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The Case for 4 WR's

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by shmessy, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    OK, I mentioned this the other day in passing, but the more I think about it, the more I become convinced that this is the way to go.

    1) Branch (please, God), Caldwell, Jackson and Brown (with NO D duties this year guaranteed - I'll address this in a sec). This could turn out to be the best 4 WR's (as a unit) in Pats history.

    2) Childress and (take your pick of Stone, Henry, etc.) on the PS for injury insurance.

    3) 4 TE's - Watson (honorary WR), Graham, Thomas, Mills. Think the production of a 5th WR will be more than replaced by the increased production of this squad this year?

    4) The saved spot that would otherwise have gone to a 5th WR would go to Willie Andrews as a KO/Punt return specialist. Let Faulk, Branch, Brown etc. concentrate on their own jobs. I'm convinced that Brown's Offensive effectiveness was limited due to his moonlighting the past two years and that it doesn't help Faulk (who is very underrated in his importance to the team in 3rd down situations) to put himself at more injury (and fumble-itis) risk as a returner - the man is getting older.

    5) The last part of the puzzle (where do we cut elsewhere for the 4th TE?) is the toughie. If only we could land a Backup Center who could also handle long snapping, then we could save that Paxton-Specialist spot. I love #66 as much as the next fan, but it would be great if he could bulk up and be a backup Center, or if Hochstein could long snap. Here it comes down to a "lesser of two evils" situation. Do we go with the KO/Punt return specialist who could tremendously help the concentration and focus of the WR crew to do their job and who can also fill in an emergency in the secondary (probably better than Troy Brown at 36) or do we keep Lonie Paxton as a Snapper specialist, who while excellent at that craft, gives no ancillary benefits.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2006
  2. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

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    The only way I see that is if the guys competing for #5 are so dreadful none of them are worth a roster spot.

    You can't go into a game with less than 4 WRs because if you only have 3 and something happens to one, you have now lost a huge chunk of the playbook. So if you only keep 4 when (not if, when) one of the 4 you keep is a little banged up and you aren't sure they can play, you then have to cut someone and sign a guy. That roster spot you saved, it's already gone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2006
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Long snapper is no more a throwaway position than center, or gunner. We have the best in the league, and he isn't being cut because someone else might do an adequate job.

    I agree with your primary point regardin wide receivers. The 5th wideour will not be active and is just as useful sitting on the PS. I would rather Faulk or Watson line up at WR, rather than Childress or Stone.
    ----------------------------------
    Injuries will determine the final roster composition, but consider the roster below. Compared to the "norm", we have taken the #5 and #6 WR spots and made them a receiving TE and a returner.

    BTW, Mills will need to learn to block or he won't get much playing time this year. In the end, he may be Graham insurance (and a receiver threat) as much as the theoretical H-back people have discussed.

    OFFENSE (25)
    QB 3
    RB 3
    FB 1
    WR 4
    TE 4
    OL 9
    R 1

    DEFENSE (25)
    DL 7
    LB 9 (7 posiiton and 2 ST)
    DB 9 (4 corners, 3 safeties and 2 ST)

    SPEC (3)
     
  4. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With the likely scenario that we are entering this season with a rookie PK or a guy who lost his job because he developed (physically or mentally) the yips - this is not the time to tinker further with the specialists. The anscillary benefit Josh and Lonnie will provide is as a veteran support system for the kid kicker, not to mention the last thing a guy who has a tendancy to kick low and get blocked (Gramatica) needs is a couple of bad snaps to unhinge him.

    From what I've gathered from the various TC reports Condo is the only guy long snapping. Mills is MIA and Thomas has his hands full nailing down a spot as a rookie TE with Graham still MIA. And Hockstein will more than likely have his hands full as well as the starting Center.

    Robbing Peter to pay Paul is usually a failed and shortsighed strategy. We may well end up with 2 QB's on the roster and 1 on the PS. And a couple of starters on PUP. There will be room for guys who earn a spot without creating a problem where none exists.
     
  5. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Jackson needs a lot of work - we keep 5 so he can be the 5th. The 6th is probably Andrews as a return specialst, but Bam may make a case for sticking if he can share return duties and stay 'tight' with the QBs. WRs: Branch - Caldwell - Brown/Stone - Jackson - (Childress) - (Musinski).

    Mills needs to get on the field, Thomas is earning his place in camp, Mills needs to get healthy and do the same. Right now, he's IR or Practice Squad on my roster... TEs: Graham - Watson - Thomas - (Mills)

    Hochstein can long snap, he's Paxton emergency back-up.
     
  6. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    If Mills were looking good, and Pass was looking good, I would believe that we go without a 5th WR. But since that hasn't happened, I think that we just may actually carry a longshot like Childress. He still is likely to remain on the 'hidden' roster somewhere, if Mills and Pass and others are going to take up roster spots. But that is not happening as of yet.

    I will be surprised if we carry a 5th wideout who is not a drafted player, but with Branch missing and FB/TE/RBs out as well, it gives Bam a better opportunity.
     
  7. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown In the Starting Line-Up

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    I've said it before and will again... Watson is the Defacto 5th WR.
     
  8. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I could see us making do with 4 WRs - especially if there are no trades or worthwhile cuts to be found by the end of training camp. But ultimately I don't think that will be the case and think there will be an opportunity to add depth here.

    It's early but I have a feeling Childress might show he belongs and/or might not be safe on PS if it came to that.

    If there's no trades, worthwhile camp cuts to bring in, and Childress doesn't earn a spot on special teams or the WR depth chart - not that we have a whole lot of choice - but I'd just accept the lack of WR depth.

    The #1 & #2 WR have the VAST majority of reception opportunities with #3 & 4 playing significant but lesser roles - but the #5 better have some contribution on Special Teams if he wants any playing/roster time and #6 likely isn't going to be a game day active anyway.

    So ultimately everything rides on your top 4 shoulders anyways - its just a question of injury (Caldwell, an aging Troy Brown) and a reasonable expectation that very few rookies (Jackson) come out of the gate at a high level.

    That leaves you with Branch (who would probably be playing very little now even if he weren't holding out for fear of injury) - who you keep your fingers crossed will be injury free - and three guys who, due to age (young and old) and injury fears, all come with big "ifs"

    Not the deepest position on the team by any means, but there's ALWAYS the chance of injury in the NFL and there frankly isn't a lot we can do about that position just right now
     

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