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Rich Seubert, OL/blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by JoeSixPat, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Intersting to see in the Giants game that Guard Rich Seubert often comes into the game as a TE - really to serve as an extra blocker.

    Although he's eligible to receive (and needs to be announced each time he comes in since he has a OG #) I don't think they've thrown a pass to him yet.

    He's there to block and apparently does it well.

    While I know a lot of people are big Daniel Graham fans - as am I at his current price tage - if Graham's primary role is blocking, I continue to question why we'd pay a $3-$4 million for a blocker when a decent guard earning a million or less - who obviously specializes as a blocker - could serve the same role.

    So while there's no doubt that Graham is one of the best blocking TEs out there, can we honestly say that a cheaper guard couldn't block nearly as well for a fraction of the price?

    I don't discount the fact that Graham can and does catch passes so that's certainly worth a bit more money - if he can remain healthy and on the field - so I could still justify him gettting $2 mil a season or so ... but no where near what a top TE would be making.

    This of course plays into my theory that naming him Captain is sincerely to show him how appreciated he is by his team and the fans - even if that doens't translate into one of the higher TE salaries for next season.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2006
  2. PatsWickedPissah

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

    Graham can catch passes too. He made a spectacular leaping full speed catch in the Lions game. He's FAR more versitile than an OT playing as a TE. The defense must allow for the distinct possibility that he goes out on a pass route and is not trivial to cover.
  3. Pujo

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

    It depends on how you use your blockers. Guards often block in-place, tackles and tight ends have to pull & swing out more often. The Giants may use him as a stationary tight end for pass protection, but I don't know how effective he'd be on a screen or running play where he has to slide down the LOS and make a block towards the sideline.

    Then, let's not forget that Graham DOES catch, after all.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2006
  4. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

    Who is forgetting that? Re-read my post.

    But when people talk about Graham its always about his blocking ability. That's the value that he brings according to most people here.

    So if blocking is that important (and on many plays it is -and certainly is if your OL suffers injuries or you're up against a very good DL), why not look to a blocker to do the blocking like the Giants are?

    So if Seubert is worth $900k is Graham worth twice as much? I'd say yes.

    Is Graham worth 4x as much? I'd say no.

    I have a feeling that price tag might be too rich for the Patriots blood as well - so it will come down to Graham's decision on where he wants to play - and the level of appreciation he recieves for that role could be a factor.
  5. psychoPat

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

  6. RayClay

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

    I've wondered that myself. The brain trust certainly have prioritized the position in the draft.

    I know the "wham" play is a very succesful part of our run game and seems to require more athleticism than a OLinemen has.
  7. patsfan13

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

    Graham is worth the 4x a backup guard playing TE IMO. Remember Bravaro has called Graham the best all around TE in the game. He is the best blocking TE, he does little things, like his chip vlocking on guys like Freeney and still get out on pass patterns. He is a deep threat also, Also he is probably a leader in the locker room, why else would he be named a team captain?

    I think Graham is under rated on this board because he isn't as flashy as other guys but there is NO TE I would rather have on this team.
  8. JoeSixPat

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

    Paying Graham as the best overall TE would be highly OVER-rating him in my opinion. I don't think the Patriots view him in that light, nor would they pay him anywhere near a top TE.

    But I don't think Graham is under-rated in the least on this board. In fact just the opposite - after getting no credit for years because he wasn't catching many passes and his blocking was often unnoticed, now everyone and their brother wants to show their football savvy by talking about what a good blocker and pay him as the best overall TE in the game.

    There's no question that he is an excellent blocker- nor is there any question that he's caught some tough passes (and dropped some not so tough ones much to everyone's consternation).

    But if there's a strong feeling that paying him 4x as much as a Guard - or nearly as much as Dallas is paying Jason Witten - then I'd say the pendulum has swung far the other way and he's probably over-rated.

    That's probably just not in the cards for the Patriots - nor maybe any other team - but if Graham thinks someone will overpay him like that he's not going to accept a lesser deal from the Pats.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2006
  9. BruschiOnTap

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

    Seems to me like having an OL in at TE basically faxes the next play to the defense. Having a versatile TE in on every down makes them guess on every down. Then again, the one time you do pass with that OL, it might go for six.
  10. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?


    Hmmm - so what message does having a LB in at TE send?

    With the Patriots I don't think DC's take anything for granted. They'll throw to anyone in there.

    But you're right that Graham is a legitimate receiving threat just as Vrabel has- though one not looked to all that often. Which is why he is certainly worth more than a blocking lineman - just not as much as an elite TE, which is what paying him 4x the salary of a backup Guard would equate to.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2006
  11. patsfan13

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?


    Whuile I don't see Graham being paid as the top TE in the game, I do think a very serious effort will be made to sign him, his being made captaon is evidence of that, also BB values some positions more than others, based on who we have drafted TE are right behind DLmen in BB schene of things. I think the offer to Graham will reflect that.
  12. chris_in_sunnyvale

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

    Graham is an outstanding blocker, especially in one-on-one pass blocking (he's handled Freeney and rushing OLBs in such cases with much success). In addition, he's got the speed and hands that a OL playing TE would likely not be able to replicate. In short, he's a hard-to-find asset that's worth paying a premium for.

    His value is hidden because he's asked to stay in and block more often than not, which an OL playing TE definitely can do. However, his value becomes more apparent as the OL continues to improve. I think we can all agree that the Pats are set with the interior of their OL...LG-C-RG. Yet there are plenty of arguments on whether or not Light is the solution at LT. At RT, there's the O'Callahan and Kaczur rotation which hasn't wowed anyone. Imagine BB/Pioli shoring up these positions (e.g. either improvement by these guys or bringing in better tackles). Such improvement would drastically show off Graham's true value. If he stays in to block, the Pats would have such a road-grading set of blockers that defenses would have to put 8 or 9 in the box, opening up play action. On passing plays, he would run many more patterns than he does now because he can count on the OL holding down the fort on its own.

    Football is won in the trenches. BB/Pioli have spent 1st round draft picks on Seymour, Warren and Wilfork to build one of the best (if not the best) DLs in football. After taking care of that, they've turned to the OL by spending high draft picks on Mankins and Kaczur and found value in the 5th round with Koppen and O'Callahan. I doubt their work is finished. Let them finish building their OL to match the caliber of their DL and then look for Graham to shine. Then you'll be glad the Pats kept him.

    Regards,
    Chris
  13. BruschiOnTap

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

    That's why it's always Vrabel, he's just versatile enough to be put in at TE.

    And no, I'm not a believer that Graham should be paid as an elite TE, although as far as offensive skill players go, he deserves pretty good cash on our team.
  14. PatsFan37

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?

    I really hope we extend Daniel Graham. Let's sum up his skills.

    He has the strength, hands and foot speed to block the best rushing DE's like Freeney.

    Hehas the power to block a DT head on.

    He has the speed and timing to wham block an inside rusher.

    He has the speed and awareness to run ahead of screen plays and then the strength to pancake a LB.

    Blocking comes in many forms and a JAG guard can't handle all of them. Yes, you need Steve Neal to take on DT's all day long. But you need Graham for so many other responsibilities. Having him on the OL changes the running game. And not just because he's a constant threat to release into a pattern, though he is that, too.

    Because Graham has the speed to catch passes down the seam and the size to catch them in the red zone, and he has the athleticism to make an occasional circus catch.

    Guys like Antonio Gates make the highlight reels, but Graham make the coach's tape.

    -- One more thing. Each team, each DL, presents a different matchup and having Graham gives the coaches flexibility to find favorable matchups and makes game-planning against the Pats more difficult. That flexibility, that Z dimension, makes the Pats a more difficult team to face. A guard is a guard is a guard. Graham is many things.

    (Okay, Box, that one was for you) :)
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2006
  15. alamo

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    Putting a guard in as TE makes the defense's job easier, the likelihood is low that the QB will throw to him and it's obvious he's there to block. But when Graham is TE they don't know for sure whether he will be running a route they must cover or whether he will be staying back to block (thus possibly thwarting a blitz).
  16. fgssand

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?


    Very well put....I agree 100%....Keep Dan Graham right here in New England where he belongs.
  17. AzPatsFan

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    Re: Rich Seubert, blocking TE - the shape of things to come?


    If you paid Graham 4x your hypothetical Guards salary i($3.6mill) t would be half a million MORE than the cost to franchise him!

    The franchsie price of TEs is really low at $3.1 million, I beleive. I would make him an long term offer at the franchise price with money up front and a 3-6 year contract. I think he would be very eager to sign for that money.

    That would only allow you ONLY $9 million more to sign Asante and your rookie class. You could even sign the usual collection of FAs that Belichick imports, annually.

    In spite of the bias by several posters, who would like to beleive the thesis that the Pats are cheap, Belichick pays well for TRUE production. Look at the money he gave to non-stars Jarvis Green and to Kevin Faulk.

    These guys don't post fancy stats; they just produce in the small things reserve DL, and 3rd down back, that don't show but help produce a winning club. Graham is another such guy.

    I'd think he ALSO has enough for a Colvin type signing too.

    The Pats have been reloading on the fly, the last two years and this upcoming draft should just about complete the makeover. The Offense is completely rebuilt and very young. I have said it might even be too young. The turnover "problem" might be a manifestation of the youth in the Offensive "skill" positions.

    The Defense is young and talented in the DL and the secondary. Remember that Asante, Geno, Ellis, James and Artrel aren't thirty yet.

    Only the LBs have some age, but even there it actually younger than any of the SB clubs were there. The starting oldtimers at LB are 27, 29, 31,and 33. Reserves are 25, and 23. the ST players, nominal LBs, are old, but this is their last year. They would have been replaced already, this current season, by Tebuckey, Mitchell, and Gardner if they weren't injured and on IR, IMHO.
  18. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I wasn't really intending this to turn into a - "should we or shouldn't we sign Dan Graham for $4 million a year" thread but I suppose its my fault as much or more than anyone for letting it go in that direction

    The more interesting thing to me is a new potential trend in the NFL - much like the evolution of the FB position away from a major pass catching threat to what it is today - very much a specialized type of blocker... smaller, quicker, but not so highly skilled that its a highly paid position.

    If that's the case I can definately see a trend with smaller guards possibly making the move. Some, like Seubert, have played TE at one time or another in their college careers.

    Like Seubert, these TEs would be primarilly blockers - certianly not a fat, slow, static 330lb guy, but someone lighter and more mobile - but still effectively serving as an additional lineman

    Like Seubert they can be effective even if everyone knows they are in there to block and only to block - and in the end you wind up seeing a shift from what is effectively a 2 TE set used by many teams to a 1 TE set with an additional offensive lineman

    These positional evolutions happen every so often as they did with the FB position - and it might be happening again.
  19. AzPatsFan

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    That's a very sage observation.

    But in discussing FB, the Patriots have two diverse kind of guys playing the position on the roste. Heath Edwards is not a FB but a large, slower, RB with running ( 3rd) round ability but without blocking experience who is being taught to block, anmd is getting a few carries from the classical FB position.

    Garret Mills was drafted to be another Larry Centers, I think. A pass catching FB, or perhaps a TE out of the backfield to wham and catch passes like the Skin's Cooley.

    BB is always ahead (or the creator) of the trends not following behind...

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