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Wide Receiver Breakouts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Bostonian1962, Jun 21, 2006.

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  1. Bostonian1962

    Bostonian1962 Rookie

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    So some think (I know I do) that the Patriots WR corp is a bit weak. That prompts me to the following post.

    Take a look at this list of WRs currently on the Patriots roster. Which one is going to exceed expectations and why?

    Erik Davis
    Michael McGrew
    Rich Musinski
    Matt Shelton
    Zuriel Smith
    John Stone

    You'll note, this doesn't include those players expected to have the edge at making the team. These are the "other" wide receivers.

    What do you know?
  2. Remix 6

    Remix 6 Rookie

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    um none? only 1 will make the team(John Stone) but he wontbe getting much action as a #6 WR behind Branch,Jackson,Caldwell,Brown,Childress and with our TEs and Maroney and Faulk catching out of backfield.

    all i know is Stone impressed during the mini camp..he caught the ball well from what i heard in the mini camp wrap ups.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2006
  3. dhamz

    dhamz Rookie

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    Football expectations or shelf stocking expectations?

    Seriously, none of those guys is anything other than camp fodder. A breakout camp and all they can hope for is a spot on the practice squad.
  4. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    PS maybe, I imagine Childree will be the #5 guy and rarely seen on the field as a WR unless injuries hit.
  5. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Let's see who we can remove from the list..Smith is a good return guy and may be a good receiver..but he is injured..knee I think..so he may be IRed or PUPed.... McGrew was on IR with a knee injury and missed the latter part of the mini camp..so..maybe a bit more injured....Shellton supposedly droped a ton of passes in rookie camp but is still hanging on..(Would be surprised to see him stick, even to TC) Musinski looked horrible last year in camp..but he might be better this year...Stone as well may stck to cmp. Davis is intriguing..a bit taller and a smooth receiver who has a knack for getting open.
    The latter 3 may push a bit..but a breakout?? Possible...not probable...HOPING there is a surprise!!!
  6. smg93

    smg93 Rookie

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    Easy answer really would be which one of them can turn out to be a special teams demon? If any of those guys make it, my guess is it's less about how well they catch the ball and more about how well they do in ST.
  7. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    Bam Childress will be the number #5 guy and see much more time than we expect due to:

    Fragile Deion
    Aging Troy Brown
    Fragile Reche
    Cornerback Troy Brown
  8. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    If we're talking improving our WR depth, my focus is on a veteran WR who at the very least can be signed to particpate in camp, learn the system, provide additional competition for all our other question marks, and step in should there be an injury.

    As much as I hope the young guys like Stone and the other no names can step up, I don't expect much, and if they make the team as a #6 WR it will be because they also show other special team skills.

    I very much liked what I saw from Bam last year and expect him to be our #5 but one can't make those statements in mid-June.

    Beyond that, some of these young WRs will be destined for the PS if they are lucky, as only the top 4 WRs see any real playing time anyway, barring injury.
  9. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Branch, Jackson, Caldwell. That's a reasonably potent top three if you ask me, especially when bolstered by pass-catching tight ends Watson and Graham, and reliable possession guy Troy Brown. Childress is a nifty #5 WR. I LIKE our receiving corps.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2006
  10. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Don't confuse TEs with WRs - they are different positions for a reason, and although some WRs are 3rd down posession specialists, the reason we need WRs - and WR depth - is to stretch the field "i.e. the "wide" in wide receiver -
    And while I like Branch, Jackson, Caldwell, Troy as our #1 and #2/#3 by committee, the reason we need depth is to be prepared in case one or more of them suffers an injury during the season.

    And given Branch's injury history, that is a VERY real concern, so its just not good enough to say that one is confident in Branch, Jackson, Caldwell.

    The question you should be asking is whether you are comfortable with Jackson or Caldwell as your #1 WR - and the answer to THAT I would expect is a big "NO"!
  11. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    I will be somewhat amazed if Bioli doesn't bring in a veteran WR and maybe Ty Law and possibly even Donnie Edwards (Is that the guy's correct first name?).

    I don't believe the team is in it's final form yet, and Bioli is probably trying to find another #1b or #1c type wideout to slot between Branch and the rookie.
  12. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Unfortunately, the quality of existing FA WRs available right now isn't long or all that great - espcially when it comes to #1 WR caliber... sometimes trades are possible but even then, think Andre Davis in terms of what you get.

    But i don't think there's an expectation that you need a backup #1 WR... no team has that luxury of depth. If your #1 goes down you need your other guys to step up and you probably spread the ball out even more.

    I'm just saying if we went into the season with Jackson, Caldwell, Troy and Bam as our #1-4 we'd feel a little insecure... but given Branch's injury history (one of many reasons they won't break the bank for him) one has to assume that's a real possiblity.

    I still can't help but wonder if BB would take a chance on Lelie. Although I think he very well IS a cancer in the Broncos locker room right now I question whether he would be for another team.

    The Broncos I expect will come way down on whatever their asking price is for him via trade right now, and if Lelie would be willing to walk into a situation that allows him to trigger significant bonuses and a long term contract via playing and behavior incentives in 2006, he might be a low risk addition (with the exception of whatever draft pick or player we give up for him)

    Say what you will about Lelie, but he's probably the most talented WR available via trade. While he gripes about playing time, I think all he cares about is money - which is fine by me, as long as he has an incentive laden contract.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2005
  13. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I like Stallworth too, is he still on the block I wonder.
  14. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Good question - I don't know either.

    I'm not really pushing for Lelie by any stretch - just don't want to rule him out.

    If the price is right - for trade and contract - I'd be willing to give this guy a shot.

    Given the rep he's developed in Denver I think he may have to accept the fact that he's going to have to play well and behave himself in 2006 if he hopes to see decent money in 2007. Ideally, I'd expect Lelie to have at best a Ty Law like contract that could be voided after the first year - allowing a team to rent him for a season, but keep the option open of signing him long term.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2006
  15. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    .... :agree:
  16. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Okay. He sucks. We are better off with Branch-Jackson-Caldwell-Brown than we are with Branch-Jackson-Caldwell-Brown-Lelie
  17. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I also have no problem with what we have. My interest in getting Stallworth would be if we were to trade Branch (I know, I'm just saying IF).
  18. Bostonian1962

    Bostonian1962 Rookie

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    JoeSix and 5 Rings, you guys are right on the money.

    We need another vet.

    Brown gets hurt alot. Reche has gotten hurt alot. Branch ditto.

    I liked Bam last preseason, but he didn't make the big team. Jackson is going to be a stud eventually, but is a rookie.

    Will the WR corp be great if Branch is extended/happy/healthy, and Brown finds the fountain of youth, and Reche becomes the player that a 2nd round pick should be, and Jackson "gets it" as a rookie? Yes. But, that's alot of IFs.

    Appreciate everybodies feedback on the list of players. It would appear there is not much there to get excited about.
  19. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't quite follow your logic. You can't "expect" your #1 wide receiver is going to get hurt. I mean, somebody has to be your #1 guy and that's Branch. Whoever is #2 and #3 will step up to 1 and 2 if #1 gets hurt, no matter who they are. So it seems to me that you're saying Caldwell is the weak link, and I'm not sure I agree. I think Jackson is going to be a good one out of the gate and that he and Caldwell will suffice alongside Branch. The reason I mentioned the tight ends is because Graham and Watson are legitimate threats to get downfield, which takes some of the pressure off our WRs. That could be one reason we're not seeing more "action" at the WR position this offseason. My guess is that BB likes what he has in Caldwell, Jackson and Childress to replace Givens, Dwight, and Davis.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2005
  20. Brady-To-Branch

    Brady-To-Branch Rookie

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    Lelie doesn't like to block. That would be a problem with BB.
  21. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown Rookie

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    While WR and TE are two separate positions not to be confused, methinks BB has plans to use Watson as a possession receiver more in the WR mold than the TE role.

    That is your WR depth complemented. Having said that, I'd like us to bring in another WR ... for depth.
  22. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    That's the right answer to the wrong question.

    The point of WR depth is being prepared in case of injury or underperformance.

    You really don't want to go into a season assuming the best case scenario that everyone stays healthy all season. This team has achieved success largely because of its excellent depth, and ability to plan for the worst case scenario.

    So its not a question of whether we are better off with Branch-Jackson-Caldwell-Brown as opposed to Branch-Jackson-Caldwell-Brown-Lelie.

    Its a question of whether we are better off with "Jackson-Caldwell-Brown" or "Lelie(or pick another Veteran)-Jackson-Caldwell-Brown" in case Branch goes down with an injury.

    Even assuming all our current WRs are healthy, there's more "IF" to the WR corps than there is proven performance.

    IF Branch can stay healthy. IF Jackson can buck the odds and step in as a #2 WR in his first season. IF Caldwell for once in his career can break 30 receptions. IF Bam Childress can continue the development and promise he showed last season. IF Troy Brown can continue his ironman routine and have as good a season as he did last year (of all of them, I'd put my money on Troy).

    Adding a veteran WR to help better our odds if some of the IF scenarios might not go exactly as we hope seems like a good idea to me.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2006
  23. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    Tunescribe:

    We may be getting caught up in word play here, but I think that Bioli has to 'expect' every starter on the team to get hurt at every position. That is what quality depth is for, because you 'expect' that several of your starters will miss games.

    If Branch goes down, we have a sheer rookie, a really past his prime former #1, or a guy from the Chargers who has yet to be a decent #2. We cannot think that a tight end will cover the WR job either, unless one of our tight ends is going to take all his reps from now on at the WR position.

    As to the original thread question, I believe that Stone might make the practice squad, Childress has a chance to make the roster unless we bring in a veteran, and the rest will be cut. Brutal but honest.
  24. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown Rookie

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    Regarding depth...my point may have been lost. BB and Pioli value horizontal depth (players playing multiple roles/positions) as much as vertical depth. Who's to say that can't work with a specimen like Watson being used in various possession wideout roles? It minimizes, but does not negate, our need for added WR help, no??
  25. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    Watson was barely able to run his own rhoutes correctly last year, and was therefore out of position at times. This was something he wanted to work on, and something Brady demands of any player.

    I just can't see Watson being a viable back up at all WR positions and all tight end positions.

    I almost want to gaurentee that we WILL bring in a veteran, but of course, I can't.
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