by Scott Benson
The Pats cut three players and re-assigned two others today and here’s a quick reaction on the roster moves:
Stephen Neal Will Miss the First Six Weeks
I’ve been wondering if Neal would go to PUP for the first month and a half. He hasn’t been anywhere near practice with his shoulder injury. At least he’ll be back this year. It’s left now to Billy Yates and John Welbourn to hold it together through the first 37% of the season. Neither has been impressive in the Pats’ three pre-season losses. Maybe it will be Russ Hochstein, on second thought. Can Mike Flynn play guard? It would be good for his job prospects if he could.
Ryan O’Callaghan Will Miss Season
It’s no Neal by order of magnitude, but I still think this hurts the Pats anyway. O’Callaghan has some ability, and two years under Dante Scarnecchia. Quick, name the Pats’ backup tackles after Wesley Britt. Oliver Ross (who hasn’t been spotted since July; another guy who may land on PUP) and Jimmy Martin. No denying the Pats are entering the season with a depleted offensive line, even with Matt Light back and practicing.
Webster, Eckel, Wendell See Coach, Bring Playbook
I am surprised but not surprised about Jason Webster. On one hand, I fully embranced the idea that the veteran Webster could make a contribution, but once he couldn’t get on the field, it was inevitable that he’d be well behind the rest of the field when he returned. The two rookies – Wheatley and Wilhite – were also clear factors here. Eckel always gave his best but there was no way he was making the roster. Wendell probably had a lesser chance than Eckel.
The big cutdown happens on Saturday, and we’ll see what they come up with for key spots like the secondary, linebackers, o-line, receivers and backs. Your input is, as always, welcomed in our comments section.