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Vonta Leach...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by captain stone, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Or taking one of our lousy WRs off the field.
    1 WR + 2 TE = 1 RB + 1 FB still = 3 receivers, 4 if the RB is Vereen. Plenty of opportunities
    for both run & pass, especially from play-action.
     
  2. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You want to put TOM BRADY on the field with only 3 capable recievers, 2 of which are TEs?
    Sounds more like you are trying to prepare the Tebow offense.
     
  3. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Use of the fullback position really is dying, and the elite ones are pretty poor value because of that. Last season, Leach had a $4.3M cap number to play 42% of their offensive snaps. He had the same cap number this coming season. That's really poor value, and it's why he ended up getting cut.

    For comparison, Marcel Reece played the highest percentage of all FBs with 61%, and he's a converted college wide receiver who has a lot of value as a receiver and was also a primary ball-carrier for four games. The only other fullback above 50% was James Casey, who is now listed as a TE with the Eagles. The top fullbacks in playing time aren't blockers, they're receivers.

    So let's say the Patriots could sign Leach for $3M a year. That's quite a bit less than what he was making with the Ravens, but more than the $2.5M per year the Vikings just gave Jerome Felton (who played only 38% of the snaps last season). What percentage of the offensive snaps do you expect a guy to play for $3M a season? For that kind of money, I'd at least expect him to at least be around the 60% snap mark (which would put him in contention for the NFL FB snap lead), and I wouldn't be able to rationalize having a one-dimensional run-blocker on the field even half that often.

    Belichick has the right idea when it comes to the fullback position. If you're a passing or even balanced team, you don't need a real fullback. If you're going to have a fullback anyway, then he needs to be a primary ST player. He'll get about as much use on STs as he does on offense. He also needs to come cheap, about a million or under. And if you don't want a real fullback, then tight ends, linebackers, and offensive linemen work too. And no matter which player you pick, you're not paying a guy $3M to sit on the bench for 2/3 of your snaps.

    [Now Marcel Reece, unlike any other fullback, I'd take for $3M a year in an instant. He's probably the closest player in the NFL to having Hernandez's movement skills and oversized receiver body, but with more ability to play as a running back (both halfback and fullback) than Hernandez. The Patriots would do amazing things with him.]


    tl;dr: Highly paid fullbacks are crappy value.
     
  4. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I don't think anyone is advocating paying a FB $3 million but it'd be very nice to have a good one to beef up the running game, I don't think the O-linemen we've been using have worked out that great at FB.

    That said, I definitely like what Reece brings to the table.
     
  5. Bravo777

    Bravo777 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I don't think we need him right now. I'm sure we've got enough 3rd down weapons.
     
  6. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Isn't that what he did last season?
     
  7. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No. We ran 2 and 3 WR offenses last year not 1 WR offenses.
    Our #2 WR was 3rd among all #2s in receiving yards and 25th among all WRs including 1s, so I have no clue what you are trying to say here.
     
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    For short yardage and for some redzone formations, I would like to have a true FB in the backfield.

     
  9. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Can adding a FB help us run when we need to run?
     
  10. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Do we not run 3 TE formations in short yardage situations?


     
  11. Oinko

    Oinko On the Game Day Roster

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    I think BB recognized the TE trend earlier -- the new wave is here, and that's put as many huge, unclassifiable, physical freaks on the field as you can, and build every choice the defense has to make around the things these TE's do. They can run, catch, block -- heck, they can even catch when they're covered when you have an accurate QB like Brady.

    In that world, I don't see a FB. I think the time of the FB is passing, and especially on this team.
     
  12. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative In the Starting Line-Up

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    I've got no problem with a healthy debate about whether having this guy vs. Hooman or Fells on the field makes sense in a third and short. And this is where the thread has evolved.

    But to suggest that this one potential personnel move is the single piece of evidence on which the veracity of the coaching staff's commitment to winning can be tested is just silly.
     
  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A year ago Bill Belichick seemed to be very focused on adding a FB to the team; during various points in the off season the Pats had Lousaka Polite, Eric Kettani, Spencer Larsen and Tony Fiammetta on their roster. The speculation was that BB wanted to place more emphasis on the running game, either to help out the young Pats running backs and/or place less pressure on Tom Brady and the passing game to carry the team - especially in the playoffs against better defenses.


    This off season there has not been a similar procurement of running backs. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, so I would chalk up the 2012 FB acquisitions (and lack of fullbacks on the current roster) to the idea that Belichick is much more confident with Ridley, Vereen and the rest of the other running backs.


    In the past BB has employed lineman as a FB when the situation warrants it, so I am expecting that to be the case this year. Although Dan Connolly or Nick McDonald or Michael Hoomanawaui lining up in the backfield telegraphs the play call, doesn't having an actual FB such as Vonta Leach do the same thing?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  14. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Who won the Super Bowl last year?
     
  15. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Vonta Leach had 21 receptions last year with a lousy touch, no-finesse QB whose main success came from wildly heaving flyballs to a squad of 6ft+ WRs.

    If anything, lining Leach up in the backfield in front of Ridley opens up MORE possibilities for the offensive playcall. Brady could work the short game far better with this guy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  16. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Absolutely.
    When he puts his mind to it, Brady is one of the better play-action-fakers in football.
    With a formation including Amendola & Hernandez split, a TE in-line, and Ridley/Vereen & Leach
    in the backfield, a large majority of the playbook is still open.
    Now, would I use this formation on 3rd/10? Of course not, just as an empty backfield shotgun
    should never, ever be used 3rd/<3.

    And BTW, if the FB is a dinosaur position here, then what are Ben Bartholomew & James Develin doing on the 90?
    We could save a roster spot by waiving both of these guys, who have absolutely no chance whatsoever of making the 53, and then signing Leach to a Price that is Right for both sides.
     
  17. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Special teams. For the minimum salary, either of those players could do nothing but play on the ST teams and they would be worth what they're paid. In the game he was active, Develin played 12 ST snaps and 0 offensive snaps.

    The key there is that Develin is making the minimum salary for a player with his experience. Leach would not. And I'm really interested to hear, how much would you be willing to pay Leach for this next season, and what percentage of the snaps would you expect him to play? I'm not seeing any way to make those two numbers make sense together.
     
  18. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I always respect reasonable debates Captain Stone, and I believe that you certainly have one; however I think these 2 comments pretty much sum it up as to why the choice to bring in a FB isn't too high on their list this year.

    We actually had 2 really good FB's at one point in time last year in Lousaka Polite and Tony Fiammetta, and either one of them worked too well, not to mention the fact that they didn't even seem to be too dedicated to even giving them a reasonable chance.

    I like the idea in theory--and I really like the thread too. It's a good debate. I think in the end though, another FB isn't much of a need here and judging by recent past history it doesn't appear as though Belichick is too keen on the idea.

    If anything there could even be an argument that the addition of Tebow may make the need for a FB even less, as Tebow could potentially add something in those types of packages that we throw the predictibility factor off as opposing defenses may respect Tebow's abilities to do other things more. It's just a thought and I don't know if there's anything to it or not, but it's worth noting.
     
  19. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In your opinion, is Lousake Polite or Tony Fiammetta anywhere near the elvel of FB that Vonta Leach is?

    What I saw last year was BB bending over backwards in impossible gymnastic positiions to keep one of those two stiffs on the roster last year despite both playing like third nipples on the field.

    A true beast blocking FB who actually caught 21 short pass receptions from a caveman/deep heaver like Flacco could be a revelation for this offense with Brady.

    We have cap room. Why not keep 2 QB's instead of 3 and let Mallett/Tebow battle it out while loading up with Leach? It might also be better for Brady Preservation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  20. robertweathers

    robertweathers Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Well, as it relates to whether or not they go after Leach, I guess it kinda depends on what the Pats want their FB to do.

    Do they feel that they have the personnel in the backfield that can pick up the blitz?

    Do they have players that can catch the ball out of the backfield?

    If they do decide to run out of the "I", do they have a player who can function as the lead blocker at a high-level?

    IMO, when speaking of Leach, the answer is YES to all 3 questions. However, the other questions such as what players come off the field and does the offense lose anything with Leach in the game is a question that I don't have the answer to.

    Personally, I like Leach. He would bring an added level of toughness and physicality to the offense.
     

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