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The OL is improved, even with the injuries

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    STARTERS
    Light is a major upgrade over Kaycur. Mankins has a year of experience.
    BACKUPS
    Mruc,Tucker,O'Callaghan and Britt are at least as good as last year's backups.
    POTENTIAL
    and we will be more improved when and if Kaycur and/or Koppen come back.

    And, yes I would have added a veteran backup LT.
  2. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    Agreed. A lot of people don't know about W. Britt, but he was drafted high I believe by the Chargers, and he can play reserve LT. Britt played LT in camp when Light takes a practice off. When Kaczur does come back, we will have a guy who can play both tackle spots, Gorin can play RT, the rookie O'Callagan can play RT. We got Koppen at C (who seems better than what I feared in the off-season -- he was seen taken snaps from Brady). Hochstein is a capable C. Mankins will be better this year because he will have a whole year of experience. And we re-signed Neal to keep our OL stable.

    Bottom line, the OL has CONTINUITY and thus COHESIVENESS. A lot of guys were thrown in the fire last year, and it should really pay off this year.
  3. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Rayclay is discussing this in another thread...

    Light is not a "major" upgrade over Kaczur, if Kac weren't hurt he'd be giving Matt some serious competition.

    Tucker proved himself in Buffalo's system, lets see how he does in this one, though he is Mruczkowski's primary competition to back-up Hochstein.

    Britt and O'Callaghan look hopeful at RT, but I want to see them in some pre-season games before anointing them to Hochstein/Kaczur status on the depth chart.

    Hotlanta will help us get a better idea of what we have...
  4. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm still not ready to buy into the Britt hype just yet.

    I think the OL remains as it was last year:

    Starters:

    Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, Kaczur (?)

    Backups:

    Hochstein, Mruc inside, Gorin, O'Callaghan outside.

    Yates, Tucker, Britt, Stevenson, Hand, and Steitz are on the outside looking in.

    I wasn't at all impressed with Gorin's play last year, and so if Britt can emerge as a capable LT win, he wins over Gorin.

    Mruc has the upper-hand right now over Stevenson, Tucker, and Yates.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2005
  5. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    When it comes to the Offensive line, I measure the line by how many starter quality guys there are, not by how many stars. I add a proviso that there is at least one starter quality LOT.


    IMHO Light, Mankins, Koppen, Hochstein, Neal, Gorin, Kaycur, Britt, O'Callaghan, Tucker are starter quality O linemen. Stevenson, Mruczkowski might be, Yates, Steitz, et al probably not. LOT players are Light & Kaycur maybe Britt, Gorin and Mankins.

    Considering that most teams carry 8-10 O linemen, all the openings are filled and there are even a few PS candidates as well. I think the "No Vacancy" sign is lit. It doesn't get much better than that.
  6. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would call Britt, O'Callaghan, or Tucker starting quality. At all.

    The Britt hype is starting to get a bit overwhelming, even I must say.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  7. Ichiro

    Ichiro Rookie

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    The OL has to be better this year. Remember the Denver playoff game? That was awful. Ashworth playing LT (although I hear he was sick) lets a blitzer come in free, Brady throws the INT to Bailey. Kaczur is the key because Gorin has horrible balance. I'm also not sold on Neal. He is a wonderful athlete who is great on screens and pulls, but really gets dominated at the point of attack by a good DT. With a lot of new WR's, Brady will need more time than ever.
    However, Mankins has the skill and attitude to develop into a Pro Bowl guard. He was by far our best OL at the end of last year. During the Jacksonville game he often went right at Marcus Stroud and more than held his own.
  8. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with every observation, as I too noticed the same.
  9. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We may want the OL to be better, and I agree that the seeds have been planted, but until Kaczur resumes practicing we have only Light for LT depth (assuming BB wants to keep Mankins at LG). We have decent depth on the interior line and at RT, but the two keys are always C and LT, starting the season with our reserve C and with no depth at LT would be a disappointing proposition for me.

    Neal's weakness has been pass blocking, he knocked Keith Traylor out of the game for a few plays leading Tommy on a sneak for a first down last season. You'll notice Tommy's sneaks more often followed Neal last season. I know Pats1 saw problems with him during his breakdowns, but I didn't notice them to the same degree when I was doing my share.

    LT: Light is a good LT (as would be Kaczur if he was practicing).
    LG: Mankins looks like he is on the fast track to become a dominate LG.
    OC: Hochstein is good, Koppen would be nice improvement.
    RG: Neal is a good fit at RG for the Pats, O'Callaghan might be able to push him for the job in a year or two, but not this year.
    RT: Gorin is first in line for RT, BB may be thinking to use him as first reserve OT if Kaczur comes back and takes the RT slot, but I hope not.

    LT: Gorin is the guy practicing there when Light takes a practice off. :eek:
    LG/OC/RG: Mruczkowski, Tucker, Yates, Barthelmes, Stevenson, Steitz, maybe Hand makes for some good depth behind Koppen and Hochstein.
    RT: Britt and O'Callaghan having been getting first team reps behind Gorin when he slides over to LT, one year on the practice squad and a rookie means we have to hope, then verify in the preseason. Tucker and maybe Hand create additional depth.

    I'll keep saying it, the critical factor is Kaczur and LT depth, I hope he's back soon to start taking reps. And frankly, until we see Britt and O'Callaghan in a full speed contest against first string players, we don't really have any depth at RT, hope, just no depth.
  10. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected


    Keen observation on the Denver game. Ash, or someone, blew his block, causing Brady to throw on the run. And Gorin just completely sucks.
    I'm pulling for Tucker; he could make a great C/G backup with starting experience.
    I would be breathing a little easier at C if Greg Eslinger had been drafted in Mincey's spot.
    My top 9, assuming (praying for?) health and development:
    Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, Kaczur, Hochstein, Tucker, Britt, O'Callaghan.
  11. Drewwho

    Drewwho Rookie

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    2006 OL = NO 2006 Visa Commercial
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2005
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Backup LT

    We will all like someone to beat him out, but Gorin has been the #2 LT for a couple of years.
  13. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Backup LT

    I know he was moved to LT in the infamous Steeler streakbuster game, but Hochstein or Neal were playing RT in that game as the depth chart went to emergency override. Otherwise I don't recall him being very high on the LT depth chart. Gorin is the starting RT and the Britt/O'Callaghan team have their work cut out to take that slot. I do want that position upgraded - here's hoping.
  14. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Backup LT

    I think the simple solution for the #2 LT works out to be Kaczur, although that depends on when he returns. If Light goes down, Kaczur moves over to LT and Gorin slides in at RT, leaving O'Callaghan or Britt as the fourth and final tackle.

    Inside, assuming Koppen returns soon, it's obviously Mankins-Koppen-Neal, then Hochstein, then the winner of Mruc/Yates/Tucker/Stevenson.

    That leaves 9 total OL, which will probably be needed because of the injury history of many. The gameday inactives would be Britt/O'Callaghan and/or Mruc/Yates/Tucker/Stevenson.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2006
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Backup LT

    I'm anticipating 10 OL to start the season.

    Check the O'Callaghan thread for a note on breaking down the Hotlanta game.
  16. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Backup LT

    Sounds like a plan.

    If Dave is reading this - do you want me to create the formatted page itself, or are you going to do the macros again this year?

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