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Special Teams - A Challenge

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We need a kicker to replace a legend who was mediocre last year. I want to keep Vinatieri, but that is emotion speaking, like when we all wanted to keep Coates about teo years after he should have gone. Kickoffs and field goals should be at least as good as last year.

    The challenge is that we need returners, yet again. This hasn't been discussed much. I will feel much better if Dwight re-signs.
  2. DaBruinz

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

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    Is it returners that we need, MG? Or is it better blocking from the rest of the return squad as well as not as many penalties?

    I think that Hobbs and whomever else the Pats use would be a very good combination. Whether its Bethel or Faulk or bringing in a Domenic Rhodes. None of it will matter if the special teams blocking units aren't doing a good job blocking. And they didn't last year.
  3. T-ShirtDynasty

    T-ShirtDynasty Moderator

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    Summed up my feelings on AV to a "T". I want him back too, but it's purely emotional. Longwell was my choice to replace Vinatieri, but he's gone now, not sure where we turn unless Adam comes crawling back with his unreasonable demands between his legs.

    I would begrudginly accept Vandershank as a replacement EXCEPT that the pansy just can't do kickoffs. And before anyone jumps on me for that, crowing about his shank in the playoffs against Pitt, remember that AV shanked a good one too against Denver in the playoffs from a similar distance, albeit outside in the elements compared to Vandy's shank in a dome. Both were clutch kicks that needed to be made, both missed. Either way, I can't see bringing in a kicker, even if he is statistically more accurate than Vinatieri, if he can't be the KO guy as well as the FG guy.

    Mare from the Dolphins makes me nervous, I'm just not sure where I'd turn if I were BB/SP.
    Agree, I'd really like Dwightning to re-sign with us, but even still that only gives us a PR guy, not a KR guy.

    As far as KR, Bethel has been inconsistent at best, Hobbs shows some promise, but needs work. I'm guessing we keep our eye out for a speedster in the draft for KR if the feeling is that Hobbs or Bethel isn't the guy.

    While we're on the subject of Special Teams, damnit, re-sign Stone. He's a middle of the road backup at safety, but a madman on STs.
  4. jczxohn1

    jczxohn1 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I saw improvement on ST last yr over the previous. Penalties were down (Chatham was one of the worst in '04 and didn't improve much) and Dwight was much better than the PR-by-committee we had in '04. I wrote a long thread about '04's ST play based on stats from my PFW stash last May. It has been a perennial problem, though. My only complaint about AV in '05 was his distance on KO's. He started not too bad, but IIRC slacked off as the season wore on. A good draft candidate at WR/KR might be Skyler Greene (LSU) who led the SEC in KR ydg last yr. Not their top receiver, but would probably give Bethel a run for his money. Good work ethic and Jarvis' cousin, although a smurf.
  5. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I theorized in another thread that we have a bad combination of a below average kickoff squad led by a below average kickoff man. One of the reasons I think that perhaps Belichick is willing to gamble on the loss of Vinatieri.

    Much easier to draft a kicker who can pop it into the endzone than overhaul the squad in one year. Very risky but this squad needs alot of help...more now that Chatam is gone.
  6. smg93

    smg93 Rookie

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    One of the interesting things since I started posting here is a not so subtle shift on how fans feel about Adam. At first it was a "we have to sign Adam" attitude from a predominant number of posters. Now I can see that there is a growing number of people who feel that his signing is not as big a key to our success in the future as they once thought it was. What's changed in the last few weeks???

    I venture to guess that this change of heart has less to do with his kicking ability and much more to do with how he has handled free agency. He just doesn't seem to be keen on kicking for the Pats again. He already is the only person on the roster who is the highest paid at his position, not even Tom Brady can say that. Are fans beginning to see him as a little greedy?

    There is no doubt in my mind that Longwell's contract upset him. When the Pats offered him a 2.5 for 3 contract, he probably thought they were as borges would put it "low balling" him. But I think his eyes have opened since then and his pride is preventing him from going back to BB/Pioli to say "ok, I'll accept the offer" before at least making a courtesy visit to another team. Assuming of course that the offer is still on the table. We'll obviously know more after his visit to Green Bay but I suspect that even a team like the Packers would not want to pay Adam roughly a 50% premium over the 2nd highest paid Kicker in the league. Especially now when we saw that they weren't even ready to pay Longwell $2m per season. I guess I'll find out soon if I see this situation right or not.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2006
  7. PatsWorldChamps

    PatsWorldChamps Rookie

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    you are exactly right.. he is a kicker, that's it... he wants $1M more than the highest kicker of all time... is he that good? no. if he wanted that deal 5 years ago, and we could see the future, hell yes, he'd be worth it... he made some great kicks, and we'd offer him the best kicker contract in the history of NFL football.. now , he is a kicker with a short leg, getting older... love to keep him, but he aint worth big bucks anymore... time to cut bait
  8. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Very interesting post. I think I'm with DaBruinz -- disappointed with our blocking and coverage on kicks -- very happy with Dwight and happy enough with Hobbs and Bethel/A.N. Other. Could you please post your evidence?
  9. hwc

    hwc Rookie

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    Not "beginning". I saw him as greedy four years ago when he whined and whined and whined until the Pats guaranteed all three years of his contract.

    Then, last year. Franchising Vinatieri was the last thing the Pats wanted to do. They were in a world of hurt capwise with Brady's signing bonuses doubling up (old and new contracts) and Law's dead money hit. They would have prefered to sign Adam to a three year deal averaging $2.5 million a year, just to move some cap money forward. But, no...the little weasel absolutely refuses to sign a contract because he is hellbent to hit free agency.

    Honest to god...life is too short to haggle with frickin' kickers, especially when you've alread agreed to make them the highest paid at their position. Belichick probably wants to strangle the guy. Signing your Hall of Fame D-lineman? Sure, you expect that to be some heavy lifting. But, having your kicker bust your balls for four years?
  10. PatsWorldChamps

    PatsWorldChamps Rookie

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    let AV go... keep dwight as a KR/5WR... you cant live on the past... AV made some great kicks (and got paid the most of any K alltime), but he missed a bunch too, and he aint gettin younger, and his leg is gettin shorter
  11. PatsWorldChamps

    PatsWorldChamps Rookie

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    smartest thing posted on here in a while
  12. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My posts have been he's just a weak kickoff kicker have been consistant all along. I took some heat here and there...but I stuck to it. Whatever we gain with the steel nerves of Adam we lose in the hidden points lost to short kickoffs.

    Our weak special teams compounds that problem. We lost 2 games this year due to those short kickoffs coming when the defense was very tired.

    So smg93...maybe others...but not me...I'd pay $2 million and not a penny more....I even said 2.5 was too much to pay.
  13. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Geez this makes a lot of sense, not only the post but the whole thread, AV has done a lot for this franchise, but his demands are just too high. The best ST's in the NFL cannot stop decent field position if you consistently get the ball to the 7 or 8 yard line.

    If you went with 2 mill would you guarantee it over 3 years?? I could see this as a way to get him back, have said before if he goes to any other market will have recognition on the field and NFL, but will not have as much face recognition as he does in NE. If he retires here can pretty much write his own ticket as to what he wants to do and how much cash he wants. I do not think this will be the case in other markets, we have long memories here and if he is not as successful in another team they will not have the tolerance and forgiveness we all have here.
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't want Faulk returning kicks. Do you? I don't expect Bethel will be on the squad. We do need kickers, not because we need improvement at that positions, but because we lost both our punt returner and kick returner. We need restruners.

    I agree that we also need better blocking. Chatham is gone. That will reduce the number of penalties.

  15. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    I agree..it does need to be discussed...
    RETURNERS-----.Here is where the vets like a Brown or Dwight really help a lot. ANd having one back may be what the team needs. As for KR..there's someone like a Hobbs, a Childress or even a ZSmith..BJ?? I think unfortunately, he is history one way or another. He just never got it.
    COVERAGE-----As far as coverage goes, Davis and the like might be just fine. Izzo?? This may be the year he is let go. There will be youngster is camp who may make it on their play more than backups.
    PUNTING-----No problem here..Josh is king.
    KICKING-----This may be the big change...It will be hard to really see another..but the reality may come quickly today. I see a few things as being important..One is kickoffs..if a stronger leg, this may help a great deal in stretching the field a few yards..and is sort of a hidden thing. That could be a big plus for a kicker. The big unknown is how they will do under pressure in a big game. Many, have not been in that many big games with so much riding on the line. That is a big question mark and one reason I hope AV is back. But if that is not to be, there are options..and another may be to bring in a rookie kicker to be tutored. Giving up a roster spot like that may be hard, but
    that is another possibility.
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Canadian Football League - outdoor kickers 'r' us. Keep an eye on NFLE too, not to mention the handful coming out of college. We may not need a night-Mare.

    Second Day/UDFA draft options for PR/KR:

    Brandon Williams 5'9" 179 Wisconsin 4.49u - 40, YPG - 84.23 (ranked 31st NCAA 1A), YPC - 18.56, PRavg - 14.62 (rank - 11), KRavg 28 (rank - 9), All Purpose Yards APY - 164.46 (8) caution: one draft article reported he was doing a TO on the sidelines of the Shrine Game because he wasn't getting the ball...

    Adam Jennings 5'10" 175 Fresno State 4.42 - 40, YPG 23.17, YPC - 12.64, PRavg - 12.36 (17), KRavg 29 (7), APY - 95.75 Academic All-WAC

    Willie Reid 5'10" 186 FL State 4.34 - 40, YPG - 63.4 (73), YPC - 12.68, PRavg - 17.45 (4), KRavg - 18.13, APY - 132.5 (35)

    Anybody think BB might have an in with the Fresno State kid for signing him as a UDFA?

    I expect Bethel to make the team as primary KR if he's not part the rumored trade packages.

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