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Old 05-03-2012, 03:21 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, I think it's all but certain Chad is out at this point too. At this point, we have options that are both younger, cheaper(even with the paycut), and have a better track record of recent production(production within similar/our system too). I'll be a little upset if he makes the team even, as I don't think it would be doing right by our football team.

I would still really like to find a space for Anthony Gonzalez. Branch isn't a 100% lock the make the team, but you've got to think that he ends up making the team in the end. I'm completely for giving Edelman the boot in favor of Gonzalez when you compare what they're able to do as receivers, but it will be tough to cut Edelman because of the other things he's able to do. I don't think it's entirely out of the realm of possibility for him to hang on and make the team somehow though.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:45 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by ElectricEye View Post
Yeah, I think it's all but certain Chad is out at this point too. At this point, we have options that are both younger, cheaper(even with the paycut), and have a better track record of recent production(production within similar/our system too). I'll be a little upset if he makes the team even, as I don't think it would be doing right by our football team.

I would still really like to find a space for Anthony Gonzalez. Branch isn't a 100% lock the make the team, but you've got to think that he ends up making the team in the end. I'm completely for giving Edelman the boot in favor of Gonzalez when you compare what they're able to do as receivers, but it will be tough to cut Edelman because of the other things he's able to do. I don't think it's entirely out of the realm of possibility for him to hang on and make the team somehow though.
I kinda hope Branch doesn't make the team and would rather go out swinging with Ocho than Branch.

To me the 4 locks are Welker, Lloyd, Gaffney and Slater. Edelman or Gonzalez will make it as cover for Welker and they will carry a 6th IMO as cover for one of the outside guys.

Branch offers very little any more and can't beat one on one coverage. Ocho didn't learn the playbook last year but he could get open. Some resulted in drops and it was clear Brady didn't trust him, but if he builds up the trust over the offseason then I don't see why, at his reduced contract, he can't be an asset as a reserve guy behind Gaffney or Lloyd.
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:24 PM    (permalink
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How much of him getting open was due to the inattention of coverage though? That's more what it looked like to me. If teams start giving him the he type of attention they paid to Branch(that's not a compliment either), it could end up compounding the issues he had last season even further.

He offers way more athletically than Branch at this point, that's undeniable...but his lack of synergy with Brady combines with his inability to grasp the system just makes him expendable. I think we're kicking up dirt and chasing the past at this point.

Anyway, is it weird that one of the positional battles I'm more interested in this year is fullback? I think Matthew touched on it a little bit previously, but it's going to be a real interesting battle between Fiammetta and Larsen. Larsen seems to be the leader in the clubhouse right now because of his versatility and history with McDaniel's, but I read some real interesting things about Fiammetta recently that caused me to go back and look into what he did with the Cowboys more. It seems that the Cowboys coaches(and fans for that matter) were really pleased with his level of play there last year and felt like he played a large role in helping them establish a running game last year , particularly in the rise of DeMarco Murray.

Pro Football Focus wrote and article a few months back on just how much and the statistical correlation between Fiametta playing and good rushing performances. The numbers are pretty amazing. Much has been made about our decision to go with younger backs. I think we'll end up signing a veteran running as a security blanket/role player, but one of the ways we could really help out easing Ridley and Vereen into being a starting tandem worth having is with great lead blocking. Fiametta isn't going to offer value as a potential bench linebacker, but he's a willing special teamer and just may offer that much more as a blocker than Larsen.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:26 PM    (permalink
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There is no way I trust Anthony Gonzalez to stay healthy.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:44 PM    (permalink
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Great idea with the Seau tribute Matt I will definitely use the sig if thats cool.

I really like the Gaffney signing. We are loading up in a major way, but that probably signals the end for at least two of Ocho, Edelman, and Gonzalez.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:13 PM    (permalink
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53 man roster projection

1. Tom Brady – QB
2. Brian Hoyer – QB
3. Ryan Mallett – QB
4. Joseph Addai – RB
5. Stevan Ridley – RB
6. Shane Vereen – RB
7. Danny Woodhead – RB
8. Tony Fiametta – FB
9. Wes Welker – WR
10. Brandon Lloyd – WR
11. Jabar Gaffney – WR
12. Matthew Slater – WR
13. Julian Edelman – WR
14. Chad OchoCinco - WR
15. Rob Gronkowski – TE
16. Aaron Hernandez – TE
17. Daniel Fells - TE
18. Nate Solder – OT
19. Sebastian Vollmer – OT
20. Marcus Cannon – OT
21. Logan Mankins – OG
22. Brian Waters – OG
23. Robert Gallery – OG
24. Ryan Wendell - OG
25. Dan Koppen – OC
26. Dan Connolly – OC
27. Andre Carter – DE
28. Chandler Jones – DE
29. Jake Bequette – DE
30. Jonathan Fanene – DE
31. Trevor Scott - DE
32. Vince Wilfork – DT
33. Kyle Love – DT
34. Gerard Warren – DT
35. Brandon Deaderick – DT
36. Jerod Mayo – LB
37. Dont’a Hightower – LB
38. Brandon Spikes – LB
39. Rob Ninkovich – LB
40. Jeff Tarpinian – LB
41. Dane Fletcher – LB
42. Devin McCourty – CB
43. Ras-I Dowling – CB
44. Alfonzo Dennard – CB
45. Kyle Arrington – CB
46. Sterling Moore – CB
47. Will Allen – CB
48. Patrick Chung – S
49. Steven Gregory – S
50. Tavon Wilson – S
51. Zoltan Mesko - P
52. Stephen Gostkowski – K
53. Danny Aiken – LS

Notable absentees:

Jermaine Cunningham
Ron Brace
Deion Branch
Donte Stallworth
Anthony Gonzalez
Myron Pryor

Cunningham and Brace have a big uphill battle to justify a roster spot this year.

At WR Ocho offers the highest potential and if he can show he is up to speed with the playbook then he offers more than Branch, Stallworth or Gonzalez. That being said WR is the hardest position to choose at this stage.

At DT if Myron Pryor can show he is fully healthy then he could take Gerard Warren’s spot.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:45 PM    (permalink
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Addai is a decent signing. I'm not sure how big of a role he'll have, but his ability to pass block is useful. Still, as far as carrying/receiving the ball, I would rather have Woodhead(or potentially Vereen, even) out there on third down over him at this point. You can't depend on him staying healthy either. With all that in mind, I'm not sure he's a sure thing to make the roster.

Ridley is going to have a very big role next year, as the only true power that's projected to be a sure bet to make the cut. Vereen and Woodhead are willing runners between the tackles, but that's not where they do their most damage. We benefited as an offense from a physical presence on the interior in past years. We'll need him to make good decisions and make steadier gains...as well as hold on to the football.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:54 PM    (permalink
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Brandon Bolden!
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:08 PM    (permalink
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How would you grade him as a blocker Vito? I've heard mixed things. It's harder to find replays of SEC games than it is with other conferences, unfortunately. I like what he brings to the table as a ball carrier and as a receiver. Similar to Ridley in a few ways.

He ran a lot better at his pro-day than he did at the combine too.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:28 PM    (permalink
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He is a pretty good blocker. Early on in his career when we had a lot more weapons he was used as a blocking back quite a bit, but he was used more and more as a receiver after guys like McCluster left. I really think that he is a guy who we can work with because he is well rounded and is willing to do what it takes to help the team. He is not a freak of nature but has good size, athleticism, and strength. Could surprise some people.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:54 AM    (permalink
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Is anyone else ecstatic that we haven't re-signed James Ihedigbo yet?
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:55 AM    (permalink
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Is anyone else ecstatic that we haven't re-signed James Ihedigbo yet?
Put me on that boat. Though I thought it was a given once we drafted Ebner.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:56 AM    (permalink
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Put me on that boat. Though I thought it was a given once we drafted Ebner.
Mike Reiss was really convinced that re-signing Ihedigbo would be a priority this offseason, but he was perhaps the worst player on a poor defense last year. I also hated how he was "injured" at least once a game and milked the injury as much as possible every time.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:59 AM    (permalink
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Is anyone else ecstatic that we haven't re-signed James Ihedigbo yet?
Very much so. I would have loved for an Amherst alum to have come back to the area and make an impact. It became very apparent that he would do just that. Negatively. Easily one of the worst players I've seen us start over the years.

The obligatory injury every game was kind of fun though.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:59 AM    (permalink
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He was doing the defense a favor by milking his injury lol
I like Reiss but he doesn't seem to have a high football IQ.
He's a great reporter though and puts out a lot of nice inside info
but when he starts sharing his thoughts... I take it with a grain of salt
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:07 AM    (permalink
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Roster projection:

53-man roster:

1. QB Tom Brady
2. QB Brian Hoyer
3. QB Ryan Mallett
4. RB Stevan Ridley
5. RB Joseph Addai
6. RB Danny Woodhead
7. RB Shane Vereen
8. FB Spencer Larsen
9. WR Wes Welker
10. WR Brandon Lloyd
11. WR Jabar Gaffney
12. WR Deion Branch
13. WR Julian Edelman
14. WR Matthew Slater
15. TE Rob Gronkowski
16. TE Aaron Hernandez
17. TE Daniel Fells
18. LT Nate Solder
19. LT Robert Gallery
20. LG Logan Mankins
21. LG Ryan Wendell
22. C Dan Connolly
23. C Dan Koppen
24. RG Brian Waters
25. RT Sebastian Vollmer
26. RT Marcus Cannon
27. DT Vince Wilfork
28. DT Kyle Love
29. DT Gerard Warren
30. DT Myron Pryor
31. DE Chandler Jones
32. DE Jonathan Fanene
33. DE Brandon Deaderick
34. DE Jake Bequette
35. LB Jerod Mayo
36. LB Dont’a Hightower
37. LB Brandon Spikes
38. LB Rob Ninkovich
39. LB Dane Fletcher
40. LB Bobby Carpenter
41. LB Tracy White
42. CB Devin McCourty
43. CB Ras-I Dowling
44. CB Kyle Arrington
45. CB Sterling Moore
46. CB Alfonzo Dennard
47. FS Steve Gregory
48. FS Tavon Wilson
49. SS Patrick Chung
50. SS Nate Ebner
51. K Stephen Gostkowski
52. P Zoltan Mesko
53. LS Danny Aiken

Practice Squad:

1. QB Mike Hartline
2. RB Brandon Bolden
3. WR Jeremy Ebert
4. TE Brad Herman
5. OT Kyle Hix
6. DE Markell Carter
7. DE Alex Silvestro
8. LB Aaron Lavarias

Injured Reserve/Physically Unable to Play:

1. OT Markus Zusevics
2. DT Marcus Forston
3. LB Jeff Tarpinian

Missed the cut:

1. FB Tony Fiammetta
2. FB Eric Kettani
3. WR Britt Davis
4. WR Anthony Gonzalez
5. WR Chad Ochocinco
6. WR Matt Roark
7. WR Donte’ Stallworth
8. C Nick McDonald
9. C Jeremiah Warren
10. RG Donald Thomas
11. RT Matt Kopa
12. DT Ron Brace
13. DT Marcus Harrison
14. DE Jermaine Cunningham
15. DE Trevor Scott
16. LB Niko Koutouvides
17. LB Mike Rivera
18. CB Will Allen
19. CB Marquice Cole
20. FS Josh Barrett
21. FS Sergio Brown
22. FS Ross Ventrone
23. FS Malcolm Williams
24. K Chris Koepplin
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:13 AM    (permalink
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Mike Reiss was really convinced that re-signing Ihedigbo would be a priority this offseason
Oh god, really? I must have missed that. I respect the heck out of Mike Reiss. I honestly think that we're lucky to have him, as he may be the best team specific reporter out there. He's drawn criticism for being a bit of a yes man(which I think is fair), but he was actually pretty fair in his assessment of the secondary play and our history with the position this year. With that in mind, I'm actually sort of surprised. Although some of the things he's said over the years ...I don't know where they're coming from. That would be right up there with the best of them. Maybe the distance from the season did something to him or...I don't know, something. I can't really see a justification for that one haha.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:35 PM    (permalink
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That 53 man roster looks pretty good MJ, the only thing I really take issue with is Bobby Carpenter. I think Mayo, Spikes, Hightower, Ninkovich, and Fletcher really covers your bases, White has special teams value, but I see no need to carry 7 true linebackers, especially when one of them is as worthless as Bobby Carpenter.

If I were BB I'd give Barrett, Cunningham, Brace, Allen, Harrison, M. Carter, or Scott all a shot before I'd give a roster spot to Carpenter.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:40 PM    (permalink
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I don't know if this has been brought up but Hightower reminds me a ton of Ahmad Brooks of SF, I'm just kind of seeing it now. They are both massive ILB types who can play outside or with their hands on the ground. Brooks is playing OLB in SF's 3-4 now, but he isn't really considered a pass rushing type. That is what I think Hightower will be for us, he is a great physical talent and very versatile. I think his role will be very, very similar to Brooks' role for the Niners.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:25 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, that's pretty much the comparison.

Brooks was a highly-regarded ILB coming out of Virginia under Al Groh and ended up being a really good OLB in the NFL. Hopefully it doesn't take them as long to figure out where to put Hightower to maximize his chance of success.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:17 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Don Vito View Post
I don't know if this has been brought up but Hightower reminds me a ton of Ahmad Brooks of SF, I'm just kind of seeing it now. They are both massive ILB types who can play outside or with their hands on the ground. Brooks is playing OLB in SF's 3-4 now, but he isn't really considered a pass rushing type. That is what I think Hightower will be for us, he is a great physical talent and very versatile. I think his role will be very, very similar to Brooks' role for the Niners.
I guess the Brooks comp makes me feel a little better about the Hightower pick. Those 2 had pretty similar combine numbers coming out. I still think Hightower is a bit less athletic than Brooks, but if he can be a productive player on the outside then it might just work out. The 2 big unknowns are if he can cover (probably not) and if he can pass rush functionally. I think he has a decent shot at the latter one. If he's simply an ILB though, I think I'd prefer Spikes to him.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:41 AM    (permalink
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I guess the Brooks comp makes me feel a little better about the Hightower pick. Those 2 had pretty similar combine numbers coming out. I still think Hightower is a bit less athletic than Brooks, but if he can be a productive player on the outside then it might just work out. The 2 big unknowns are if he can cover (probably not) and if he can pass rush functionally. I think he has a decent shot at the latter one. If he's simply an ILB though, I think I'd prefer Spikes to him.
He can cover what they need him to. Especially at OLB where he'd just be asked to drop into zone and cover the flats.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:37 AM    (permalink
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Hightower assumed the "robber" role in Alabama's defense, basically a very short zone drop in order to try and jump routes; Nick Saban didn't really use him in man coverage from what I've seen.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:40 AM    (permalink
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By the way, listed below are the differences between my 53-man roster projection and Mike Reiss', which you can find here:

http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/...ew-guys-fit-in

Matthew:

RG Brian Waters
DT Gerard Warren
LB Bobby Carpenter

Mike:

DE Trevor Scott
LB Jeff Tarpinian
CB Will Allen
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:03 AM    (permalink
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Some interesting news from Rotoworld:

Quote:
According to SI's Peter King, free agent DE Andre Carter (torn quad) will be "ready to practice full-speed in training camp."
King also passes along word that "some observers" believe the Ravens may be interested in Carter as a fill-in for Terrell Suggs. However, King considers Carter ending up in Baltimore "unlikely." King believes the Patriots are still open to re-signing Carter after he notched 10 sacks in 14 games last season.
I also saw something that suggests Chandler Jones will eventually be expected to play the elephant position in the 3-4.
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