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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Interception, Feb 24, 2011.

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  1. Interception

    Interception Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    I know I'm going to get raped for this thread, but it's just something I've been thinking about.

    I think we're overreacting about some of our "needs."

    Running back
    I see all these threads about how we need to use one of our top picks for a running back.
    We have a running back that never fumbles and ran for 1,000 yards this season.
    And we have an explosive, tiny little guy named Woodhead that just runs underneath the defenses feet when we need him to get some yards.
    How many times this season did these two give our team exactly what we needed -- those six to ten yards to either get us a first down or set us up for a short completion for the first down? I'm sure these two are responsible for at least some of our wins this year. As in, if it had been maroney instead of them, we would've had more losses this year.
    Another back for depth wouldn't be bad... but maybe we'll still have Faulk playing, and if he plays, you know he'll play at a high level.
    Even if he doesn't, a third back of even Maroney's talent would be good enough depth after BJGE and Woodhead, in my opinion.
    Why's this such a big need?

    Offensive Line
    After that playoff game, I know you guys will chew me up for this.
    ... But according to the awards, we had the best offensive line of 2010.
    How many games did Brady have all the time in the world to throw?
    Only four interceptions... I bet if our offensive line hadn't played at the level it did, some more pressure would've caused Brady to throw at least one or two more picks.
    We might need some depth depending on how resigning goes, but if you have the #1 o-line in a season, I don't see how it's a big need.
    When the running backs fail to gain a good amount of yards in a game or our cornerbacks give up big plays in just one game, they don't jump to the number one spot on our needs,
    But when the o-line does, they do?

    Depth, once again, is good. But we've got a strong line if mankins returns.
    Maybe one or even two picks, but later into the draft.


    D-Line
    I'll agree it's a need, but look at it this way:
    last season we thought it was a huge need... but BB went with a cornerback with his first pick.
    and when you think about it, that approves the d-line.
    next year, we'll have bodden coming back to.
    if we pick up another cornerback in the draft, we'll have mccourty-bodden-rookie. and if the rookies good, it'll be one scary defense for the receivers. and if that happens, the defensive line gets more time to get to the QB.
    i'm not saying we don't need improvements there, but i'm saying BB made it work this season. we got pressure when we needed it (see colts last interception :D). a GREAT cornerback and a DECENT to GOOD lineman with our 2nd round pick would solve our problem a bit.

    DISCLAIMER: i know d-line is a need. i'm not saying its not a need. its one of our biggest needs, but I still think this team is good enough to pick the BEST player instead of the best D-LINE player with our top picks.

    and thats my point -- we should take the best player with our top picks, regardless of the position (of course besides QB).
    i know that's what BB likes doing, but this isn't aimed at BB, it's for you guys who are saying our top picks HAVE to be for the d-line or the o-line or for running back.


    we all have our different opinions, and none of us are really experts on this, so please keep any disagreements respectful. thanks!
  2. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    I think people are underestimating Green Ellis and Woodhead still. But they do need some more legs there, a rookie and solid FA (even just a FB) would improve that area greatly. If they can get four steady contributors at RB it could be a very powerful unit going into 2011.

    I don't think people are overreacting about the needs at Offensive Line and Defensive Line. Brady is getting older, past three season: 1) out for season, 2) broken ribs, fingers, all banged up, 3) broken foot. Granted, he plays though injuries like a boss but his injury resistance is diminishing.. protecting him is the number one priority. Even if he was immune to injury the offensive line is still getting old and injured themselves. Neal can't play through a whole season, Kaczur is showing signs of wear and tear, Light occasionally gets hurt and is a FA. I'd say Offensive Line is a huge need. Same thing with the Defensive Line. Wilfork shouldn't be getting 80 whatever tackles a season. He was a beast last year, but he needs help. Warren was off getting his degree and then when football time came around he decided he was getting surgery. I hope he's back, but who knows? Beefing up the d-line would also help solve the pass rush problem among other things.

    Edit: people are putting way to much weight on Bodden, too. He's a 30 year old stop gap corner that was off a year with an injury. There's no way to know if he's back until the season rolls around. I would expect another pick on corner. And I wouldn't be surprised if Butler / Arrington take the other spot from him. I actually think that has a better chance of happening then Bodden coming back to 2009 form.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  3. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #51 Jersey

    The last time the Patriots won a playoff game was season 2007/2008. Our issues are issues but they're nowhere near as bad as most teams have.
  4. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    RB i am happy with Woodhead and BJGE they were great last year the pats just need some dept at RB not a big need

    OL if the pats are still going to have to out score teams come playoff time then RG is a big need

    DL if Brandon Deaderick can take that next step and if Ron Brace, can be a good back up and if Ty Warren can stay on the field they will be ok but thats a lot of IF's and even with that said there is still no pass rush and with no pass rush we will still see bad QB's turn 3rd and long into first downs all day

    but i understand what your saying there were 14-2 best team in the NFL and they are very young IMO they are a pass rusher away from a ring
  5. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Improved talent, depth in the trenches--that's my opinion on the #1 'need.'

    Then comes the linebackers--basically improvement on the front 7, and we are in a good position to use our plethora of picks to do this.

    1. Front 7--priorities depending on Belichick's knowledge of the big picture

    2. Offensive line--this has to be a priority, maybe not just for the reason you provided, aka poor playoff performance. With questions with the returns of Neal and Kazcur, plus contract negotiations with Light and Mankins, this HAS to be a priority. And this isn't even taking into account what many deem as our weakest o-line link, which is Koppen.

    Koppen--can/should be upgraded, probably our weakest spot

    Light--free agent, certainly on the wrong side of age, and possibly could be upgraded too--may not ever play another down here

    Mankins--contract problems, need stability for next year (2012) if no deal is reached

    Neal--could retire, position could/should be upgraded--may not play another down here

    Kazcur--coming off a major injury, questionable to return to form, position could be upgraded

    -------------

    I am wondering how you see offensive line as 'not an area of need?'

    I do understand your statistical analysis RE: profootballfocus or whatever, yet that was LAST year. We need to not only improve for the upcoming year, but plan for the future. O-Line will be a focus in my opinion, with 2 picks in the first 3 rounds, and another 1 or 2 in the later rds.

    Nastiness in the trenches, with a primary focus on defense, and a couple picks on O-line in the first 3 rds is a very good plan, in my opinion.

    EDIT: I am not saying it is in dire straights (O-line), just that it is certainly a position of importance, with improvement and future being the focus. I could honestly care less about WR and RB, as we scored the highest pts in the NFL, and were 9th in rushing (above PIT, IIRC?). Our RB's get the job done through RBBC, and we should not have a problem drafting a mid-round RB, or adding a mid to low level free agent, if not both. I could see the exact same thing with WR too.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  6. Interception

    Interception Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    After reading these posts, you've convinced me a little bit that we could use depth on DL and OL.

    Don't get me wrong, I want new talent for our o-line and d-line, i just think "best player" over "best d-line/o-line player" would be better for our top two picks.


    or we can just hope that the best player available IS on the d-line. :rocker:


    either way, brady doesn't get sacked too much, right? (correct me if i'm wrong).
    i think hes just always banged up by playoff time recently because of luck and age.
    either way, we had a monster o-line this year. the playoff game doesn't change that.


    but you're right, o-line will be a need in the future, since some of those players are in the end.
    makes sense.
    and we could use upgrades too, sure.

    basically, this is what i want with our top six picks, in no order:
    WR, FS, CB, OL, DL, DL.
    so its not that i don't want DL and OL upgrades, but i think we're overreacting a bit. we had a good o-line and running backs this year, and our d-line managed. it WAS last year, you're right, but a lot of people have been basing this off of the performance of the playoff game rather than the whole season and the future.


    a fairly new fan, so I'm still learning!
    just felt like there was a little bit of a lingering overreaction of the playoff game.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In reality we do not have huge issues compared to other teams, but need to continue to build depth on the D and O lines.. with this many early picks, this would be my focus..

    Later would look at "risky" running backs and receivers.. but right now, would use the opportunity to load up in the trenches with the first 4 picks..
  8. NE39

    NE39 Rookie

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    I think the Pats biggest issue relates to 3rd down defense. They couldn't get off the field last year on 3rd down. They were last in the NFL by a pretty fair margin.

    That would seem to point to their nickel/dime looks and their ability to:

    1) Generate Pass Rush

    2) Cover pass routes

    #1 seems to point to the most critical issue, IMO, which is someone who can generate pass rush on their own. #2 would seem to be helped by the return of Leigh Bodden, but even with his return I wouldn't be upset if they draft another DB pretty high. Looking at how they hit with McCourty, I'd love to see something similar.

    However, the #1 issue is a rusher, not that it is news.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  9. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I agree that we shouldn't judge anything on the basis of one game, that is a very fair point and you're right. The overreaction is pathetic in my opinion, but that's what makes these boards go 'round--everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

    I see need at the areas in the trenches = O-line and defensive front 7, but not because of anything based on one game, because we have issues heading into the future, and could certainly use improvement on talent and depth. Plus it is a great position for us to be in, considering a high number of picks + good talent on those positions in this yr's draft.

    I think BB would be looking at those positions regardless of what happened in the playoffs, at least in my opinion.

    Anyway, nice thread, gets people thinking/debating in the offseason.
  10. The Boston Patriot

    The Boston Patriot PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Our O-line is what I would call "depth" with the exception of Mankins. We need
    some starters and players. The remainder of the O-line is hardly what I would
    call a strength at this point. They are more than adequate when playing the
    everyday teams but against a strong defensive unit they perform poorly.
  11. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Don't allow the doom and gloom which tends to dominate the posting in this forum overwrite what your "lying eyes" see on the field. Mine saw the same as your opening post. The key for NE is as always, depth and injuries, and when is it time to replace an old war horse?

    At present the lack of a CBA going forward and the threat of a lockout or some other pressure politics shenanigans is making the "needs" assessment murky.
    -- Presumably Light wants to return and NE wants to retain him, CBA pending. This is where having Kaczur as depth is critical. The question of his rehab status remains, but young Mr. Gronkowski assures us that recovery from back surgery is possible. And if we ever wondered about the NE training room staff - Tedy Bruschi says "heh." So we keep it in mind, but no panic (for some anyway ;) ).
    -- Mankins is here, even if he's a tad overpaid for the season.
    -- Koppen draws a lot of flack these days, but Matt Light has been a magnet for detractors for a decade, Coach Scarnecchia says they get the job done just fine.
    -- Neal, when healthy, plays at near All-Pro level, perhaps he's only good for half the season, or perhaps he makes it all the way this year, either way I want that player while I can have him; and when he's out, there are at least two reserves who proved themselves adequate by NFL & Scarnecchia standards (if not those of the more vocal posters hereabouts).
    -- Vollmer is developing well at RT and looking to be a fixture there for a decade.
    -- Connolly, Wendell, LeVoir have all proven themselves as reserves and replacement starters, All-Pros off the bench are few and far between, but people can dream.
    -- BB retained extra OL last season in advance of a 2011 with no CBA and a variety of projected obstacles preparing the team for the regular season. As it stands right now, NE can field a veteran OL with proven starters at all five positions and proven #6 & 7 OL off the bench. How many other clubs can say that? NYJ? No. Buffalo? Maybe. Miami? No. Indianapolis? No. Pittsburgh? No. If there's no Training Camp/Preseason, NE starts out in pretty good shape.

    You can do a similar exercise for DL, LB, RB, WR, DB, TE, STs ... which frees BB up to draft the players he wants to build the future with. Life is good in NE. :cool:
  12. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That was my point, not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing..
  13. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Very positive and optimistic post Box, with a lot of truth too.

    I however, see the expiring contracts of Light (this yr), Koppen (next yr), the obvious uncertainty of Mankins (next yr apparently), the questions marks of Neal even returning (retirement talk), and Kazcur (coming off of IR) as a certain need for at least 2 O-line picks in the first 3-4 rounds.

    Now IF Neal comes back, IF Kazcur comes back and plays at a high level, IF Mankins is locked up long-term, IF Light is locked up long-term, and IF Koppen is extended after next year---then I would say that we are still in as good of shape as last year, or the year before. In 2009, the O-line let up the fewest sacks since the NFL went to a 16 game season, so I certainly agree that the Dante school of hard knocks can produce at a high level.

    It is the uncertainty of all of these players being retained (Light, Mankins, Koppen) for the future, coming back for another yr (Neal) or coming back from an injury (Neal, Kazcur) that make a high offensive line pick likely in my opinion. And this isn't even taking into account the fact that one or more of these positions may want to be improved or upgraded, I am just looking at the unlikelihood that everyone ends up being retained.

    I do believe life is good in/for New England though:cool: And I do agree that no matter who ends up on the o-line, Scarneccia will coach them up well. I do not believe the position is in 'need' other than looking toward the future towards contract negotiations etc, players leaving/not returning. I am totally happy with the play and skill of the O-line, and feel that we are indeed lucky to have the players and coaches that we do. Everyone will not agree with me there, as some will want to improve based on skill and talent improvement alone.
  14. The Boston Patriot

    The Boston Patriot PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Agreeing definitely!
  15. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    Running back
    It is a need because you can't count on Faulk anymore. Green-Ellis and Woodhead were solid, but neither helps sell the play action very well and both are liabilities in picking up blitzes. There's no overreacting here.......a guy like Leshoure, who is a REAL 3 down back is simply better than either of the two.

    Offensive Line
    considering Neal is done, Light is a free agent, Koppen is getting up there in years, and Mankins may only be here for another year says this is an even bigger need than RB.....Connolly is not a full-time solution at either G-spot....the pats will likely be grabbing 2 OL's in the first 3 rounds

    D-Line
    The DL does not command a double team on passing downs because most of them are no more than run-stopping guys. not that our OLB's are any great shakes, but pass pressure by the DL's is what creates opportunities for the OLB's...so yeah, getting a more mobile 3-4 DE is a priority......and there are few that fit the bill after say the 2nd round....there's a reason seymour was #6, warren was #13, and wilfork was #20, and yet BB still felt the need to take marquise hill at the end of the 2nd round in 2004.

    the drafting of seymour was by need......the drafting of warren and wilfork was by need...the drafting of mayo was by need.....the drafting of meriweather was by need.....the drafting of mccourty was by need.

    BPA combined with a need is what drives a pick.....now, on defense, the biggest need isn't even a player.....it's a concept called a pass rush......whether it is a DL or an OLB, this aspect needs to improve substantially in order for the pats to have a chance in the playoffs. The secondary can make plays.....we already know that, but the defense was still giving up drive after drive and tons of yards. Sanchez has no business having 130 qb rating games........unless your front 7 can't lay a finger on him, and if they can't, you have to fix that.....
  16. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    Neal has not played a full season since 2005.......his shoulder is a mess...if anything, he should be the backup since he can't handle the full time wear and tear

    Connolly proved to be a backup.....he's not a starter.....the pats need an OG the same way they needed an OG when they drafted mankins......whose service we may only have for one more year, so the bets need to be hedged and a guy needs to be brought in pronto. The pats OL got manhandled by ellis, puoha, and devito......nuff said
  17. DW Toys

    DW Toys Rookie

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    Cousin, the Pats were supposedly in a rebuilding mode in 2010. What they have again proved is BB can make moves to fill holes and get some talent at an amazingly superior rate than most of his peers. That seems to be going in the right direction. The defense is definitely younger and although some of the new talent has not been exploited. I feel our biggest upgrade in 2011 needs to be defensive playmakers. It is yet to be seen if Brace, Deadrick and Pryor can apply pressure on the opposing quarterback. They seem to be better in the run game. Gerald Warren is not getting any younger and I do not know if re-signing him is the most prudent option. I think Mike Wright was turning the corner until is concussions became an issue. Obviously Ty Warren and his health are important factors in 2011. This draft being as deep as it is in the way that it falls for the Patriots, is an exciting proposition no doubt. I still think building through the draft is important, but free agents are the difference makers in how fast the personnel additions to the 2011 changes the direction of this team. There are some great FA opportunities to add along with our stock of top draft picks. These players are proven playmakers. With the league average of 17% as the NFL success rate for rookies over a three-year period of time, we must add some of these pieces.
    Asamugha would be an astounding value for our defense if the price is not astronomical. Our safeties were a weak point in our pass defense last year. The coverage down the middle was a result of our 30th position in passing yardage against in the NFL. Merriweather was inconsistent to say the least and exuberant at the wrong times upon occasion. Sanders physical limitations have always been an issue. He had a very good year in 2010 but the bottom line was 30th in the NFL. I think Chung will be an outstanding safety and the training wheels might come off in 2011 where he gets much more playing time. I think Pat has more coverage ability then the other two. My point is if we can get a cornerback of the caliber of Asamugha, we might be able to move Bodden to free safety because of his size, and he would offer more coverage ability. I believe an edition like OJ would be an upgrade over our two safeties Merriweather and Sanders. I think Merriweather has talent but perhaps not the BB type of game management abilities. Because of his questionable pro-bowl selections, his contract negotiations in 2012 will be cantankerous. I am of the mindset to get the best possible value in a trade in 2011. The Cowboys are desperate for a solid starting safety. Merriweather has the “it” factor that Jerry Jones enjoys. I could see the Cowboys offering a second rounder for BM. It would be nice to take that pic and use it to gain yet another playmaker.

    I think the Pats to concentrate on getting some players in this draft while our targeted positions have such a high potential yield. I think it would be a mistake for BB to gamble on pics traded two 2012. In retrospect the Seymour trade yielded less of a pick than originally thought. Now to swap one of our blue chip picks into 2012 without having a crystal ball is the least desirable path. If anything lets take our top six picks con den Spam into three higher value picks and take a shot at what we can get for value in this year instead of stockpiling picks in perpetuity. The main reason I say this again because of our targeted needs matching the talent in 2011. There is no reason why we can't get a great defensive end and an elite pass rushing outside linebacker. Even at that we should still have the ability to pick up a good offensive lineman as well. A Watt, Aldon Smith and a Watkins draft class would be a very good one. There are very decent other combinations but adding an Asomugha or a Lawson and on the offensive side a Rice, makes this 2011 exciting if we can conquer owners/players greed and get a new CBA done. My ultimate would be Fitzgerald, Asomugha and Lawson and at least three blue chipper picks in this year’s Draft but that won’t happen.
    DW Toys
  18. 37Harrison

    37Harrison Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    My disclaimer: I have not read all the reply's to the intial OP's question however here is how I see it...

    RB: Not a NEED but could definitely use solid depth. I would hope BB doesn't use a top 2-3 pick on a RB.

    DL: The biggest need here I don't believe is in the trenches, it is at the OLB spot. We have proven Pro-Bowl talent at all levels of the D. The MLB's are strong, the NT position doesn't even need to be discussed and the ends were solid last year, that was without TW.

    OL: I think this is the biggest NEED on the team. There are too many questions... will Light come back? How is Neal and can he even be counted on? What happens with Mankins? Is Koppen still the answer? What about Kazcur and even how is Vollmer progressing? The rest of the guys are not starters but solid depth. I think there is a NEED for a stud C, G, and/or T. They are protecting the Franchise and struggle against top D teams (excluding perhaps Pitt).
  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In my opinion the need to address the OL is more about 2012 and beyond than it is about 2011. There's a good possibility of bringing Light, Mankins, Kaczur and even Neal back for the upcoming season.

    Before last year's draft I was looking for the Pats to select a lineman by the third round. Even though they didn't take an OL till much later (Larsen) I still envisioned him as a starter either this year or next, taking over for Koppen or if not, for Neal. Then I figured the Pats could go after Light's replacement the following draft (2011).

    Unfortunately Larsen didn't work out, so as far as long term plans go it is now even more important that the Pats add at least one quality offensive lineman in this draft. Adding one piece at a time like Vollmer is preferable than having to change multiple starters at once because it takes time for an offensive line to gel as one cohesive unit.

    So although OLB and DE may be two positions that get talked about more often, the OL still absolutely needs to be addressed early in this draft.
  20. Deus Irae

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

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    Disable Jersey

    1.) BJGE is a guy who barely made the team 2 years ago, and now people are acting as if Jim Brown couldn't hold a candle to him. He's not an RB1.

    2.) Taylor couldn't get on the field last season, which means that he's likely done. He needs to be replaced, and he's supposed to be one of two tandem backs taking the first and second down type of snaps.

    3.) In a season where Maroney was shipped off and Faulk and Taylor were both lost early, Morris had only 20 carries. If he's not done as a ball carrier, he can sure see "done" from where he's standing.

    The team needs an RB, preferably an RB1 to put BJGE at the RB2 spot and allow Woodhead to serve as the C.O.P./3rd down RB. That would give them 3 RBs and allow them to decide from among either the current crop or a second outside RB for the 4th spot.

    1.) Mankins is back, assuming he signs the Franchise contract and it's in force during the next played season. However:

    2.) Neal is either going to retire, or going to be a constant injury concern. I've been one of Neal's staunchest supporters here, but he hasn't played more than 13 games in a season since 2005, and they can't rely on that changing for 2011.

    3.) Connolly is not starter level material. He's demonstrated that over the course of his career, and he demonstrated that last year. While I'd love for that to change, he's been in the league long enough that such a change is unlikely at this point.

    4.) Light's getting up there in age and is probably looking at a 2-3 year contract if he stays.

    5.) Koppen's injuries seem to have weakened him to the point where he really struggles to hold the point against the larger bodies inside.

    6.) Kaczur is a question mark, coming off a major back injury, and he's not exactly a spring chicken.

    7.) The backups are stiffs.

    Put all this together, and you have a need to get a starting-caliber RG for this season, and to begin looking for a C and LT either this year or next (I'd rather keep light and look at LT starting next year, while I'm more open to looking at centers anytime a good one seems to be available). The LG position depends on what the Patriots think they can do with Mankins. If they don't think they can get a long term deal worked out, they'll either have to bite the bullet on a second franchise tag, find a starter in free agency/trade, or draft a second starting caliber OG this year. The backups just need to be improved generally. Wendell, LeVoir, Ojinnakka, Ohnrberger... they've sucked, to date.

    The team got rid of Seymour without having an adequate replacement. That's killed the team. It's time to remedy that mistake. The remedy is not currently on the roster.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
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