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Positional flexibility and the 53

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Sicilian, Jul 25, 2012.

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  1. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    So, listening to all of the Shiancoe talk on the radio today (and people wondering where he fits on the depth chart), I started thinking about the positional labels we attach to players and how hung up on them some people get. You try to figure out whether you're going to carry 5 RBs, or 6 WRs, or 4 TEs, etc etc, but if a player can provide depth or flexibility at two of those, shouldn't that count towards both?

    So, for example, let's assume the Pats are carrying 24 offense, 24 defense, 2 ST specialists (say Slater and Edelman, just for the sake of argument) and their K/P/LS. Traditionally, you would break the offense down to:

    3 QB
    9 OL
    5 WR
    3 TE
    4 RB

    Now, where people see the problem is if Fells is healthy, you have to lose a WR or RB in order to keep 4 TEs. But to me, Hernandez could really be classified as a WR OR a TE, depending on what you want him to do in a given game. For that reason, you can carry 24 players on offense, and actually have 25 "positions" filled:

    3 QB - Brady, Hoyer, Mallett
    9 OL - Solder, Mankins, Koppen, Waters, Vollmer, Cannon, Connolly, Gallery, Wendell
    5 WR - Welker, Lloyd, Gaffney, Branch, Hernandez
    4 TE - Gronk, Fells, Shiancoe, Hernandez
    4 RB - Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead, Addai

    Not really sure what my solid point is (I never do, haha), but it just seems like we should be more flexible in our naming of positions. Thoughts?
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  2. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1) Position flexibility helps in the development of the roster, and in making the team.

    2) 2 ST positions is fine, but one is almost always able to play defense as an emergency backup safety or linebacker. Slater and White were last years 2 "ST" positions.

    3) PUP is also important to the starting roster. I suspect that Fells and Ballard will be on the PUP or IR list to start the season.

    4) Your roster is fine, except that we are likely to carry 3 TE's unless we cut Branch or Edelman and consider Hernandez a WR. We had TWO TE's in 2011. THREE is plenty. We do need more in camp. We still could use another addition.

    A CAUTION

    Position flexibility is great, but we should be sure to have "real" backups. In 2011, we lacked a backup for Hernandez or Gronkowski. When either was injured, we were screwed. We had Solder as a blocking TE, but that was not the problem, except when he was needed as an OT.

    We also lacked a downfield threat at WR other than Ochocinco (again no backup except one of the TE's who had their own responsibilities).

    THE SOLUTION IS NOT FOUR TIGHT ENDS
    The solution is to carry 9 WR/TE's that includes 3 TE's who can start if necessary at TE and be expected to be a receiving threat, one downfield threat, a returner and a Steer. Hernandez and Gronk can have more action as a downfield threat (when Lloyd is out) but only if there is a 3rd pass catching TE. An OL can continue to be used as a blocking "TE".

    Belichick saw the obvious problem and has brought in a dozen receivers since the off-season began. We WILL NOT have the issue at WR or TE this year. Allocating one additional roster spot at TE and adding Lloyd and Gaffney (and perhaps Stallworth) makes all the difference.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There are several possibilities; I would think that one of these four combinations would be most likely:


    • 3 QB, 9 OL, 3 TE, 4 RB, 1 FB, 5 WR
    • 3 QB, 9 OL, 4 TE, 4 RB, 5 WR
    • 3 QB, 9 OL, 3 TE, 4 RB, 6 WR
    • 3 QB, 9 OL, 3 TE, 3 RB, 1 FB, 6 WR


    Some other possibilities include:


    • 3 QB, 10 OL, 3 TE, 4 RB, 5 WR
    • 3 QB, 10 OL, 3 TE, 3 RB, 1 FB, 5 WR
    • 2 QB, 10 OL, 3 TE, 4 RB, 6 WR
    • 2 QB, 10 OL, 3 TE, 4 RB, 1 FB, 5 WR
    • all of the four above, but 9 OL and 4 TE
    • start the season with 8 OL with one coming off PUP later, and add a 9th then
    • start the season with 2 TE with one coming off PUP later, and add a 3rd then


    I would think that the least likely option would be any including only three running backs, followed by the ones with two quarterbacks.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    3 QB, 8 OL (with Mankins on the PUP list), 3 TE, 4 RB, 1 FB, 6 WR seems to be a likely scenario.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2012
  5. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    So no Fells then, or Fells to PUP and deal with the situation later?
  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Fells will be on the PUP or on the 53. We are paying him $2M guaranteed. The fact that Belichick continues to bring in TE's shouldn't move us from understanding that our TE's are Gronkowski, Hernandez and Fells. We need insurance, players for the preseason, and perhaps someone to play while Fells is injured. We could keep 4 TE's in the second half, depending on availability of roster spots.

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