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Which positions are weaker than in 2006?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think we are already a much better team than the team that was a first down or two away from the Super Bowl, and there is much of the ofseason still to come.

    What do you guys think?

    While I think we need help at CB, S, and ILB, I don't think we are weaker at any of those positions compared to 2006. I think that we are weaker at RB and perhaps at TE (although I suspect not).
  2. Milkman

    Milkman Rookie

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    The loss of Daniel Graham at TE and Cory Dillon at RB make those positions weaker until or unless someone steps up to fill their shoes. I'm more concerned about the RB position than I am about the TE position.
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    RB maybe but if Maroney can play healthy all year then no.
    SILB - Tedy is at the point where he'll be a little less of a player every year.

    That's it for me. You could say the same about Rodney as Tedy but as Rodney barely played last year, it's N/A for him.
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Does it follow that the greatest improvement and insurance can be had by drafted a top RB and ILB in the 1st? The 3rd seems fine for a developmental safety.

  5. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I think we'll only take a RB if there's serious concern about Maroney's shoulder for this year. We were very quick to move on Morris, I have a feeling Belichick is very comfortable with him as the backup/rotation guy.

    ILB maybe but I don't see the depth that we'll have to add coming from the draft.

    Although you asked what positions are weaker than 2006, if you ask the question as : who is our weakest starter right now . . . my answer would be the RT and I wouldn't be at all surprised it we draft a RT or a LT with the plan to move Light.
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think in general we are a stronger deeper ball club. My concern has been pretty consistent with the DB sitz and we do not make some moves here we will be weaker, Assante had a big year is this the exception? Can Hobbs step up? Will our Safeties stay healthy? But think the Maroney stuff is somewhat magnified, as most people who know say the surgery and rehab is not a big a deal as it is made out to be. If we do not address ILB, DB or TE in the draft there is still some talent out there that can fill some of thesse needs. Seau on the inside, but kinda believe that this will be a defensive draft. But think we need to bring in some apprentices in the LB and DB corps.
  7. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    I do agree..RB could be the biggest concern..but I think there are ways around that with a different type of offense..but I also feel the team will miss what Dillon did..and aother must fill that road at least somewhat. I am less worried about TE..Brady will do fine an dI see Thomas as stepping up in being a big time receiver.
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree that the defensive backfield will be weaker in 2008 if we don't something. I don't think it will be weaker in 2007. Wilson and Gay are back. Harrison is back. Mitchell is back. Even if we get just a little production out of these guys, we will be better in 2007. Sanders should continue to improve. Andrews could surprise and contribute (ditto for Baker, Jackson and Spann).

    The issue for me is 2008 where almost no one is signed. While I would want improvement (we always do), I think that 2008 would be improved over 2006 if we were able to extend the players we have. We need to remember that we led the league in TD's allowed, were second in points allowed, and led the league in allowed red zone opportunities. This was an excellent defensive backfield even without much or anything from Harrison, Wilson, Gay, and Mitchell. Sanders was improving almost game by game, when he plays his natural position of strong safety (he sux at free safety).

    AS I indicated above, we also have prospects, one of which could work out as a future contributer: Jackson, Spann, Baker and Andrews.


  9. brady199

    brady199 Rookie

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    Everyone better watch out for Dave Thomas this year, he is a huge upgrade in the passing game over Grahm, and if Kyle Brady picks up the slack blocking, our TE's will be better this year.

    And If Maroney stays healthy, I think our Home Run potential from that position get a huge upgrade if he's touching the ball 10 more time a game as opposed to Dillion, but obviously our depth is less. But i got a feeling we may be getting Bush or Leanord in the Draft.
  10. DW Toys

    DW Toys Rookie

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    Cousins,
    Safety is a major concern because of the health of Rodney. What else is after him? Wilson is a non-factor and was even slipping badly when healthy. He might be shifted back to CB. Sanders? Unless all of you saw something fabulous out there that I missed, or perhaps just wishful thinking, he is strictly a SOG and easily replaced. Maybe a good backup. I thought he was gonna be the "BEES KNEES" when we drafted him but he just is not progressing. Hawkins was a great stop gap playing out of position and was the glue in a patchwork D backfield, but was exposed in the Championship game (as was Sanders). Other than that you have one lifetime special teamer and a 175lb rookie safety that also played ST (who was not bad there).
    Cousins, they have upgraded the LB core with Thomas and are obviously looking to bring in more talent (Hartwell would definitely be a good add) or draft some help for the future. We can get by at LB but NOT at safety. Putting Wilson back to a CB might add depth there. At least he's not under pressure at Safety once again.
    No.....Safety is where we need immediate help. Rodney has one or maybe two years left. Lets get a banger who can also be equal to the task intelligence wise. Let him learn from the best. We probably need more than one though. There are a couple safeties that can play next year and a few more who can develop into stars. I think a Griffin or Merriweather can start in 2007 (not crazy about this Nelson as he is not necessarily a tackler). Now there is the kid from Wyoming, Wendling who is 6' 2" and 215 who has John Lynch ability but more speed or the kid Rouse from Va Tech at 6' 3" and 226 with 4.4 speed. They make take a year to "get it", but they might be available in 3 or 4.

    We also lose site of the fact that Harrison went to a small school. Darren Stone from Maine is 6'3'', 215 with speed and a mean streak. Sound familiar?

    Tell me why do we insist on drafting 5'10" 185lb0-190lb safeties? These above guys are all just as fast.

    DW Toys
  11. frankiesfly

    frankiesfly Rookie

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    Im looking forward to Gay starting and being healthy. I really like Randall and missed him last year. Im not to concerned about our TE position, in hope that Thomas does his thing. I guess im a little concerned about our RB position. I'm still not 100% confident in Maroney. I love the guy, just worried about him coming into the season as a full time starter, due to health issues, and not having Dillion there. Our Safety position is what I'm most worried about. Harrison has to stay healthy ALL year this coming season. We cant affored to have Rodney out. He is the Quarter back of our defense and its obvious when he isn't there. Noone has really proved anything to me in our safety position. Though i do agree Sanders improved. I dont see the Pats drafting anyone but a Safety in the first round of the draft.
  12. SunnyDenmark

    SunnyDenmark Rookie

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    as I posted on the draft forum (on a little read thread)....

    but a respected NFL website also agrees with my contention of Safety being the Pats # 1 need.
    The website 'NFL Draft Scout' ranks Pats needs in the following order:
    1) Safety 2) LB 3) CB (a short explanation for their reasoning can be found by clicking on the link below)

    http://www.nfldraftscout.com/teams/t....php?teamid=19

    Goes without saying but I'll re-emphasize, naturally I would only draft a Safety at # 24 or # 28 if the value is there / right player for our system. I just hope the draft works out and one of those top tier Safeties (plus a ILB) falls to us just like V. Wolfork fell to us a few drafts ago.

    My reasoning on why is that position weaker than in 2006 -
    1) Rodney is just one (bad) snap away from retirement or 1-2 years max (whichever comes first)
    2) Wilson seems to be regressing and is a free agent after this year
    3) Hawkins was a reasonable substitute considering all but his speed is questionable and he was exposed later in the season. Also not exactly a spring chicken either. Getting slower each year.
    4) Same for most of the other safeties we have (see reason # 3 above) or are free agents in '08.
    5) only young safety which seems to be improving is Sanders and as a # 4 round draft pick - possible his upside potential is limited.
    6) seems to be some good top tier depth at safety in this years draft (3-4 players). One or two probably will be available at pick # 24 or # 28. Give them this year to 'get their feet wet' and learn from the best (Harrison) before we really need them in '08.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2007
  13. dhamz

    dhamz Rookie

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    I'm not sure which positions are "weaker" is really all that relevant. TE for example is weaker but is still a strength. I'm more interested in looking at where the Pats still need help. The secondary isn't any weaker but is still a question mark as it has been the last few seasons. Rodney is a major injury concern after 3 major injuries in 2 seasons, Wilson hasn't been the same the last couple years and is coming off an injury. Samuel is going to be a very good corner in 2007 but there is the possibility of a holdout unless a LT deal is done (and if Branch taught the Pats anything it was to pay close attention to this possibility).

    There is room for improvement and for draft choices/late FA signings to make an impact at both LB and in the secondary.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2007
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    How can Harrison and Wilson possibly produce less in this year's stretch run than last year?
  15. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    I guess he's thinking they will BOTH be on IR and gone. A very good point...Harrison and Wilson both missed over half the year. Wilson was injured early and really never got on track. Harrison was injured twice..out 9 games.
  16. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    This is basically where I am in my thinking. Not enough people have been saying it, so I'll say it again here: RB is a fairly significant need for us!
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yup! The vulnerability in 2007 is at RB. That is the only position that has weakened, and still has question marks.

    I agree that TE is still a strength, and that Thomas and Brady should be fine.

    I agree that we probably could use an OT upgrade.

    It is likely that we'll sign a couple of veteran LB's and we'll be fine for 2007, although we need a rookie to get ready for 2008.

    We've drafted harrison's replacement. He has improved each year, and in each game. Harrison is still a decent backup. I suppose that we could use someone to compete with Sanders, but it doesn't seem to be a great need.
    We do definitely need help as free safety. Both incumbants are in their contract year. This isn't a vulnerabiity in 2007. Wilson and Hawkins are back and Scott or Gay could play free safety if needed.

  18. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I'm glad to see the choir preaching! When I offered that RB was a still a position of need after the Morris signing weeks ago, I was mostly ripped. Another hammer next to Maroney - even if he's in perfect health all year - will solidify the offense. Sammy has heart but no one wants to see him lugging the rock 15x a game.

    DB's can be systemized, made in to something from nearly nothing. Just remember the string of CB's and Safeties that BB has retrieved from the scrap heap to offer a hand when put in the right position for his limited skills. You can't fake it at RB very long (think Evans), you'll be shut down or perilously strained if you can't push the ball into the pile with success.

    Morris might be adequate, but the Pats are looking to be kings and a stud RB next to LoMo will have more of an impact because BB's scheming can hide a world of holes. And with Wilson/Harrison/Mitchell likely to play much more than in 2006 I wonder if a power star safety like Nelson wouldbe worth more than trading down and getting two picks in the second and taking a very good RB with one of our newly acquired 2nds.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2007
  19. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected


    I agree. I would have tried to sign Justin Griffith and Reggie Kelly.

    As for positions not weaker than '06, but still in need of upgrading, I would rank them as:
    1a - FS
    1b - ILB
    2a - SS
    2b - CB
    3 - OLB
    I would leave the Tackle positions to Light/Kaczur/O'Callahan/Britt for this season, and hope that they all remain healthy.
  20. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I am so tired of people saying "What happens if Rodney isn't there?":confused:

    Please consider that Rodney hasn't BEEN THERE for TWO whole Years, and the Patriots secondary and the Safety position in particular has been just fine. As far as contributions the last two seasons, Rodney may as well have been retired. He simply wasn't there.:(

    Fewest points allowed in the Team's history and great in the Red Zone are great statistics contributed by the Safety successors.:D

    Like Generals fighting the last war, y'all see that Rodney is getting old. OTOH, I see the same situation as exists at CB.

    Young, GOOD starters backed up by a one time starter veteran, whose time has passed. Meanwhile he has provided great depth, on the rare occasion he was present at all.

    With all the crying for drafting Safeties, y'all overlook the fact that BB/SP have done so, already. They have chosen the young successors.

    Geno Wilson, Guss Scott, Dexter Reid, Antuan Harris and James Sanders were auditioned. BB chose Geno and Sanders as his new generation, backed up by a pair of veterans in Rodney and Hawkins. That's before you add several more CB/S swing DBs who have the benefit of ALL being previous starters in the NFL.:D

    Now I fully expect BB/SP to draft a DB or two in this draft, but it will be strictly becasue they are the BPA, just like they could draft a LOT, RB, and LB or P.

    Outsiders to the Pats can just look at the ages of the "starters" and urge a Safety; y'all ought to know better, I would think.

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