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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Sicilian, Sep 7, 2010.

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  1. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    A lot has been discussed about the offense and defense and the potential (good and bad) of both. But what about the special teams units this year? I think we have a chance to be much improved in almost every area of ST in 2010:

    Kick return: We seem to have a pair of explosive returners in Tate and McCourty. I expect Tate to get the bulk of the chances, as he seems to have a bit more top end potential, and our lack of depth at corner makes me hesitant to use McCourty. Either way, these two are worlds better than the combination of Maroney, Slater, etc we used last year.

    Punt return: This should be status quo at least. We can still use Welker if need be (hopefully not, at least early), and Faulk is solid. When Edelman is healthy, he can be a dynamic return option as well.

    Kick coverage: We brought in players that apparently made Aiken (one of our top kick coverage guys I think) expendable. In the preseason, I can only remember one kick return that we let get past the 30 (the Saints return TD in the first game). Combine it with Gost's touchbacks and our defense should have a long field to work with most times in this situation (which will go a long way to minimizing their inexperience).

    Punt coverage: I think this showed some concern in preseason, especially in the last two games. However, I think most of our problems (outside of an occasional Mesko shank), were on longer punt situations, where our coverage just didn't seem to get down the field in time. When punting on a shorter field, we showed good ability to down the ball inside the 10. Good news for us, between this offense's ability to move the ball, and the kick/punt return production improving, I'm guessing most of our punts are going to be short yardage punts, playing to our strength there.

    An often underlooked area of the game, our ST's could be top ten this year.
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Scott O'Brien has a very impressive resume...

    Scott O'Brien - Official New England Patriots Biography

  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My bottom line is that the coverage may be OK because we have a fine kicker and a greatly improved punter. But I do NOT think the coverage players are better than last year.

    COVERAGE UNITS
    1) Aiken, Woods, Alexander and McGowan were here for the preseason. They are now gone. And Sergio Brown who contributed in the preseason is also gone.
    2) Lockett is gone. He was one of our top coverage guys in 2009.
    3) Yes, Gostkowski is fine kicker, and Mesko is a fine punter. We will rely on them.
    4) Slater is back, but he is not a great coverage guy.
    5) We've added Page and White.
    6) The punt coverage units were singled out by Belichick as a unit that needs improvement.
    7) I have no reason to believe that our kick and punt coverage teams are much improved.
  4. patriotscpfc

    patriotscpfc Rookie

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    Our kick coverage last year was AVERAGE at best.

    Aiken got nowhere near a tackle inside the 20 all of last year.

    Lockett played in how many games last year? Thankyou.

    Alexander's best days as a STer have gone.

    You may think Slater is a poor STer, but he beat out all these guys you name. If he was worse, he wouldn't be here. He is a great coverage guy. He takes out the lead blockers and the wedge so that other guys like Woods make the tackle.

    We have also added Marques Murrell. Who is a very good Special Teamer.

    The addition of the Tightends will contribute on this. Hernandez especially on Coverage.

    Arrington is here for a 2nd year, he'll be on there as always.

    Dane Fletcher beat out McKenzie because of his Special Teams skills.

    And all 4 Safeties can play Special Teams as well.

    Bill takes Special Teams seriously. So does Scott O'Brien, I think they know who they are keeping on ST a little bit more than we do.
  5. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    While the players you list were good coverage guys, the fact that they're gone is a double edged sword. I'm sure a few of them were casualties because we had regular defensive spots that needed bodies. But as you point out very often, we always have spots on this team for ST only players. The fact that other players beat them out for these spots should indicate a few of them players on ST.
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