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Friday, August 31, 2012
Time to be held accountable

By Mike Reiss




Now that the Patriots have made their decisions on the NFL's roster cutdown deadline, time to be held accountable. Here is a look at what was projected and what actually happened:

Quarterbacks
Roster: Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett
Projection: Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett
Quick hit: Raised possibility of Hoyer being let go, but didn't think team would pull trigger.

Running backs
Roster: Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Brandon Bolden
Projection: Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead, Bolden, Jeff Demps
Quick hit: Wasn't projecting Demps to land on IR (unclear if season-ending or short-term; lot of looseness in interpretation of rule).

Fullbacks
Roster: None
Projection: None
Quick hit: Still a possibility to see an addition here from another team.

Tight ends
Roster: Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells, Visanthe Shiancoe
Projection: Gronkowski, Hernandez, Fells
Quick hit: Shiancoe missed most of camp (hamstring) and thought it would cost him spot.

Wide receiver
Roster: Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater
Projection: Welker, Lloyd, Deion Branch, Edelman, Slater
Quick hit: Seemed as if Branch had done enough to earn spot; wasn't expecting just 4.

Offensive line
Roster: Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Donald Thomas, Nick McDonald
Projection: Solder, Vollmer, Cannon, Mankins, Connolly, Wendell, Thomas, Brian Waters
Quick hit: Had Waters in for McDonald, but noted if Waters didn't report, it would be McDonald in the mix. Waters' situation said to be fluid.

Defensive tackle
Roster: Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Ron Brace, Brandon Deaderick, Marcus Forston
Projection: Wilfork, Love, Brace, Deaderick
Quick hit: Forston, a rookie free agent from Miami, might be the most surprising addition to initial roster. Didn't see that one.

Defensive end
Roster: Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jermaine Cunningham, Trevor Scott, Justin Francis, Jake Bequette
Projection: Jones, Ninkovich, Cunningham, Scott, Francis, Bequette
Quick hit: Conviction on Francis, the rookie free agent, pays off.

Linebacker
Roster: Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont'a Hightower, Bobby Carpenter, Tracy White, Mike Rivera
Projection: Mayo, Spikes, Hightower, Carpenter, Jeff Tarpinian, Niko Koutouvides
Quick hit: White's health made it a tough call with Koutouvides; Rivera more productive than Tarpinian but overlooked it. No wonder Nick Caserio doesn't ask for my advice.

Cornerback
Roster: Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Ras-I Dowling, Sterling Moore, Marquice Cole, Alfonzo Dennard
Projection: McCourty, Arrington, Dowling, Cole, Dennard
Quick hit: Went with a special-teams only choice (safety Sergio Brown) over the pure defensive back (Moore). Worst call. Running a lap around the field for that one.

Safety
Roster: Patrick Chung, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner
Projection: Chung, Gregory, Wilson, Ebner, Sergio Brown
Quick hit: Correct on not including James Ihedigbo, but way off on choosing his replacement. Bill Belichick might be surprised to learn I don't have all the answers.

Specialists
Roster: Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken
Projection: Gostkowski, Mesko, Aiken
Quick hit: Sort of like picking Andrew Luck 1st in a mock draft; nice to be able to know you'll get one right.