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ICB's Training Camp Competition Previews: RT

 
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Who will start at RT?
Nick Kaczur
64%
 64%  [ 11 ]
Ryan O'Callaghan
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
Sebastain Vollmer
17%
 17%  [ 3 ]
Mark LeVoir
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 17

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icecoldbruschi


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:40 pm    Post subject: ICB's Training Camp Competition Previews: RT Reply with quote

OT: Nick Kaczur vs. Ryan O’Callaghan vs. Sebastain Vollmer vs. Mark LeVoir

Over the past decades, the Patriots offensive line has seen its share of turnover, but despite that, they have remained one of the best in the league, mainly due to the coaching of Dante Scarnecchia. “Scar” is known as one of the best offensive line coaches in the business and we have seen our share of Pro Bowlers under his watch. The whole has typically been greater than the some of its parts, as we have never had a dominant player the likes of Orlando Pace or Alan Faneca, yet we keep succeeding. Matt Light, Logan Mankins and Dan Koppen have all been to Pro Bowls during their careers here, including in the 2007 season where they only allowed 21 sacks and led to Tom Brady and Randy Moss setting all sorts of records. There has been some speculation that the line was exposed by the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, as 48 sacks were allowed by the very same unit last year. It remains to be seen as to the cause of those sacks, as many blame Matt Cassel’s inability to get rid of the ball.



Despite some heavy criticism over the past few years as well as some heavy competition, Nick Kaczur has been able to keep his job at RT. Personally, I have felt that it has been unwarranted. While he is certainly no Pro Bowler, he suffers from playing on one of the best lines in the game and not performing up to their standard. The fact that Kaczur has continued to keep his job despite his struggles and has yet to be benched speaks to Belichick’s faith in him.
Odds to Start: 50%



In this same poll last season, Ryan O’Callaghan actually had a better shot at winning the starting job according to this forum. O’Callaghan stepped in nicely his rookie year and had a respectable performance. He is more of a run blocker and more of the traditional RT than Kaczur, but he has yet to win the job. After being out with an injury last season, people have seemingly forgotten about him, but he is definitely in contention to win the job.
Odds to Start: 5%



Sebastain Vollmer was taken in the second round this past April out of Houston. Vollmer was proven to be an accomplished pass blocker in Houston’s aerial attack, leading many to believe that he would be Matt Light’s successor at LT rather than a RT. However, comments by Bill Belichick have suggested that his future is at RT. Although Vollmer is not an accomplished run blocker by any means, scouts say that portion of his game is improving and very underrated. Rookies have started on the offensive line here before, so I doubt that will work against him.
Odds to Start: 30%



Mark LeVoir played a bit at both tackle spots last season and performed well enough to get another contract with the team. LeVoir came over from the Rams last offseason, an offensive line that was pretty dreadful and not much was expected to contribute much, but provided protection when called upon. Much of his influence on this battle will be affected by offseason surgery, which apparently may have the ability to land him on PUP for the start of the season, although you can never tell with the little information we receive about injuries from the team.. If healthy, LeVoir is definitely in the mix for a starting spot.
Odds to Start: 15%

My Prediction: This may be the most wide open training camp battle of them all. To be honest, I think that all of these guys have legitimate shots at starting next season. In the end, I think that Kaczur will once again win the job. His biggest competition should come from Vollmer and he will be right behind him on the depth chart all season looking over Kaczur's shoulder.
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dhunt2402


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GO SEBASTIAN VOLLMER

I think even if he doesn't start this year, the writing is on the wall for Kaczur, this will be his last year as a starter, and that's a best case scenario for him.
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Grachuus


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhunt2402 wrote:
GO SEBASTIAN VOLLMER

I think even if he doesn't start this year, the writing is on the wall for Kaczur, this will be his last year as a starter, and that's a best case scenario for him.


I would certainly agree that he's got to feel the heat if Belichick says the guy(Voll) is an RT with no waffling.
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GoldenboyGB


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick Kaczurs job to lose. Simple as that Ryan has came in and played well look at that 07 finale against the Giants where he played pretty decently against Strahan.

Kaczur might be the weakest link on the line and he gets bashed quite alot and by myself but he does a pretty damn good job at times.
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redwhite&blue


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too bad for Mark LeVoir that he's having to rehab an offseason surgery. This is his battle to lose should he be healthy. He's missed all minicamps so far and it doesn't feel like he'll be completely ready for the start of training camp or maybe even preseason or opening night of the regular season. Sad
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Shock6822


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaczur's job to lose, but I'd expect Vollmer to get enough grooming snaps, etc. 2010 likely Vollmer's unless he messes up royally.
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ElReyDeLosReyes


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I think Nick Kaczur now and days, I just always picture Michael Strahan eating him alive in the Superbowl.

Either way, I expect him to start.
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SoxNats07


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

redwhite&blue wrote:
Too bad for Mark LeVoir that he's having to rehab an offseason surgery. This is his battle to lose should he be healthy. He's missed all minicamps so far and it doesn't feel like he'll be completely ready for the start of training camp or maybe even preseason or opening night of the regular season. Sad


Agreed. I'm a Mark LeVoir fan, and he was absolutely solid for us last season. I don't think he'll have to go to PUP, but he probably won't make it for the first game.
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finn54


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want Vollmer to win the job, but i don't see how Kaczur loses his job. He's pretty underrated IMO (in contrast with Neal and Koppen being overrated).
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Billy Spikes


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to see Vollmer wins the starting RT job but i think that given the depth the Patriots have at the position they might want to hold off starting Vollmer for a year, maybe work on improving his run-blocking ability during the year so he could be a better player next year when he starts.

finn54 wrote:
i don't see how Kaczur loses his job. He's pretty underrated IMO (in contrast with Neal and Koppen being overrated).


I wouldn't say Kaczur is underrated, he is just not a good player, its not one of those cases where people put a player down so much that they miss the fact he is actually doing a solid job.

And i agree 100% about Koppen been overrated, he is athletic but just struggles with bull-rushers and big D-lineman, he is a good pass-blocker for the most part but not very good at getting a push in the running game.

I wouldn't say Neal is overrated though, maybe you could explain that one, for me, he is our best lineman... doesn't mean he is amazing or anything but on the team i think he is probably our best O-Lineman, if not him then who?

Mankins is a bit overrated, to a degree though.
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finn54


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy Spikes wrote:
I wouldn't say Kaczur is underrated, he is just not a good player, its not one of those cases where people put a player down so much that they miss the fact he is actually doing a solid job.


To me, he's underrated because everyone rags on him. He's not a turnstile like some people make out, and i thought he actually had his best year so far (according to the flimsy offensive line stats, he gave up 3 sacks in 14 games).

Billy Spikes wrote:
And i agree 100% about Koppen been overrated, he is athletic but just struggles with bull-rushers and big D-lineman, he is a good pass-blocker for the most part but not very good at getting a push in the running game.


Exactly. Especially with so many teams changing to a 3-4, i think he's really going to struggle with the big man mountains at NT. Great footwork and hands etc, and never seems to be off-balance, but Kris Jenkins owned in both games last year. He just picked him up and controlled him all game.

Billy Spikes wrote:
I wouldn't say Neal is overrated though, maybe you could explain that one, for me, he is our best lineman... doesn't mean he is amazing or anything but on the team i think he is probably our best O-Lineman, if not him then who?


I think Mankins is better than him, and maybe Matt Light. Mankins is just everything you look for in an offensive lineman: big, tough/durable, strong, athletic and plays with a mean streak. Injuries are a big part of it as well. You may say that injuries have nothing to do with how a good a player is, but i disagree; lack of reliability. Neal's 32 and hasn't played 16 games since 05.

I mainly think Neal is overrated because people act like he's a top 10 OG. IMO he's nothing special. Great run blocker, but in in terms of pass protection, looking back over the games i have from 08 (which, i should point out, isn't all of them), when you compare Neal to Mankins, there isn't much of a comparison. Using the old madden style ratings, i'd say they're something like this:

Mankins: 92
Neal: 88
Light: 88
Koppen: 85
Kaczur: 83

Brady makes them look so much better than they actually are.
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Billy Spikes


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points about Mankins, i suppose that he might be our best lineman with Neal/Light close behind, but i have seen him getting pushed around at times, not often but it happens... no one is perfect though and i agree that Mankins has everything you look for in a lineman and plays up to his ability.

Also depending on how often a player gets hurt i would say it might and might not matter... in Neal's case il have to agree it does matter because we can't have Billy Yates starting as many games as he did the past 3 years [11 starts, 7 last season], it does lower Neal's value as a player.
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GoldenboyGB


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy Spikes wrote:


finn54 wrote:
i don't see how Kaczur loses his job. He's pretty underrated IMO (in contrast with Neal and Koppen being overrated).


I wouldn't say Kaczur is underrated, he is just not a good player, its not one of those cases where people put a player down so much that they miss the fact he is actually doing a solid job.


Clearly Kaczur gets his job done and done well because if he did not he wouldnt have gotten that spot for the past couple seasons. He is doing a solid job and like I said while he is the weakest link on the line that doesnt mean he is absolute crap.

He does a solid job in the passing game and a good rub in run blocking.
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Billy Spikes


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree, i think he has gotten the job the past few seasons because there were just no other options out there who the coaches consider good enough to replace him... yes, he isn't "absolute crap" and no one said he was but throughout his career he was bad in pass-protection.

I will say that surprisingly he played at a higher level in 2008 than he did in previous years, giving up 3 sacks in 14 games but overall he showed throughout his career that he struggles with pass-protection.

I cannot tell you how many times i have seen Brady get hit and forced to release the ball early because Kaczur got beat by his man.

And he is only above-average at run-blocking.
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