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Vela: The Tuna Top 40

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by austintodallas, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. austintodallas

    austintodallas Consider Yourself Sucked

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    The Tuna Top 40

    By Rafael Vela

    Let’s begin the countdown…

    Bill Parcells uses his early camp to locate his best 40 players, 20 on offense and 20 on defense. He adds his specialists, usually a kicker, punter and snapper and then apportions his last 10 spots for special teams aces, developing young players or both.

    The top 40 system makes sense when you consider teams can only dress 45 players on game days plus a third QB. With this template in mind, let’s see if we can whittle the team down to the top 44 or 45 and venture some guesses on the final ten. Remember, these are the guys you would dress if this Saturday’s game was for keeps.

    Top 20 offense
    • QBs (2) — Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo;
    • RBs (2) — Julius Jones and Marion Barber;
    • TEs/F-backs (4) — Jason Witten, Anthony Fasano, Ryan Hannam, Lousaka Polite;
    • WRs (4) — Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn, Patrick Crayton, one of Terrance Copper, Jamaica Rector or Sam Hurd;
    • OTs (3) — Flozell Adams, Rob Petitti, Marc Columbo or Jason Fabini;
    • Cs (2) — Andre Gurode, Al Johnson;
    • Gs (3) — Kyle Kosier, Marco Rivera, Corey Proctor;
    That’s 20 players. Eighteen are firm. The only spots in that top 20 up for grabs, in my opinion, are the backup RT, where Colombo and Fabini are duking it out and the fourth receiver spot. You might also carry a third running back, but he would have to show skills as a kick returner to dress on game day.

    Top 20 Defense
    • DE (4) — Marcus Spears, Jay Ratliff, Chris Canty and Jason Hatcher;
    • NT (2) — Jason Ferguson and perhaps Thomas Johnson or Montavious Stanley;
    • OLB (4) — Greg Ellis, Al Singleton, Demarcus Ware, Kevin Burnett;
    • ILB (4) — Bradie James, Akin Ayodele, Bobby Carpenter, Rocky Boiman;
    • CB (4) — Terence Newman, Anthony Henry, Aaron Glenn, Jacques Reeves;
    • S (2) — Roy Williams, Keith Davis;
    I’m thin at safety. I may add Willie Pile here for depth and move Boiman to my specialist list.

    Backup nose tackle is by far the most uncertain position. Thomas Johnson shows flashes but plays better as a rusher than a run plugger. Stanley looks lost; he was run over in the morning drills and seems the draftee most likely to wind up on the practice squad. If Johnson doesn’t cut it, you’ll see Dallas scanning the waiver wires for a backup NT or perhaps trying to swap a surplus LB to get one.

    If I’m greedy and give the defense the third safety, I’m up to 41. I’ve got my kicker, snapper, punter and Drew Henson as my emergency QB. Voila! That’s 45. Your third QB doesn’t count against your offical 45, so you’ve still got a spot open. Do you keep a kickoff specialist? Mike Vanderjagt has yet to kick off during a camp drill.
    And who will the last eight be?
    1. Some rookies are easy — Pat McQuistan, Pat Watkins and Skyler Green make the cut. That’s 48.
    2. Dallas will keep a third RB, either Tyson Thompson or Keylon Kincade. Special teams skills will tell. That’s 49;
    3. Dallas will likely keep a fourth TE, either Tony Curtis or Sean Ryan. That’s 50;
    4. Dallas might keep another corner. Nate Jones, IMO, is the best option. That’s 51;
    The last two are tricky. If Dallas keeps a second kicker, they’ve got one spot let. Does a special teams/nickel LB like Ryan Fowler stick? Is this player on another NFL team’s roster at the moment?

    Lots of questions, and we haven’t factored injuries into the equation. In any case, it appears there are only three spots up for grabs in the top 40. Nine days into camp, that’s amazing.
  2. PullMyFinger

    PullMyFinger Old Fashioned

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    dont forget special teams, thats 4 players there.

    fg kicker, mike v
    long snapper, forgot his name
    KO specialist, dunno if mike v can do this.
    punter, Mcbriar
  3. ravidubey

    ravidubey Active Member

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    No Shanle or either of the Colemans. Two of those three make the team.
  4. DLCassidy

    DLCassidy Active Member

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    Watkins makes the top 40. Even if he doesn't start he's going to play quite a bit.

    I'm also not sure Columbo is battling to be a backup.
  5. JPM

    JPM Well-Known Member

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    Where is Shanle ? I thought he was the 2nd coming ? And if he does take a roster spot is he so big he takes 2 spots ?!
  6. Alexander

    Alexander What's it going to be then, eh?

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    This is a very good observation. Stanley apparently is getting murdered against the run. I believe we play him quite a bit in preseason to evaluate him. And that was also very good about Johnson, I never saw him as a true NT-type. He is more like Glover than anything else, a much better penetrator than lane clogger.

    We do have a surplus at LBer, provided the thumb injury for Boiman doesn't become something that keeps him from making it. We could move Fowler or Shanle for some aid at the nose, because if Stanley doesn't make it, we will need it. Ferguson just cannot be depended on to go every down, all season.
  7. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    that's why we may keep both of the young NTs
  8. Alexander

    Alexander What's it going to be then, eh?

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    I think Johnson makes the team. If Stanley doesn't do better, why keep him on the roster? Get someone else who can function against the run, unless this Taulealea fellow is an answer. I have actually heard more in the reports about him than Stanley.
  9. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    I wish Parcells would get his Jersey boys, come break Stanley's legs, so we could stash him on IR...

    btw, isn't it amazing how quick people were to write off Pepper?
  10. silver

    silver Well-Known Member

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    he didn't

  11. silver

    silver Well-Known Member

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    dont think Corey Proctor is a lock to make the roster. Gurode fills in at Guard. Neither is Hannam, with the emergence of Tony Curtis.
  12. Alexander

    Alexander What's it going to be then, eh?

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    So we go with the starters and our potential starting center as a backup? I don't know about that. I think if Proctor makes it, it is by default. We will probably be looking for someone better at the final cuts regardless. You have to think we will keep at least three guards, one of which could backup the starters.

    If Curtis can play well in the exhibitions, that will be the true test. Hannam is more experienced. He can also can play special teams fairly well, which is another built-in advantage.
  13. DLCassidy

    DLCassidy Active Member

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    It's either Procter or Peterman and right now I think Procter is clearly in the lead from what we're reading. You don't go with 3 guards, particularly if Gurode ends up starting.
  14. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    I understand the financial standpoint of getting rid of Glover, but I don't think you make yourself significantly weaker at a position to save scratch, especially when you can afford it.

    I know he wasn't perfect for the job, but he would still provide a fantastic presence in the middle.
  15. aikemirv

    aikemirv Well-Known Member

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    Depending on Boimans thumb, he could go on the PUP list for 6 weeks I believe - that would help save one roster spot. By week 6 someone is bound to be injured for him to fill the spot with.
  16. CrazyCowboy

    CrazyCowboy Well-Known Member

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    Vela sure is a very good writer.
  17. silver

    silver Well-Known Member

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    i agree, however i don't think they're locks to make the roster. last year we ended up with only two safeties and added Pile later on. the same might be the case at the Guard postition.
  18. Alexander

    Alexander What's it going to be then, eh?

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    We could do that with Pile because we had players like Reeves and Jones who also could play safety in a pinch. I don't think we have a single offensive lineman besides McQuistan who could play guard outside of Peterman/Proctor (I am not counting Gurode, who I think starts at center), and we know he will not be overwhelmed.

    There are sometimes cases where players like this make the final roster, but once the waiver wire is scanned between the last cut down date and the first game, sometimes you see a player you like more. I do believe Proctor has shown enough to at least make the final cut.

    It all comes down to slotting. Sometimes you just have an open spot that you will fill with someone regardless. Like a template. That doesn't mean anyone is sold on the player, but just that we want a certain number of linemen. Versatility is fine, but eventually you have to have someone who practices at guard week in, week out. It is a bit much to expect that to come from one player who also backs up another position.
  19. silver

    silver Well-Known Member

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    so how many back ups at the OL do we keep? 4 or 5? for argument sake let's say we keep the current back ups: Adams, Johnson, McQ, & either Fabini or Proctor if we keep 4. So you see Proctor hasn't made the team just yet. Fabini is still in the picture. Knowing BP, he'd rather go with the vets albeit hurt like Flo & Fabini than with an unproven commodity like Proctor. I'm not saying Proctor is gone, just that he's not a lock to make the team.
  20. Alexander

    Alexander What's it going to be then, eh?

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    I just think we keep a third dedicated guard, that's all. I don't think Proctor is a lock either, that's my point, sorry if that wasn't clear.

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