our Offensive Line

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATSNUTme, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    At the present our OL looks like this: Light, LT; Mankins,LG; Koppen, C: Neal?,RG: Kazur, RT. Assuming that we resign Neal, are you comfortable with that OL?

    If Neal does not sign, should we go after a FA or Draft a RG?
  2. PatsWorldChamps

    PatsWorldChamps Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    yes. but not comfy with the depth.
    Yes. both.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2006
  3. tatepatsfan

    tatepatsfan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #75 Jersey

    I'm comfortable with the starting line and questioning the depth as well. Bring back Ashworth, we will still have Hochstein and Gorin. That makes 8. Hopefully sign/draft two more capable players. That would give us 10; sometimes we keep 9 sometimes we keep 10, so at the very least, they make tough competition for either Hochstein or Gorin to be able to hang around.
  4. DarMan

    DarMan On the Game Day Roster

    #95 Jersey

    I would not be surprised if BB made offers to both Neal and Ashworth, keeping whoever signs first (hopefully one of them will accept the offer). Depending on who signs, Kazur could play tackle or guard.
  5. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Rookie

    No! I am not comfortable with this line. I don't know how you guys are so content with this line-up. First off, who knows if Light will come back at full strength next year. Also, didn't you guys notice how Tom Brady constantly got smacked around? Plus, will Neal return? With that said, the Pats will use the #21 pick or move up to select an offensive tackle. Write that down!
  6. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    The onyl way I'm comfortable with this line is if someone guarantees me that the five starters all start and finish all 19 regular and post season games and all 5 will be able to open holes for the run and form a wall in pass protection. Since no one can guarantee me that, I feel we must upgrade the OL. Brady can not continue to take the hits he took last year. Some people say the hits were the result of injuries or rookies, but the bottom line is Brady took a beating and that can't happen in 2006.
    One of the best ways I know to keep Brady's jersey clean is to run the ball. Last year's OL didn't open many holes and when they did, none of the RBs took advantage of it. (Mostly because they ran tentative, very unsure of the OL's ability)
    I would like to see us upgrade the entire right side of the line. (Provided Light comes back OK.) I think Neal regressed in 2005 and the Ashworth (excels at pass blocking) and Gorin (excels at run blocking) combo is making me sick, since neither is a bonafide starter. Let Kazcut backup Light and let's go get a smart but nasty OT for the right side.
  7. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I'm not comfortable with that Oline. While I know there were injuries last season and rookie's being worked in it was a weakness from the get go. I'd really like to see more beef and a line that can stand on it's own without constant blocking help from very valuable TE's and the ablility to open some holes most any RB worth his salt could pick up yards through. Defenses have begun to take the approach that teeing off on Brady is the way to stifle this offense, and while Brady can still make them pay at times he is absorbing a lot more abuse in the process.

    I think Brady is too valuable and this window too precious to try to get by with a "decent" line. I think it all starts in the trenches on offense as well as defense, and money well spent on the Oline will allow BB to spend less on high priced weaponry going forward and make more flexible decisions while maintaining better offensive consistency.
  8. texpat

    texpat Practice Squad Player

    There are so many opinions being tossed around and they all contradict each other. On one hand you say "Brady constantly got smacked around", then you want to return Neal who was part of that line that let Brady get smacked around. Then you obviously think a rookie can step in and do better than what we have, but convienently forget that we had 2 rookies this past year who let Brady get smacked around.

    Rookies don't typically step right into the NFL and excel, whether they be first or last rounds. I would think that Mankins and Kaczur as 2nd year players and Light, Gorin, and Ashworth (with their experience) would be better than anyone we draft (for this year, not necessarily long term).

    IMHO, feel free to rip me if you choose.
  9. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    I tend to agree with Texpat...Rookies hardly ever step in and play on the OL and do great...doesn't happen!! BOTH will be even better this year..sign Neal AND Ashworth..ands there are a solid 9 competing,,THAT certainly makes a deep line..and if a Britt and a Krug can step up from the Practice Sqd...all the better!! I can see a versatile vet brought in..just someone who could play 3 or so positions...and fill in. Other than that UNLESS they are unhappy with what they have...they won't bring a high draft pick in. I really do not see that..unless they think Koppen will go next year and bring in someone to take his place.
  10. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 In the Starting Line-Up

    The question is, did Mankins and Kaczur progress as the season wore on? I don't know because I don't see enough games being on the west coast. After all, they are closer to second year players than rookies in the final few games of the season.
  11. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    I'm fine with LT, LG, C with the obvious names.

    If Neal leaves we need a RG as Hochstein is the perfect backup. We also need a RT unless they're sold on Kaczur. I see a first or second round OT and a mid round OG/C who can compete at Guard and possibly replace Koppen if he leaves after next year.
  12. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    There is no doubt in my mind that Mankins progressed very nicely during the season. While I don't have access to the Pats OL grades, I'd be willing to bet that Mankins was grading out in the mid to high 70s by season end.
    Kazcur I didn't see enough of to judge if he was improving.

    And while I beleive that both Mankins and Kazcur will come back stronger next year, I really only see Mankins taking a big jump in improvement for 06.

    Which still leaves us needing an upgrade on the right side of the line, if Light comes back OK.
  13. DaBruinz

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

    #50 Jersey

    Fanfrom1960 -
    Where abouts do you live on the west coast? There are a few fan clubs out here, particularly a very active one here in Orange County, California.

    As for Mankins and Kaczur progressing, yes, they both did. In fact, I would say that Kaczur played better than Matt Light did in Light's rookie year.
  14. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    that O-line's not good enough

    that line is somewhere around OK for pass protection, and less than Ok for run blocking. it is not what you'd call a "pretty good" line. it is not outstanding. it is not excellent.
    mankins and kaczur did get better as the season progressed. they'd have done better if they'd had an experienced center to show them. i like them both, but...
    how many of those O-line players are considered to be among the top 30 O-linemen in the conference? how many are close to the pro bowl? IMO if you've got a top QB you not only want to protect him, you want him to be confident in what he does back there.
    i like mankins, neal, & koppen. i think kaczur will make an ok RT. but other than mankins, they're never gonna be Outstanding, Pro-Bowl players. we have to upgrade at RG, we need a better C. we've got aa lotta depth, but we need Excellent starters. we don't got them.
    how many sacks did brady have, 33? how many times knocked down, maybe 60 more? that's 93 times hit out of 520 attempts. it's too many by half, and cutting it down to 40 times a SEASON is what montana, aikman, marino got.
    gotta have an EXCELLENT O-line.
  15. texpat

    texpat Practice Squad Player

    OK, we all agree with that. But in a salary cap world, where are you gonna cut in order to pay Pro-Bowl lineman, the DL, LB's, K?

    Using the draft is a hit/miss proposition, even in the early rounds (ex: Tony Mandarich - 2nd pick) and even if you hit early, it costs to pay those early picks. If you try the FA market, you will overpay in most cases and if a lineman is good enough, his team will put the franchise tag on them to keep them.

    I think BB & DS have worked wonders with average to above average linemen working as a unit and this has allowed them to pay for defense, JMO. I don't think out OL is top quality, but I bet the 18 teams that don't make the playoffs every year would love to have the quality that we have.
  16. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams I'm no Mona Lisa Vito.... PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    Koppen is a solid center and his Brady's best friend (nuff said)
    Light has been the starting left tackle for 3 Superbowl Championships teams (nuff said)
    I love Mankins and thought he did well. He also was the starter from day one, so you can not compare him to Kazur. Kazur is a guard/tackle and throwing him in to Left Tackle next to a Rookie Left Guard, I thought he did the best he could. Look for him to challenge Neal for the starting RG next year.
    Neal has been solid, Ashworth, Gorin et al have been servicable. I like Hockstien coming off the bench, and I think he does a great job blocking on the goal line from the Fullback position. Hockstien can back up both guards and the center and gives the Pats alot of flexability.

    SO I would be fine with:
    LT Light
    LG Mankins
    C Koppen
    RG Kazur
    RT Ashworth

    with Hockstien backing up Center and Guard, and Gorin backing up the Tackles.

    If BB thinks he can upgrade RT in the draft/free agency, that would be fine, but I can easily live with the guys we have.

    The problem last year is that we lost our starting Left Tackle and our starting Center to injury. Ask any HC in the NFL if he thinks he could have made the playoffs losing those two players. The Pats did a great job of overcoming these injuries, but do not take Light lightly, he is a great player, and his loss was a huge blow for the Pats both for his play and his leadership. Watch any of the 3GTG and see Light in the locker room.
  17. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 In the Starting Line-Up

    SF Bay Area, Silicon Valley.
  18. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    tough question

    that's the $90 million question.
    i hear my brothers---this is essentially a lne that's been good enough to win 3 SBs. can't be much broke there.
    but brady's taking 90-100 licks a year, in 16 games. we've all seen him get absolutely clobbered on some passes where he stood in the pocket to get the pass away. rules of chance say he should have gotten knocked out for at least 6 games already. we're overdue on him.
    texpat i'm an old houston (north side, 5th ward) boy, where are you?
    we're goona have $9million locked un a 5-man receiver crew next year. watson, graham, fauria, the twig, givens. i guess that's ok.
    we'll have about $4m going out for RBs.
    our top four DLs will run us about $8m.
    our top 5 LBs will cost $13m.
    the top 5 DBs will run around $5 mil.
    kickers around $4m.
    poole has GOT to go. so does starks. that frees up $4million that doesn't even appear above, basically dead money.
    i love givens but team can't afford to pay him more than what he's making.
    get rid of poole and starks and put it into another O-line starter. neal is a hell of a bargain but it would be nice to have a pro bowler there.
    that's about my best figgerin'
  19. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    A day late & a dollar short....

    There are some people who just naturally like ot fight the last war. Like most generals. This also applies to draftniks.

    The Offensive line for the Patriots for the last few years had two high draft picks, one of whom was perpetually injured, and a buch of nobody graduates of the Dante post graduate School for Offensive linemen. Most students were later draft picks, 4-7th rounders or UDFA, but hard nosed tough guys. We won several Superbowls with these guys.

    Then BB cut ties with the perpetually injured, and drafted a couple of O-linemen on the first day of the Draft, last year. Two of the Dante School greaduates are maturing and are starting to receive occasional Pro-bowl notice.

    Naturally, we now get draftniks who want to say this very young developing line stinks, and we need to invest a first rounder in some fat guard.

  20. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Rookie

    No Tex Pat, I won't rip you. I'm glad you responded to my comment. What I mean is, even if Neal returns, we still need to upgrade at tackle and guard. Whether that comes from free Agency, I likely doubt because the Pats don't spend lots of money on lineman. I prefer the draft. I guess it sounds kind of funny that I added that we should get another rookie to start on the O-Line, even though we had two starting last year which allowed Brady to get smacked around. The point is, if there is a quality lineman according to their "draft grade" at #21, I wouldn't think twice about it. Two reasons why the Pats couldn't get back to the superbowl: no running game which allowed teams to tee off on Brady. And this notion that rookies don't step in right away and do well isn't always true. Steve Hutchenson, Chris Samuels, Jon Janson, Levi Jones (I don't think he started his rookie year) Jon Ogden, Orlando Pace, Tarik Glenn, Walter Jones, are just a few that were drafted and have stayed with their original teams. Yes, they struggle here and there but would you want to build your team through street free agents or the Draft? Building a "fortress" around Brady and will make him, Watson, Grahem, Branch and Dillon better players!

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