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Potential of our Receivers

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by HomerSchooled, May 11, 2012.

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  1. HomerSchooled

    HomerSchooled Rookie

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    We've added a lot of new faces to what was already a pretty strong group. I added it all up, and including the additions at WR (Lloyd, Gaffney, Stallworth, Gonzalez), RB (Addai), TE (Fells), and FB (Larsen, Fiammetti) our current roster totaled...

    7876 yds receiving and 54 TDs in the 2011 NFL season.

    Now, obviously a bunch of the guys won't make the team come game 1. I've also assumed for a while the 2011 season was an anomaly for passing numbers, perhaps due to the lockout, kind of like the 2004 season was due to the new emphasis on PI. Everyone's numbers will probably come back down to earth a bit for the coming year. Plus, the competition will likely cut down everyone's receptions. And let's not forget father time for guys like Welker (31), Lloyd (30), Gaffney (31), Branch (32), Ocho (34), and Stallworth (31)

    Still... looks promising. :)
  2. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    That's a great stat.

    Of course it means means nothing in many respects, with many of those players who are not going to make the team or might be relegated to other roles here.

    What's most relevant to me is that it illustrates the depth and high level of competition to come in camp, with the best making the team. Interestingly there's several former and of course, current #1 receivers in that mix. Branch and Stallworth in their prime, Welker and Lloyd. Even Gaffney brings a lot of experience and veteran savvy. The TEs too will be commanding a ton of attention freeing up the WRs in coverage often. Most importantly all these guys also know that now they're role players and seem happy to serve in whatever capacity we need them,

    The age issue isnt a factor for me. Those that need speed either have it or they'll be cut. Aside from that injuries can happen to anyone. Belichick has prepared for that by brining in so many. And these guys may also be extra motivated for an extra championship with father time running in the background. We will have to bring in younger WRs in the future, but for now this is fine.

    I very much agree this could be a very special year. If Brady and the winners of camp competition can execute' they have enough options on the field at one time to completely confound any defense.

    It's less about total yards and more about making a play exactly I when you need to, and I think they want to give Brady as many experienced trusted options as possible.
  3. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    When David Givens left in 2005 I felt that it was a blow to the offense. He provided the kind of possession-type grabs that were needed to keep the chains moving at the right times, and had a good football relationship with our QB.

    Of course we had some growing pains in the next yr or so, and ironically enough those growing pains were helped solved with the addition of Jabar Gaffney in the 2006 season, as he emerged nicely in the playoffs.

    For some reason when I think of Gaffney I see a bit of Givens in him, and I think that Gaffney will play a bigger role than some feel here this year.

    As you said, it's not necessarily about the numbers, which will go to other, more talented WR's; but Gaffney provides the potential to make that big grab in a big game setting at any given time, and certainly is capable of starting outside if need be.
  4. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I agree with all of the above. Though I think Gaffney in some ways just projects best as an upgraded Branch. I think Gaffney is the favorite for #3 wideout on this team right now and projects to have a productive season.

    He has the versatility to attack every area of the field, maybe not at an elite level, but at a higher level than Branch at this point.
  5. brady199

    brady199 Rookie

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    All that "potential" is hinging as always on what the Oline can do this year. I, like many will (unfortunately) probably apprieciate Matt Light more this year then ever before. I LOVE everything the Pats have done so far, but I'm not to sure about the Oline with all the uncertainties, but at least we have Dante!
  6. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And Light's retirement makes the selection of Mounts Solder and Cannon look better and better. . . .
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  7. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    This hit's the nail on the head. When Branch got hurt and lost his effectiveness, the Pat's had a hard time threatening outside the numbers. This allowed teams to crowd the interior part of the field, shrinking passing windows and hurting the run. Although the Pats can't really blow the top of defenses, with the addition of Lloyd and Gaffney, the Pats can threaten every part of the short and intermediate field with serious talent. Brady will have much larger passing windows to throw to, receivers YAC should go up and the running game should improve dramatically. If the offensive line plays well, this team will hardly ever have to punt and could threaten the scoring record set in 07.
  8. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Exactly, and the addition of potential mauler Gallery being able to play both inside and out adds another fully abled body to the mix.

    There's also the thought that Vollmer could be a lot closer to his former self than last year, unless he somehow has 'chronic' back issues at a very young age. As of right now, I am going to believe that Vollmer had a nagging couple of injuries that kept him out of action, but that the offseason and down time should help that cause tremendously. I am not seeing the worry with Vollmer that many are.

    I think the return of Waters (officially) would be the first priority, with the rehabilitation of Mankins being a close second. One could also choose to reverse those if they feel that is the way to go. Both of these situations will needed to be kept close eyes on, and hopefully we get good news with at least one--if not both.

    I really like the Koppen signing much more than many, b/c I think it allows Connelly to play guard if/when needed, without much dropoff from Connelly's decent year at center. It probably improves some of the positions a lot more than people realize by allowing Gallery to now move to tackle if needed too. I'm still under the impression that Koppen is better in the run game, with Connelly being more stout vs the pass. I don't think it's coincidental that we had the lowest yds per rush since 2005 with the absense of Koppen, but I also realize that other factors came into play, and most importantly--I am in the minority of this thinking. Time will tell what happens, but Koppen is certainly experienced enough to make the team as a depth option if we're healthy enough to not need Connelly at guard.

    Obviously, things will sort themselves out as the summer progresses, but I think there is adequate depth at pretty much all of the positions there. I would agree that it is more than obvious that the offensive line is probably the biggest key to our entire season.
  9. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #3 Jersey

    Agree with this! In '07, Gaffney developed a decent connection with TFB!

    Hopefully that will still be there! Was still there for Branch!
  10. HomerSchooled

    HomerSchooled Rookie

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    It makes me smile having Gaffney back. Who can forget his game winner versus Baltimore in 07? Or how he stepped up in the 06 playoffs when our receiving corps had been an embarrassment all season? He's a guy who seems to show up when you really need him.

    That's the other advantage of a lot our current group: they're not the projections a lot of new additions tend to be. We've all seen what Gaffney and Stallworth can do with Brady, and McDaniels and Lloyd have been a match made in heaven.

    The biggest question is how can we possibly throw enough balls to keep everyone happy? If I were Drew Brees, I'd be awful worried about the security of that new passing yardage record. He'll probably feel like Fouts watching Marino in 84. :D
  11. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There's no question that the Pats have added a lot of options, and have an incredible array of weapons:

    - The best TE combo in the game in Gronk and Hernandez. Dan Fells gives not only a strong backup TE in case of injury, but also the ability to run 3-TE sets that was diminished in 2011 with Alge Crumpler's inability to recover from a shoulder injury.

    - A stable of young RBs with receiving ability. Shane Vereen in particular could be a potent weapon in the passing game, much like Darren Sproles. Injuries and the shortened offseason made him a non-factor in 2011. Woodhead's role decreased last year from what it was in 2010. Stevan Ridley is underrated as a receiver. And Joseph Addai is an excellent receiving back. The addition of fullbacks Fiammetta and Larsen also open up options not previously available.

    - WRs in Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney who can literally attack every area of the field. Chad Ochocinco also has that potential if he can ever get on track, though it's a long shot at this point. And Donte Stallworth adds some deep speed missing since Randy Moss left.

    - The best slot receiver in the game in Wes Welker, with considerable depth at the position in Anthony Gonzalez and Julian Edelman.

    The wild card in all this is Josh McDaniels. How does he want to use all of these weapons? When McDaniels was last OC of the team in 2008 the Pats had their most balanced offense ever, with a RBBC committee approach that averaged over 142 YPG the last 8 games of the season for a team that scored 33 PPG over that span and over 47 points 3 times. Remember the 277 yard rushing performance against the Raiders?

    Traditional thinking has it that McDaniels favors more of a "spread" offense. But I'm not so sure, based how McDaniels adapted the offense in 2008 and based on what McDaniels had to say recently:

    McDaniels is back, with more miles on him

    I think that McDaniels will probably put together an offense which is different than any he's every had before, and different than what the Pats have had. There will be more emphasis on the TEs than in any previous McDaniels offense, but more ability to spread the fied and use the running backs than there was in the 2011 Pats' offense.

    One thing that the OP points out is that there are too many weapons for the numbers to equal what individuals have previously accomplished. Brady set career highs in 2011 for pass attempts (611), completions (401) and yards (5235), and I agree that those numbers may not be met in 2012, especially if the offense attempts to find more run-pass balance. The trick is to build an offense which is greater than the sum of the parts. I agree that "it's less about total yards and more about making a play exactly when you need to". Gronk may not get 1300 yards receiving and 17 TDs. Wes Welker can't be targeted 172 times and get 1500+ yards receiving if the offense is going to be more diverse and less predictable. Welker accounted for 26% of the Pats' offensive yards from scrimmage in 2011. The Saints had a record 7632 yards of offensive production, with no single player accounting for more than 19%. We've seen in both 2009 and 2011 that having an explosive offense built around a limited number of dominant playmakers (Moss-Welker in 2009, Gronk-Hernandez-Welker in 2011) is too easily shut down in the playoffs by strong defenses and too susceptible to injury.

    The ingrediants are in place. What kind of omelet Josh McD makes and which ingrediants he chooses to feature is still an open matter.
  12. ctpatsfan77

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    Well, I'm hoping it's because the Pats build such ridiculous leads that Hoyer and/or Mallett comes out for Q4 of every game. :D

    And I have to say there is one thing I really want to see this season—this offense . . .

    plus SNOW. :rocker:
  13. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    2008: 47-7 destruction of Arizona (who went to the SB).
    2009: 59-0 annihilation of Tennessee (against a team that had the best record in the AFC the year before and went 8-2 the rest of the year).
    2010: 36-7 embarrassment of Chicago (on the road against a team that won the NFC North).

    Let it snow, let it snow, let is snow. :rocker:
  14. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    yes......7800 yards

    [​IMG]
  15. TB146

    TB146 Rookie

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    Wow! It would take TWO Tom Bradys to throw to all those guys!
  16. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We will have at least 4 WR who know this O and will be in the right place along with at least 2 TE...... Not sure we've ever had that before a Brady Banquet throw to the open guy. The rest will take care of itself...
  17. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Absolutely agree, there will be at least 6 viable targets, with the majority going to the top 4 (2 WR, 2 TE). It will also be helpful that the WR2 position is improved from last yr, which will benefit the situation too.

    And to take it one step further, there is the possibility that S.Vereen will be able to snag about 15-20 or so passes out of the backfield at times, which is what was expected when he was drafted.

    Lots and lots of great options for Brady to throw the ball to, as you said--more than any other season since he has been our QB.

    The WR situation/battle is the least of my concerns...it's the offensive line that is the main variable to whether or not we can go far enough this year. Keeping Brady upright and with minimal harm will be THE top priority for this season's team. Hopefully they are up to the challenge, as the depth looks good as of now.
  18. HomerSchooled

    HomerSchooled Rookie

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    Agreed. The depth does indeed look quite good. Cannon or Gallery could both be pretty decent Guards or Right Tackles, and Connolly can always move to Guard and Koppen can go back to Center. Plus, Vollmer can play LT if Solder goes down. That being said, the durability of the top guys is concerning. If we get some bad luck, and lose a few guys at once, that could be a disaster. Obviously though, that's the same for any team.
  19. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Brady in the first three Qs, Mallett in the fourth. . . .

    Close enough. ;)
  20. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    Yeah, Gaffney certainly was special for us, as he even supplanted Stallworth on the depth chart in 2007.

    Even though we lost the game (yes, cringe), his catch in the back of the endzone against the Colts in the AFC Championship Game was absolutely legendary. The degree of difficulty on that play magnified Reche Caldwell's drop.
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