My Take on the Pats' Needs

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    My Take on the Pats' Needs

    I'm pretty depressed about the loss, but if I look at it objectively, I actually have to conclude that Bill Belichick did an amazing job to get a team with so many holes in its talent so far this year.  We really should just be appreciative that we had such a good ride on what's really a three-legged horse.

    The game yesterday confirmed for me what I've been thinking and saying all season.  Here's my take on what the team needs:

    Offense

    1. We need some bigger, faster wideouts.  We are far too dependent on Welker and the two TEs.  If you're going to be a passing team, you need great receivers--and you need enough of them to present the defense with multiple challenging looks.  I've said before that Brady played this season with "one hand tied behind his back." With Gronk hurt that was truer than ever last night. He needs more targets--and especially he needs some guys who can line up wide and use speed and size to create some real matchup problems for corners on the sidelines and safeties deep. 

    2. We need at least one of two possible things to improve in the backfield. First, we need a guy who can make an impact in the passing game.  We need someone who can reliably catch the ball in space and get significant yards after the catch--a guy who can be a feared outlet receiver and can help us get a screen game going.  We also need a more explosive runner--someone who can run outside or break a big one up the middle.  Ridley may actually be that guy, but not if he can't protect the ball.


    Defense

    1. The D line is just not dominant.  One player--Wilfork--is great.  The rest are filler.  Anderson and Carter contributed a lot this year, but they aren't long term solutions.  Love and Deaderick should be backups; and Ellis and Warren are long past their primes.  BB shook up the unit at the beginning of the season, so he's clearly aware of the problem.  He needs to do it again this offseason I'm afraid.

    2.  LBs--Spikes and Mayo are a very decent pair and Nink played okay.  But we still need an OLB who really can make a difference.  Pass coverage is nearly as big a problem for this group as it is for the secondary. Mayo is better at ILB, I think, than OLB.  I think BB has to look at the entire front seven and create a long-term plan to figure out either what pieces he needs to play the scheme he likes or  (alternatively) how to adjust his scheme to the pieces he has.  The offseason restructuring has to focus on defining the type of defense we are going to play so that we can pick the right players for it.  

    3. Secondary--wow . . . it's just horrendous.  There's a reason guys like Edelman and Slater played so much.  The actual CBs and safeties on the roster just can't make plays on the ball.  It's been an ongoing problem, but giving up 300 yards to bad QBs is just no way to win games.  There are a few bright spots--Chung is okay, McCourty still flashes good skills, Sterling Moore may be a diamond in the rough, Arrington is okay.  But there is no one who is really outsanding and there are lot of guys playing who are just marginal NFL players. I think the talent needs to change--and maybe we need a better secondary coach, because I think guys actually seem to regress in this unit.

    Other Issues
    A few other things I'll add:

    1. I don't think play calling on offense is the real problem.  Running the ball more with these running backs really isn't an option.  You could rebuild the team to make running a more prominent part of the offense (and maybe Ridley and Vereen are the start of that)--but until you get the pieces in place, running a lot is not really an option. 

    2. There is way too much pressure on Brady to make plays, and he has made a few poor decisions (or poor throws) at bad times.  I think giving him more receivers would help.  A running game would also help, of course.  You need a few more options for Brady so he doesn't have to press as much.

    3. Special teams.  Our special teams are good (reliable), but the return teams aren't very explosive.  I'm not sure this is a big deal, but it always helps to start a few drives further upfield.  


      



     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from southernpat. Show southernpat's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    This is a problem when you have a coach who is also the GM.  One eye on the field, the other eye on the budget.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from NOISE. Show NOISE's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    well said.  I think most of your thoughts are most Pats fans thoughts as well.  Definitely need WR (and a difference maker at RB to take pressure OFF of Brady) and they need MUCH better Defensive Personal. D-Line/OLB's/CB's!   Period!  Been saying it for years! 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Schumpeters-Ghost. Show Schumpeters-Ghost's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    For the record:  Mayo is terrible.  He is completely over-rated by Pats fans.  He is rarely in the right place and never makes any big plays.

    They need to draft ALL defense in the first 3 rounds of the draft.

    Sign a WR.

    We'll seee how committed Mr Kraft is - he has cap space (as usual)
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from southernpat. Show southernpat's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    In Response to Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs:
    [QUOTE]well said.  I think most of your thoughts are most Pats fans thoughts as well.  Definitely need WR (and a difference maker at RB to take pressure OFF of Brady) and they need MUCH better Defensive Personal. D-Line/OLB's/CB's!   Period!  Been saying it for years! 
    Posted by NOISE[/QUOTE]

    Yes, and they have had the draft choices to address those needs but somehow it hasn't happened.  Will it happen for next season?  NO - you'll see more low cost, inferior players on their last legs, signed to 1 year deals.  Patch it up, send Brady out there to win games and see what happens.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ma6dragon9. Show ma6dragon9's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    "I'm pretty depressed about the loss, but if I look at it objectively, I actually have to conclude that Bill Belichick did an amazing job to get a team with so many holes in its talent so far this year.  We really should just be appreciative that we had such a good ride on what's really a three-legged horse."

    I'm glad I read this before I started another thread with, basically, that same paragraph.

    Well thought out post. I agree with 95% of what you said.

    The only this I don't agree with is your contention that they couldn't run the ball with these backs. BJGE averaged about 5 per carry against Balt AND NYG, but they didn't give him the ball enough. They lost by 4 points, and got CRUSHED in the TOP...and never tried to commit to running the ball.

    In fact, rarely at all during the season did they make a true attempt to really focus on the run. I think the backs would have benefitted, I know every OLineman prefers to run block over pass block, Brady would certainly have benefitted, and the WRs/TEs would have benefitted.

    I thought the play calling, in general, was uninspired all season, and often predictable. To be fair, they had more wrinkles in the SB than I'd seen most of the season, but didn't use them enough.

    Kevin Faulk and Tiki Barber both had SERIOUS fumbling issues early in their careers and turned out fine. I think Ridley will be fine, I would have liked to see him get a few touches. You have to take chances, even minimizing the risks, and puting the ball in your most trustworthy players hands led to a safety and an INT that were directly on the shoulders of that most-trustworthy player.

    Sure, you can't lose if you don't make a bet...but you can't win either. Take a chance once in a while.

    Ahhhhh well.

    At least there are some things to look forward to in the offseason/next year:

    -Gronk/Hernandez still young and developing
    -OLine should come along nicely with a full offseason to work with coaches
    -The draft is always entertaining and the Pats,a s usual, have 2 1st rounders
    -Sterling Moore, as you said, looks pretty legit, will be fun watching that play out
    -I'm not intimately familiar with it, but I believe the Pats will have some money to play with, so maybe they'll surprise us all and make a significant addition
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ma6dragon9. Show ma6dragon9's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    In Response to Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs : Yes, and they have had the draft choices to address those needs but somehow it hasn't happened.  Will it happen for next season?  NO - you'll see more low cost, inferior players on their last legs, signed to 1 year deals.  Patch it up, send Brady out there to win games and see what happens.
    Posted by southernpat[/QUOTE]

    Ocho (6, another year to go), Shaun Ellis (4) and Leigh Bodden (7! remember him? also had another year to go) were all given significant money THIS SEASON and expected to make impacts. None did. One is already gone, and the other two likely won't make any impact next season either.

    You can blame BB for signing the wrong guys if you want, but calling him cheap is flatly ignorant.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from NOISE. Show NOISE's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    In Response to Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs : Yes, and they have had the draft choices to address those needs but somehow it hasn't happened.  Will it happen for next season?  NO - you'll see more low cost, inferior players on their last legs, signed to 1 year deals.  Patch it up, send Brady out there to win games and see what happens.
    Posted by southernpat[/QUOTE]

    Unfortunately, your probably right southernpat. 
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    Very good post Prolate. I just said essentially the same thing on the draft thread. It's kind of scary really.

    I think bringing Lloyd in will help the WR core out a lot as a outside threat but we need a 3rd TE more then ever.

    The main thing is that I think the secondary needs vets. Not young rooks but vets. Some players in their prime that won't get beat on basic moves.

    The pas rush can't be fix with quick patches anymore. We need young talented rushers in both the edge and the interior to get a consistent pass rush. Aging vets are nice but can't give you the power and speed needed over the course of a season to get it done.

    Hopefully we see BB spend some money on some vets this off-season and actually use those picks instead of value
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonSportsFan111. Show BostonSportsFan111's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    Good post. Pats have some few holes to fill, but a lot less than most teams (trying to stay positive today). My points as we head into next year...

    1. They have the most cap space in the AFC East to work with, and dropping a couple guys will open more room. I can't find an updated set of numbers to see where they stand league wide and what cutting certain players would mean to next years numbers.

    2. They have two first and two second round picks in this years draft, most of any team I believe. With the new rookie wage scale, BB might make some interesting moves this offseason, i.e. bring in some key higher priced veterans.

    3. Ridley, Vereen, Dowling, the full secondary, and this years picks will have a full training camp together going into next year. Not having all of that practice time was a major problem for the rookies. I'm not sure some of those secondary guys will be back, but they played better as a unit as they year went on, and having a full camp together will help. Note: PLEASE sign another NFL ready starting safety...

    4. Josh McDaniels is back full time. I think this is huge, Pats really havent had the RBs involved in the passing game since he left, maybe more due to the injury to Faulk than anything else. I think he will be able get Ridley, Vereen or ?? to become part of the passing offense.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from msteven. Show msteven's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    I agree with this post.  There is something wrong with a team that cannot run the ball from their 3 yard line and takes a safety! Looking at the current personnel:
    Offense:
    QB - one of the best in the league and a 3rd round backup.  Trade Hoyer
    RB - time to see the new rookies play.   BJGE is not the answer.  Faulk will be retired
    WR.  Keep Welker, Edelman and Chad.  Free agent pickup to fill the deep threat
    TE  All set there!
    OL  young crop of draft picks seem to be filling in nicely.   Need a center

    Defense:
    DL -  after Wilfork everything is iffy
    OLB - Cunningham?  maybe after that not much
    ILB - Spikes and Mayo seem to be ok with Fletcher as the backup
    Safety - Chung is the only reliable person here
    CB - McCourdy needs to return to his rookie form  RasI should be an upgrade

    Special teams
    Please get a return specialist!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonSportsFan111. Show BostonSportsFan111's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    Here is a good site with this years free agents. Marques Colston? And although he is restricted, how good would Mike Wallace look in a Pats uniform...

    http://www.footballsfuture.com/freeagents.html
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    In Response to Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs:
    [QUOTE]"I'm pretty depressed about the loss, but if I look at it objectively, I actually have to conclude that Bill Belichick did an amazing job to get a team with so many holes in its talent so far this year.  We really should just be appreciative that we had such a good ride on what's really a three-legged horse." I'm glad I read this before I started another thread with, basically, that same paragraph. Well thought out post. I agree with 95% of what you said. The only this I don't agree with is your contention that they couldn't run the ball with these backs. BJGE averaged about 5 per carry against Balt AND NYG, but they didn't give him the ball enough. They lost by 4 points, and got CRUSHED in the TOP...and never tried to commit to running the ball. In fact, rarely at all during the season did they make a true attempt to really focus on the run. I think the backs would have benefitted, I know every OLineman prefers to run block over pass block, Brady would certainly have benefitted, and the WRs/TEs would have benefitted. I thought the play calling, in general, was uninspired all season, and often predictable. To be fair, they had more wrinkles in the SB than I'd seen most of the season, but didn't use them enough. Kevin Faulk and Tiki Barber both had SERIOUS fumbling issues early in their careers and turned out fine. I think Ridley will be fine, I would have liked to see him get a few touches. You have to take chances, even minimizing the risks, and puting the ball in your most trustworthy players hands led to a safety and an INT that were directly on the shoulders of that most-trustworthy player. Sure, you can't lose if you don't make a bet...but you can't win either. Take a chance once in a while. Ahhhhh well. At least there are some things to look forward to in the offseason/next year: -Gronk/Hernandez still young and developing -OLine should come along nicely with a full offseason to work with coaches -The draft is always entertaining and the Pats,a s usual, have 2 1st rounders -Sterling Moore, as you said, looks pretty legit, will be fun watching that play out -I'm not intimately familiar with it, but I believe the Pats will have some money to play with, so maybe they'll surprise us all and make a significant addition
    Posted by ma6dragon9[/QUOTE]

    This has been the debate all year . . . whether we don't run because we're bad at it or whether we're bad at running because we don't do it enough.

    My take is it's a little of both, but the first is the real driver.  If you look at the strengths of our offense, passing is far ahead of running, so naturally we design game plans that emphasize passing ahead of running.  Maybe that has a secondary effect of weakening the running game further, but I can't imagine designing game plans around BJGE and Woodhead. They just aren't nearly the talent that Brady, Gronk, Hernandez, and Welker are.  The challenge is getting the run mixed in to keep the defense honest, but either (1) not being predictable when we run or (2) being able to win battles even when we are predictable.  What I've seen from the running game is we're terrible at the second of these.  When we show run, we don't get far.  Most of our gains from runs come when we show pass and run instead.  Good running teams can line up in running formations and still get yards.  We don't do that well. One example from last night was in the key drive that started with 9:24 left in the fourth quarter.  We were moving the ball pretty well on that drive, mostly with passes completed from spread formations with Brady in the shotgun.  But on first and ten from the Giants' 43, we lined up in a running formation and (rather than doing play action, which we did a lot from running formations), we actually ran BJGE straight up. We lost a yard and it helped kill a key drive.  Good running teams have to be able to show run and still get yards. It seems like we need to disguise the run to make it work. This is really a problem for us mounting an effective run game, because every play can't be based on deception. Sometimes you have to be able to just line up and beat the other team when the other team knows exactly what you are trying to do. We do that a lot in the passing game.  We seem to really struggle, though, to do that in the running game.  And I think that's why we end up not running all that much. 





     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    I don't know. It stings. but being objective about it. Don't you think a lot of these needs are oncosequential if Gronkowski is healthy enough to really play?

    He had two catches. Was on and off the field. And was basically a non-factor.

    Yeah, they need better outside WRs, a better RB (hopefully Ridley or Vereen emerges there) and a few pieces in the DB crew.

    But they were good enough this season. No Gronk was a huge, huge blow. 

    And even then, even then, if Welker makes that catch, they win the game. 
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    In Response to Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs:
    [QUOTE]I don't know. It stings. but being objective about it. Don't you think a lot of these needs are oncosequential if Gronkowski is healthy enough to really play? He had two catches. Was on and off the field. And was basically a non-factor. Yeah, they need better outside WRs, a better RB (hopefully Ridley or Vereen emerges there) and a few pieces in the DB crew. But they were good enough this season. No Gronk was a huge, huge blow.  And even then, even then, if Welker makes that catch, they win the game. 
    Posted by zbellino[/QUOTE]


    Yeah Z, I agree that with Gronk healthy they would have been much more effective, but I still think the team needs the additional options to really be championship calibre.  Injuries happen, players occasionally have off days, and defenses sometimes succeed in taking more than one guy out of the game plan. That's where having a few additional options would really help.  Right now, I feel like the Pats' success is very tenuous because one injury or one bad game by a key player (or effective defensive match-up) can really limit our offenses' ability to move the ball.  It's not like we need a lot more on offense--our offense is very good--we just need one or two more guys to give us a bit more diversity and a bit more versatility to overcome problems when they do arise with Welker or the two TEs. 

     
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Cloudyandrain. Show Cloudyandrain's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    Keep Ocho? You got to be kidding me.

    Anyway, I agree most of the post of the OP.

    Needs of 2012: WR...a real one, Center, Safety, and a pass rusher since we have Anderson and Carter if the Pats sign them.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    I'd just add, Z, that I think if you put any one of those Giants receivers (Manningham, Cruz, or Nicks) on the Pats team, the Pats offense would be far more difficult to defend than it is now.  That would present a whole new series of problems and looks that right now defenses just don't have to deal with.  
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from BubbaInHawaii. Show BubbaInHawaii's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    In Response to Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs:
    [QUOTE]I don't know. It stings. but being objective about it. Don't you think a lot of these needs are oncosequential if Gronkowski is healthy enough to really play? He had two catches. Was on and off the field. And was basically a non-factor. Yeah, they need better outside WRs, a better RB (hopefully Ridley or Vereen emerges there) and a few pieces in the DB crew. But they were good enough this season. No Gronk was a huge, huge blow.  And even then, even then, if Welker makes that catch, they win the game. 
    Posted by zbellino[/QUOTE]
    Z, I'm not even sure if having a healthy Gronk would have made a difference in the outcome because many of the pass plays are time oriented. Brady was off, so throwing behind, ahead, or over Gronks head wouldn't have made more completions.

    In a close game like this, the offense has to score each time they get the ball because of the fewere number of possessions. The Patriots didn't.  Secondly, in close games, the D has to be good enough to outright stop opponents offense at will. Although, the D didn't give up points - they couldn't exactly create opportunities for the offense either. There were two turnovers, but the Giants recovered. Those two turnovers sure would have helped the patriots with a shorter field.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from theshinez. Show theshinez's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    HHHMMM...funny how our needs stay the same every year.   Thoughts? 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    In Response to Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs:
    [QUOTE]HHHMMM...funny how our needs stay the same every year.   Thoughts? 
    Posted by theshinez[/QUOTE]

    Seems to me that we've been a little inconsistent/unlucky finding talent in the draft and free agency.  We've had some great pick-ups, but also a lot of busts.  Too many Darius Butlers and Brandon Tates and not enough Aaron Hernandezes and Rob Gronkowskis.   
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from digger0862. Show digger0862's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    I'm with z, we were good enough. There were just too many plays left on the field. We let them off the hook. The defense forced two fumbles but the prolate spheroid bounced the wrong way. The receivers dropped passes. The penalties were also damaging.

    I love this team. They just fell a bit short.
     
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    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from FrnkBnhm. Show FrnkBnhm's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    In Response to Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs:
    [QUOTE]I'm with z, we were good enough. There were just too many plays left on the field. We let them off the hook. The defense forced two fumbles but the prolate spheroid bounced the wrong way. The receivers dropped passes. The penalties were also damaging. I love this team. They just fell a bit short.
    Posted by digger0862[/QUOTE]

    We were not good enough. Dropping passes, not recovering the fumbles, missing players, and general "letting the off the hook" means you did NOT play good enough to win!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from digger0862. Show digger0862's posts

    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    We were not good enough in the super bowl that is true but we were talented enough. Welker and Hernandez normally catch those balls. Great plays forcing the fumbles but bad luck not recovering them. We had them but we let them off the hook.
     
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    Re: My Take on the Pats' Needs

    In Response to My Take on the Pats' Needs:
    [QUOTE]I'm pretty depressed about the loss, but if I look at it objectively, I actually have to conclude that Bill Belichick did an amazing job to get a team with so many holes in its talent so far this year.  We really should just be appreciative that we had such a good ride on what's really a three-legged horse. The game yesterday confirmed for me what I've been thinking and saying all season.  Here's my take on what the team needs: Offense 1. We need some bigger, faster wideouts.  We are far too dependent on Welker and the two TEs.  If you're going to be a passing team, you need great receivers--and you need enough of them to present the defense with multiple challenging looks.  I've said before that Brady played this season with "one hand tied behind his back." With Gronk hurt that was truer than ever last night. He needs more targets--and especially he needs some guys who can line up wide and use speed and size to create some real matchup problems for corners on the sidelines and safeties deep.  2. We need at least one of two possible things to improve in the backfield. First, we need a guy who can make an impact in the passing game.  We need someone who can reliably catch the ball in space and get significant yards after the catch--a guy who can be a feared outlet receiver and can help us get a screen game going.  We also need a more explosive runner--someone who can run outside or break a big one up the middle.  Ridley may actually be that guy, but not if he can't protect the ball. Defense 1. The D line is just not dominant.  One player--Wilfork--is great.  The rest are filler.  Anderson and Carter contributed a lot this year, but they aren't long term solutions.  Love and Deaderick should be backups; and Ellis and Warren are long past their primes.  BB shook up the unit at the beginning of the season, so he's clearly aware of the problem.  He needs to do it again this offseason I'm afraid. 2.  LBs--Spikes and Mayo are a very decent pair and Nink played okay.  But we still need an OLB who really can make a difference.  Pass coverage is nearly as big a problem for this group as it is for the secondary. Mayo is better at ILB, I think, than OLB.  I think BB has to look at the entire front seven and create a long-term plan to figure out either what pieces he needs to play the scheme he likes or  (alternatively) how to adjust his scheme to the pieces he has.  The offseason restructuring has to focus on defining the type of defense we are going to play so that we can pick the right players for it.   3. Secondary--wow . . . it's just horrendous.  There's a reason guys like Edelman and Slater played so much.  The actual CBs and safeties on the roster just can't make plays on the ball.  It's been an ongoing problem, but giving up 300 yards to bad QBs is just no way to win games.  There are a few bright spots--Chung is okay, McCourty still flashes good skills, Sterling Moore may be a diamond in the rough, Arrington is okay.  But there is no one who is really outsanding and there are lot of guys playing who are just marginal NFL players. I think the talent needs to change--and maybe we need a better secondary coach, because I think guys actually seem to regress in this unit. Other Issues A few other things I'll add: 1. I don't think play calling on offense is the real problem.  Running the ball more with these running backs really isn't an option.  You could rebuild the team to make running a more prominent part of the offense (and maybe Ridley and Vereen are the start of that)--but until you get the pieces in place, running a lot is not really an option.  2. There is way too much pressure on Brady to make plays, and he has made a few poor decisions (or poor throws) at bad times.  I think giving him more receivers would help.  A running game would also help, of course.  You need a few more options for Brady so he doesn't have to press as much. 3. Special teams.  Our special teams are good (reliable), but the return teams aren't very explosive.  I'm not sure this is a big deal, but it always helps to start a few drives further upfield.     
    Posted by prolate0spheroid[/QUOTE]

    I pretty much agree with you. It is over to BB and Kraft now if they want to win another SB in the Brady era. BB did a magnificent job with what appears to be the moneyball aproach particularly on defense. I can't see it working too much longer though. A few key additions make this team another Superbowl lock.
     

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