Right Guard or Left Guard...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AzPatsFan, May 23, 2009.

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  1. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    SeaBass-tion Volmer was drafted in the second round, after the Patriots decided on him, instead of William Beatty,a highly rated LOT candidate.

    Dante Scarnecchia went down to Houston and supposedly ran the Pro day, as he worked out Vollmer. Dante obviously came back highly enthused with what he saw. So I have to expect that Vollmer will start some time in the next 20 games. I suspect it will be about the 10th or 11 game.

    If he does win the starting RT position from Nick Kaczur. Does Nick become the swing tackle reserve? Or if Kaczur is shifted to the interior line, where does he press to start? Left Guard making Mankins expendable in FAs in 2010? Or Right Guard making Stephen Neal expendable as a FA in 2010 and going on 34 years old?

    First of all does Kaczur fit inside?

    If he does what is his most natural position RG or LG, irrespective of openings in either position?

    Can he handle either position, as a starter?

    If he he serves as an interior reserve, would he immediately go to the head of the class for interior reserves?

    Would that make, say a Hochstein, a FA in 2010 and going on 32 expendable?

    Could he handle the reserve center position?

    Discussion please.:confused:
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  2. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter


    1) Dante liked Vollmer enough to draft him as the 58th pick in the draft. I have no reason to believe that this means that he is expected to be a starter by his 20th game, let alone his 11th. That Vollmer was chosen over Beatty means that the patriots valued him more, nothing more. Make no mistake, I like the pick and think Vollmer is one of tackles that will compete for starting positions in the future.

    2) Beatty was a highly rated LOT on this board, rating him as a possible #23 and certainly a strong possibility at #34 if he was there. Many on this board thought that LT was a high priority need. There is nothing to support the assertions that the patriots agree. There is nothing to support the assertion that Beatty was highly rated by the patriots or anyone else. Highly rated LOT propsects are long gone by #58. LOT projects are certainly available.

    3) Many on this board don't like Kaczur's performance as a tackle. I don't think Dante agrees. He has started since he got here at both LT and RT, from his FIRST game.
    4) I see no reason to convert Kaczur to a guard. Personally, I like him as a LT, RT and as a swing tackle.
    5) I would not put Kaczur at the head of the interior line reserves. To do that, he needs to be able to be quality backup center. There is absolutely no reason to believe that he is able to perform, let alone perform well at this position. I certainly would put him in the position of calling OL signals, and centering the ball to the franchise.
    6) Kaczur will either be an RFA or RFA next year. Vollmer was needed at #58 in case Kaczur doesn't stay and to push him for a starting position if he does.

    6) Yes, Hochstein is expendable. And no, this has nothing to do with Vollmer or Kaczur. They are not competing for interior line roster spots. The likely interior backups seem to be Ohrenberger and Johnson. These are the folks Hochstein should be worried about, and also Connelly.

  3. farn

    farn In the Starting Line-Up

    I agree with the last poster... people on this board and BB have different views of certain players. There is no need or reason for Nick to move to guard. Unless something unforseen happens, I think he's the starting RT. If Vollmer can beat him out (in a one on one battle, no injuries) - I'd be thrilled, because he'd be progressing much faster than anticipated.

    Just because fans don't like certain players, it doesn't mean the Pats feel the same way.
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  4. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    I think BB gambled on the potential of Vollmer because he sees him as a left tackle in training. He's got the size and quick feet. Why not get a solid right tackle with that pick, lots of guys can play right tackle. He could still work at both, but that's why the gamble IMO.

    Lord knows I'm not familiar with the other LT mentioned for that spot in the draft, but upside is upside and the premier position is LT not RT.

    Looks pretty nimble in this speed rush scrimmage to my untrained eye.

    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I agree with some of this, but not all.

    (1) I agree that BB obviously valued Vollmer over Beatty, as both where available at #58. All that means is that the Pats see value in Vollmer. I don't think there is any timeframe for Vollmer taking over the RT position, but I'm sure he will be given every opportunity to compete.

    (2) Beatty is more of a "pure" LT than Vollmer. If the Pats had considered LT a priority, then Beatty would have made more sense. I think the Pats picking Vollmer over Beatty suggests that the Pats didn't consider LT as much of a priority as I, or some others, think it is. As to highly rated LT prospects being gone by #58, this is generally true, though top LTs do sometimes fall to the 2nd round (Michael Roos at #41 in 2005, Marcus McNeil at #50 in 2006).

    (3) Kaczur, Mankins, and Neal all have contracts expiring after 2009. Who gets resigned and who ends up where is totally in flux at this point, and depends on too many factors to predict - how the incumbents play and how the rookies develop, whether Mankins and Kaczur are RFAs or UFAs, how Neal looks this year in terms of aging and injury concerns, etc. I think that the most likely destination for Vollmer is as our long-term starting RT, but that is far from certain. If that happens, Kaczur could leave after 2010, could stay as a swing tackle, or could move inside to guard. There's just too many variables to predict. I think that the Pats are comfortable with this degree of uncertainty at this point.

    Kaczur, Neal and Mankins are a
  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I agree with your comments.

    I would note that, even with the benefit of hindsight, you have no highly rated LT prospects at #58 or later, but it really deosn't matter. Also, perhaps the team likes the trio of Light, Kaczur and LeVoir and expects to keep at least two of them through 2010.

  7. Kaczur's play has been highly exaggerated by people on this board. Unless someone has the stats to prove me wrong, I rarely saw Kaczur get beat. I think most of the pressure came from up the middle or the left side. I hope Vollmer competes and gets some playing time on either side of the O-line this season and could be the future at either tackle spot. But to answer the question, their needs to be a replacement ready on the RG position on the O-line due to the age and health of Neal. I think they will re-sign Mankins.
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  8. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Interesting...it sounds like you require your top OG reserve to be an OG/C, not an OG/T? But let's say for the sake of argument that you enter a game with a starting line of Light-Mankins-Koppen-Neal-Vollmer, with Kaczur & Ohrnberger in reserve. Then Neal goes down. Your top reserve would be whichever player is better and readier at RG, no?
  9. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I think it's something of a moot point as to who you call the "top" OG reserve. Clearly someone needs to have backup center capability, but I'm not sure it's meaningful as to whether that person is the "top" interior reserve.

    I think that starting OG is a more interesting area than the reserves. Mankins' contract is up after this year, and it is unclear whether he will be an RFA or a UFA and whether we can keep him. Neal is effective when healthy - our line improved noticeably after he came back last year - but is aging and injury prone, and also has a $3+M contract which expires after 2009. I think replacing at least one of the starting OGs by 2010 is quite likely. I could see Kaczur moving inside to RG with Vollmer taking over at RT as one possible option, unless one of the young guys develops.
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I think the team clearly likes Light, Kaczur and LeVoir and probably hopes to keep at least 2, of not all of them, through 2010. LeVoir was a really nice surprise last year, and seems like a considerable improvement over Britt as a backup tackle. And BB has always appeared to value Kaczur. While I see Vollmer as an eventual replacement at starting RT, I don't see that affecting whether we keep Kaczur - I think that will be a function of the salary cap and fiscal issues rather than whether he has value.
  11. nashvillepatsfan

    nashvillepatsfan In the Starting Line-Up

    Agreed. :eek:

    The problem last year seemed to be with the interior. The play of the line improved alot when Neal came back. The question will be can he stay healthy. Mankins, i believe, will be resigned. It's RG that im concerned with.
  12. Schmo

    Schmo Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #11 Jersey

    Yes. The O improved drastically once we had all 5 of our starters back. The whole o-line is obviously greater than the sum of the parts and I would think that a guy like Vollmer will start by the time we stop talking about him. Makes me think a guy like O'Callahan is at the time in his career to make a major impact... perhaps he may be the mauler we need to take over at RG. Don't expect immediate dividends from Sea Bass like we did with Mankins.

    BTW Mankins ISN'T going anywhere.

    What I see from Vollmer is a HUGE, mean mofo with the ability to play o-line at the NFL level. Let him find his niche.
  13. RobAllan

    RobAllan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    #12 Jersey

    There's nothing more important to a football team than Right Guard. The locker room stinks otherwise.
  14. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    Looking at that video - and a few others - I agree with you... and I've postulated that given his size and ability to handle the speed rush, he could be a speed rush specialist for the Pats (and I also can't help but wonder if he could come on the field as an extra TE in blocking situations too).

    But others writers have said that Sea Bass' speed and his ability to play LT

    National Football League: NFL Draft 2009 - Sebastian Vollmer

    But at the end of the day, I tend to think that BB would find someone he thinks could address the speed rushing protection needs we have.
  15. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    I think Volmer is an NFL ready OT in a zone blocking scheme.

    With coaching on technique and an increase in strength, I think he could become an above average starter in the NFL.

    I do worry about elite speed rushers, coming off the end.

    I think Kazcur could excel on the inside. He is adept at drive blocking and has the flat back to succeed on the inside.
    Last edited: May 24, 2009
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    The discussion was with regard to top reserve in the interior line. We go into a game with two reserves. Recently they have been one guard and one swing tackle, with the guard backing up at center. In the past, we have had the long snapper as the backup center.

    In the scenario you mention, Ohrenberger would only be active if he was the best backup at certain positions. He would need be better than the inactive OG/C (Hochstein or Johnson). I do not expect that Kaczur will be the 3rd best RG on the team, this year or next.

    However, yes it is possible that Kaczur could be the best backup at RG, RT and LT, with Ohrenberger backing up C and LG.

    BTW, there is also possibility that we would have a left side backup (LG and LT) and a right side backup (RG and RT with the best backup at center coming in to backup the center. Personally, this is my favorite since I favor more road-graders on the right side.

  17. State

    State In the Starting Line-Up

    #17 Jersey

    I agree with Nashvillepatsfan and Ochmed Jones, whom I always agree with.

    We have the players potentially at the tackle position to consider real competition at RG between injury-plagued Neal and Kaczur, if that's how his name is spelled.

    Another consideration is Ryan O'Callaghan. A solid player who seems unable to physically hold up. But let's see. He has concussion problems, I think.

    Also, LeVoir really opened eyes last year. At times he seemed almost an upgrade over Light, whom he replaced because of injury.

    And the wildcard is the great 'Bama player, Wesley Britt. I think he can play and be solid, too.

    Didn't we make a SB run and victory with Tom Ashworth at RT? What's he done in Seattle? Was he injured last year?

    I think we have three players now who can fit that role--Vollmer, O'Callaghan, and Britt-- while moving the former starting RT at RG, creating true competition there we haven't had for years.

    Mankins is the best LG in the business today, in my humble opinion.

    Neal excels, though, at pulling. Almost a Hog Hannah.
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I think that we are fine on the left side though 2010 with Light, LeVoir, Mankins and Koppen on the left side. At the very worst, if Mankins goes, Light can move to LG. For 2009, I presume that we also have Hochstein, Johnson, Yates or even Connelly or Bussey as a backup. That's five positions filled with five quality players. Johnson seems to have the inside track.

    The bottom line is that there is ONE 2009 position up for grabs and lots of players competing for the position.

    There could be a lot of competition for 2009 and 2010. Personally, I'm not sure I see the competition in 2009. I see Neal and Kaczur as the starters. We have done well for years when both of them have been in there.

    I see Ohrenberger and Vollmer as the backups. We drafted them high on the draft. They'll stay and be expected to be able to start if necessary in 2010, although they may still be backups.
  19. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    Don't know what you mean here. The backup center has to be a good center, hopefully also good at guard. Can't just assume anyone can play center.
  20. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey


    Let's say closer to Hannah than I am to being Tom Brady.
    Last edited: May 24, 2009
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