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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Mike Reiss takes a look at the Pat's offensive line approaching training camp for espn boston. Reiss notes Logan Mankins was incredibly reliable; he not only started every game possible since becoming an Patriot, he never even missed a practice. Last year he had more snaps than any other guard in the NFL, and in the last five years has appeared in 98.8% of the offense's plays.

    The New England Patriots, lineman Logan Mankins haven't budged on contract talks - ESPN Boston

    If Kaczur struggles in making the switch to guard, the fallback plan probably would be to have five-year veteran Dann Connolly step in. Connolly started four games last season, filling in at right guard for Stephen Neal. It was the first starting experience of his career. Rich Ohrnberger (2009 fourth-round pick), George Bussey (2009 fifth-round pick), Ryan Wendell (2009 practice squad player) and Ted Larsen (2010 sixth-round pick) are farther down the depth chart but also possibilities to emerge with a strong camp.

    The Patriots have had a solid run at the left guard spot in Bill Belichick's tenure, with Joe Andruzzi, Mike Compton, Damien Woody and Mankins. All were solid contributors.

    Now another change is in the offing, and its impact can't be minimized.
     
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Jeff Howe of NESN looks at a Mankins-less Patriot's offensive line.

    Patriots' Offensive Line May Finally Have New Look As Logan Mankins Wants Out - New England Patriots - NESN.com

    There will almost certainly be a new left guard in town. Kaczur and Connolly are leading the way in that department, and Larsen is the long shot. Assuming Light is healthy enough to start at left tackle, Vollmer will assume Kaczur's spot at right tackle, and the Patriots have experimented by moving Kaczur to the interior. Connolly started four games at right guard when Neal was injured in 2009, so he might be a more natural fit for the position. The battle for the starting job is wide open, though.
     
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Tom Curran of Comcast Sports has a bleak look at the offensive line. I had a little trouble following some of his logic, starting with what I assume was a typo when he said Mankins was a right guard. From there he first says Connolly will take over for Mankins, and then he says Vollmer will be the new left guard. Maybe he meant left tackle. Or maybe he meant Vollmer will take over Kaczur's spot, because he has him penciled in as a swing guy. I don't know, I re-read it three times and still can't figure it out.

    Mankins has Patriots O-Line in Limbo

    At right guard is Neal. He’s playing with duct-taped shoulders and attitude at this point in his career. And at left guard, you likely have Sebastian Vollmer, one of the NFL’s outstanding rookies in 2009 and a guy who should be very good for a long time.

    This may put Nick Kaczur, the longtime right tackle, as a swing guy. Awful as he’s been, the team believes he’s unfairly maligned because he’s battled injuries too. Seems a stretch given the ineffectiveness we’ve seen, so swing guy is probably the best place for him.

    Candidly speaking, I can’t tell you conclusively what Rich Ohrnberger, Mark Levoir, George Bussey, Ted Larsen, Thomas Welch, Ryan Wendell or John Wise has to offer on the Whitest Line You Know. We’ll be watching for that during camp and preseason.
     
  4. Deus Irae

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    He meant Vollmer at RT.

    Light
    Connolly*
    Koppen
    Neal
    Vollmer

    Kaczur - G/OT


    *Curran seemingly saw the same piss poor performance from Connolly last season that I did.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What a poorly written article! Curran seems to have changed his mind and not edited his work. He has Vollmer playin LG in one paragraph and apparently RT in another (pushing Kaczur to a backup position).

    Curran apparently thinks almost every linemen not named Vollmer is next to useless.

     
  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, and in one paragraph, Curran has Vollmer playing LG.

     
  7. Deus Irae

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    Yes, but if you read the article, you understand that he meant RT. The paragraph with Vollmer at RT is a continuation of the previous paragraph, where he's got Connolly lining up on the left side next to Light, and Koppen at center.
     
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Assuming that they are healthy, the starters are set at LT, C and RG. With Mankins gone, there seem to be at least three options. Curiously, having Vollmer start at LG would provide the least disruption, having four starters as the position they played throughout most of 2009. The very open question is whether Vollmer is ready to start at LG.

    The OTHER open question that only poster seems to want to even mention is that neither Neal and Light may be at 100% healthwise. This risk will of course be factored in when determining the roster. For example, early thoughts/hopes that Connolly might be gone seem long in the past. We have always needed a veteran interior lineman who can backup all three positions, and start if called upon.

    OPTION 1
    LG Connolly
    RT Vollmer
    bench Kaczur

    OPTION 2
    LG Vollmer
    RT Kaczur
    bench Connolly

    OPTION 3
    LG Kaczur
    RT Vollmer
    bench Connolly
     
  9. Deus Irae

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    If only they had one.
     
  10. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    They think they do! They think they do!

    If Connolly isn't that player, then we should sign a veteran free agent or two in our annual competition for that critical roster spot.

     
  11. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I refuse to believe that this team thinks Connolly is the answer. Maybe it's just the optimist in me, but I want to think that this team has learned the lessons of last season. It's bad enough watching the Mankins/Brady situations unfolding the way they are when they didn't have to. To watch them completely screw the pooch on talent evaluation with O-linemen on top of that would really get me concerned about the 2010 edition of this team.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If Curran is simply counting on Connolly to start at LG, then his analysis is worse than I thought. While I like Connolly much more than you do, I would much rather have Kaczur or even Vollmer start at LG than count on Connolly. Besides, Connolly is our Game Day backup at LG, RG and C. He is needed in that role as it is very unlikely that Neal will go all season without an injury.

    I though discussing the possibility was a fine idea. College LT's often play LG in the nfl.

     
  13. Deus Irae

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    I think Curran is guessing there and, from what I was hearing about OTAs and the like, it was Kaczur taking the snaps with the #1 group at LG. The issue if Kaczur does get the nod would be what happens if a tackle goes down. Does LeVoir step in, or does the team do a double switch with Kaczur?
     
  14. Joker

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    is Faneca still out there?
     
  15. Deus Irae

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    Singed with the Cardinals
     
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As I said elsewhere, I think that the team thinks that they have five starters without Connolly. The question is who plays LG and who plays RT. That can be evaluated in the preseason.

    The big HOWEVER has to do with depth and the future. I expect that we will see Connolly as the 2010 Game Day depth, with the youngsters being given a chance to beat him out for that Game Day role. Do YOU believe Ohrnberger, Bussey, or Larsen will beat out Connolly for that role? I don't. Obviously, a veteran yet to be named might replace Connolly.

    Where is the 2010 version of Hochstein, Compton or Andruzzi, or even Ruegamer?

    The really open question is why the FO has not signed a couple of veterans. Could it be that they are happier with either Connolly or Orhnberger than we are?

     
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have absolutely no problem with LeVoir starting at LT or RT. He is our swingman at OT.

     
  18. Joker

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    I have absolutely no problem with LeVoir starting at LT or RT. He is our swingman at OT.

    don't you mean LG or RG?
     
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    LeVoir is our Game Day backup LT and RT, as he was is 2009.

    Connolly is our Game Day backup LG, RG and C, as he was in 2009.

    With Vollmer added to the starting lineup in place of Mankins, the question is whether Vollmer or Kaczur start at LG, with the other starting at RT. My guess is that Game Day backups will remain the same unless we acquire a veteran who can beat out one of the backups.

     
  20. Joker

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    LeVoir is too tall to play inside? Guess that makes sense...I just don't know if I'd want him starting at LT with his limited experience and for some reason I see Vollmer as a dominant type tackle on either side.Playing him at guard seems to be sort of a waste of his best attributes.
     
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