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Slater Haters: Are we undervaluing STs?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by JSn, Aug 30, 2009.

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  1. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I'll start by saying I like Law Firm and would love to see him make the team. Lately I've seen other BJGE supporters suggest him to be more valuable than Slater. That absolutely cannot be true.

    Even watching Friday's game in a distracted manner you had to notice that MS was CONSTANTLY in on the play on STs. Even his fair catch interference call was a minor issue, which can be fixed.

    I get that we usually monitor guys for their value across the team, and in a major pinch Matt could play WR or S, but there's no need for him there and we'd have to have a serious visitation of the angel of football death to need him for that.

    Still, it's been said over and over how important this guy is to special teams and after a few PS games, it's pretty clear that's true.

    I think I left Slater off an earlier roster projection, but at this point, with some closer viewing of what he brings, it's awfully hard for me to do that.

    What do you guys think? Is Slater REALLY on the bubble? I personally can't see how he would be replaced.
     
  2. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Either Aiken or Slater, not both.
     
  3. jefmblrd

    jefmblrd Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    #50 Jersey

    Granted he got the stupid penalty on the punt against the Redskins, but the guy goes all out and is right around the ball and making plays on STs. I say he makes the team.
     
  4. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I think this was the second time this PS he has taken that penalty, but I think that's a question of self-training. It's tough to be the first guy to the ball and also have the brakes to slow off a last second wave for an FC. And his coaching probably tells him to make the guy nervous so he might drop the punt.

    Also, the comment about Aiken - maybe true, but the guy is a decent receiver and good special teamer. I like his ST play, as well.
     
  5. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I don't think we're undervaluing STs, but it's a pretty stacked roster, and that competition affects the ST. There'll be some tough cuts coming up, so yeah, Slater is on the bubble, as are a bunch of guys who could easily make other teams in the league. It's a matter of how many specialists we think we can keep.
     
  6. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    I'm fine with strong special teams, but it's unfair to compare him to Aikens. Aikens is a legitimate backup receiver.

    If Slater would at least run back one decent return instead of running straight into the first guy and collapsing and running into kick receivers with his arms flailing so the refs are forced to call something, I'd feel a lot better about him getting down first on kicks, which he usually does.

    How many years before he gets over this case of nerves, or is the guy just not really under control?

    He needs to run back kicks, that's supposed to be his strength, and quit fumbling and getting dumb penalties.

    It's not like you need a first round pick to find a guy who can run down the field and still pull up at a fair catch signal. I mean that's supposed to be his job (plus kick returning where Patrick Pass outperformed what I've seen so far).

    Plus he has no legitimate position. Calling him a "safety" is a joke, he was a "wide receiver" last year.

    Kelley Washington did a good job, made big plays without constant brain farts and was a legitimate receiver with some starts on his resume.

    Let's judge him as any other player looking for a roster spot. He's a special teamer and supposed kick returner with no position coverage on the regular team.

    With that narrow a window, he needs to excel at the two things he can do, without making mistakes on a regular basis in the one job he's actually good at.
     
  7. Ryan

    Ryan Guest

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    He may be around the ball a lot on special teams, but that's about it. He makes a lot of mistakes (fair catch interference penalty two weeks in a row, muffed kick returns), isn't a good return guy at all, and brings nothing to the table as a receiver. I think Slater is in great danger of being cut. Aiken is far more worthy of a roster spot.
     
  8. tbrown

    tbrown Rookie

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    Agree with you here..the more I think about it, Slater is more than likely going to be on the team. And Aiken as well. I'm getting more and more concerned about Tedy making it. The last few spots are VERY tough to call, but what a great position to be in.
     
  9. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #24 Jersey

    Here is the way I see it he was drafted in the 5th round (i believe) and he was drafted to be a STs player. He was second in STs tackles last year and a core STer. This year he has shown improvement. His one downside is ball handling which we all thought wouldn't be a problem that has seemed better though he is still scary with the ball. Two bonehead penalties don't change that.

    So he has done everything he can to do the job he was drafted for and people think he should be cut for it. If he gets cut it wont because of what he did but because of what someone else did to win his spot.

    For those who hate on him I suggest you watch him as a gunner vs the vice guys. He seems to always beat them off the line.
     
  10. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    It's not clear to me. Just what has he done noteworthy?

    And if his stupid interference penalties are so easily corrected, why did it happen twice? If it was easy to correct, it would have been corrected after the first one.

    He is very easily replacable, and in the best way. You can cut him AND get his jobs done BETTER and use his roster spot for another player, one who can produce. Win-win-win

    I don't want him as gunner. Period. Fifteen yards may not be much to you, but it is unacceptable to me.

    And I'd rather have Edelman or Welker as punt returner, I'd rather have Maroney or Edelman as kick returner. Slater is the leastof our WRs way behind even Ventrone. Slater might or might not be okay as a safety, because not being able to catch a ball isn't so bad but interfering with a ball catcher's ability to catch a pass (hitting him before the ball gets there) is not good.

    I DO value special teams, and that is why I'd rather not see Slater any more.
     
  11. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Good arguments. Still that last FCI call was for a pretty minimal contact.

    But you have a good point. If we can replace him with a guy with a legitimate other position, we should.
     
  12. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    Who hates? I don't hate.

    11 returns for 155 yards last year. 14 yards per. He has no position, I think kick returns are a big part of the "job" we expected.
    Considering that's most of the rest of his job, I'd say it matters a lot.

    You win a spot by performance and lack of errors.
     
  13. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    4 things plus he backs up safety as much as aiken backs up WR. 4 things being kick coverage, punt coverage (his two best strengths) - KR and PR (not the punt returner but I am pretty sure he is on this unit one of the vice guys I believe) and the KR unit he is a real good lead blocker if he doesnt wind up the returner, he has the instincts of a returner and If I remember correct I think Hobbs praised him for this last year saying it made his job easier knowing the lead blocker thought like him. (may have been BB)
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  14. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Don't hate him at all. I liked the draft pick. It's just that he was supposed to be this great returner and he has sucked. All he can do is run fast on punt coverage, and there are a lot of guys who can run fast. You don't need a roster spot for a guy whose only thing he can do is get downfield fast on punt coverage, especially if he doesn't do anything when he gets down there.

    No, we think he should be cut because he cannot do the job he was drafted for: returning kicks. He has averaged 20 yards per KO return, not enough to get the ball back to the 20 yard line if he catches it even one-yard deep in the end zone. With him returning KOs, we would average better field position if he would let it roll into the end zone and down it there every time. We need a roster spot for that? When we have Edelman and Moaroney on the roster. Plus Edelman not only gets downfield on coverage, he actually tackles people when he gets there.

    You need to watch more. And you should watch what happens when he gets down there. There is absolutely no excuse for EVER interfering with a fair catch. Doing it two weeks in a row just shows his head isn't in the right place.

    People keep saying he is so good on coverage teams. He has played in three games this preeason. Can you tell me how many special teams tackles he has made?
     
  15. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    I'll just stay with my original posts.

    We had guys with a lot more experience against Carolina when our safeties got injured. Almost cost us the game. I wouldn't call them safeties despite their college/pro experience.

    Calling Slater a safety is a lol. Oh, he's a wide receiver too? I saw him throw a spiral, is he also a quarterback?

    11 kickoffs 14 yards per.

    Aiken has served as a receiver on our team during the regular season. 5th and 6th receivers don't play much, but he seems a decent possession receiver. I'll leave that to other posters to judge.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  16. sieglo

    sieglo In the Starting Line-Up

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    I hate Slater.
     
  17. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #24 Jersey

    His return ability is still a work in progress but I would agree that is his one problem we all thought he would be great at it and he hasn't shown much but if you give him time who knows and I think he has earned the time with his other areas of STs. I would rather Maroney be the kick returner and Welker the punt returner. But Slater makes a really good lead blocker on KRs see last year and I believe he is a vice guy on punt returns.


    those were flukey the returners kept side stepping as the punts sailed he needs to be more aware but returners settle under the ball and dont always move that much. Not a good excuse but it is what happened he definitley needs to be more aware and I suppose it could have been his down fall but I think he has shown too much to cut him for a few bonehead plays.


    not exactly sure how many this preason maybe zero but I think it has been a few but 3 is a small sample size I'ld choose the 16 real games last year in which he was second on the team in STs tackles.
     
  18. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Correct me if I am wrong but wasn't it Dexter Reid and Don Davis who were the back up safeties?? speaking of Don Davis a STs guy mainly who switched positions to make his value increase hmmmm....I wouldn't call either that much more experienced than Slater at safety (Reid did it in college so that is worth something and Davis was a Vet but neither was really an experienced pro safety) but if your point is that Chung, Meriweather, Sanders, and McGowan are better safeties I agree.

    I call him a STer and back up safety I don't call him a WR anymore because I don't see him there.

    He does have a role on kick returns other than returner he is a real good lead blocker

    He can catch but I dont see him as any more a viable WR than Slater a Safety.....which is if all else went down hopefully they could do something and each could suprise.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  19. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    -- #1 Gunner.
    -- #1 Lead Blocker.
    -- #1 Gunner Blocker.
    -- A top coverage tackler.
    -- His returns suffer from not having a more effective lead blocker. His "average" is affected by squib kicks from short-legged thunder foots, he's picking up enough yardage when he gets a clean kick to make up for the loss of yardage on the dribbler kicks.
    -- Ball handling is only an issue if people ignore the short-legged kickers who have dribbled the ball down the field, Slater has actually shown good ball skills and awareness to pick the ball up or cover it vs the situation.

    As said elsewhere, Slater is a lock.
     
  20. The_Riddler

    The_Riddler 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I agree, anyone that busts their tail down the field like Slater does and is constantly around the football on ST is a guy that is worthy of a roster spot. His speed and tenacity will get even better with reps and it's good now.

    Yes, he has had some brain-faaaats, but more due to him trying to do too much, he wanted a big stick on a catch and go and misread the ball, you can tell him to be smarter, but don't question his intent and the fact that he was there first and ready to lay this guy out. He's an asset to this team. In time, I can see him developing into a Steve Tasker............a game changer on ST..........
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
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