NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
The Patriots have been extremely busy in the free agent market during the opening week and they continued Monday by signing former Oakland Raider and Seattle Seahawks OL Robert Gallery.
Robert Gallery has long been a favorite of Coach Bill Belichick, ever since he came out of Iowa as a LT in 2004. Bill Belichick called him the “best player in the draft” that year, and Gallery was widely considered to be one of the best OL to come out of college in years. Gallery was selected second overall, but has not met the expectations of a top three pick.
Gallery started his career at RT for Oakland and after two years he was moved to LT in 2006. Although he had his moments, Gallery was considered to be a “bust”, since the hype surrounding him was so high.
In 2007 Gallery was move inside to guard and ultimately performed much better. Gallery has played guard since the move inside in 2007. When the Raiders fired Head Coach Tom Cable, who also served as the OL Coach for Oakland, he was hired in Seattle as OL coach. Cable brought Gallery to Seattle with him to play the LG position. Most of Gallery’s struggles of late can be attributed to injuries, as he has missed 18 games the past three seasons.
With rumors that Matt Light will be retiring this off-season, Nate Solder will likely be asked to play LT and Sebastian Vollmer will be the RT. Assuming Brian Waters is back Robert Gallery will likely serve as insurance at two positions: OT and OG. He can also fill in if someone struggles or if injuries arise. Gallery is known as a coachable player, who was very fundamentally sound coming out of college. Tom Cable is a very good offensive line coach and he loved Gallery as a player. Now Gallery will be able to be coached by the best OL coach in the league, Dante Scarnecchia, and that can only help.
This is another low risk, high reward type of signing by New England. The Patriots are building really solid depth with proven veteran players who aren’t going to break the bank and you can’t argue with that strategy.