APART FROM JC, WHICH LAST YEAR PAT NEEDS TO MAKE THE BIGGEST JUMP TO GIVE US THE BEST SHOT OF WINNING?
posted at 8/4/2011 4:53 AM EDT
the nominees are jermaine cunningham, aaron hernandez, kevin faulk, stephen gostkowski, myron pryor, ron brace, brandon deaderick, mike wright, and brandon tate and taylor price. faulk, gostkowski, and wright are vets who must show they are over their injury-riddled year and can bounce back even better amongst stiff competition. hernandez, cunningham, pryor and brace are newbies who need to show their injuries were aberrations and that they can keep progressing as well. tate and price are both speedsters who havent really had the opportunity to really shine esp price. this preseason could be it for their entire careers. we need legit deep threats that tom can trust, both have speed in spades. tate will seem to have kick return job so has harder to cut. for price, he will have to make a niche on special teams as well. the harder climb.
We will need gost to return to his booming kickoff days so we can win the field position game and take advantage of the new rule changes in the kicking game. prior to tweaking his hip, aaron was arguably the best TE in all of football in terms of catching and running with the ball. more like a dallas clark h-back type with more freakish speed and height. one can argue that gronk has surpassed him at this point but we will need aaron to quickly get back to where he was to really be a matchup nighmare on offense. deaderick was making plays before his injury and suspension for immaturity. how he bounces back is key for that will be great depth to that d-line. brace was playing great nose tackle before his injury. i dont see him playing much in the 4-3 but could spell vince at the nose in the 3-4. when we decide to stop the other team from running late in games. pryor could be was showing himself to the most versatile of all the linemen prior to his injury. can play nose, tackle and end while stopping the rush and rushing the passer. depending on whether wright's head is into playing as he once did, pryor could be a real key.
cunningham is the one pass rushing linebacker threat we have. seems to have the size and skills that bel craves, but its all about attitude, opportunity and experience at this point. guys like eric moore, murrell, fletcher, love and ninkovich have all plateaued, are what they are. i dont see them ever being much better than they are right now. about this guy quickly showing his superior upside. so far, price is consistently playing like a #2 receiver according to many observers of practice. no biggie, but had no idea that price happens to be non-black. like woodhead, i'm sure he's had to deal with extra pressure that he can really be a flanker at the highest levels and can win matchups against elite competition. on pats, it may actually help him. u have woodhead, welk and edelman already established.
i am going with faulk. must show he's healthy, and that he has something to offer as a receiver and brady blitz protector that no other runner in competition can top.