First Thoughts on the Roster

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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

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    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    [QUOTE]

     

     

    LBs

    Best group of LBs we've had in years.  This is very exciting group, in my opinion.  

     

     

     



    How so? Unless Collins turns out to be elite, or Spikes/Hightower show a lot more than what we have seen so far, looks like the same old, same old (nothing to get excited about).

     

     

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    I think Hightower looked like he improved this year.  Plus, I do think Collins, Fletcher (who was injured last year), and even Beauharnais give us more speed.  Given what's going on in the D line, I think BB is planning to use Hightower as a more versatile player this year.  And I think Collins and Fletcher are going to have bigger roles.

     

    It's still a lot of speculation, but this group is certainly no worse than last year and I see reasons for improvement in the continued development of Hightower and the new additions.  

    [/QUOTE]


    I hope your speculation is correct. But I doubt it, from all that I have seen in the past.

    Both Hightower and Spikes are vastly overrated by fans, and many contend the same about Mayo.

    Compared to McGinist, Bruschi and Vrabel, the current crop is a joke.

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

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    RB

    Deep group . . . wonder if all will stick for the whole season.  Does suggest more two-back sets than we've used in the past, either with FB or two tailbacks

     

     

     



    Deep mediocrity. Until somebody shows they can step up when the other guy is expecting the run, this unit is an Achilles heel for the offense (O-line part of the problem in this).

     

     

     

     



    I think you're overly negative here.  If it has a weakness, it's maybe that there isn't a truly complete back (great runner and great receiver), but Ridley is a very good runner, they've got a FB to help in short yardage now, Vereen and Washington both give them good receiving skills, and Blount and Bolden actually both can catch a bit as well as run. 

     

    I could see one of the backs getting switched out for a TE somewhere down the road (think we could have used Fells for blocking, honestly), but overall I think this group has good potential.  

    I think we'll use more two-back sets, too, so the scheme will be different.  I expect a decent amount of subbing of running backs to produce different looks, as well.  That will all be different from last year. 

     

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    [QUOTE]

     

     

     

    RB

    Deep group . . . wonder if all will stick for the whole season.  Does suggest more two-back sets than we've used in the past, either with FB or two tailbacks

     

     

     



    Deep mediocrity. Until somebody shows they can step up when the other guy is expecting the run, this unit is an Achilles heel for the offense (O-line part of the problem in this).

     

     

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    I think you're overly negative here.  If it has a weakness, it's maybe that there isn't a truly complete back (great runner and great receiver), but Ridley is a very good runner, they've got a FB to help in short yardage now, Vereen and Washington both give them good receiving skills, and Blount and Bolden are actually both can catch a bit as well as run. 

     

    I could see one of the backs getting switched out for a TE somewhere down the road (think we could have used Fells for blocking, honestly), but overall I think this group has good potential.  

    I think we'll use more two-back sets, too, so the scheme will be different.  I expect a decent amount of subbing of running backs to produce different looks, as well.  That will all be different from last year. 

     

    [/QUOTE]


    Ridley is a cripple shooter. Against good teams he stinks and against playoff teams he fumbles. That's not being negative, that's being real. The rest are an unknown quantity for the most part.

     

    I would love to join the rose colored glasses bandwagon here in pre-season, but after nearly a half century of being a fan I've become too pragmatic for that.

     

     

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

     

     Ridley only had 4 fumbles on 290 carries in the regular season.  That's pretty typical of backs who carry that much.  I also don't think he was careless with the ball in the Ravens playoff game last year.  Getting knocked out was bad luck.  

     

    He hasn't run well against teams with great running Ds, but who does?  Some of that's on the O line (and TEs) too. 

     

    Really, I don't see Ridley as a problem.  I wish he could catch better, but as far as a runner, he's definitely in the top half of the league (and arguably in the top quarter), which is certainly good enough.  

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from GO47. Show GO47's posts

    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

     

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

     

     

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     

     

     

    LBs

    Best group of LBs we've had in years.  This is very exciting group, in my opinion.  

     

     

     

     



    How so? Unless Collins turns out to be elite, or Spikes/Hightower show a lot more than what we have seen so far, looks like the same old, same old (nothing to get excited about).

     

     

     

     

     



    I think Hightower looked like he improved this year.  Plus, I do think Collins, Fletcher (who was injured last year), and even Beauharnais give us more speed.  Given what's going on in the D line, I think BB is planning to use Hightower as a more versatile player this year.  And I think Collins and Fletcher are going to have bigger roles.

     

     

    It's still a lot of speculation, but this group is certainly no worse than last year and I see reasons for improvement in the continued development of Hightower and the new additions.  




    I hope your speculation is correct. But I doubt it, from all that I have seen in the past.

     

    Both Hightower and Spikes are vastly overrated by fans, and many contend the same about Mayo.

    Compared to McGinist, Bruschi and Vrabel, the current crop is a joke.

     




    When it comes to the LBs it starts with the play of the defensive line. Having Kelly and VW together is going to make a big difference from last year. The McGinist, Brushci and Vrabel type of LBs didn't start really gelling until they traded for Ted Washington. Once you stop the run you force teams into passing. This group has the POTENTIONAL to be very disruptive with Kelly and VW. This group stays healthy Chandler Jones and Nickovich are going to have a big year.

     

    The front 7 also hides what weeknesses the defensive backs may have.

    So like a few posters noted, a major concern is the depth of the defensive line. You can't play both Kelly and VW on every defensive down. Hopefully that will be addressed soon.

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster


    Was wondering if someone coud enlighten me to the NFI designation parameters,

    and how that pertains to Armond Armsteads situation

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     Ridley only had 4 fumbles on 290 carries in the regular season.



    PLAYOFFS I said.

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     Ridley only had 4 fumbles on 290 carries in the regular season.  That's pretty typical of backs who carry that much.  I also don't think he was careless with the ball in the Ravens playoff game last year.  Getting knocked out was bad luck.  

     

    He hasn't run well against teams with great running Ds, but who does?  Some of that's on the O line (and TEs) too. 

     

    Really, I don't see Ridley as a problem.  I wish he could catch better, but as far as a runner, he's definitely in the top half of the league (and arguably in the top quarter), which is certainly good enough.  




    He's okay. More talent than Benny, less reliable, but he sure as hell isn't going to eat the clock for us against good teams (and as I said, the O-line shares in this.)

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     

     Ridley only had 4 fumbles on 290 carries in the regular season.  That's pretty typical of backs who carry that much.  I also don't think he was careless with the ball in the Ravens playoff game last year.  Getting knocked out was bad luck.  

     

    He hasn't run well against teams with great running Ds, but who does?  Some of that's on the O line (and TEs) too. 

     

    Really, I don't see Ridley as a problem.  I wish he could catch better, but as far as a runner, he's definitely in the top half of the league (and arguably in the top quarter), which is certainly good enough.  

     




    He's okay. More talent than Benny, less reliable, but he sure as hell isn't going to eat the clock for us against good teams (and as I said, the O-line shares in this.)

     

     



    I agree, I think he is a tick quicker than BJGE and that leads him to have just a little bit more power too. I think he runs a little too upright and I think he runs a little out of control when he does that stupid spin move where he turns his back to the defense (like he's Barry Sanders) and then faces the D without knowing what happened while his back was turned. I said several times last year he was going to get killed doing that and if I'm not mistaken he did that right before he got knocked into Aruba against the Ravens.

    I think all in all, he is better than BJGE...he is solid, but he is not a difference maker and we might need that if the passing game struggles.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to thunder's comment:


    Was wondering if someone coud enlighten me to the NFI designation parameters,

    and how that pertains to Armond Armsteads situation



    The Non-football injury list is essentially the same as the PUP list, except the first is for non-football injuries and the second for football-related injuries.  Both allow the player to start practicing again in week six.  If the player doesn't start practicing by week nine, he's out for the season.  If he starts practing between week six and nine, he has a three week window to be activated and if he misses that window, he's out for the season. 

     

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

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     Ridley only had 4 fumbles on 290 carries in the regular season.

     



    PLAYOFFS I said.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Read two more sentences.  I addressed the one fumble in the playoffs there. 

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

     

     Ridley only had 4 fumbles on 290 carries in the regular season.  That's pretty typical of backs who carry that much.  I also don't think he was careless with the ball in the Ravens playoff game last year.  Getting knocked out was bad luck.  

     

    He hasn't run well against teams with great running Ds, but who does?  Some of that's on the O line (and TEs) too. 

     

    Really, I don't see Ridley as a problem.  I wish he could catch better, but as far as a runner, he's definitely in the top half of the league (and arguably in the top quarter), which is certainly good enough.  

     




    He's okay. More talent than Benny, less reliable, but he sure as hell isn't going to eat the clock for us against good teams (and as I said, the O-line shares in this.)

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    We'll see if having a FB in with him makes a difference.  I could see BB going to a more traditional run approach when he wants to run clock late in the game.  He seems to have the personnel for it this year. 

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    Eating the clock won't be a function of the RB's...they can get it done, they have the talent...it's a fucntion of the O line, and more than that, it's a function of philosophy....if they are let loose they have the size and schemes to be able to run effectively...it all depends on whether they are given the time in practice to develop their timing....run blocking is timing and desire...pass blocking is much more technique based than run blocking...it's takes dedication and constancy to run block effectively....it takes awhile...

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    I'm sure this roster will change a bit over the next few days, but here are my initial impressions:

    Defense

    LBs

    Best group of LBs we've had in years.  This is very exciting group, in my opinion.  

    DL

    Starters are nice, but a very thin group.  There aren't enough big bodies to go traditional two-gap 3-4, but I wonder if BB has something interesting up his sleeve.  

    DBs

    I think we're okay here with the starting group of McCourty, Gregory, Talib, and Dennard.  Arrington is a good nickel.  We'll see how all the young guys work out for depth, but I'm not too worried yet about this group. Let's face it, this combo worked pretty well toward the end of last season. 

    Offense

    OL

    Pretty much as expected.  Middle of line may be improved if Cannon can step up.

    TEs

    I was saying for a while we'd only go with three.  Didn't think it would be this three, but I think the two TE set is going to be used less this year.  

    FB

    Think we may use a FB in place of a second TE on more sets--though look for two-back sets with two tailbacks (Vereen and Ridley/Blount/Bolden for instance)

    RB

    Deep group . . . wonder if all will stick for the whole season.  Does suggest more two-back sets than we've used in the past, either with FB or two tailbacks

    WR

    Nicer balanced group than in the past, though lots of youth.  I think three and four receiver sets are back

    Specialists

    Fine with this group . . . 

     

     

    _____________________

    Interesting article by Mike Reiss which seems to support what I was predicting in the offseason and preseason.

     

    Positional groupings: Disappearing TE September, 20, 2013 SEP 20 2:15 PM ET By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

    One of the things that will be charted on a weekly basis is the positional groupings utilized by the New England Patriots' offense, as they can reveal player value and take us deeper into the Xs and Os of how coordinator Josh McDaniels is attempting to attack the opposition. 

    Through two games, one theme that stands out is how the team known for its two-TE offense has gone away from it without Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Here is a simplified breakdown of the team's 159 offensive snaps (including penalties): 

    3 or more WRs: 89-of-159 
    2 backs: 46-of-159 
    2 or more TEs: 38-of-159 

    There is a 14-play overlap, which accounts for snaps in which there was a combination of 3 WRs/2 backs and 2-3 TEs/2 backs. 

    A few takeaways: 

    Adds context to stats. As noted by ESPN's Stats & Information this week, Patriots tight ends rank last in the NFL in receptions, yards and drop percentage, and 31st in targets. Part of the reason this is the case is that the Patriots aren't using the tight end as heavily as they have in the past. Michael Hoomanawanui has been the workhorse, with 140 of 159 snaps played. He's a dependable player who was never known as a big pass-catcher (career high 13 catches in 2010). After that, it's a big drop-off, with offensive-lineman-reporting-eligible Nate Solder (19), rookie Zach Sudfeld (19) and Matthew Mulligan (10) taking the tight end snaps. 

    Third receiver a better matchup than second tight end. In playing the majority of their snaps with three receivers, it reflects how the Patriots view a No. 3 receiver (Julian Edelman in the opener; Aaron Dobson in Week 2) as a better fit than a second tight end. This generally sets up a matchup against the opponent's sub defense. 

    Fullback presence notable. The Patriots are using fullback James Develin in place of a second tight end more than we've seen in recent years. The ability to move Develin around the formation (in the backfield, split wide, on the line of scrimmage) has been tapped in place of a second tight end at times. Hard to imagine that would be happening if the Gronkowski-Hernandez combo was on the field.



    http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4749275/positional-groupings-disappearing-te

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    I'm sure this roster will change a bit over the next few days, but here are my initial impressions:

    Defense

    LBs

    Best group of LBs we've had in years.  This is very exciting group, in my opinion.  

    DL

    Starters are nice, but a very thin group.  There aren't enough big bodies to go traditional two-gap 3-4, but I wonder if BB has something interesting up his sleeve.  

    DBs

    I think we're okay here with the starting group of McCourty, Gregory, Talib, and Dennard.  Arrington is a good nickel.  We'll see how all the young guys work out for depth, but I'm not too worried yet about this group. Let's face it, this combo worked pretty well toward the end of last season. 

     



    is our defense any better vs. the end of last year?

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to anonymis' comment:

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    I'm sure this roster will change a bit over the next few days, but here are my initial impressions:

    Defense

    LBs

    Best group of LBs we've had in years.  This is very exciting group, in my opinion.  

    DL

    Starters are nice, but a very thin group.  There aren't enough big bodies to go traditional two-gap 3-4, but I wonder if BB has something interesting up his sleeve.  

    DBs

    I think we're okay here with the starting group of McCourty, Gregory, Talib, and Dennard.  Arrington is a good nickel.  We'll see how all the young guys work out for depth, but I'm not too worried yet about this group. Let's face it, this combo worked pretty well toward the end of last season. 

     

     



    is our defense any better vs. the end of last year?

     

    [/QUOTE]

    It hasn't been tested by a really good offense yet, but I like it better.    Secondary, while no different in personnel,  is healthy and settled and getting used to playing together.  I think Jones is better, stronger, and more versatile.  Vellano, Kelly, and Wilfork appear to be a solid enough rotation in the middle of the line, Nink is playing very well, and Buchanon is adding athleticism on passsing downs. We haven't seen much from Colllins yet, but I think Hightower has progressed, and overall the LBs look sound. Still need some tougher opponents to really tell where they are, but so far they've looked like a defense that can control the pace of the game and prevent the sorts of easy big plays that they gave up so often the past few years.

     

     

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    I think as long as Dennard and talib are on the field as the outside corners the secondary will be fine. For the first time in a while I thought 2 of the 4 sacks from the Jet's game was due to coverage in the secondary.

     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

     

    Strange that without Gronk and Hernandez we haven't used TE's as much.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?    







    "Defense Wins Championships"
     
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    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:

     

     

    Strange that without Gronk and Hernandez we haven't used TE's as much.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?    


    Yeah, it seems obvious, but it's surprising how many argued against this idea (including you, Mr. Sarcastic).  




    "Defense Wins Championships"

    Re: Fells and Ballard cut

     

    posted at 8/30/2013 2:49 PM EDT

    In response to RallyC's comment:

     

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     

     

     

     Possibly, but this also aligns with my theory that the two TE offense we saw last year wasn't going to be as prominent without Gronk and Hern.  I think this also means Hoomanawanui and maybe Develin are going to make the roster. 

     

     


    I think to the contrary, Pro, that it shows it is just as much if not more prominent as BB wants more athletic, skilled type TEs across the board instead of your Tackle who can catch type. Gronk and Sud in a two TE set is looking really strong!

     

     

     



    Possible.  But I really don't see Sudfeld (or Hoomanawanui) and Gronk being in together as much as Gronk and Hern were.  I think we're likely to see more two-back sets and more three-receiver sets going forward. 

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    posted at 6/9/2013 9:35 PM EDT

    • TrueChamp
    • Posts: 5431
    • First: 8/15/2009
    • Last: 9/22/2013

    In response to wozzy's comment:

     

    In response to MelWitt's comment:

     

    One of the reasons TB has gotten a pair of "dancing feet" the last few years is the lack of suitable blocking back since Faulk's demise...

     



    Tom Brady having "dancing feet" is BS created by Ryan Clark, who, frankly has been owned by TB for the better part of a decade.

     

    I'll let another decent QB make my argument for me...

    Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said regarding pocket presence Brady "is the best by far" among current NFL quarterbacks.

    "It's not even close," Rodgers told ESPN Radio.

    We have enough depth to allow Gronk the time he needs to heal, Hernandez will be ready, Fells and or Sudfield will excel as a third tight end.  Ballard was good enough to be the starting tightend  for a Super Bowl winning team.  We have a 6'4" 263 pound fullback named Michael Huey, we have two 6'8" towers at tackle who have All Pro ability.  

    This is the greatest collection of blocking Tom Brady has ever had. No disrespect to Matt Light who was an all pro guard, but was playing out of position at tackle but he couldn't overpower power rushers the way Solder and Vollmer can.

    I don't see the negative, unless a colossal breakdown occurs, I'd say tightend might be be our smallest concern.

     

     



    Completely agree. 32 teams would want a guy like Jake Ballard as a Starter/back up, let alone a 3rd/4rth stringer like we have him. Even if we PUP Gronk the 2TE set will still be used often. It is a strength and with Gronk on the field it is the best TE unit in the league, perhaps ever. Blocking isn't a problem either.

     

    The O-line is either the strongest positional group of the team, or second to TE.

    Re: The Run Game

    posted at 8/17/2013 3:14 PM EDT

    • TrueChamp
    • Posts: 5431
    • First: 8/15/2009
    • Last: 9/22/2013

    Re: Enough about Hernandez. If we have to go with what we have lets take a look

    I think we need to keep 4 TE's with Gronks injury woes. Gronk, Ballard, Hoomy(I like him a lot) and Suddfield. We are a 2 TE offense but still use 3 regularly. I think we realized the importance of having TE's after we went with 2 that year.

     

         







    "Defense Wins Championships

    posted at 6/27/2013 11:27 PM EDT

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

     

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     

     

    I'm not sure the two TE offense is going to be quite so effective without Hern and Gronk together. We will have enough depth at TE (and quality too, assuming Gronk can play), but I think the offense may need to be tweaked with Hern's receptions going to a WR or to a back like Vereen rather than to a TE.  That means quality at other receiving positions is essential to gauging how the offense is affected by the loss of one of our two top receiving TEs.  There are still question marks at those other positions, however. 

    If Gronk is out for an extended time, there are lots of question marks at TE too.  I hear Ballard is not 100% and has a noticeable limp. So he's still an injury concern. Fells and Hoomananui are not the same quality (especially as receivers) as Gronk and Hern.  And the other guys are all untested.  

    Overall, I thnk we have more questions than answers right now.  But that's what camp and preseason are for . . . we have to hope that some of the wideouts emerge as major threats.  If they do, we will be fine.  If they don't, we better hope the defense is much improved.

     

     



    it all depends on Ballard and Gronk. If they are both healthy and 100% by week 3 then I think the 2 TE set can be as effective in a different manner. The receiving aspect will take a hit but having two similar types of TE's who are the size of smaller OL gives more option release plays and should improve the running game blocking scheme. The 2 TE set might evolve into a line that allows a runner to gain 4-5yrds every down be unpredictable which direction or inside/outside it may go. One thing about Hernandez was he was a decent blocker but other teams cheated towards Gronk on running downs limiting some plays. With a larger more effective blocker in Ballard it in turns makes the D have to spread up giving greater chances to create holes anywhere on the line. With Ridleys and Vereens burst, provided they read and react quick enough, this could lead to some great running

     

     

     



    That is quite possible eng, but it's a very different kind of two TE offense, focused more on running and less on passing. I tend to think BB will try to replace Hernandez with a receiver first, but may go to a more run heavy offense (possibly with two TEs like you describe) if too few of the new receivers prove to be significant threats.

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    posted at 6/8/2013 12:37 PM EDT

    • TrueChamp
    • Posts: 5431
    • First: 8/15/2009
    • Last: 9/22/2013

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     

    There are two question marks.  First is the injuries--will they be healthy?  The second is talent.  While Gronk is a proven All Pro in my opinion, I am not quite as enthralled by Hernandez (too many drops and fumbles and a bit of inconsistency in his play last year); Ballard had one decent year (after bouncing around practice squads as an undrafted rookie in 2012); Hoomananui is a reasonable back up, but not a quality starter; Fells hardly contributed last year despite injuries that gave him opportunities; and the other two guys (Sudfeld and Ford) are undrafted rookies who haven't proven anything.

     

    I'm optimistic that things will work out well in the end, but no, I don't think you can confidently say that the TEs are necessarily going to be a strength this year that we can rely on to carry most of the offense.  Because of this, we really need to work on getting more versatility in the offense with a wider selection of wide receivers and backs who can contribute.

     

     



    Oh yeah, well rounded objective post. We have a "talent" question at the TE position. Thanks Pat and Pro for opening my homerville eyes to the real state of affairs with these guys. Its just too bad coach thought the TE group was 100 million dollar type talent. 

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from dwhite1220. Show dwhite1220's posts

    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    I'm sure this roster will change a bit over the next few days, but here are my initial impressions:

    Defense

    LBs

    Best group of LBs we've had in years.  This is very exciting group, in my opinion.  

    DL

    Starters are nice, but a very thin group.  There aren't enough big bodies to go traditional two-gap 3-4, but I wonder if BB has something interesting up his sleeve.  

    DBs

    I think we're okay here with the starting group of McCourty, Gregory, Talib, and Dennard.  Arrington is a good nickel.  We'll see how all the young guys work out for depth, but I'm not too worried yet about this group. Let's face it, this combo worked pretty well toward the end of last season. 

    Offense

    OL

    Pretty much as expected.  Middle of line may be improved if Cannon can step up.

    TEs

    I was saying for a while we'd only go with three.  Didn't think it would be this three, but I think the two TE set is going to be used less this year.  

    FB

    Think we may use a FB in place of a second TE on more sets--though look for two-back sets with two tailbacks (Vereen and Ridley/Blount/Bolden for instance)

    RB

    Deep group . . . wonder if all will stick for the whole season.  Does suggest more two-back sets than we've used in the past, either with FB or two tailbacks

    WR

    Nicer balanced group than in the past, though lots of youth.  I think three and four receiver sets are back

    Specialists

    Fine with this group . . . 




    LB's- can't cover TE's & RB's out of the backfield. Spikes has been MIA thus far.

    TE- Besides Gronk, glorified tackles.

    WR- ??????

    RB- Blount to slow, rather see Winn. Bolden always hurt.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    One of the things that will be charted on a weekly basis is the positional groupings utilized by the New England Patriots' offense, as they can reveal player value and take us deeper into the Xs and Os of how coordinator Josh McDaniels is attempting to attack the opposition. 


    Through two games, one theme that stands out is how the team known for its two-TE offense has gone away from it without Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Here is a simplified breakdown of the team's 159 offensive snaps (including penalties): 

    3 or more WRs: 89-of-159 
    2 backs: 46-of-159 
    2 or more TEs: 38-of-159 

    There is a 14-play overlap, which accounts for snaps in which there was a combination of 3 WRs/2 backs and 2-3 TEs/2 backs. 

    A few takeaways: 

    Adds context to stats. As noted by ESPN's Stats & Information this week, Patriots tight ends rank last in the NFL in receptions, yards and drop percentage, and 31st in targets. Part of the reason this is the case is that the Patriots aren't using the tight end as heavily as they have in the past. Michael Hoomanawanui has been the workhorse, with 140 of 159 snaps played. He's a dependable player who was never known as a big pass-catcher (career high 13 catches in 2010). After that, it's a big drop-off, with offensive-lineman-reporting-eligible Nate Solder (19), rookie Zach Sudfeld (19) and Matthew Mulligan (10) taking the tight end snaps. 

    Third receiver a better matchup than second tight end. In playing the majority of their snaps with three receivers, it reflects how the Patriots view a No. 3 receiver (Julian Edelman in the opener; Aaron Dobson in Week 2) as a better fit than a second tight end. This generally sets up a matchup against the opponent's sub defense. 

    Fullback presence notable. The Patriots are using fullback James Develin in place of a second tight end more than we've seen in recent years. The ability to move Develin around the formation (in the backfield, split wide, on the line of scrimmage) has been tapped in place of a second tight end at times. Hard to imagine that would be happening if the Gronkowski-Hernandez combo was on the field.

    This is really much ado about nothing, Hernandez was never a traditional tightend anyhow, he was a fullback much like Keith Byars or Larry Centers was for us in the old days.  

    Just because the team decided to phase out the FB position and have now brought them back and we're calling them "backs" instead of "tightends" is an indicator of nothing except the designation has changed.  

    Replace Develin's snaps with a tightend and you're probably close to the same number of snaps.  

    The big difference is we have receivers with more versatility than in the past few double tightend set years and thats a good thing, Hernandez wasn't a perimeter WR nor could he burn you deep.

    There is nothing revolutionary about the two tightend set, it's been run forever and we ran it for the past few years primarily because Gronk and Hernandez were two of our most talented players as well as highest paid.

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: First Thoughts on the Roster

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:

     

     

    Strange that without Gronk and Hernandez we haven't used TE's as much.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?    


    Yeah, it seems obvious, but it's surprising how many argued against this idea (including you, Mr. Sarcastic).  




    "Defense Wins Championships"

    Re: Fells and Ballard cut

     

    posted at 8/30/2013 2:49 PM EDT

    In response to RallyC's comment:

     

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     

     

     

     Possibly, but this also aligns with my theory that the two TE offense we saw last year wasn't going to be as prominent without Gronk and Hern.  I think this also means Hoomanawanui and maybe Develin are going to make the roster. 

     

     


    I think to the contrary, Pro, that it shows it is just as much if not more prominent as BB wants more athletic, skilled type TEs across the board instead of your Tackle who can catch type. Gronk and Sud in a two TE set is looking really strong!

     

     

     



    Possible.  But I really don't see Sudfeld (or Hoomanawanui) and Gronk being in together as much as Gronk and Hern were.  I think we're likely to see more two-back sets and more three-receiver sets going forward. 

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    posted at 6/9/2013 9:35 PM EDT

    • TrueChamp
    • Posts: 5431
    • First: 8/15/2009
    • Last: 9/22/2013

    In response to wozzy's comment:

     

    In response to MelWitt's comment:

     

    One of the reasons TB has gotten a pair of "dancing feet" the last few years is the lack of suitable blocking back since Faulk's demise...

     



    Tom Brady having "dancing feet" is BS created by Ryan Clark, who, frankly has been owned by TB for the better part of a decade.

     

    I'll let another decent QB make my argument for me...

    Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said regarding pocket presence Brady "is the best by far" among current NFL quarterbacks.

    "It's not even close," Rodgers told ESPN Radio.

    We have enough depth to allow Gronk the time he needs to heal, Hernandez will be ready, Fells and or Sudfield will excel as a third tight end.  Ballard was good enough to be the starting tightend  for a Super Bowl winning team.  We have a 6'4" 263 pound fullback named Michael Huey, we have two 6'8" towers at tackle who have All Pro ability.  

    This is the greatest collection of blocking Tom Brady has ever had. No disrespect to Matt Light who was an all pro guard, but was playing out of position at tackle but he couldn't overpower power rushers the way Solder and Vollmer can.

    I don't see the negative, unless a colossal breakdown occurs, I'd say tightend might be be our smallest concern.

     

     



    Completely agree. 32 teams would want a guy like Jake Ballard as a Starter/back up, let alone a 3rd/4rth stringer like we have him. Even if we PUP Gronk the 2TE set will still be used often. It is a strength and with Gronk on the field it is the best TE unit in the league, perhaps ever. Blocking isn't a problem either.

     

    The O-line is either the strongest positional group of the team, or second to TE.

    Re: The Run Game

    posted at 8/17/2013 3:14 PM EDT

    • TrueChamp
    • Posts: 5431
    • First: 8/15/2009
    • Last: 9/22/2013

    Re: Enough about Hernandez. If we have to go with what we have lets take a look

    I think we need to keep 4 TE's with Gronks injury woes. Gronk, Ballard, Hoomy(I like him a lot) and Suddfield. We are a 2 TE offense but still use 3 regularly. I think we realized the importance of having TE's after we went with 2 that year.

     

         







    "Defense Wins Championships

    posted at 6/27/2013 11:27 PM EDT

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

     

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     

     

    I'm not sure the two TE offense is going to be quite so effective without Hern and Gronk together. We will have enough depth at TE (and quality too, assuming Gronk can play), but I think the offense may need to be tweaked with Hern's receptions going to a WR or to a back like Vereen rather than to a TE.  That means quality at other receiving positions is essential to gauging how the offense is affected by the loss of one of our two top receiving TEs.  There are still question marks at those other positions, however. 

    If Gronk is out for an extended time, there are lots of question marks at TE too.  I hear Ballard is not 100% and has a noticeable limp. So he's still an injury concern. Fells and Hoomananui are not the same quality (especially as receivers) as Gronk and Hern.  And the other guys are all untested.  

    Overall, I thnk we have more questions than answers right now.  But that's what camp and preseason are for . . . we have to hope that some of the wideouts emerge as major threats.  If they do, we will be fine.  If they don't, we better hope the defense is much improved.

     

     



    it all depends on Ballard and Gronk. If they are both healthy and 100% by week 3 then I think the 2 TE set can be as effective in a different manner. The receiving aspect will take a hit but having two similar types of TE's who are the size of smaller OL gives more option release plays and should improve the running game blocking scheme. The 2 TE set might evolve into a line that allows a runner to gain 4-5yrds every down be unpredictable which direction or inside/outside it may go. One thing about Hernandez was he was a decent blocker but other teams cheated towards Gronk on running downs limiting some plays. With a larger more effective blocker in Ballard it in turns makes the D have to spread up giving greater chances to create holes anywhere on the line. With Ridleys and Vereens burst, provided they read and react quick enough, this could lead to some great running

     

     

     



    That is quite possible eng, but it's a very different kind of two TE offense, focused more on running and less on passing. I tend to think BB will try to replace Hernandez with a receiver first, but may go to a more run heavy offense (possibly with two TEs like you describe) if too few of the new receivers prove to be significant threats.

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    posted at 6/8/2013 12:37 PM EDT

    • TrueChamp
    • Posts: 5431
    • First: 8/15/2009
    • Last: 9/22/2013

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     

    There are two question marks.  First is the injuries--will they be healthy?  The second is talent.  While Gronk is a proven All Pro in my opinion, I am not quite as enthralled by Hernandez (too many drops and fumbles and a bit of inconsistency in his play last year); Ballard had one decent year (after bouncing around practice squads as an undrafted rookie in 2012); Hoomananui is a reasonable back up, but not a quality starter; Fells hardly contributed last year despite injuries that gave him opportunities; and the other two guys (Sudfeld and Ford) are undrafted rookies who haven't proven anything.

     

    I'm optimistic that things will work out well in the end, but no, I don't think you can confidently say that the TEs are necessarily going to be a strength this year that we can rely on to carry most of the offense.  Because of this, we really need to work on getting more versatility in the offense with a wider selection of wide receivers and backs who can contribute.

     

     



    Oh yeah, well rounded objective post. We have a "talent" question at the TE position. Thanks Pat and Pro for opening my homerville eyes to the real state of affairs with these guys. Its just too bad coach thought the TE group was 100 million dollar type talent. 

     



    This was before our star TE was convicted for murder bud.

    Edit: or at least charged with, but you get the point.

     

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