In response to FrnkBnhm's comment:
In response to russgriswold's comment:
1. Our fans underrate Arrington here. Big time. Good player. Great in zone, excellent on the inside and on lateral routes/anything under 10 yards. Obviously, with a QB having more time, past 10 yards to look downfield, a smaller CB can be beaten by a larger, more physical WR. That could be anybody, Brent Grimes or Kyle Arrington. Just saying.
2. Dowling was coming off a hip injury last year in camp. There were reports he was behind schedule. I think the idea was for him to be there by midseason or late in the year to help out, so he made the club. It never happened, he then injured his leg, which may or may not have been tied to overcompensating for that hip.
Anyway, there is no point debating Dowling. Whatever happens, happens. Personally, I think he's a pretty good talent, it's just a matter of the health element, obviously at this point. If he doesn't look legit all camp long and preseason both play and healthwise, he's gone.
I am not sure how many vet CBS are left. I had suggested Jacon Lacey because he's good on the inside and has outside experience with STs success, but Minny picked him up.
As for Dennard, I see him missing the first 2 games, barring some irrational punishment to be handed down on July 31.
Agree on Wilson being brought in here for teaching, but also he'll impact and start, IMO. This is very similar to the Brian Waters signing in 2011.
People kept asking why he was cut and I kept saying it was because KC had a LG (Jon Amoah or something) whom they liked and they wanted to move forward in developing at a much cheaper rate off the Lockout. It had nothing to do with Waters's play. Voila, BB clips him and next to Light, he was our best OL in 2011 by a mile.
I think Ballard will be fine by Sept. He's carrying more eight than most people off of ACL surgery, so his recovery has been a bit slower, but I think he make the team and will help.
Sudfeld to me is a Hernandez style TE even with his size. I agree he has a thinner upper frame than you'd expect at that size, but his incredibly athletic too. Gronk, Ballard, Hooman or Fells can be used to block. Obviously, you want Gronk in there doing it, but they can get by with Fells, Hooman or Ballard, early in the season.
Arrington is a bit underrated. In the modern NFL you need some one with his skills (essentially a cornerback who covers the slot). I think he is overmatched when he ends up on the outside, but clearly BB thinks he is worth $4m a year for 4 years so the team thinks he is important to the defense.
Cornerback will sort itself out in camp. I am not even going to guess on Dennard. I would not be surprised if he is here for Game 1 or off the team. There are too many variables that do not have anything to do with the Patriots. All we know right now, is that we will have a better idea what his status is after his July 31st hearing.
I like Wilson, he definitely had a down year last year and that prompted his price to drop and Arizona to move on from him. He has something to prove, the question is really whether he still has the physical ability to do it.
Some people think that Sudfeld is more of a Gronk because of his size, but he has nowhere near Gronk's strength from what I have read and seen. He is definitely more of Hernandez. He is ultimately a tweener (not strong enough to line up as a TE every down - and not fast or quick enough to line up split out every down).
I am already second guessing my WR crew. Looking back, WR is the one position where no rookie has succeeded in a long time. I believe Deion Branch had the best rookie season of anyone that was 12 seasons ago and 43 catches, 489 yards, 2 TDs is not exactly all world.
Looking at Boyce and Dobson, they both actually graded out around the same as Taylor Price three years ago and it took him 15 games to see the field. It is probably more likely that one of the veterans (Jones or Jenkins) is the second or third WR with Edelman and Amendola.
I am not saying that a rookie cannot make an instant impact as a wide out on this team. I am just saying that in the time Belichick and Brady have been together. It has never happened.
Our 2002 season with Branch and Givens also saw us not really run it with Antowain Smith as much. They went 9-7, mostly due to some slowness and continuity issues on D, but Brady also came out wanting to throw it that year. Michael Haynes didn't fit and that was that.
I think this is a LOT different, however, and it's really a health situation with Amendola (I think his injury past is completely overblown) and Edelman. If we started today, those are the WRs and I have no issue with that at all, assuming Gronk is ready to go as well. I know it's very, very popular here for some of of our newer fans to need media reassurance with Edelman, but the guy is a player. He catches it, runs solid routes, has some speed, great open space ability and can get deep if we need it (NY Jets last year when he snuck by Landry).
The biggest misconception by the media and some of our own fans is that we have to run a spread offense. That's just not true.
Something like this on opening day is fine by me:
Edelman Vereen Gronk Amendola
Your back ups can be Dobson behind Edelman, since he's a default X player in college and maybe a Boyce or a Jenkins (whoever wins that 4th/Veteran WR spot) behind Amendola.
Or, you just take Vereen off the field and use a two back set. Maybe you ask a bigger Bolden to do some lead blocking with Ridley as the ball carrier at times. Or, maybe you just get on with it and bring in Vonta Leach to be like what Howard Griffith was for Denver and Elway at age 36 in 1997?
When was the last time we saw two RBs, split behind Brady under Center with only 1 TE? I want more of that kind of formation variation, but with limited to no subbing of the backs. Maybe you take off a Bolden and plop Vereen out there as a slot guy on 3rds or a second TE for 1st and 2nd downs, but that's it.
I think what's going to eventually happen is, BB will move a lot of these guys around like the old days instead of just showing who we have in a spread and hoping the physical matchup advantages work. Troy Brown used to be in motion on almost every down in our lineup. What happened to that stuff?
What's happened is, teams show one D that appears to be an advantage, then they switch it right before the snap, so this compromises what Brady thinks he has on his first 2 reads, which we know are pretty much ALWAYS, Welker or Gronk, two interior guys. By the end of 2007, Jim Johnson knew it was Moss/Welker, so his D showed Moss in single, then they adjusted right before the snap to double and take him away, leaving the predictable Welker read, also compromised. It's how we lost SB 42. It's how we've scored so few points in these recent games. I think that stuff is over. For it to go on would be absolutely lunacy at this point.
So, all this handwringing and doom vibe by the media will be hilarious come Sept when non Pats are asking how BB does it. Yep.
You start using motion for man coverages more, trying to force them into zones which Brady shreds and hitting quality perimeter guys, not playing favorites, etc, and watch out. There is definite potential for that kind of thing to resurface with the skill he has here.
This offense will not miss a beat much at all, IMO. Instead of 42-17, it will be 28-17 and stuff like that. Great O Line, major quality and depth at RB now, potential for very nice TEs again if it pans out correctly, and solid WRs, kinda like 2004 all over again.
Brady is 36. This whole idea of it needing to be about mostly passing or passing first has gotten us nowhere.
As for rookie WRs and their advancement as rookies, Gronk and Hern, while not WRs, with lesser routes, can be considered rookies who had quick impact as pass receivers. They can just bleed in the rookies as the season goes and ask them to master, maybe 10-15 plays, that can be used when they're out there.
A lot of this vibe about how Brady is not taken care of at WR has become completely out of control. A lot of it is on Brady himself. He had a complaint back in 2006 with the unexpected departure of Branch and only Caldwell added, but since then he's had a lot of what he's needed or asked for.
"Pressure on Brady" this year. Baloney. Manning had no issues working with Eric Decker last year.
Good post Rusty. I agree if Edelman and Amendola can both be healthy and on the field, that's actually a pretty damn good receiving combo. I know it isn't the sexiest pair for a lot of fans, but these guys have both and productive in this style of offense and I think they could really complement each other well. With a healthy Gronk, I believe that our offensive weapons are a lot better than people think.