TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

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    TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

         Is the perceived Pats' strength at TE a mere mirage?  Rob Gronkowski is coming off five surgeries...Aaron Hernandez is returning after having undergone shoulder surgery, and Jake Ballard apparently has yet to fully recovery from his serious knee injury:  - Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has had four surgeries on his broken arm — he was hurt in November and again in January — and now will undergo back surgery later this month. It’s not realistic he can be ready for the start of camp. Aaron Hernandez, the Pats other indispensable tight end, had offseason shoulder surgery, but is expected to be ready for camp. Former Giants TE Jake Ballard, who tore his ACL in the Super Bowl against New England 16 months ago and then was claimed months later by Bill Belichick as the Giants tried to sneak him through waivers and put him on the PUP list, missed all of last season. He took part on a limited basis in the recent OTAs, but the Patriots web site reports Ballard is running with a “discernible limp.”

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/myers-best-worst-qb-messes-nfl-article-1.1360664#ixzz2VcbLhOuM

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from natesubs. Show natesubs's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?




    they will be fine. quit being so negative.  there is still a few months till the regular season starts. and suffield looked good too amd hooman was pretty good last year as well.






    with enough thrust, pigs fly just fine!

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ATJ. Show ATJ's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    I certainly agree that you can hardly call it a position of strength at this point.  Gronk will miss all of camp and Hern and Ballard are pretty much question marks although Hern will probably be ok.  Ballard, I think, needs to prove it to himself as much as anyone that his knee has recovered.  Perhaps as the season unfolds it will be but right now their TE status is questionable.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from tenace4life. Show tenace4life's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    Fells, Ford, Hoomanawanui, and this new kid Sudfeld may be as good a group of tight ends as most other teams in the league . . . Sudfeld may even beat out Ballard for the 3rd TE position.  If one of Gronk, Hern and Ballard are 100% we will be fine and if two of them are 100% we will be unstoppable.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    with  Hernandez, Gronk, and Ballard are still recovering from injuries? Not a strength right this second.  If they're healthy? The best TE corp in the NFL.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    Gronk will be on the pup and by game 8 - 10 will be getting his playing legs under him. Perhaps this means he will be healthy for the playoffs. Ballard should be fine. He doesnt need to be all pro. Just a decent receiver and a decent blocker.

    Hern will be given whatever time he needs as well as the Pats will be able to use one or two of the scrubs and will be able to go with an extra WR in place of him if they need to.

     

    Come late season I expect this to be the strongest TE group in the league. THough I will say that Cinci will have one that is especially good too.

     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from sportsbozo1. Show sportsbozo1's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    With all the scheduled surgeries and the uncertainty of Ballards health, it's not a wonder that BB brought in two TE's and a FB who projects to being an H back. The bases have been covered just in case Gronk isn't ready by Camp! Ford,Sudfeld,Bartholemew and the incumbents Fells and Hooman will man the ship until the big boys are ready.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to portfolio1's comment:

    Come late season I expect this to be the strongest TE group in the league. THough I will say that Cinci will have one that is especially good too. 



    Agreed, by midseason this should be the strongest position group in the NFL.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

     

    There are two question marks.  First is the injuries--will they be healthy?  The second is talent.  While Gronk is a proven All Pro in my opinion, I am not quite as enthralled by Hernandez (too many drops and fumbles and a bit of inconsistency in his play last year); Ballard had one decent year (after bouncing around practice squads as an undrafted rookie in 2012); Hoomananui is a reasonable back up, but not a quality starter; Fells hardly contributed last year despite injuries that gave him opportunities; and the other two guys (Sudfeld and Ford) are undrafted rookies who haven't proven anything.

     

    I'm optimistic that things will work out well in the end, but no, I don't think you can confidently say that the TEs are necessarily going to be a strength this year that we can rely on to carry most of the offense.  Because of this, we really need to work on getting more versatility in the offense with a wider selection of wide receivers and backs who can contribute.

     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    TE is not, in fact, if you factor injuries. Have we got a firm bead on when Gronk gets back? It makes all the difference in the world. 

    I think last estimate I saw was week 4-6?

     

    blog post photo
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    There are two question marks.  First is the injuries--will they be healthy?  The second is talent.  While Gronk is a proven All Pro in my opinion, I am not quite as enthralled by Hernandez (too many drops and fumbles and a bit of inconsistency in his play last year); Ballard had one decent year (after bouncing around practice squads as an undrafted rookie in 2012); Hoomananui is a reasonable back up, but not a quality starter; Fells hardly contributed last year despite injuries that gave him opportunities; and the other two guys (Sudfeld and Ford) are undrafted rookies who haven't proven anything.

     

    I'm optimistic that things will work out well in the end, but no, I don't think you can confidently say that the TEs are necessarily going to be a strength this year that we can rely on to carry most of the offense.  Because of this, we really need to work on getting more versatility in the offense with a wider selection of wide receivers and backs who can contribute.

     



    Judging by the attention he garners from opposing DCs, I think the NFL is sold on Hernandez as a talent. 

    Yeah, he doesn't have the surest hands, but they also aren't an issue. He isn't leading or even top 30 in drop rate among qualifiers, so it's just a minor drawback. However, he is terrific at getting open and dynamite after the catch and pretty versatile. 

    On another team he is a 1000 yard Hback guy. 

    It's not his fault that this team runs every single quality target over each other. 

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    There are two question marks.  First is the injuries--will they be healthy?  The second is talent.  While Gronk is a proven All Pro in my opinion, I am not quite as enthralled by Hernandez (too many drops and fumbles and a bit of inconsistency in his play last year); Ballard had one decent year (after bouncing around practice squads as an undrafted rookie in 2012); Hoomananui is a reasonable back up, but not a quality starter; Fells hardly contributed last year despite injuries that gave him opportunities; and the other two guys (Sudfeld and Ford) are undrafted rookies who haven't proven anything.

     

    I'm optimistic that things will work out well in the end, but no, I don't think you can confidently say that the TEs are necessarily going to be a strength this year that we can rely on to carry most of the offense.  Because of this, we really need to work on getting more versatility in the offense with a wider selection of wide receivers and backs who can contribute.

     



    RESPONSE: A good, well reasoned, objective post. Refreshing to see, in these Homer infested waters.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    There are two question marks.  First is the injuries--will they be healthy?  The second is talent.  While Gronk is a proven All Pro in my opinion, I am not quite as enthralled by Hernandez (too many drops and fumbles and a bit of inconsistency in his play last year); Ballard had one decent year (after bouncing around practice squads as an undrafted rookie in 2012); Hoomananui is a reasonable back up, but not a quality starter; Fells hardly contributed last year despite injuries that gave him opportunities; and the other two guys (Sudfeld and Ford) are undrafted rookies who haven't proven anything.

     

    I'm optimistic that things will work out well in the end, but no, I don't think you can confidently say that the TEs are necessarily going to be a strength this year that we can rely on to carry most of the offense.  Because of this, we really need to work on getting more versatility in the offense with a wider selection of wide receivers and backs who can contribute.

     



    Oh yeah, well rounded objective post. We have a "talent" question at the TE position. Thanks Pat and Pro for opening my homerville eyes to the real state of affairs with these guys. Its just too bad coach thought the TE group was 100 million dollar type talent. 

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    Let's see what happens when the season starts.  Overall, the team has a good fold of TEs on the roster.  Health is the key for the top three.  Take that x-factor out, they have the best in the league. If anything, getting those top three in tip top shape for a playoff run will serve the team best as any combination of what they have in camp will be more than adequate through the regular season.

    AGCSBill, just a fan havin' fun!!

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kylerocks. Show kylerocks's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    Every team in the league is now trying to copy what the Patriots have in their TE personell package and almost all of them would trade what they have at TE for ours in a flat second, even with the overblown health concerns.  Chicago was stoked to get Bennet who would probably be our 3rd or 4th best TE, NYG are rolling with Myers as their number 1, a guy who was irrelevant until Oaklands check down offense made him viable last season, even San Fran with one of the fastest most athletic TEs in the league is hoping that Davis rounds back into form to be close to what Hernandez was for his first two years in the league.  Injuries happen in football and that's why you load up on talent to create mismatches.  Call me a homer but I wouldn't trade these guys for any other TE tandem in the league.  Not a strength? Come December and January this group of guys will be some of the ultimate weapons in the NFL.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:

    Thanks Pat and Pro for opening my homerville eyes to the real state of affairs with these guys. Its just too bad coach thought the TE group was 100 million dollar type talent. 

    RESPONSE: What's this? A Homer criticising BB for spending big money to lock up Gronk and Hernandez?? As I recall, everybody here was on board with that decision. In fact, many of the heroic Homers were referring to it as yet another stroke of BB genius. But now that both players have been bitten by the injury bug, BB made a huge mistake?? LOL!!!   

        

     

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to TexasPat's comment:

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:

    Thanks Pat and Pro for opening my homerville eyes to the real state of affairs with these guys. Its just too bad coach thought the TE group was 100 million dollar type talent. 

    RESPONSE: What's this? A Homer criticising BB for spending big money to lock up Gronk and Hernandez?? As I recall, everybody here was on board with that decision. In fact, many of the heroic Homers were referring to it as yet another stroke of BB genius. But now that both players have been bitten by the injury bug, BB made a huge mistake?? LOL!!!   

        

     



    I would bet that even you would not trade this group of TEs for any other team's TE in the league. And that is saying a lot. If I am wrong than so are essentially every assessor of NFL talent. We could all be wrong but ... no we are not.

    WOuld I like not to ahve any health issues? Sure. And I would like no one on the team to get an injury. So?

     

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to zbellino's comment:

     

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     

     

     

    There are two question marks.  First is the injuries--will they be healthy?  The second is talent.  While Gronk is a proven All Pro in my opinion, I am not quite as enthralled by Hernandez (too many drops and fumbles and a bit of inconsistency in his play last year); Ballard had one decent year (after bouncing around practice squads as an undrafted rookie in 2012); Hoomananui is a reasonable back up, but not a quality starter; Fells hardly contributed last year despite injuries that gave him opportunities; and the other two guys (Sudfeld and Ford) are undrafted rookies who haven't proven anything.

     

    I'm optimistic that things will work out well in the end, but no, I don't think you can confidently say that the TEs are necessarily going to be a strength this year that we can rely on to carry most of the offense.  Because of this, we really need to work on getting more versatility in the offense with a wider selection of wide receivers and backs who can contribute.

     

     

     



    Judging by the attention he garners from opposing DCs, I think the NFL is sold on Hernandez as a talent. 

     

     

    Yeah, he doesn't have the surest hands, but they also aren't an issue. He isn't leading or even top 30 in drop rate among qualifiers, so it's just a minor drawback. However, he is terrific at getting open and dynamite after the catch and pretty versatile. 

    On another team he is a 1000 yard Hback guy. 

    It's not his fault that this team runs every single quality target over each other. 

     



    Fair enough, and injuries last year may have contributed to his inconsistency.  He wasn't on the field for long enough stretches maybe to really reach his full midseason stride ever.

     

    The drops did seem more noticeable to me last year compared with the year before, but I haven't looked at the stats.  

     

    Update--some analysis here:

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/01/22/signature-stats-drop-rate-tight-ends/

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to tenace4life's comment:

    Fells, Ford, Hoomanawanui, and this new kid Sudfeld may be as good a group of tight ends as most other teams in the league . . . Sudfeld may even beat out Ballard for the 3rd TE position.  If one of Gronk, Hern and Ballard are 100% we will be fine and if two of them are 100% we will be unstoppable.



    Agree with Sudfeld, while the kid needs to get much stronger in the upper body, his forty, three cone and vertical were solid, top 10 combine numbers.

    Gronk is as good a pure fullback as there is in the league, maybe not as pure receiver as Hernendez and best of the Hbacks, he is a devastating blocker out of the backfield.

    I don't get the part where Fells didn't contribute much, he played quite a bit and made some crucial blocks, if he gets cut it will becuse he gets paid more then others.

    Gronk, Hern, Ballard, Huey, Fells and Sudfeld are as deep a unit as you'll find in all the NFL.  If being a "homer" is being able to spot the obvious than count me in.

     

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to TexasPat's comment:

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:

    Thanks Pat and Pro for opening my homerville eyes to the real state of affairs with these guys. Its just too bad coach thought the TE group was 100 million dollar type talent. 

    RESPONSE: What's this? A Homer criticising BB for spending big money to lock up Gronk and Hernandez?? As I recall, everybody here was on board with that decision. In fact, many of the heroic Homers were referring to it as yet another stroke of BB genius. But now that both players have been bitten by the injury bug, BB made a huge mistake?? LOL!!!   

        

     


    That was called sarcasm big fella. Now go start another thread on how Bill Belichicks drafting is ruining the best team in recent nfl history.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from digger0862. Show digger0862's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    If healthy, the Patriots TEs are the best in the NFL. Here's to health!

    http://ll-media.extratv.com/2013/02/02/robgronkowski2-615x400.jpg

     
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  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    In response to tenace4life's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    Fells, Ford, Hoomanawanui, and this new kid Sudfeld may be as good a group of tight ends as most other teams in the league . . . Sudfeld may even beat out Ballard for the 3rd TE position.  If one of Gronk, Hern and Ballard are 100% we will be fine and if two of them are 100% we will be unstoppable.

     



    Agree with Sudfeld, while the kid needs to get much stronger in the upper body, his forty, three cone and vertical were solid, top 10 combine numbers.

     

    Gronk is as good a pure fullback as there is in the league, maybe not as pure receiver as Hernendez and best of the Hbacks, he is a devastating blocker out of the backfield.

    I don't get the part where Fells didn't contribute much, he played quite a bit and made some crucial blocks, if he gets cut it will becuse he gets paid more then others.

    Gronk, Hern, Ballard, Huey, Fells and Sudfeld are as deep a unit as you'll find in all the NFL.  If being a "homer" is being able to spot the obvious than count me in.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Fells did play more snaps than I thought (roughly the same as Hoo).  My perception though is based more on his lack of contribution in the passing game (just four receptions).  Gronk is such a great player because he blocks well and is also a great receiver.  This enables us to use the TEs as a primary weapon on offense.  While a blocking TE is important, you can't have that special two-TE offense the Pats have without two guys who are prime receiving threats.  Fells may be a good blocking TE, but the strength of the position for the Pats has more to do with the fact that both TEs are great receivers.  This has allowed us to get by with such a thin WR group.  If we don't have Gronk and Hern, I think the two TE offense ends up being less potent and we see more one TE formations, with WRs re-emphasized and maybe even more two back formations. 

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

     

    Just a further comment.  The rush to create two TE offenses around the league suggests to me that many coaches don't really get what BB is doing.  They think "scheme" is what's important, and that they just need to copy a successful scheme to get the same magic BB gets.  What BB understands, however, is that the scheme follows talent.  BB runs a two TE offense because that's the best way to utilize the great talents of those two guys.  Replace those two guys with two other TEs who don't have the same skills and it's just not the same thing.  If Gronk and Hern are not available because of injury, I don't expect a two TE offense.  I expect BB to adjust the offense to get his best offensive players on the field in the most advantageous formations.  So with Gronk and Hern out, you might not see Ballard and Hoo or Fells and Hoo as replacements--you might instead see a whole different approach--maybe a three-receiver offense or a two-back offense.  The scheme isn't set in my opinion.  It will be adjusted to ensure that the best talent gets on the field in the most advantageous way for that particular combination of talent.  This is exactly why BB is such a great coach.  He isn't rigid in his schemes and let's the talent dictate the approach. 

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    Just a further comment.  The rush to create two TE offenses around the league suggests to me that many coaches don't really get what BB is doing.  They think "scheme" is what's important, and that they just need to copy a successful scheme to get the same magic BB gets.  What BB understands, however, is that the scheme follows talent.  BB runs a two TE offense because that's the best way to utilize the great talents of those two guys.  Replace those two guys with two other TEs who don't have the same skills and it's just not the same thing.  If Gronk and Hern are not available because of injury, I don't expect a two TE offense.  I expect BB to adjust the offense to get his best offensive players on the field in the most advantageous formations.  So with Gronk and Hern out, you might not see Ballard and Hoo or Fells and Hoo as replacements--you might instead see a whole different approach--maybe a three-receiver offense or a two-back offense.  The scheme isn't set in my opinion.  It will be adjusted to ensure that the best talent gets on the field in the most advantageous way for that particular combination of talent.  This is exactly why BB is such a great coach.  He isn't rigid in his schemes and let's the talent dictate the approach. 



    It's also part of the system NE runs on offense.  Most of the plays are recycled plays from single back formation and pro-set/I formation from earlier in the decade. 

    The way this offense works, you can run the same tandem routes you ran with a FB or HB with a TE like Hern by just placing him at the line as if he had just motioned out of the backfield. 

    It's interesting how "shocked" people were a couple years back when the playoffs rolled around and NE's big wrinkle in game one was running Hern out of the backfield. I think he had one designed carry and a few routes. But those were just the old Keith Byars routes, many of which he runs now.

    A lot of teams theoreticall could introduce a second TE to the offense, but they would have to develop a whole new set of plays. For BB it was really about transposing plays. 

     
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