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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It is early, but we've had months since the draft, a couple of minor camps, some roster moves and a couple of days of training camp.

    RECEIVERS
    Caldwell is a major pickup. Thomas is an excellent receiver. Maroney is fine coming out of the backfield. Brown is on the veteran practice schedule, and should contribute. Jackson looked great in minicamp, pulled a hammy, and will be back in a few days.

    We need Branch to sign, and still have room to continue the competition for the #5 receiver, although having a couple of youngsters on the PS could work as well. I'd rather bring in another returner like Dwight and Davis last year to be the #5 receiver.

    QB, OL, TE, RB, FB
    There are no real issues other than who will win the various competitions for playing time. There are also some roster spots, but the competition is there.

    DEFENSIVE LINE
    The top four are ready, the backups are not. We need three to share some reps. Wright is stepping up, and has a great attitude, and should stick at a backup NT and as a special teamer. Hill is hurt. Sullivan is Sullivan and Smith and Thomas are the youngsters with a roster shot.

    LINEBACKER
    We have our four starters. The backups seem to be Banta-Cain, Brown and Gardner. We have youngsters competing for a spot or two in Alexander, Mincey and Roach. And we have top special team leaders in Davis and Izzo. Somehow this looks much better than a couple of month's ago, or even two weeks ago.

    CORNER
    Who will win the competition to start? We have lots of nickel backs. We have five corners plus Wilson; hopefully we'll find our starter, now that Law is not an option.

    SAFETY
    We have serveral who can start, or share starting depending on the opposition. We have seven competing for six spots, but Wilson could win a corner spot, and all could make the roster.

    KICKER
    Both seems fine.

    RETURNERS
    The search continues. Will we need to use a roster spot on a returner?

    SPECIAL TEAMS COVERAGE
    We brought in Mitchell and Jones to replace Chatham, and perhaps the decreased effectiveness of Davis. Wright will be more active. We should see some improvemnt.

    BOTTOM LINE - WHAT ME WORRY?
    For me, the open questions and potential weaknesses are at corner, returner and at wide receiver (until Branch is back).
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2005
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Premature at best on Caldwell and Maroney, at least see how they do as receivers in the Atlanta scrimmage before giving them a thumbs up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2005
  3. scout

    scout Rookie

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    #15 Jersey

    Ditto for the kicking game. I'm wondering if Automatica edges out the rook for the kicking spot, would we keep two kickers. Gramatica is long on kickoffs, so it might not even be a consideration.
  4. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    I am encouraged that Troy Brown looks good so far. We really may need him to step up yet again this year and be our miracle man like so many times before! If Caldwell and Branch start, it is likely that Brown will have to play a lot while Jackson learns the ropes and/or if anyone gets injuried. I bet Brown has a solid year this year, with 40 catches. I also think Caldwell may be a pleasant surprise, and make us forget Givens.

    If Light is hurt again, and Kaszur is out, or O-Line is taking yet another step backwards. This could end up being an area of concern yet again!

    I believe that Mike Wright makes the team ahead of Hill, who is either fragile or injury prone or has bad luck or is a slow learner, or........
    I never thought Sullivan had a great chance to make the team, it's his crappy character that keeps him out of shape.

    I like the theory that Vrabel will be used more inside to sub for Beisel if Beisel can't cut it, and that Chad Brown will look better at outside linebacker than inside, to sub for Vrabel and Colvin. I still think Chad may make the team and redeem himself.

    I like our depth at safety but not at cornerback. I see Wilson as maybe being one of our starting corners, and I will judge how 'supernatural' Hobbs is after seeing him go thru a whole camp and play a whole year as a sophmore. Lots of players look good for a brief period of time, but a 5'8" C.B. will have to be special to look good for a whole season after the league has gameplanned against him for a while. Maybe Hobbs is special, that would be fine with me. Asante, Asante........(sigh)

    Returners: Willie Andrews on kicks/Faulk on Punts, with emergency man Troy Brown.

    Worried about Corner, health of O-Line. Not Returners. I think we have enough TE/FB/RB's to cover WR depth, and Brady says Branch will be back.

    LB has some depth at this point, like Tully, Alexander, Izzo, Gardner, Chad Brown, Mincey. D-Line does not have much depth, IMO, unless Thomas and Smith pick up the two gap system well.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  5. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not seeing where you're getting that.

    The DL has and will remain the deepest position on the team.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2005
  6. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    That's what a lot of people think Pats1, which is why I included 'IMO'.

    With Seymour on the sidelines, as he is prone to be from time to time, we need Wright to make a four man line. And behind Wright is, ummmmm, Hill is injuried every single time he takes the field, Sullivan is recovering from a donut overdose, so I guess that would make Thomas and Smith, who have never taken the field in a two gap system.

    It would limit our ability to run any 4-3 fronts if we lose any of our starters or Green. If we lose one more guy, we are counting on Wright for an extended period of time in the 3-4.

    IMHO.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  7. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Jarvis Green says hello.

    Any position on any team is going to be prone to injuries to any of their players. No team is realistically going to have a full second string worth of starting-quality players. What the Pats have though in Green, Hill, and Smith/Sullivan is pretty damn close.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  8. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    Jarvis Green makes for a 3-4 front, Wright would be our only option to run a 4-3 front as I see it.

    If anyone else goes down for any period of time as well, then Wright is in the 3 man front.

    Hello.
  9. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    You think much more highly of Hill/Sullivan/Smith than I do, apparently.

    As far as having a 'full second string', we have Green and then a drop off to Wright. Two guys, IMO. Only Wright as a back-up if we go to 4-3.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  10. I'm Ron Borges?

    I'm Ron Borges? Rookie

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    Putting Alexander and Roach in the same category is crazy. Alexander is in his third year in the system and has lined up with the second-team defense so far. Roach is an undrafted free agent who has barely stepped on the field yet in training camp. I've been to three practices and haven't seen him out there once. Just because you know the name "Freddie Roach" doesn't mean he has a chance to make the team. From what I've seen so far, he's even behind Corey Mays, who you didn't even mention. Alexander is way ahead of Roach at this point.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2005
  11. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    5RingsforBrady wrote: ".....and Brady says Branch will be back."
    __________________________


    I missed that. Where did you see it?
  12. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    I will check Brady's press transcript, but I thought he mentioned that he was in touch with Branch and that Branch would be back at some point.

    Edit: I re-read the press transcript and Brady was talking about 'when Branch gets back', although it was mostly in response to the media questioning.

    What I meant was that Branch will be back in the sense that he is not going to skip the whole season or anything crazy like that, or Brady probably would have had an inclination about it since he does talk to Branch frequently. I didn't mean to imply that Branch will be back next week or anything, but at least Brady seems comfortable that he won't be out for good.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  13. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Singing to the choir...We've also been penciling Gay in (some as a starter) based on he played well late in his rookie season which was 2 years ago. Haven't seen him since, and he's starting out on PUP.....(sigh) ;)
  14. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm still not following you.

    Seymour, Wilfork, and Warren make the 3-4 front. Green added at DE, and Seymour or Warren shifted inside makes the 4-3. Another option at the 4-3 is Sullivan inside. Add in someone like Hill who simply hasn't had a decent chance to show what he's made of (considering who is in front of him), and Wright who can play across the line, plus L.K. Smith as a developmental type player, that's depth.

    The DL roster is shaping up like this:

    DE - Seymour
    NT - Wilfork
    DE - Warren

    DE - Green
    DE - Hill
    DL - Wright
    DT - Sullivan/Smith/Klecko/Thomas (pick 1, maybe 2)

    Last year, it looked like this:

    DE - Seymour
    NT - Wilfork
    DE - Warren

    DE - Green
    DE - Hill
    NT - Wright (Thomas Week 17)
    NT - Klecko
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  15. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    Pats1- Like I said, you apparently believe in Hill/Sullivan more than I do. Based on REAL playing time, the back-ups are Green then Wright and then, at a distance, Hill, if he doesn't get traded or cut this camp for spending literally all his time here injuried so far, including this camp.

    Look at our depth TODAY in Camp: Seymour is out with an injury, Hill is injuried after one practice, Sullivan choked on a donut and is out. So our first back-up right now is Wright. And he would be starting if we attempt to go to a 4-3. This scenario is happening today in camp, and I don't think it is that far fetched that we could be in the same situation during the season.

    As always, this is my opinion. If you believe in Hill/Sullivan, than don't worry, be happy. ;)
  16. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And right now, today in camp, Matt Cassel is starting at QB. John Stone and Matt Shelton are starting at WR.

    At this point in the "season," anything goes.

    Do you really think Seymour and Sullivan will still be on the PUP list next week, nevermind September?

    The Pats' DL, as we know, is probably the best in the league. With high quality players like Seymour, Wilfork, and Warren, guys like Hill, Wright, or Sullivan aren't going to get much playing time, if any. Green gets his playing time as a situational rusher, but Hill is a bigger run stopper. There just isn't that much playing time to go around.
  17. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    Difference of opinion. Hill will NEVER play in a meaningful way in the NFL, IMO. Sullivan just won't fit in, IMO. Seymour misses time EVERY season, IMO. I don't care who is playing Q.B. today in camp, because if it were a game then Seymour might not be able to play if he is injuried, like during each regular season. If Green gets dinged up, then Wright is on the field just to complete a 3 man line.

    I see our depth as thin and you see it as overflowing, END of DEBATE! ;)
  18. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But tell me, what team has the depth at ANY position to have an adequate replacement for a replacement for a starter?

    If Brady goes down and Cassel gets dinged up, then Bramlet will lead the offense.

    What are you looking for the Pats to have, also keeping in mind it's the salary cap era?

    If Seymour goes down, then Julius Peppers gets dinged up, they'll then have Michael Strahan?

    Hill hasn't been injured as much as you think.

    Also, I don't know why you think Hill is worthy of getting cut. Quite simply, he's a second round pick who is competing for playing time behind an All-Pro.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  19. Digger44

    Digger44 Rookie

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    What is your fascination with the 4-3??? Granted there are sets in which we will use it, but those are in the minority because we base our defense off of the 3-4. We don't need a four man line with great depth because we run and have a three man line with great depth. What you imply is that we need to gain 2 roster spots for 2 other DL because you think we run a 4-3 and need the depth to support a 4-3. We don't. WE RUN A 3-4.
  20. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    What I think is that Hill is a bust and that Sullivan won't work out in the long run, and may not make it thru camp. I think that we will be okay if Thomas or Smith prove to be better than Hill, but since I don't know yet, I am skeptical that they will pick up the two gap system. It seems to be a really personal thing whether D-Linemen can learn to play Belichick's defense correctly.

    I'm not expecting everyone to share my viewpoint, and this thread is hopefully about more than my opinion on the D-line.

    I would have been okay with things if Hill didn't get hurt INSTANTLY like he always does, or if Sullivan was in shape. But that didn't happen. Also, Seymour is great but he misses a fair amount of time. That's why we need depth. We don't even know what it would be like to lose Warren or Wilfork for a few weeks as well, thank god.
  21. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    You know what I absolutely agree with you!!!!!!!

    QB POSITION:
    Cassell is the #2. I think the question for the QB position is: does BB take 3 QB in camp. While some may think the question ridiculous, they probably would have never even dreamed BB would begin with 3 RB on the roster last year (a position with a lot of wear and tear). IMHO, if we lose Brady and Cassell ... what's the point? Run the game out, sign a guy off the street, do the best you can, and more than likely we're going to have a top 10 pick in the draft next year. Keeping the third QB could potentially kick off a developmental player at another position that we would like to keep. Keep the 2 QB idea in the back of your mind as a possibility.

    RB POSITION:

    We got 3 RB/2HB. What I think contributed to the turnovers at Denver, was not just the lack of a home game, but also the lack of a running game. John Lynch said after the game that they didn't really worry about the RB, because the RB just couldn't burn them. So they all stacked the line and run-blitzed Brady (instead of dropping back and letting him pick them apart). So what did BB do? He got himself a HOMERUN threat with Maroney. Sure Maroney will get stacked up, maybe even stopped for a loss. But once or twice a game, when a defender is out of position, he's gonna go with North-South speed right through the secondary for a big score.

    Now I know what I will say is controversial, but I think Pass makes the team. The reason being is that I don't see Evans beating out Mills, and I don't see BB handing it to a rookie (Mills) over Pass. And I also don't see Evans over Pass either. We'll see if I'm wrong, but I'm betting that Pass/Mills is the most likely combination of H-backs on the roster. Evans has bounced around the league and could go on the shadow roster.

    WR POSITION

    I like Caldwell. Although Caldwell is not going be a ProBowler, I see him as a cog fitting in. Somehow its not hard to see Caldwell/Jackson combining to meet or beat Givens 59 catches last year. Steady Brown will be the possession WR that comes in on 3rd down and moves the chains.

    I haven't commented on the Branch situation, but IMHO Branch it will turn out fine. First of all, we sat him out of pre-season games last year just so that he wouldn't get hurt. Second, we have a lot of cap room and not a lot of WRs. That's in Branch's favor, but what is not in his favor is that we have the Franchise tag (and a lot of cap room to keep using it).

    I see us carrying 5 WR this year, as opposed to 6 last year. (Branch, Caldwell, Jackson, Brown, Childress).

    TE

    TE position is going to be huge this year. 2 TE I think will be our base offensive package. Last year, Brady only had 15% of his completions go to TE, but back in 2003 when we won the SB against Carolina, Brady had 21% of his completions go to TE. Expect Brady's completions to TEs to be closer to 2003 than 2005. In 2005, Brady threw a greater completion percentage to WR than in the past three years. Expect that number to go down.

    I think Thomas will be a solid rookie contributor. Watson could very well replace Givens as far as a go-to guy for Brady.

    OL

    OL was part of running woes last year. Its hard to keep a good running game when you lose your LT, C and RT. It looks like Light and Koppen could be ready by opening day. If Koppen doesn't, Hochstein can fill in the first game or two. There was a lot of worry in the off-season about Light and Koppen, but just the fact that Light is practicing is a really good sign. I don't see the worry about those 2 right now that there was a couple of months ago. Incidentally, I noticed Wesely Britt is on the 2nd/1st team as the LT (when Light doesn't practice). With Kaczur's questionmark status, look for Britt to make the 53 because LT is an important position. With O'Callagan and Gorin practicing at RT, Kaczur could be PUPed and brought in if one of our tackles gets hurt.

    An interesting thing to note is that if we take 5 in the backfield (3RB, 2 H-backs) that is 2 more than we took last year. We could get those two positions back by not taking a 3rd QB (thereby explaining why BB didn't go into FA to replace Flutie), and only taking 5 WR. If we don't get the 2 spots that way, its going to hurt the OL or the defense.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  22. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    One thing to remember about the QB situation that BB noted in his press conference today:

    Keeping only 2 QBs does free up a roster spot, but it doesn't allow a team to dress any more players on gamedays.

    But he also said he'll do whatever is best for the team, and that there's no restriction/requirement that he'll, say, keep 1 UDFA on the roster or keep a certain number of players at one position. Used the 4 QBs kept in 2000 as an example.
  23. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    D-line has quality, not quanity. Marquise Hill is always injured, this is his year as a make or break, similar to Bethel although they might hold onto him linger than they did Bethel. Mike Wright is still questionable, he's still a developing project. I would be weary of having him be a starter for an extended period of time. Sullivan is a lazy bum, he didn't even pass the conditioning test. I can't see him getting into shape in one or two weeks..... hence he will be far behind in the system. An LeKevin is a rookie, enough said.

    Where's Klecko? I thought he dropped weight to be a backer.

    I would say O-Line is the deepest position with Koppen and Light returning.
  24. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    Hill is an enigma to me. A huge guy and a project. Used on goaline D when healthy. Failed to make the gameday squad many Sundays. I'd previously labeled him a bust to have some fun controversy but rational perspective says this is his make or break pre-season. He could just make the team as the best available JAG DL reserve but you'd like more from a 2nd round pick.

    This is Klecko's best opening to make it as a LB reserve. Otherwise there are too many good ST prospects to keep him just for that, prospective injuries aside.

    EDIT: According to Reiss today...
    "Dan Klecko, who had been working at outside linebacker in June's minicamp, has been back with the defensive linemen."

    Oh well.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  25. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My bet is that whoever we cut in the last week will not even be picked up by ANY other team, never mind a playoff team.

    I believe "deepest" means "having depth".

    Arguably, we have the best, or certainly one of the top three DL's in the league, counting the linemen who get 90% of the reps.

    But let's go beyond the 90%. What depth do we have after the top four?

    SULLIVAN - Will he play in the NFL this year? Should he?
    SMITH - PS or will he make the squad as one of Players 51-53?
    HILL - Can he stay on the field? Does it matter?
    WRIGHT - He'll make the squad; he's more reliable that the rest and has a defined role. He also has a great attitude, and is working hard on special teams.

    This is the BEST depth in the league? Many here disagree. However, we have a fine line, as long as the top four are not injured.

    IMHO, Wright is our #5 DL. He almost didn't make our squad last year, and is questionable this year.

  26. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    As far as DL, I agree with you. The first four are set, the positions behind them are not. Sullivan doesn't look like he is going to make the squad if he can't get on the field. Mike Wright is playing at DE, and the rookie Smith is playing NT. Klecko is playing some NT too according to the pics. If Sullivan doesn't make the squad, and somehow I don't see Klecko winning the NT position, that means the rookie has got a legitimate chance to make the squad as the back-up NT. Last year Wright won a spot over Rodney Bailey just because he could play NT.

    As far as LB, I agree with you. I think Vrabel, Beisel, Bruschi and Colvin are the first four. Chad Brown, and TBC are the back-up OLB; and Gardner is the back-up ILB. Izzo and Don Davis are STers. Alexander can't be PS, so either he makes the 53 or he doesn't. Alexander is playing at a position that doesn't have a lot of depth (ILB), and if he can contribute to ST he could get a spot. Mincey and Roach have an uphill battle as rookies in a complicated system. I'd like to see them IRed or sent to the PS.

    I absolutely agree on the CB situation, although I would add that Willie Andrews could make the team as a returner and be considered the emergency CB.

    And as far as the saftey situation, we got a lot of depth. I'm not really worried about it because I know Harrison will be back this season, either at opening day or soon thereafter. I like the depth ... there's almost too much (if there can be such a thing). Somebody's gonna get cut loose because we can't hang onto them all. Guss Scott's chances aren't good because we already drafted Sanders as the developmental young safety.

    I mean look at it: we got Harrison, Wilson, Hawkins, Sanders, Mitchell, Tebucky, Guss Scott. Willie Andrews can also play S. Chad Scott also can play FS.

    kicker -- I think Grammatica would have to beat the pants off the rookie to beat him out. If its a coin flip, I go with the rookie because of 2 reasons:

    (1) BB must really like the rookie to "reach" for him that high.
    (2) Grammatica has had injury issues the last couple of years.

    I absolutely agree with you on ST!!!! Kevin Faulk allows you to give the rookie (maybe Andrews ... or Maroney?) a chance at the return game because he's a safety net. I think the returner spot competition will go right down to the wire.
  27. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with regard to Roach. However, he is a favorite of many here, and many think he has a shot of beating out Alexander. Some posted here, and on the other board, that when Claridge was cut, Roach became likely to make the 53. Personally, I agree with you. I think that the question is whether he will make the 8-man practice squad. IMHO, Alexander has a better chance than Mincey of making the 53, although I suspect that both will make it, depending on Banta-Cain's preseason (and future). Mincey is the #5 OLB, not a comfortable spot. Alexander is the #4 ILB.

  28. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    Like I previous post, my favorite is Smith. The reason is that why did BB even bring in Sullivan. As a NT. And who is playing back-up NT in camp? The rookie. I think Wright and Smith make it. If Hill can't beat Wright (their both playing DE), he won't make the team IMHO.
  29. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    wow we are thinking the same!! I was just thinking that. Alexander is playing at a position that doesn't have a lot of depth (ILB), whereas Mincey is at #5 at OLB. I'd like to hang-nail IR Mincey.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  30. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    He lined up as NT in at least the first session Friday and also today.

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