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The Dillon Issue

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Aside from the he said, she said issues, and speculating what Dillon will do next, I am taking the general tone of the board, to be split between:
    1) It was time for him to go, Maroney has surpassed him, and
    2) What do we do now, can Maroney start, how are we going to find a replacement in FA, draft,etc

    I am very much on the side of 1, and surprised there are so many people feeling like 2.

    To stay competitive for Championships, older players need to be replaced by younger ones, consistently.
    Great teams have a core of veteran players that they build around but what many seem to not have recognized is the core changes. As the 'original core' ages, the younger players that were built around it become the core.

    I think this is textbook genius management of building a team. We found Dillons replacement one (maybe 2) years before necessary. He spent that rookie year playing half the time, learning from the vet (there is no question that at the least Maroney learned the stiff arm from the best) and being prepared to take over. In this case it was only 1 year early because by year 2 the young player is better.
    Had Maroney looked in year 1 like JR Redmond looked in year 1, Dillon would be back.

    There has been a lot of complaining on this site when a 'former core guy' was allowed to walk and the replacement was not obvious. (McGinest, Vinatieri, Woody, Law, Milloy, Givens, Branch, etc) In some of those case it was at a point where the replacement not being obvious really was a gamble, in others, it was us not knowing what the organization knew (players like Wilson, Samuel, Koppen, Neal, etc stepping up). In still others it was a case where the decision needed to be made whether the replacement was there or not. When a player is declining AND YOU HAVE A GOOD TEAM THAT CAN OVERCOME A POTENTIAL DROPOFF IN ONE AREA, it makes perfect sense to let a player go 1 year too early rather than 1 year too late.
    I think the concept behind it is that one guy isn't going to make the difference between winning and losing this year, and by cutting the cord now, you are much further ahead 2 years from now, having found and played your replacement.
    I know its not a specific strategy, but in the big picture, you have a core of players, and each hasa shelf life. You surround them with players who are the future core as well as some who are stop gap. The sooner you eliminate the aging player from that core, the sooner the future core players become part of it.
    I think the LB situation fits this scenario. The core has aged. The first measure was stopgap, and that stopgap has evidenced the need to rebuild the core. I expect we will have quite a bit of roster turnover at the LB postion this season for that reason. I expect 3 Lbs (anywhere from starter to last guy on the bench) new to the roster this year. I do not expect a lot of resources to be spent on replacing Corey Dillon, because the answer is already known.

    Guess I am sort of venting and rambling, but my point is, how can anyone be concerned about Dillon leaving when his replacement is already here, and we have had quite a bit of success jettisoning guys even if the replacement wasnt here?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  2. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    It's hard to disagree with that.:D
     
  3. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It is the only post Ive ever written where someone wont say Im wrong about something.

    (somehow posted instead of spacing to continue)
     
  4. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    I agree with you completely on the RB situation.

    There is no acrimony here. I'm sure the Pats and Corey have talked and he's ready to pass the torch to the new generation and running backs need to run, not just read the playbook.

    I hope you'll read my post on why the Patriots don't want Dillon because, looking at some stats, I found a reason Corey will be a major distraction and a hindrance for Maroney if he stays here a year or two.

    It's not his fault and it's a good thing, but I'm talking major distraction. Please check it out.
     
  5. PatsMyBoyz!

    PatsMyBoyz! Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I agree with it being a good move by the Pats,and if Corey can find a better situation then so be it and I wish him good luck. I do think we need more than one RB but Dillon was not going to be that guy anymore;that much has become clear over time.
    ** Whenever there is breaking Pats news,the posts/thoughts seem to evolve in a certain pattern: Initial shock/surprise, appreciation and sentiment for all that player has contributed, speculation about the reasons why/details,assessing the consequences,to finally seeing the rationale behind it and how it will benefit the Pats. Big news=52 threads:bricks: which shows that people are thinking it through.
    Excellent assessment Andy.
     
  6. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Maybe its because BB is our HC, but I pay little attention to the distraction issue.
    I think that in your scenario Dillon is the backup, dillon gets the carries he gets, and is expected to keep his mouth shut and accept his role.
    I cannot begin to say I know what BB thinks, but I am pretty confident that if BB looked at this and said we are better team with Corey Dillon backing up at this price, and I may have to deal with the media talking about the record book, I will keep him. (And go to the stock:the players that give us the best chance to win are on the field)

    I think your reasoning could explain why Dillon would want to go somewhere that he can play more, but I dont think at all that BB would make a decision based on media fallout rather than what is best for the football team.

    Ultimately if the Patriots were behind the decision, its because they felt that what Dillon would contribute was of less value that the combination of his cost, and the value they would get from an expanded role for Faulk, and/or whoever the 3rd RB is going to be.
     
  7. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    People who think we "need" Corey tend to also be under the assumption that Maroney "hit the rookie wall" and "isn't ready to be the main guy." What Maroney did in actuality is "tear some rib cartilage" and "tried to play through it."

    Maroney's young, and he's not perfect (see: AFCCG, Indy) but he learned a lot this year, he's undeniably dynamic, and he was extremely productive for a rookie splitting carries who got injured toward the end of the year. Maroney is completely ready, and I honestly think the Patriots are pleased that Corey initiated his departure HIMSELF.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  8. GHOSTOFSAMGASH

    GHOSTOFSAMGASH Practice Squad Player

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    the cartilage tear is what cause him to hit "the rookie wall" he went from being an explosive violent runner that was constantly looking to hit someone, then got injured and hesitated too often. They still need to bring in someone else at a low price too take some of the pressure off, and in case of injury obviously
     
  9. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    If we go down the stretch run and our backup only needs 200+ yards to vault from 12th to 9th place to overtaking Jim Brown, that's going to be a major distraction.

    If Maroney is dinged and Dillon is passing a HOFer every week for 4-5 weeks in a row their will be media from all over the world wondering why our backup running back isn't playing so he can overtake Jim Brown.

    You don't think that will be a distraction?
     
  10. zoostation

    zoostation In the Starting Line-Up

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    That would be assuming this wasn’t a pre-arranged mutual decision between Corey and the Patriots.
     
  11. Gunnails

    Gunnails In the Starting Line-Up

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    No Jersey Selected

    ======================================

    Maybe Kevin Barlow would fit, I am not sure how cheap he would come though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  12. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No I dont.
    If we callit a distraction, how does it manifest itself?
    It seems like you are saying BB would beunder pressure to base his playing time decisions on what the media is saying. I cannot imagine any scenario where that would happen.
    If what you are saying instead is that BB wouldn't be swayed by that, but somehow the team would lose focus on winning because the media is talking about something besides winning, I just don't think a BB coached team loses games because of what people happen to be talking about.

    Maybe I can understand you better if you can explain not the scenario, but how you feel it would manifest itself negatively.
     
  13. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We're not dooooooooooommmmmmmeeeddd? This just can't be!
     
  14. solman

    solman Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I think that Moroney hitting the rookie wall is a solid argument for him doing better in 2007, not for drafting somebody else.

    If there is any position in the NFL that tears up your body, its RB. It would have been surprising if he had been able to go through his whole year without slowing down.

    I thought that he improved considerably from the begining of the season untill he hit the wall/got injured.

    At the begining of the year, he may have broken some spectacular runs to the outside, but it seemed like he had almost no success going inside and would get stuffed for a loss every time he tried. Once he hit his stride, this problem disappeared (although we may have seen more of it after the injury/wall). I'm very excited to see what he does in 2007.

    I do think we could improve the team by acquiring another quality running back, but if instead we pick up more options for the passing game, I'll still be quite confident. [Of course in that case, we're pretty vulnerable to a Maroney injury].
     
  15. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What is the vet minimum? Thats how cheap he would come. He is borderline to even make a roster in 2007.
     
  16. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Im going to take this from another angle. I think Dillon is going to be missed because I believe the era where you run ONE RB 3-400 times a year IS OVER. Frankly the punishment is to great for anybody to take. Look at what has happened to several RBs who have had a lot of carries lately. They have great years, and then their bodies break down. Moroney isn't a big guy to begin with. Dillon was a PERFECT counterpoint. A guy who is going to averager 4+ypc, get the tough short yardage and GL yards, and who could limit a guy like Moroney to 200-250 carries per year.

    I'm very surprised to see that Dillon is looking for a full time gig with another team (IF HE IS really looking for a full time gig). I don't think anyone will pay him more than that $2.5MM the Pats would have given him for one more year here. IMO its a shame he didn't stay to finish out with a BUSlike year being our short yardage/gl RB who would be a great fill in when Moroney goes down with an injury. he could have wound up in the top 10 RBs, gotten another ring, and gone to the HOF as a Patriot. I will be interested in seeing how the Dillon thing plays out.

    BTW- I disagree with those who felt Dillon was sliding. I thought he had a ver EFFECTIVE year. A good ypc average. A ton of TDs And he kept the chain moving on 3rd and short. The only sign I saw of him slowing down was his stamina, but that's not an issue when you have a Moroney.

    I DO look for Moroney to have a great year. He will really benefit from a full off season of strength training. He does have to get stronger. I wonder if the Pats think that Evans can fill the short yardage/GL roll. Its interesting that that RB from Rutgers WOULD be a perfect fit, could he be a guy in round 2 the Pats might take a shot with.

    BOTTOM LINE: for a team that won 2 superbowl with Antwain Smith as our RB, I don't see the position as being weak without Dillon. Just not as strong.
     
  17. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think you make a good point, but IF I am reading it correctly, I think you are a little exaggerated in it.
    The way I read it is that you are thinking if you want 400 rushes a season, you want to limit your lead back to 200-250 of them, giving the #2 (or 1A) 40-50% of the work.
    IMO, that much isnt necessary or the best way to go. First, you want your best guy taking the most reps. By doing this you are having your 2nd best guy taking 40-50% of the work, thereby being less effective, by definition. the counterargument to that is to get 2 guys pretty much equal in talent. however that isnt really cost effective. Look at Maroney. To get an equal player so there is no drop off you must either expend a #1 draft pick or a big FA contract. That is a lot of money and resources to put into one position.

    My opinion is that your can get 300-350 carries out of your #1, and should. a player like Faulk can absorb the other 50-100, and of course you can have a #3 who can play a role and get some of them too. I dont think 20 carries a game from a top RB is asking for trouble.
    There are only 2 ways to limit that #: Accept a lesser player playing half the time, or double the cost at the position.

    I dont think you need another star to move 100 rushes over to. Between giving a break for a series here or there, or getting them in the 3rd down back role, or replacing the star when ahead or behind by a lot, I think you bring the workload down to a reasonable amount.

    The big issue is what do you do when the #1 RB is injured and out for a game?
    I dont think you can reasonably build a team in the cap era by expecting to have little or no dropoff when ANY player is out due to injury. (It can only really happen when you get a draft steal like the Jags did with Jones-Drew)
    I'd like to see the Pats fill that spot with either a vet backup who could be decent if forced to start (and has done so) or a rookie who is drafted on day 2, and has some upside.
    Ultimately, unless you just get lucky with a pick, or you overspend on one position (which I firmly disagree with) the answer to what you do when your #1 RB is out is that you alter your game plan to rely more on the pass. In a perfect world, there is a better answer, but a salary capped roster is far from a perfect world.
    One thing the Pats have done that i do like in this regard is that the fill the FB position with players who do have some RB skills and can fill in if necessary.
    Heath Evans and Patrick Pass will never be confused for anyones starting RB, but when you get down to #3 or 4 on the depth chart there isn't really anyone out there with a much better opition.
     

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