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Old 08-26-2014, 09:58 PM    (permalink
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Someone suggested it was to save cap, 4 million this year, 4 million next year, I really just don't get it.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:59 PM    (permalink
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If our OL can hold up without Mankins, this is a stud deal for the team. If not, we basically threw away all of the good work we did in the offseason.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:00 PM    (permalink
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Someone suggested it was to save cap, 4 million this year, 4 million next year, I really just don't get it.
It saves 13 million in cap over the next 2 years. It still costs us 4 million in dead cap each year though.

It's like a net savings of 5 million in cap space.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:27 PM    (permalink
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This seems more like a way to clear cap space rather than an effort to get equal value back. I'm not really thrilled with the return.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:51 PM    (permalink
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Also, I've been watching a few games worth of his targets on GamePass, and here are some miscellaneous thoughts on Wright:

Physically, he looks tall with long limbs, built very much like a wide receiver (not surprising given he didn't convert to tight end until last season.) I'd estimate his playing weight in these videos around 215-220 pounds. I didn't watch anything other than plays where he was targeted as a receiver, so I can't comment on his blocking, but based on his physical attributes I would be shocked if he had anything to offer in that capacity. He usually lines up in the slot to the right of Tampa's offensive line, but on a couple occasions I've seen him at fullback as well, running a route into the flat. I can't remember seeing him working as an inline tight end outside of the Philadelphia game. Typically he does a lot of work in the intermediate range, almost always working the middle of the field. He's able to generate some separation with his routes because of his athleticism; I've seen him run a few different routes for completions. He looks fast enough to challenge the seam but oftentimes breaks off his route beforehand. As a receiver, he has an impressive catch radius and routinely brings in throws away from his body. I'd say his hands look soft and reliable. Compared to Aaron Hernandez, he looks significantly taller, longer, and thinner, but his athletic ability seems comparable; however, where Hernandez was a dynamic runner with the ball in his hands, Wright tends to be tackled quickly afterward, with little power or agility. He should be effective as New England's flex tight end, but at the same time I wonder whether the team couldn't have found similar production from another 6'3" or 6'4" wide receiver in that role.

Games watched: Arizona, Philadelphia, Carolina

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Old 08-27-2014, 12:57 AM    (permalink
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Also, Jemea Thomas was among the team's cuts. I didn't think he'd make the final 53, but not even making the 75-man limit is not a good sign for him. Justin Jones cut as well.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:21 AM    (permalink
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Good stuff, but I think you're being a tad unfair the the bit at the end. Let's credit the guy for a fairly successful season, at the very least. It's not altogether uncommon for teams to attempt to convert a big receiver to tight end(or at least pretend he's one). Very few of them put up 600 yard seasons.

I'm not enamored with the trade either though.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:32 AM    (permalink
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Good stuff, but I think you're being a tad unfair the the bit at the end. Let's credit the guy for a fairly successful season, at the very least. It's not altogether uncommon for teams to attempt to convert a big receiver to tight end(or at least pretend he's one). Very few of them put up 600 yard seasons.

I'm not enamored with the trade either though.
Very few of them also play on a team with no competition for snaps, Luke Stocker having gone down in week two, Nate Byham in week four, and Tom Crabtree playing in just seven games. Wright was basically their only option at the position for an entire season, catching passes from a rookie quarterback who saw him as a safety valve. I'm not sure that would have been impossible for someone else to duplicate. Brandon LaFell in particular strikes me as someone who could have functioned as the "flex tight end" in the same way that Wright did. Tampa Bay's genius in that situation was recognizing that a 6'4" wide receiver who runs a 4.65 would have a better chance if he wasn't asked to block and basically worked exclusively against linebackers on passing routes. I think he was more of a throw-in than the real gain from the trade. New England was just happy to get the fourth and cap relief for Mankins, taking Wright as a small bonus.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:37 AM    (permalink
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I also think it's telling that after Wright's rookie season, the Buccaneers immediately went out and spent a top-forty pick on Austin Seferian-Jenkins. It's not like they envisioned Wright being their tight end of the future or anything.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:37 AM    (permalink
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From what I read NE had been trying to trade for Wright for the past two weeks. Schiano was at camp, Wright is from Rutgers, connecting the dots suggests NE really did want him. Mankins is the latest in a long line of vets the team trades when they can get some 'value' from him as opposed to cutting him and getting nothing, which the team would likely have done next year. In the end the FO probably thought Mankins production didn't justify his salary (which would completely ignore the intangibles.)

That said, I'm not not a fan of the trade. Mankins toughness and leadership aren't replaceable, qualities needed for any SB run. Like everyone else I really fear the offensive line is going to be a problem (it wasn't exactly stellar last year.) On the bright side, NFL talking heads I follow on twitter all seem to think Wright will flourish in this offense. (I do hope the trade doesn't mean the team will be cutting Tyms.)
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:31 AM    (permalink
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Now that I've slept on it here's my thoughts on the trade:

Firstly, I think all in all it is a fair trade for both sides. The Bucs had a huge need for an interior lineman and the Pats had a need at flex TE. Obviously Mankins is worth more as a player than Wright, but when you factor in age and the size of Mankins contract I think at this stage neither side will feel like they lost the trade.

On Mankins, for 10 years he was the tone setter on the line and played at a ridiculously high level over a five year span. But let's not think he was playing at the 2007 level last year. Injuries caught up with him and he suffered in pass pro, still a damn good run blocker though. This screams to me that the Pats wanted to get what they could for him, and let's not forget that many of us on this forum were debating whether or not he would be cut to save on the cap this year.

Tim Wright isn't going to set the world on fire, but as a pass catching TE he will absolutely have a role in this offense. As has been mentioned here, Hooman doesn't offer a lot as a pass catcher and moving Develin to TE IMO limits his effectiveness slightly. Having Wright play that role will allow the Pats at times to have 4 guys over 6'2 on the field catching passes.

I also don't buy the notion that the Bucs had already moved on from Wright by drafting ASJ and therefore he isn't that good. Because it is a new regime in TB who also don't like the second year QB who played pretty damn well at times last year. Lovie Smith didn't draft Wright (or Glennon) so has no loyalty to them.

If I could sum it all up I would say it's a good piece of business from the Pats. It gives them added flexibility with the cap when it comes to potentially resigning McCourty and Revis while avoids a potentially nasty decision on whether or not to cut Mankins. It also provides another pass catching option for Brady. Now in saying that, the first time Brady gets hit straight up the middle in less than 2 seconds we will all be cursing up and down.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:01 AM    (permalink
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I think New England might have the absolute worst unit in the league when it comes to interior offensive linemen. Is there any team you wouldn't want to swap guards and centers with? Fortunately, it's not like we're going to be playing divisional games against Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Damon Harrison, Randy Starks, and Jared Odrick, so we should be okay.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:11 AM    (permalink
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I also think it's telling that after Wright's rookie season, the Buccaneers immediately went out and spent a top-forty pick on Austin Seferian-Jenkins. It's not like they envisioned Wright being their tight end of the future or anything.
That you think we should be judging Wright on his ability to be an all-around, full-time TE is baffling. The Bucs didn't draft ASJ because of anything to do with Wright. They needed an in-line TE and a really good one was available, so they drafted one. Wright isn't a failed TE conversion. Wright is a big slot receiver like Hernandez or Graham.

You keep going on and on about whether the kid can block or not, but it doesn't even matter if he can block because that's not his job, and that's not what the Pats need from him. They have the best blocking TE in the NFL and two other very good blocking TEs on the roster already.

Wright's a 6'4 220lb slot receiver with good hands who can get downfield at a decent rate and jump 3 feet in the air standing still. If he's even close to what he was with the Bucs, the Patriots offense should have a lot less trouble sustaining and finishing drives.

And you're also kind of acting like the Bucs just threw the guy away. Yeah, they have options on offense to help replace his production, but it's not like they didn't get a Pro Bowl offensive lineman that they desperately needed in return.

Whether Wright is a good fit with the Pats or not isn't even part of the discussion. Of course he's a good fit. He's probably a great fit. What the discussion is is whether Connolly/Wendell suck again and whether Kline can be good enough as a starting G.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:18 AM    (permalink
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Also, I've been watching a few games worth of his targets on GamePass, and here are some miscellaneous thoughts on Wright:

Physically, he looks tall with long limbs, built very much like a wide receiver (not surprising given he didn't convert to tight end until last season.) I'd estimate his playing weight in these videos around 215-220 pounds. I didn't watch anything other than plays where he was targeted as a receiver, so I can't comment on his blocking, but based on his physical attributes I would be shocked if he had anything to offer in that capacity. He usually lines up in the slot to the right of Tampa's offensive line, but on a couple occasions I've seen him at fullback as well, running a route into the flat. I can't remember seeing him working as an inline tight end outside of the Philadelphia game. Typically he does a lot of work in the intermediate range, almost always working the middle of the field. He's able to generate some separation with his routes because of his athleticism; I've seen him run a few different routes for completions. He looks fast enough to challenge the seam but oftentimes breaks off his route beforehand. As a receiver, he has an impressive catch radius and routinely brings in throws away from his body. I'd say his hands look soft and reliable. Compared to Aaron Hernandez, he looks significantly taller, longer, and thinner, but his athletic ability seems comparable; however, where Hernandez was a dynamic runner with the ball in his hands, Wright tends to be tackled quickly afterward, with little power or agility. He should be effective as New England's flex tight end, but at the same time I wonder whether the team couldn't have found similar production from another 6'3" or 6'4" wide receiver in that role.

Games watched: Arizona, Philadelphia, Carolina

Typical alignment, positioned on the right hash in this photo:

I watched the coaches tape of his targets from about half of his coaches tape on game rewind as well, and have to say I agree pretty much with what was said above. Hernandez he is not, which is both a good and a bad thing. He's nowhere near as dynamic with the ball in his hands (or dynamic at all really), but he actually has a pretty impressive catching radius and seems like he'll be a sure handed receiver for us who isn't afraid to get hit (something Hernandez is not).

He lined up in the slot, inline, on the wing, and at FB, and looked competent and natural from everywhere. He ran a lot of out routes, A LOT, probably about 65% of his routes I saw, but he continually got consistent separation, and with a QB like Brady he'll be able to get completions in those short windows. He will need to diversify his route tree here with Vereen, Edelman, and Amendola all primarily running underneath routes, but he'll still be able to carve out a nice niche in this offense. From a blocking standpoint I didn't have the patience to watch film on it, but PFF says he had like a -7 grade or something like that in that area, if you're into that kind of thing.

The timing on this thing is kind of peculiar, but if you had told me 5 months ago that we could make this deal I would have in a heartbeat. We missed the mark on the Mankins contract, which is fine because he had been consistently great and was coming off his best year when we signed him. However, this deal will be make or break depending on whether someone can step in for him.

The coaching staff proved last season that players like Vollmer, older-Wilfork, Mayo, and Amendola while quality players, are not entirely necessary, and random plugs like Cannon, Siliga, Fletcher, and Edelman with our coaching staff can fill in nearly seamlessly. It's the guys with special kind of talent like Gronk, Vereen, and Talib who can be the matchup difference that wins you a game Gronk (Houston, Denver), Vereen (Buffalo w1, Cleveland), Talib (New Orleans, Atlanta) that we need to find more of, and utilize our cap $ on to retain.

Mankins was paid like a top 3 player on this team, but we never were really able to be a consistent running team in his tenure here. Now obviously it's not all on him since he's 1 of 5 starters, but in our playoff losses we could never get anything going on the ground. Theoretically when you have a $10 million guard you should be able to put the ball behind him and churn out yards when you need to. We were not able to do that with him the last few years, which made him overpaid. He's the kind of guy who looks great in week 16 and 17 against Baltimore and Buffalo, but rarely came through in the bigger games.

I'm excited at the direction of this move because management seems to be catching on to the idea that they need to do everything they can to retain Revis, a true difference maker, and being solid like Mankins was isn't worth top dollar.

From a value standpoint I feel like we got more than enough, but I wish we had done more to address the interior line in the draft if this move was on our radar. High round interior lineman are usually very safe picks, and someone like Bitonio or XSF could have brought us the same level of play as Mankins with the cost savings. Now we need to hope Kline or someone else steps up.

That 4th will be useful though. That is the same pick that got us Talib. Hopefully we look to use it in a trade for someone who will improve our roster in 2014 rather than stash it, but we will see.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:22 AM    (permalink
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Tim Wright isn't going to set the world on fire, but as a pass catching TE he will absolutely have a role in this offense. As has been mentioned here, Hooman doesn't offer a lot as a pass catcher and moving Develin to TE IMO limits his effectiveness slightly. Having Wright play that role will allow the Pats at times to have 4 guys over 6'2 on the field catching passes.

I also don't buy the notion that the Bucs had already moved on from Wright by drafting ASJ and therefore he isn't that good. Because it is a new regime in TB who also don't like the second year QB who played pretty damn well at times last year. Lovie Smith didn't draft Wright (or Glennon) so has no loyalty to them.
I'm with you on Hoomanawanui and Develin being undesirable tight end options. Develin's a quality fullback, but doesn't really have the athleticism to be much of a factor at tight end. I would have preferred to let Hoomanawanui walk. That said, you can only have five skill-position players on the field at once (aside from a quarterback.)

Gronkowski, Edelman, and Amendola are three guys I'd want to have on the field at all times. I'd also want a running back for the vast majority of the team's snaps (Ridley or Vereen.) That leaves one spot to be divided between Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, Brandon LaFell, Shane Vereen (assuming Ridley is the running back), James Develin, and Tim Wright. Would you really want to see Wright in over any of those other guys? I probably wouldn't.

His skillset is basically that of a poor man's LaFell (better hands, not as physical or refined.) At most, I see him as an insurance policy who will see a handful of snaps a game and who offers the team some flexibility to use Ace personnel. That in itself has some value, but to me the substance of the trade was Mankins for cap relief and the fourth-round pick, with Wright as something of a throw-in.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:48 AM    (permalink
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I see no reason to have Amendola on the field at all times. Least of all when Edelman is on the field. We need complementary skillsets being used in the passing game. Amendola and Edelman are redundant skillsets.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:54 AM    (permalink
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I see no reason to have Amendola on the field at all times. Least of all when Edelman is on the field. We need complementary skillsets being used in the passing game. Amendola and Edelman are redundant skillsets.
I consider the fact that New England has been unable to work two agile short-range options like Welker/Edelman and Edelman/Amendola onto the field at the same time in an effective manner to be one of the team's greatest offensive shortcomings, but to me this is something they should make an effort to do rather than just giving up on it.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:56 AM    (permalink
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I'm with you on Hoomanawanui and Develin being undesirable tight end options. Develin's a quality fullback, but doesn't really have the athleticism to be much of a factor at tight end. I would have preferred to let Hoomanawanui walk. That said, you can only have five skill-position players on the field at once (aside from a quarterback.)

Gronkowski, Edelman, and Amendola are three guys I'd want to have on the field at all times. I'd also want a running back for the vast majority of the team's snaps (Ridley or Vereen.) That leaves one spot to be divided between Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, Brandon LaFell, Shane Vereen (assuming Ridley is the running back), James Develin, and Tim Wright. Would you really want to see Wright in over any of those other guys? I probably wouldn't.

His skillset is basically that of a poor man's LaFell (better hands, not as physical or refined.) At most, I see him as an insurance policy who will see a handful of snaps a game and who offers the team some flexibility to use Ace personnel. That in itself has some value, but to me the substance of the trade was Mankins for cap relief and the fourth-round pick, with Wright as something of a throw-in.
I think it all depends on who we play and what the situation is. Against a small, quick defense in the red area i would absolutely be in favor of a 5 man passing attack of Vereen, Gronk, Wright, Dobson and LaFell. 4 guys who can go up and attack the ball when you need it. Edelman and Amendola are great when you get them in space, but at the goal line that space is greatly closed down.

You could also go really heavy with Gronk, Hooman, Wright, Develin and a RB. You then have 4 decent options in the passing attack out of what looks like a strong run look.

All in all, I don't think we can have enough weapons.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:08 AM    (permalink
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I think it all depends on who we play and what the situation is. Against a small, quick defense in the red area i would absolutely be in favor of a 5 man passing attack of Vereen, Gronk, Wright, Dobson and LaFell. 4 guys who can go up and attack the ball when you need it. Edelman and Amendola are great when you get them in space, but at the goal line that space is greatly closed down.

You could also go really heavy with Gronk, Hooman, Wright, Develin and a RB. You then have 4 decent options in the passing attack out of what looks like a strong run look.

All in all, I don't think we can have enough weapons.
I agree with this (aside from the idea that Tim Wright would help establish a strong run look.) Both of the formations you described are extremely minor, though, and that's basically my point. Logan Mankins was an every-down player who helped stabilize the offensive line; Tim Wright is a guy you might throw in every once in a while. Hence my interpretation of the trade as something which is designed to clear up cap space and bring back a draft pick versus a swap of Mankins for Wright.

The idea that a team can't have enough weapons makes sense on a superficial level, but if it comes at the expense of having an effective offensive line, I think the issue is more complicated. This was essentially a move made with the team's long-term interests in mind, an aim which is obviously respectable, but there's also a great deal of ideological inconsistency given the team's entire approach to the offseason, which seemed to indicate that they were trying to win now. Why bring in veterans like Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner only to subsequently create a massive hole on the offensive line because you're looking toward the future?
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:11 AM    (permalink
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I think the Pats are definitely a team who look to both the short and long term when deciding upon what to do. Yes Mankins will be better than whoever steps in at LG, but if that handicaps the team moving forward then it isn't worth the risk.

The Revis deal doesn't really have an effect on long term stability, neither does Browner's, who can be cut with no financial issues.

I don't think this trade is by all means a definite win for the team, but to me it makes sense. They can dump an unwanted contract and pick up a guy who can help the passing attack. As I mentioned earlier Mankins wasn't good in pass pro last year so it's not like we are losing a wall and replacing it with a turnstile. Plus the also get a mid round pick.

As good a player Mankins is, he is 32, dealt with injuries a lot recently and has a big contract. Not every trade can turn out like the Seymour one. Expecting more than a 3rd for Mankins was unrealistic IMO, therefore a 4th and Wright seems fair.

I don't like the fact that the line is in flux with uncertainty inside and Scar gone, but it's not like losing Mankins will turn us into a terrible offense.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:46 AM    (permalink
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I'm more worried about Connolly than Kline. Hopefully whatever communication issues they were having last year have been ironed out.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:47 AM    (permalink
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I think Tim Wright needs some seasoning like Delanie Walker did. He needs a couple of years to finish filling out his frame and work on his blocking. We have 3 years of rookie contract left with him, and we could easily extend him if he shows some flashes for us. He'll contribute, but his best football is definitely in the future.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:02 AM    (permalink
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I think Tim Wright needs some seasoning like Delanie Walker did. He needs a couple of years to finish filling out his frame and work on his blocking. We have 3 years of rookie contract left with him, and we could easily extend him if he shows some flashes for us. He'll contribute, but his best football is definitely in the future.
Absolutely, we get a second year player with a lot of potential and we have already seen the Pats get more out of receiving options than other teams. Hell, if he replicates his production from last year that in itself is a massive improvement on our TE production outside of Gronk.

Also, all teams have certain weaknesses. The Pats clearly have one at interior o-line but overall the rest of the team is as good as it has been in a long time.

The Seahawks have line problems of their own. The Broncos have LB issues. The Packers have defense issues in general outside of Clay. The 49ers are a pretty old team with some serious injury worries. The Colts seem to have issues everywhwere outside of Luck. The Sainst need to show they can play outdoors.

I think if we can even get average play out of the OG-C-OG tandem then we have a great chance of going far should everyone stay healthy.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:10 PM    (permalink
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I'm just going to guess, but I have a feeling that Devey will be in the starting lineup for day 1.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:19 PM    (permalink
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I'm just going to guess, but I have a feeling that Devey will be in the starting lineup for day 1.
Yikes! I hope not, but they do seem to like him. I'd like to test out Josh Kline at left guard and Marcus Cannon at right guard, but I have a feeling one of those spots will go to Dan Connolly. It may make a bit more sense to leave Cannon on the bench because if he needs to step in at tackle, it'd disrupt the line's chemistry even more than losing Logan Mankins already has.
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