Re: [patriotzip] QB Controversy, and Other May Musings
George R <patsfangr@...> wrote:***** The QB situation really intrigues me. Who is #2? There's long-time backup, and BB draft pick, Rohan Davey; former R3 pick of the Ravens, Chris Redman; R7 pick this year, USC's Matt Cassel; and now, controversial veteran, Doug Flutie. Which two will be kept on the 53-man roster? What will be their order of succession as #2 and #3? Will we chance putting Cassel on the PS, where he could be stolen by another club in need of a developmental QB as their #3? There are a lot of possibilities for this group, including the one I favor. I'd like to see us trade Davey for whatever we can get for him - a late round pick next year, or a backup LB, perhaps. I'd like to see BB convince Flutie to "retire", and take a job with us as a QB consultant, ready to un-retire should the unthinkable happen. That would leave our competition for the #2 and #3 spots on the roster to Redman and Cassel. I believe that to be the healthiest solution to the QB mix for us. Your thoughts?Brady, Flutie and Cassel. The Rohan experiment is over.***** The LB situation, aside from the Tedy situation, is also intriguing. Will we sign another vet? We have some solid, experienced veterans in place now. If Tedy can play, our starters figure to be Vrabel, TJ, Tedy, and Willie. Colvin will, IMO, put in a lot of time, and challenge strongly for a starting spot outside. TBC is developing into, at worst, a solid situational LB. Could be much more than that, if he continues to improve. Chatham has decent "emergency" capability as a scrimmage LB, as has Izzo. One or both could be fighting for their jobs, if the newcomers pan out. Klecko returns from injury, fighting for a job. Now we add FA's Monty Beisel and Wesly Mallard, and draft pick Ryan Claridge to the mix. That's a field of 12. Is there enough talent there to stock our roster? There's certainly enough for some very heated competition behind the first 6 I named. While it isn't the best group of LB's I've ever seen, it is a group that is more than capable of providing well above average play for us, IMO, once the final roster is set. My guess is that we keep 10 LBs: Vrabel, TJ, Willie, Colvin, TBC, Beisel, Claridge, Izzo, and Chatham. That's nine. The tenth will either be Tedy, if he can play this year, or a fight between Davis (the likely winner), Mallard and Klecko. If Tedy plays, I don't see a position for the popular Dan Klecko on this team.Chatham may be the guy who loses a seat to Klecko. I for one am pulling for Klecko.***** A similar situation exists at DB. We have some really exciting competition coming up for most of those spots. As I see it, the only absolute certainty is that Rodney Harrison and Eugene Wilson will start, likely both as the S positions. CB has former R1 pick Duane Starks; young veteran Pats starters Asante Samuel and Randall Gay; experienced veteran starters with solid credentials, Tyrone Poole and Chad Scott; veteran backups, Hank Poteat and Ike Charlton; and this year's R3 pick, Ellis Hobbs. I'm confident that BB knows what roles he wants fulfilled by that group. I sure don't. My guess, clearly stated as such, is that we keep 6 CBs, and that they will be: Starks, Samuel, Gay, Scott, Poole, and Hobbs. But Poole will likely have to take a pay cut to make that group, or Charlton is likely to take his spot. I don't think Poole will earn the starting spot, and he doesn't add enough beyond what others can give us to justify a big cap hit.One or two of them are bound to get hurt. Both Poteat and Charlton have a good chance of making the roster.***** The Safeties are, as I said, set for starters, with Rodney and Eugene. Last year's draft picks, Guss Scott and Dexter Reid, have a leg up for competing for the other 2 spots that I believe are available. But STs ace, Don Davis, will be tough to cut; and very impressive draft pick James Sanders could well replace the erratic Reid. Then there's my "sleeper", UDFA Ray (Italian Stallion) Ventrone. A long shot, indeed. I just like what I read of the kid.I think Scott and Sanders get the last 2 spots. Any injuries and Reid comes back.***** The final situation that leaves a lot of room for speculation, and competition, is our young OL. Do you realize that the "old man" of that group is Stephen Neal, at 28?! The OL, where experience is so critical, traditionally has the oldest group of players on a team. These guys are just learning how to work together. We can say with certainty that Light will start at LT, Koppen at C, and the continuously improving Neal has a pretty solid lock on RG. . But, while we have players with experience at the other starting spots, I don't feel that they are set, by any means. I watched the PVN segment on Mankins. This kid is a monster! My bet is that he will be our starting LG, and I'm already believing that he's going to be there for a long time! Ashworth definitely has the odds in his favor as the starting RT. Gorin will give him a fight, but figures to remain a backup. The other backups figure to be Hochstein (who is the strongest competition for Mankins) and Mruczkowski. I think those 8 will be our OL this year.This has be frothing at the mouth. OLT and C are Light and Koppen. All other jobs are up for grabs. I think Mankins could start at ORT or OLG. His bio says he has trouble playing on the right so maybe his best fit is at OLG. Neal them becomes ORG and the fight for ORT begins. Ashworth probably wins. That leaves 3 spots. The best backup OG is Hochstein and the best backup OT is Gorin. I believe the last spot goes to Kaszur <SP>. BB is not going to put his 3rd round pick on the practice squad.***** The best news for all Patriots fans is that, IMO, there are no gaping holes or weaknesses in this team, as we head for training camp. There's plenty of experience, a very healthy blending of youth, and an equally healthy mix of confidence and humility. We are the champions. We will be targetted as the "trophy win" on everybody's schedule. Fortunately, our HC, and our veteran players, are well aware of that, and are prepared for the hard work and respect for the opponent that will be required to defend our position as the best team in the National Football League!If Bruschi doesn't play we have probably downgraded at LB even with the FA moves. I agree there are no gaping holes in the team right now but LB is the position I think can still be improved. Similarly, we have many good prospects for DB and S but they are still areas that can be improved with more quality players. I like our "player problems" this year. The biggest problem we face this season is the loss of the DC and OC.
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