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ICB's Training Camp Competition Previews: WR, Part II
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Who will make the team?
Sam Aiken
38%
 38%  [ 5 ]
Matthew Slater
15%
 15%  [ 2 ]
Julian Edelman
38%
 38%  [ 5 ]
All of the above players will be cut
7%
 7%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 13

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icecoldbruschi


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:20 pm    Post subject: ICB's Training Camp Competition Previews: WR, Part II Reply with quote

WR: Sam Aiken vs. Matthew Slater vs. Julian Edelman

In this segment, we are looking at the special teamer of the group. To be honest, this competition may not even exist depending on Brandon Tateís recovery from his ACL tear. The past two seasons, even though he did not excel at WR as many expected when he was brought in, Kelley Washington had been an ace on coverage and made our special teams one of the best in the league. These three performers will be looking to do the same.



Sam Aiken was brought in last year and thought to be the special teams ace that Washington turned out to be. Aiken did not make much of an impact in that area last year and will need to do more in that regard if he intends on making the 53 man roster. His offensive abilities are limited, which may further hurt him in this race; however, he did catch a screen pass and turn it into a big gain in the Thursday night game against the Jets last season.
Odds of making the team: 60%



Matthew Slater was a favorite of a few of our forumís veterans last preseason. They labeled versatility as one of his selling points. Heck, someone even compared the guy to Troy Brown. Slater played no role in the offense last season, but did get it on special teams just enough to screw it up a little for us. Most notably, Slater crippled our chances against the Steelers with his muffed catch on a kickoff. Slater only averaged 14 yards per kickoff return, which is not even remotely impressive. Something working against him is the additional return guys that he will be competing with in training camp, most of whom excel in another position as well. Darius Butler, Terrence Wheatley or even a guy like Greg Lewis all have experience in the return game. And all this is not even counting a healthy Brandon Tate. Slater is not good enough to simply be a mediocre special teams player on this team and nothing more. He will not only have to improve in that aspect, but also probably prove his worth on offense as well.
Odds of making the team: 15%



From a past forum favorite to a current one, Julian Edelman is an intriguing prospect out of the Kent State program. The former QB (same position, same school as Joshua Cribbs) turned most likely into WR/return specialist is fast, shifty and versatile. In this day and age of the Wildcat formation, he could have some value there. However, I find it hard to believe that we are going to take the ball out of #12ís hands at all. I personally see Edelmanís career going the way of Bam Childress. The guy may dominate in the preseason every year and take on the underdog role that everyone is rooting for, but in the end, it just isnít enough. (DISCLAIMER: Yes, I am aware that Bam Childress has actually played in three games in his NFL career for us. So, Edelman fans, donít give up hope!) Whether or not he makes the team, I look for Edelman to be extremely valuable on the scout team, as his ability to play different positions as well as prepare us for the Dolphinsí gimmick offense will be crucial for game preparations.
Odds of making the team: 10%

My Prediction: I think that Aiken makes the team. He likely will not see much action as the #5 WR, but will impress more on ST this season. Slater will be cut, but since he's terrible, no other team will pick him up. Julian Edelman will make the practice squad for the next two seasons. He will always get forum hopes up in preseason games, but in the end, he will never make the big time. If you notice, the odds do not add up to 100%; this is on purpose. This is in the case of all of these players being cut. Since none are productive receivers to begin with, this does not effect the offense. If needed, I feel that Darius Butler could be thrown at WR on occasion or in emergency situations since he played there a lot at UConn.
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redwhite&blue


Joined: 27 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you delete this thread just to edit the poll?

Anyways, I'll stick with my gut feeling since draft day; Edelman makes PS, Slater and Aiken both make the team, Tate gets placed on P.U.P. for the first six weeks and maybe gets put on IR afterwards. I think that around week 6, either Aiken or Slater get cut. Probably Slater. As for Edelman, well he's just a practice body. I agree with your assessment of him completely, though I don't think I'll ever get my hopes up for him.
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icecoldbruschi


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

redwhite&blue wrote:
Did you delete this thread just to edit the poll?


Yeah, but that must have only been 10 seconds after I originally made the thread, you're quick!

On a side note, I hate it how you can't edit polls on this site.
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redwhite&blue


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icecoldbruschi wrote:
Yeah, but that must have only been 10 seconds after I originally made the thread, you're quick!


I just happened to click on a something that lead to somewhere. Wink

icecoldbruschi wrote:
On a side note, I hate it how you can't edit polls on this site.


You're allowed to edit polls on this website, but only before votes are registered. Then again, if you have the typical FF moderator powers, you can edit polls regardless of situation.

EDIT:
Another thing; if Julian Edelman makes the practice squad, he is making the team. He might not be on the active roster, but he's still on the team. What if, for example, Aiken makes the 53 man roster and Edelman is signed to the scout team. Those two players make the team, right? What if Matthew Slater, Sam Aiken, and Julian Edelman all make the team? I'm sure you understand the point I'm trying to make. MORE OPTIONS!!!!!!!!?!?!!!111!!!!! Laughing Don't you just hate that?
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hollywood14


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually like Sam Aiken. He's a better receiver than Kelley Washington and he should be the 4th or 5th receiver on this team. Matt Slater has been taking snaps at just safety so far this off-season from what I read, so it looks like the Pats have no urge to continue to see the lack of talent Slater has at receiver. With that said he will have a spot on special teams. Now Edelman. This one's easy; practice squad.
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redwhite&blue


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^I like Sam Aiken too. I bet if he had to be a #2 or #1 receiver on the Patriots by default, he would rack up to 800 receiving yards. Of course, a lot of it would be short, quick routes designed for YAC [i.e. slants & screens]...
but production is production! No matter how you slice it. Smile
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Donut


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I said Slater. I still have faith in him. He is a very good athlete and i read that they will be cutting down his practice from WR and ST to S and ST. so I dont think he'll be a WR.
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redsoxsrule1437


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam Aiken makes the team for sure. He's valuable on special teams, and could be a decent option at receiver. Slater gets cut. He brings nothing to this team. I see Edelman making the team as well.
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icecoldbruschi


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question...maybe I'm just too dumb to see this...but why do people consider Sam Aiken such a valuable special teamer? I just don't see it. With guys like Larry Izzo and Kelley Washington and Je'Rod Cherry, it was always apparent to me that they were good, but with Aiken, I just don't see it.

Why can't we just have a guy like Jonathan Wilhite do all that, who is valuable depth at CB, but won't be good enough to start most likely behind Springs, Bodden, Wheatley and Butler.

If we really need an emergency in-game replacement at WR, we can just call upon Darius Butler, who played quite a bit of WR at UConn. I don't see how he can be any worse (in fact, he's probably better since he's actually athletic) than Sam Aiken.

I really don't see enough of Aiken on ST to warrant him getting that role primarily and I don't see him providing enough depth at WR to warrant him getting a spot there, seeing as he only has 27 career NFL receptions for a reason.

I don't like the other two options either, but I just think its a waste of a roster spot for a guy who imo isn't all that good at what he is being asked to do.
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icecoldbruschi


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And also, I saw that some have Slater as a safety now...that doesn't really change things. Imo, this battle right here is for the primary special teams "ace", as I don't envision any of these guys getting on the field much for regular duties (hopefully).

Slater has pretty much nothing special about him or at least I don't see it. Every player in the NFL is athletic, so that can't really be his main selling point. There guys sitting on their couches as free agents who are athletic. Its not about how athletic you are, its about how good of a football player you are. And Slater doesn't have "it".
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Grachuus


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

icecoldbruschi wrote:
And also, I saw that some have Slater as a safety now...that doesn't really change things. Imo, this battle right here is for the primary special teams "ace", as I don't envision any of these guys getting on the field much for regular duties (hopefully).

Slater has pretty much nothing special about him or at least I don't see it. Every player in the NFL is athletic, so that can't really be his main selling point. There guys sitting on their couches as free agents who are athletic. Its not about how athletic you are, its about how good of a football player you are. And Slater doesn't have "it".


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GoldenboyGB


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

icecoldbruschi wrote:
Question...maybe I'm just too dumb to see this...but why do people consider Sam Aiken such a valuable special teamer? I just don't see it. With guys like Larry Izzo and Kelley Washington and Je'Rod Cherry, it was always apparent to me that they were good, but with Aiken, I just don't see it.

Why can't we just have a guy like Jonathan Wilhite do all that, who is valuable depth at CB, but won't be good enough to start most likely behind Springs, Bodden, Wheatley and Butler.

If we really need an emergency in-game replacement at WR, we can just call upon Darius Butler, who played quite a bit of WR at UConn. I don't see how he can be any worse (in fact, he's probably better since he's actually athletic) than Sam Aiken.

I really don't see enough of Aiken on ST to warrant him getting that role primarily and I don't see him providing enough depth at WR to warrant him getting a spot there, seeing as he only has 27 career NFL receptions for a reason.

I don't like the other two options either, but I just think its a waste of a roster spot for a guy who imo isn't all that good at what he is being asked to do.


Well I think the reason that he might be considered important because of how Aiken can play Izzos old role at special teams and be more effective. What Izzo would do is be the front line protector for Hanson. Aiken has taken over that role.

If Bill is putting him there I think he must see something that we haven't. Washington earned a role on this team and to me was a lesser player and really wasnt that great as a special teams ace.
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ctpatsfan77


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

redsoxsrule1437 wrote:
Slater gets cut. He brings nothing to this team.


As a not-so-minor point, the return game is not 11 opponents vs. 1 returner. Obviously, even without being a returner, the Pats felt he offered enough value as a ST generalist to have him active for 14 games (ditto for, e.g., Ventrone and Izzo).
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hollywood14


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

icecoldbruschi wrote:
If we really need an emergency in-game replacement at WR, we can just call upon Darius Butler, who played quite a bit of WR at UConn. I don't see how he can be any worse (in fact, he's probably better since he's actually athletic) than Sam Aiken.

Butler only made 9 catches at WR over his career at UConn. I know he has the ability to play receiver but that would be worst case scenario. If ever the Patriots are in position to need Butler at receiver for anything more than trick reverses or plays, then they're in trouble. You can expect Butler to out of the blue go play receiver in the middle of the season when Welker and Galloway leave the game for some reason. It just wouldn't work. Plus I doubt he has success getting off a press in the NFL.
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Shock6822


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

redwhite&blue wrote:
Did you delete this thread just to edit the poll?

Anyways, I'll stick with my gut feeling since draft day; Edelman makes PS, Slater and Aiken both make the team, Tate gets placed on P.U.P. for the first six weeks and maybe gets put on IR afterwards. I think that around week 6, either Aiken or Slater get cut. Probably Slater. As for Edelman, well he's just a practice body. I agree with your assessment of him completely, though I don't think I'll ever get my hopes up for him.



That's scary, I was going to post the exact same thing. Although I think that when the time comes to cut someone, whether week 6 or preseason, it'll be Slater. And regarding Butler at WR...how good was he at UConn? I kind of hope we just concentrate him at CB his first couple years so he doesn't have to worry about offensive sets and stuff. And playing WR at this level is 100x different. We still have Lewis, Galloway, for 4 WR sets obviously, and I think Aiken can fill in fine initially on 5 WR sets. A guy like Troy Brown playing 2 sides is different than a rookie playing 2 sides.
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