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Thoughts going into TC

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by SeanBruschi54, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. SeanBruschi54

    SeanBruschi54 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    Everyone knows going into Training Camp that the WR position is going to be an interesting one to watch. The additions of Moss, Stallworth, Welker and Washington seem to add depth, versatility and overall a great corp of receivers to what seemed to be a struggling unit last year. Moss Stallworth and Welker seem to be locks to make the team while Washongton might have to battle for a spot.
    Belichick has said on numerous occassions that he has a place on this team for Brown, whether that be at another position besides wideout we will never know. So lets see that makes 4 possible WR locks.
    Last years playoff starters Reche and Jabar also could be players on the bubble despite the fact that Reche was our leading WR last year and Jabar showed flashes of great play in the postseason. No locks here just yet. The last player is obviously Chad Jackson, if 100% healthy and ready to go for TC then he has all the potential in the world to be one of the best WR's on the team, but at the same time his bust factor is just as high with problems to understand the playbook and injuries. Right now my picks for our WR's are Moss, Stallworth, Welker, Reche, Brown and Jackson. We go with 6 WR's while Troy Brown plays WR/CB/ST's/Team captain just having Troy Brown in that locker room makes him worth more to this club than most think. Jackson I'm going with the fact that he is healthy from day 1 of TC even though that might not be the case. If he is placed on PUP then my initial replacement for him is Washington, the guy has to much potential to be good not to show it.
    Jabar is traded. Sorry Jabar i really liked you.

    Now that we're off the WR story lets focus on some lesser known players who have high upside in particular Garrett Mills. Mills was an amazing receiver in college and showed he had great hands in Preseason last year. He just needed to work on improving his blocking and footwork to become a better player. To me Mills screams out future Larry Centers type player, great backfield pass to option (like Faulk) good blocker, can be used in situational running plays for short yardage. Seems like the reason why we drafted him was to become Larry Centers Jr. Belichick loved having Larry on that 2003 team if you can all remember.

    Eugene Wilson will have a no injuries season and play outstanding. Why? Because its his contract year and players tend to over push themselves to be at there top notch physical best. Merriweather will notch himself into the team's defense regardless, he's instantly our best or 2nd best cover man.

    Linebackers who i think stand out in camp and make us happy there are a few young guys to look forward too. Pierre Woods and Oscar Lua. Woods because he was an absolute beast in college and ran into some off field problems which dropped him considerably enough not to get drafted. Lua because Pioli has referred to him as "really special" and "very similar to Matt Cassel situation" that means two things: 1) he would have been starting at another school at linebacker. 2) He has high potential to develop into something great and was always regarded as a team player and someone who loves to learn and listen. Very important, Justin Rogers SHOULD take at least one year to make the transition from DE to OLB for us but anything out of him would just be bonus.

    Maroney = Money in the bank. Last year our passing offense was bland and predictable. Teams knew when we were going to pass and run. Maroney faced at times 8 men in the box, its no wonder he was injured. This season i think he takes that sophmore leap as 2nd year RB's SOMETIMES do and becomes a sure fire starter in this league to notice. Fantasy Football junkies already know his potential explosion this season, he is already becoming the Frank Gore of Fantasy Football for this season. Hopefully most understand the Frank Gore reference.

    David Thomas i think will be more of a weapon than Brady (kyle). Good speed, good hands, ability to get open. Great complimentary TE to Watson. Thomas is a TE of the future for us.

    Am i the only one who really liked what i saw of Spann last year? I mean he looked good for a scrub CB in coverage and blanketed some very good WR's. It will be interesting to see what becomes of him.

    Thomas the biggest acquisition of our FA period and i see The WR trio (moss, donte and welker) mentioned more than him. His name will be mentioned quite often this season so be sure to start remembering him more.

    Ryan O'Cal locks up the RT spot, i said it last year during TC and i'll say it now. Callghan is a beast when he is healthy. Another thing to think about, why did we draft 3 more OL players? Answer Kaczur might be traded.

    Well that covers my quick thoughst for now. Hopefully i'll be able to write more and more when TC is here.

    -Sean
     
  2. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    My thoughts on your thoughts:

    * I am glad that someone shares my optimism about Mills. It astounds me just how many people have him off their rosters. He was injured for much of TC, saw decent action in a PS game after just one week of practice (looking like one of the best guys on the field) and then missed the year on IR.

    Sure if he gets injured again NE could very well just cut their ties, but I think he will need someone else to play him *off* the roster, not the other way around.

    * I will be surprised if Washington makes the team unless both Brown and Jackson are unavailable to go. Frankly, I will be mildly surprised even in the case. I am not nearly as high on him as many here are.

    * By 2008, David Thomas will be a household name. Of that I have no doubt. The guy just looks so smooth on the field.

    I'll put more later.
     
  3. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #91 Jersey

    Kudos for even attempting a column in this dead time. I'll just comment feeding off your good works. ;)

    WRs

    a. I think Moss, Stallworth, Welker & Caldwell start as our first 4 guys and the final two spots will be decided by which remaining WR excells at special teams.

    b.I also believe we will keep 6 WRs on the initial 53 man roster

    c. Either Jackson or Brown starts on the PUP, depending on who needs more time. I suspect Jackson.

    d. That means Washington or Gaffney are on the bubble. I don't see a trade since other teams know that one will go, and can just wait until the cut is made. I'd like to think we could trade one, but I don't see it happening.

    e. I think injuries will sort out what will happen when the PUP limit has been reached. If its Jackson, I can see him IRed if the WRs are healthy

    f. This is the best WR corps in Pats history...by far. However we should note that it is also a very NEW group and we won't see the real benefits of the talent assembled until AT LEAST December.

    2. I am a lot less excited about Garret Mills other than on special teams and as a possible back up at FB. IMHO he'd better excell at special teams, because his chance of actually making an impact on the offense is a couple of years away.

    3. I agree on Wilson, I don't know what it is, but it seems like guys in their contract years seem to peak (actually I do know "what it is" ;) ) Still the jury is out on his injury history, but so far so good.

    4. LBs

    a. I question your comment about taking Rogers a year to make the transition from DL to LB. THAT transition is at LEAST a 3-5 year project. Which is another reason BB seems to like vet LBs. By the time you get a rookie DE transitioned to LB, he is in his RFA or UFA year.

    (See TBC. btw- he wasn't a superstar, but he would have been nice to have in the OLB rotation. Just because he was deficient in "setting the edge" at times, doesn't mean he NEVER would have learned to do it.)

    b. Lua is an interesting choice and a good story, especially with the Cassell experiment going so well. However I can't see him being more than a special teams guy, and NOT a factor in the LB rotation...this year.

    3. I disagree that Moroney is "money in the bank". There are just too many legitimate questions one could ask. First he has NEVER been asked to "carry the load" before at either the College or Pro levels. Second he has the shoulder issue. I haven't any doubt that he will be ready before the season starts. However my fear has to do with what the injury has cost him in preparation for this season. While he could work his legs normally, I doubt he has done much in his upper body this off season. Has he added the weight we all hoped he would to make it though the gruelling season. What effect with the injury have on his good "stiff arm", etc

    I'm more comfortable saying that Moroney is a "good bet" to be successful as the primary RB for the season, but he's certainly not "money in the bank"

    b. For all the reasons above, don't be surprised to see more of Sammy Morris early this season than most expect. Or pehaps some single back formations with Heath Evans as the single back.

    TE's

    a. I agree with your Thomas comment. I don't understand all the sudden love for Kyle Brady as a receiver. He was known in NY as a bad receiving TE in his time with the Jets, and hasn't caught 20+ pass since 2003. Here are his stats, the speak for themselves.

    http://www.jtsw.com/football/pro/pl...24f477cff7c6346885256c35006b1c16?OpenDocument

    I think we should be satisfied that he will be an excellent blocker in our 2 TE sets and if he catches 10-15 balls with a couple of TDs, he will have earned his paycheck.

    4. Actually you WERE the only one to see greatness in Spann. I did make some plays on special teams last season at the end of the year. If he is to make the team, it will be in that area. I hope you are precient, but not based on anything we saw on the field last season.

    5. As far as immediate impact, I see Thomas making an enormous contribution, however I don't think you will see it in any real noticable impact. This was a good defense already. Thomas makes it better and more flexible, along with the return of several guys in the secondary. However if you are thinking that you will see some kind of INSTANT impact, you will be disappointed. The defense will be very good...just like always, with Thomas fitting in well and making his share of plays.... just like the other guys. On the other hand, I think Thomas, if healthy, will be on the field more snaps than any of the the other LBs

    6. I'm hoping someone of the RTs will come to the surface. It will be the fiercest competition on the team along with the WRs. However I don't see Kazcur being traded. If you are correct and O'Callahan emerges as the winner, Kazcur will be kept because he his valuable as a swing tackle who can also back up on the left side as well as the right side

    btw- I have no freakin clue WHY we drafted THREE OLmen late in this draft. Looked like we were stocking the PS not the roster. :rolleyes:

    Well since you have run out of ideas to talk about, so have I. Thank you for not bringing up the Samuel contract issue.....ooops :D
     
  4. amazinPats

    amazinPats Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Great analysis Sean and Patfanken. Interesting read. Very reasonable analysis.

    I'd like to know Kareem Brown's role in the defense. Will he register 5-6 sacks as a reserve and jeopardise Jarvis' role as primary backup?
     
  5. Va_Pats_Fan

    Va_Pats_Fan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    #95 Jersey

    Alot of good comments.

    In regards to the WR's, I see Jabbar and Reche making the team initially, just because of their knowledge of the system, and TB has alot more comfort with them now. Washington goes. He's got height, but we don't need his height. We have Moss and Kyle B with that now. I see Jackson coming in @ week 6, off the pup. Depending on the state of the roster, and health of the other WR's, we would either cut someone @ that time, or have one of the others head to IR.

    In sept, I see the WR's being Moss, Stallworth, Welker, Gafney and Caldwell. Brown on the roster as a utility.

    The question I keep asking myself, is what does Washington bring to the table that we can't get with the other receivers (and alot cheaper)...my answer is always..nadda.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
  6. CrayzeeNepFan1

    CrayzeeNepFan1 Practice Squad Player

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    I think Eugene Wilson should be extended before the year is over,
    Prediction- Assante will play for the one year tender after a lot of crying and bickering but he will have a solid yet unspectacular year and he'll be begging for Pioli and BB to slap him with the insult of a contract he was offered.
    Out of sure stupidity and pride instead of signing a reasonable contract next year he demands a trade the patriots coup up a second round pick he gets a medium contract and never sniffs a winning season ever again playing for the Cleveland Browns.

    Secondary for 08 looks like CB Ellis Hobbs, Brandon Merriweather, Randall Gay,
    Rookie, SS Rodney Harrison FS Eugene Wilson

    More Predictions to come.
     
  7. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So many sage observations!

    But this thing everyone has about Troy.
    Am i the ONLY Pats fan who takes BB's nice words as merely an accolade - a compliment - to
    a guidestar kind of player
    whose string has run out?
    Coach doesn't pre-announce his roster decisions. ("Every man in this lockerrom has to earn his spot!")
    Saying Troy always has a place on this team is like saying to the sweetheart
    from whom you're splitting, "You'll always have a place in my heart."
    And it is TRUE. It just doesn't mean you're getting together again.

    Troy can become an assistant coach if he wishes. Troy can get a front-office job.
    Troy can even work out and answer his phone conscientiously, like Vinny.

    But Troy will not be on the 53 come September - or even in camp as a player.
     
  8. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Pretty simple. We were drafting for the future, not for need. Dante likes to keep that development farm stocked. And with the way he can turn out OL, I think it's a good thing to give him some material to work with. I mean who could have predicated that Koppen, a 5th round pick would became an anchor to the Pats line? Not me. But there he is out there doing it year after year.

    As to the OP, I agree with most of your thoughts. I think that we will carry 6 wide receivers, with Chad possibly going on PUP until he is ready.

    Thomas I think will make an impact. He will be given very versatile roles and he has been lining up at ILB as well as OLB. Look for him to play coverage LB as well. We haven't had a real coverage linebacker since Phifer, so that along with a healthy Geno and Meriweather should help the middle of our defense tremendously.

    The Pats look in good shape on both defense and offense. The only real sticking point is Asante Samuel.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
  9. DaBruinz

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

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    #50 Jersey

    I really wish that people would stop saying that Maroney has never been asked to carry the load at the college level.

    NO college RB is going to run the ball 600 times. I posted in another thread about this and pointed out that Maroney increased his carries in each of the 3 years he was at Minnesota. Each year, he posted over 1000 yards rushing. Minnesota's system REQUIRED at least a 2 man backfield because of the sheer number of times they ran the ball.

    In 2003, Maroney had 162 rushes to Barber's 207 and Tapeh's 119. In 2004, Maroney had 217 carries to Barber's 231. In 2005, Maroney had 281 rushes to Russels 186. In 2003, the Minnesota offense rushed the ball 683 times. In 2004, 572 times. And 610 times in 2005.

    Can you really complain that Maroney, as a freshman, have 40 less carries than Barber, who was a sophmore? Can you really complain that Maroney, as a sophomore, had 50 more carries, but only 14 less than Barber? Can you really complain that Maroney had 95 more carries than his "back-up" Russell?

    To me, Maroney, most certainly, showed he could carry the load of a starting NFL player by putting up 281 rushes as a Junior. Had he stayed to be a senior, he would have probably gone over the 300 mark, though proven nothing.

    In most recent history, only the Steelers in 2004 have put up over 600 rushes. The most in 2006 was Atlanta with 537. In 2005, it was Pittsburgh with 549. In 2004, it was Pittsburgh with 618. So, if a player "only" carries 281 times when his offense runs 610 times, is it really "NOT carrying the load?"
     
  10. DaBruinz

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

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    #50 Jersey

    Actually, I fully understand why the Patriots drafted 3 O-linemen this year. First is value. Of the 3, both Oldenburg and Elgin have already been impressive in camp from the reports that have come out. Elgin could facilitate the trade of Hochstein.

    Also, the RT position is hardly solid. Rumors continue to come out of Foxboro that Kaczur is being immature and is not on the same page as the team. Also, O'Callaghan is hardly a guarantee at the RT position. He suffered 2 concussions and is very possibly a concussion away from being forced to retire. Not to mention his other injuries he's had. It was injuries that caused him to drop into the 5th round of the 2006 draft. Also, there is the issue as to whether O'Callaghan is going to be able to function in a zone blocking system. A system that relies on smaller, quicker, more agile O-linemen (ala Denver) than on Road-Graders like O'Callaghan.
     
  11. BHSL2

    BHSL2 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I love your point about Antwain Spann. I watched him in NFL Europa when he was with the Rhein Fire (I think he was with the Fire), and he just made so many big plays. I remember being extremely excited to find out that the Patriots had allocated him.
     
  12. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #3 Jersey

    But you're forgetting one of the reasons why such trades happen: to guarantee you get the player you want. If you wait for the player to be cut, anyone can sign him. And I can think of at least one team desperate enough to cough up a 5 or a 6 for a semi-proven WR (*cough* Titans *cough*).
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
  13. MetalBleachers

    MetalBleachers Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    With all the offseason signings it's easy to overlook, but think about STs this year: Spann, Andrews and Woods return, joined by vets like Evans and Izzo, hungry rooks (Lua? Rogers? Meriweather?), and a playoff-proven kicker. Add to that what looks to be a strong punter competition b/t Miller and Baugher, and the Pats' ST component has the potential to improve a lot. :D
     
  14. zippo59

    zippo59 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Don't forget the addition of Welker who I think will be a very good punt returner, and we have Hobbs who is great kick off returner.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
  15. BradfordPatsFan

    BradfordPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Glad you brought up Hobbs. Do we think we'll see a lot of him as a KR? He and Maroney were the most explosive KR's on the team last year. Given Maroney's position as the primary back, I doubt he goes out there to return a kick. Does BB stick Hobbs out there to run back kicks?

    I only ask because of the injury threat and if Samuel isn't around, does BB take this risk of losing his two best cb's? Given his penchant for playing his regulars on ST, I think he takes a long, hard look at Hobbs as KR. However, I understand if he doesn't do it.

    I hope Andrews can win a spot out of camp as a KR/DB in that it gives BB another option back there. If you have a stable of guys who can return kicks (Faulk, Welker, Andrews, Hobbs, Maroney have all returned kicks), you can call on guys depending on the situation.
     
  16. zippo59

    zippo59 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The Samuel situation might have an affect on whether Hobbs is used as a returner. But I hope they do use him as one since he is so good.

    Chad Jackson might be another good option when healthy. He did well with the few chances he got last year and it would be another way fpr him to earn his keep.
     
  17. SeanBruschi54

    SeanBruschi54 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    d. I know for a fact that the Titans were not to happy when Washington didnt sign with them and they were looking for him to be a signing. They would be their trading partner even for a low round pick. Could they argue with a 300K salary for one season, or could anyone for that matter?

    2. I know, i know it seems like wishful thinking. But the guy just tried so hard last year especially in TC. He'd always be at full blast and doing something. The guy reminds me of Larry Centers Lite right now.

    3. Wilson takes a page from Asante's book this year.

    4a. The only reason i said a year for Rogers is that i dont expect to see anything happen this year already but next year you might see some flashes of good ST's play and so forth. Your point about TBC was valid but TBC was never really known as a "smart guy" while Rogers is considered to be very bright and good at picking things up quick.

    b. Lua probably will not even see the field. But thats not important to me its how he plays during TC and where.


    4. Spann just looks like he has talent, not loads of it to start on a team but enough to get him on the team and play. Sure tackler, good cover man those are the two things that stood out when i watched him.

    5. I think i was misunderstood about my Thomas quote. I meant you will be hearing his name a lot from people just watching and noticing him via media and us. His flexibility and size is what will keep us in awe. I didnt mean like in game tackles hearing his name i meant it the other way. Thomas will probably be 2nd or 3rd on the team with tackles though.

    6. If the OC stays healthy its his job to lose. Thats how sure i am of his ability. He's great in both aspects of the game run and pass protection. You must not have heard about that the team is considering getting rid of Kaczur because of immaturity issues. Thus the trade speculation. Arizona need another T?

    3 extra lineman now = more replacements for the future. Dante likes to give his low prospects time to develope and mature into a better player. Maybe some of them have the Koppen factor maybe some dont. Extra is extra.
     
  18. stinkypete

    stinkypete In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    Good Point. Another thing to cinsider is that the 2007 Patriots will not be asking Maroney to carry the ball 281 times. This is out of design, not necessity. This is a pass-first offense. In a pass first offense, a home-run threat like Maroney carries as much value as a decoy as he does as a runner. He will draw linebackers in 3-4 WR sets, opening up lanes for Welker and Watson.

    Maroney is not going to split the load like he did with Dillon in early '06, but Morris will likely see the goalline carries (minimizing wear and tear on Maroney) and Faulk will see the 3rd down action. I'd be surprised if he touches the ball 250 times this season.
     
  19. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Right on - - I like Welker as the punt returner and Hobbs as KR.

    Look for Willie Andrews at KR too - - I think this is one player who looked great last year while still learning the system. I think he could really emerge at KR and in the secondary.

    Last year, I complained much (and was ridiculed after a few great kick off returns) about Maroney doing KR's. I never said he wasn't great at it, but the cost to what, hopefully, will be the foundation running back for this franchise for the next 5-8 was too great. Does anyone out there still believe it's a good thing for the franchise to have Maroney doing KR's?
     
  20. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    BTW, the rumors about Kazcur and immaturity issues? I hadn't heard about that. Is that coming from a credible source?
     

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