Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    I did notice that they had both him and Cunningham bulk up last year, then they went out and drafted some guys that look like they would make pretty decent 43 defensive ends. Chandler to me looks like a guy that will eventually end up on the end of a 43 and Beqeutte has been mostly a 43 end. The thing that on the other hand makes me think we will be seeing a lot of the 34 is the signing of Scott and the drafting of Hightower.

    In the end we'll probably just see a lot of both schemes.
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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    The Pats defense will need major contributions from their younger players. I hope Markell Carter will be one of them.

    Patriots Today - Carter is a happy camper
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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    In Response to Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet:
    The Pats defense will need major contributions from their younger players. I hope Markell Carter will be one of them. Patriots Today - Carter is a happy camper
    Posted by digger0862

         Whose writing him off? Actually, I'm expecting him to make the team, and make a contribution this season. The Pats' wouldn't have doubled his practice squad salary unless BB saw something in him. 
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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    Carter was a big time project. He had NFL athletecism but was a backup/situational player in college, and his college wasn't really a big time program. He is a longshot, but most 5-7 rounders are. The interesting thing about Carter though is the raise and he was practice player of the week nearly every week last year, far more than anyone else. But when Andre Carter went down last year it was Silvestro who got the call. So who knows.
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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    His sister suffers from Lupus, he's moving her to Boston to begin treatment there.  That's a pretty big inventive not to be outwork and make the roster.  I wish him and his sister the best and hope he makes the roster.

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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    I wish him all the luck but right now given the roster he is more of a long shot to make the team. Though, Kraft is a soft hearted man and will most likely do everything he can to help Carter's sister. I suspect he'll be on the PS again this year but just for fun lets look at his direct competition for the job:

    Jones - He's making the team no matter what. He needs to be developed so I don't see him being the starter at the beginning of the year and might not even start once throughout the entire year but it's his job from 13'+

    Bequette - another relatively high draft pick most likely to make the team. During the combine and senior bowl week he worked out in LB drills and showed ability to drop back into coverage (something he didn't do much of in college). To me he's a Vrable type of player that can line up with his hand down on cover larger TE's as a OLB. He will most likely make the team

    Scott - before his injury Scott was showing promise as developing into a top end pass rusher in the league. Then after the injury with inconstant flux in D schemes he didn't return directly to form. If healthy Scott should make the team and should compete for Andersons old role immediately

    Cunningham - Cunningham is one player I can see getting the boot this pre-season. His rookie campaign was just that a rookie campaign. He showed some flashes but for the most part looked lost at times and you could tell he still needed work to develop. Last year he took a major step backwards having trouble earning playing time even before his injury and being placed on IR. He's going to have to prove something this pre-season or Carter could take his spot

    Francis - I know it doesn't seem as if a UDFA should be able to earn a spot over Carter but Francis has 2 major things working in his favor. 1) That he's friends with Steve, yes BB's son, and 2) that he's comes from one of BB's favorite programs (Rutgers). If Francis can show just as much as Carter has then BB might chose him over Carter as his sons first find.

    Silvestro - Other then having a great name that belongs on Cobra, Silvestro was the one last year called up over Carter to join the 53man squad. This might give him the inside track if Carter isn't fully developed. He is also a Rutgers alumni (sense a pattern?)

    *Carter - The wild card is Carter, no not M. Carter but A. Carter. If healthy then Carter could be back in a Pats uni. As a vet presence who had dbl digit sacks last year it would be hard to dethrone him for the younger Carter

    That's a lot of competition. Typically the Pats carry 14-16 front 7 players on the roster. With Wilfork, Fanene, Bequette, Jones, Spikes, Mayo, Hightower, Nink, Love almost certain guarantees (and I put that loosely given BB) that leaves 5-7 spots for a whole litany of front 7 players hoping to make the team. M Carter might be on the outside looking in once again as he continues to develop
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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    I like the competition in the front 7, I think it will be as strong as the WR competition. Markell Carter will make the 53 in my opinion but we will have to wait to see and as far as 4-3, 3-4  that depends on the final personel as well as the opponents from week to week. BB likes to be able to switch between them and more who could forget the no down linemen he has used in the past. His defenses are mind blowing.
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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    The expansion of the roster from 80 to 90 during camp and into pre-season has done a lot to bring greater excitement and greater competition to every position. The coaching staff will have to make some tough decisions and as always with the Pats it will come down to who is best to fill certain roles/run certain schemes. Overall, this is good for the league and players as more players get shots to make teams and teams have more possibilities to re-set themselves. And teams with the best coaching staffs to develop players will rule. 

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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    In Response to Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet:
    The good thing is even some of the players that wont make the team may be system players that wont catch on eslewhere and we can keep them on speed dial. So you have the 8 p/s players. Garaunteed a couple guys will get hurt in camp and put to I/R. If B.B. has any rookies that show promise but arent ready, he may I/R them for next season and keep them from getting away. Its not a job I would want(cutting down roster) but B.B. would rather have a problem of too many good players then not enough. He knows how to manipulate the system better than any coach in the league and will find a way to keep all the good ones around somehow. I havent heard many people mention CB, but I think there is some competition there too and really no garuanteed spots considering we dont know what role McCourty will play. W.Allen could be a starter for us for all we know so I will be watching that closely as well. I also would like them to bring in one more veteran CB after June 1st. We have some bodies, but not many good/great players there. I am Hoping Ras I steps up and can contribute on a weekly basis. He really looked intriging last year and didnt give up anything in those 2 weeks he played.
    Posted by patsfan76

    The reason might be because there isn't currently a lot of depth at the CB position. If you really think about it, the Pats typically carry 5-6 CB's going into the season, this is who they have listed on the roster at the current time as a CB (not including S's):

    Will Allen
    Kyle Arrington
    Devon McCourty
    Ras-I Dowling
    Sterling Moore
    Alfonzo Dennard
    Marquice Cole

    Right there you have 7 players with 3 of those players possibly being swing S's (Moore, McCourty, Dennard). So, given only the current roster they will most likely only release 1 player out of that group maybe 2 at most. Not a ton of competition.

    Now if you want to talk S's that's got a number of people for competition. That typically carries 4-5 players going into the season and players they currently have listed as S's are:

    Patrick Chung
    Nate Ebner
    Tavon Wilson
    Michael Willaims
    Sergio Brown
    Steve Gregory
    Josh Barrett

    and of course you have Dennard, Moore, and McCourty who are swing players and could compete for a spot at S too. The S position will have some interesting competition. My guess would be they carry 6 CB's and 4 S's, with 1 of the CB's also playing a number of snaps as a FS so it's almost like having an extra DB on the roster. If you put a gun to my head Brown, Barrett are outside looking in (given injury history and lack of performance) with Williams dueling it out for that last spot against Ebner
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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    Should be some great competition at most spots on the team both offense & defense...I have no doubt we'll lose some players on both sides of the ball we thought would stick....I love how Bill continues to experement & mold this team....great talent & depth are a good problem to have...our scraps will be picked up & used as starters by a good many teams & that's just the way it goes....I just hope we do keep the best & find a way to keep the young ones for the future....LET THE COMPETITION BEGIN!!!
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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

         Will Markel Carter develop into a Mark Anderson/Jeremy Moncey type pass-rusher? Or, will he be the second coming of Pierre Woods/Shaun Crable?:

         Here's some of the scouting reports on Carter, done at the time he entered the 2011 NFL draft. The main knocks against him were his relative lack of strength, lack of elite speed off the edge, and not having competed against top grade competition, while playing at Central Arkansas:



    3.) This report is current:

         I'm highly optimistic that this kid will contribute this season. It appears that he and Jermaine Cunningham will be battling for a roster spot.
         Speaking of Cunningham:  

    1.) Patriots OLB Jermaine Cunningham

    It was clear that Bill Belichick was a Cunningham fan after drafting the Florida product in the second round in 2010, and Patriots fans expected Cunningham to be the edge rusher the team seeked. Despite playing in 15 games with 11 starts as a rookie, Cunningham finished with only one sack and four QB hits, to go along with 35 tackles. In 2011, his role had completely diminished after the team featured more "40" fronts, which would move Cunningham to defensive end. In nine games, he made one tackle, before ending the season on injured reserve with a hamstring ailment.

    This could be Cunningham’s last shot to make the squad, and it’s possible that finally getting a full offseason will get Cunningham playing at the level Belichick hoped when drafting him. The Patriots drafted three front-seven players — Dont’a Hightower, Jake Bequette and Chandler Jones — and Cunningham is very much on the roster bubble, but if a full offseason is all he needs to finally show some pass-rush effectiveness, it certainly would benefit the Patriots’ defensive front....and;

    2.) BB Talks of the Struggles of Jermaine Cunningham:
    He started the year as someone many people believed could make a serious impact on the Patriots’ defense — including his old coach Urban Meyer — but to this point, 2011 has been a lost season for linebacker Jermaine Cunningham.

    The 6-foot-3, 266-pounder finished his rookie season with 35 tackles (27 solo), one sack and two forced fumbles, and according to Pro Football Focus, was on the field for 577 of New England’s 1,108 defensive plays in 2010.

    But a myriad of things have conspired against Cunningham this year. The Patriots brought in several veterans to fill that end spot in their four-man front, including Andre Carter and Shaun Ellis. In addition, he’s appeared to fight his way through injury, and has been forced to get accustomed to New England’s move from a three-man front to a four-man front this season.

    As a result, his playing time has dropped off dramatically this season. After starting 11 games last season, he has zero starting assignments in 2011, and has just one tackle in four games this year.

    “I think one of the things that Jermaine has had to work through is the time that he missed in training camp and the preseason games at the end of preseason; for a second-year player, especially,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of Cunningham. “With him, last year really playing outside linebacker and doing that and this year we transitioned into a little bit more of a multiple defensive front, it’s been a little bit of an adjustment for him. Missing that time didn’t help him any.

    “He’s worked hard and he’s done a good job to get back on the field and get rehabbed and get back out there. He’s improving; he’s gotten a little better each week. I think he’s definitely on the upswing here and a guy that we hope will be able to contribute for us.”

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    Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet

    Lazarus - interesting take - and not necessarily wrong!
    On topic - I think it is going to be an interesting preseason. BB has done a masterful job of winning big during a period of time where he has transitioned from the aging original superbowl roster to a new crop of rising players. TB is the ONLY starter from the first SB win still on the team now that ML retired. But this year the decisions on the 53 man roster are going to be a balancing act between 'win now' and making sure next year is not a struggle. On Offense I think there are a lot of choices to be made regarding  very good players who only have a year left (two at most) and good players with a longer horizon and more up-side.
    WR - Stallworth, Branch, and to a lesser extent Ocho, WW are at the ends of their careers, but for this year are better than the younger alternatives.
    RB - Addai
    OL - Koppen, Waters, and maybe Gallery
    DL - Warren, A. Carter
    On DL except for Warren and Carter, it is more a group of guys that are on their third or fourth year with the team and have not broken through vs. the newer guys that may have more up-side - Pryor, Brace, Deaderick, Cunningham.

    I think it will be interesting to see how it shakes out. If all the 'old guys' stick there may be a lot of holes to fill come next year and not a lot of replacements already on the roster.
    I do think getting rookies to the PS will be easier this year because of the expanded rosters - all the teams will have guys that have been through their preseason that they want to put on their PS so they will not be looking as hard to fill gaps in their 53 man roster with unproven talent. But they will be looking for guys like McDonald or Thomas or Wendell who have a year or two in the NFL should they get cut by the Pats.