Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Deus Irae, Feb 17, 2010.
New England Patriots guard Stephen Neal to test free-agent market - ESPN Boston
I was in Sec 112 when I saw him walk off the field in the 4th qtr vs the Ravens. He looked like death warmed over. He didn't know where he was..His shoulder drooped down..Limping...Wincing in pain.
Stephen Neal is one tough SOB to want to continue doing this.
Broken ribs and still playing o-line? I sometimes wonder how the hell these guys do what they do with these injuries. I guess that is why they make the big-bucks right? think this means he is gone, which means we better start looking at a guard/center in the draft. Kaczur might be able to fill in, but with his salary he should not be the answer at RG.
Sporting News #1 UFA Guard - makes sense.
i heard on the nfl network that the titans might have to cut ties with Kevin Mawae. I know its not long term but hes a veteran presence and would probably go for very cheap.
Mawae???? Hell NO.. Not only does he hate BB, he also hates the Pats franchise. And, I can't stand the lying sack... He's, bar none, the dirtiest player in the league and more than a few D-linemen will rejoice when he retires.
As for Neal. God bless him. But he was done 2 years ago in the SB.. Unfortunately, the Pats haven't been able to get someone in to replace him yet. And, unfortunately, the draft seems to be really thin at both center and guard. As is free agency.
Well, if he is indeed moving on, I want to thank him for his services. He was an extremely solid RG for us and had balls of steel coming back last year with all those injuries. I suspect a move either to Washington or Kansas City. This should usher in the Light-Mankins-Koppen-Kaczur-Vollmer era for the Pats.
Addition by subtraction....
Neal has been done for a while now, hasn't opened up a running lane in 3 years and is now getting overpowered back into the pocket.
Good luck, we'll upgrade. That right side has been a sore spot for a while, Kaczur wasn't the only one over there.
Stephen Neal has been one of the top guards in the AFC. The issue with him is not production, its health.
NO way, not a chance. Go back and watch film of him over the last 2 years before you make a comment like that. Have you seen any kind of holes for backs to run through on that right side ? Have you noticed his pass protection ? It's regressed for a while now, he is part of the problem over there with Kaczur. We've needed an upgrade over there for a while now. Both guys, Neal testing FA was the best news I've heard all day.
That is what people mean when they say he's done, though I think that you are over-rating how well he's played since the SB..
The fact is that Neal hasn't played a full season since 2005.. And the Pats need more than that from that position.
Neal should be signing with Patriots south...I mean the Chiefs soon
It's been one hell of an issue, though...
Not to mention the several games he missed in the undefeated season...
Last time he was a UFA he tested what he thought would be a robust market that never materialized. I have mixed feelings about Neal. They played better when he was healthy, but that was increasingly infrequently...
As much as I like Neal, it does seem like injuries are having a cumulative affect on his production. He missed three games in '06, then eight games in '07, five in '08 and four in '09 - and those are just games he was inactive; it doesn't count games he left midway or couldn't perform to his standard due to an injury. He'll be 34 this year, so he's at a point where his production is likely to decrease while at the same time the odds of another injury increase. If he decides to move on I wish him well; this is probably his last opportunity for a big payday.
I agree, on both counts.
Eff Mawae to Hell. He tried to illegally injure both Seymour & Vrabel on the same play in 2004 when he was still with the Jesters.
don't forget Ted Washington's chop block while he was held up.
some "dirty " players you can like as long as they are playing for your team.
Mawae, not so much--
I have no problem making a comment like that. Maybe you should go back and watch the film? do you have any coaches film I can borrow. Spare me the your in-depth assessement nonsense on line play.
Here are the facts...
When he has been healthy, BB has started him.
In SB 42 the pass blocking went to hell when he got hurt.
In 2008 the running game improved substantially when he came back from the PUP.
profootballfocus ranked him in the top 20 guards in 2008 and in the top 5 last year.
I'd contend that he is in the unpleasant situation of needing to help Kazur.
I'd let Neal go because at 33 he can't stay healthy.
I would not let Neal go because he doesn't have value or isn't a good player.
Call it what you want but I don't think you can deny that his value has dipped the last couple of seasons due to injuries, age........w/e
The bottom line is that I watch other NFL teams run with regularity over the right side of their line because typcially that is normally where you're road graders are placed vs the left where the better pass blockers are placed. Neal and Kazcur can't open holes to save themselves. I'm not going to pin all this on Kazcur, I know he struggles, but Neal can't open holes anymore, that's just the truth and we seriously need a major upgrade over there that's why I am really hoping that BB drafts Iaputi at #22, he'll make the entire offense better from the ground game to protecting TB. It's time for Neal to move on.
According to FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2009 OFFENSIVE LINES Pats finished 4th in the NFL in yardage running over the RG (Neal). As I mentioned, in profootballfocus.com, they also graded Neal out highly.
I don't want to bury the argument in stats, but they do indicate SOMETHING. Do they tell the entire story? Of course not.
I would agree that his ability to stay on the field at 34 (in Oct, 2010) is a major issue that this team needs to factor in. If they chose to part ways with him, I would understand it, and perhaps agree. But saying he was crappy for the last couple of years I respecfully disagree.
We've killed this one Riddler. I respect your observations.
Neal is still very good when healthy, but if he's not missing a game, he is playing poorly because he is playing through an injury. Tough guy, still valuable if he's healthy but he rarely is these days. I wouldn't mind the Pats moving on and trying to find someone more durable and/or younger. Moving Kaczur inside and letting Vollmer play RT for a year seems like the best idea, unless Connolly or Ohrnberger can step up (and neither of them has been particularly impressive thus far)
If they do decide to bring him back, I hope it's a short term deal for short guaranteed money.
Good luck finding a 'vibrant' market for Neal's services. As good as he is when he does play, he will typically miss at least a quarter of the season these days, on average.... or more.
As far as Ohrnberger, I don't think there's much evidence for or against him. Wasn't he normally inactive or something?
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