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The roster mistake (almost) every analyst makes with the Pats

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ctpatsfan77, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    . . . . is underestimating the importance BB places on STs.

    How important are they?

    Consider this fact: there are routinely anywhere from four to SIX players on the 46-man gameday roster who play more-or-less exclusively on STs—and that's NOT counting Gostkowski, Mesko, and Aiken!

    As an example, in the Week 10 game:

    N. Koutouvides 22 ST snaps, 0 O/D
    N. Ebner 21 ST, 0 O/D
    J. Tarpinian, 17 ST, 0 O/D
    M. Rivera, 17 ST, 0 O/D
    M. Slater, 11 ST, 0 O/D
    D. Martin, 9 ST, 0 O/D

    And that's not including players like Edelman and Woodhead.

    This is why I'm surprised so few people have Ebner making the team, even despite the logjam at S.

    FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2012 NFL SNAP COUNTS
  2. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree. However, how many of those listed were on the 53 man roster to start the season?
    Belichick expects guys like Collins, Harmon and Ryan to be special teamers. as Ebner was last year. If I were to keep an "extra" defensive back who is a top special teamer, my choice would be our TOP GUNNER, Cole.

  3. Brady6

    Brady6 On the Roster

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    #12 Jersey

    I have him not making the team because I felt like he was underwhelming. I understand he received snaps but I felt like he was inconsistent with them.

    Deaderick, Love, Lloyd and many other also received a ton of snaps last season and none are here.
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    UPDATE

    We started 2012 with five special team only players (not counting the specialists). Also, the rookies were noticeable on special teams.

    SLATER
    COLE
    WHITE
    RIVERA
    EBNER

    Some would only count four since either White or Rivera needed to counted on as a position linebacker.

    This year I have a similar five: Slater, Cole, Fletcher, Beauharnais and Harmon. Again one of the linebackers needs to be a position linebacker (Fletcher). Ryan could be listed as another, since he is unlikely to be active unless he is special teams demon.
  5. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Basically, I take Beauharnais off that list and put Ebner in.
  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    fair enough

  7. Brady6

    Brady6 On the Roster

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    Could I ask you why? Just because of this snap count? I did not think Ebner lived up to expectation at all last year. He made a few nice tackles but not enough to constitute a roster spot solely based on ST play and no contributions any place else. He also made a lot mistakes like missing a block leading to a blocked punt, over running play. He was very inconsistent.

    I could be wrong but right now I have to agree with MG you keep Beauharnias because he can contribute as LB as well.
  8. mcmurtry86

    mcmurtry86 Rookie

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    Fletcher isn't a good special teams player. Certainly not good enough to be kept as a core ST guy. If he isn't the primary backup LB, he's not going to make the roster.
  9. Brady6

    Brady6 On the Roster

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    He is a better special team player than Mike Rivera who was on the roster last season primarily as a special teams player.


    Fletcher = Rivera
    Beauharnais = White
    Harmon = Ebner

    Cole and Slater remain IMO.
  10. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, he made a couple of mistakes, but he still had the second highest snap total of any ST player (more than Slater, in fact) and the second highest tackle total. The Pats weren't concerned enough with his play to ever make him a healthy scratch.
  11. Brady6

    Brady6 On the Roster

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    I was super high on him entering last season. He just didn't have the impact I hoped. So now I'm down on him.

    That said I hope you're right and I'm wrong and he shows improvements this year and makes the team, and provides the the impact I had hoped last season.
  12. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I've debated this point w/ mgteich before. If you go back to the championship years, you will find less pure ST guys on the roster, because we had better players at depth positions.

    Our depth was better then, and that depth played ST. Our STers weren't our depth, our depth was our STers. A few key players aside. But less key players.

    The other things you'll notice when looking over ST snap counts is how many starting and good depth players play a ton of snaps on ST that go unnoticed. Other analysts - Reiss, included - can overemphasize ST-only play, and are capable of forgetting that playing on one side of the ball does not preempt playing on ST.

    The number of pure ST positions is not purely correlated to BB's value on ST play, but on our inability to field better depth options that ALSO play ST. Belichick would rather have four down players. It's easy to see an ST only player like Eric Alexander making the squad when Chad Brown and Monty Beisel suck at football, for instance.

    Also, the high turnover in these ST guys (the Slater & Izzos aside) suggests its a combination of factors.

    That said, Ebner will make the team. It's not complicated, it's about value over replacement. If your ST play is so great that it compensates for your lack of value as a positional player relative to your potential replacement, then you make the team. But I strongly object to the notion that Belichick sits in his office every August thinking "okay, now, where can I find six guys who are great at ST but useless everywhere else [and at least one of which who will be elevated into a prominent positional role in either the AFCCG or Super Bowl.]"
  13. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I'm not sure about that. Check out the week one roster in 2003.

    2003 New England Patriots season - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Aric Morris,
    Je'Rod Cherry
    Chris Akins
    Antwaan Harris
    Larry Izzo

    I'll grant you that guys like Chatham and Don Davis were special teamers who were viable scrimage guys, but NE has had their share of those players lately. I'd say that White and Davis were probably similar guys, it was just that Davis looked better because the guys around him were better.

    I agree with your assessment about Ebner, he is a very likely to make the team, particularly if he has improved a little over last year, but the statement you object to isn't one anyone else is saying.
  14. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Someone over on Patriots Planet who claims to have an inside source (Beauharnais' agent) claims that NE is really high on him. We'll see, but something tells me that he'll make the team. With guys like Rivera and Kouts last year, it was clearly a position of need.

    I think part of the problem could be your expectations. I liked what I saw from Ebs in camp as well, he had surprisingly natural instincts for someone with such little experience. It didn't quite pan out in the regular season, but thinking it might was pie-in-the-sky dreaming (not that I didn't do a little of that myself! :)). Other than the flub against Ari, I thought he was a plus special teamer.

    FWIW, people hold him accountable for the final TD against Seattle, but it wasn't his fault.

    Seahawks vs. Patriots Game Winning Touchdown - YouTube

    Perhaps NE would have run a different scheme with a more experienced guy, leaning more on him than Wilson. But based on the defense they played, Ebs did what he was supposed to do.
  15. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I would probably argue a guy like Davis is more viable, but it's not by that much. That's fair enough.

    I suppose my example would be the 2004 roster:
    2004 New England Patriots season - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Lighter on ST players, and deeper at both LB & DB, and maybe the best roster we've put together.
  16. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    You'll get no argument from me, but IMO the 2004 Patriots is a team that would compete with any in the history of the NFL. Hard to maintain that standard. :)

    Even so, you do still have names like Sam, Reid and TBC who offered no scrimage value to that team, and were developmental special teamers.

    I think we agree that it isn't Bill's goal to always carry 5 guys who will never contribute outside of special teams (though he does seem content to have two of them around). But I think he is perfectly willing to carry that many if their special team prowess outweighs his optimism about the youngsters' growth potential.
  17. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I would agree entirely with your final statement in bold.

    It turns out the cliche Belichick response "do what's in the best interest of the team" is absolutely true, especially roster building.

    And for several players, their value over a potential replacement at ST is greater than their loss of value on O/D, thus meaning they fit BB's best for the team requirement. But my point is just that this is BB's one formula - not that there must be 4-6 ST guys on the squad, that isn't the formula or one of his givens.

    With guys like Reid & TBC, though, the long term goal is that they can contribute on all four downs, they just start off by making their mark on ST. The upside for playing a position is still there. I think these last couple drafts especially have seen BB emphasize those 4-down guys.
  18. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My OP wasn't really getting at that.

    What I'm getting at is the fact that, for most analysts, the entirety of their ST analysis is, "K. P. LS, and, oh yeah, Slater."

    As an example of this, WEEI did a pretty thorough roundup of the safeties on the roster. . . . and almost completely ignored Ebner.
  19. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Absolutely. The ideal roster appears to be 5 special teamers (including the LS, K, P) and every other core special teamer a guy who backs up or plays in certain situations, or developmental youngsters.

    Even by these ideal parameters there is room for Ebner as the only other lock STer is Slater, and it appears as if the team felt they needed to overhaul the backup LB squad.

    I guess it took us a couple thousand words to say, "I agree." ;)
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ninkovich, Mayo, Hightower, Spikes, and Collins are locks.

    A healthy Fletcher is next up at linebacker. We needed Fletcher last year and we need him this year.

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