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Using the PUP and the IR

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by rookBoston, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. rookBoston

    rookBoston 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I'm sure it struck many of you as much as it did me, that BB decided on a very deep PUP list coming into TC. A lot of those players could probably practice with the team at 80 or 90%, but BB chose to take a conservative approach.

    Started me thinking: What does stacking the PUP list with a lot of players do for the team?

    Well, for one, it locks players up on the team without costing us any roster spots. Granted, if they dont come off the list before the season starts, we cant activate them until Week 6... but that's not such a bad thing, really:

    1) a 16 game season is more of a marathon than a sprint. Any player who joins the roster in Week 7, will still play a full 10 game schedule, and come into the playoffs in peak form without the same number of bruises and flesh wounds than his teammates.
    2) our first six games are pretty soft, with a heavy dose of Jets and Bills.
    3) we always lose players to IR during the season. Having a PUP filled with players who know the scheme and can step right in is a real luxury.
    4) there's always that "spark off the bench" factor that Bruschi brought to the D last year

    So, giving players like Harrison and Koppen the opportunity to get 100% healthy and 110% ready to play may actually be a brilliant strategic move, over a 16-game season, plus playoffs.

    Stashing them on the PUP gives players like Sanders and Scott, Hochstein and Tucker more snaps and experience with the team, fire-proofing those players for the long haul, exposing their weaknesses for development.

    The flip side of the PUP is our use of the IR. Over the course of the season, BB has shown a willingness, even a propensity, to throw players onto the IR-- which ends the player's season, but saves him for the franchise coming into the next season, again without costing a roster spot.

    PUP and IR are just a couple of useful loopholes in the limitations on the number of roster spots a team has available in the course of a season. BB has always kept a shadow roster, but the risk of releasing players to recall them in a situation of need (ex: Hank Poteat, Gene Mruczkowski) is that we may lose them to other teams-- Dexter Reid (now with the Colts) comes to mind. If BB could have put him on PUP or IR, I think he would have.

    By "using" players early in the season and sending them to the IR, to be replaced with fresh and healthy veterans off the PUP, effectively increases the size of the roster from 53 to something closer to 60.

    Having a guy like Bam Childress on the PUP is just about ideal. He's shown just enough potential, that another team would bring him into camp if we left him unprotected. And, if we have an injury at WR, bringing him onto the roster from the PUP list would he a great way to backfill with a player who knows the system.

    Sullivan on the PUP is convenient, too, in case four weeks into the season we realize that LeKevin Smith just cant cut the mustard (ie. he "tightens" up, gets sent to the IR, and we buy another year to work him into the right shape.)

    Kaczur on PUP helps thin the density of talent we have at OT, with Light, Gorin, Britt, O'Callaghan all legitimate players. And if history is any experience, the chances of losing us an OT to the IR is pretty high. Bringing Kaczur off the PUP, is a huge shot in the arm.

    For a coach who values team depth, physical smashmouth play and is planning for a 19 game season, these are the types of creative tools you need to keep the team fresh and productive.
     
  2. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The chances of any more than 1 or 2 of thse players actually staying on the PUP come September are miniscule.

    Guys like Seymour, Sullivan, Jackson, Childress, or Paxton just need a few extra days of rest and/or need to pass the conditioning test before they get going.

    Training camp time is extremely valuable, especially to get players back in season form, so he wouldn't just waste it for an early season roster spot.

    We'll see most of the PUP guys back very soon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
  3. Poll

    Poll Practice Squad Player

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    Must be the FCC.
     
  4. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    One of the changes that I was hoping to see other than reinvigorating trades was the return to eleigibility of IR players fro the playoffs.

    As the rule presently stands the IR'ed injured palyer is lost to all teams for the balance of the "season". But this is an extra penalty to the playoff clubs since their playofff games are extra games that the teams not good enough to get to the playoffs don't.

    Yet come next season, all have the eligibility returned. Is this fair? In effect the Superbowl teams get penalized for as many as four games with "suspensions" for players that they cannot use. Wouldn't it be reasonable to impose the same suspension on non playoff teams the following season? The non pplayoff teasm could not use their last season IR'ed palyers for four games?

    If you think that is ridiculous, then so it the penalty imposed on a team by making a now healthy player ineligeble should his team make the palyoffs?

    Look at the Cleveland Browns. Their prized FA pickup tore his patella on the first play of training camp and is "gone for the year", He may be healthy if the Browns get into the plkayoffs after 20 weeks of rehab, why can't he be activated and play?

    The penalty of plalcing a player on IR for the season should be equal for all and serves it does discourage the good clubs from stockpiling players, but a regualr season limit on IR would still serve that purpose.

    Let teams have the option of returning their IR'ed palyers for the palyoffs. Only the healthy ones who were probably hurt early like the Clevelnd Center could be utilized but they ought to have the chance.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2005
  5. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Rook, this whole argument assumes that there's a relationship between the number of players on training camp PUP and in-season PUP. I can't see any reason at all to assume that. I'd put a player on TC-PUP if I don't expect them to practice much for the first day or two--for any reason. Minor injury, poor conditioning, "veteran benefits," whatever. That way if the guy isn't ready, or just falls down the stairs the next day, PUP is an option. There is absolutely no downside. (Similarly, I can't see any reason to put any PUP-eligible player on the IR.) But "stashing" a player on PUP to keep him fresh? I'm mighty skeptical. We'll see what happens as the season approaches.
     
  6. fgssand

    fgssand PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think the point Rook brings out is an excellent one. Seems to me "PUP stashing" of players would be nice opportunity and a great insurance policy to be able to keep a few players around. Then, they can be brought back for the stretch run, if needed, due to IR's suffered in the first part of the season. I would think a group of 2 or three players in addition to any legitimate injured players makes sense. I suppose it could not be carried too far, due to cap limitations.
     
  7. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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    I like the Rook Theory of PUP, too, but with a few changes.

    If PUP players cannot practice with the team, wouldn't it be better to let them go through training camp and then PUP a few at the end of August? Coming in cold in Week 7 might not leave that much time to warm up and resume the season. Plus, those players are necessarily behind in the gelling of the team throughout the season.

    In the cases of Rodney and Koppen, I don't think either of them will be ready to play before Thanksgiving, so PUPing them for now makes sense.

    And shouldn't Kaczur, another case Rook mentions, be in camp trying to maximize that Year 2 Bounce?
     
  8. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Exactly. It's all about practice.

    The problem with your theory is that once players practice in training camp, they can't go on the PUP until the next season. There's your catch.
     
  9. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ok, I guess that in this year without cap pressure it might be a rare temptation to "stash for freshness." But who would actually be a valuable mid-season addition under these circumstances? The player can't practice in camp or during the first six weeks, so it would have to be a veteran who's familiar enough with the Pats' system to need almost no reps. And, of course, one whose absence won't be sorely missed -- basically a borderline guy at a relatively deep position. Let's take a look at the TC PUP list:

    Bam Childress
    Chad Jackson

    Not vets, WR is a thin position.

    Nick Kaczur
    Dan Koppen
    Richard Seymour
    Rodney Harrison

    All project to start; too valuable to let sit if they're close to healthy.

    Lonie Paxton
    Has anybody ever worried about a long snapper's "freshness"?

    Johnathan Sullivan
    Hasn't played in the Patriots' system, needs reps. Perhaps a scenario where he's drastically out of shape but somehow persuades the team that he's really, really ready to get serious and spend the next couple of months working out? Stretches credulity a bit.

    Which leaves:

    Randall Gay
    Patrick Pass


    As the candidates for a PUP shadow roster. Personally, I'm not buying it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2005
  10. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hey, Patchick: using logic. No fair!
     
  11. fgssand

    fgssand PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually, Sullivan, Gay, Pass and Childress may be perfect type for this. They break down two ways, A) Veteran free agent type and B) rookie about to be cut. Even if/when healthy, these players may be on the bubble of making this team or in some cases or candidates for practice squad. Problem with PS is any team can pluck them off for their own as Denver did with Cobbs. Had we PUP'ed Cobbs, he would have ben starting for us come game 7. Reid is another - had we PUP'ed him last year, he would have been starting at safety by the middle of the season.

    Certainly, any starter, if healthy needs to play as soon as they can. I am not talking about those plyers, more so, just another area where we can gain a little depth makes sense to me. This is one of those areas.
     
  12. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The only time you can PUP a player is at the start of training camp.

    Missing all of that practice for a young player like Reid or Cobbs would have been the worst case scenario.
     
  13. fgssand

    fgssand PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not quite - seeing Reid a Colt and Cobbs a Bronco is much worse for the Patriots....
     
  14. jczxohn1

    jczxohn1 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A big advantage to a big PUP list is getting a good look at the "camp fodder" early on. The faster an intensive evaluation of these guys can be made, the sooner decisions can be made and the sooner real team work can progress.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2005
  15. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think we're reading way too much into this.

    -Above all, BB wants his players - especially the younger ones - to be out there practicing.

    -There's no roster credit for keeping players on the pre-season PUP.

    -They're hurt or they're out of shape. That's why they're on the PUP. Period.
     
  16. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But are those really the players you would have picked for the role if you were planning this strategically from day one? If you're plotting a shadow roster, I don't think you do it by holding back Bam Childress from an already paper-thin WR corps, or choosing not to find out what Sullivan is made of in practice drills. Surely there are much better candidates. Practice-squad vets at deep positions would be perfect -- say Santonio Thomas and Billy Yates. Or at the other end of the experience spectrum, Don Davis and Chad Scott. And Hank Poteat is an expert at the mid-season plug-in role by now, no?

    A PUP list stacked with those players would be a lot more persuasive to me. Maybe, maybe it becomes a consideration once a player has already missed most of TC for legitimate reasons.
     
  17. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Right on.

    Is the reward of getting 1 extra player on the roster worth the price of losing another player for all of training camp and then the first 6 weeks of the season? At that point, the PUP player hasn't had any practice time to evaluate, learn, and improve, so it wouldn't even then be worth swapping him back to the roster.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
  18. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You mentioned that Cobbs would have started in Week 7 if he had been PUPed.

    No.

    After a month of camp/preseason and then more than a month of the season missed - that includes practice - do you really think a young player like him would suddenly be able to step in on the roster, nevermind start?

    He would have fallen so behind his teammates that it wouldn't even be worth it bringing him back on the roster.

    That's no practing plays, so self-imrovement, no hands-on teaching, no adjusting to new team schemes.

    NOT worth it. By the time he (Cobbs/Reid) got back up to speed, it would be late season.

    We're not talking Bruschi, who had nearly a decade of experience with the Patriots when he came off the PUP.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
  19. fgssand

    fgssand PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I realize this is far fetched...nevertheless, last year, Cobbs would have been a better solution than Heath Evans (even if he did get nearly 100 yards in his first game). Also, the year we were taking d' backs off the street , Reid would have looked good. The PUP player does get to practice for three weeks before activating between weeks 7 & 10 - so there is ample time to prepare and determine if the player can contribute.

    Maybe, it is a way to hide a player or two away for later use. Beats cutting them or risking loosing them by putting them on the practice squad. Most definitely, it may be a true alternative to the IR for the season method of hiding a player away for the future, this way, you may get to use him in the same year.
     
  20. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That is inaccurate:

    http://patscap.com/faq.html

     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006

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