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Replacing Hobbs

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Sicilian, Apr 27, 2009.

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  1. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    So, I'm sure this was brought up in the Hobbs thread at some point, but I thought it was an important enough issue to hold it's own.

    I'm not talking about replacing Hobbs as a CB. Between our two FA additions, two second year draftees, and the new kid Butler, I think we'll be just fine there. I'm talking about Hobbs as a kick returner.

    There are a few options I see as kick returners for this team this year:

    1) Laurence Maroney - With the addition of Fred Taylor, it's possible we might see a re-emergence of Maroney as a kickoff specialist. Let Taylor-Morris pound it in the running game, Faulk handle third down, and let Maroney chip in with about 10 carries a game and around 30 yards per return (which is what he did when he was healthy).

    2) Matt Slater - He's got the straight line speed for sure, but didn't show great vision or cuts in the return game last year. Mix that with his fumbles, and this might be a long shot. If he can straighten out a couple issues though, he could be pretty dynamic.

    3) Brandon Tate - New draftee, supposedly is a good kick returner I thought? Don't know much about him personally though.

    What does everyone think? Who becomes our regular kick returner this year now that Hobbs is out of the picture.
     
  2. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Tate suffered a ACL/MCL injury last October. He will probably start the season on the "PUP" list or the IR outright.

    Other options for kick returner include Welker, Faulk, Wheatley, Wilhite, and Butler. Welker and Faulk have experience at the Pro Level. Wheatley, Wilhite and Butler all were kick returners in college.
     
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would expect Edelman to at least get a look on returns also.
     
  4. Synovia

    Synovia In the Starting Line-Up

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    THe kid muffed two kicks as a rookie. Big deal.


    He's been too good as a blocker in the return game to have him return a ton of kicks.
     
  5. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I dont want Welker returning Kicks ...he's too valuable

    When Tate's fit he could be the best KR in the game ...

    I would give it to Maroney ... might give him some confidence for a start, however I think they give it to Slater
     
  6. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I agree, rookie issues are often overblown. But it wasn't just that he muffed a couple of kicks, it was he muffed a couple of kicks on a very limited number of opportunities. If he cleans that up, I think he's a possibility, if not, I don't see them giving him too many more chances to prove he's fixed it is all I'm saying.
     
  7. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Maroney has been my nominee for months.
     
  8. Reaper

    Reaper Rookie

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    It will probably just be welker and faulk at the position for the kick returner, as for maroney he will probably be healthy and step it up this season as our RB.
     
  9. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Welker and Faulk are much more suited to punt returning than kickoffs. They both have good hands and quick, shifty moves, but not the breakaway speed you like out of kickoff returners, IMO.
     
  10. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Here are the numbers:

    Edelman - 40: 4.52 Shuttle: 3.92 3 Cone: 6.62 10 yard: 1.52
    Wheatley - 40: 4.37 Shuttle: 4.20 3 Cone: 6.74 10 yard: 1.48
    Wilhite - 40: 4.38 Shuttle: 4.41 3 Cone: 7.17 10 yard: 1.43
    Tate *- 40: 4.52 Shuttle: 4.12 3 Cone: 7.25 10 yard: 1.60

    Hobbs - 40: 4.45 Shuttle: 4.07 3 Cone: 6.80 10 yard: 1.55


    * = Tate's times were taken from his agility test conducted prior to the 2008 season.

    Tate is the more accomplished kick returner and punt returner from College. Wilhite did not return kicks in college. Wheatley was limited in his kick return duties. Edelman, of course, was a QB, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him tested for punt return duties.
     
  11. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Yep, see below for an excellent example :D

    Sorry, but muffing two kicks in not an indictment of a rookie.

    AV had some horrible misses as a rookie.

    It's not talent, it's rookie nerves.

    Take a chill pill and wait for September.
     
  12. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I wonder if along with the new patty cake, no wedge rule, instituted this year if the kicking game will change significantly and this position will be less important... can see more touchbacks.
     
  13. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pretty much Anyone but Maroney is fine with me. Hell, let them have Mankins do it for all I care. Just not Maroney. Let the kid focus on running back instead of having to get pummeled doing something else. The last thing I want to see is this guy getting hurt during a return.
     
  14. Synovia

    Synovia In the Starting Line-Up

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    Maroney doesn't have the "breakaway speed" like typical returners, but had the best kick return average in the league while he was doing it.
     
  15. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Whoa, whoa... I'm not saying he won't be good. You're probably right, rookie nerves and what not. All I'm saying is (and you can't possibly disagree on this point) that if those gaffs continue into this year (which they might), Slater will NOT be returning kicks by year's end.
     
  16. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    No, but moreso than Faulk or Welker IMO. He has also shown the ability to explode when in open space, which I think is conducive to kickoff returns. I agree he'll probably never be a TD return guy, but we'd consistently start around the 35 or 40. With this offense that would be just fine.
     
  17. Gumby

    Gumby 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I thought Chung was also a returner for Oregon. Or was that just KO?

    but he is another option out there. I think returner this year is the position BB jsut throws everything at the wall and see who sticks. Normally though he wants only 100% sure hands on the return guy. (He even yanked Troy B when he dropped one.) So you have to think Butler or Chung as rookies have very low odds of getting the job.
     
  18. Hercules Rockefeller

    Hercules Rockefeller Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Welker is not really suited to the kick return spot in my opinion. He is more of a shifty type, which is why he's effective on punt return; he's able to make one or two quick moves to pick up 10-20 yards. Kick return candidates abound on this team so there is no need to have Welker operate outside of his normal comfort zone or risk injury--he's too valuable in the slot. Between Slater, Maroney, Edelman, Wheatley, Butler, not to mention Tate (who if healthy would have to be the favorite)...I think they'll be fine. I will miss Hobbs kick return skills though. He went right after it, really attacking the hole. Probably will not be as effective at it without the wedge blocking though, that could be one of the reasons why he was deemed expendable.
     
  19. Synovia

    Synovia In the Starting Line-Up

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    Consistently starting at the 35 or 40 is worth a whole lot more than the occasional TD.
     
  20. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Tate, Edelman, Wheatley, Maroney, Butler or all KR candidtates. PR is a little trickier. There are some guys who excel at returning punts that aren't as good at returning kicks and vice versa.

    Welker is a pretty good PR, but seeing as how we expect him to catch 100 balls per season, perhaps we should just let him concentrate his energy on the offensive side of his game? Slater is too valuable as a gunner to use as a returner, besides we saw the results, I don't expect him to be used in that capacity again.

    Why are we coddling Maroney unless ... you really do believe he's made out of glass? ;) If he can contribute on special teams, that's what he should do. There won't be a lot of carries left over for Maroney anyways as long as the top 3 of Taylor, Morris, and Faulk stay healthy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
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