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The Key to the Offensive Line

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by State, Jul 7, 2009.

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  1. State

    State Rookie

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    Stephen Neal . Look for big things from him this year.

    The sight of his playing healthy the whole year should do wonders to rejuvenate Fred Taylor.

    His ability to operate in space, to pull and take on the second layer of the defensive, is extremely valuable for the Patriots. Without him the line has been known to suffer.

    I think he's one of the unheralded keys to the Patriots this season. Isn't he on the last year of his contract?

    Is it too much to expect 1200 yards from Taylor? I don't think so. He's finally got a good offense line to run behind. Time to put up some big numbers before taking off the cleats for good.
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Damn, you stole Deus' thunder! That's so cold.
  3. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    Stephen Neal's health, unfortunately, is far from a given.

    But based on the draft I think we should be looking for good things from whoever we put out there at RG.
  4. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    When I read the title to this thread, I thought the same thing: Steven Neil.

    The difference in the line's play with and without Neal in the past 2 years has been astounding.
  5. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    at least he isn't looking like he will be coming off of PUP like last year (as far as we know). that's a better start

    knock on wood...
  6. WhiskeyBreath

    WhiskeyBreath Rookie

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    I think it is.
  7. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I don't know if he's any more valuable than Mankins (he probably isn't). We just know for a fact how much it hurts the OL when he gets hurt because he gets hurt all the time. If Mankins was out for any significant amount of time, I expect we would see a similar dropoff.
  8. Lord_Reginald_III

    Lord_Reginald_III Rookie

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    why didnt they extend him? someone on NEST was calling vince expendable, saying something to the effect of: pats extend players they want early like seymour etc, the rest move on. if you buy this (not sure i do) same logic applies to mankins
  9. eagle eye

    eagle eye Rookie

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    Sea Bass is gonna kick some ass if Neal has any problems.


    [​IMG]
  10. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I think they might just think that the guard position in general is expendable, whether it's by drafting someone and plugging him in as a rookie (Mankins) or coaching up some random UDFA wrestler.
  11. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    I don't see any way that Taylor, or any other running back on this team, rushes for 1200 yards this season. The Patriots haven't even had anyone rush for 900 yards since 2004. Anything's possible but, with the committee approach the team's been taking in recent years, I just don't see it.
  12. nashvillepatsfan

    nashvillepatsfan Rookie

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    Like i've said many times. The key to the O-lines success is a healthy Neal, and better depth at the interior. Thats all we need to average 80 points a game :D
  13. ctpatsfan77

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    If that happens, the Patriots will likely have to have, oh, about 10,000 yards of total offense. :eek:
  14. SEPatsFan

    SEPatsFan Rookie

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    That may work in a standard year, but with the unknown CBA situation it does not apply in the same way. He is only in this 4th year, his 5th year is 2010 and after that he could still be a RFA depending on how the CBA plays out.

    SSDD
  15. CoachK

    CoachK Rookie

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    I agree with you. As much as I love Mankins, he will command top $$ for an OG, which is far more value than the PATs put on the position.

    Can't argue with the strategy. Has there been a better value contract in the last 5 years than Mankins" contract ??
  16. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    because very little extending is going on due to the CBA......only 3 of 32 first rounders in mankins' year have been extended and one of those extensions is a joke (QB alex smith of the niners)......fact is, if it is an uncapped year, mankins will be an RFA

    wilfork on the other hand will be a FA, but as long as you have the franchise tag handy, you can keep him......I don't believe it is in the pats best interest to allow wilfork onto the open market
  17. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    in an uncapped 2010, mankins will be an RFA which will make him an even better bargain
  18. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    as for neal, his problems are chronic, I believe (shoulder).......that said, the offense is certainly better with him in there...

    ohrnberger projects as a neal understudy...........he's made a life of using leverage and mobility much like neal does
  19. TruthSeeker

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    Ah, a proponent of the 22 game season I see. :)
  20. Box_O_Rocks

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    I think it terribly unfair that people with extra digits on their hands and feet throw out such large numbers when discussing season length. :mad:
  21. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So many posts act as if the patriots are in control of free agents, and we can just sign and extend at will. Players play under rookie contracts and then are FREE AGENTS. They are not required to extend. Some players would prefer other teams, other teams, and more compensation.

    With regard to Wilfork, we can dream of him playing under a franchise tag. If we think that he would play, there is no reason to offer him more than the tag money. Personally, I don't thin he'd play under a tag. I also believe that the team very much wants to keep him.


  22. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    the patriots ARE in control of certain situations........RFA is one of them and that's what mankins will be if 2010 is uncapped

    and if they used the tag on cassel, they will use the tag on wilfork.........you don't let a player like that walk for nothing.....for one year anyway......and wilfork has principles and acts out according to the rules, so I would bet that he would show up under the tag.....I also believe the pats want him to stay, but the pats are doing things the way they do things......I'd hate to see wilfork wind up with the dolphins which is a likely destination if he isn't going to be here
  23. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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    Deus, it looks like great minds are in alignment on this issue.
  24. Box_O_Rocks

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    Deus a great mind? Maybe sick and demented (delightfully so), but great? :confused2:
  25. AzPatsFan

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    I don't know why everyone says that Neal is injury prone. The number of game she has missed inthe past four years is only a handfull.

    But if he does go down, I think that Nick Kaczur will move inside to take his place, and the RT war with Levoir, Vollmer, RO'C and maybe Britt, is on, in earnest. I think R O is targeted at Center more than any thing else.:cool:
  26. LA Pats Fan

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    Re: The Key to the Offensive Line - is the tight end

    The last time tghe PAtriots had unstoppable running was with Cory Dillion.

    I went back and looked at the 3 games to glory for those seasons.

    The Key was Steven Neal and Dan Graham.

    I suspect Baker is expected to provide what we lost and never recovered since Graham left.
  27. BradyFTW!

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    #12 Jersey

    Re: The Key to the Offensive Line - is the tight end

    Bingo. Tried to get it with Kyle Brady in 2007, but didn't work out.
  28. State

    State Rookie

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    Re: The Key to the Offensive Line - is the tight end

    Excellent, excellent insights.

    Neal is almost uncanny how he can move his body so quickly into position to take on LBers. He pulls like John Hannah. Well, almost.

    And I think Chris Baker is going to be a major bright spot this year. Very good athleticism and size. Although not quite as good at blocking as Graham, who was devastating at times, Baker has the hands to be a better receiver.

    Tom Brady will make Chris Baker play like an All-Pro.
  29. unoriginal

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    A case where a typo works directly against your point.
  30. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    :confused: Neal has missed 16 games in the past 3 years -- and 2 more he didn't start. Plus there were those two IR seasons earlier in his career. Terrific player, but hard to argue with the injury-prone label.
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