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Special Teams Shaping Up?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mayoclinic, Aug 18, 2012.

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  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Everyone knows how important special teams is to BB. Right now the Pats look pretty nicely set with talent all over the unit:

    - K: Gostkowski is a former Pro Bowler and still one of the better kickers in the NFL.

    - P: Zoltan Mesko is emerging as a top NFL punter. His 46.5 average was 11th last year, and his 41.5 net ranked 3rd.

    - KR/PR: the Jeff Demps signing finally gives hope for a long term solution at the return position. It's early, but he's got to be an improvement over what we've had the past several years, with the exception of Brandon Tate in the first half of 2010. Julian Edelman is one of the better returners in the NFL. And if they kick it short, there's always Dan Connolly.

    - Gunners: Matt Slater was an All Pro in 2011. Kyle Arrington has excelled for several years. Nate Ebner was a ST demon at Ohio St. There are a ton of other guys who should be able to contribute in a significant way - Tavon Wilson, Pat Chung, Steve Gregory, Bobby Carpenter, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, etc. Plus Jeff Tarpinian/Tracy White/Niko Koutovides and Josh Barrett/Marquice Cole if they make the squad.

    This is shaping up to be a pretty good unit, especially if Demps can solve the KR problem and Ebner emerges as a force.
     
  2. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Right there with you. Definitely has the the potential to be one of the best we've seen in awhile.

    Of course the world is abuzz with the Demps signing. Certainly could be the the exciting player they've lacked. Still waiting to see what happens with Tarp and White though.
     
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The only question about Demps is can he absorb what he needs to absorb and be ready for the first game in a short span of time...

    There is not a lot of time left, and decisions have to be made...
     
  4. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Pats generally have strong special teams. Rick Gosselin ranked the Pats' special teams 1st overall in 2010 and according to Football Outsiders they ranked 3rd overall last year. The only reason for the drop was the poor kick return play:

    Jeff Demps: Signing Silver Medalist Will Boost Patriots' Special Teams | Bleacher Report

    Pats top special teams rankings - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

    After going years without a decent punter, the Space Emperor (of Space) is emerging as one of the best in the NFL. Demps should help in the return game. And there are a ton of young turks with excellent ST background on the coverage units. Not a bad place from which to start.
     
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  6. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The question is can he learn enough of the playbook on offense to add depth there? If so who get's cut? Either Bolden and they hope to slide him to the practice squad or they try to deal Woodhead before the cuts come down.
     
  7. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't see either of those happening, personally.
     
  8. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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    Not sure Ebner even makes the team.
     
  9. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Guess all we need now is an "Offense is shaping up" thread. Who'd a thunk it.
     
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's not essential to this thread that he does (though I personally think he will). If he doesn't, whoever beats him out - Barrett, Cole, or someone else - will have to be an ace STer.
     
  11. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    On the topic of Mesko, very few people realize that his rookie year, he set the rookie record for net punting average. In his second year, he improved on that by over 3 yards. If he keeps improving, he's definitely on his way to being one of the best punters in the league.
     
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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  13. BBass

    BBass Banned

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    I agree completely.. Looking like a real strength.. I think Tavon Wilson is going to add a lot to the group as well.
     
  14. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm betting that Belichick knew about this when he made the signing.
     
  15. BBass

    BBass Banned

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    every player has some flaw coming out. ball security is generally correctable at this level. I am sure if he had the work ethic to be a olympic medal winner he will have the work ethic to correct his ball security.
     
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Agreed.

    Belichick thought that it would be worth the effort to give Demps a chance to make the team.

    Do YOU think that Belichick will have Demps as our active kick returner for Game One? A roster spot is a different issue. We can afford a developmental player or two, if they have enough upside.

     
  17. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Barring an absolutely disastrous 19+/- days, I expect Demps to be returning kicks for game one. Whether he's in on regular plays by then is something I currently question.
     
  18. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Marquice Cole already comes w/ the rep as a VG STer; I can envision an opening Day 53
    w/ both he & Ebner on it. The good news is, Cole & Ebner also have potential as Defensive Backs.
     
  19. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    One flaw he will not be able to correct, however, is his puny hands. I'm afraid that fumbling will be an issue for him throughout his career, which I hope is a long & productive one.
     
  20. Sfpat

    Sfpat In the Starting Line-Up

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    I'm guessing no one gets cut initially and the decision won't need to be made until after week 6. Demps will be placed on PUP until he is in football shape (many player have to drop weight to pass their physical, Demps will have to add weight). By the time Demps comes off the PUP, I'm sure there will be an injury or two which will open a roster spot for him.
     
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