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The o-line, or lack there of...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by woolster22, Aug 5, 2012.

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  1. woolster22

    woolster22 Rookie

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    This position has me seriously worried. Granted gallery was a long shot to make much impact, however, our t spot just took a hit. Cannon, solder, Vollmer and? Seriously, who fills in when vollmer goes down with a whip lash induced concussion (or back injury) when he gets beat for the first time? Cannon has potential, but as others have pointed out he has his limitations.

    Inside the depth just took a hit as well. Mank has faced relatively significant injuries the past few years and waters isn't a sure bet either.

    Edit:
    The fiance poking at the phone caused a premature post...she is watching stone garbage romantic comedy and can't be bothered but my phone is the issue (insert roll eyes here)...

    In any case;
    Connelly is the outsiders favorite for c, mank (assuming healthy) and waters (assuming unretired) at g, with Vollmer and solder at t? Color me incredibly skeptical. As close to a decade of OC's have unfortunately proved (or have tried to), this team goes as Tf'nB does. And that hasn't worked out that great for eight years now. And now, in my opinion, our greatest perceived weakness would have to be the group of men assigned to keep #12 upright.

    This isn't just about gallery, I have been suggesting this weakness predraft.

    The only saving grace is Chef Scar's incredible ability to make duck confeit of chicken ****. This man has repeatedly made amazing use of apparent left overs to create some of the best o lines in the league year in and year out. This unit simply hasn't proven jack, and the few that have either aren't that impressive, or they are mankins. Has gallery even made a decision yet? If thus charade isn't simply camp dodging, this unit is screwed (in my uninformed misguided opinion).

    Don't worry deuce, I'll beat you to the punch, this is the latest "dumbest post in the history of patsfans.".

    Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  2. Crazy Patriot Guy

    Crazy Patriot Guy Rookie

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    While I too have concerns about the present situation on the OL, I can't really say a lot of teams around the league look great at the #4 tackle spot.

    This line has two things going for it right now:

    1. As you mentioned, Dante is amazing at making lines come together and perform
    2. These guys all have at least decent game experience

    It would certainly be a bad thing if Vollmer, Mankins and Waters weren't ready to go in Week 1. However, the plus side is that we wouldn't be throwing 3 rookies in there or 3 players who had never started a pro game.
  3. BananaRepublican

    BananaRepublican Banned

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    The invasion of Syria has me seriously worried.

    The OL will not worry me until the depth is proven to be uncoachable.

    Mankins doesn't worry me one bit. Neither does Waters. Vollmer will only if he isn't being held out for the back. Foot was that last problem. No problem for me. Solder is going to be fine but obviously will have to make some mistakes. In the end he may be better than Light so why are we so worried about this little transition period? Every team goes through this every year.

    If you want to put it in perspective try to see Wayne Hunter as your starting RT. They completely ignored RT in the draft and in FA they have struck out. Now that is a worry if you're a Jets fan. It's a humorous matchup for Hightower if you're a Pats fan.
  4. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    #91 Jersey

    First apologize to your wife dor disturbing her movie. Does she know that you panic so easily, Woolster. You are beginning to sound like those game day posters who are ready to throw in the towel the first time the Pats either give up a first down or don't make one. :rolleyes:

    Next apologize to your phone for posting directly it. I don't know why I said that, it just doesn't seem natural to be able to post from a phone.

    Finally send an email to Scar and apologize to him for have so little respect for his abilities. Don't forget he sent out 4 different Centers last season with little disruption to the team. And only one offensive linemen started every game. (Waters), and only 2 played in every game (Waters and Solder) Why would this small bump in the road bother him. And while your at it you can also throw in apologizes to Thomas, Connolly, Solder, Cannon, McDonald and Wendell

    That should keep you busy on your phone for a while. ;)
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Given his track record, I have to assume that Scar could plug some of the cheerleaders in at OL and still field a credible unit. The man's a genius at making an OL that is greater than the sum of its parts.

    Losing Light and Gallery, and having Vollmer, Mankins and Solder out is something of a concern. But even in the worse case scenario I think the Pats will manage to piece together a decent line, or find some vets who can help. Waters was a late pick up a year ago, and he was a huge addition to the team.
  6. woolster22

    woolster22 Rookie

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    I think we need something to worry about, and the table spot and more vaguely the ol would take the cake over db to this apparent lone lemming running over the cliff.

    Being better of than the jets is like hoping to test out to a higher iq score than Cromartie, or better yet having a higher iq than he has children...it is simply the equivalent of setting the bar six feet in the ground.

    The hell with Syria, what happens when the rest of the world has enough of our crap and ditches the dollar as the global currency? When will the "us spring" finally take place? Why is it I need to balance my checkbook, honor my debt but the government doesn't? When did innocent until proven guilty go by the wayside? Why is it government backed agencies can (dmv/rmv) can declare guilty as they see fit even if the court decides otherwise? Meh, I tend to wear cr@p colored glasses in regard to the direction of this country. I should stop there before I end up on some list with harry boy...

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  7. BananaRepublican

    BananaRepublican Banned

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    Ding ding ding .... you get to worry about the OL without interference from me now.
  8. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I think this is a very good and telling post. We still already have a lot of good candidates on the offensive line already, not to mention the possibility of snagging someone when the rosters are cut down in a few weeks or so.

    There will be over 900 NFL players who will have been cut this yr, from the 80 to 53 man limit (starting at 90 of course) in the last week or so of TC. Although we certainly cannot 'count' on any production from that, it isn't out of the realm of possibility to think that a 1/2 way decent vet pickup can't be had in there with Belichick's knowledge and magic.

    I do not see anything wrong with the OP's questioning either, as the situation isn't all rainbows and unicorns at the moment, but I do think (optimistically) that we'll be just fine. It certainly will be addressed.
  9. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    The line will be better at the end of the season than the beginning.

    Picking up a ProBowler like Waters at the end of camp is unrealistic.

    Having Scar and the coaches put out a functional line with what they have is.

    They key is to keep Brady upright and make a few holes for the running game with passable talent- which is something that they have done consistiently for 13 years now also is realistic.

    That'll do.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  10. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I agree with your thoughts on the offensive line. I am certainly not advocating the possibility of picking up a "pro bowler" at the end of camp, but I don't think that a "1/2 way decent vet pickup" is out of the realm of possibility for added competition either.

    With Belichick's tendency to keep close eyes on many of the other teams' players, I would imagine that he will certainly address the situation by adding an additional tackle or two somewhere between now and the end of TC. The increased roster spots this year does allow for more players to be available than in years past.

    Either way, the situation will certainly be addressed.
  11. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Watching a movie with my girlfriend vs. worrying about the offensive line of the Patriots..

    The girlfriend may absconder being concerned about your obsession, but somehow we will field a good offensive line..

    What is not being factored into here is the play of our TE's and their ability to slow folks down, while still catching balls. Of course the teaching/coaching of Scarnecchia which can never be minimized..

    Take time for your gf, this board will be here in the morning..
  12. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Don't do that, woolster. That will only show your weakness. You need to show her who the boss is ;)

    I love the creativity that Ken brings to these boards.

    Edit: although you may want to listen to Darryl and Ken, they likely have much more experience with being married than I do. I am only going on my first yr's experience. In my opinion, the worries of the offensive line (or any other football related thought) will always be neck-in-neck with any of my wife's thoughts.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  13. goheels22002

    goheels22002 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Does anybody have any information on second year Guard Nick McDonald from TC or from his college days? He's a key guy all of a sudden.
  14. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    I've been married for 17 years and the key is to get your spouse involved in your interests and likes so that she also becomes interested and has a greater level of understanding of who you are as a person.

    With that said, my wife is also concerned by the lack of depth along the line but is confident the situation will be solidified by the start of the season.

    However she still cannot comprehend how I have posted 6600 some odd posts about the Patriots. :p
  15. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    He played in 4 games last year for us, started center in 2. Both were very successful. Many here lauded his performances.

    He also saw action as a reserve on special teams in the 2 playoff victories vs DEN and BAL. He would have been active for the SB, but Vollmer was able to come back at the last minute, thus making him inactive for the big game.

    NCAA:

    COLLEGE

    •Played in 44 games with 29 starts at Grand Valley State.
    •Named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year as a senior.
    •Started all 15 games at left tackle as a senior and earned first-team All-American honors from the American Football Coaches Association and named an Associated Press Little All-American.
    •Helped lead Grand Valley State to the Division II National Championship game as a senior in 2009.
    •Named second-team All Conference as a junior.
  16. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We need to hope that the injuries to Mankins and Vollmer are being managed to get them ready for the first game rather than bringing them back prematurely. We could really use Waters also.


    Mankins and Waters are perennial Pro bowlers, Vollmer when healthy is performing at close to that level. You don't lose that sort of productivity without taking a hit, no matter how good the coach is (and he is the best OL coach in the business).

    The difference is between a good team and a SB winning team.
  17. goheels22002

    goheels22002 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    I did not realize McDonald played Center last year - that is a big plus. There's a video on the Patriots web site with him in the Colts game. If they've got some confidence with him at Center, the depth chart is a bit more reassuring. If Koppen could hold down his position and provide veteran leadership, it is not so bad to see an early-season offensive line of:

    Solder - Thomas - Koppen - Connolly - Cannon

    with McDonald as a G-C back up.

    If Waters shows up, and you could shift Connolly to Center, we're fine with a nice mix of age and youth:

    Solder - Thomas - Connolly - Waters - Cannon.

    This is a huge opportunity for Marcus Cannon. He looks physically imposing from the TC videos. A Cannon-Vollmer platoon would be great.

    Weeks 3 and 4 will be the test: the Ravens in Charm City followed by the Bills in Orchard Park.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  18. eom

    eom Rookie

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    haha...I just game over here to start a similar thread.
    I'm not pulling the fire alarm, or anything like that, but I was wondering what our possibilities were, considering tackle looks kind of thin.

    I completely expect them to sign a tackle after cutdowns, but I was wondering if we could get one for a pick.
    maybe some vet on his last year with a younger guy ready to take over ---- or is tackle such a scarce commodity no team would ever part with a decent one?

    you don't see the seymour, or moss, trades much in teh nfl, but maybe we have to wait 'til after cutdowns for that.

    excerpts from bedard:


    Physically unable to perform:
    LG Logan Mankins (knee), RT Sebastian Vollmer (back)

    [*] DE Rob Ninkovich always stands out after a little rest. He was back after missing some time with an undisclosed ailment and then absolutely took it to RT Marcus Cannon on the first play of team drills. Cannon couldn’t handle the mix of speed and power.

    [*] Undrafted DE Justin Francis steamrolled LT Nate Solder onto his back during a one-on-one rep thanks to an unbelievable speed rush. Don't think Solder knew what hit him.

    [*] Ninkovich made Cannon look bad blowing right by him with an inside move. It was Ninkovich’s first one-on-one rep since July 28.
    [*] Solder did a very nice job to stuff Chandler Jones on the first snap, but Solder got pancaked by Francis on the second.

    [*] After getting run over by Francis in one-on-one, Solder was whipped by Jones and Marcus Harrison during the two-on-two “game” drill, where two linemen work in tandem against two offensive linemen.

    edit: oh, I forgot.......
    maybe hernandez practicing taking handoffs heralds the magic 3 te package.......?
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Two weeks ago we were discussing our OL as the best in the nfl, or certainly one of the top 5. Now we are talking about possibly having to "piece together" a decent line.

    IMHO, we have not addressed the known issue of backup OT, other than bringing in a veteran OG who could play OT in an emergency. That is NOT enough camp depth! Vollmer may be fine, but if he is not (I think he'll be fine), Kopa is our Game Day backup at LT and RT. Perhaps Scar thinks Kopa is worthy, but somehow I think not.

  20. eom

    eom Rookie

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    I don't think it's so much a question of the quality of the line, as it is the depth at tackle.

    let's say week 1 vollmer continues to have back issues, and solder gets a high ankle sprain -- where are we at?

    comparing the team to the cardinals or the jets doesn't really make me feel any better.
  21. Richard Camembert

    Richard Camembert Rookie

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  22. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think we need something to worry about...

    Ian simply must find a way to incorporate this sentiment into the sites logo, once and for all.
  23. borg

    borg Rookie

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    What do Welker, Hernandez, and Gronk all have in common????

    Answer: The best quick pass options in the NFL

    My point: McDaniels can neutralize O line deficiencies via the short passing game. Mix in the draw....and.....the screen pass, a McDaniels favorite, and the Pats will be able to cover up some O line limitations. Toss in some in motion slam blocks from our TE fleet as well. Lastly....avoid 3rd and long. Piece of cake ....19-0
  24. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    The O-line has the potential to spiral down the toilet if certain things don't work out. We all have a ton of respect for Scarn, but what ever happened to the offense becoming more balanced? Pass protection is one thing, but moving the D-line is another level for an O-line.

    Solder is, after all, still only a second year player. Vollmer's injuries look like they aren't going away any time soon. And we all know that Cannon's natural position is guard, not tackle. And then there's no one else beyond that. We had the luxury of 3 really good tackles last year, and Matt Light had been fairly durable. If there's a position on offense where we could be weak, it might be tackle.

    On the interior, I am hopeful that Waters does return. If I had to bet, I'd say that he will return. I don't think he wants to bother with the tedium and physical toll of TC. So long as he returns with Mankins, our interior O-line is set. If he doesn't, then our O-line will take a downgrade over the prior year.

    It's a little concerning with the reports out of camp too. Seems like more often than not that the D-line outperforms the O-line. Hopefully it's more indicative of the talent on D than anything else.
  25. woolster22

    woolster22 Rookie

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    Easy guys, I got home with twenty minutes left in some sob story...there was plenty of time together as soon as it was done ;)

    Outside of the saints, what prolific pass first offense has achieved the ultimate goal of winning it all lately...this is what I was getting at with the eight years thing...

    If you want to look for a weakness on this team it would have to be defense (acknowledging many rookie additions that seem to be trending towards significant improvement to the unit), o line, or maybe special teams (not p/k but the units, again see young talent stockpiles).

    I am not saying the line is so bad that there is no way Brady escapes the season healthy, but on a seemingly stacked team, it would be voted my weak link (lots of new faces in the defensive secondary, holding judgement until we get to see them in action).

    Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 2
  26. Deus Irae

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

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    Disable Jersey

    2006 Colts (557 pass attempts for 4308 yards, 439 rush attempts)
    2011 Giants (589 pass attempts for 4734 yards, 411 rush attempts)

    4 of the 6 SB winners, post-2005, have had more than 4000 passing yards in the regular season.
  27. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    Look at the recent Super Bowl participants...NY Giants, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Indy and Arizona all had lines that ranged from questionable to downright poor. OL questions have recently proven easy to survive.
  28. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Brady is a pure pocket passer. The way to disrupt him is with pressure up the middle. The group that the Pats have at interior OL - Mankins, Water, Connolly, Thomas, McDonald, Koppen and Wendell - have proven to be more than adequate when called upon in the recent past.

    As for someone at RT should Vollmer not be able to go, I have faith that at least one of Cannon, Kopa, Hix or Weems will be able to step up and get the job done, especially with some help if needed from a TE as well as play calls (running game; short, quick pass routes) that minimize any shortcomings of the RT.


    I'm more concerned with defense - depth at safety if/when an injury occurs; pass coverage of the corners; the pass rush; and even run defense - more than I am concerned about the offensive line.
  29. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    I was a bit panicy about the OL a few weeks ago. But I'm starting to pull out of it now. I would love to have another no-name OT making waves in TC, pressing Cannon for first team reps. But, hey, cant have everything.

    Here's our worst case lineup:
    Solder - Thomas - Wendell - Connolly - Cannon, not great, but not so bad.

    And here's our best case:
    Solder - Mankins - Connolly - Waters - Vollmer, which is probably among the best in the NFL.

    My homer, glass-half-full read is that the worst case line has been getting reps and will solidify in preseason. Then, as we add our pro-bowlers back into the mix, the play will only get better. Even if all three of Mankins, Waters and Vollmer start on PUP, come playoff time, they should be good to go and we get a premium mid-season talent injection.

    Just that with our 2nd team starting, our depth is pretty thin, dangerously thin... McDonald I like. Either Kopa or Hix have to come on... and then ?
  30. Joey007

    Joey007 Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    Should we be worried about the O-line??

    The O-line is really starting to concern me. With Gallery gone, there being a chance Waters is gone, Koppen not performing well and Mankins and Vollmer unhealthy. I'll admit I'm concerned. Brady's 35, while he's playing better than ever he could be one serious injury away from his career being in serious jeopardy. Now, if we can get our injured guys healthy, and hopefully get Waters to return, I think we'll be fine. But if Waters retires, Vollmer continues to suffer from injuries, and Mankins starts on the PUP, we are then left with Solder at LT, Koppen, Wendell, Thomas, Connolly in the interior and Cannon at RT.

    Keeping Tom Brady healthy is one of the biggest factors in making another Super Bowl run, if Waters leaves as well we could have problems. No disrespect to Thomas or Wendell, I just can't trust them as starters to basically, protect our franchise.

    And a question for you guys, say Solder goes down. Would Cannon be the backup??

    EDIT: Ok, since I discovered a thread was already created for this topic, I'll throw this out there- Vets like Jake Scott, Vernon Carey, are they options??
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
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