2013 New England Patriots Roster Projection 3.0

There is no doubt about these two, but who else is on the 53 man roster?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Prior to last night’s game against the Detroit Lions, Head Coach Bill Belichick said that 80% of the roster was set and only 20% of the roster was unsettled. With the third preseason game in the books, that number has increased and most roster spots are decided. The 2013 Patriots are filled with new faces in key positions and young depth across the roster. This makes for some tough roster decisions, knowing that if a young player is cut, they likely are gone for good. Here is my educated breakdown of how the 53 man roster will look once final cuts are made.

Quarterback (3)Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Tim Tebow

Ryan Mallett hasn’t run away with the backup QB job and the Patriots installed a new set of offensive plays for Tim Tebow. This means the Patriots are likely to carry all three QBs, at least to start the season.

Running Back (4)Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, LeGarrette Blount, Leon Washington, Brandon Bolden, George Winn

LeGarrette Blount beats out Brandon Bolden for the final running back spot. Bolden hasn’t stayed healthy and fumbled in the third preseason game. Bolden could end up on injured reserve or as trade bait. Leon Washington makes the team because of his value on special teams and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield

Fullback (0)James Develin, Ben Bartholomew 

Develin made a late run for a roster spot, but doesn’t offer enough versatility to beat out one of the tight ends. If Josh McDaniels really wants a traditional fullback for his offense, the Patriots could be active on the waiver wire at this position.

Tight End (4)Rob Gronkowski, Zach Sudfeld, Michael Hoomanawanui, Jake Ballard, Daniel Fells

Rob Gronkowski starts the season on the roster with the expectation of playing in week 4 or 5. Zach Sudfeld’s emergence and Jake Ballard’s health allow the team to keep only three healthy TEs to start the season. Daniel Fells could make the final roster, but his cap number and lack of impact may force the Patriots hand. I would be surprised if the Patriots don’t add another tight end to the roster from outside the organization by the start of the regular season.

Wide Receiver (6)Danny Amendola, Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater, Quentin Sims, Kamar Aiken, Johnathan Haggerty

Prior to camp this position was a muddled mess and looked as though it would be tough to cut down. Fast forward one month and it’s become the easiest position on the team to project. The Patriots have to be happy with the progression of all three rookie receivers. Despite some ups and downs all three will be active on game days. Danny Amendola looks like he’s been in this offense for years and even Julian Edelman has flashed during preseason games. From top to bottom this is the deepest and most explosive WR corps they’ve had in a while.

Offensive Tackles (3) - Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Will Svitek, Markus Zusevics

The Patriots have their bookend tackles set in stone for the next three years. Will Svitek provides an adequate swing tackle and has improved his standing on the team by playing some Guard (albeit not well). Markus Zusevics hasn’t shown enough to make the team, but lands on the practice squad if he clears waivers.

Interior Linemen (4)Logan Mankins, Marcus Cannon, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Josh Kline, Chris McDonald, Luke Patterson, Brice Schwab

The best trait of the Patriots offensive line is their versatility. Svitek, Cannon, Connolly, Wendell can all play multiple positions and both Vollmer/Solder can play either tackle. This gives the coaching staff and front office tremendous roster flexibility come cut down day. Last season the Patriots kept seven linemen (when health and uncertainty was even greater), I see them doing the same this year.

Defensive Tackles (4)Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Marcus Forston, Joe Vellano, Cory Grissom, Anthony Rashad White

The thinnest position on the roster and an area the Patriots will be looking for reinforcements via waivers or trade. UDFA Joe Vellano has worked his way on to the 53 man roster and the practice squad at the very least. By starting the third preseason game it was a pretty clear indication that Vellano has pulled ahead of fellow UDFA Cory Grissom. Tommy Kelly looks like a stud and a free agent bargain, he’ll make a big impact on the defense this season. Armond Armstead will start the season on NFI list and could make a second half impact.

Defensive Ends (5)Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Justin Francis, Marcus Benard, Michael Buchanan, Jermaine Cunningham,  Jake Bequette

Chandler Jones looks poised to take the next step to stardom and Rob Ninkovich has been great this preseason. After those two the position drops off dramatically. Justin Francis has won a roster spot based on his performance last season and his versatility. Benard, Cunningham, Buchanan, and Bequette are likely fighting for two roster spots. Bequette will have a hard time making the roster. He’s made zero impact in extended playing time against second teamers. Benard and Buchanan may have the inside track. Jermaine Cunningham could find himself on IR or short term IR.

Linebackers (6)Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Dane Fletcher, Steve Beauharnais, Niko Koutouvides, Jeff Tarpinian, Mike Rivera 

This might be the most talented position on the roster. The top four are all high ceiling players that offer plenty of versatility and scheme diversity. Jamie Collins gives the position increased speed, cover skills, and pass rush ability. Don’t sleep on Dane Fletcher and Steve Beauharnais. Both players are a big upgrade over the backup linebackers from years past. Beauharnais and Fletcher can play in the subpackage.

Cornerback (6)Aqib Talib, Alfonzo Dennard, Kyle Arrington, Logan Ryan, Ras-I Dowling, Marquice Cole, Justin Green, Brandon Jones, LeQuan Lewis 

This is the deepest cornerback position in New England in a long time. Aqib Talib provides a #1 cornerback with Dennard, Ryan and Arrington giving them talented depth. Marquice Cole’s special teams ability is the only reason he makes the team as he will be one of the last players on or off the roster. Ras-I Dowling, if healthy, gets one more chance to show the ability he did prior to his string of injuries.

Safeties (5) - Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory, Adrian Wilson, Duron Harmon, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner, Kanorris Davis 

A position filled with high draft picks and little impact (outside of McCourty). Steve Gregory and Adrian Wilson both make the team, providing experience and a veteran presence to a position that really needs it. Many have Wilson or Gregory being cut from the roster, but Tavon Wilson’s lack of development probably makes the Patriots think twice. Duron Harmon has been a roller coaster this preseason, but still appears to be ahead of Tavon Wilson. Nate Ebner has been injured most of camp and doesn’t provide anything to the base defense. Ebner is a candidate to end up on IR. Kanorris Davis who I think is headed to the practice squad plays a similar role to Ebner.

Specialists (3)Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken, Ryan Allen

Ryan Allen made a valiant effort, but Zoltan Mesko holds him off in the punter battle. Allen is likely to end up punter on a practice squad or another team’s roster.

Last Players On: Joe Vellano, Marquice Cole, Ras-I Dowling, Michael Buchanan, Steve Beauharnais

Final Cuts: Jermaine Cunningham, Nate Ebner, Brandon Bolden, Jake Bequette, Niko Koutouvides, Daniel Fells

NFI/PUP Lists: Armond Armstead (NFI), Mark Harrison (PUP)

Practice Squad (8)Cory Grissom (DT), Markus Zusevics (OT), Josh Kline (OG), Kamar Aiken (WR), Quentin Sims (WR), Justin Green  (CB), Kanorris Davis (S), Waiver Claim

* Jake Bequette has practice squad eligibility and would land on the PS if he cleared waivers (unlikely)

 

Tags: Roster Projection, Tim Tebow

44 Responses to “2013 New England Patriots Roster Projection 3.0”

  1. gatorade says:

    acm, you’re a bit of a sicko aren’t you.

  2. walt says:

    acm you are a real foul pig. Typical like so many Tebow haters. But most try to at least try to stick to football in some way. Not a pervert like you, you got to get down and dirty. Grow up acm or get your momma to wash your mouth with soap.

  3. acm says:

    Having a huge hard-on for a guy with chastity belt must them of them biggest ironies in life. No wonder Walter B. sounds so frustrated …

    Hey, Walt, when you are done writing Timmy’s autobiography, could you please leave out the part where the Pats signed him? Thanks.

  4. gatorade says:

    It is obvious that alot of people dislike Tebow for reasons ther than his football play.

  5. gatorade says:

    inall these Tebow talks there is an eiephant in the room.alot of people who dislike Tebow have other reasons besides football. it may be relegion, it may be jealousy and it may be racism or it might be general cultural factors- but its there. they don’t like other players but they don’t rip them like they do Tebow. they may even use football to cover their real agenda. i feel this is probably more true with the left wing media than the average football fan, but its there. and this is not Tebow’s problem its your problem dude.

  6. Walter Back says:

    Builder you make adecent point concerning pro analysts. But I don’t think the Jets fit, because they are notoriously goofy and incompetent. I don’t believe Ryan or Sparano are capable of judging talent at all. Other teams passed on Tebow for many reasons including Tebowmania. But BB perhaps the best nfl coach saw enough to give him a fair shot. We’re starting to split hairs here and I don’t want to waste anymore time talking to you as it serves no purpose since I feel a certain way and you people don’t. BB will do the correct thing and I will accept that.

  7. Walter Back says:

    Steve what are you some kind of wannabe shrink. I don’t need or want your advice on anything, so cool it bub. You haters remain in denial on Tebows positives and only carp on negatives and are certain you are totally correct. Well Josh picked him and BB recently signed him to a 2 year contract, so they saw something in him. As Kevan says the risk ,reward for Tebow is great. But you haters sound much like that certified head case Merrill Hog. Your judgement is final. I’m willing to give Tebow a thorough chance, your not. After Tebows time in Denver which Builder scoffs at even Elway was willing to name Tebow the Broncss 1st string qb for the following year. Like BB and Josh he had to see something in Tebow, but not you experts. But then came peyton…. Jets were as dumb as some of you guys and incompetent to boot so gave Tebow no chance at all. After a few weeks of practice and 4 unproductive quarters you are in full force for Tebows scalp. Yet Mallett gets slack, has no experience in nfl, has not progressed in 3 years and you are okay with him. Anyway BB will determine Tebows footbal future not any of us. I will accept that decision, but I am convinced you haters will continue to hound Tebow even if he should have great success because its in your ugly DNA. Unlike so many of the thugs in the nfl Tim Tebow will always be a positive, caring successful force in life and I hope all can be truly appreciative and thankful for that.

    • Bobthebuilder says:

      I’m going to ignore everything but this little sentence: “Jets were as dumb as some of you guys and incompetent to boot so gave Tebow no chance at all.” Previously, while defending Tebow, you said ” I have no faith at all in the “experts” or couch coaches.” So, you ignore my arguments and tell me to leave the analysis to the people who are paid to analyze players. Well, when people who are paid to analyze players (the Jets front office), decide to not play Tebow, even sitting him instead of scrubs like Sanchez, you still regard this as stupid. You are not one to decide which paid analysists are effective, since, as you put it, the couch coaches know nothing.

  8. Bobthebuilder says:

    Comment towards MaineMan (no reply button). In one of your comments regarding Cunningham, you say you can put him on IR/R and if you end up not needing him, you can just leave him on IR. I don’t think this is possible, as I believe if you designate him for IR/R, he must be activated on week 8. Is this the case? Did I misunderstand?

  9. kevan says:

    im sorry but yall are haters. ur hatin on tebow and walter. im not a christian lets be clear this is my football opinion.the patriots are nitorious for grooming qb`s. pats wanna spend time with this kid and pick his brain. his game was well known before the bucs game. i remember matt cassell lookin pretty terrible in the preseason before goin 11 and 5. you guys are bringing up stats and then sayin dont bring up stats. i got just one, tebow won just as many playoff games in denver as peyton manning. and thats all that matters its the only stat that means anything. azdude=if u got wr`s on your team that care more about their catch total then wins then your not gonna have a winning football team. i wanna see tebow after 2 years with brady,mcdaniels, and bb, in a offense tailored to his strengths not bradys. brady is 36, i say pats keep 3 qbs yes over that last olineman or dlineman. look im wrong every year come roster cuts but i say tebow sticks. pats still practice an old art that seems to have died in the nfl its called patience. i have to admit im a sucker for underdog stories i love seein people do things everyone said they couldnt do. after all thats what brady did right? we`ll find out saturday go pats.

  10. azdude says:

    If we were talking about another 3rd string QB with a stat line of two preseason appearances (4 quarters) with a completion of 5 of 19 passes for 54 yards, including a 1-of-7 for minus-1 yard and one interception, would we even really care if he made it or not? Probably not but people seem to lose all of their common sense and make a ton of excuses when it comes to Tebow. BB likes diversity in his players and the 1 thing Tebow does, he doesn’t do well. You Tebow fans can scream until you are blue in the face and quote all the stat lines from the past 3 years but you don’t put up a 0.0 QB rating in 2 quarters of football if you are good at your job. He doesn’t play special teams, he doesn’t play full back, he doesn’t play TE, he doesn’t play safety. Why would they waste a spot on someone that cant help the team other than warming a bench, holding a clipboard and spending time in front of the camera. That spot would be better served by adding depth to the defensive or offensive line or keeping someone that can help on special teams.

    Something else to think about, what wide receiver will want to play for the Patriots with a QB who only completes about 40% of his passes and is always pulling down the football and running instead of making the proper reads and waiting for the play to unfold. My guess is not anyone who cares about their catch total. I feel bad for those 3rd string WRs trying to make a team. It is hard to make a team when your QB is throwing the ball in the dirt.

  11. Larry says:

    Keeping T-Bag instead of another Off Lineman is insane……………….

  12. kevan says:

    i like it. i know he hasnt played well but i think bolden makes the team. vellano gets the cut. pats will be ok especially when armstead is ready to go. i say tebow makes the team. i think bb and mcdaniels are serious about giving him legitimate time to develope and probably assumed it would take longer then one preseason. we all kno he cant run a tom brady style offense. im not convinced he cant play in the nfl tho. i wanna see what tebow looks like next preseason or the one after. all the haters can stop cuz the guy is costing peanuts, risk is worth the reward.

  13. Walter Back says:

    Gosh Steve Earle it is swell that a guy like you worries about a guy like me. How very touching. Alot of people who condemn Tebow overlook his strong points and snidely say he can’t pass. How clever, how profound. But his record at least suggests something different. His passing stats at Denver were not realy that bad for a young player. And his running ability often made up for his deficiencies. And he won games that’s the bottom line. Many feel it is better to lose with a pocket passer than win with non-conventional qb. Tebow won more games than he lost at Denver including a big playoff win. He played well in2010 under center in Josh’s system and threw for some big yardage agaist Houston and Vikes. And we all remember the biblical 316 he hung on the steelers. I’m really not sure a “bad passer” could really have done these feats in the nfl. So unlike you experts, I’m not yet convinced Tebow can’t improve and be a decent nfl qb, especially with his running ability. Josh thought he was good enough to draft him in the first round and BBsigned him recently soley as a qb. I believe they know more than you experts. Tebow may be the best running qb in the nfl and is superior to Hernandez as a running back. I never said anything about Tebow as a passcatcher so don’t put words in my mouth. MAINEMAN pointed out clearly Tebow’s superiority there to the Builder who is a perfect example of a rude, crude, stupid hater. I am perplexed that people still doubt the advantages of the read option being used with the standard pocket offense when it is being used all over the nfl. G.B. just signed V. Young for this purpose. Of course, Brady wouldn’t be involved in this, but if he should go down I see no reason why Tebow couldn’t complement Mallett in this respect. Recently, Logan Mankins said it was not difficult and no big deal in blocking or executing in using the different systems even in the same game. BB is going to have to use guile and some real audacity to get these Pats to the SB. Tebow might fit that need. If BB keeps TT on the final roster and doesn’t keep him on the bench all the time, there may be some unexpected excitement in Beantown this year. I hope Tebow can contribute to Pats success. I have faith in BB and Josh and their judgement and use of Tebow. I have no faith at all in the “experts” or couch coaches, so why don’t you all shut up about Tebow and let events fall where the may.

    • Bobthebuilder says:

      Walter, you condemn the people who analyze Tevow critically for being “couch” coaches or for being rude and ignorant. Take a step back and look at yourself, hypocrite. You say Tebow’s stats were not terrible. He completed less than half of his passes. That is horrific for any QB. As for the few games he passed for a lot of yards, like vs the Steelers, the defense simply decided to stop the run, lining up 8 or 9 in the box. Even Tebow can complete passes against those kinds of defenses. As for the “winner” that Tebow is, his record with the Broncos is 8-7. Wow. Wins way more games than he loses. And I’m not sure how a good passer could put up a 1/7 for -1 yards and an INT statline. Next, I never said Tebow was a worse runner than Hernandez, just a different runner who cannot replace Hernandez, as their styles are different. So, don’t you go putting words in my mouth. You are an example of a rude, crude, stupid and blind cult follower of Tebow. I am merely a student of the game who can critically analyze players and be realistic as to what they are. I do hope Tebow is good if he sticks with the Pats, and I think he is a great guy. I want nothing more than for him to come up to Canada and be a star. I’m not a hater, just a guy who’s exasperated with Tebow’s groupies. So, why don’t you follow your own advice and shut up about it. Watch the event where they may (Tebow never becomes an effective passing QB).

      • Bobthebuilder says:

        Oh and many NfL scouts/personnel and writers agree with me that Tebow is not, nor ever will be. An NFL passer. For example, Andy Hart, Paul Perillo, Rex Ryan, John Elway and pretty much anyone who didn’t try to drag for sign him(basically the whole league). And I highly doubt BB brought him in to be a passer.

    • steve earle says:

      You know Walter what I hear in your writings is a very angry frustrated man. So be it. It is you who keeps bringing up Tebow, calling others “haters” being rude, crude and frankley quite stupid about the whole thing. Time for you to get a grip and take your own advise and “shut up”.

  14. steve earle says:

    Gee I’m begining to worry about Walter. I’m begining to think he has an unhealthy obsession with Tebow, his letters sound so angry. (and yes I was a mental health professional). Look Walter, Maine Man said it as well as it can be said, Tebow is a good football player just not a good pocket passer who fits the Pats system. Please give everyone a break because we have all read and heard suggestions that Tim could play slot, FB, RB TE even safety was mentioned but as he has never, ever played any of those positions, to anyones knowledge, it’s just reasonable to think he is unlikely to stick. I’m sorry.
    With all due respect to Russell I do not think Downing will be kept. His injury history is just to much and the hit on the cap would not be so great as to cause Bill to even think about it imo. Besides the differance could be made up by keeping Vellano or Grissim for depth at DT. Just a thought.
    Maine Man could be right about Ballard to IR/to return list. Given the depth at TE it’s a reasonable option too. My question is how many guys can a team put on that becaus I’ve heard Gronk’s name mentioned for that also?

    • MaineMan says:

      Only one guy can be “IR/Designated to Return”, and it has to happen the day after Final Cuts, AFAIK. IOW, you get the roster down to 53, INCLUDING that guy, THEN send him to IR and sign another 53rd guy (forces you to expose one more guy to waiver claims). Also, the “IR/Return” guy can’t return or even begin practicing with the team until after week-8. On PUP, a guy can start practicing after week-6. The advantage, though, is that you can use IR/R on a guy who was injured in Camp during practice. With PUP (or NFI), the guy CANNOT have practiced at all during Camp (any team’s Camp).

      Anyway, Reiss feels strongly that Cunningham may be that “IR/R” guy. Apparently, Cunningham won’t be able to get on the field for awhile yet. Ballard can at least do that much right now, so . . .

      • steve earle says:

        Thank you MM for that clearification. I was thinking only one but wasn’t sure. Cunningham? Really? I’d be surprised by that just based on my impression of his lack of up-side. I know he made a few plays moving inside last season but wonder if one of the new faces might do as well and have more up-side potential at lower cost. Does that make any sense to anyone besides me?

        • MaineMan says:

          Well, after Nink and Jones, all they really have at DE is Justin Francis (solid keeper), Benard (situational sub-rusher and very good special-teams coverage guy), Buchanan (rookie who shows promise, but isn’t as far advanced as Francis was at this same stage last season and who isn’t quite ready for special teams coverage), and Bequette (who seems to have washed out and is likely done).

          So, Cunningham, who played well at OLB as a rookie and then again last season as a reserve DE/interior sub-rusher, is really their only “known quantity” insurance. Put him on IR/R and he can fill in during the second half of the season if needed. If he’s not needed, leave him on IR and nothing’s really lost. At least, that would seem to be the logic behind the idea.

        • carlo strada says:

          I know what you mean, and i agree here, cunningham has be come not necessary, with the arrival of benard and armond armstead and the rising of francis, all these players can penetrate inside the tackles on a better way than him, and IMO are better options on the edges, besides michael buchanan being raw but with a lot of potential hes earning a DE spot right now. I once was a fan of this 2nd rounder, yet i already can affirm that the guy hit his top, and he wont get us anywhere. With armstead and kelly rushing inside the tackles on passing situations, i believe well have the right interior presure, if thats not the case, well benard (speed)and francis(strenght) will be available

      • steve earle says:

        You make a good case for keeping Cunningham, I concede.

  15. dassa0069d says:

    Work out Ricky Santos; cut Tebow

  16. Walter Back says:

    Final roster looks pretty good with a few adjustments. cbs Cole and Ras are questionable values especially since McCourty can play cb if needed. I’d keep Develin, he’s a warrior. But one of the Wilsons should go, probably Tavon. As for Tebow, that is a good move. I really don’t understand the faith people have in Mallett. I want someone in addition to Mallett if Tom should go down and I think Tebow could eventually beat out Mallett. And he could certainly complement Mallett in certain situations even if Mallett proves functionable. Also Tebow could easily replace the running ability of Hernandez that BB used so effectively at times last year. Any of you anti Tebow types think of that? Ibet BB has and sees that already Tim may be the best running qb in the nfl. BB is one clever fellow and may surprise alot of people in using Tebow to run the ball even if Brady remains hopefully healthy. You pocket passer devotees are behind the times for certain situations. BBs guile will be a factor if Pats make it to SB this year. To say a player sucks without examining all possibilities suggests an arrogant, stupid person who probably has never played any football in his life.

    • belichick yourself says:

      dumb

    • MaineMan says:

      Tebow is an excellent athlete and appears to be an exceptional person. He’s also a very good “football player” in general. He was a master of the read-option offense in college and could very well be highly successful running some form of that scheme full time in the NFL.

      However, he’s clearly not at all competent as a QB in the Pats’ *current* pocket-passing system, which is not the same as saying that Tebow is a “bad” QB. That’s also not to say that he will never BECOME competent in a pocket-passing scheme, but he’s not even close right now, two weeks away from the Pats’ regular season opener. This is ALSO not to say that the pocket-passing scheme is inherently “better” than the read-option scheme, but the pocket-passing scheme DOES fit Brady perfectly (and almost certainly fits Mallet much better than a read-option scheme would).

      What’s critical to understand about this is that a scheme isn’t just defined by the QB’s role, it encompasses every player on the offense. The reads, alignments, assignments and responsibilities for every offensive player – especially for the skill players – are significantly different in a read-option scheme. In order for those players to be successful at those things in ANY scheme at the NFL level, they need to practice them – a lot. But practice reps are limited, so which scheme should everybody practice full time – the one that fits your GOAT starting QB and his primary backup, or the one that fits your QB3? If you split those limited practice reps between the two schemes in some significant proportion, can the players become sufficiently competent at either scheme to produce a Superbowl-contending season? And (Heaven Forbid), if Brady were injured (and Mallett was somehow out of the picture), how many weeks of practice and potentially lost games would pass before the offense achieved equal competence in the new scheme?

      The Pats’ offense could certainly spend some limited portion of their practice reps on some read-option plays suited to Tebow’s QB skill set (as they do with “situational” things), but the key word there is “limited.” That limitation means that they might only be able to master perhaps a couple of the required formations and a handful of plays, which would reduce the potential impact of Tebow running his read-option scheme to the same trick-play level as the “Wildcat” – something that *might* produce a significant gain or even a TD a couple of times per season in certain specific situations, but is highly unlikely to consistently contribute to victories. Frankly, that’s not enough to justify retaining Tebow on THIS roster as a QB, IMHO (though BB and the coaching staff may certainly feel otherwise).

      Additionally, as far as anyone knows, Tebow has NOT taken significant practice reps at any other position, including special teams coverage and blocking units. Thus, to me, Tebow offers little value to the 2013 roster compared to the value offered by other players who ARE at least competent at their specific positions/roles and are also significant contributors on ST coverage/blocking units (Cole or Bolden, for example).

      This is NOT being “anti-Tebow”; it is not singling him out in any way. The same analysis would apply to any other good read-option backup QB who wasn’t competent in a pocket-passing scheme. And it’s important to note that the REVERSE is also an issue for those teams whose *starting* QB is a read-option master, but whose backup QB is a pocket passer. How do THOSE teams manage to practice both schemes? Or do they?

      Furthermore, this “how to be successful practicing two different schemes” question may be well on its way to becoming a league-wide issue as the college level produces more read-option-skilled QBs and fewer skilled pocket-passers. For those other regularly-contending teams like the Pats who have built their offensive personnel and scheme around an elite pocket passer, where do they continue to find reasonably competent backup QBs who fit that scheme?

      The media has zeroed-in on Tebow personally because he’s “good copy” and made it easy for them to manipulate the fanbase into “pro-Tebow” and “anit-Tebow” camps, because, let’s face it, that’s what the media does – try to turn everything into a schoolyard fight. However, from a pure football perspective, this could be a much bigger deal than just one guy.

      • steve earle says:

        Been thinking over your assessment that TT could be sucessful running the read-option in the nfl but I think your wrong. RGIII or Kapernic types likely could do it because they are skilled passers also. Tim doesn’t have that to keep the DB’s honest making it very difficult for him in the Pros. Who knows though? Bill may have been working him at other positions behind closed doors so to spring a surprise on the rest of the league. Not likely but if so that would make Walter happy and no denying Tim is a quality guy to have on any team.

    • Bobthebuilder says:

      How can you feel more comfortable with Tebow on the team if Beady goes down? He is not a passer. Even if you believe the guy is effective as a football player, he is not a passing QB. 1/7 for -1 yards and an INT against the Bucs’ 3rd stringers. Also, to assume Tebow will eventually take the QB 2 job is rediculous. Mallett has looked light years better than Tebow through out all of his career. As for your revelation regarding Tebow’s and Hernandez’s running ability, you are incorrect. Hernandez was a quick, juking type runner, whereas Tebow is a power runner. Tebow is slower and less quick than Hernandez. Also, Hernandez almost exclusively ran with the ball after a catch. Do not have the stupidity to suggest Tebow has any semblance of NFL caliber hands. He has never shown this to be true, nor has he ever played TE, WR etc. what situation would you ever want Tebow in for Brady anyways? And if Brady went down, teams would know something non conventional (and non passing) would happen should Tebow be in for Mallett. 1/7 for -1 yards and an INT. To suggest that a player is effective at throwing a football when he has never actually done so well is arrogant and stupid, and this person probably never considered Tebow is only a power runner, a slow power runner. This person has probably never played football, at least understood the basics of the game, and is just a cult follower of a terrible player.

      • MaineMan says:

        “Hernandez was a quick, juking type runner, whereas Tebow is a power runner. Tebow is slower and less quick than Hernandez. . . (snip) . . . Tebow is only a power runner, a slow power runner.”

        I disagree. Hernandez DID try to juke defenders all the time, but he wasn’t nearly as quick or as good at it as he apparently thought he was, and it often cost him yards that he could have gained by powering ahead or simply by falling forward.

        In terms of *effective* quickness/elusiveness, Tebow has been much better and more consistent, and much smarter in his attempts to juke defenders. But then, he’s had tons more experience running the ball out of the backfield. Perhaps you haven’t witnessed him escape the rush on a scramble? I don’t see how you could have missed it, since he’s scrambling so often. In any case, he’s far from a “power runner only” and certainly no slower than Hernandez.

        Point of fact – Hernandez’ and Tebow’s 40 times and shuttle times are nearly identical, but Tebow’s 3-cone drill was much better than Hernandez’. Tebow’s 3-cone is fifth best on the Patriots, actually. Tebow’s 10-yard split and vertical jump also beat Hernandez’ by a wide margin.

  17. steve says:

    I don’t know how anyone can have Tebow making this team right now. If Brady goes down the season is a loss; meaning, they’re not winning the Super Bowl, and that’s what we play for these days here…not a bad thing. Tebow can’t play…he’s not making the team, not with all the youth and question marks on this team…that roster spot becomes to important to give it to a 3rd string QB (who sucks!).

    A point on RB…

    After seeing the O-line get pushed around the other night I think this helps Bount make the team. We may simply require that size to get some tough yards if the O-line shows they can be manhandled so easily (even though Detroit is very good upfront on D). It had to be a wake up call to the coaches that his value may be more necessary than earlier anticipated. Bolden is a nice back…he does a lot of things well; maybe they cut Washington and keep him instead. BB never seems to have these return specialists like other teams…I think that when push comes to shove he just can’t stomach a player who just will be returning the football, and at the roster expense of a young, promising, well-rounded RB like Bolden, for example. I say he takes Bolden all day when faced with that decision.

    It’s funny how, year-after-year, we get all excited about these cuts, but we can name 97% of the 53 man roster right now and probably several months ago. And, when there are some surprises they usually don’t count for much….a jag for a jag…maybe someone who may emerge somewhere. And, I’m not talking about guys like Tompkins…he’s obviously on this team and has been since early training camp….he’s the fun part of all this.

    Lastly, the other night…you have to figure some guys are trying to simply stay healthy, hence the incredibly bad tackling. A kid like Fletcher is a nice tackler…I’ve seen enough of him, but he was missing some bunnies. I can’t help but think players (and their agents) are thinking (upfront or subconsciously) “JUST GET THROUGH THIS GAME HEALTHLY” you’re odds of making the team are good, but even if you do get cut you will only get picked up by another team if you’re healthy. So, what you see out there is a bunch of guys trying to stay alive and keep a paycheck in their sights, or else they’re in the real world with all of us. It makes judging the game difficult if not futile, if not an exercise in stupidity as to what’s really going on.

    • steve earle says:

      Your point that some guys were looking out for their health could be right and it would make me feal better if it’s the case but I worry it is not. You make a good case but from my experance personal pride or ego plays a large part even in scrimmages or pre-season games.

  18. MaineMan says:

    Seems to me that the competition is between Develin and Hooman specifically, not between Develin and “one of the TEs” in general. Develin and Hooman are being compared on their ST impact, as well as blocking, running and receiving. From what I’ve seen of them in games, it’s pretty close to a tie.

    I’m not sure that Ballard is quite as far along as the coaches would like. He’s played a lot of snaps, but his blocking has ranged from okay to mediocre and he can’t run a decent route yet. I think there’s some possibility that he becomes their “IR/to Return” guy and that Fells sticks through at least half the season.

    With Gronk not ready to go in Week-1, even if he avoids PUP, they’ll have only the one impact receiving TE, Suds, and he’s a rookie. Combined with Boyce’s lagging development, that may open a slim window for Kamar Aiken to stick through the first part of the season. Neither he nor Sims, and possibly not even Haggerty, are likely to clear waivers – too many teams are really thin at WR.

    Zusevics hasn’t played as well this pre-season as Brice Schwab, so I have my doubts that he makes the PS over Schwab or Kline or Stankiewitch or Chris McDonald or some as-yet-unknown waiver-wire pickup. I also think that Nick McDonald may return when he’s healthy.

    I think Vellano may have also outplayed Forston, but the propose roster seems accurate, including the potential waiver-wire pickup.

    Benard has shown enough on the defense AND on ST to stick. Buchanan has shown enough potential to make it unlikely that he clears waivers, but he isn’t a significant ST contributor yet and will probably be a regular healthy scratch for the first few weeks for that reason. Bequette is pretty clearly done in NE, so that leaves the DE spot a bit thin, IMHO. I think Cunningham may, thus, stick if he’s healthy enough to contribute in the early season.

    I think both Rivera and Tarpinian have shown more immediate value at LB than Beauharnais and both are exceptional special-teamers, which Beauharnais is not. Beauharnais may have more upside, but also probably has a decent chance of clearing waivers.

    If Dowling can get out of the tub in time for pre-season game-4, or if Dennard loses his probation hearing (coincidentally, also on the 27th), then Dowling sticks – otherwise, probably not. If Dowling is still injured and Dennard is out of play, then Green or Lewis or some yet-to-be-named waiver-wire pickup probably sticks.

    I really expected Adrian Wilson to have clearly out-played Gregory by now, but the opposite has been the case. Frankly, Adrian hasn’t looked significantly better to me than Tavon or Harmon and that’s not saying much at all. Neither Adrian nor Gregory are significant ST contributors and Ebner has been second only to Slater on return coverage, so I think, if he’s healthy, he sticks over Adrian. Regardless, after McCourty, safety appears to be a significant weak point right now.

    Lastly, I’m not a Tebow-hater at all (I like the guy, personally, and as a “football player” generally), but really don’t see him providing sufficient value to this roster to retain him over say, Cunningham or Bolden or an 8th OL.

    Practice Squad: Grissom may be an IR candidate, depending on his injury. Zusevics is gone, I think. The WRs are highly unlikely to clear waivers. If Kline, Green and Davis clear, they seem likely to be picked up for the PS, along with Beaharnais and White (DT). However, based on the general appetite among other teams for Pats’ “cast-offs” and on average results from previous seasons, it’s probably a good bet that 50% – 75% of the initial PS is guys we haven’t seen yet.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I feel sure Dowling is not cut IF he can start the season, his contract has 3.7 Mil. Guaranteed money.

      • MaineMan says:

        Actually, Dowling is working on his 3rd year of that original guarantee, so his 2013 cap hit is $1.45M. If he’s cut, $1.53M, the remainder of his bonus/guarantee, becomes dead money, but that’s amortized over two seasons, so there would be a cap savings of about $700k for 2013.

  19. tonn says:

    you really think justin francis was that impressive this offseason in order to merit a roster spot over, say, cunningham?

  20. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I like your thinking for the most part, but feel Gronk will miss the first 6 games on Injured reserve. I think that S Kanorris Davis makes the roster and Tavon Wilson does not.

    • tonn says:

      cmon man, they`re not gonna cut their losses with a 2nd round pick that fast. he`ll get another season to prove himself, for sure.

  21. Bobthebuilder says:

    Last year th Patriots kept 8 OL. The starting 5 plus Cannon, Nick McDonald and Donald Thomas.

    • MaineMan says:

      Good point.

      I think the team likes Nick McDonald as a versatile reserve, but his injury (undisclosed) was apparently severe enough to have kept him from contributing for all of Camp (he started Camp on PUP). It’s possible, though, that his injury wasn’t severe enough to put him on IR or regular-season PUP because he could be healthy by, say, wk-2 or wk-3. If that’s the case, and knowing that he’d be unlikely to be claimed, they perhaps simply waived him right away with the idea that they could re-sign him early in the season – as the 8th OL – after having a better handle on Gronk’s health, Dennard’s probation status, etc. Meanwhile, his absence provides them with a bit more flexibility with roster spots to address those and other unresolved issues.

      All pure speculation, of course, but the Pats have made similar moves in the past that worked out okay. The point being that they may not go into wk-1 with 8 OL, but could still get there shortly afterward.

      • Bobthebuilder says:

        This was just in response to the article saying last year they kept 7 OL. Even if they do resign McDonald, (I hope they do btw) keeping 7 OL on the starting roster is just too few.

  22. JP says:

    I only have 1 issue with this list (we all know what’s coming next), but you wrote that they only kept 7 offensive linemen last year and that’s not true. They had Cannon, Donald Thomas and Nick McDonald as reserves all last year making them 8 deep. 7 is just too thin at that position (think about how much those 3 reserves played last year) and one of these young unknown guys is going to make this team. Most likely Zusevics or Kline. Tim Tebow won’t make this roster in favor of an 8th lineman, it’s just not going to happen. We all know Belichick loves value and Tebow offers this 2013 team none of it.






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