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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Metaphors, Sep 1, 2008.

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  1. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    * Despite the surprise cuts and resulting fan frenzy, 37 of the 40 roster locks (IMO anyway) are still here, with only CJack, Bryant and Lynch leaving. We seem to be losing sleep over backup QB, interior OLine depth, special teamers and gameday inactives (yes, the rules say that 7 of these guys will be in street clothes on Sunday).

    * The CB situation is only confusing because we don't know what the Capers' plan for the secondary is going to look like. Capers had Bryant in Jacksonville for a couple of years so you would think he knew what he was getting. So you have to figure that either Bryant couldn't adjust to the scheme or something is missing from when Capers saw him last (my guess would be short area quickness). Lew Sanders did exceed my expectations in the preseason games and he has the size to deal with larger receivers. I would think the CB situation isn't settled yet unless Wilhite is muuuuuuuch better than I expect.

    * The Lynch signing never made much sense to me. He still has enough skill to contribute, but his coverage shortcomings are too easy to exploit. I would never want to see him on the field late in the 4th quarter defending a 1 score lead (sound familiar?). That being said, he may end up back on the roster at some point because he seems like a Belichick guy.

    * As much as I've hyped up Guyton and Ventrone, I don't expect them to be active without injuries opening up spots. Guyton is fast and can really hit, but is very raw. I do think he will be a special teams ace and situational LB over time. Bubba is an overachiever and a fan favorite, but seems to be behind too many people to get snaps on Sunday.

    * Can't see 4 TEs lasting beyond week 1. Hopefully Pociask can demonstrate his positive preseason play and Spach can live long and prosper...somewhere else.

    * I'm really liking the focus on special teams on this roster. Slater, Izzo, Washington, Woods, Aiken, Alexander, Evans and Wright are all solid special teamers. Ventrone and Guyton provide good depth. I expect the Pats to win the battle of field position against most teams and that should take some pressure off the youngsters on D.

    * The practice squad seems to be a fairly talented group. Not only will that help with emergency depth but should provide good scout team defense in practice to keep the offense sharp. I know the practice squad can change weekly but I kinda hope these guys are able to stick around.

    * With Gutierrez gone, I think that puts O'Connell on the fast path to be the backup next year. That is a year ahead of my expectations but his mechanics seem to be much improved already.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  2. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    OK, so for clarity, can a PS player be activated at any time during the season if need be? If so, can a new PS player be signed?

    I agree, the farm is looking good for next year and that with a scary offense and ST we can keep SOME pressure off the D as it gets settled (which will hopefully be bell-ringer status by week 5).
     
  3. MaineiacPatsFan

    MaineiacPatsFan Rookie

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    The bulk of who we see play each week is set (40+ of the current 52 or so). The fluidity of the roster is likely with the remaining seven or so inactives each week. I do think that with time, guys like Guyton and Whilhite, although probably inactive most weeks will be more regular contributors by week 10 or so. The Oline is a work in progress, let Dante do his magic with healthy bodies. In a few days we will see who the additional corner will be (O'Neill, Law, maybe Sheppard?) I know I would prefer this team having a little adversity early on and hit its stride in December.
     
  4. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    MANY were frenzied but there are also SOME that were far from that...I think the backup QB IS very important especially with a starting QB that is injured...AND I do think it's quite important to have at least 7 linemen ready for a game?? Yesterday they started out with only 6 healthy. A BIT of a problem..Special teamers are important ie) the Eagle game??...SO belittling their importance is missing the point. I could care less about who is inactive..part of what who every game.


    I totally agree..to think that they would cut a vet and leave it like that is simply folly..first of many moves. AND if they see a weakness they will make adjustments through the year..not like this roster is set in stone.

    I think he will be back and a good addition.
    Injuries will have a big effect on who is active/who is not. I agree about Guyton, but again..time will tell. Same with Ventrone..a LOT will depend on Welker's health.
    Again, injury related..if Watson is out a few weeks, all 4 could stay. Spach and Pociask might be battling for that one 3rd TE job.
    Agreed..speed, quickness, experience..I like the mix.
    Yes..I predicted 6 of those before with Guts and a TE..but it looks like neither will be added...at least now.
    I agree..the fast track for him..Casssel was a quick learner in that first year and was deemed OK as a backup in year 2...I think O'Connell is on the fast track.
    Good points
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  5. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Yes....yes....and if the player is added for a game, he can be cut, go through waivers and return to the PSquad...happened many times last year..
     
  6. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #37 Jersey

    I'm not losing sleep but the picture isn't quite that rosy. RG is a real concern. Neal is out for a while, we don't about Hoch, and Yates looked awful in preseason. I do expect they'll sign a guard. They're putting waiver claims on everyone who can break a laundry scale.

    Not sure how we paint a happy face on the Pats cutting their starting RCB. Let's not sugarcoat that FO screwed up in their scouting of Bryant. Yes, Wheatley looked good, he's fast, quick, young and innocent. He will get schooled by any team with a good #2 WR. Capers will have to scheme to protect him. I do expect they'll sign a CB as well.

    They can't foresee everything, I don't blame them for the situation, but there are clear problems at starting corner and starting guard. These are not issues of depth.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    - PS players activated for a game are usually "brought up" the day before.
    - To "send down" a player you first have to waive him, wait 24 hours to see if any other club claims him, then you can re-sign him to the PS.
    - PS players can be signed by any other club, the difference between being on the PS and waivers is they can turn down offers or allow the Pats to counter the offer - waivers anyone can claim them and pay them league minimum (which I'd gladly settle for in any given year!).
    - Players currently on the PS can be released and a new player signed in their place. BB/SP adjust the PS all through the season based on team training/depth needs.

    This PS is off to a good start, I liked most of these kids in TC/preseason.
    - Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis showed some good field vision and explosiveness. He hustled and made plays on Special Teams. Between Coach Fears and the Strength & Conditioning firm of Woicik, Nash, & Davis, this kid could be the next chapter in the Faulk saga.
    - Mark Dillard was coming on well towards the end of preseason. He has good size and also displayed that magic "hustle" on Special Teams.
    - Vince Redd showed some potential at OLB, you have to like the size and the fact that he made some good plays. He really caught my eye on one Special Teams play in week one where he was a wedge buster - he fought off the block and made the tackle, good strength and good ball awareness.
    - Mike Richardson was a camp favorite last year and I had high hopes for him. I read very little negative on him before he was lost to injury, I'm really happy to see him available to practice and to be called up if needed.
    - Antwain Spann is one of my "binkies." I started watching him when the Pats sent him to NFLE. He's a ballhawk, and even if he never plays a down during the season, his effect will be felt because he's going to force the QBs and receivers to practice smart or he'll be stealing their jock straps when the ball is in the air. I will always love him for the hit he placed on the San Diego Punt Returner in the 2006 AFC Divisional round, his hustle and hit allowed the muffed punt to be recovered by Dave Thomas and changed the momentum of the game.
    - Titus Adams is the only one of these kids who did not impress me, though I haven't had the time to look closely at him since the Baltimore game. He must have been playing better - good luck kid.
     
  8. MetalBleachers

    MetalBleachers Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Box,
    Solid run-down. I was relieved to see Redd make the PS, as I think his potential is sky-high scary (6-6, 260? Yee. Haw.) Also happy to see BJG-E make it: had some success as a pass-catcher in the preseason, and has more burst than expected.

    This is the most talented PS in a long time. Not just a bunch of castoffs. :)
     
  9. bradmahn

    bradmahn In the Starting Line-Up

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    They didn't cut their starting RCB, that person is yet to be seen. They took a chance on Bryant, signed him to the vet minimum, and punted his ass when they saw that he doesn't cover well enough to make up for his deficiencies in run support or tackling after the catch.

    They've brought in veteran cornerbacks before, some have worked (Poole, Chad Scott, maybe even Lewis Sanders) others haven't (Torie James, Warfield, Starks, Webster). With the exception of Starks, none of the busts have come at great expense to the home team.

    Wheatley isn't guaranteed to struggle mightily, either. Hobbs replaced Starks mid-season and was the best corner on the team in '05 AS A ROOKIE. Wilhite wouldn't be the first fourth rounder to excel as a nickelback, either. If the coaching staff (who watch game tape and see practice everyday) feel that Wheatley is the best option to start the season, I think it's hard to question their decision based on what limited information message board posters have to work with.

    Cornerback looks a little thin, but that's only because three of the players are unproven. We've seen rookie corners help the Pats in '03, '04, and '05.

    "The Sky is Falling!"
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'd state that a little differently, there are depth/experience issues at CB and OG, but not anything insurmountable.
    - The issue at CB is more NFL experience. Wheatly and Wilhite will get an education, but let's also recall that they have been forced to work against the NFL TD leader and the Pats' receiver who tied for the most catches last season - the "schooling" started early. We can expect them to struggle some, but looking at this as a progression, I feel the Pats improved the talent at CB and just need to "temper" their young blades in fire. Short term growing pains for long term strength. Add Richardson into that mix too.
    - The issue at RG is less positive, but not hopeless by any means. Neal will return, that's good. Yates may have struggled this preseason, but with more scheming he'll get help and the claiming of LV looks to give him a push - LeVoir started 12 games at LG for ND before moving out to RT, he may be a better fit inside. Hochstein has time to get healthy, as does Connelly who reportedly is liked by NFL Scouts per one item I read around here. Britt has worked inside during last season's TC, I'd slide him in at RG before Kaczur and see what happens. Reiss listed off a couple Free Agent kids whom I wouldn't mind seeing tested, Jacob Bender and Travis Leffew - both made my 2007 draft board as late round prospects. RG is more unsettled until Neal or Hochstein get healthy, but it's not a gloom and doom scenerio by any means.
     
  11. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yep, Redd looked more comfortable at OLB than some of the past year's prospects. I figured he'd clear waivers as he's still very raw, but I like the potential. :singing:
     
  12. Lampshade

    Lampshade Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Yates has looked poor in pre-season, but he's previously performed pretty darn well during actual important games. If either he or Hochstein is healthy I'm really not worried about the oline.

    Starting corner is definitely a concern though.
     
  13. Leave No Doubt

    Leave No Doubt PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm happy about the ST focus, though I guess it's no real surprise considering Caper's background. Good point about strong field position taking some of the pressure off, and O'Connell definitely seems 'ahead of his time' so to speak.

    I hope we get Lynch back-injuries happen and he'll provide good depth. I liked that signing because even though he's slowed up a bit he can still pound. Plus he LOVES the Pats, says all the right things,etc.

    I'm loving how this PS is shaping up, plus the draft we had this year. It tells me that we're looking towards the future when some of our vets take the field less and less or retire.

    We'll see what happens with our "now" prospects such as Ty, Hank, and Junior, ALL of whom I'd love to see back, even if just for a cameo.

    I've still got the OL as my annual hand-wringer-I'll be happier when that turnstile stops but we're working on it.

    One thing's for sure- we've got more stored ammunition than last season, and it looks like a lot of what's going on will address how gassed we were by season's end last year.

    I've been waiting for some of you guys to finally weigh in LOL :p
     
  14. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    You're picking nits. They cut the guy who started all through camp at either left or right CB. Even Harrison was surprised, so I think I'm allowed to be, too.
    Not questioning their decision to start Wheatley or cut Bryant. Questioning their decision to sign Bryant and start him all preseason. That is poor scouting. There is no other name for it. Like I said, scouting is hard, I don't blame them, and I certainly couldn't do a better job.

    But I don't have to be a rocket scientist to know it's a mistake when the spacecraft blows up on the launch stand.
    Every team has problems and most of us know they don't mean the sky is falling. You're smart enough not to paint everyone as a doom-and-gloomer when they debate those problems. You should be ashamed of yourself. :nono:

    (I've been wanting to find a use for the wagging finger thingie) :)
     
  15. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #37 Jersey

    I've cherrypicked a few quotes to illustrate the diversity of opinion. My biggest concern is at guard, until either Neal or Hoch is healthy. Kaczur is not a strength of the line, the strength is on the left side, and pairing Kaczur with a fresh face pulled off the waiver wire doesn't fill me with confidence. Yates did not look good in preseason. Schemes will help but defenses will scheme more, as well.

    They don't run a lax FO and they don't mind spending to the cap, so I trust them to do the best with what's available.

    At corner, I expect early struggles, as Box said, andI also agree that both Wheatley and Wilhite show great promise. It's a shame Bryant didn't work out. Early signs from camp were promising, obviously something went wrong, both what we could see in the games and probably things we couldn't see. But you'd have to be nuts to think Favre won't pick on Wheatley in week 2. Capers will have to be at his best to protect him. The Jets have very capable receivers. Harrison, Sanders, Meriweather and Hobbs will have to step up. The good news is the pass rush should be as fearsome as ever. They'd better be, the Jets will have a decent line.
     
  16. bradmahn

    bradmahn In the Starting Line-Up

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    Haha. Glad I can be of use somehow.

    I think when you assume that his having started throughout the preseason meant anything of import is where your logic falters. You see the signing as they intended him to start, I see it as them bringing in a veteran to compete against what turned out to be a few other vet re-treads and a couple of draft picks for the open starting spot. He had seniority and starting experience in the NFL, so I think he got "first shot" but was still fighting for the roster spot.

    I don't think they expected much from him other than what they got, competition. It's dubious to classify the whole situation as "poor scouting."
     
  17. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I was thinking the same thing, nice practice squad.. and then I started to think about the actual roster.

    Strengths
    RB, DL
    WR - We have the most WRs in the league!

    Questions
    S = Harrison, Sanders, Merriweather and ? Is it Lewis Sanders or Vetrone or Slater?
    OL - We are an injury away from the worst O lines I can remember. I expect bodies to be coming in and out all season with Dante doing his best to patch things together. On the other hand if we signed or traded for one quality player the unit looks ok, funny how that works.
    ILB - Bruschi and Mayo need to prove that they can stop the run, KC, Jets and SF will be trying to pound the ball. Which makes the Lynch cut more surprising, he can't run but he can still play in the box.
    OLB - Pretty solid, it will be interesting to see if anyone other than Thomas / Vrabel can apply pressure on the QB.
    Backup QB - IMO it doesn't matter, without Brady the team has no shot.

    I think there will be a lot of players in and out all year, we may set a record for most players being part of a team.

    Another random thought despite the warnings all of the Patriots players cleared waivers, Gutz., Redd, Spann, etc. No surprise home teams tend to overrate their own players.

    Ok let the games begin, my paper versus your paper is almost over.
     
  18. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    I just see the situation differently. I think they knew that Neal would be on PUP even as far back as the draft. They brought in veterans to compete with the existing folks (Yates, Hochstein, Connolly) but they didn't show enough to make the team. I agree that they will be looking at OL candidates but just as normal roster maintenance and not looking to kick Yates/Hochstein/Connolly to the curb.

    For the CB situation, I don't think the scouting of Bryant was an issue. They were asking Bryant to apply his skills in a new scheme and he couldn't do it well enough to beat out the other candidates, particularly LSanders. Do I think that Hobbs, LSanders, Wheatley and Wilhite (and Richardson when healthy) is enough to do the job? I really don't know because I don't know what they will be asked to do.

    I guess my point is that nothing has happened that the Pats couldn't have anticipated. I doubt Belichick is pacing his office wondering how his ROG and CB situation got this bad. I also doubt he is expecting someone not on the roster (Law, Seau) to save the season. Players will be brought in just like they are every season, but this season will be won or lost with the folks on the roster now. I'm not saying that Belichick and Pioli have gotten it right. I'm saying that outside of Tank, O'Callaghan and Ruud, they have the roster they wanted. We'll have to see if that roster can get it done.
     
  19. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #37 Jersey

    He was a vet min signing, so it's not the same as blowing it with a big signing bonus and cap hit, and he was obviously fighting for a spot, since he lost it. Right on two counts.

    However, to say that they didn't "expect much from him other than what they got, competition" is to understate their error. If that was true, they would have played him late in games, just like Hobson and let Wheatley and LSanders, who both made the roster, get more of the starting snaps against the better competition. I'm saying that until late in the preseason they thought he would start. And that was a mistake.

    My feeling is they cut two guys, Jackson and Bryant, who showed no guts and no hustle, and they kept guys like Ventrone, who are all heart. It sends a clear message that this team will finish. Finish means finishing tackles, finishing plays, something neither Bryant nor Jackson did.
     
  20. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And now the PS is set for the moment: Bender and DeVree per Reiss.

    - Bender was a small school OT who started drawing a pre-draft buzz. He got some playing time with the Jesters, prematurely I think, thanks to their OL troubles last season. I'm content to leave him in Scar's hands.
    - DeVree keeps coming back, like Spann and Ventrone have done. There's hope there.

    My concerns going forward:
    - OL. Can they get together and execute like last season's OL?
    - ILB. How fast will Mayo and Guyton develop?
    - Fans. How many funerals will we need to attend before it's all over? :(
     
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