone...although Steitz may be a good PSqd player...ZSmith if healthy would have had a shot as a return guy..with his injury, I don't think he'll be able to. Spann is interesing..maybe he will be on the PSqd again...I think if Ventrone is, he'll be picked up.
     
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  12. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Todd Mortensen, so far Casey Bramlet is his only competition.

    Maybe the Practice Squad: Spann, Ventrone, Musinski, and Steitz. Out of these guys, I like Spann to be the most competitive in Training Camp.

    IR: Zuriel Smith.
     
  13. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Interesting you don't think Ventrone more than Spann....I think Bubba has a shot esp on ST...whether TB or MM or???
     
  14. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The fact is that the Ventrones of the football world are a dime a dozen. Guy who is a big hitter at safety. I could probably walk around the neighborhood and find two. Every roster has about four of those guys (Rodney, Guss Scott, Sanders). Can he cover when he has to? Can he actually wrap up and make an open-field tackle?

    Guys who are good in coverage are much more rare. Spann is the best corner I've seen in NFLE (granted that's about four games). Maybe he can cover NFL caliber receivers, maybe not, but so far we don't know that he can't.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2006
  15. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I agree Spann seems to be pretty good in the cover game...he actually had quite a big hit a few weeks ago hitting the receiver pretty hard right after he caught the ball.. I don't think the big hit safety guys are quite dimeadozen players...Sanders..Scott??? Maybe big reps..but I have hardly seen any big hits out of either. I agree the latter is as important and one will have to see how Bubba matches up in camp. I tend to think Spann has a bit of a tougher route to the 53, but either could make it.
     
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ray was an excellent run stuffing SS in NFLE, Antwain was an excellent CB there, this gives Spann the edge at a much more critical position. Both played Special Teams, both did well. Ray was decent in coverage against TEs and RBs, Antwain shutdown WRs. Spann 6' 185, Ventrone 5'10" 200, both good tacklers who can bring the big hit. Spann is faster and Ray is the better STs blocker. I expect them to compete for the Practice Squad, but if one has an edge for the roster its Spann.
     

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