Welcome to PatsFans.com

Pats Off-season Review (Pre-Draft Edition) - Offense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by DaBruinz, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. DaBruinz

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

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    24,061
    Likes Received:
    132
    Ratings:
    +207 / 16 / -38

    #50 Jersey

    Well, its sure been an exciting few months since my last off-season review with a lot of changes in the Patriots. Here are my updates.


    QB - Brady, Cassel, Mortensen - Cassel showed that he has real potential. Mortensen is playing in NFLE. I think Mortenson is TC fodder to keep Brady from having to make a lot of throws. I also believe that the Pats will bring back Flutie or sign someone like Fiedler to be the #3 and help with the scout team.


    RB – Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk, Earl Charles– This is a need area for the Pats. Faulk hasn't been able to stay healthy the last 2 years and this was Dillon's 2nd time in 3 years being hurt. The Pats picked up Dillon’s option and re-structured his deal. The Pats worked out a BUNCH of player during the season because of injuries, including Quentin Griffin and Amos Zereoue. Zereoue was signed, but was a dud because of injury. Pats lost Kory Chapman to the Colts who didn’t use the kid hardly at all. Charles was invited to camp last year, but was cut. May just be TC fodder, but he was assigned to NFLE. I would expect either a draft pick or a free agent to be added here. Possibly someone like Jonathan Wells who is still available. Rumors have it that
    Chicago is shopping Thomas Jones for a 3rd rounder. He would be a definite upgrade for the Pats. I used to think that White and Maroney would be potential picks, but I have since changed my mind after re-searching them. Joseph Addai could be a 2nd round option. Maurice Drew could be a more likely pick since he small, compact, and a bowling ball type player with speed. Drew could possibly return kicks and punts for the Pats. Late rounders could include P.J. Daniels and Cartlon Jones.


    FB –
    Patrick Pass, Heath Evans – Pass did well, but he will be remembered for putting the ball on the ground during the Denver Game and forcing Dillon to enter and play injured. The Pats could use another H-back type player who is more FB than TE. Possibly someone via the draft like Matt Bernstein. Heath Evans is returning because he did well in limited duty, but he is more likely a RB option.


    O-Line – Matt Light, Nick Kaczur,
    Logan Mankins, Brandon Gorin, Dan Koppen, Russ Hochstein, Jeff Roehl, Nick Steitz, Wesley Britt, Stephen Neal, Ross Tucker, Gene Mruczkowski, Billy Yates – The Pats lost Ashworth and re-signed Stephen Neal. A back-up at tackle is also in order, though Wesley Britt was very highly touted before he got injured prior to the 2005 draft. The Pats have shown they need at least 2 back-up tackles. And they have shown this every year BB has been a coach. I don't care for Brandon Gorin. Bringing in someone who could possibly replace Koppen should he decide to leave after the 2006 season could also be an option. Having Tucker and Mruczkowski around is insurance incase the Pats don’t draft someone. BB did this when he drafted Koppen to replace Woody and Woody bolted after the 2003 season. Box has been giving a good account on the play of Roehl and Steitz in NFLE. The 2 back-up tackle positions will be a heated battle between Gorin, Britt and Roehl and any draft pick the Pats bring in. Players I wouldn’t mind drafting include: Jonathan Scott, Jeremy Trueblood, Pat Ross, Greg Eslinger, Will Montgomery, Daryn Colledge, Charles Spencer, Chris Kuper, Jhari Evans.



    TE – Daniel Graham, Ben Watson – Graham and Watson are entrenched as the top 2 TE s for the Pats. Watson should end up being the primary receiver of the two, but Graham has shown to be able to make some BIG plays happen when he’s given a chance. Graham continues to be a monster in blocking, but injuries caught up with him again. I would like to see BB draft another F-Back or H-Back type player (TE/FB combo) who can really throw opponents for a loop because they won’t know WTF is going on when all 3 are on the field. As I mentioned in the full-back section, another H-back or F-back type player would be nice here. Someone like Bernstein or possibly David Thomas would fit nicely on this team. My only concern with Thomas is his blocking abilities. However, the Patriots have shown they can teach blocking as they did with Graham. The Pats have shown some interest in a college B-Ball player as a developmental pick and they could also bring back Jed Weaver if they feel he could be an adequate 3rd TE. Other players besides Thomas that interest me are Pope, Klopfenstein, Scheffler and Tim Massaquoi.



    WR- Deion Branch, Bethel Johnson, “BAM”Childress, Rich Mushinski, John Stone, Reche’ Caldwell, Troy Brown, Mike McGrew, Zuriel Smith– Givens is gone for the big payday, getting a 5 year, 24 million deal. Andre Davis is goen to
    Buffalo. Tim Dwight to the Jets. P.K. Sam signed with Cincy. I honestly think that Bethel will be cut unless BB knows something no one else does about Bethel’s situation. I have changed who I like in the draft. Previously, in the draft, I liked Maurice Stovall, Jonathan Orr, Todd Watkins (who can ALSO perform kick off duties), Cory Rogers, or possibly another late rounder like a Miles Austin. Now, I still like Stovall, Orr and Watkins, but also like Mike Hass, Jason Avant, Brandon Williams, Jeff Webb and Greg Jennings. Watkins I like because he could be for the Pats was Wes Welker is for the Dolphins. Orr has some height and very good speed. Hass and Williams are hoovers out there and could very well take the #2 spot or #3 spot right out of camp because of their ability to catch most anything thrown to them. Like Box of Rocks, I don't care for Derek Hagen because of the inconsistency he showed when the spotlight was on him. One has to wonder if he can handle the pressure.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
  2. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,852
    Likes Received:
    27
    Ratings:
    +46 / 2 / -0

    I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but WR is a glaring weakness on this team.

    I know I've argued with some of you who insist we're deep with this roster, and that its unlikely ALL these guys will be as lame as they have been in the past, but when you've got a weapon like Tom Brady on your team, doesn't it make sense to give him some armor piercing bullets rather than BB's?

    To me this is an area where the Patriots don't seem to be employing their "strong middle class" mentality. We've got Branch as the unquestioned #1 - yet even he, who although he caught 78 passes last year hasn't come close to that in his other seasons. Let's hope last year was the rule and not the exception.

    Caldwell was a decent signing - but with a career high 28 receptions last year, he and Brown are as good as it gets for the Patriots right now among the rest of the corps. I love Troy but at 40 years old, can we really continue to expect him to be a go to WR grabbing 30+ tough catches?

    As far as the rest - Johnson, Childress, Musinski, Stone, and Smith - while there might be a diamond in the rough there (Childress is my prediction) you don't go into a season depending on that happening. The reality is that you could count each of their receptions from last year on one hand.

    So where does this leave us? RFA is over. There are still some leftovers in FA - but seemingly neither we, nor any other team feels like any of these guys are in demand.

    There's the draft - but of course, barring some of the top WR choices one doesn't generally expect WR draftees to contribute right away - and no one here thinks we'd ever use a top pick on a WR anyway.

    That leaves trades with other teams - which means we're dependent on other teams to be willing to trade their players to us. ... players that probably are being dealt for a reason. (Either that or camp cuts from other teams)

    So I continue to be in the huge minority here who will not be surprised to see the Pats take a WR with their 1st round pick. And no, you don't draft based on need, but you don't allow yourself be blind to it either.

    I am still hopeful that the Patriots have a plan to restock at WR - whether that's a trade or high draft pick. If not I'll drink my Kool Aid and hope for the best.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
  3. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    9,800
    Likes Received:
    8
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0 / -0

    Just 2 additions....OL--Isn't Billy Yates still with the team?? I haven't heard anywhere that he was not tendered; certanly a young and versatile lineman.
    Also WR--Mike McGrew who was on IR last year. He's 6'1" about 200; played for Virginia. I have to think he may make it onto the PSqd if he's got some potential down the line.
  4. DaBruinz

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

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    24,061
    Likes Received:
    132
    Ratings:
    +207 / 16 / -38

    #50 Jersey

    I caught McGrew after JSP's post. Thanks for the Catch on Yates.
  5. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    5,996
    Likes Received:
    67
    Ratings:
    +133 / 10 / -8

    The offense is young, more mature, and complete save for two or three backup depth type players.

    Because Givens was lost to FA, everyone seems to think there is a massive need at WR. i disagree nad I beleive so do BB and SP. BB and SP simply went out and signed an injured #1 candidate WR with very good credentials, and whose development and performance was on schedule but was interrupted by injury.

    I think they actually upgraded the position's potential.

    As backup for Deon and Reche, they have Troy and BJ, an ex-probowler whose career is fading, and a high draft pick speedster whose performance has been spotty to date. For every spectacular play BJ has produced (and there are several), he has disappeared for long stretches.

    Still the depth lrder is not bare. Then there is the cast of thousand hope-to-bes.

    I actually think the backup RB position is more of a concern.

    KF has shown he can't carry the team for any amount of time replacing Dillon's 20 carries a game. OTOH, I am not sure that thereis a better 3rd down, and back out of the backfield guy, than KF in the League.

    The depth is very thin. Pass can catch and back up KF, but he is nowhere near the 3rd down back. And he just doesn't have the run skills to replace a franchise back like Dillon othwer than for a blow or two.

    This draft is poor in big backs; there are lots of KF understudies however. Were I the Pats, I would get a KF understudy in 2006 and wait for the Dillon understudy until 2007.

    Addai seemed to be a good compromise as the understudy, but on close view he seems to be a Patrick Pass clone rather than a KF clone.

    I am much more impresssed with Maurice Drew from UCLA. He has great speed, open field elusiveness, and good hands. Exactly the specs for a KF clone and dimensionally they could be twins.

    KF has been a KO returrner, but not an impressive one, since for KOR you need speed and that is not a KF surplus commodity. OTOH, Drew is probably the best Punt Returner in college with 6 return TDs to his resume. I always wondered why KF was not a PR, as his elusiveness would seem to be better suited there, has not been used in that capacity. Another real longshot for 3rd down back is Taurean Henderson who holds the college record for receptions by a RB.

    A third string TE might come from the draft and so would a QB. More likely though they will sign FA vets for both jobs.

    I do not beleive there is any room for drafting OL talent better than what they have, outside of the first round. Britt looks like a coup to me, and Mankins and Kaczur are decade type pros. That issue was addressed last draft.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
  6. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,852
    Likes Received:
    27
    Ratings:
    +46 / 2 / -0

    Did I miss a signing? Who are you talking about here? When did we sign an injured #1 WR candidate?
  7. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    5,996
    Likes Received:
    67
    Ratings:
    +133 / 10 / -8

    Rreche Caldwell was drafted in the SECOND ROUND by SD. As is typical of WRs who take three years to mature, his first two seasons were nothing to shout about. He came out of the gates in his third season like gangbusters for four games, and then tore a knee. He has spent the last 18 months recovering from the ACL. As is typical, ACL returners usually are capable of producing, but less than what he could when fully recovered which takes about 18 months.

    Now healthy he has the talent to be a #1 WR and MIGHT, undeline might, return to his early third year form. In which case, he is a #! WR candidate, above and beyond the physical limitations that will likely prevent Givens from taking that next step, and probably the reason he was a 7th and BB/SP didn't pay to keep him.
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,389
    Likes Received:
    91
    Ratings:
    +211 / 14 / -2

    Ok, Caldwell could be a #1. So Could Childress. He's looked great. After all, Givens did it. How many catches did our entire WR group have last year?

  9. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,389
    Likes Received:
    91
    Ratings:
    +211 / 14 / -2

    RUNNING BACK
    Could we use a replacement for Pass or Evans? Sure. But it's not happening. We might draft a 6th rounder to push for the practice squad. If we need a running back next year, we'll pick one up, or draft him,, and expect him to play next year. I really don't like developmental running backs.

    OFFENSIVE TACKLE
    We have Roehl, Britt and Gorin competing for two spots. We probably could use another competitor. We need four badly.

    INTERIOR LINEMEN
    We need to extend Koppen or Hochstein or we need to develop a center (at least a backup center), The 5th round is fine, although Mangold and Cook could be picked earlier. Also, I expect Koppen to begin the season on the PUP list. Even so, we have plently of players. We do need a backup center.

    TIGHT END
    We need someone to compete with nobody for a roster spot. I expect a 2nd round, and another for camp fodder in the 6th or 7th (could be a free agent). Graham is in his contract year. This is the easiest pick in the draft (a TE at 52).

    WIDE RECEIVER
    Please pass the koolaid. We have several question marks, including Branch's frailty and contr5act length. If we started today, did our entire staff have 100 catches among them last year? I know, Brady has to throw to someone. He;ll spread it around. After all, we have Brady. Before Brady sues for non-support, we need to vring in two first day wide receivers (or one from a trade).

    BOTTOM LINE
    WR
    WR
    TE
    OT
    C

    That's five spots. Hopefully, a trade will reduce the need to four.





  10. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,852
    Likes Received:
    27
    Ratings:
    +46 / 2 / -0

    I hope you're right but that's a heckuva leap of faith for a #3 WR at best who the Chargers viewed as a second round bust (actually taken BEFORE Branch!)

    Why would the Chargers let a potential #1 WR go without trying to even match the low $$ the Patriots offered if he's a potential #1 WR? Would you go into a season with him as your #2 WR in FANTASY FOOTBALL let alone the real thing?

    Everyone's just hoping that "early" 2005 wasn't a fluke and that the vast majority of his career isn't the norm for him - once that's dealt with he might want to start showing all his detractors in SD who are pissed they wasted a #2 pick on him that he can be a #2, let alone a #1.

    I like guys with potential as much as the next guy, but for my #2 WR spot (or #1) I prefer guys that actually have proven track records rather than ACL tears.

    There's no way BB & SP are standing pat with Caldwell as their #2 WR.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
  11. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    5,996
    Likes Received:
    67
    Ratings:
    +133 / 10 / -8


    Why did SD let Rodney Harrison go?

    In the mean time while waiting for Reche, they found a couple of other guys is perhaps the reason they did not fight too hard to keep him. I'm not even saying that Reche won't have competiton; all I'm saying is that BB/SP signed him after losing Givens. Then they HAVE NOT competed for the Moulds, Walkers et cetera who have come available since... Why?

    I suspect that Reche is viewed as a gamble. He has a much higher upside than Givens and a much lower downside too. But he is a lot cheaper and more likely to play in 2006 than anybody they might get in the draft other than Mike Hass who is the most ready of all the college crop.
  12. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Messages:
    20,550
    Likes Received:
    25
    Ratings:
    +25 / 0 / -0

    Kevin was pulled from PR duty because BB had better alternatives and Kevin was hurt for most of the season. Patrick Pass ran pretty darned good when he was the only back in the woodshed. He surprised me, there may be more to him then we've seen if he gets playing consistently, that said, if there were a 2nd round back who could replace him I'd consider rolling the dice, but he and Evans together make a servicable emergency power runner - if the O-line can stay healthy. If not, it doesn't matter who is running.
  13. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,340
    Likes Received:
    121
    Ratings:
    +250 / 8 / -9

    #24 Jersey

    This needs a bump.

    I also want to say, though, that in 2004 Calwell was averaging 3.4 catches per game and 17.2 YPC though 5 games before he got hurt. That's 54 catches for the season and perfectly fine - Givens caught 56 and 59 the last two years (admittedly missing 3 games, he would have caught 70 or so over 16). The point is, Caldwell was a viable WR before getting hurt. Assuming he's now 100% he can be a viable #2 WR. He just happened to be behing LT, Gates, McCardell and Parker in the pecking order.
  14. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,852
    Likes Received:
    27
    Ratings:
    +46 / 2 / -0

    Again, I hope you are all right about Caldwell. But I heard a lot of people saying similar things about the potential for PK Sam, Davis, Dwight etc etc etc predicting that the Patriots would have the most powerful WR lineup in the NFL.

    None of these guys returned to their previous form or lived up to their potential - and in Caldwell's case you are basing your predictions on just a handful of games out of his entire career.

    Until proven otherwise, Caldwell's ability to catch 3 passes a game is an exception to the rule. Prove me wrong Reche - PLEASE!!!!!

    As far as SD's previous cuts - I'm sure no one is seriously suggesting that every guy SD cuts is the equivilent of Rodney Harrison. If that's the case the Bolts have cut a ton of other guys since Rodney too. Maybe we should just can our entire roster and put an entire team of ex-Chargers on the roster?
  15. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,098
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    Reche Caldwell is this years Donald Hayes, David Terrell, Andre Davis, etc etc.

    Why we have such trouble scouting WRs in the FA market is beyond me.
  16. nickw308810

    nickw308810 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Reche Caldwell was showing he could be a number 1 WR before he got hurt. He was also playing WR for the Chargers before Brees found his form. Talent wise he is on par or above of Givens, so equaling his production is not asking too much.
  17. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,852
    Likes Received:
    27
    Ratings:
    +46 / 2 / -0

    Man - how did we ever win the bidding war for this guy?!?

    If I'm wrong I'll admit I'm wrong - just like I said I would about PK Sam, Bethel Johnson, Andre Davis, David Terrell when everyone said their poor past production wasn't anything to worry about.

    Our QB is the best in the league, and is a great offensive weapon. Why not give him some real bullets rather than just some bb's? Is that really such a crazy concept?

    We have a way as fans of equating potential with reality. Rohan Davey and Michael Bishop are not as good as we think they are and Sam, Dwight, Terrell, Johnson and Davis too never lived up to the bold predictions many have.

    I'll believe it when I see it and don't think its wise to sit back expecting Caldwell to carry the load as a #2 WR when he never has in the past.
  18. DaBruinz

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

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    24,061
    Likes Received:
    132
    Ratings:
    +207 / 16 / -38

    #50 Jersey

    Were you saying the same thing about Givens and Graham after their 1st 2 years? Also, I don't see how you could be comparing PK Sam to Caldwell since Sam was never a starter and was a longshot to make the team.

    Also, have you stopped to consider that when Caldwell returned to the SD Passing game, he was the 5th option? That's right. The 5th option. And considering how often SD lines up with a FB in the backfield, its very easy to see why Caldwell didn't get a lot of catches last year when he was returning from his ACL injury. Its hard to beat out guys like McCardell and Parker when they are having near Pro-Bowl years in the receiving game. Not to mention having the best young receiving TE in Gates.

    Caldwell won the starting position, outright, in 2004 coming out of camp. And even then, he was behind Gates and Tomlinson as receiving options. Comparing Caldwell to Terrell is vastly unfair, especially since Caldwell actually won a starting job. And while some of the problems with Terrell were his attitude, having the QB Carousel that Chicago had during his 4 years there would make it virtually impossilbe for anyone to have a successful season. But that is a different story.

    i'm all for making comparisons, but lets make sure we are comparing apples to apples and not apples to tangerines.
  19. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    5,996
    Likes Received:
    67
    Ratings:
    +133 / 10 / -8

    I never said they would. Its usually BB's modus opernadi when faced with a opening to do three things:
    a) sign a veteran ex-starter
    b) draft a guy I like Hass or Avant or both in the third;
    c) add the usual cast of thousands UDFA/PS guys

    Reche Caldwell -check a)
    wait till Saturday
    add a cast of thousands -check c)

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>