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Pats Offseason Review - Offense

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  1. DaBruinz

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

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    OFFENSE:

    QB - Brady, O’Connell, Gutierrez- Tom Brady is the man, but he’s coming back off an ACL/MCL tear. He’ll be wearing a brace more than likely this season so his mobility will be tested.

    O’Connell was the Pats 3rd round pick in 2008. He played fairly well in Training camp and many people thought that his being drafted spelled the end for Cassel. However, the Pats coaching staff cut Gutierrez instead. Gutierrez was brought back to serve as the 3rd QB when Brady went down during week 1.

    It will be interesting to see how the Pats handle the QBs this off-season. My guess is that they bring in a veteran to serve as Brady’s back-up with O’Connell being the #3. There stands to be quite a few veteran QBs available.

    RB – Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk, Sammie Morris, BenJarvus Gren-Ellis– There are definitely questions about this group. How is Maroney’s shoulder and can he stay healthy all year? Is this the year that Faulk breaks down? Can Morris go the whole year without injury? Was the success of “LAWFIRM” the result of the O-line getting its schtick together or is he the real deal that can be a true #3 RB behind a primary and a 3rd down back.

    The Patriots could use a draft pick to grab a running back, but the question would be what type? A scat-back like Faulk who can play out of the back-field? A north/south runner to take over the #1 duties so that Maroney can be a complimentary back?

    There should be some decent free agents available as well. Including Darren Sproles, who would be a great protégé to Kevin Faulk, though Sproles blocking needs a lot of work.

    FB – NONE – I think this is the first time since BB’s 1st year as HC of the Patriots that they didn’t have a FB on the roster going into the off-season.


    I’d love to see BB pick up a FB in the mold of a Lousaka Polite. Someone who can actually be a bruising, short-yardage back, while also being a bruising, lead blocker.

    O-Line – Matt Light, Nick Kaczur, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Stephen Neal, Billy Yates, Ryan O’Callaghan, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Mark LaVoir - This was a tale of two O-lines this year. For the 1st 5 games, we didn’t know which O-line would show up. The O-line from 2007 that was amongst the best in the league, or the horribly inconsistent O-line of the 2008 pre-season that made all of our QBs look horrible. More often than not, it was the latter. Then Stephen Neal returned from injury and the attitude of the O-line changed. It was almost palpable. The Pats need to add a C/G who is similar to Neal in his nastiness and who can take over when Neal is a UFA after the 2009 season


    The Pats really need to look at a reserve center/guard. Someone with the same type of nastiness that Stephen Neal has.

    TE – Ben Watson, David Thomas, Tyson DeVree – Watson and Thomas were extremely inconsistent this year, both in blocking and in pass catching.. And the Pats seem to have knocked the TE spot down A LOT in terms of their place in the offense. The Pats could use a dynamic TE to give this position some life and bring it back into some prominence.


    WR- Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Kelley Washington, Sam Aiken, Ray Ventrone, Matt Slater


    Moss and Welker are, arguably, the best WR tandem in the league. Behind them, currently, are 4 guys who really are best suited to special teams, though some people will say that Slater is best suited to flipping burgers and totally disregard the fact he was a rookie and that rookies make mistakes.

    Washington wasn’t nearly as good on special teams this year and Aiken didn’t appear to be the great special teams player we all thought we were getting.

    The Patriots will probably bring in one or two WRs via free agency or the draft to challenge for the #3 spot and for some special teams spots.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  2. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    First, I'm worried about how Brady comes off such a devastating injury he suffered. With that said, the Pats may have to focus their attention in finding a way to upgrade the O-line or changing their philosophy. What I mean by this is going from a "pass first" team to a "run first" team. The Pats have to find a way to take pressure off of Brady. In fact, we may see the Pats go back to their "grind it out" offense until Brady feels comfortable standing in the pocket.

    This will be Maroney's last chance to prove he can play in the NFL. When healthy, he has shown good things. However, some may argue he dances too much which is warranted. I hope he pulls a DeAngelo Williams. It's too bad Morris couldn't stay healthy all year because he is a beast running with the football. He has great vision and lays the lumber on anyone in his way. I don't even need to say anything about Faulk because he is clutch. That's all he does, catches key passes on third down and blocks Blitzer’s. I hope the Pats keep Lamont Jordan who stepped up when healthy. Lastly, I would love for the Pats to get Sproles but that would mean someone would have to get cut. In that case, I wouldn't be surprised to see Maroney cut.

    I would like the Pats to get a deep threat receiver that can take pressure off Randy Moss. I think this might have been Randy's best all around season in a while. He had some great blocking down field for RB's all season.

    The Pats need a TE that can command the middle of the field unlike Ben Watson. The guy is a phenomenal athlete but he seems to be doing something wrong. When you have defenders concentrating on Moss and Welker, Watson should have pro bowl numbers every season.

    The offensive line improved over the course of the season but if the opportunity presents itself, the Pats may try to upgrade it for the sake of Tom Brady. Dan Koppen has really struggled since the super bowl whooping by getting bull rushed into the backfield all season long. According to Rotoworld, Matt Birk is a free agent. That would be a great pick up. Also, I would like the Pats to try to get Mark Tauscher or Jordan Gross.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  3. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    what do watson, maroney, jackson and bethel have in common?

    they were clocked fast and projected to win mismatches in the pros. in reality their athleticism probably compensated for their lack of football player knowledge and skill in college. then suddenly they come to the pros and everyone is just as fast.

    we should stay away from the combine guys and get football players.
     
  4. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    Well the weird thing about Watson is he's such a smart guy. He majored in Biology at Georgia and maintained a 3.5 while playing football. However, I know school smarts and football smarts are completely different but you'd think Watson would be good at picking up what teams are doing offensively.
     
  5. DaBruinz

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

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    WOW. You know nothing about Maroney. Maroney wasn't a combine guy in any way. And please don't be stupid and claim that he never was the primary back in Minnesota because he was. People point to him splitting carries yet they fail to acknowledge that Minnesota, during his tenure there, ran the ball more than every NFL offense for the 3 years that Maroney was there. And Maroney ran the plays appropriately.

    And, really, nothing about Jackson. Go back and do some research about Jackson and you'll find that it took him 2 seasons of playing before it finally clicked for him. Both at the High School and College levels.

    The problem with your "evaluations" is that they are knee-jerk and poorly researched. And, as a result, you don't know nearly what you think you do on the players you are commenting on.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  6. DaBruinz

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

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    I believe that Watson's issue is more mental than anything else. And by that I mean he thinks to much. Football is a blend of thinking and instincts. The thinking is supposed to happen before the play starts. After it starts, you are supposed to let your training and instincts take over. Watson, to me, looks like he's thinking "Catch the ball, turn, run" and by doing that, he's not really focusing on just doing.. I think a few sessions with a sports psychologist would do wonders for him..

    BTW, Watson runs his routes pretty damn well. His blocking has gotten a lot better. Its the actual catching the ball that's the issue.
     
  7. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Nice threads. Enjoy the read, a few comments on these two spots come to mind.

    First - Neal's huge impact on the line - the problem that Neal is injury prone makes this an issue. We need to spend a pick on an OG or OT.

    Second - I agree completely about WR. Even though we have a top tandem, I still think #3 WR should be a priority. There's no depth behind Moss, and Gaffney is an adequate, albeit upgradeable wideout. The draft and free agency should provide some efficient/cheap ways of adding depth at the position.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  8. DaBruinz

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

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    I've never said otherwise. In fact, I've taken a lot of garbage from people because I have guard rated as a higher issue than OLB.

    Thanks for the comments
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  9. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    sorry i commented on your thread oh great knowing one. Personally you're wasting your time on this message board. you should go for scott pioli's job.

    oh and by the way the whole point was that maybe they were able to excel and get by in college because of their speed and then when you get to the pros it's about technique too and maybe their technique isn't what it's suppose to be.
     
  10. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    watson doesn't know how to find the open point in the zone, a guy like troy brown did.

    watson has linear speed and most of it is top end, he can't move laterally too well.
     
  11. DaBruinz

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

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    I think that you over-estimate the amount of pressure that Brady actually faces. I agree that the O-line needs some depth/upgrades. A C/OG that is as nasty as Neal would be nice. Having another OT/OG would also be nice.

    Maroney has proven he can play in the NFL. Much of the issue to start this season was clearly the O-line and the fact that whatever rehab/surgery was done on his shoulder wasn't enough to get him fully healthy.

    I guess I don't see what other people see when it comes to Jordan. He had 2 good games and the rest stunk. Putting up 97 yards against the Raiders was no big feat. BJGE stepped up just as much and is 7 years younger.


    I disagree that it needs to be a TE. A receiver, in general, who can command the middle. Also, the Patriots havent' used the TE to control the middle of the field since Christian Fauria left, really. I don't know if Brady just doesn't trust the receivers there or what.

    Matt Birk will be 33 when the season starts.. Adding him really doesn't so anything for the team in my honest opinion. I also don't see Tauscher as being an answer at RT. Gross could be, but how much of an upgrade is he over Kaczur? And is that level of upgrade worth 5-6 million more than what the Pats are paying Kaczur?
     
  12. Rob0729

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    Maroney wasn't a combine guy. The guy produced in college. He had the numbers and not just combine numbers to back it up. Personally, I think one of his biggest problems is that his style doesn't really fit into the Patriots' offense. Other than Kevin Faulk, most of the RBs who do anything in this offense are between the tackle pure power runningbacks. Maroney can be a powerback, but he might be better suited in an offense that has the RB running to the outside more. I think if he leaves the Pats and gets into the right offense, he could produce and produce big. He still has the potential to do it here.

    As for Jackson, Belichick supposably tested the guy himself on his football knowledge and was impressed. Jackson's problem seems to be more his maturity and dedication.
     
  13. DaBruinz

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

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    Your whole point was to spew your unfounded and unsupported opinion on players you have a bias against. It didn't matter if the facts support you or not. And it didn't matter if it was really on topic or not.

    As for knowing a lot, yes I do know a lot. I do my best to learn as much as I can about it. I know more than some people and lots less than others. And when I am wrong, I suck it up, admit it and learn from it. Its too bad you can't do the same.
     
  14. jbb9s

    jbb9s In the Starting Line-Up

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    RB - didn't see any mention of LaMont Jordan. I kind of like this guy and I assume (without checking Miguel's cap page) that he plays for close to the vet minimum. I would like to see him back but this probably pushed Law Firm out the door - I don't think he is eligible for the PS.

    Faulk shows no signs of slowing down and I don't think Lil Wayne is touring so he should be dressing for all 16 games (the other 3 probably project to missing at least 15 between them).
     
  15. DaBruinz

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    JBB9S - Jordan is under the Free Agent section since he is a free agent this year.

    Personally, I'd kick Jordan to the curb and give the reps to BJGE or give them to a draft pick. What I find funny is that when everyone was going gah-gah over BJGE and saying that he meant the end of Maroney, I was preaching patience. Yet, now everyone wants Jordan even though the guy only had 2 good games. Both games were ones where he had a chip on his shoulder. The Jets and Raiders.
     
  16. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    all 4 haven't lived up to where they were drafted. all 4 were known for their speed. games speed isn't even the same as combine speed anyways. just look at welker and moss. welker has quick speed. moss has high end.

    the 4 players i mentionned were supposedly known for their speed and their speed hasn't made them game changers on a consistent basis.

    not great draft picks

    watson needs to go when his contract is up. nice guy but doesn't produce.

    same with maroney. has produced but can't count on him. too often injured.
     
  17. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    personally i think maroney has poor vision which is why i said his speed gave him the edge in college. you can't teach vision.
     
  18. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    QB: after a full year in the system, o'connell will be ready to be the backup and I believe he will be ready to be the man if brady's return is delayed, but they will still need that vet guy on the bench until brady gets back.......coming out of college, o'connell was further along than either brady or cassel both physically and mentally.....which is the reason the brain trust used a 3rd rounder on him.......its funny how many dismiss this guy as some know-nothing stiff.......HE will be the one who someday makes brady expendable

    RB: maroney will remain because he's cheap, but I believe what you see is what you get.........a paper mache 'power' back......damned shame because he was great when he runs with attitude......... if we could get a decent pick for him, I would have no problems trading him and drafting a guy like shonn greene or rashad jennings

    TE: they've kind of become irrelevant, but I felt better about the offense when we had a tough one.....I wouldn't mind going out and getting a guy like will heller for depth

    WR: I'd like to improve the pass-catching quality at #3 and #4.........gaffney is obviously limited in some way...I think aiken has earned more time at #3

    OL: I say pay mankins and draft/sign a new right side and dump the ones they have.........neal and kaczur got better later, but both are dented cans who can't be considered dependable
     
  19. DaBruinz

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    You clearly never watched him in college.
     
  20. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    he's been out of college for several years. his college production does not count in the pros. if this was his first year sure.

    i watched gino torretta in college. i watched danny weurfel. i watch heath shuler. tyrone wheatley was pretty good but subpar in the pros. cedric benson was pretty good too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
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