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The Value of an Injury Sponge

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by shakadave, Apr 10, 2007.

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  1. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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    There's an important phenomenon at work that I don't recall hearing anyone put their finger on: the value of an injury sponge.

    Exhibit A: Junior Seau 2006. Sure he got IRed and missed the second half of the season, but he took a lot of hits, absorbed a lot of blows, threw himself into a lot of tackles THAT OUR OTHER LBs DIDN'T HAVE TO MAKE, THUS PRESERVING THE HEALTH OF OUR OTHER LBs FOR THE PLAYOFFS. If there never was a Seau 2006, there was a greater chance Bruschi, Vrabel, etc. would've gotten injured in September.

    Exhibit B: Corey Dillon 2006. Even though he appeared to play most of the season, he was banged up at best. He had many unspectacular runs. But every time he got tackled, jammed his neck, felt a leg whip from a lineman, etc., that was one piece of contact Maroney didn't have to absorb. Vice versa for every contact Maroney took taking wear off Dillon. With Dillon gone, we REALLY need more RBs, and probably more than the one more we got already.

    Summary: Platooning has an extra value beyond the one usually stated. We know about keeping the starters fresh. Let's also pay attention to the phenomenon of taking injury bullets in place of the starter! In a way, it's best if none of our starters play until Week 6.
     
  2. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Very good and pertinent observations I think. You have, in essence, also given some of the reasons Belichick/Pioli strive for more solid depth on the roster than other teams seem to do - and then Belichick does use these players in games.
     
  3. solman

    solman Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    This is a great argument for having depth, but I don't think it will ever be a good idea to carry a guy just so he can absorb potential injuries. You put your best players on the field, and then you make sure that the backups are good enough to take their place in a pinch.
     
  4. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Amen. Players play.
     
  5. He Ban Me

    He Ban Me Banned

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    :confused:
     
  6. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    There are many ways to use good depth. Some coaches get it and never use it, always keeping it in reserve.

    There are other successful Coaches and Generals, who know that they have a preponderance of the quality players, and use them all, emphasizing or creating situations that highlight the particular strengths and minimize the deficiencies.

    BB, like General Ulysses Grant, knows he has the best 45, 53, 61 and best 65 of any Team, and more and is quite wiling "...To fight it out on this line, even if it takes all season..."
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2007
  7. solman

    solman Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    What does 65 correspond to?
     
  8. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    Those "sponges" were the best players at their positions.
     
  9. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The inevitable 3,4, or 5 good players on Injured Reserve and their replacements... I could have added 68 to include the "shadow roster" of three or four players lined up and awaiting a emergency phone call to join the Team to help out after an injury.

    Guys like Hank Poteat..
     
  10. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

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    Not only that, the guys they were allegedly there to absorb injuries for both were hurt last year - Bruschi all year with his wrist and Maroney down the strecth with his ribs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2007
  11. groundgame

    groundgame Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    AZPatsFan: Great post, as I like your association of BB to General U.S. Grant, but Belichick has many more thinking-outside-of-the-box qualities that compare to CSA General R.E. Lee.
     
  12. FilPats

    FilPats On the Game Day Roster

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    That's a possible use for Marquise Hill.:)
     
  13. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    You don't appreciate his value as a paper weight.
     
  14. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good leaders both, dogged determination and creative energy have their places, and having those side by side in one place ain't necessarily a bad thing.
     
  15. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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    Bumping this April '07 thread to say: Sammy Morris was an injury sponge this year. He was a whole lot more than that too, but as for sponging, if not for him and the September he had, Maroney would be that much more banged up/worn down right now. Faulk too. Instead, those two are fresh and fearsome.
     
  16. elandadem

    elandadem Practice Squad Player

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    I began to consider this earlier in the year when Morris was getting an "inordinate" number of plays. After he got hurt, Maroney wasn't on the field as much I would have thought. The lack of a viable play action, without Maroney in the backfield, has been one of my few criticisms of McDaniels.

    Now, I'm wondering if they were just preserving Maroney for when he would be needed most.

    I'm rather certain that the strength of our running game is going to come as a rude shock to the Giants. There is no coach more capable of deceptive engagement than Belichick. Going 4-3 on the Eagles in XXXIX was a stroke of genius. I can't wait to see what the NFL's foremost historian has in store for Coughlin.
     
  17. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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    Some have poopooed (ha ha, how do you spell THAT word?!) the idea of resting Maroney during the season, but if you really look around, it seems that VERY FEW running backs who carry the load all season make it to the end with their health intact. Peterson didn't; Willie Parker didn't; ten or twenty more I couldn't name didn't. In past years, Faulk often didn't; Pass often didn't; Dillon did only once with us, and that was the only time we won Dillon a ring; Maroney in 2006 didn't. This is why I advocated drafting a RB last year --- or every year? --- I always want one more than we have. Much as I hated to see Sammy Morris go down, he was in there on that play so that Maroney didn't go down. I love the idea that Maroney and Faulk are both healthy right now. Faulk must be the best healthy #2 back we've ever had in a postseason.
     
  18. TheGodInAGreyHoodie

    TheGodInAGreyHoodie Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I don't think we have "injury sponges."

    But wise rotation of players instead of having "backups" that only come in when the player is injured helps on the injury front in several ways.

    First, one hit rarely causes a serious injury. Injuries often occur b/c of successive hit. Only playing half a game doesn't cut the likelihood you will get injured in half, more like cutting it to 1/4.

    Injuries occur most when the player is tired. By rotating players, players don't get as tired at the end of the game. This decreases injuries and result in better play. Having fresh legs in the 4th quarter can mean a win.

    The non-starters get more practice. Lot easier to go from one week playing 30% of the snaps to the next week having 60%, than going from 10% to 90%.

    Gives the other teams more looks. More to prepare for.

    Some players a better in different situations. Third down, red zone etc.

    Everybody practices to play. Nobody is going thru practice thinking, if someone get hurt I might need to know this play but most likely I will be warming the bench.

    With less of a distinguish between starters and reserve better team comadory
     
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