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Unit by Unit analysis of 2008 squad

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by BradyManny, Feb 7, 2008.

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  1. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Add your own or post links to others:

    Reiss:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2008/02/05/after_loss_come_more_decisions/

    Michigan Dave's via Planet forum:

    http://michiganagainsttheworld.blogspot.com/2008/02/picking-up-pieces-2008-roster-outlook.html

    Those are the two I've seen so far. Herald might have one, but I'm boycotting the Herald, so F them.

    My take isn't all that different:

    SCALE:
    I'm arbitrarily setting my rules that a unit can be IN NEED, UPGRADEABLE or ALL SET

    QB: ALL SET
    As long as Brady's on the squad, this will be the case.

    OL: UPGRADEABLE
    Sure, one bad game doesn't mean they are in need, but I do think this group gets a lot of credit for Brady being Brady and having such sick pocket presence. If Long makes it to 7, drafting him might make sense, even though OL isn't high on the priority list.

    RB: ALL SET

    The absence of Sammy Morris went understated throughout the season. His return, combined with Maroney really becoming a beast, combined with Faulk, we're more than set here.

    WR: ALL SET* or IN NEED*

    It all depends on Moss, who they MUST bring back. If they bring him back, then they're set. I'm going to predict a healthy Chad Jackson ends up making one of the most deadly #3s in the league, and is an upgrade over Stallworth. Hopefully Gaffney is re-signed as a 3/4 as well.

    TE: ALL SET

    Watson, K. Brady and Thomas. I think we're all excited to see what Dave Thomas can bring to the table.

    OUTLOOK ON OFFENSE: There's no reason to think that if Moss re-signs, this group will be even better next season with a healthy Sammy Morris, Maroney performing at a higher level, Chad Jackson developing & Dave Thomas being healthy. As long as Moss is re-signed, literally the only draft pick or FA signing I see necessary is if they decide they can upgrade a spot on the OL, which to me would have to be a 1st round draft pick as it's not going to be easy to upgrade an already pretty solid group.


    DLINE: ALL SET
    I'm not sure how to evaluate Warren's performance this year, he was certainly quieter, but we've learned that is not a way to judge someone. My feeling is that a 100% Richard Seymour will make this line earn the "one of the best in the league" title that it has.

    LB: IN NEED
    Seau, Colvin & Bruschi - three interesting decisions. The loss of Colvin was horribly understated and underestimated. I have no doubt that if he were healthy on Sunday nite, we win. They do not score on that final drive and it's that simple. BelichickFan put out the numbers - Vrabel is more effective with Colvin on the field, and Colvin was a beast when healthy this season. They have to bring him back.
    AD is going to be an upgrade over himself - he'll have one year under his belt, and he'll be devoted to one position, ILB, where he played well at for most of the year. The ankle injury made him a bit quieter during the middle of the season.
    Seau/Bruschi could both return, but they definitely need another option at ILB. I don't see either of those guys starting full-time, but playing situational/depth roles. What options are out there?

    DB: IN NEED
    Asante's gone, he's not worth the money and mildly overrated. I still love the idea of Law being cut and coming back. Honestly, I'd take Ty Law at age 55 over Asante in his prime. The idea that Asante is a top-flight CB is laughable when you compare him and his impact to the one Law made on this team while he was here. Law could very well have been the MVP of some of those championship teams. If there is a sports God, Law will come back and end his career here.
    Hobbs is fine as #2, I think improved safety play will eliminate what are perceived to be his deficiencies. Meriweather started to really make an impact down the stretch, the fact that he played pretty much the whole Super Bowl gives you an indication of what his status will be for next season. Harrison/Sanders will compete for the other starting position. Meriweather will be a stud, so this group could be improved over what it was this season.

    OVERALL OUTLOOK ON DEFENSE: With three draft picks ready to make an impact, and some cap room once they deal with Stallworth/Washington and or restructure Colvin, this side of the ball is in good shape.

    All in all, we're in good shape for 08.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  2. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    I'd like to see a veteran backup at quarterback.

    Kyle Brady might not be back, he's getting old. We could use blocking help at tight end.
  3. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Look no further than our own roster and Dave Thomas, Founder of Wendy's (how has this nickname NOT stuck??). Isn't by all accounts Thomas a strong blocking tight end?
  4. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'll add one point to our outlook:

    The Brady-Moss hookup was outside of normal football this year. It will not recur. We should be aware of it going forward - they will almost certainly be merely great, rather than insane, in following years.

    Part of this is due to regression to the mean; part of it may be due to what happens to a connection when the whole league is dialed into it. Eventually, the league adjusted (aided by the weather.) So Randy becomes what we'd hoped for: A fantastically talented #1 (that is, not the one single guy Brady goes to whenever he has half a chance.)

    I think we also have to correct the idea that there's no reason to believe the O won't be even better. There is one very good reason: last year's scoring total was an historic high. It is very unlikely that we re-set the record in points scored.

    PFnV
  5. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    I never relized until he got hurt just how good Colvin was. It was obvious after he left how much pressure he applied to the QB week in and week out. I hope they can resructure his contract I'd hate to see him go do to salary cap reasons.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  6. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I disagree about Moss. The more time they are together, the better their chemistry will be. And they will be adding Sammy Morris, Dave Thomas & Chad Jackson into the mix, subtracting potentially only Donte Stallworth, who did nothing the second half of the season except catch screen passes.

    So in that sense, I see them getting better.
  7. Seels

    Seels Rookie

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    TE is upgradeable. No one will want to admit it but Ben Watson has been playing long enough, with his penalties, unable to be consistent catching balls, and constant health issues, he's closer to bust than what we all expected him to be. Brady is old, Wendy's is a huge question mark at this point.
  8. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    I personally don't see either Bruschi nor Seau returning and nor do I want to. The remaining three key linebackers are already in their thirties and it's about time the Patriots start selecting linebackers in the draft. If Vernon Gholston is around at #7, the New England Patriots should definitely grab him. Meanwhile the New England Patriots could select an inside linebacker with one of two third round draft picks and at least another inside linebacker in the second day of the 2008 NFL draft. Thus, the Patriots linebacker corps for the 2008 NFL season:

    Outside Linebacker
    Mike Vrabel
    Rosevelt Colvin
    Vernon Gholston
    Pierre Woods

    Inside Linebacker
    Adalius Thomas
    3rd Round (Jonathan Goff, Vanderbilt)
    5th Round (Spencer Larson, Arizona or Jameel McClain, Syracuse)
    Oscar Lua
    Eric Alexander
  9. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Between Vrabel, Colvin & AD, that's basically already 2.5 OLBs, so in some sense I'd rather use #7 elsewhere, but I don't know much about Gholston besides what I read here, so if he's a stud, and the best available stud, I have no problem with that. With Laurantis not coming out, it doesn't seem like there's any ILB options, so we'll have to hit up the FA market for that. I'm not content with that ILB corps you listed, are you? At least Seau/Bruschi would supply depth. I agree, I don't want them to be our starting for us next season.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  10. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    With one of the easiest regular season schedules for the 2008 NFL season since the inception of the Super Bowl, the Patriots can afford to draft inside linebackers in 2008. Meanwhile, with all the NLTBE bonuses paid out in 2008 and the Patriots re-signing Moss, where is all this money to sign another free agent linebacker? Consider the following from Miguel .........

    http://www.patscap.com/

    "According to my figures the Patriots' 2008 cap figure is $112,709,518 with 47 signed players. The projected 2008 salary cap is $116,134,000. It is unknown at this time what the Patriots' 2008 adjusted cap will be. Adamjt13 reported on January 23rd that the Patriots' 2008 cap commitment was $111.08 million with 43 signed players so my numbers are really close to what they should be.

    DISCLAIMERS - My numbers are a snapshot in time. Things will change between the as of date and a future date (the beginning of free agency, draft, TC opens, 2008 regular season). Please note that the above numbers does include a $500,000 Pro Bowl escalator for Vince Wilfork but not any other escalators. My numbers do not include the effect of the LTBE/NTLBE calculation that occurs to help determine each team's adjusted cap number. Example - My numbers do not yet account for Moss reaching his 2 million in NLTBE incentives.

    Please note that my above numbers do NOT yet include the projected ERFA tenders

    Eric Alexander, LB - 520,000
    Wesley Britt, T - 445,000
    Raymond Ventrone, S - 370,000
    Pierre Woods, LB - 445,000

    Nor do they include the RFA tenders for Rashad Moore (a 6th round draft pick by the Seahawks) and Mike Wright (undrafted)

    $927,000 = original draft pick compensation (but a second-rounder if the player was a first-round pick)
    $1.417 million = second-round pick"
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  11. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot Rookie

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    THey can also improve by being more balanced. I loved the offense this year, but there's something to be said for balance between the run and the pass. I think we're close on the ground though, maybe one upgrade on the OL.
  12. Sean Pa Patriot

    Sean Pa Patriot Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Washington stays, and will make a difference on the WR end next yr...

    I guess we will no in 2 weeks if moss or stallworth will be back.. I would like for Stallworth to be back, but logic says no...
  13. Disco Volante

    Disco Volante Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    God I hope Morris can stay healthy this season. I still remember how great he was in the Bengals game.

    I'm fine with Stallworth being gone, because like many others here I'm still in the "Let's see some Chad Jackson!" boat. Guy is still only 22 years old. And Stallworth’s greatest liability is his hands, which isn’t something I like. Amazing YAC though.
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Kyle Brady was AWFUL in the SB.
  15. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But that number DOES include the 5+M they 'slipped' into Eckel's contract, and the 6+M they owe Stallworth if they keep him under his current contract.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  16. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Miguel would have to answer on the options with regards to Eckel's contract.
  17. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Meanwhile, you do expect to sign Moss this off-season?
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Obviously, we'll have hundreds of threads on the individual units in the next six months. We should save this first post, though. The glasses have never been rosier. I will use your system.
    ------------------------------------------
    OVERALL OUTLOOK - OFFENSE
    There is no reason why we shouldn't be as good as last year. Both Moss and Gaffney want to come back. That should happen.

    QUARTERBACK - UPGRADEABLE
    Unless Brady will never, ever have an injury, QB is not all set. I wouldn't want a game depending on Cassell or Gutierrez.

    RUNNING BACK - UPGRADEABLE
    Morris was injured and is an unknown. I think adding a #5 short yardage back in place of Eckel is a definite possibility.

    WIDE RECEIVERS - ALL SET
    Without Moss and Gaffney, we would have to keep both Stallworth and Washington. Welker and Jackson would round out a solid four. But Moss is staying. Gaffney probably will also.

    TIGHT ENDS - ALL SET
    We have three solid tght ends, with Spach available if Brady retires.

    OFFENSIVE LINE - UPGRADEABLE
    Neal's injury could be serious. O'Callaghan has had concussion issues. A top ten pick could be an OT. But this is NOT a real need. Still Long or Clady look awefully good.
    ====================================================

    OVERALL OUTLOOK - DEFENSE
    Who are we kidding? We have glaring holes at linebacker and corner!

    DEFENSIVE LINE - ALL SET
    Wright will be tendered high enough to keep. Moore should be also. LeKevin is the last of the backups for the #2 DL in football.

    OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS - ALL SET
    HOPEFULLY, Colvin is at 100% and will want to restructure. I would keep him in any case. We have Vrabel, Colvin and Woods.

    INSIDE LINEBACKERS - IN DIRE NEED
    We have Alexander and Lua. We could keep Thomas inside. Maybe Bruschi and/or Seau will come back. We will certainly look for a veteran. We may also look for a 1st round draftee to take some reps at OLB, so that Vrabel might be able to take some reps inside.

    CORNERBACK - IN DIRE NEED
    We have Hobbs and Richardson. Samuel and Gay may both go to the jets. We iwill draft a couple and bring in a couple of free agents. I do wish that we had kept Poteat (that is how bad it is!).

    SAFETY - ALL SET
    Harrison, Sanders, and Meriweather are plenty. We also have special teamers Andrew and Ventrone and Mitchell will likely return.
  19. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    Because there is very little $$ available for free agents, the FO must hit a home run in this year's draft, as opposed to last year's. That includes drafting LBs.
  20. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    I agree. The Giants' pass rushers were just pushing him aside.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2008
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