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Deadpulse

Training Camp Battle - Running Back

Who is a LOCK to make the roster?  

23 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is a LOCK to make the roster?

    • Sony Michel
      22
    • Rex Burkhead
      16
    • James White
      16
    • Mike Gillisee
      0
    • Jeremy Hill
      1
    • Brandon Bolden
      6
    • Ralph Webb
      0


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Training Camp and the season are just around the corner. Lets get football discussion going again

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So RB should be an interesting position to follow for the following reason's:

Who is going to start?

Will the rookie bust into camp and earn the first tote of every game? Will James White bust out of his passing back role and become an all around back? Will Rex Burkhead, IMO the defacto #1 option heading into camp, tighten his grip on the feature back role? Will one of Mikey G and Jeremy Hill come in strong?WILL RALPH WEBB SURPRISE EVERYONE! Basically what I am getting at is that as usual, the roles are wide open.

Who is the power/goal-line back?

I feel like Michel could be in ever discussion, but to me this question comes down to Burkhead, Mikey G, and Jeremy Hill. 

Is James White more than a passing back? Can anyone take that spot from him?

So this one is two fold. We all saw Rexy showcase a passing game affinity. Could he eclipse White and become the all around guy with White and Michel playing back up/change of pace? Can White finally show more getting the hand off? If so, how does that effect the other guys vying for spots? Does it make them less valuable?

 

To me, the locks to make the roster are:

Rex Burkhead - most used RB from last season on the roster, resigned to a decent deal

Sony Michel - drafted in the first round

James White - entrenched in the passing back role, has Brady's trust

 

I think Gillisee and Jeremy Hill are competing for the same spot. Brandon Bolden is likely competing with both this group and anyone else trying to carve out a ST role. Ralph Webb remains the longest of shots.

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Would y'all please recommend a site with good day-to-day training camp reports and breakdowns? I read one a few years ago which was pretty good, but dammit I can't remember what it was.

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patspulpit usually has a lot of that kind of stuff. You just have to remember that they are mostly just bloggers

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3 hours ago, Deadpulse said:

Who is going to start?

I suspect, if/when healthy, Rex Burkhead gets the nod here. 

He is a bit of a do-it-all which pushes him passed James White, and also ahead of the new guys. Does it stay that way? Depends on how dependable Michel becomes.  

3 hours ago, Deadpulse said:

Who is the power/goal-line back?

Again, Rex here. He was surprisingly good in the role last season and I suspect him to retain it. Even if Gillislee or Hill make the roster.

3 hours ago, Deadpulse said:

Is James White more than a passing back? Can anyone take that spot from him?

No, he’s a pure passing back IMO. He can run a little bit, as seen in the SB vs Atlanta, but he offers the least as a runner sans Bolden. 

The role could be stolen if Burkhead remains healthy, but I think it’s unlikely. I expect a similar season to 2017 from White.

Locks: Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, James White - but honestly, I can even see a scenario where White doesn’t make it.

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I totally forgot that Hill and Gillislee were on the team.

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Agree with your locks.  I think Hill also has a very good chance to make the team but we'll see.

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1 hour ago, mission27 said:

Agree with your locks.  I think Hill also has a very good chance to make the team but we'll see.

If Mikey can come in hot, I see no reason why he wouldnt beat out Hill

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20 hours ago, Yin-Yang said:

but honestly, I can even see a scenario where White doesn’t make it.

 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, DoleINGout said:

but honestly, I can even see a scenario where White doesn’t make it.

No way, no how, will they dump white when the WR position is so up in the air and Gronk is one bad tackle away from IR. Brady needs targets he can trust, and White might well push 60-70 receptions this year, what with Lewis being gone and Edelman starting the year on suspension

Edited by ChazStandard

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, ChazStandard said:

No way, no how, will they dump white when the WR position is so up in the air and Gronk is one bad tackle away from IR. Brady needs targets he can trust, and White might well push 60-70 receptions this year, what with Lewis being gone and Edelman starting the year on suspension

But if the Texans or Niners offer a third round pick in training camp I could see him gone. Put Patterson at RB behind Michel, Burkhead, Hill and Bolden. Also can cover on kicks, return them, and split out wide.

Edited by DoleINGout

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I do agree with deadpluse's take on who makes it. I kind of think brandon bolden will make the team tho. He feels like our joe vellano of running backs xD

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23 hours ago, ChazStandard said:

No way, no how, will they dump white when the WR position is so up in the air and Gronk is one bad tackle away from IR. Brady needs targets he can trust, and White might well push 60-70 receptions this year, what with Lewis being gone and Edelman starting the year on suspension

I doubt it happens too, but I don’t think it’s impossible. 

If Burkhead continues to show out as a receiver, Michel shows up on 3rd down, one or both of Gillislee/Hill impress, and Bolden proves himself invaluable, then that doesn’t leave room for White.

WR depth has hurt this team early last season and a couple others (Keshawn Martin starting games....) so they may be heavy at some positions (QB, WR, T, DB). Edelman’s suspension helps alleviate that a little bit, but I don’t think it’s impossible. 

Side note: if Bolden makes the roster, Bill will be looking at a stacked special teams unit. Slater, King, Bolden, Ebner, and Patterson are amongst the best special teamers in the league.

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5 hours ago, Yin-Yang said:

I doubt it happens too, but I don’t think it’s impossible. 

If Burkhead continues to show out as a receiver, Michel shows up on 3rd down, one or both of Gillislee/Hill impress, and Bolden proves himself invaluable, then that doesn’t leave room for White.

WR depth has hurt this team early last season and a couple others (Keshawn Martin starting games....) so they may be heavy at some positions (QB, WR, T, DB). Edelman’s suspension helps alleviate that a little bit, but I don’t think it’s impossible. 

Side note: if Bolden makes the roster, Bill will be looking at a stacked special teams unit. Slater, King, Bolden, Ebner, and Patterson are amongst the best special teamers in the league.

Sony Michel is a good all-around back and I think he has eventual Pro Bowl potential, but I don't think there's really any way his third-down contributions push White out. Michel is a decent receiving back but never really got a ton of receptions at Georgia and he's a bit stiff laterally compared to White. With the Patriots needing a receiving back to be open on every third down in the short areas, it's a better bet to go with the guy who has great lateral agility and quickness than the one who doesn't. Also, White is one of the best in the NFL at what he does, and I think that's too valuable to let go. Teams have to gameplan for him, because a linebacker can't cover him, but putting another DB on the field against him is risky if it's a run play. 

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2 hours ago, AlNFL19 said:

Also, White is one of the best in the NFL at what he does, and I think that's too valuable to let go. Teams have to gameplan for him, because a linebacker can't cover him, but putting another DB on the field against him is risky if it's a run play. 

I feel like we say things like this about a lot of guys that come through here. Shane Vereen anyone? The only guy I can remember having success coming from Brady's passing back role onto another team is Danny Woodhead

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2 hours ago, AlNFL19 said:

Sony Michel is a good all-around back and I think he has eventual Pro Bowl potential, but I don't think there's really any way his third-down contributions push White out. Michel is a decent receiving back but never really got a ton of receptions at Georgia and he's a bit stiff laterally compared to White. With the Patriots needing a receiving back to be open on every third down in the short areas, it's a better bet to go with the guy who has great lateral agility and quickness than the one who doesn't. Also, White is one of the best in the NFL at what he does, and I think that's too valuable to let go. Teams have to gameplan for him, because a linebacker can't cover him, but putting another DB on the field against him is risky if it's a run play. 

I don’t think it’s all that risky. White is a threat on a draw or something, but as a runner he’s about as one dimensional as it gets. Also very much disagree with him being more agile laterally than Michel.

But about your response - I don’t expect Michel to edge White out as a scatback. Burkhead can, though. And if Michel shows enough on 3rd down, between he and Burkhead, White’s skillset becomes a bit more expendable. Even then, it’d require some tough calls; Gillislee and/or Hill would have to be really killing it and Bolden would have to be viewed as an invaluable special teamer (not really possible for anyone to make that call at the moment). 

I don’t predict the team carries 6 running backs, especially once Edelman comes back. Michel, Burkhead, and Develin aren’t going anywhere. If we assume Bolden makes it because of his special teams versatility, that leaves one spot between Gillislee, Hill, and White. If all are playing well at their own game, White’s skillset is the most replicable IMO. Which is why I can see there being a possibility he doesn’t make the final roster. 

I doubt it happens. I doubt Hill or Gillislee show enough to warrant a spot over White. I doubt Bolden is kept over White. I doubt the team ends up viewing Burkhead as the go to third down back. But all those things are possible. 

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