My thoughts on the offseason/draft

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    My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Now that I've finally had some time to digest the loss and get the emotion of the way, I wanted to share my thoughts on the loss to the Jets and how we can improve going forward.

    Offense:
    I think our passing game is solid but we have too many guys that run horizontally versus vertically. That's what the Jets took advantage of by flooding the middle of the field and making Brady hold onto the ball just a bit longer. I'm not saying we need a Fitzgerald (although it wouldn't hurt) but we just need a guy that can stretch the field vertically. Perhaps we have that in Tate but I'm not quite sold on him just yet. I saw way too many instances this year where he was open but Brady still threw elsewhere because at least from the outside, it looks like he doesn't have much trust in Tate. I know last year was basically his rookie year but it'd be nice to have another guy back there via draft or free agency. We really don't even need a big name. I am intrigued by the Randy Moss option again. It just might be a good time to buy low again because he's had a good taste for losing and he's being written off again by the media. I just don't think it hurts having him back. I don't see how it hurts. Taylor Price seems to have some potential based on what I've seen on video and based on the glimpse we got against the Dolphins. Of course, it's not enough to make any sort of final judgement but I like his size, he has great hands, and his intangibles must be there to a point because of where he was drafted by Belichick. He could be half the presence Hines Ward is for Pittsburgh, we won't have to look at this part of our roster for a while. It'd be nice to see more of Edelman because he's always been a spark when he's come into the game. He's had some critical drops but I've never seen blatant drops: they seem to a combination of Brady and Edelman versus just Edelman dropping the ball. Jordie Nelson's drops last night were blatant drops, to me, and that's not the same stuff I saw from Edelman. Welker will be at 100% (or close as he can get given his age and the injury he's coming off of) so that'll be a plus. Hopefully, he's psychologically over it too because he seemed to drop a few too many passes last year. At the tight end position, I think we're set. I can't even imagine how Gronk/Hernandez grow in year two. Our offense lit up the entire league all year so there's clearly a great foundation there. We don't need to blow it all up and start from scratch. I think Morris will stay as a good specials teams player that knows the Patriot way so he'll serve as a good role model. He can also fill in at RB should we need it. From what I've read, Ricky Williams is done in Miami so that's a good veteran option. I've also read that the Panthers are not likely to franchise DeAngelo Williams so that's another possibility. I see some mock drafts that have the Patriots picking Ingram in the first round; that'd be a waste of a pick in my eyes, especially considering the position and the return you can get on your investment --- RBs have smaller shelf lives these days.

    I'm leaning against signing Mankins for more than $7 million a year. I think that's egregious money for a guard. I know Evans got something in that range but he's been average at best after that deal. Mankins, and the line as a whole, has come up short in the biggest games so to me, that plays a part in this. How come the line plays above average during the regular season and then crumbles in the playoffs --- that's something Bill will have to figure out and address. Personally, I think Koppen/center is the weakest link. We could draft another guard to replace Mankins if he doesn't budge on his demands but center is definitely something I'd like to see addressed early in the draft. Koppen is losing way too much ground to where Brady can't even step up in his throws anymore, which is something he excelled at previously.

    Defense:
    I think we're set at corner with Bodden coming back; he said recently that he's already lifting and doing light running. A lot of people here think Bodden's going to be a weak link and that's laughable to me. The guy has been solid, not spectactular, but solid, which is all we can ask for opposite of McCourty. I think Butler's days are numbered. I see us hanging onto Wilhite and Arrington --- they both also have great special teams value. If an elite talent is there in the first round, I wouldn't be shocked if Belichick went in that direction again. In today's NFL, you can never have enough good DBs. If Bodden becomes quality depth, that's a hell of a problem to have. McCourty will be solid and we all expect that now. At safety, I love Page, Sanders, and Chung. I'm not completely thrilled with Meriweather at times but overall, he's not THAT bad. I know he makes some really boneheaded play sometimes but hopefully, Belichick hasn't thrown in the towel with the guy.

    Cunningham and Spikes both showed way more than any of us expected so that's a plus. I think Bill, contrary to the fans beliefs, sees a lot there already so to him, the linebacker situation isn't as dire as we're making it out to be. I'd love to get Hali because he seems to be a good fit within our system. I don't think Woodley would do as well here unless he brings Harrison with him. Mayo, again, is solid. He doesn't blow people up but he makes the solid play and is rarely making mental mistakes out there. I can't complain with Mayo. I'm intrigured by the Ray Edwards angle because he seems like a solid player that could translate well into our system. I really don't like how fans point to the Adalius Thomas deal when it comes to future signings; it was a bad deal, you move on, and it can't hinder future deals because that would harm the other 52 guys on your team. I think Bill's smart enough to get past those things.

    Defensive line. I think overall we'll be ok with Warren coming back. He's been playing with this bad hip for a few years now and finally got it taken care of. He's not the future at the position but he'll be serviceable. I hope Mike Wright can make a full recovery but last I heard, the guy couldn't even watch TV yet which is really sad. If he comes back, he'll be a great sub rusher too. I'd like to see this position addressed in the first three rounds of the draft. I hear there's some great value picks still there for the Patriots. I think Eric Moore will be HUGE next year; just a gut feeling. If nothing else, he'll be a great sub rusher at a great value, which you really can't beat.

    We forced the most turnovers in the NFL this year based on scheme and out-executing the opponents. If we could just force more turnovers by forcing the QB to do things he's not comfortable doing, we can even afford some mental mistakes and still give the ball right back to our offense. I really don't want to agonize over 3rd and 17's all year: I swear to God, those were the scariest moments in each game, all year. It'd be nice to have a defense that would give Brady the ball right back even after he throws a pick or after we fumble. We honestly can't count on going 55-60% of your season without a freaking turnover. That's historic stuff and won't ever happen again. The great defenses that contended for the title this year could afford a mistake because they had a defense that could immediately force a 3 and out.

    Overall, I think we're 85% of the way there. Of course, we don't have to be perfect to win the Super Bowl. It's all about the team that best masked it's imperfections and played through their injuries (which is an indicator of personnel evaluation and who better than Belichick/Kraft/Caserio/Reese).
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Pass rusher...pass rusher...pass rusher!
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Are there any stud pass rushers in this draft that will not tbe gone by the time Pats are picking?


    Also we need a tall physical WR to stretch the field.  Tate is useless and cannot get any seperation, despite being touted as the second fastest guy in NFL behind  Mike Wallace.  A Calvin Johnson type reciever would make this offense simply unstoppable.
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Agreed on the pass rusher guys. From what I've seen in the mock drafts and from the knowledgeable guys here, there's plenty of options even later in the first and in the second and third rounds. Check out the threads they've started. It's interesting stuff. Plus, Belichick admitted that he's reconsidered some of his requirements in defensive players (after being asked about him passing on Clay Matthews). At least we know that if a similar guy is there, Bill won't hesitate this time.

    Wide receiver is a need but I wouldn't draft a guy in the first round and maybe not even the second round, unless of course, he's the best possible player available. In that case, yes, take him. If we even had someone like Mike Wallace, we're all set. We don't need him to be unstoppable; we just need to plant that seed in the defense's mind: that we have a guy that can beat you deep if you fall asleep or focus too much on the guys that run across the field.
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    In Response to Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft:
    [QUOTE]Agreed on the pass rusher guys. From what I've seen in the mock drafts and from the knowledgeable guys here, there's plenty of options even later in the first and in the second and third rounds. Check out the threads they've started. It's interesting stuff. Plus, Belichick admitted that he's reconsidered some of his requirements in defensive players (after being asked about him passing on Clay Matthews). At least we know that if a similar guy is there, Bill won't hesitate this time. Wide receiver is a need but I wouldn't draft a guy in the first round and maybe not even the second round, unless of course, he's the best possible player available. In that case, yes, take him. If we even had someone like Mike Wallace, we're all set. We don't need him to be unstoppable; we just need to plant that seed in the defense's mind: that we have a guy that can beat you deep if you fall asleep or focus too much on the guys that run across the field.
    Posted by apdynasty23[/QUOTE]

    I think Mike Wallace is overrated and a one trick pony.  He is not a physical WR that can go up and fight for the ball.   If you look at someone like Calvin Johnson, he is remarkable.  Playing with the crappy QB that he has had, Johnson has been amazing nevertheless.  Also I was very impressed by Dez Bryant before he got hurt.  He had a backup QB throwing to him and still made plays. In many cases Kitna would just throw the ball up and let Bryant fight for the ball.  Our WR's have no chance of doing that because they all pretty much do the same thing. They need to be open and Brady needs to be almost perfect.  Just not enough playmakers among our WR's.
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    I agree on Wallace as an individual talent but when you put a guy like that in our offense, with all the other weapons we have, it's perfect. Guys like the Moss of old, Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson are rare talents. I don't think you can just find one of those in every draft.

    We just need a guy that can go deep, has great speed and acceleration, and at least show the threat of a deep ball. That would prevent teams from doing what the Jets did. Plus, the line will definitely have to block better because we can have Fitzgerald back there but if Brady's not getting time, it's all moot point. If the line blocks, even with our current receivers, Brady would have time to scan the field at least once more to find the open guy. That wasn't the case against the Jets.
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Why not take Moss for one more year?  He'd be a huge upgrade over Tate on the cheap.

    I think Ochocinco would be a decent fit too.
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    In Response to My thoughts on the offseason/draft:
    [QUOTE]Now that I've finally had some time to digest the loss and get the emotion of the way, I wanted to share my thoughts on the loss to the Jets and how we can improve going forward. Offense: I think our passing game is solid but we have too many guys that run horizontally versus vertically. That's what the Jets took advantage of by flooding the middle of the field and making Brady hold onto the ball just a bit longer. I'm not saying we need a Fitzgerald (although it wouldn't hurt) but we just need a guy that can stretch the field vertically. Perhaps we have that in Tate but I'm not quite sold on him just yet. I saw way too many instances this year where he was open but Brady still threw elsewhere because at least from the outside, it looks like he doesn't have much trust in Tate. I know last year was basically his rookie year but it'd be nice to have another guy back there via draft or free agency. We really don't even need a big name. I am intrigued by the Randy Moss option again. It just might be a good time to buy low again because he's had a good taste for losing and he's being written off again by the media. I just don't think it hurts having him back. I don't see how it hurts. Taylor Price seems to have some potential based on what I've seen on video and based on the glimpse we got against the Dolphins. Of course, it's not enough to make any sort of final judgement but I like his size, he has great hands, and his intangibles must be there to a point because of where he was drafted by Belichick. He could be half the presence Hines Ward is for Pittsburgh, we won't have to look at this part of our roster for a while. It'd be nice to see more of Edelman because he's always been a spark when he's come into the game. He's had some critical drops but I've never seen blatant drops: they seem to a combination of Brady and Edelman versus just Edelman dropping the ball. Jordie Nelson's drops last night were blatant drops, to me, and that's not the same stuff I saw from Edelman. Welker will be at 100% (or close as he can get given his age and the injury he's coming off of) so that'll be a plus. Hopefully, he's psychologically over it too because he seemed to drop a few too many passes last year. At the tight end position, I think we're set. I can't even imagine how Gronk/Hernandez grow in year two. Our offense lit up the entire league all year so there's clearly a great foundation there. We don't need to blow it all up and start from scratch. I think Morris will stay as a good specials teams player that knows the Patriot way so he'll serve as a good role model. He can also fill in at RB should we need it. From what I've read, Ricky Williams is done in Miami so that's a good veteran option. I've also read that the Panthers are not likely to franchise DeAngelo Williams so that's another possibility. I see some mock drafts that have the Patriots picking Ingram in the first round; that'd be a waste of a pick in my eyes, especially considering the position and the return you can get on your investment --- RBs have smaller shelf lives these days. I'm leaning against signing Mankins for more than $7 million a year. I think that's egregious money for a guard. I know Evans got something in that range but he's been average at best after that deal. Mankins, and the line as a whole, has come up short in the biggest games so to me, that plays a part in this. How come the line plays above average during the regular season and then crumbles in the playoffs --- that's something Bill will have to figure out and address. Personally, I think Koppen/center is the weakest link. We could draft another guard to replace Mankins if he doesn't budge on his demands but center is definitely something I'd like to see addressed early in the draft. Koppen is losing way too much ground to where Brady can't even step up in his throws anymore, which is something he excelled at previously. Defense: I think we're set at corner with Bodden coming back; he said recently that he's already lifting and doing light running. A lot of people here think Bodden's going to be a weak link and that's laughable to me. The guy has been solid, not spectactular, but solid, which is all we can ask for opposite of McCourty. I think Butler's days are numbered. I see us hanging onto Wilhite and Arrington --- they both also have great special teams value. If an elite talent is there in the first round, I wouldn't be shocked if Belichick went in that direction again. In today's NFL, you can never have enough good DBs. If Bodden becomes quality depth, that's a hell of a problem to have. McCourty will be solid and we all expect that now. At safety, I love Page, Sanders, and Chung. I'm not completely thrilled with Meriweather at times but overall, he's not THAT bad. I know he makes some really boneheaded play sometimes but hopefully, Belichick hasn't thrown in the towel with the guy. Cunningham and Spikes both showed way more than any of us expected so that's a plus. I think Bill, contrary to the fans beliefs, sees a lot there already so to him, the linebacker situation isn't as dire as we're making it out to be. I'd love to get Hali because he seems to be a good fit within our system. I don't think Woodley would do as well here unless he brings Harrison with him. Mayo, again, is solid. He doesn't blow people up but he makes the solid play and is rarely making mental mistakes out there. I can't complain with Mayo. I'm intrigured by the Ray Edwards angle because he seems like a solid player that could translate well into our system. I really don't like how fans point to the Adalius Thomas deal when it comes to future signings; it was a bad deal, you move on, and it can't hinder future deals because that would harm the other 52 guys on your team. I think Bill's smart enough to get past those things. Defensive line. I think overall we'll be ok with Warren coming back. He's been playing with this bad hip for a few years now and finally got it taken care of. He's not the future at the position but he'll be serviceable. I hope Mike Wright can make a full recovery but last I heard, the guy couldn't even watch TV yet which is really sad. If he comes back, he'll be a great sub rusher too. I'd like to see this position addressed in the first three rounds of the draft. I hear there's some great value picks still there for the Patriots. I think Eric Moore will be HUGE next year; just a gut feeling. If nothing else, he'll be a great sub rusher at a great value, which you really can't beat. We forced the most turnovers in the NFL this year based on scheme and out-executing the opponents. If we could just force more turnovers by forcing the QB to do things he's not comfortable doing, we can even afford some mental mistakes and still give the ball right back to our offense. I really don't want to agonize over 3rd and 17's all year: I swear to God, those were the scariest moments in each game, all year. It'd be nice to have a defense that would give Brady the ball right back even after he throws a pick or after we fumble. We honestly can't count on going 55-60% of your season without a freaking turnover. That's historic stuff and won't ever happen again. The great defenses that contended for the title this year could afford a mistake because they had a defense that could immediately force a 3 and out. Overall, I think we're 85% of the way there. Of course, we don't have to be perfect to win the Super Bowl. It's all about the team that best masked it's imperfections and played through their injuries (which is an indicator of personnel evaluation and who better than Belichick/Kraft/Caserio/Reese).
    Posted by apdynasty23[/QUOTE]
    I agree about the Mark Ingram projection.  Don't want to waste a first round pick on a running back, period.  I know BJGE is not a big play running back but I think he did a good job this yr.  He holds onto the ball and gains positive yds.  I think the Pats could use a good veteran that can stay healthy as a back up. 
    I like to see a D lineman taken in the first or second round that can pressure the qb.  This draft is deep in DL's.  One's that fit the Pats scheme is the question.
    I am also on board about not paying Mankins big dollars.  Sorry, not for a guard.  A good center is critical.  Koppen is not that big or that great of of an athlete.  If a good center is available, they should jump on him.  Pittsburgh may have won that game yesterday if Pouncey were playing.  Ofcourse, that's a big IF.    
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    In Response to Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft:
    [QUOTE]Are there any stud pass rushers in this draft that will not tbe gone by the time Pats are picking? Also we need a tall physical WR to stretch the field.  Tate is useless and cannot get any seperation, despite being touted as the second fastest guy in NFL behind  Mike Wallace.  A Calvin Johnson type reciever would make this offense simply unstoppable.
    Posted by Spetznaz24[/QUOTE]
    Fortunately, there's a couple guys that could be around when the Pats pick. Here is but a minute sampling of what has been discused in the monster draft thread:

    At DE, names like J.J. Watt (6'6" 292 lbs) from Wisconsin and Cameron Jordan (6'4" 284 lbs) from Cal come to mind. Of the two, I personally like Watt better for two main reasons: 1) He's more ready (physically speaking) for Belichick's 3-4 DE spot than Jordan is (Jordan would need to add about 16 lbs to reach the ideal 300, whereas Watt would only need 8). 2). Watt is already one of the best defensive linemen in the country, yet has only been playing on the line for two(?) years. Not only would he be a good addition now, but his potential is though the roof. Did I mention that Watt is a relentless pass-rusher? However, Jordan is a great prospect in his own right - he's got several years of experience as a 3-4 DE, which will be invaluable if he were to land here in NE. Other names that have been thrown around include Muhammad Wilkerson from Temple, and Cameron Heyward from Ohio State.

    At OLB, this could be one of the more intriguing years. There's a heavy sampling of talent, including top-tier guys like Robert Quinn (6'4" 266 lbs - someone that might slide a but due to missing a full year and character concerns) from UNC. Ryan Kerrigan from Purdue (6'4" 260 lbs) is a monster of a pass-rusher, but some have questioned his ability to play in space, and there's a good chance that he'll be gone before 17 anyway. The player I like most for OLB is Justin Houston out of Georgia (6'4" 255 lbs). He's had an entire year of experience as a 3-4 OLB (quite rare in college), and he had a much more productive year as an OLB than he did as a 4-3 DE the year before. He's displayed an excellent ability for playing in space as well as rushing the passer - he developed into one of the premier players in the SEC, which is arguably one of the toughest in the country. Look up some his tape on Youtube; you will be impressed. There also is another player, Aldon Smith (6'4" 255 lbs) from Missouri that's quickly rising up this year's board. I consider Smith to be this years Jason Pierre-Paul, who jumped into the first round because of outstanding pass-rush skills and incredible workout numbers at the Combine. Smith, like Pierre-Paul, is a relentless pass-rusher, but will need to refine his ability to set the edge and learn to play in coverage if he were to land on the Pats.

    These are just the Round 1 options at DE and OLB that I can remember/evaluate off the top of my head. There's a bunch more in that humongous draft thread.
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Good analysis Ap.  I think the o-line is a big issue for the offseason. The only guy who's there right now and signed and who's someone you really want as a starter is Volmer.  They need to sign another tackle and at least one and maybe two guards. An upgrade at center would be nice too.  So I think they've got to draft a few o-linemen and maybe even use a top pick for a tackle.

    On offense, RB and WR (a vertical threat as you say) are both needs--free agency may be the way to go for both, but if the talent's there, I'm not against drafting someone. I don't like going back to Moss.  I just don't think he's looked all that good for a year and a half and I'm not sure he and Brady were working all that well together. I also don't know where his head is at--I'm not sure the emotional dynamic was all that healthy for the team.

    On defense, I still think we need a really good OLB opposite Cunningham or a game changing DE (or both, though that's asking for a lot).  Moore did get at the passer more than other guys in the few games he played, but he strikes me as a 4-3 guy.  Just not sure if he'll stick in our system.  We do have decent depth on the D-line, if not a lot of super talent other than at NT.  In the backfield, I wouldn't be terribly disappointed with another top corner even though McCourty and Bodden should make a good starting pair.  I think you're right about Butler.  Wilhite and Arrington should stick, but in a passing league having three corners who are starting caliber isn't a bad thing (and I'm not sure either Wilhite or Arrington are true starters).  Safeties?  We've got a mess of them.  What we need there is one guy who's good, versatile (against run and pass), and smart, like a Harrison or Milloy.  Right now, each of our safeties has a strong point, but no one seems to put the whole package together.  
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Original poster- I agree with all your thoughts except Darius Butler. I am a big DB fan and I think he will come back strong. It looked to me like he was reading his own press clippings last offseason and he wont make that mistake again. He is certainly better than Kyle Arrington or J. Wilhite.
     
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    No doubt we need a pass rusher  but I hope we don't pick up a guy that doesn't fit the bill. Having a need doesn't mean there is a legit player to fill that need available. What if a guy like Marc Ingram or Jake Locker are available at 17 or 23? If you liked a couple of DE and OLB but they have gone already do go for the best available at those positions or best available regardless of position? Just using these two examples; Ingram is a good good RB who could handle being the feature back. Locker has skills and TB has had surgery all of the last 3 offseasons and is 34. Ideally we get both spots in the D front 7 but I would lean at taking the #1 player available regardless of position than the 3rd 4th option at a spot of need.
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    On offense I think our priority should be the O-line.  First and foremost, that starts with the signing of Mankins.  His value goes beyond the fact that he's one of the best in the league at his position, but he's also the ONLY player on our line that plays with a nasty disposition.  We need to get bigger and meaner on the O-line and make grounding and pounding a bigger part of our game.  2nd - 3rd round we could afford to invest in skill position like WR, RB, or even a potential Brady replacement should the right potential player be around.  Picking up a hungry veteran RB and or WR could go a long way as well.

    On defense, I again think we need to focus on the line.  The trenches were the weakness last year.  I would LOVE to see JJ Watt on the line with Ty Warren and Wilfork.  Our next biggest weakness is obviously the OLB position.  There should be a pass rushing specialist availalbe with the 33rd pick provided we don't get lured into trading it.  A huge possibility as no doubt the pick will command a first round pick in the 2012 draft at the very least and the Pats phone will be ringing all night into the morning in regards to making a deal.  It's quite possible a team with overstock (or desperate) might be willing to address our needs with a player for that pick.  Safety I think we are loaded, but I do think another corner should definitley be added at some point even with Boddens return.

    Honestly with the return of key injured players, locking in current key FA's with new contracts, signing a vet here and there, and obvious the 2011 draft where we are positioned beautifully, we really are going to have an incredible team to look forward to. 
     
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    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    One thing to add to this analysis is that our biggest weakness on defense last season was pass defense, not run defense. A better pass rush would definitely help, but I think we still have issues with the defensive backfield. Corner will be improved with Bodden, but I wonder if our safeties are good enough in pass coverage.
     
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    In Response to Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft:
    [QUOTE]One thing to add to this analysis is that our biggest weakness on defense last season was pass defense, not run defense. A better pass rush would definitely help, but I think we still have issues with the defensive backfield. Corner will be improved with Bodden, but I wonder if our safeties are good enough in pass coverage.
    Posted by prolate0spheroid[/QUOTE]

    I agree. What's your take on signing Mankins and keeping Meriweather?
     
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    In Response to Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft : I agree. What's your take on signing Mankins and keeping Meriweather?
    Posted by apdynasty23[/QUOTE]

    I think signing Mankins helps the Pats a lot. Mankins is a quality guard and if they don't sign him they've got two guard spots to worry about, not just one. The problem, of course, is the price.  Regardless of what people say, the market for top guards is roughly $7 or $7.5 million a year, with a good portion of that money delivered as guaranteed signing bonus.  Mankins, I think, is being perfectly reasonable holding out for that much, especially given that he's been playing for six years on a rookie contract and is a Pro Bowl caliber veteran. That said, a lot depends on (1) what the Pats think a top guard is worth and (2) exactly how good the Pats think Mankins is.  I'm not sure I'm competent to make a good judgment there.  As they say, that's beyond my pay grade.  My sense, though, is that if Mankins is really the top guard we think he is, the Pats should be willing to pay market value for him.  If that's now $7 million per year with a $15K or $20K signing bonuses, then I'd say do it.  Of course if the Pats have some doubts about Mankins, then maybe it's better to hold off. 

    One thing I'll add on this--but it's more a general observation.  If you listen to the fans, I think there's a perception among them that guards aren't worth all that much and you can make do with "cheap" guys.  I'm not sure I agree with that, especially given the proliferation of 3-4 defenses with big nose tacles and powerful ends. It's funny how most fans are all for spending big money and high draft picks on great D-linemen but then think it's okay to cheap-out on guards as if any old fat guy will do. Well who on offense matches up against all those great D-linemen?  Guards and centers (and tackles too, but in a lot of schemes guards at least as much as tackles).  So I think as the D-linemen get bigger and stronger and quicker, the guards need to get better too. That's one reason the price for guards is going up.  At least that's what I think . . .

    As far as Merriweather goes, I think he's a mixed bag.  He's atheletically gifted and he can play fast, but he seems undisciplined to me.  I think you keep him, though, unless you get a great trade and you have someone to fill the slot.  One thing the Pats have done a little too often in my mind is gotten rid of someone (like Samuel and Branch and maybe now Mankins) who they didn't think was quite worth the price they'd need to pay to keep the player, but without having any back-up plan.  We went a whole season or two with no one to fill Branch's shoes and got stuck with Hobbs and some other no-name without Samuel.  We could be heading that way at guard too if we don't sign Mankins. At least at safety, there's Chung and a bunch of possibilities . . .
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from BBReigns. Show BBReigns's posts

    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    In Response to Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft:
    [QUOTE]Why not take Moss for one more year?  He'd be a huge upgrade over Tate on the cheap. I think Ochocinco would be a decent fit too.
    Posted by Spetznaz24[/QUOTE]

    You have dramatically complained like a negative nelly here repeatedly and then want Chad Johnson here?

    Good thing you aren't running the team.

    The only way Chad Johnson lands in NE is if it's for a low end contract for one year.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from garytx. Show garytx's posts

    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Here's my two cents.

    The OL can come out okay if the Pats re-sign Mankins and Light.  Then cross your fingers for an OT at 33.  Letting Larson go was a crime.  RBs and WRs can be there in the later rounds.  I don't think you'll see the game breaker unless it's a project like Price.

    One thing to remember about Tate.  Didn't play his senior year in college and first year as a pro because of the knee.  This was his first year back.  I do have concerns about him but I think we need a little patience with him being out of football for two years.
    Price has all the tools.  He came from a run type offense and because graduation can late he wasn't part of the spring training.  NFL rule thing.  He's a little behind.  The WR spot is still a huge unknown but shows promise.

    One thing about the Jets game was the DL was totalled.  Wright, Brace and Warren all out.  I do feel we need that top DE still.  I don't know what Bill thinks on this though.  Brace was coming on and Deadrick is a find.  You have a fixed Warren coming back.  I like Wright coming off the bench. 

    OLB is a need.  The Pats only have Cunningham and he should be a terror next year.  But if Cunningham gets hurt there goes any pass rush.  Tully isn't the answer at the other side any way.

    CBs should be better than average.  McCourty, Bodden and Arrington are a pretty nice trio.  I don't think we have a need here at all.

    I don't get the Meriweather bashing here.  He's agressive and therefore will get burned time to time.  It's a learning process.  He'll learn and get better.  He has to or he'll be out of the NFL soon.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from BBReigns. Show BBReigns's posts

    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    In Response to Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft:
    [QUOTE]Here's my two cents. The OL can come out okay if the Pats re-sign Mankins and Light.  Then cross your fingers for an OT at 33.  Letting Larson go was a crime.  RBs and WRs can be there in the later rounds.  I don't think you'll see the game breaker unless it's a project like Price. One thing to remember about Tate.  Didn't play his senior year in college and first year as a pro because of the knee.  This was his first year back.  I do have concerns about him but I think we need a little patience with him being out of football for two years. Price has all the tools.  He came from a run type offense and because graduation can late he wasn't part of the spring training.  NFL rule thing.  He's a little behind.  The WR spot is still a huge unknown but shows promise. One thing about the Jets game was the DL was totalled.  Wright, Brace and Warren all out.  I do feel we need that top DE still.  I don't know what Bill thinks on this though.  Brace was coming on and Deadrick is a find.  You have a fixed Warren coming back.  I like Wright coming off the bench.  OLB is a need.  The Pats only have Cunningham and he should be a terror next year.  But if Cunningham gets hurt there goes any pass rush.  Tully isn't the answer at the other side any way. CBs should be better than average.  McCourty, Bodden and Arrington are a pretty nice trio.  I don't think we have a need here at all. I don't get the Meriweather bashing here.  He's agressive and therefore will get burned time to time.  It's a learning process.  He'll learn and get better.  He has to or he'll be out of the NFL soon.
    Posted by garytx[/QUOTE]

    Good post except I haven't seen Larsen play, so it's hard to realize what letting him go means.

    I don't think people realize how much better the secondary can be simply by having a consistent threat with the pass rush.

    It's the 1-2 seconds less time in coverage and the ability to take a chance here or there jumping a route and anticipating.

    We are talking about a team that created so many turnovers last year without a legit pass rush.

    So, I guess the point here is, do the math.  The secondary and especially the Safeties is not the problem.

    You make any QB throw the ball before he wants to and it leads to more incompletions, sacks, balls thrown away or INTs.

    This doesn't even count more fumbles caused in the pocket with the pocket collapsing more frequently.

    Finally, I am not sure Ty Warren can be counted on.  We haven't heard much, and I hope he can return, but I don't expect him to be penciled in at this point.


     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from garytx. Show garytx's posts

    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Larson went to Tampa Bay and started.

    "You make any QB throw the ball before he wants to and it leads to more incompletions, sacks, balls thrown away or INTs".

    Bingo!
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from gr82bme. Show gr82bme's posts

    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    In Response to Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft : You guys are way off the money here. BB will never go for the O-Line or D-line with the first 2 picks. He will go for a field goal kicker then a punter. Super Bowl here we come yeahhhhhhhh
    Posted by Stommmper[/QUOTE]

    What an utterly moronic post, but coming from you I expect such.  Got brains Stommmper?  Nope, just access to a keyboard.  Tool!
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Cyberknot. Show Cyberknot's posts

    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

     The light at the end of the tunnel is coming through the gaping holes in our OL. Even if they re-sign Mankins and Light, they will still need to draft at least two interior linemen. If they don't re-sign them? Ugly. We'll need a third QB, and no FA RB will be able to run.
     On the subject of FA RBs. I'd love to see D. Williams as a FA, but I doubt the panthers will let him walk, they'll be looking for a sign and trade.
     In my opinion Moss is a bad idea. He wasn't getting separation, and Brady seemed to feel compeled to throw to him anyway. Too many wasted downs. I want to see what Tate and Price can do along with a middle round pick this year.
     I think that with the returning players, the defence is close. But I am definitely on the "pass rusher" bandwagon.
     I know it won't happen, but I hope Bill uses the first four picks, in no particular order, on DE, OLB, OL, OL.
     
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rocky. Show Rocky's posts

    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Contracts for Patriot players...

    http://www.rotoworld.com/teams/contracts/nfl/ne/new-england-patriots

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Patriots1970. Show Patriots1970's posts

    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    If the Pats do not sign Mankins or Light, if Kaczur's injury is more of a concern and then on top if Neal is expected to retire (he is injured for a few games every year), then the team will need to draft at least a starting OT and G in the first 3 rounds.

    I expect Voll moves to left so a starting RT can be had 2-3 rounds. G/C or pure G in round 1 to 2 and perhaps another G/C in the alter rounds as Koppen is in the final year of his contract in 2001 and is rather small and being pushed back into Brady more often in the past year.

    The Pats have enough picks to get what they need for the OL, but the depth outside of Connolly is not enough to do nothing in the interior and hope Neal/Kaczur comes back if the teams strictly looks at OT.

    So in theory, 3 of the first 6 picks could be OL related, although more likely only 2 may be used of the OL.

    The DL and OLB positions did not get to the QB fast enough to disrupt/pressure the QB's and most of the INT's in 2010 were based on better DB performance than QB pressure.

    So the pats should address definitely address OLB and possibly DE if the team feels the performance of the depth in 2010 will lead to a bigger jump in 2011. Ty Warren and Gerard Warren are still open questons to be back on the roster or in good form. Wright also had a big blow with his concussion, so he may also be back but at what capacity?

    RB and WR are needed, but at what level and what possibilites through FA? A Pierre Thomas or Cedric Benson type could be had w picks or a trade.

    CB and S is more of a nice to have than a need. As stated above, shore up the pass rush and the DBs have better opportunities. There are a large number of CB and S to be on the roster from 2010 into the 2011 season for training camp. Arrington is a RFA and the only FA's are McGowan and Page....

    ST: LS Katula is at least signed for another year. Not sure how Gost will be after his quad surgery....

    Tight ends looks good as long as they bring Crumpler back to help out Gronk and A-Bomb to continue their development and block.

    If the Pats do not resign Mankins or Light then the needs may look more like: G, OLB, OT, DL, RB, WR, G/C, OLB
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from jeffory. Show jeffory's posts

    Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft

    Connelly did a great job last year in pass protection and pulling for the run. They need to address center. The pass rush is of uttmost importance. DL,OLB,OT,RB.
     
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