The Road to 53, Vol. 3

DETROIT – Well, for the first time, all the pieces totally fit with ease when assembling this 53-man roster.

Of course, that means I’m completely wrong.

But here it is, with a few comments to follow.

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Some thoughts:

  • There were no changes on the offensive side of the ball.
  • The big questions lingering there are how will they disperse the personnel between RB, WR and TE? Because QB and the OL are set for me.
  • Forget anything I said about Brian Hoyer last week. That’s over. Ryan Mallett isn’t near ready.
  • Love me some Sammy Morris, but I just don’t see the need for him. The Patriots just don’t run many two-back sets. Might as well go light there until Kevin Faulk comes off of PUP after Week 6.
  • Matthew Slater or Brandon Tate? I’d rather go for the more durable guy and the player who can cover kicks. That may change once we see Tate get on the field, which likely won’t be tonight.
  • Still see three TEs and Will Yeatman being the guy until Lee Smith gets totally healthy. The Patriots run too many three TE sets – there’s your fullback in short yardage instead of Morris – and Hernandez gets dinged a lot to go light there, even if Alge Crumpler may be back at some point.
  • On defense, we’ve made a few position switches. Shaun Ellis goes from tackle to end, and Aaron Lavarias goes from end to OLB, where he has been playing.
  • The big move is cutting Mark Anderson. He didn’t show enough against the Buccaneers and his role was reduced – and that’s even before Albert Haynesworth, Ellis, Mike Wright and Jermaine Cunningham are back in the rotation. Anderson needs to show something tonight. The good thing for him – and going forward – is that he’s much faster on turf. The Patriots play on turf at home.
  • With Ellis’ switch and Anderson’s release, that gives a spot to Gerard Warren. That makes much more sense.
  • Moved two rookies, CB Malcolm Williams and LB Jeff Tarpinian, to injured reserve. Williams may actually end up there. Tarpinian seems closer but as the highest paid undrafted guy, I would try to stash him on IR if I’m the Patriots.
  • Tarpinian’s move makes room for Tracy White who has been much more physical on defense. We all know what he can do on special teams.

And that will do it.

Questions? Comments? I’m interested to hear them via email ( or on Twitter @GregABedard.


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