Re: The Run Game
posted at 8/17/2013 8:16 PM EDT
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
In response to zbellino's comment:
That was my point earlier. Unless they have some other plan for KR, I don't see how Bolden makes this roster if cut downs were today.
Given that, there is time left and Blount is a total headcase. He could do anything to sacrifice the position he has himself in line for. There is no question he has looked better than Bolden, but he has put on a show before only to turn into sulky Blount afterward.
To be frank, given your list, if they were to carry a fifth RB at the expense elswhere, I'd rather it be a FB like Develin. He at least adds the dimension of running a proper I, wing, or pro-set formation, whereas Bolden would just be redundant and less skilled than the rest.
I tend to agree. Develin is a different type of player than anyone else they have (though Hoo actually plays sort of like a FB, though I don't think I've seen him used as a runner).
They did give Bolden a few snaps on the first two series. Mostly what I remember were a few two-back formations with Bolden and Vereen flanking Brady in the shotgun and both going out for passes. One of these plays, at least, went for a nice gain on a pass to Vereen. Bolden does catch better than Ridley and (I believe) better than Blount, so if you're going to send two backs out in passing patterns, Bolden and Vereen is probably the best combo. But it was Vereen who got the ball. I think right now Bolden's opportunity is to show he can be a better receiver than Blount while being a similar running threat. But so far, he hasn't really demonstrated the productivity in either the running or the passing game to displace Blount I don't think.
None of the three are really good receivers. I think I'd give the nod, myself, to Blount though. For all his girth, he has remarkable flexibility. That's usually what you look for in a RB who is meant to catch.
Develin really is kind of vieing against Hoo for a spot, but also the running backs.
I think an under-discussed aspect are Washington's prospects. Really he is such a standout KR I hope they keep him around. He's been in on all their KR reps, so that is a good sign.
It's been a spot NE has needed to improve on since Tate left, and before that for a while too, since Bethel Johnson.
I place a high value on good KR/PRs, KRs especially because a good one can get you half a drive in one jaunt, and a lot more frequently than a PR, who has a harder job by the nature of the coverage/kick.
I really want to see NE get some help from the KR game this season, and hopefully post-season. I'm tired of going to the playoffs and seeing the ST just no-show. It's like people forgot this is a three phase game, and that NE won some games on big plays from those units in the past.