In Response to Re: Ocho in OTA's still doesnt know where to line up..how long till hes cut.....
In Response to Re: Ocho in OTA's still doesnt know where to line up..how long till hes cut..... : Lazzeris, if Lloyd puts up those stats and helps the team win games and make a serious run at the Super Bowl then I'd be thrilled. Stallworth did more than you think. He opened the field up for other guys. Faulk caught 50 passes that season, Maroney (that guy everyone hates) and Morris combined for a very capable rushing attack and, well, Moss/Welker were nearly unstoppable. They were more balanced that year because guys like Moss and Stallworth kept defenses on their heels.
Posted by CaptainZdeno33
Likewise however, they became the death-nell of being absolutely 1 dimensional on Offense during the last few games and span of their playoff run in 2007, upon Sammy Morris being knocked out for the year, Gaffney getting dinged up, and Stallworth's failures to do precisely this ("open things up for Welker & Moss"), any time after the first half of that season.
YET...I'm in 100% Complete and total agreement: IF Donte Stallworth can simply produce the exact same numbers which he did in 2007 (46 Rceptions 697 yards 3 TDs- I believe it was), yea- I'd take that RUNNING...More than happy with this. Gimme 5 Eligible Receivers (WRs + TEs) who can each throw up 700 yards...that'd be sweet.
Biggest issue for me centers around the wideout spot as it relates specifically to Age &/Or then Injury Concerns, and all weighed on top of roster limitations and the 2013 year and any year beyond that in NE... Here, I'll relate 2 seperate groupings, 1 of Stallworth, OchoCinco, and Branch- the next of Welker, Gonzalez, and Edelman.
1st one (Stall/Ocho/Branch):
Stallworth being 32 yrs old now, will be 33 come November... At the same time, Donte's the youngest of these 3 guys, He might also be the lesser of either of the other 2, in terms of what he'll inevitably bring in terms of production here in NE. Stallworth had difficulties getting on the same page with Brady during his 1st stint here in 2007 (Not "Ocho" 2011 type difficulties...but absolute difficulties nonetheless). He also has had some off-field issues, along with never fully even once, living up to what a great majority believed to be his full wideout potential in the pros... YET comparatively to Branch for instance, Stallworth's built (6'0 220lbs) SO solid and thick (ever see a pic of this guy back in the day?), and this'll be his 10th season (compared to 5'9 195lber Branch's 11th, and 6'1 200lb'er Ocho's 12th). Just sayin' here, in terms of BEYOND this 2012 Year, the notion of cutting Stallworth in favor of whom ya might initially presume to offer the slightly better chance of wideout production in an older and more likely to break down & slow further down, Branch & Ocho, Just might be something that'cha need to take into account...
Branch will be 33 years old once training camp opens up... And he's the most entrenched in NE's system & QB, is an awesome lockerroom fixture...but who is also less fortunately, the one who misses games (seemingly every single season) with often times, a pretty major injury...And who's also both the oldest, and the one who's lost the "greater" athletic step (although remains absolutely aware of schemes, QB adjustments, and vet knowledge of D's and NE's system in order to make up for it a good deal). Again, this makes for a VERY- and far tougher situation and final call by Belichick at the end of August...
Ocho, on the otherhand, IS the only bona fide ALL-Pro of the bunch here... Unfortunately, it appears that living in the madhouse of The Bengals for an entire decade+, might have ultimately destroyed his game as it relates to the here and now, of the NE Patriots Offensive Team & System he's in... Not only does this end up being the very first pro team Ocho's trying to learn the nuances in the pros, since his first year 12 years prior...but it was CINCY for gahd sakes- I'm not even sure the coaches actually designed real passing plays there for a great amount of time (I think it was more like-stick in the dirt-"you go about hereeee...If the pebble is covering you- just run deeper, o.k.?"). Still, doesn't make up for a pro football HOF'er having this amount of continuing difficulties w/ getting a decent grasping of this NE passing system (my words as a coach to ocho would be-"NOT- MY- Problem...Start getting results, or I'll get rid of you")... And despite what any hater of Ocho says about his tweeting or celebratory fun n games on-field antics of yesteryear, he's shown himself to be an EXTREMELY great lockerroom guy...especially in light of him being a HOF'er at a diva position on the field, and playing the good quiet soldier, upon having so little part in last season's successes <beit his fault OR not...doesn't matter />). ~Question is
: Do ya actually keep ALL 3 of these guys? I wouldn't, given age, slwoing down, and varying injury concerns. So, 2...? But, which 2? I'm gonna wager a strong bet and say that Gaffney (6'2 200lbs, 11th year, 32 years old this full year) is the most assured "lock" above Any ONE of these guys...Gaffney left on decent terms (for his first decent paying contract, that NE didn't match). And Gaffney was still actually steadily improving his overall game, far further into his pro tenure than most pro football players do upon him getting full entrenched starting time at wideout w/ whatever team he's been on (since NE in '07-450 yards, 470 yards, 730 yards, 875 yards, 950 yards- to today)...guy's actually on the rise STILL?!? I'm just sayin' w/ Ocho, Branch, and Stallworth=1 OR 2 (my actual choice) HAVE to go imho... IF it means squeeking out just 1 more semi productive 700 yard season with ANY of these three, and needing to either cut, or just not develop Britt Davis (6'3 205lber 2nd year from N Illi...who was viewed as a sorta sleeper potential later round gem from draft a couple year's back), OR cutting/shelving/not-developing-until-it's-too-late (6'0 195lb rook whom seems to have amassed 6 trillion yards for Northwestern in college) Jeremy Ebert, or Matt Roark (6'5 220lb Kentucky wideout...another highly regarded guy for his late draft/undrafted chance for potential)... What do you do?
2nd one (Welker, Gonzalez, and Edelman):
Unfortunately, ya wanna know whom my very 1st "lock" would actually be here? It'd be Edelman... He's got above-average punt returning duties (below average KR'ing skills however). He's already entrenched in NE's system for this long (3 years w/ team). He's young with little to no wear n tear vs the other two (his injury time luckily has come when NE wasn't in desperate need for his services <Welker />) <just turned 26 yrs old a week ago and he's never even had a full year of bone-breaking wear on him>.
Wes Welker is a lock...and Wes Welker is a stud. Wes Welker is Brady's bread n butter. But Wes Welker VERY Well, Might be playing in his very last season as a NE Patriot Wide Receiver... You guys should both know that I'm extremely pro player (vs. ownership), But that I also blame Brady (folks, that wasn't a HOF QB Superbowl-Winning quality throw to Wes) AND Welker (folks, IF you're a pro WR and you even desperately manage to get 2 hands on the ball- YOU come down with it)- BOTH as equals to fault for that failed execution...AND finally (even though player over owner and fault brady & wes equally), I believe 110% that a slot wideout getting passes from Tom Brady, should NOT be making Calvin Johnson money, and solidifying THIS sheer amount of NE's cap space (at the absolute expense of acquiring other pieces and parcels to build this team). Welker's clearly in...but unless he comes to his Top 3 #1 WR Contract vs #1 Slot WR Contract money-Overall Senses...he'll be remaining here for this season alone...
Anthony Gonzalez HAS shown some mad skills...but at such interspersed moments in his career unfortunately, do to the insane amount of injuries he's had... Idk- After his first 2 years ('07 & '08), Gonzalez has only played in 11 Games (past 3 seasons) and has accumulated during this complete span, a whopping total of 67 total yards... Imo, Gonzalez would be THE one to get cut first (out of ANY of these 6 vet WRs in these 2 groupings).... BUT...~Question is
: That is (w/ Gonzalez)-unless....UNLESS Gonzalez could offer something similiar to what those smaller decently speedy but really smart & sure-handed wideouts like Branch and Patten have done in NE's passing system prior... IF Gonzalez can...and IF Gonzalez IS back to complete 100% health form, then, wow_ I'd actually (I know this is heresy), consider keeping Gonzalez, AND Stallworth...at the expense of Branch & Ocho. That'd offer NE: Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, Donte Stallworth, Anthony Gonzalez, Julian Edelman, Wes Welker (for just 1 year)...then 1 (maybe 2) of the favored and better looking rookies of: Jeremy Ebert, Britt Davis, and Matt Roark. 7 WRs (and w/ Ebert and Edelman, you have some special team's capabilities...I know it's non-transferable seein' as how Matthew Slater's a PR 'gunner'...but he's out if I had a determination here- Gotta make room).
Unless (and potentially a better scenario): Ya could find a way to stash 2 of those Rooks (not just 1), while also placing maybe Gonzalez on those first 6 week PUP deal, while keeping either Ocho and Branch during this span in order to better determine both how well Ocho's performing in this Offense early throughout the first 3rd of this season, How well Stallworth is producing up to the potential of his game AND is on the same page as Brady, And/VERSES How well Branch is holding up throughout the first 1/3rd course of next year... Doing it by this scenario allows you a bit more breathing room to sense how things are fairing and who's expendable in the end.