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Players that are ST only…how much value do they have?


LabattBlue
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We are leaving out Andre Smith Jr (but will be suspended first 6 games), AND Siran Neal.

 

Yes I get Siran has played some CB when needed but to me is just as much a "primarily special teamer" as other guys who have had to fill in like Matakavich and Kumerow.

I completely understand and support investing in special teams, but keeping 5 guys that are mainly there for gunners and special blocking is a bit much to me.

If we keep a guy like Kumerow over Hodgins when we have all the others listed I will be pretty frustrated - but overall I trust McBeane

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1 hour ago, BTB said:

Kumerow, Matekevich & Jones. How do they justify keeping all 3, considering 2 of the 4 ST units(kickoff & kickoff return units) have been neutered 2/3 of the time(just a rough guess on my part) by touchbacks?

 

Therefore, they keep 3 guys mainly for punt & punt return teams?  Seems like a luxury to me. 1 of the 3 players…ok. 2 of the 3…tough sell. All 3…no way.  Not when good young players will be cut to keep the ST’ers on the roster. 

Just because a guy is young, doesn’t mean he’s good. Does it mean there’s a chance they develop into something good or better than a core ST? Yeah, that’s absolutely the case. 
 

Unfortunately for young players that weren’t high draft picks/projected starters… they need to play ST or else they’re a waste of a roster spot as a LB6 or WR7. There aren’t enough snaps to go around for guys like that or they’re inactive on game day in favor of a ST guy. 
 

The NFL isn’t set up for you to stash young guys… at least not if you want to win. 

2 minutes ago, PolishPrince said:

We are leaving out Andre Smith Jr (but will be suspended first 6 games), AND Siran Neal.

 

Yes I get Siran has played some CB when needed but to me is just as much a "primarily special teamer" as other guys who have had to fill in like Matakavich and Kumerow.

I completely understand and support investing in special teams, but keeping 5 guys that are mainly there for gunners and special blocking is a bit much to me.

If we keep a guy like Kumerow over Hodgins when we have all the others listed I will be pretty frustrated - but overall I trust McBeane

So what’s the recommendation? Keep guys that can’t play ST that will be WR7 or CB6 and will never see the field? 
 

That’s a worse investment than a WR7 or CB6 that will never see the field BUT will play a high end ST. 

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To the fans/majority of the posters on this board? They're worthless. If you don't provide anything beyond Special Teams prowess - you're just wasting roster spots that could be used on another WR or RB that won't even be active on Game Day.

 

To Sean McDermott? An integral part of his teams. So much so that Taiwan Jones and Tyler Matakevitch were amongst the protected vets that were inactive yesterday. He's often gone on record to say that if you value what else ST'ers provide over what they provide on ST's, that you're going to short change your ST's and that's how you get burned.

 

I'll give you one guess who's opinion matters.

 

Side Note: I find it a weird dichotomy that posters are of the mind that anyone can play Special Teams and advocate for their being cut for bottom of the roster skill position players on a yearly basis while also worshipping Steve Tasker.

Edited by BillsFanForever19
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1 hour ago, Rc2catch said:

They are ST only but all 3 of those guys have contributed when forced/needed in the lineup. 
Taiwan helped kill our season in Houston. We don’t use him as a running back but it’s not like he can’t help  produce from that spot if needed.
Matekevich imo has played well when needed. 
I trust the team to make the decisions. We don’t know what these guys contribute in film or practice as well. 
Sometimes it’s good to bet on talent developing as the season goes on, but sometimes it’s smarter to go with what’s proven. 

 

That can be debated.  I got no problem with Jones being a ST only player and that is what he is.

In his 4 years in Buffalo, he has 0 rushes for 0 yards and 6 targets for 1 catch 11 yards.  He dropped an easy TD.

Matekevich has some worth at LB but I don't know if he gets a new contract after this year.

Kumerow has only 1 year as a core special teamer and his WR play is not that great.

 

My argument over all these talks about STs is none of us know if any are released what kind of replacement there is.

Some fans act that if a Kumerow is released the opposing team is scoring on every punt.  I refuse to believe there are no other

qualified players on the roster.  We just don't know the difference in play.  The coaches do, so we have to wait.

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1 hour ago, Pete said:

IMO a punt return or kickoff return for TD is one of most momentum changing plays.  It's a great way to start a game.  It's a great way to answer to a opposing TD.  And it's a crushing play when it happens to us.  Bills have had some shaky special teams play many times the past 5 years.  Lets shut down every kickoff and punt,  and make them try the Bills D,

My personal opinion is that as long as STs don't give up big plays then that is adequate - and that is largely on coaching and discipline (Stay In Your Lanes).  I think ST coverage teams are more and more minimized in today's game - factor in kicking kickoffs out of the EZ and punts with no returns (directional kicks, fair catches, or 82 yrd kicks for touchbacks lol)  and you are talking about maybe a handful of plays (not even counting having an elite offense that literally doesn't even punt some games).  As long as coverage teams play disciplined as a unit and don't give up big plays, and returners are well-coached and don't make bone-headed mistakes - then I think you are covered.  I think it's an age-old response to say how imporatant STs are - they are important, but I think you can have adequate units without keeping a bunch of ST-only players  - which is also fine if there's no one else that would make the roster deeper/better at regular positions.  But on a deep talented team like ours, I would much rather keep a skill player who might contribute if there are injuries etc over the course of the season.

 

My real pet peeve related to this is why rosters aren't say 55 - then you can potentially keep a couple ST-only players and deep, well-constructed teams aren't penalized

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You could create a team…

 

ST player(6) K, P, LS, returner/ gunner, 2 other ST captains 

22 players for offense

22 players for defense 

3 wild cards

 

22 player defense

8 DL/edge

5 LB

3 S

6 CB

 

22 player offense

2 QB

8 OL

2 TE

5 WR

3 RB

2 Others based on depth

 

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2 hours ago, The Wiz said:

It's a balancing act for sure. 

 

The reality is even if they are good young players, there are other guys in front of them on the depth chart so their playing time is going to be limited unless there is an injury. 

 

If these players aren't taking over for the ST players you mentioned, then someone is going to have to play STs for them as well as defense/offense.

 

It's how any time Hyde has to take a punt most people want him to just fair catch it to eliminate the possibility of him getting injured. 

Several of the young LBs could conceivably replace Matakevich on defense AND special teams.

If they cut Kumerow they will need outside WR depth.. Hodgins? Or use a LB,DB,RB or WR.

I think Jones is easily replaced as a RB but then team would need a gunner...

There are plenty of candidates to RETURN kicks. 

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1 hour ago, Mat68 said:

This is a big question.  Spector or Matykavich?  Spector is more athletic and has more natural instincts imo.  Is he better than a guy who played special teams only for 6 years?  No.  Could he be above average?  Imo yes.  Neal and Jones are big fast guys so they are good at gunner.  They really are not natural football players imo.  They are athletes who found a niche.  I cant justify keeping both.  Blackshear still imo can make PS.  Bedford and Lewis are worth keeping vs Neal being below average at both positions.

 

Spector is more like A. J. Klein than Tyler Matakevich (spelling counts Mutt69 unless you are trying to dismiss his contributions because they do not support your point).  He was a tackling machine in college and many of Bills players are poor tacklers (thanks NFLPA!)  Bills are looking at him fill that roster slot rather than Matakevich's.

 

I agree about Jones but not Siran Neal; Siran has produced when needed.  They also signed a 3 year extension for him so they plan on him being one of the less expensive players while signing stars for the big bucks.

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56 minutes ago, Georgie said:

Several of the young LBs could conceivably replace Matakevich on defense AND special teams.

If they cut Kumerow they will need outside WR depth.. Hodgins? Or use a LB,DB,RB or WR.

I think Jones is easily replaced as a RB but then team would need a gunner...

There are plenty of candidates to RETURN kicks. 

I can't argue with any of that but it was a comment about specific players vs non-specific players.

 

I'm sure some of the young LBs could take over for Matakevich for sure.  I don't know about Hodgins taking over for Kumerow.  Could he at WR, sure.  But could he also produce on ST is another question.  And Jones at RB I completely agree with but the gunner definitely something he excels at.

 

And yes, there are plenty of candidates to RETURN kick, the problem is a good amount of them are an unknown right now.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Rc2catch said:

They are ST only but all 3 of those guys have contributed when forced/needed in the lineup. 
Taiwan helped kill our season in Houston. We don’t use him as a running back but it’s not like he can’t help  produce from that spot if needed.
Matekevich imo has played well when needed. 
I trust the team to make the decisions. We don’t know what these guys contribute in film or practice as well. 
Sometimes it’s good to bet on talent developing as the season goes on, but sometimes it’s smarter to go with what’s proven. 

 

Jones is the one I have the most issue with as really never plays as a RB.  At least both Matekevich and Kumurow do play some actual snaps and could do more if called upon.

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I wouldn't gut special teams by any means, but if you could replace a couple of players with some young guns who can play special teams AND contribute meaningfully if needed...and the drop off in ST talent is only incremental...I think I would make those moves.  The ST units playing yesterday I presume were mostly rookies and younger players.  They played well.  And if anyone wants to bring up the holding penalties, that's an issue even with the Vets.

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33 minutes ago, Ed_Formerly_of_Roch said:

 

Jones is the one I have the most issue with as really never plays as a RB.  At least both Matekevich and Kumurow do play some actual snaps and could do more if called upon.

Yeah I’m not making a case for anyone I’m not any of those guys biggest fan, but they are capable of contributing they’re just not asked to. 

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Does anyone have some stats on Special Teams penalties from last previous couple of  seasons?

 

The Bills were atrocious yesterday in this area and it seems to be a regular thing in my mind..

 

For their emphasis on ST, you think they would be able to cut down on the flags..

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3 minutes ago, Aussie Joe said:

Does anyone have some stats on Special Teams penalties from last previous couple of  seasons?

 

The Bills were atrocious yesterday in this area and it seems to be a regular thing in my mind..

 

For their emphasis on ST, you think they would be able to cut down on the flags..

 

This is the site I use.

Breaks out penalties all different ways.  

https://www.nflpenalties.com/team/buffalo-bills?year=2021

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Yes special teams is important.  At some point in their careers Jones, Matakevich, Kumerow and Neal flashed at their position and become special team contributors.  Not being negative but those are the conversations for the young guys making the team. 

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10 minutes ago, Mat68 said:

Yes special teams is important.  At some point in their careers Jones, Matakevich, Kumerow and Neal flashed at their position and become special team contributors.  Not being negative but those are the conversations for the young guys making the team. 

 

Well said.  Matt Smiley had a presser about a week or so ago and I'm not sure if everyone who is interested in STs watched it.

He does explain precisely what his role is concerning roster decisions.  He "ranks" all the ST guys in value and hands that off to

McDermott and Beane.  I like what I hear from him and the ST "process" if you will.

 

For anyone interested who didn't catch it.  The first 10+ minutes is mainly about Punters/Holding and PR/KR.

Starting at 11:00 minutes is pretty interesting.

 

https://www.buffalobills.com/video/matthew-smiley-my-emphasis-is-always-to-push-that-level-of-competition

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I think this is a transition year for the special teams only guys. My guess is that 2022 will be Jones' and Matakevich's last year. I think Kumerow will not make it. Siran Neal is mostly special teams but he can play on defense if needed. Andre Smith will start on suspended list and if they don't have injuries and/or the young LBs show they can play special teams they will let him go. 

 

That gives them 2 "teams only" guys with Neal a combo. Back in the Super Bowl years they had Tasker and Mark Pike as special teams only but Tasker could play WR. I think that's okay, it will be interesting to see what young guys step up and become the next standouts on STs. 

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