2013-2014 Roster Roundup.

Since we’re in the offseason, and therefore desperately need filler to keep the comments section from accumulating 3000 comments per post, I feel it would be a good time to put to paper my thoughts and feelings about this year’s roster. Most of this will be my personal opinion, some of it buoyed by stat tidbits from a website I know everyone hates, Profootballfocus.com. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll separate players that played less than 8 games into a separate category below the original list.

Because these take a long time to write, I’ll be doing one category every two days or so, until I’ve mapped out the entire roster.

To start, I’ll make everyone feel good (Or make everyone hate me) by listing the 10 players who I thought were the best on the team this year.

The Very Best:

1.) Nate Solder. I’ll show little love for the performance of the O-line this year, but Solder deserves what little love I have. Despite the number of sacks he gave up (12), he was an excellent pass blocker, giving up little else in the way of pressure on the year. Furthermore, he’s a beast in the run game, able to consistently blow D-ends off of the line and open up massive gaps. I’d argue most of his bad play came when he was dealing with concussion issues (Weeks 11 and 12), and outside of those games, he was consistently one of the best tackles in the game.

2.) Devin McCourty. He did play a bit worse in the 2nd half of the season, but his coverage was still a black hole. He wasn’t targeted often, and throughout the entire season, he gave up only 240 yards and 2 touchdowns. Thanks to him, the deep ball no longer makes me eat my fingers when it gets thrown against the Pats, and as a bonus, he can stop the run when he has to.

3.) Rob Ninkovich. Not a stellar pass rusher, but excellent in every other facet of the game, especially in stopping the run. A player that relies on effort and intelligence, he’s a match for physically superior tackles, often directing them into running lanes and preventing backs from hitting their holes. If he can’t move the tackle to where the back wants to go, he’ll just bypass the tackle entirely and make the stop. Truly a machine against the run.

4.) Tom Brady. His deep ball was lacking this year, at the worst times and in the worst ways. He also had some disastrous games (Namely against Cincy and the Jets). Despite all this, it’s pretty obvious that he was half the reason the team managed to get to the Conference Championship. He was still a machine on short and intermediate routes, and he was tougher than ever as a leader, mounting furious comebacks and keeping the offense working despite suffering from an extremely fluid cast of pass catchers and Ryan Wendell’s pass blocking.

5.) Julian Edelman. No one expected a season like this. Going from the bittest of bit part players, to a dynamic threat in every part of the passing game, Edelman is probably the most improved player on the roster. He was sure handed, a precise route runner able to carve up zone and man coverage alike, unstoppable in the 0-10 yard range. His YAC ability was ridiculous; unless the defender was right on him as he caught the ball, he’d juke a fool and pick up an extra 5. He was even open deep more than he should have been. His only failing was his low YPC, and that was a function of him being Brady’s only short range target during the first 8 weeks.

6.) Sebastian Vollmer. He played exactly 8 games, so he just makes the cut, and what a shame that he got injured. He was playing at an unreal level, giving up nothing in the passing game, shutting down the likes of Mo Wilkerson, Akiem Hicks, and Carlos Dunlap. In the run game, he was exactly what he’s always been, a mauler. Probably the best tackle in the game when he went down, he would have been a great asset down the line.

7.) Jamie Collins. As a Rookie, the slow start was pretty much expected. Up to week 12, he wasn’t really a factor in the Patriots defense. Past that point, he was probably the most well rounded LB. His athleticism kept him competitive in coverage, his speed made him an effective pass rusher, and he was a better run defender than his size would make him out to be. Even discounting the Divisional Playoff game (You shouldn’t, he made the Colts cry), he came on as a good linebacker, maybe a bit later than everyone hoped.

8.) LeGarrette Blount. Another late bloomer, he wasn’t much until the game against the Steelers, and until week 13, he basically amounted to a solid part of the Pats’ running back committee. After that point, he was Marshawn Lynch’s mini-me. His bruising running style ate defenses alive, and his performances against the Ravens and Colts were just sublime. A shame that he couldn’t get started against the Broncos.

(And now it gets hard.)

9.) Dont’a Hightower. I know this will not be a popular choice, because to be perfectly honest, he was pretty bad up until the Denver game. Slow and indecisive. Something clicked at that point, though. He started hitting running lanes like Spikes, and blowing plays up in the backfield. His coverage went from being a total liability to being pretty good. This ranking is mostly based on how excellent he became near the end of the season, which was more than enough to cover up his slow start.

10.) Logan Ryan. Cutting out his poor Conference Championship performance, Ryan was a machine in coverage. After Aqib Talib’s form disintegrated after injury, he was the best cover corner on the team. He was proficient in press coverage, able to jam WRs at the line and mess up their routes pretty consistently. Past the line, he was fluid and able to stick with his man. His ball skills seem nothing short of phenomenal, netting the most pass deflections and interceptions on the team in half a season’s worth of snaps. The one knock on him is that he gets lost in zone, but I’m pretty sure that the consensus is that zone schemes are garbage and shouldn’t be played anymore.

More to come in the near future.

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1006 comments
frankestein
frankestein moderator

Snew Snoast ------------------------->

Buildthroughthedraft
Buildthroughthedraft

seeing that 7.5 million dead money mark for hernandez on over the cap.com next year fills me with rage. Oh and the fact he killed a guy

LordDistraught
LordDistraught

Even though Brady and Co. lost the last two SBs they were in(ugh that stings to say) with high powered offenses..at least they kept it interesting until the very end.

WildCard!
WildCard!

Broncos 2nd worst loss in last 2 seasons is 10 pts to....NE

PATRIOTS DPVQ
PATRIOTS DPVQ

Wonderful they are playing the "Top teams not to win the SB" on NFLN! :(

PorterJax
PorterJax

I know Welker had concussion issues late, but he doesn't look like the same guy as the last few years.  Have the hits and age caught up with him? He was the one guy the Seahawks cared the least about last night.

Deadsmack McDaniels
Deadsmack McDaniels

Even tough i rooted for Seahawks, i don't hate Peyton, i just hate Sherman

WildCard!
WildCard!

Indy beat Seattle. New England beat Indy. New England>Seattle

Kill Joy
Kill Joy

Wait, I thought a LB coach was signed...?

PATRIOTS DPVQ
PATRIOTS DPVQ

It makes me happy now that the weather wasn't bad because everyone would be using that as an excuse for Manning!

LordDistraught
LordDistraught

Manning felt insulted about saying his loss was embarrassing. Man is there some white knights trying to protect his legacy in the comments pointing fingers at everyone but him.

Deadsmack McDaniels
Deadsmack McDaniels

I'm not saying Peyton is done because next year if Broncos OT's that got injured can stay healthy, that could be a different story. Specially Clady

PorterJax
PorterJax

"Russell Wilson had a base salary of $526K this season. Hooman’s base salary was $630. There’s a reason the Seahawks could build that team."

Exactly.  Not to mention Sherman is even cheaper.

Greenie 12
Greenie 12

Manning is a great player, but his arm strength is terrible. Welker almost got killed at least 3 times. I think he is done

Neil X.
Neil X.

Interesting?  You call my two heart attacks "INTERESTING"???

WildCard!
WildCard!

Patriots worse loss in last 2 seasons was Baltimore AFCCG, 15 PTS

LordDistraught
LordDistraught

@PorterJax  

Gonna be honest..he made some solid plays in that game. Even though he dropped a pass or two..he did more than most.

Mr Scratch
Mr Scratch

@Dead Snack  The guy just set the single season marks for yards and TD and made the SB.  The "done" thing is a little silly.

The Poopy Bowl
The Poopy Bowl

@Monocled ''5 AFC teams'' Capybara  

http://tinyurl.com/q2hmu38

 Head coach: Bill Belichick

Offensive coordinator: Josh McDaniels
Offensive assistant: Brian Daboll
Offensive line: Dave DeGuglielmo
Running backs: Ivan Fears
Wide receivers: Chad O'Shea
Tight ends: TBD

Defensive coordinator: Matt Patricia
Defensive assistant: Brendan Daly
Defensive line: Patrick Graham
Linebackers: TBD
Cornerbacks: Josh Boyer
Safeties: Brian Flores

Special teams: Scott O'Brien
Assistant ST: Joe Judge

Coaching assistant: Steven Belichick
Coaching assistant: Jerry Schuplinski

Strength coach: Harold Nash
Assistant strength: Moses Cabrera

WildCard!
WildCard!

In fact last time Pats loss by more than 2 scores was 2010 against Browns

WildCard!
WildCard!

yeah...Indy also beat San Fran and Denver, arguably the top 3 teams this year

PatsFan94
PatsFan94

@Dead Snack @PatsFan94  no he didnt say anything about denver, he talked trash to crabtree and brady because they both did it, its good for the sports too, makes the wins and losses better and worse 

Buildthroughthedraft
Buildthroughthedraft

@Lordmadone @Buildthroughthedraft  yeah the colts fan base is actually a lot smaller people were saying stuff like well i was a colts fan for a long time but i think i'm gonna be a broncos fan now. No you were never a colts fan you were a peytn manning fan