Welcome to PatsFans.com

Quick thoughts on the OL -

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Aug 19, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,791
    Likes Received:
    371
    Ratings:
    +640 / 17 / -8

    #91 Jersey

    If you listen to most of the local media and "some" of the people on this board, you'd think that the sky was virtually falling on our OL. Granted it is CERTAINLY not where it should be. But its neither as bad as its being reported nor is it surprising that it hasn't been a strong point for the team. Here is some evidence and reasons why I'm still optimistic

    1. Granted the OL allowed too many pressures last week, that's not in debate, but only ONE sac..

    2. And its not like the OL was totally ineffective. Don't forget the running game where they aided BOTH our top RB's to average OVER 5ypc

    3. Take that game in context with what's happening in the rest of the league. Multiple sacks are the norm this early in the pre season. Just a quick example Even though the Giants crushed the Jets, they gave up 2 sacks.

    4. Speaking of the Jets. If you want to look at a team whose OL really IS REALLY in tatters, just look at the Jets. Compare our ONE sack with the ELEVEN the Jets have given up in just 2 games. Sanchez alone has been sacked 5 times just 3 quarters of play. And if that wasn't bad enough, ALL the Jets RB's are averaging LESS than 4 ypc

    5. Again, I'm not saying its good or that its anywhere close to were we want it to be. HOWEVER, there 3 key reasons why we are where we are, and why all should be back to what we expect over the next 3 weeks.

    First think about this. Having an effective OL is more than just having talented players. Its about creating continuity and cohesion within the group. Its Dante's great talent. For years he's created solid to great OL's even when the talent hasn't been outstanding. When players go down, no names come from nowhere and somehow seamlessly fill in. He does it by getting 5 guys who play as one. Last year was perfect example and I shouldn't have to cite the examples. So with that in mind:

    a. To date the Pats have had 18 practices. Last season by this point they had 31 Don't forget that there hasn't been a single double session this pre-season. The new CBA has had an impact and that's one example of it. And it affects not only the OL, but the rest of the offense as well.

    b. The obvious one - we are missing 3 of our projected 5 starters. Plus breaking in a new LT for the first time in 11 years. And a new RT who missed half of last season with Cancer. In some parts that just "might" be considered a slight dislocation. ;)

    c. Because of the missing players and the unexpected retirement of Gallery, a lot of different guys have been shuttling in and out of the first 2 groups, and that HAS to have caused a lack of continuity and cohesion.

    As to Nate Solder, I'd remind people that he had a GREAT rookie season playing against some top notch DE's in REAL games. A couple of bad plays in the initial preseason game and some reports from a guy who is judging results from 300 yds way at practice, shouldn't poison what he accomplished or take away from his potential. Believe me, this kid is eventually gong to be better than Matt Light.

    As to Marcus Cannon - personally I believe he's better suited to be a guard. But I also believed for 11 years that Matt Light would have been a better G, so take it for what its worth. I'm more worried about his progress and very interested to see he has progressed (or not) against a very good Eagle DL.

    The GOOD NEWS: Help is on the way. Mankins is back. Volmer and Waters are on their way (reportedly) Hopefully in time to get at least one preseason game under their belts (though Waters showed last season that he didn't need one ;)

    The BAD NEWS: We all have to deal with the "nervous nellies" who think the sky is falling. until we eventually and inevitably sort this out. You know the game day thread Cassandras who prophesize doom after the Pats first 3 and out. :rolleyes:

    Its NOT going to be perfect on Monday. They have good players too. They will make some plays on defense, and there are likely going to be pressures and sacks. It happens to every team's offense. There is no need to panic over it. We should be looking for progress, not perfection at this stage.

    There are still obviously a LOT to things to sort out on the OL. Who is going to play C this season. Who will get released. How many offensive linemen are we going to keep, Can Volmer stay healthy and as effective as he was. and the question mgtiech is dying to know "who is the 4th OT"

    As to the Eagle game. - The Eagles are one of the top teams in the league and will be a great test for both sides of the ball. They have a very good DL with lots of pass rushers and they love to blitz. Also that its been reported that Reid is going to keep his starters in the game into the 3rd quarter.

    They are in a similar scheduling situation as the Pats and it just might make more sense for both to have this game be more like the usual 3rd game scenario. It will be interesting to see how BB plays it.

    In Summary:

    1. Relative to the rest of the league its not as bad as you think

    2. There are legit reasons for the relatively poor showing in the first game, most important is the lack of practices

    3. Help is on the way

    4. Its going to get better.

    OK....maybe not so quick. :D
     
  2. italia44

    italia44 In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,287
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    You've been sooooo good,PFK....Now your CAPITALIZATION craze has returned......Didn't the pills I sent you work?......just kidding......sorta......maybe(lol):singing:
     
  3. NinjaZX6R

    NinjaZX6R In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    Looks like the Eagles might be playing their starters till the middle of 3rd quarter. Should be a great test vs their DEs and the wide 9 "rush the passer all the time" scheme vs Solder, Cannon and the rest of our OTs.
     
  4. woolster22

    woolster22 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,246
    Likes Received:
    23
    Ratings:
    +75 / 3 / -1

    Good post.

    That said, I feel there are two good reasons to worry.

    Backs (lately) and head injuries (rookie season if memory serves) are regrettably proven to be compounding, nagging injuries. They are fickle beasts, and will influence simple everyday movement, let alone making a starting ot's performance in the NFL. This is what worries me with Vollmer. Not simply this season, but into the future as well.

    That being said, who could even be considered at tackle if Vollmer is down and solder or cannon go down? Ot has some incredible depth issues. Something tells me bb thought light would be back for one more year (find it amazing light has been dealing with crohns disease. Was unaware of his struggle and find it amazing that guys can keep legitimate nfl bodies properly fed. Wish I could know their secrets...I digress...wonder if this played a part in the decision however.).

    After watching the first preseason showing, I was quite surprised at the panic towards solder. While he had a rough end if the season, I love the fact he looks much stronger. We may have to witness him getting used to his new reality, but I feel much more confident in his potential this year than last. I was surprised at how few people were down on cannon, qb looked the part of liability.

    Koppen seems like a better shadow roster type (not that he would stick around for such a situation) rather than one of fifty three. Thomas looked like he belongs. The interior line is in excellent shape. The bookends need some addressing in next year's draft (wouldn't mind a center either, let Connelly be top shelf injury insurance! I know it won't happen...)

    Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 2
     
  5. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    14,956
    Likes Received:
    332
    Ratings:
    +945 / 7 / -7

    #24 Jersey

    Any chance that Nick McDonald is the "4th OT" in this instance?

    We know that he has potential and versatility to play pretty much any of the 5 positions, so one would have to assume that he may be a decent candidate to make the roster.

    When you take the good interior depth into account though, there simply seems to be too many players (which is a good thing). Mankins, Connelly, Waters, Wendell, McDonald (or Thomas) makes 5 interiors, and that's not even bringing up Koppen's situation--which isn't written in stone just yet.

    One could make the argument to keep McDonald based on his versatility alone, and in theory he could possibly even be the 'backup' 4th OT this year, no?

    Regardless, I still wouldn't be surprised to see a roster cut addition when the numbers for everyone are trimmed. If anything, it could provide more competition for the 4th OT.
     
  6. pencilneckgeek

    pencilneckgeek Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    70
    Ratings:
    +190 / 4 / -1

    No Jersey Selected

    Seeing McDonald at T going against the Iggles starting DL (hopefully after TB is out) will definitely be interesting. If he handles himself well, we can probably start thinking of him as a lock for the roster. If he struggles badly, we best get used to talking down the nervous nellies, even if he is still fighting to be our 4th OT.
     
  7. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    13,289
    Likes Received:
    457
    Ratings:
    +1,316 / 2 / -4

    I think this is spot on. I think there's a good chance that the Pats keep:

    3 "OTs": Solder, Vollmer, Cannon
    5 "interior linemen": Mankins, Waters (hopefully), Connolly, Wendell, Thomas/Koppen
    1 "wild card": McDonald, who can play all 5 OL positions

    McDonald's versatility opens up a lot of options ... just the way BB and Scar like it.
     
  8. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    41,799
    Likes Received:
    180
    Ratings:
    +367 / 11 / -27

    Have always viewed this simplistically as Dante can always make this better, hide our weakness and the OC can utilize our TE's. Perhaps, it is more like our previous (loosely said) patchwork secondary and no longer can be fixed with bandaids.. time will tell.

    I have confidence in the front five.. Solder, Mankins, Connolly/Koppen, Waters and Volmer... can the overall offense make up for what appears to be some shortcomings?? Last year Light got a lot of help from the TE's and he was next to our all pro guard with a torn ACL. Somehow they did ok, and I expect the same this year..

    I am rambling, but that is not new.. I guess we will be ok, there will be some sacks.. but this team because of its depth and coaching can compensate for many inadequacies.
     
  9. 37Harrison

    37Harrison 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,614
    Likes Received:
    17
    Ratings:
    +36 / 1 / -2

    #37 Jersey

    I think the worrying is a little overboard at this point but what isn't overboard during the preseason? Go to the Jags board you will see Gabbert is elite, Blackmon will be ROY, you have seen what the Bills fans think of their team now, etc, etc.

    I think most of the worrying is seeing Brady getting hit and pressured like he did in the N.O. game, a game that means nothing. I am confident we will see a 100% improvement tomorrow night against the Iggles. I am sure Dante let them have it this past week and the o-line guys don't want to let TB down again.
     
  10. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,341
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    Good and measured rationale in this post. I agree there is no need to panic.

    I've been thinking about the very compressed final 3 preseason games, and have a different view as to how BB will prepare the team for the regular season.

    Given that the mainstays like Mankins who just returned along with Vollmer (we hope), Fells and a few others who are rumored to be back soon, this presents an interesting problem/ opportunity? Mankins, being officially off the PUP is unlikely to play an active role in the Eagles game Monday night. Expect that he'll get a few plays early, but I doubt they'll tax him until he's had some solid practice sessions and gets his conditioning where it needs to be. As for the others like Vollmer and Fells, they haven't officially returned from PUP, so I don't expect to see them until practices start in Tampa at the earliest.

    Considering this, the need to provide Brady some solid protection, and the need to sort out the depth positions on the OL and TE, I believe we'll see many of the OL and TE players we saw in the last game. Not sure that they'll put Gronk out there too much as well. Hoyer and Mallett should get the bulk of the plays.

    Due to these circumstances, I believe despite how the Eagles may be treating Monday's game, the Pats will use the Tampa Bay game as their traditional game where the starters play into the second half. The final game against the Giants will be used to see who on the bubble actually makes the final roster. Having 3 games between August 20-29 really puts the Pats in a bind, and due to the injuries, it may make more sense to treat the 3rd game as the traditional prep game for the season.
     
  11. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,918
    Likes Received:
    130
    Ratings:
    +343 / 24 / -2

    I'm fine with this 9. I fear that the OL's will be cut to 8.

     
  12. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    13,289
    Likes Received:
    457
    Ratings:
    +1,316 / 2 / -4

    It's possible. We've carried 8 before. We've also carried 10. Right now if it were only 8 then it would come down to Waters (a lock if he returns) or Thomas/Koppen. I think the other 7 guys are pretty much locks at this point.

    Assuming only 7 OLs are active on gameday, barring injuries I would guess the 5 starters (Solder-Mankins-Connolly-Waters-Vollmer) plus McDonald because of his versatility to play all 5 spots, with Cannon/Wendell on the fence for the last spot.
     
  13. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,918
    Likes Received:
    130
    Ratings:
    +343 / 24 / -2

    I would have both Cannon and Wendell active.

     
  14. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    13,289
    Likes Received:
    457
    Ratings:
    +1,316 / 2 / -4

    I presume you would then have McDonald inactive. Personally, I think McDonald is better than either, and provides the versatility of both. JMHO.
     
  15. TyronePoole

    TyronePoole Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Cannon is a better G than either of them imo, he seems to be getting grief now from some people because he showed up poorly at RT this preseason, a position he's obviously not suited for. But i thought he held his own nicely last season. I'd be very surprised if he doesn't make the 53.
     
  16. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    13,289
    Likes Received:
    457
    Ratings:
    +1,316 / 2 / -4

    I think Cannon is a lock for the final 53. The discussion was about making the active game day squad, where positional versatility can be a valuable asset.
     
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,918
    Likes Received:
    130
    Ratings:
    +343 / 24 / -2

    Yup; we disagree. That's fine. In any case, all three are fine backups. I would be comfortable with any of them being active.

    Personally, I would rather have 10 OL's than 8, but things happen.

     
  18. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    11,799
    Likes Received:
    413
    Ratings:
    +1,125 / 9 / -2

    #11 Jersey

    Intriguing idea, but does anybody know how he actually fared at OT in camp? McDonald has excellent size and athleticism for an interior OL but marginal for a tackle, and IIRC he has VERY short arms (31" maybe?)

    I could imagine him as an emergency fill-in, but I'd feel a lot better if somebody like Weems were on the PS. Normally I'd say that Weems was a sure bet to clear waivers, but after watching Wayne Hunter it's clear that this league is mighty short on OTs.
     
  19. TyronePoole

    TyronePoole Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    sorry, my mistake. Yeah I think BB recently stressed the importance of being able to play multiple positions across the line so you're probably right.
     
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,918
    Likes Received:
    130
    Ratings:
    +343 / 24 / -2

    :)

    I would expect us to try to have two young OT's on the Practice Squad if we don't sign another OT.

    Let's hope that Belichick can find a backup OT in the 600+ cuts from other teams. After the final cut would be soon enough.

     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>