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Re: [patriotzip] Kirwan souinds off on team depth

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  • RandyZ. Pierce
    Thanks for the teaser post, I went to read it. I have not leaped upon his doctrine so quickly. I think that there is certainly a few positions of key depth
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 5 10:42 AM
      Thanks for the teaser post, I went to read it.  I have not leaped upon his doctrine so quickly.  I think that there is certainly a few positions of key depth but this varies by varying team talent and personality.   Are the Ravens sunk based on their back up QB?  No they are sunk on the contract of their MLB ;-)  The point is that for different teams there are different key positions.  Certainly for most teams the QB position will do much to determine their fate and any one of those teams sustaining a key injury is in trouble.  There is not always a Hostettler behind Phil Simms but more rarely is there a hidden Brady behind Drew.  I would suggest that 90 percent or better of teams are in fact sunk if they lose their starter and so the depth survival does not end or begin with his question number one.
      Reading on for the positions he varies did not include linebacker.  The entire strength of the New England Defense recently has been the strength and versatility of the linebacker position. 
      I think the full reality is this: any position at which a replacement creates a weakness will create a target.  He suggests this for cornerback but I suggest it goes far deeper than that one position.  One of the strengths of New England was attacking an opponent weakness while masking their own weakness.  Troy Brown accounted well for his DB work but he was not a quality db.  Reid was not a quality safety in his minutes at such.  This was occasionally exploited but more frequently well hid by the staff such that attempts to exploit these points had a hidden strength in support looking to pick your pocket for the attempt.  So my point is not to have a key backup at one or 9 positions but to have acceptable back-up depth at all the positions.  We have become deeper every year since 2000 with an occasional set back of a key position when someone like Steve Martin failed us miserably.  Last year we had 42 starts missed and the year before 44 yet we persevered...if winning the Lombardi can be called perseverence rather than thriving!
      Go Pats!
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: jmsweb55
      Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2005 12:09 AM
      Subject: [patriotzip] Kirwan souinds off on team depth

      In case any of you don't read the NFL propaganda site much, Pat
      Kirwan, who's pretty decent, did a take on the need for depth.  He
      actually focuses on the Pats a bit this time.

      A study of depth before training camp
      July 4, 2005) -- As we enter early July, most of the attention will
      turn to signing rookie draft picks and the anticipation about the
      futures of players with franchise tags and no long-term contracts. I
      prefer to take a long, hard look at something more important to a
      team's success in 2005.

      Somehow, some way all of the draft picks will eventually sign, and
      their immediate impact around the NFL is less than significant when
      you consider about 20 rookies will start on opening day and there are
      704 opening-day starters in the NFL. That's less than five percent of
      the starters.

      As for franchise players holding out for long-term deals, some will
      get the deal they desire and a few others will show up a few days
      before the opening game. I seriously doubt if any hold out for the
      first 10 games and then join the team in time to accrue a season. A
      player on a franchise tag of $6.3 million would surrender about $3.7
      million in real money by holding out, and I'm pretty sure no one in
      his right mind will do that on principle. So, what I prefer to study
      is which teams won the offseason battle of depth.

      As soon as practice starts later this month for training camp, roster
      depth will be challenged as the first wave of injuries start to
      accumulate. Then the preseason games attack the roster in August and
      injuries around the league will mount. And, finally, as the real
      season gets underway, injuries will ravage some rosters.

      The NFL is a war of attrition, and the teams that insulated
      themselves with depth will have the best chance to survive and show
      up in late December atop their division and heading toward the
      playoffs. Last year, the Panthers entered the season fresh off a
      Super Bowl appearance and looked like probable repeaters for the
      postseason, but injuries to 14 key players wiped out any chances of
      that happening. I could make the case that head coach John Fox and
      his staff did a better coaching job in 2004 than they did in 2003
      when they almost pulled off the upset against the Patriots in the
      Super Bowl. The question right now is which teams are most adept to
      handling injuries and keep winning.

      When I used to review our roster for depth I asked 10 critical
      questions about it. Question No. 1 had to be answered yes, or it was
      pointless to even ask the other nine. If our starting quarterback
      goes down with injury, is there anyone on the roster who can keep the
      team moving forward? As good as the Patriots were last season they
      did not come out as the top team in the NFL in depth because when I
      asked the QB question, the answer was Rohan Davey, and that wasn't
      convincing enough if Tom Brady got hurt. This season the answer is
      Doug Flutie, and that qualifies the Patriots to make the grade in the
      depth game.

      I won't bother posting the whole thing.

      You can read the rest on NFL.com

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    • George
      ***** All that you needed was this one sentence, Randy: So my point is not to have a key backup at one or 9 positions but to have acceptable back-up depth at
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 5 11:21 AM
        ***** All that you needed was this one sentence, Randy: "So my point is not to have a key backup at one or 9 positions but to have acceptable back-up depth at all the positions."
        ***** That is the essense of "Da Plan". That is the end result of our cap management strategy. Depth at all positions requires the greatest possible balance of salaries. That's what we do. Keep the number of high cap contracts to a minimum, allowing them at only the absolutely vital positions. Those positions would be the ones which are the most difficult to "help" on the field; those which are most frequently critical to the success of a play, and for which it is most difficult to "hide a weakness." Clearly, the QB position is the most obvious example of all 3 of those criteria.
        ***** But I would add that the single most important quality to have among most players on the team is intelligence. It is the ability of the players to understand and execute the changes necessary to "cover weaknesses" that makes it all work. No player in the NFL is without a fairly high degree of physical ability. Given that, it is the ability to read and react, and the ability to absorb the concepts of the game that determine success or failure. When a team's depth includes players with that attribute, it is always going to mbe difficult to beat.

         R.I.P. Ostend
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