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Offensive Line Issues?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Kid~Brady, Jul 26, 2012.

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  1. Kid~Brady

    Kid~Brady In the Starting Line-Up

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    I know this Pats team is considered to be the favorites for all types of records and wins but what about the O-line?

    Mankins is back from surgery, I think he'll be fine but where's Waters? Hopefully this isn't a holdout for money. I personally don't see him as that type of guy but based on his comments, I can't tell.

    Can S. Volmer stay healthy? Will Nate be as good as last year? maybe improve a litte? We lost Light so he has to step up and play to protect Brady.

    By all means I'm not saying the O-line will be bad, but what do you guys think? I think if we have one weakness on offense currently, its the O-line and depth.
     
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm just speculating, but my guess is that Waters hates training camp and has a private agreement with the Pats that he can skip part of if not all of training camp.

    As far as depth goes in my opinion the quality of the depth on the Patriots offensive line is as good as that of any team in the NFL. Last year there was a point in time that they were starting their 4th-string center - and they won, without skipping a beat. Contrast that to the Jets, for example, when they lost Mangold for a couple of games; their entire offense was in disarray.

    In my opinion if there is a concern it is in the quantity of questions on the offensive line, rather than any one of those specific questions.


    By the way, Jeff Howe has a column on Waters worth reading: Brian Waters' absence: Big deal, or not?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  3. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The O-line could be worrisome at the beginning of the season without Mankins and Vollmer. Say even for some strange reason Waters retires, then we are left with:

    Solder-Gallery-Koppen-Connolly-Cannon

    I'd still trust Dante to make that a very good OL. When has the Pats OL been bad for extended periods of time under the Brady/BB era anyway? The Pats OL would still be good even if all three of those guys couldn't play week 1.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  4. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I wouldn't be surprised if money isn't an issue as well. And why shouldn't it be. Whats the going rate for a first team ALL PRO OG, who played in over 95% of his team's snaps. I don't think its $1.4MM :eek:

    I probably wouldn't hurt if the Pats sweeten the pot just a little (say an extra million) to get him into camp by the 3rd preseason game

    BTW- its interesting that in checking the team out, aside from Mankins, the Pats don't have an offensive lineman who takes up more than $2.3MM on the cap, and who would have thought that the guy leading the list would be .....Dan Connolly. When you think about it, and compare the OL cost of other teams who have top 5 OL's, its pretty remarkable.....and one of the key reasons the Pats manage to have cap space AND an elite team.
     
  5. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That is pretty impressive -- even with their starting LT from last season retiring, you can scratch 3 expected starters and still field a totally reasonable OL.

    Plug even one of the possible scratches back in and you have some decent flexibility and depth, since Gallery can play RT, Connolly any of the interior positions, and I like McDonald a lot as an interior backup. And if you plug all of the possible scratches back in, the offense has the potential to be dominant at virtually every position on the field.

    So I guess that translates to "not particularly worried." :)
     
  6. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    And in another thought.....

    .....as far as LT is concerned, one of the easiest predictions one can make about this team is the fact that Nate Solder will be AS good as Matt Light was last season, and over the next decade will SURPASS him.

    The only REAL question on the OL is Sebastian Volmer's back. If his back is fine, the Pats OL as far a quality and depth will be an elite group. If its not, it will drop the Pats down to being "merely" very good.
     
  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  8. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    Solder-Gallery-Koppen-Connolly-Cannon is still pretty good though I would probably put connolly at LG and gallery at RG

    Waters stepped in at the start of the season without a training camp and did fine. a TC for him will jus tintroduce unwanted wear and tear.....he will be there when the time comes. he would put gallery back at LG and connolly on the bench.....connolly can play any of the 3 interior spots and makes for a good backup

    Cannon is being underestimated. he is prototypical for a RT and would be fine there.

    mankins and vollmer should not be rushed....I would rather have them at the end of the season rather than the beginning.
     
  9. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If Solder and Cannon both end up starting and playing well (Vollmer's back), then it certainly brings the 2011 draft to atleast a B grade.
     
  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    - Agree on Connolly at LG and Gallery at RG if Pats were without both Mankins and Waters.

    - If one of Waters or Mankins is unavailable I would prefer Connolly on the field over Gallery.

    - Agree on Cannon being underestimated by many; perhaps that is due to the round in which he was drafted. I know it was the NCAA and not the NFL, but he allowed zero sacks in his final two years of college.
     
  11. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    because of how versatile connolly is, I would give gallery the opportunity first

    and cannon did that as an LT......he's not the fastest OL out there but he does have quick happy feet and would help the run game....I read somewhere that along with solder, he showed up with some new muscle
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree on Cannon's versatility; I just think he's more valuable on the field than on the bench (especially if we are assuming Connolly is a better guard than Gallery is).

    If another player is injured (e.g., Koppen) then move Cannon at that point to center, and insert Gallery into the game at guard. The team still benefits from his versatility while at the same time puts the best players on the field.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  13. Jackson 2

    Jackson 2 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't worry at all about the o line largely because of Dante S. Also, if BB and the others in the brain trust thought it was a problem, they wouldn't have done nothing about it all spring and half-way through the summer. There haven't been any sudden developments on the o line. Waters will be there, for example, and the status of everyone else has been known for some time. This over-all offense will be fine. For me, it's the defense, particularly the pass rush and the back end, that I wonder about. As far as worrying about anything, for me it's always, and only, injuries.
     
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Is Connolly a better center than Koppen? If so, by how much?

    Is Connolly a better guard than Gallery? If so, by how much?

    The answers to these questions are the necessary in order to decide our starting lineup if Mankins is out for the start of the season.

    We should also consider whether Gallery is better than Cannon at RT? If so by how much? This is relevant if Vollmer is out.

    We probably have the best OL depth in the league in Gallery, Koppen, Cannon, Wendell and McDonald.

     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  15. Haley

    Haley In the Starting Line-Up

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    No Jersey Selected

    I don't know much about Gallery so naturally I am a little concerned. Plus if anyone should get hurt before someone could come off PUP, well that would be bad too. Hopefully Dante will do his magic like always. The one thing that seems nice is the possibility of a fullback which could make their job easier, no?
     
  16. Reckedtrek

    Reckedtrek 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I'm not very worried. I expect Waters in by the end of August to just warm up and get ready for the regular season.

    Mankins will hopefully (I think probably) be back in about 2-3 weeks.

    Vollmer is the only one I'm worried about as it's a back issue. Even if he was out for and extended period of time, I'm not worried with the players the team has.
     
  17. bagwell368

    bagwell368 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    We can absorb an injury to one guard or one tackle, we have less depth than last year, because two guards or two tackles being out at the same time is a big deal.

    Koppen is a serious retread. He's been getting beat by tough NT types for several years, if he sucks or gets hurt then Connolly is locked into C - can't be a guard.

    I did expect a G drafted in the 4-6th round last year being that there were a lot of good guards and G/C's on the board. Oh well. No doubt that next year we are going to be spending more money and attention on the OL in particular if Vollmer is hurt again - he'll be gone in that case.
     
  18. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I don't know, but if that's the case then the 2011 draft would go a lot higher than that. OT's a critical position and getting TWO starters in one draft is a home run. THEN you get your top TWO RB's, AND a starting CB. Exactly how many more impact players does a draft have to give you before it becomes better than a B, snow?

    Even with the so called "failures" of that draft you have your backup QB/trade bait, a TE how would have been on the team but for some bad luck on the waiver wire, a guy who has a slim shot at a ST role, and the fan favorite who got cut.

    Now personally I'm hoping that Volmer is the RT starter and Cannon can be OG/OT depth and will take over for Waters next year. But the 2011 draft is looking more and more like a HR.
     
  19. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    As more teams go to the 4-3 type looks on passing downs, Koppen will see fewer of the big, powerful NT types that caused him problems in the past.
     
  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If Koppen's skills have eroded and one of the starting guards can't go, there is still the option of McDonald or Wendell at either center (or guard), with Connolly at guard (or center). Cannon at guard is another option if he is not on the field in place of Vollmer. Gallery would be a 4th consideration at guard.

    Even if two of the starters are not ready in week one, there are still plenty of viable options.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
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