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Special Teams Only Players

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Apr 26, 2010.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I am fine with 2 top special teamers.
    =============================

    A) In 2009, we had Slater, Green-Ellis, Lockett, Arrington and Alexander.
    We also had Aiken as a wide receiver.

    B) We keep on signing players who are supposed to be great special teamers: Chung, Butler, McCourty. And we have very solid special teamers like Woods, Banta-Cain, Sanders, McGowan and Guyton.

    C) How many special teamers can we afford to keep whose only realistic role is special teams? I certainly hope that the answer is lower than six. I would hope that the answer is two or fewer.

    D) My candidates are Aiken and Slater. Aiken was the special teams captain. Slater is so good on special teams that his roster spot was kept open for him when he was injured. I'm fine with others beating out AIken and Slater for THE two special teams roster spots. I just don't want there to be more than two. We need the roster spots for players who play offense and defense.

    =========================================
    OFFENSE (23)
    QB 2 (we don't NEED a third)
    RB 4 (we can't afford a 5th rb; the roster spot now reasonably goes to a TE/h-back.
    WR 5 (we finally have five real wide receivers, including a couple of developing kids)
    TE 3
    OL 9

    DEFENSE (25)
    DL 7 (we need the extra run defender or developmental DL, as long as we have Brace)
    OLB 5 (this includes a DE/OLB passrusher or two)
    ILB 4 (we have two vets and two high-profile kids)
    CB 5 (we need 2 starters, a nickel, a dime and a backup)
    S 4 (at least two are always solid special teamers, but they have to play safety also)

    SPECIALISTS (5)
    K 1
    P 1
    LS 1
    ST 2

    We are not short changing the offense. We have listed 7 receivers in the past, when there were really only 4 or 5. Slater and Ventrone were receivers one year, and safeties the next. They played neither position.
  2. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Re: Special Team Only Players

    I basically agree.

    But who do you see staffing the punting unit? That's typically punter, long snapper, 2 gunners, and 7 other guys who are both stout enough to block and fast enough to run.

    Those 7 might be:

    Aiken
    2 rookie TEs
    Woods
    3 others (most commonly LBs)

    Umm -- which three others? (Counting only guys you think will be active on game day.)
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Special Team Only Players

    Slater, Banta-Cain, Guyton, Chung, Sanders, McGowan, Meriweather and Wilhite all come to mind.

  4. Lampshade

    Lampshade Rookie

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    Arrington is surely a lock at one of the gunner spots.
  5. italia44

    italia44 Rookie

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    Don't forget the Ubiquitous,Never to be cut,Eric Alexander:eek:
  6. Lampshade

    Lampshade Rookie

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    Historically BB has shown he'll use a fair few roster spots primarily for ST, but last year he carried fewer than usual. It will be interesting to see which way he goes this year.

    Players carried whose almost entire contrib was ST:
    Last year we ended the season with only Arrington, Alexander, and Slater not contributing elsewhere.
    2008 there were Aiken, Izzo, Washington, Alexander, Spann, Slater, Ventrone.
    2007 it was Woods, Alexander, Washington, Andrews, Baker.
    Go back to 2003 there were Chatham, Izzo, Akins, Harris, Davis, Cherry, Mayer.

    Arrington has to be a lock. The unknowns at the moment is how much, if at all, the likes of Arrington, Murrell, and Lockett are expected to add to depth on defense. On the reverse, Crable's apparent lack of ST ability makes him a tough sell for a roster spot unless he is a main contributor defensively. If Murrell can provide ST play and some sub rusher ability then Alexander and Crable suddenly provide less value.

    Slater is going to have a problem this year, imo.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
  7. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Do we believe that Aiken and Arrington should make the team as special teamers, and that rest need to be at least somewhat useful at a position?
  8. Lampshade

    Lampshade Rookie

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    They are the only two I'm convinced that is true of.

    However, Lockett, Slater and Alexander have all made previous rosters based entirely on their ST prowess, so I'm not confident in writing them off just yet.

    Lockett was on every ST unit before his injury, (and was leading tackler I believe) but Arrington clearly excelled in his place.

    I'm going to re-watch as many ST snap from last year as I can to see what Slater brings. I've never quite been sure.
  9. mcmurtry86

    mcmurtry86 Rookie

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    Green-Ellis didn't play much on special teams, if at all. I think I saw him in blocking on punts but he didn't play on kick returns, kick coverage or field goal/fg blocks.

    Slater is a good cover guy and is a solid blocker on kick returns (underrated aspect of special teams) but for some reason I can't stand the guy. Seems a bit redundant with Aiken if you're assuming there will be 5 WR (Moss, Holt, Edelman, Tate, Price) + special teams (Aiken and/or Slater) to open the season, with Welker on PUP.

    Disagree that Arrington is a lock, he'll be competing with Ventrone 2.0, Lockett and the loser of the #4 CB competition (Wilhite, Wheatley).

    Alexander has a tough road ahead of him as well.
  10. mcmurtry86

    mcmurtry86 Rookie

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    Aiken isn't a good WR but he's an adequate #5 or 6 who can fill in in emergencies. As long as he's not asked to be a #1 ever or a #2 or 3 for more than one regular season game he's fine. Certainly more useful as a WR than Alexander is at LB or Slater is at anything.

    Don't know how Arrington and Lockett are as backup DBs but they'd be so far on the depth chart (like Aiken) that it probably doesn't matter much.
  11. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    im pretty sure slater is by far our best gunner....

    however, his kick return abilities are not all they were cracked up to be
  12. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    I got 2 words---SELL JOB!! New England more than anyone else in the draft claims to like the "Value" in ST and players that "play all 4 downs". Its said every year especially around draft time....but here is the rub, they are NEVER at the top of any catagory in STs. They are a "average" or a little better than normal. So I will turn that around, why do they value this if they cant make it work properly? Anyone remember Tony Gaiter? Wheatley was supposed to bring "added value in the kicking game"....did he ever return a single kick?? When we do have an excellent returner(Hobbs)we trade him away essentially for Ohrnberger, a backup G/C. Value??
    The way I see it is there are 2 ways to use players in ST. The first is to have everyone have a normal first to third round position, using their time on ST to groom them for other positions as they learn the system. Pitt and Balt do this best, AD, Harrison and many other very good players(low round) started as ST players in their systems. Our system seems to have dedicated ST players that never offer extended value at any other position. Drafting guys like Slater, without a position besides ST, is a waste unless we are excellent on ST. Unfortunately, these ST only guys are as difficult to draft for as any other position I guess. If you are drafted as a gunner, the only one in the league drafted as a gunner, in my world you better do it better than anyone in the league=pro bowler. The day Slater makes the pro bowl is the day I stop watching football...never gonna happen.
  13. mmasterkillah

    mmasterkillah Rookie

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    #11 Jersey

    No offense to the kid, as I like him as a person, but Slater does not belong on this football team, skill-wise.
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