PatsFans.com Menu
PatsFans.com - The Hub For New England Patriots Fans
Search

depth or no depth ft. OL mess

2022 Patriots Season:
Upcoming Opponent:
Next Up: vs Lions
Pick Results: DET: 10.6% at NE: 89.4%

Sun
Oct 9th
Current Patriots Twitter Feed:

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Some thoughts upon tiresome re-watch:

Last night game was almost exclusively about depth. Those who like to worry were given some reasons.

On the bright side - positions that kept most people up during long offseason - DL, LB, DB - actually look decent in depth which is hardly a surprise.
The question still might be the quality at the top - something next game will be about.

Safety - is by far the best and deepest position on D, maybe on the entire roster. If your #5 & #6 players on the depth chart look like legit NFL players thats luxury right there. Unfortunately this luxury is not too significant from the positional/trade value stand point. It was still nice to see Bledsoe and surprisingly Elliott (MVP in my book that is hardly mentioned) ball. Does it make sense to keep 6 safeties on 53 (considering you also have some CBs and STs that can jump in)? Can you get some trade value? Can Dugger be the surprise trade? I doubt there is much value or sense there.

CB - runs quite deep with at least 7 players on the solid side (Wade looked ok as decent backup out and in, Jack Jones already has JC flashes, Mitchell proved offseason reports of solid play although playing with his back turned all the time brings risks and limitations). The question is is there enough quality at the top?
Since all DBs were on the field except Mills, J.Jones and M.Jones one can already get a picture - and the picture is a bit problematic - plenty of players you'd like to keep around but not enough quality at the top to be a position of strength Pats fans got used to.

WR - gave some positive vibes as well but falls in similar category - plenty of guys you'd like to keep but starting quality is tbd. Normally decent depth should offer some trade value at this position but circumstances are not favourable. Agholor should be a prime candidate for a nice trade (2nd rounder like Sanu etc.) but combination of his contract and last yr production could significantly lower it. Pats could/should eat some of the cap to facilitate a decent trade anyway.
Jakobi and Bourne maybe have some trade value but they might have more value to Mac atp.

DL - The depth is def. there at IDL - Davis can back up & jump in at NT, Ekuale looks further improved, Roberts confirmed offseason promise and Ray (once considered clear 1st rounder) would be a prime candidate to keep the UDFA>53 streak going but the depth in front of him might push him to “hope he clears the waivers“ category. Ekuale suspension gives another initial roster spot but might not go to DL. Again unfortunately there's not much to gain from this depth since there is not much trade value: God is fixed, i doubt Guy has any trade value and the rest are backups, maybe Ekuale if he continues to flash but he's one id like to keep.

edge - it was nice to see Anderson in better shape than last yr but one would prefer if youngsters would beat him out. Jennings looked legit backup/rotational edge and could even be un upgrade to KVN from last yr, Ray could develop into decent NE DE, Uche seems where he was, situational asset at best and Perkins looked small and lost. If Judon goes down there will be hard to find some spark from the edge and with iffy CB atm that is not the best recipe. I hope Flowers is still an option.

LB - McMillan was decent but is it good enough since he is projected starter? Wilson looked good so that levels the situation and offers good complementary rotation. The problem is there is no real depth after that. Assuming nickel & dime takes north of 70% & Phillips, Peppers, Dugger are LBs in disguise anyway it should still be ok. Unfortunately McGrone didn't look ready yet, hopefully he stays healthy and grows during the season on the scout team.


OL is a mess & a whole other chapter ... tbc
 

n6249c

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
CB - runs quite deep with at least 7 players on the solid side (Wade looked ok as decent backup out and in, Jack Jones already has JC flashes, Mitchell proved offseason reports of solid play although playing with his back turned all the time brings risks and limitations). The question is is there enough quality at the top?
Since all DBs were on the field except Mills, J.Jones and M.Jones one can already get a picture - and the picture is a bit problematic - plenty of players you'd like to keep around but not enough quality at the top to be a position of strength Pats fans got used to.
lots of good comments, more than I have time to digest at the moment.

one quick thought: *which* J.Jones?

We all need to remember atm that’s ambiguous even just amongst our CBs.
 

TheRainMaker

My Mom says I'm a catch
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
edge - it was nice to see Anderson in better shape than last yr but one would prefer if youngsters would beat him out.
Anderson is not an edge player standing 6'6'' and 300 pounds. Jennings will win the starting job opposite Judon. Uche will be a passing down guy.
 

Ochmed Jones

Pro Bowl Player
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
DL - The depth is def. there at IDL - Davis can back up & jump in at NT, Ekuale looks further improved, Roberts confirmed offseason promise and Ray (once considered clear 1st rounder) would be a prime candidate to keep the UDFA>53 streak going but the depth in front of him might push him to “hope he clears the waivers“ category. Ekuale suspension gives another initial roster spot but might not go to DL. Again unfortunately there's not much to gain from this depth since there is not much trade value: God is fixed, i doubt Guy has any trade value and the rest are backups, maybe Ekuale if he continues to flash but he's one id like to keeper

1.) I saw Robert’s rag doll Evan Neal, the former stud tackle from alabama who I considered the best player in the draft. Coming from d2, this kid started a lot further back than most rookies, but he seems to be working hard to catch up. Bottom line is to rag doll Neal shows tremendous strength.
Robert’s could make this team if he shows coming not yes improvement in his next two games.

2.) ekuale impressed me as a pass rusher in the giants game. In run defense, not so much.

Bb has some hard defensive line big guy decisions coming up. I think barmore and godchaux are locks. Guy, Anderson and wise should be sweating about now.
 

Pape

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
OL is a mess & a whole other chapter ... tbc

This absolutely needs to be addressed... The other thing concern ... Elton (Matt Patricia, rocket man, aka Elton John) is supposed to be the OLine coach... If he is calling plays as the oc, then who is going to be the de facto offensive line coach... Billy Yates?
 
Last edited:

Ivan

Hall of Fame Poster
Way too early to say. I think they are going to be younger, faster, and more athletic, but then we still have to see how they play as a team, and we won’t really know about that until December. By that point we should have a decent idea about where they are at relative to the rest of their division and the league.
 

One-If-By-Sea

In the Starting Line-Up
I'm not convinced the d line can stop the run. The first two regular season games will tell us. What have they done to improve it other than bring in small speedy linebackers?

I agree.

Positives: The LBs will help a lot on the wide runs which really killed us last year. Carl Davis did look good in the Giants preseason game (he was injured last year?) and Roberts did stuff the run a couple of times so maybe he can help? Barmore and Godchaux in their 2nd years?
 

Ross12

Moderator
Staff member
PatsFans.com Supporter
WR - gave some positive vibes as well but falls in similar category - plenty of guys you'd like to keep but starting quality is tbd. Normally decent depth should offer some trade value at this position but circumstances are not favourable. Agholor should be a prime candidate for a nice trade (2nd rounder like Sanu etc.) but combination of his contract and last yr production could significantly lower it. Pats could/should eat some of the cap to facilitate a decent trade anyway.
Jakobi and Bourne maybe have some trade value but they might have more value to Mac atp.

DL - The depth is def. there at IDL - Davis can back up & jump in at NT, Ekuale looks further improved, Roberts confirmed offseason promise and Ray (once considered clear 1st rounder) would be a prime candidate to keep the UDFA>53 streak going but the depth in front of him might push him to “hope he clears the waivers“ category. Ekuale suspension gives another initial roster spot but might not go to DL. Again unfortunately there's not much to gain from this depth since there is not much trade value: God is fixed, i doubt Guy has any trade value and the rest are backups, maybe Ekuale if he continues to flash but he's one id like to keep.

I wondered in the "surprise cuts" thread the other day if Bourne might be traded. He's had a few reports of "poor effort" and I think he was held out of one practice if I remember right. He's a great player, and he works well with Mac, but I wonder what's going on there. He has a cheap contract with 2 years left for a WR needy team and the Pats would pick up $5M in cap space this year and next with a trade. I doubt this happens but it's worth considering as a possibility.

On the DL, Guy feels like a cut. Lots of good players worth keeping. Some of them are a bit raw but I'd like to keep guys trending up vs. down. Cutting Guy gives you about $3M in cap space. If you can find a trade partner instead, you get another $1M. Knowing Bill, he'd probably cut Guy fairly early on to give him time to find his own preferred fit.
 

WinstonSmith

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
I'm not convinced the d line can stop the run. The first two regular season games will tell us. What have they done to improve it other than bring in small speedy linebackers?
We won't know until they start playing real games, but I'm a bit more confident that the Pats will be at least decent vs the run.

The Patriots were 10th vs the run in DVOA last year, and they should improve at least slightly this year.

The safties have improved along with the LB"s speed, which will help with run support. Christian Barmore is showing signs that he may transform into a legit DL weapon. Godchchaux should have at least a small bump in effectiveness in his second year with the team. Henry Anderson is showing well in practice after playing in just the first 3.5 games last year. LaBryan Ray is flashing and could be a pleasant surprise.

If there are injuries leading into the season or if there is simply a weak link the Patriots have both the cap space and draft capital to reinforce the line ans/or LBs.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
This absolutely needs to be addressed... The other thing concern ... Elton is supposed to be the OLine coach... If he is calling plays, then who is going to be the de facto offensive line coach... Billy Yates?

Yeah, that was supposed to be the core part of this, the tbc, special chapter part .. but i got distracted : )

Good point about OL game-time coaching issue .. unfortunately there are so many more even before that.

If people thought it looked bad live its worse on re-watch. Im talking about Pats OL standard (i know lines and esp OL depth across half of the league are abysmal..) Dante could barely hold back in his interviews during this offseason..


The only good OL news of the night was Strange indeed looked like a starter. But that was to be expected . still nice to see the confirmation.

If Bill Murray - not the actor, the defensive lineman - is your best man on OL in 2nd half - you know you have depth issues. He came in for Strange meaning he is currently #4 on the OG depth chart and it showed. Sherman looked really poor on most snaps and Desjarlais was swept around like a junior while Hines didn't see the field.

The only player that looked like legit NFL backup was - dare i say it - thanksdad Ferentz.
If your perennial shadow roster/practice squad/accidental backup/god-forbid-he-has-to-start undersized center is suddenly your prime backup at age 33 you better know you have a problem.

Next in line was Hambright - under the radar FA signing on futures contract - who has his share of issues but at least he has the physicality and some agility to execute both run and pass. Hopefully he can clean up issues w hands placement/sustaining grip/holdings & also w reading plays while communication was general issue across the lines. Late in the game he jumped in at LT for Herron and played to similar level (on limited snaps) which makes his chances to stick on 53 quite real (esp among current group)

Tackles were a sad sight. Herron looked lost, he seems going backwards instead of progressing/improving, Cajuste showed little of the supposed improvement BB was talking about, Durant is limited (to power run blocking) and painfully slow. There are probably worse backups in the league but with real injury concerns w both starting tackles i dont like this kind of depth.

One can say there is still time but we are talking about players with at least couple of yrs in the system. I dont know what is going on with both coaching and scouting after Dante but yesterday was not a good look and going by reports from TC it was not just a bad night.


Additional problem with such dysfunctional, physically/athletically challenged line is its hard to evaluate QB, RB, even receivers. They gave nothing to RBs all night which was major storyline since the start of the camp..

-.-
 

MrBigglesWorth

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
I agree.

Positives: The LBs will help a lot on the wide runs which really killed us last year. Carl Davis did look good in the Giants preseason game (he was injured last year?) and Roberts did stuff the run a couple of times so maybe he can help? Barmore and Godchaux in their 2nd years?
There's some hope
 

Ross12

Moderator
Staff member
PatsFans.com Supporter
Yeah, that was supposed to be the core part of this, the tbc, special chapter part .. but i got distracted : )

Good point about OL game-time coaching issue .. unfortunately there are so many more even before that.

If people thought it looked bad live its worse on re-watch. Im talking about Pats OL standard (i know lines and esp OL depth across half of the league are abysmal..) Dante could barely hold back in his interviews during this offseason..


The only good OL news of the night was Strange indeed looked like a starter. But that was to be expected . still nice to see the confirmation.

If Bill Murray - not the actor, the defensive lineman - is your best man on OL in 2nd half - you know you have depth issues. He came in for Strange meaning he is currently #4 on the OG depth chart and it showed. Sherman looked really poor on most snaps and Desjarlais was swept around like a junior while Hines didn't see the field.

The only player that looked like legit NFL backup was - dare i say it - thanksdad Ferentz.
If your perennial shadow roster/practice squad/accidental backup/god-forbid-he-has-to-start undersized center is suddenly your prime backup at age 33 you better know you have a problem.

Next in line was Hambright - under the radar FA signing on futures contract - who has his share of issues but at least he has the physicality and some agility to execute both run and pass. Hopefully he can clean up issues w hands placement/sustaining grip/holdings & also w reading plays while communication was general issue across the lines. Late in the game he jumped in at LT for Herron and played to similar level (on limited snaps) which makes his chances to stick on 53 quite real (esp among current group)

Tackles were a sad sight. Herron looked lost, he seems going backwards instead of progressing/improving, Cajuste showed little of the supposed improvement BB was talking about, Durant is limited (to power run blocking) and painfully slow. There are probably worse backups in the league but with real injury concerns w both starting tackles i dont like this kind of depth.

One can say there is still time but we are talking about players with at least couple of yrs in the system. I dont know what is going on with both coaching and scouting after Dante but yesterday was not a good look and going by reports from TC it was not just a bad night.


Additional problem with such dysfunctional, physically/athletically challenged line is its hard to evaluate QB, RB, even receivers. They gave nothing to RBs all night which was major storyline since the start of the camp..

-.-
Ferentz has played on other teams and started for other teams at times, he's not that bad... He's not a starter but I'm not going to be ill if he's carried as a backup.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
I wondered in the "surprise cuts" thread the other day if Bourne might be traded. He's had a few reports of "poor effort" and I think he was held out of one practice if I remember right. He's a great player, and he works well with Mac, but I wonder what's going on there. He has a cheap contract with 2 years left for a WR needy team and the Pats would pick up $5M in cap space this year and next with a trade. I doubt this happens but it's worth considering as a possibility.

On the DL, Guy feels like a cut. Lots of good players worth keeping. Some of them are a bit raw but I'd like to keep guys trending up vs. down. Cutting Guy gives you about $3M in cap space. If you can find a trade partner instead, you get another $1M. Knowing Bill, he'd probably cut Guy fairly early on to give him time to find his own preferred fit.

Had no idea about Bourne issues. He indeed has a very weak contract, his production in TC is not strong either iirc, so he better wise up bc like you say he saves Pats lots of easy money. He has special relationship with Mac and has special ability to find open spaces but Bill will show no sentimentality.. Nixon flashing at times + playing multiple ST roles makes it all the more “dangerous“ he gets bourned..

From the production pov Guy was or should've been on the cutting edge already last yr. This year his contract opens the possibility even more. But i feel BB has a special thing for this guy (so do i).. I do agree if this move comes it will be soon after next ps game
 

PatsFanInVa

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
On the OL, I think struggles might be solved enough for the unit not to stand out. But (going by this morning's reading :D ) I think they're dead set on installing something new which is complex and takes time. They'll take their best shot at settling on a crew that can do it. The only additional insight I got, or think I got, was that it seems like it is harder to just plug the next guy into the outside zone blocking scheme. If we start seeing musical chairs I don't know what to say. Either they just don't care and will ride that longer time horizon as long as they want, or something is really really really not working. Well, both. They won't/can't do it as casually anymore.

The Bourne teaser above is interesting... as we all tried to figure out who we'll carry, it seems like every time we turned around we heard Agholar is impressing (everybody's favorite trade-bait, although I don't know why, coming off a down year)... with the amount we're loving the young guys, to date, we almost needed a vet to be expendable. How weird is that. By saying that, I fear I have attracted the Eye of Belichick, and Ernie Adams is going to come riding by ring-wraith style.
 

Ring 6

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
2022 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Anderson is not an edge player standing 6'6'' and 300 pounds. Jennings will win the starting job opposite Judon. Uche will be a passing down guy.
Anderson plays the role that Wise and Ray would.
DE in a 3 man front, NOT the edge.
 


Top