Special Teams

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I posted this as I was considering the value of Slater.

    At first, I didn't like the pick. I didn't like paying a 5th and a 7th for a STer. Then some reality set in. The 5th through the 7th a total shots in the dark, player who we hope might someday conttribute to the team. If Belichick could get a ST starter in the fifth, then fine.

    Then Slater beat out a few of our binkies in camp. And we still wondered whether he should be on the team.

    With 100% hindsight, Slater was a fine pick. He was thought to be THE BEST SPECIAL TEAMER IN THE COUNTRY. And, sure enough, he is a gunner and plays on five special teams units. He is always active, unless injured. He is a key member of the active roster, a special teams starter and solid ST performer.

    We have several of these guys on the team: Evans, Slater, Washington, Ventrone, Aiken, Izzo, Alexander (now on IR), Spann, Redd. That's eight, not counting Alexander (who Redd replaced on the 53). While these players might be backups at other positions, or even developmental players at other positions, they are on the 53 to play special teams.

    Belichick has made a tremendous commitment to Special Teams. Seven roster spots is a lot, especially since we also have to carry punters and kick returners. These players are NOT bottom of the barrel 3rd string scrubs They are starters on the various Special Teams units.

    For me, I'd rather see Faulk returning kicks when Hobbs is hurt, or as a second returner with Hobbs. But I am wrong in that preference. Faulk already has enough roles.

    CORE OFFENSE 18 (2 QB, 4 WR, 2 TE, 3 RB, 7 OL)
    CORE DEFENSE 18 (5 DE, 6 LB, 7 DB)
    SPECIAL TEAMS 8 (they play on 6 ST units; many core players also play ST's)
    BACKUPS 6 (usually inactive)
  2. billdog3484

    billdog3484 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I feel like our Special Teams isnt that good. Our Kickoff coverage is probably the worst it has been in years. Our punt coverage team has done nothing to impress me. And our punt return unit, while adequate, hasnt been above average. Our Kick return unit is definitely good though. what happened to the days when our best players played ST's
  3. TealSox

    TealSox Guest

    Agreed. I feel that the Special Teams has gone from above average in early 2000 to near worst in the NFL. Seems they can't cover a kick off, they could do better against the punt return and can't answer with a big kick off. Is this team getting lazy on special teams and relying on their offense/defense to get it done?
  4. SoCal Pmen

    SoCal Pmen In the Starting Line-Up

    #54 Jersey

    Slater just had a bad day and probably should not have been put out there at that juncture of the game or in those conditions. Lesson learned. I think you'll see Faulk and Hobbs in that role from this point forward. I wonder if BJGE has ever practiced as a returner much like Maroney had been used sparingly in the past?

    I'm more concerned about the kick coverage this year. This was always a strong suit for the Pats but now I cringe every time they kick off and Gost doesn't have a touch back. This is an area that has not improved over the last several weeks.
  5. Urgent

    Urgent In the Starting Line-Up

    #24 Jersey

    By the numbers:

    Pats kick-off coverage is #22 overall.
    Pats kick return is #6 overall.

    Pats punt coverage is #30 overall.
    Pats punt return is #11 overall.

    Hobbs is having a very good season as a kick returner, but there's only so much he can do.
    The coverage teams are very poor.
  6. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    My feelings about Slater havent wavered. With our(and the league as a whole)depletion of DBs carrying another STer who cant back up that position just makes us look to the street earlier this year. I wont blame Slater for the decline of our ST, that is more directly related to some of our starters no longer playing ST(Bruschi, Harrison,etc). If Slater made a DIFFERENCE in any of the ST maybe he could justify a roster spot(and forgive a BAD fumble), but he is just a JAG. We are well under the cap, resorting to a guy like him smells a bit of CHEAP stink. He may well be the perfect PS guy, but it was a mistake to not develop one more DB for the future....which may be next week!
  7. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Firstly..again your methodology leaves a LOT to be desired..GLAD you can call him a JAG..Guess u know more than the coaches..lol..Do you know anything about this team?? I really feel you do NOT...let's see..Did you forget about Wheatley who was drafted and on IR?? Or Wilhite who is playing..another rookie?? Do you KNOW about Mike Richardson at all..who was on IR last year? What about Mark Dillard on the PSquad.?? Bet you never heard of him.. What's that 4 DBs?? And you think another would have been better?? I don't think so...a mistake?? Not at all...Go back to your lab...stay with something you KNOW about...
  8. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Special Teams coverage units started strong this season, but as injuries kept increasing amongst starters, Special Teams began slipping. We've seen this pattern in previous high injury years, sucks to be Brad Seely trying to hold it all together.

    The truly unfortunate part, and Jeff I submit this is an argument for "why" BB may have wanted a Matthew Slater, but Special Teams coverage units were the weak link that failed in the Pittsburgh game. BB preaches three separate and equal phases of the game and the Pittsburgh game was clear evidence that he does know what he's talking about.

    For all the drops, Special Teams coverage breakdowns were the difference in this game, highlighted by Slater's mishandled KR. Slater has been a productive man on coverage teams replacing alleged marijuana selling, gun wielding Willie Andrews. The kid had a bad day, pity so many of the team decided to join him in this.
  9. KillEM

    KillEM Banned

    Every one needs to calm down.

    Slater made a rookie mistake and fumbled the ball. It happens. Don't forget the weather was terrible. It was raining, the ball was wet and slippery, and rain was pouring in to his eyes.

    I still think he will be a good returner.
  10. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron In the Starting Line-Up

    #24 Jersey

    The fumble is not the basis for the assessment. The problem is that the fumble is the ONLY play on which Slater has distinguished himself all year. Zero good returns. He has exactly the same number of solo tackles as Moss. Not good for a guy who was drafted specifically for STs.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  11. nashvillepatsfan

    nashvillepatsfan In the Starting Line-Up

    go read this thread;

    There's some posts near the end that explain what Slater has done on special teams, and how it compares to past Patriots at that position. I don't think anyone should be calling the kid a JAG before his first season is over. :rolleyes:
  12. DaBruinz

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

    #50 Jersey

    The kick coverage has been poor. The Punt Coverage has also been horrible overall.

    The kick return team is rated 6th overall and the punt return team is rated 11th. Both are very good. And the 10.8 YPR is actually better than last year.
  13. DaBruinz

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

    #50 Jersey

    Of course your feelings haven't waivered. You insist on being ignorant on the subject and you refuse to actually look at the real facts. So much for you being a scientist.

    You keep taking shots at the Pats FO with BS statements like "resorting to a guy like him smells of cheap stink" yet you can't be bothered to say who you would replace him with.

    How many "DBs for the future" do you want? The Pats added Meriweather, Wheatley and Wilhite in the past 2 years. They also have Mark Dillard on the PS.

    You are so absolutely negative and biased that its amazing you call yourself a scientist. And its especially saddening because you refuse to listen to fact.
  14. the special team problems are injury-related.......with so many bodies missing, it has disrupted the ST schemes and people all around are being asked to do things they weren't expected to do at the beginning of the season
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