Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by DarrylS, Jul 20, 2014.
This photo does not inspire confidence in Nate Byham:
Pretty much another body at the TE position. That position features the best TE in the league by a large margin when healthy and a bunch of JAGs. I also don't think this prevents a Keller signing if BB is interested and if that destroyed knee checks out well enough.
Unfortunately I believe that was a career ending injury.
I'm pretty sure that everyone who isn't "one of those" roots for another team.
Really, the only roster mistake this offseason was having garbage* behind Gronkowski, as we had a whole year after the Prisoner release to solve the problem.
Hopefully it won't be a problem, as our primary offense will be 3 WR-1TE. If Gronk gets hurt though, here we go again with a TE3 trying to play TE1.
Hooman isn't garbage, but he is what he is at this point. The remaining camp TEs are below JAG level.
Barring the signing of someone else's cut or a trade (both of which are still possible), right now we're going into camp with an open ended (if somewhat uninteresting) battle going on. Right now we have the following as "locks" IMO:
RB: Ridley, Vereen, White
TE: Gronk, Hooman
WR: Edelman, Amendola, Dobson, Lafell (not going to count Slater as a WR for the purposes of this exercise).
You have to figure we'll keep a fifth real WR (Thompkins or Boyce), which means we have the following players battling it out, not just to prove they're better than the competition at their position, but also that their position itself is worth the roster spot:
Thompkins/Boyce (6th WR)
Jones, Watson, Byham (3rd TE)
Bolden, Houston, Finch (4th RB)
Develin (FB or TE?)
Currently needing to carry 3 QB's makes it more interesting too. If something were to happen with Mallett, it might free one of these positions up.
I tend to agree, it was brutal one of the worst knee injuries I have seen in 25 years as a fan.
As a receiver, Hooman is garbage. He's a just slightly above average blocker, though.
I'll be surprised if either is cut, I expect 6 WR + Slater. With the TE situation it couldn't be more clear we'll be more WR based this year.
At this moment (having not seen anyone in camp or preseason yet), this is my expectation too. I'm just leaving the door open for a surprise rise from one of the UDFA tight end's or a head-scratching move like keeping five RB's or something. There always seems to be one thing like that every year.
I definitely think the wildcard is Develin. If he shows he can be the emergency 4th RB AND a capable blocker at TE, I think it makes keeping 6 WR's easy. Neither of those things are a given though.
TEs went overdrafted this year, I think there was a plan in BB's mind, the way things unfolded though he had not much choices, maybe the plan was not to draft 3 Oline but without options he may have pushed the **** it button so let's at least fix one area for sure.
IMO there's no much hope in Keller or Finley, the offseason failed to address TE, the approach now is clearly wait for the cuts and maybe hit a udfa although I have no faith in none of them. I believe Sudfeld will be brought in if cut by the jests.
I think one possible solution to the "2nd TE" scenario that many are missing is the use of James Devlin in an "H Back role. At the end of last year the team started to give Devlin looks out of the back field as well as down field. Perhaps this off season, Devlin has worked on his receiving skills to elevated them another notch.
I also wouldn't be surprised to see Hooman get more looks this year. If you remember his TDl catch, it was a remarkable.effort.
Remember the objective is to spread the ball around to EVERYONE not just 2 main targets. Its a lot harder to defend 5 threats than 2e. For the offense to become REALLY smbuccessful, it would be better to have a lot of 800 yd receivers than a couple of 1000yd ones. The Pats have the potential to have a number of good receivers this year.
Fantasy wonks are hoping for big numbers from the likes of Gronk DA, Edelman, or Dobson where the reality is it would be better for the offense if those catches are spread around. Given that 40000 yds is a given in today's NFL, you almost have to have at least one 1000 yd receiver. But I will take it as a good sign if no one gets 100 catches this season.
I would not call him garbage, when he has the opportunity he is actually solid, and he is actually very good after the catch. In 2 seasons, he has been targeted 26 times resulting in 17 catches, 65.3% catch ratio, 245 yards, 11 first downs, 1 touchdown and he has dropped just one pass. I do not think he is ever going to lead TEs in catches but with more opportunity he could catches 20-25 footballs. That would be solid given his role in the offense, and it would make teams respect him in coverage.
His role on offense is as the TE1 if/when Gronk goes down. As a TE2 if the Patriots deploy a 2TE set. In any case, the defense doesn't need to account for him at all. That he was only targeted 26 times in two seasons in spite of the various injuries to Hernandez and Gronk, coupled with the fact that he was the de facto TE2 last year after Hernandez got popped, does not exactly inspire me with confidence. As a matter of fact, the mere possibility of him on the field as the TE1 is probably the only thing that can get me to start praying again on a regular basis. An upgrade can definitely be made there. Whether that's through Keller, Finley, or someone already on the roster like Jones, is up for debate. That Hooman is a garbage receiver is not.
I agree, Develin could be more involved this season, last year they threw to him 4 times, and he caught all 4 passes, for 62 yards, 34 of those yards came after the catch so he not easy to bring to the ground.
You see lack of involvement in the passing game as a receiver as = garbage, but it is not, he is not a garbage receiver, he is just not a top target in our offense. When he is targeted he does what is expected of him.
The targets are not higher because he simply can't get open on a consistent basis. Anyone who has even given him cursory viewing in a game can tell this. The plan is to build the best and deepest team that you can possibly get. After Gronk, the quality of the TE's basically falls on a cliff. We're left to either hope Gronk plays the entire season or the team makes a move to bolster the depth after him.
If Gronk is hurt - unless there's a big surprise among the no-names - we will run a different offense. We have extra WR, we have 2 receiving RB now (3 if Finch stays), we will use TE just as blockers and the occasional pass. Much like last year without Gronk except we're better now. When Gronk was out to start the season, Vereen was out after Game 1 and we didn't have White. Bolden was the receiving back for God's sake. Amendola was out, LaFell was in Carolina, the rookie WR were . . . rookie WR. When Gronk was out the second time things were a little better but the WR were dropping like flies.
This year should be very different. We can throw to Vereen and White, the rookie WR aren't rookies anymore, Amendola should be healthier, LaFell has been added.
Arguing about the "other" TE is largely irrelevant to me. If Gronk is out the TE will be like good kids - seen but not heard from. They'll do the dirty work of blocking but we'll be passing to the WR and RB instead. Of course, Justin Jones or Asa Watson could surprise - but probably not.
To be fair, though, I remember for at least one of those catches with a lot of YAC there was nobody covering him or even nearby.
Against Cleveland and probably all those YAC comes from that catch;
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