Welcome to PatsFans.com

Thinking outside the box.... Could this be a transistion year?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by DaBruinz, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    24,641
    Likes Received:
    295
    Ratings:
    +731 / 61 / -50

    #50 Jersey

    Now, before anyone goes ape, please read and think about this.

    I don't think that this is a transistion year in the "TRADITIONAL" sense where the Pats would go 8-8. But, I've been wondering if this might not be a transition year for the Pats. Where they release some of the older vets and bring in younger players and let them build within the system, while still putting a competative team on the field that could still contend for the SB. The Pats would also lock up their CORE young veterans players (Seymour, Branch, Graham, Koppen), long term, to assure the continued success.

    Lets look at the real holes:
    Receiver - Branch, Johnson, Childress, Musinski
    Tight End - Watson, Graham

    The Pats have, previously gone with a bunch of no names at this position and won a SB doing it. All they need is 1 decent WR who can catch the ball opposite Branch and they would have as productive a WR combo as they did in 2001. Their TEs would be significantly better and Watson could tear up the league as a Tony Gonzalez type TE.

    I could easily see the Pats drafting 1-2 WRs in the middle to late rounds and letting them learn on the job. Look for them to have decent to good hands and decent to good route running ability. The Pats could also pick up a veteran like a Javon Walker via trade or a Quincy Morgan or Peerless Price. Someone who has something to prove.

    Linebacker:
    Colvin, Vrabel, Bruschi, Beisel, Claridge, Izzo, Davis, Alexander, Banta-Cain

    The Pats getting a Manny Lawson or possibly a Mark Anderson could turn the OLB position around easily. Claridge stepping up and doing what Brown couldn't last year will be growing pains, but should be more productive. They could always have TBC at the OLB position with Colvin and Vrabel back at the ILB position and still be productive. A full off-season under Peppers, Pees, and Woicik will hopefully help Beisel.

    Kicker:
    The Pats have done well finding kickers in the draft and afterwards. Look at Robbie Gould. Was very good in camp and got himself the starting job with the Bears after their kicker went down for the season. AV could be back or someone else.


    Cornerback:
    Samuel, Gay, Poole, Hobbs

    Pats could use another person here. Could be someone like Andre Dyson (unless his release was rescinded) or it could be a draft pick like Richard Marshall. This could all be thrown awry by the possibility of the Pats signing Tank Williams and the Pats moving Wilson to CB.
     
  2. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    24,086
    Likes Received:
    811
    Ratings:
    +2,355 / 22 / -14

    Disable Jersey

    A transitional year approach would fit within the BB scheme. He's said he'd do so in past quotes. Whether this is the case in 2006 remains to be seen. He DID say that he was surprised to win it all with the 2001 team. Note that it took to 2003 to build another true Champion.
     
  3. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    39,181
    Likes Received:
    690
    Ratings:
    +1,738 / 35 / -29

    #87 Jersey

    I agree with you, yes it is...not could be. I felt last year was the last hurrah for that team and as we all now, injuries took their toll.

    Let's face it, anone who has been on this team since 2001 has effectively played an extra season with all the playoff games. But we have and had a great team, no hunger was lost with 1-2 or even 3 rings and so we made the playoffs again...4th best record to boot.

    I think part of that is the dedication from the Krafts also...to give the fans more entertainment and pride than maybe was ordinarily possible in the pre-Kraft days.

    Even if we were to have a 50/50 season this year(I hope not)...let's face it, it will be a great 8-8 with great hope for the future as opposed to false promises.
     
  4. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Messages:
    14,557
    Likes Received:
    131
    Ratings:
    +331 / 2 / -1

    #75 Jersey

    I was thinking the same thing. But, I don't think that BB is looking at anything other than a championship run, this year.

    I also think that when they start moving on FA, the moves will surprise and please us.
     
  5. oldrover

    oldrover Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,401
    Likes Received:
    220
    Ratings:
    +613 / 3 / -5

    #50 Jersey

    Well, surprise us, anyway.
     
  6. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    39,181
    Likes Received:
    690
    Ratings:
    +1,738 / 35 / -29

    #87 Jersey

    The only player signed that i was disappointed we didn't get was the LB Leber...not that he was special...just looked like a good backup that will probably be a draftee...so no biggy.
     
  7. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    7,397
    Likes Received:
    9
    Ratings:
    +17 / 1 / -0

    I think "transitional year" is a stretch. Not wearing blinders, just think this team is likely to be BETTER next year than this past year. I do like how you define transitional year, but I just don't think it will be any loss of championship-level play. We still have a ton of good players.
     
  8. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Messages:
    13,259
    Likes Received:
    13
    Ratings:
    +13 / 0 / -0

    Right on. I think BB, SP, EA, et. al have enough experience and knowledge to make every year a transition year. They set out to have a championship-caliber team every year. Last year, they had one, but the injuries just absolutely tore at the team. This year, on paper, the team wouldn't have to overachieve too much to be championship caliber - and that's now, before any real moves. I also don't think Kraft is the type of owner that "makes runs at titles." and then, if fails, scraps things and rebuilds.
     
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    23,685
    Likes Received:
    346
    Ratings:
    +1,361 / 29 / -23

    I dont think its that clear. Without so many injuries, this may have been the best PAt team yet in 2006.
    Eliminate the OL issues, and the Dillon injuries, and it would be easily the best offense.
    The defense by the end of the year was playing close to its top level, even with the medical ward in the secondary.

    A HUGE question to be answered is: If we continue the way we have, are injuries a fact of life?
    Chad Scott, Rodney, Starks, Poole and Law the year before were all secondary injuries that in hindsight could be a natural result of older players at a young mans position.

    Look at the team as it is today:

    Basically every position of question is due to age. But everywhere else there is no question.

    OL- Young and imporving
    DL- Same
    QB- Same

    At DB is where we are today the result of age?
    At WR Patten, Brown, Dwight have been relied upon and age crept in. Everyone we have left is young, including Givens if he returns.
    LB has been a huge strength, but is it now susceptible to the last 2 years at DB?

    If you look at 2005, it almost seems like the injuries due to age overcame the strengths of youth.
    Brady, the OL, DL, and what is here in the secondary (that got markedly better as the year wore on) is a huge area of strength.

    If the old guys stayed healthy, where would 2005 have taken us? Really just about every loss could be attributed to DB problems or OL issues due to injuries (granted thats not age, but if injuries are your problem--get younger).

    Could it be that with the nucleus we have BBs mindset right now is to add players less likely to be injured in 2005 (age and history is all youve got) at the expense of more 'talent'?

    Look at some of our own that we are not moving quickly on. Willie, AV, Chatham, Fauria, and even Neal, because he is older than it seems, and has had some injury problems, Ashworth who may have chronic back problems, are guys that have a higher chance of getting injured than the mid-level FA who is 5-7 years younger.


    I would NOT be shocked that BB is sitting in foxboro thinking that the nucleus is good enough to win, if all of the additins are ADEQUATE but on the field, because when we have lost, its often been because of subpar fillins for injured guys. If we are dispatching guys who have been injured or are greater injury risks, for the sake of being 'average' in the supporting cast, rather than better but riskier due to injury, that isnt so bad IMO.

    If this were true, you could look for BB to be signing a lot of guys in their mid-20s who are capable, if not spectacular, and may come later in FA when prices calm down.

    I've often felt there were 125 or more WRs in thye NFL that were capable of being solid starters putting up solid numbers if they got the opportunity. (Any starting WR of modest talent will get catches) and the gap between good starter and bench warmer who could do the job is closer at that spot than any other. (It seems to happen a lot that a former backup gets on the field and does well at WR. Here everyone except Branch that has done well fit that bill) That is an example where if the OL is solid, the TEs good, and you have a Brady, you can be fine with lesser known guys who never got a chance before. Would that apply to the secondary as well??????? Maybe not, because WRs seem to be a function of the system where DBs can kill you with their mistakes.

    What if this off-season is a move to bring in 'capable' players to play alongside an otherwise fantastic lineup? In 2001 it stood right out that we won, because the worst guy we put on the field was capable. In 2005 it stood at that we lost because he was incapable. The overall talent of the top 18 or so starters wasnt even close in 2001 to 2005, but the worst guy was a lot better because of the weak injury fill ins (or guys playing hurt) in 2005.

    Perhaps the transition is:
    -Bring positions that were dreadful due to injury up to adequate
    -Draft young players behind them to take over soon as stars at those postions?

    The only think that doesnt fit this is not sigining Givens, but we have no clue what is going on behind the scenes.
    An aside on that: IT was mentioned in an article "Givens has never played 16 games in a year" which I think was kinda unfair.
    However, if you add to it the dynamic that Givens has been very streaky, sometimes making 4 catches on 1 drive then 1 or 2 the rest of the game, is there an issue here about playing through injuries? I know I jammed that in to fit the argument, but its not entirely unlikely that it could be an issue in BBs decision, or at least consistency being part of it. That last part is a stretch no doubt, but its my idea, so everything has to fit into it, lol.
     
  10. R_T26

    R_T26 Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    I dont see why it would be. They still have a solid team, they have plenty of cap space, and plenty of Draft Picks. Why waste this year when they dont have too
     
  11. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    23,685
    Likes Received:
    346
    Ratings:
    +1,361 / 29 / -23

    Thats what I mean though. Its not a transition for the team. Its a transition for PIECES of the team.

    BBs overriding philosophy, IMO, has been that at all costs you put capable players on the field. You do not risk putting a bad one out there in order to upgrade a good one to great.

    Ironically, in 03 and 04 we won BECAUSE of depth. We had more games missed to injury than any other SB Champ. BOTH TIMES. In 2005, perhpas not because of a lack of depth but because there were so many injuries we went deeper than ever imagine. I wouldn't be shocked for BB to be looking at this along the lines of:

    (making up the numbers)

    I have 16 very good players.
    I have 25 more that are good enough they wont hurt me.

    The other 12 spots can be filled many ways.
    Hypothetically, lets say you have 60 'points' to fill with, a point being talent.

    I can go with 6 9s and 6 1s.
    I can go with 12 5s.

    If the 6 9s and 6 1s mean that, by the nature of FA, the 9s are more likely to get injured and I must put a 1 on the field, and the 5s are younger less injury prone players, wouldn't it make sense when the base of the team is so good to get decent talent across the board, rather than hit or miss?

    When you look at it, we had a lot of injuries to AGING players last year. And the replacements (especially when we went to the street for Evans, Cloud, and all the DBs) were less than capable.

    If I built a 53 man roster with enough old guys that the odds are I end up with 10 of them significantly injured, I will need 32 starters, and 63 players overall.
    If I build it with few old guys, and the odds are only 5 get injured, I need 27 starters and 58 players overall.

    I substantially reduce the chance of putting a bad player on the field.

    Given the level of talent at the top of this roster, the if the contributions of what we add are 'adequate' but reliable, that is better than the contributions being excellent, but very susceptible to injury, when we already have spots (on defense) where age says we will have injuries.
     
  12. smg93

    smg93 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    #54 Jersey

    It's difficult to describe this team as really anything but a playoff caliber team in my opinion. I say that not because I'm totally blind to the Patriots concerns in a number of areas in the team. I just think that when your core players namely Brady, Seymour, and maybe even Branch are young, healthy, and playoff Veterans, every year it's a matter of finding younger pieces to plug up potential holes. Those holes could be in the form of getting younger in LB and RB this year or getting better talent in say DB.

    What so many teams are trying to find in Free Agency nowadays is that magic nucleus of players that can be surrounded by talent. We have that nucleus and I think we all know how lucky we are because we found them while they were young. This whole year after year run towards the Superbowl started out so early in the careers of Brady, Seymour, and Branch that all of us are so fortunate to not really have to go through a "traditional" transition year. As long as our core group remains healthy and we get production out of our Vets like Bruschi and Harrison, our success becomes a function of how good a group of talent we surround them with. And that type of situation is always so much easier to deal with than having to find that core group year after year in free agency.
     
  13. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    24,641
    Likes Received:
    295
    Ratings:
    +731 / 61 / -50

    #50 Jersey

    Ok..Obviously you didn't fully read my post and don't comprehend what I meant by transistion.

    What you are not comprehending is that Draft picks rarely come into this system and produce right away. They take time. You do get the oddball like Wilson or Mankins who step right in, but even Kaczur didn't step in right away.

    Draft picks are part of the transistion.

    As for having plenty of cap space, I am not sure I agree with you there. Granted, for 2007, the Pats currently have 55 million in cap space, but that is with only 24 players signed and players like Seymour, Branch, Koppen, and Graham unsigned. It also doesn't include the draft picks that the Patriots have this year. The Patriots need to look at the big picture and make the signings that they deem necessary for the price they feel is reasonable. That 55 million can and will disappear quickly.

    Seymour - 8-10 million
    Branch - 5-6 million
    Koppen 3-4 million
    Graham - 2-4 million.

    That is nearly 33-40% of the available cap money the Pats will have for next year, not including the money from this year's picks and next year's picks.

    Its a transition based on the fact that we are seeing the last of the "OLD GUARD" leaving.
     
  14. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,235
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    Andy, your theory (in the two posts combined) makes good sense mathematically. The one shining example this past season where youth seemed to equate with not getting injured, was Ellis Hobbs. Somehow in the second half of the year, as he started playing better and better, it also felt like there was no way he was going to go down with an injury.

    Granted, young players got injured too: Claridge, Guss Scott, Sanders, Watson, Givens, Graham, Koppen. So getting younger might not automatically mean getting healthier, but in theory it shouldn't hurt.
     
  15. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    17,989
    Likes Received:
    1,003
    Ratings:
    +3,007 / 23 / -30

    Yeah...rarely do they come in and play...right...I'm sure Gay would like to hear your opinion as would Asante.

    Newsflash, Nervous Norman..the Patriots draft players they think are capable...haven't you been watching??..when a front line player goes down the next one in line on the depth chart is EXPECTED to step in. THAT'S the Patriot WaY.....I think you have you head stuck in too many "Fantasy Football" mags
     
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Messages:
    20,544
    Likes Received:
    25
    Ratings:
    +25 / 0 / -0

    This outside the box stuff makes me nervous....
     
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    21,402
    Likes Received:
    192
    Ratings:
    +566 / 43 / -19

    That is a GREAT cap position.
    55 million less $21M for the players below leaves $34M or $1M a player as a budget for the unfilled positions. This is a lot since you've taken care of the core and there will be 10 players from the two drafts at considerably less than $1M.

     
  18. marty

    marty In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    Better than inside the Box? :D
     
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    21,402
    Likes Received:
    192
    Ratings:
    +566 / 43 / -19

    You don't have to put 1's on the field unless you have several injuries at the same position AND you do not have enough depth at that position. Many of us have asked for a 5th running back and a veteran backup safety for four years. We've been burned several years in a row at those positions.

    With regard to injuries, I agree that we have had a large number of injuries at wide receiver and cornerback. The issue is NOT that we shouldn't have old grizzled veterans. bb is the master at getting the most of againg veterans, the very best way to fill the last ten spots (including 2-3 developmental players). Guys like OTIS and COX made the difference in the past. We will pick up our share.

    HOWEVER, I think there is a strength and conditioning (or scouting) issue. We bring in frail small receivers and corners, some with injury histories. We benched our best receiver for the whole preseason because we were afraid of injury!

    It is indeed time to start building a secondary and a wide receiver corps. I think linebacker will be addressed by agqain signing two veterans (hopefully including McGinist) and signing a Day One draftee.

     
  20. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    2,771
    Likes Received:
    7
    Ratings:
    +12 / 1 / -0

    With all of the hand-wringing going on on this site right now, I think this thread is an outstanding one. It may be the closest thing to the truth. BB and SP may have decided that they need to make changes now rather than later. They HAVE shown they know how to assemble a winning team. The Red Sox suddenly looked old last year and it was pretty ugly, better to get rid of a guy a year too early than a year too late...we can start getting the replacements in place now.

    ...and please could we stop with all the bring Ty Law back sentiments? We've moved on, as we should have....and don't even think about T.O.
     

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>