Sizing Up the Patriots

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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    That's a pretty good handicap TP3. 

    The odd thing about the Mankins deal is since he fired off it's been stone cold.  My guess is some type of deal is being worked out either a signing or a trade. 

    The Pats made him a very fair offer.  My hope is he sees that after his overreacting snit fit.  Realistically I expect a trade, most likely for a draft pick. Although it's remotely possible he is dealt for another malcontent. 

    It's hard to believe another year is upon us.
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    That's a pretty good handicap TP3.  The odd thing about the Mankins deal is since he fired off it's been stone cold.  My guess is some type of deal is being worked out either a signing or a trade.

    RESPONSE: As I successfully argued against Shoe-shine Boy, a/k/a Underdog(gggg), in the thread entitled, "Patriots Should Hold Their Ground on Mankins", I found that odd, too. My take is that Mankins' thinks he's as good or better than the best OG in the game, Jahri Evans...and deserves at least something close to the seven years, $56.7 mil., with $19mil. guaranteed, that Evans got. Meanwhile, the Pats have held firm on a five year, $35mil., which would make Mankins one of the highest paid guards in the NFL...and seems to be a reasonable offer. After all the bad publicity Mankins has got, you would think that, if the reason he wasn't taking the Pats' deal is because the amount of money guaranteed was low, his camp would have brought that out by now. 

    The Pats made him a very fair offer.

    RESPONSE: It certainly appears so.

    My hope is he sees that after his overreacting snit fit. Realistically I expect a trade, most likely for a draft pick. Although it's remotely possible he is dealt for another malcontent.

    RESPONSE: If Mankins truly wants Evans'-like money, he's likely in for a rude awakening...because I doubt that any team will pay him that...and that could prevent the Pats from being able to trade him. My guess is that Mankins is angling for the Pats to give him the same type of deal that they gave Asante Samuel in 2007...a one year deal for substantial money, with a guarantee that the Pats won't franchise him in 2011. The Pats should have never agreed to that with Asante...and they should not agree to that with Mankins. They set a bad precedent with Samuel, and it's biting them in the butt, now. Let Logan sit and stew.
      
    Posted by croc

     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

         Here's some good stuff on the Pats' RB situation, from Mike Reiss' mailbag, EPSN, Boston:
     
    Q: Hey Mike, like many, I've been disappointed with the running game. I would love for the Pats to have a RB that other teams have to plan around or at least take seriously into account to add some more balance to the overall attack. However, I do believe Laurence Maroney is capable of being a good RB as he showed signs of last season with some tough running, lowering the shoulder, and fighting for yardage. Then the fumbles came. So my question is what has Maroney been working on this offseason in terms of overall running and especially regarding fumbling? -- Papi Shimon (NYC)


    A:
    Papi, I agree that Maroney stepped up when the Patriots were hit by injuries in 2009, although his overall season was clouded by four lost fumbles (two at the goal line). I thought he was the team's most consistent running back in terms of being available -- and that shouldn't be overlooked, especially for a player who has had some injuries in the past. He's also still young (25). As for the fumbling, Maroney points out that has traditionally been one of his strengths and he hit a rough stretch last year, so he needs to sharpen his focus in those situations. That has been part of his offseason approach.

    Q: Mike, with the release of RB Pat Paschall, every remaining RB on the roster has a contract that expires after 2010. Do you think the Patriots will make any more offseason moves to try and add another RB? Like Harvey Unga in the 2010 supplemental draft (maybe worth a fourth rounder?) or a trade involving [Logan] Mankins? -- Sean (Greer, S.C.)


    A:
    Sean, If the Patriots do "bid" on Unga in the supplemental draft, I would think it would be a late-round pick, not a mid-rounder. Last year, the team kept five running backs on its roster, and one possibility that I think is on the radar this year is keeping just four. Something has to give and with three tight ends looking like locks for roster spots (Alge Crumpler, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez), and I'm wondering if it could be at running back. If so, that would require a tough cut (Fred Taylor? BenJarvus Green-Ellis?). Adding Unga to the mix might require two tough cuts -- one of which could be Unga himself -- and that's why I see it as unlikely for the team to bid on him unless it's a late-round pick. As for the future at the position, there is still time to address it in the 2011 draft and free agency.


    Q: Mike, have you seen anything out of ex-Kansas State star Thomas Clayton (i.e. drills, first-second team rotations)? The Pats just recently signed the running back and I was wondering if you could give a quick perspective about his size and speed as well as if he's got a shot to make this squad? Does he have good hands like Kevin Faulk? -- Joe (Northampton, Mass.)


    A:
    Joe, Clayton is 5-foot-11, 222 pounds, so he has some bulk to him, but it looks to me like he can also run well. Overall, I think it's too early to assess the running backs, mainly because the practices we saw were noncontact. Based on the depth chart, I think that Clayton is a long shot to make the club, as most of the quality reps I saw in practice went to Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Fred Taylor, Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis.


    Q: Mike, while many have speculated how the Pats' running game suffers because of how hard it is to run out of the shotgun, I think part of the problem is that the Patriots telegraph the run when they move under center as well. They seem to only move under center in running downs, which makes their attempt to be balanced predictable. I think in order for the offense to be two-dimensional this year it is going to take a commitment to balance from both the gun and from under center. Your thoughts? Were they passing a lot from under center in minicamp? -- Kyle (Cranston, R.I.)


    A:
    Kyle, I don't have the numbers of how many times they ran/passed out of the shotgun, and how many times they ran/passed with the quarterback under center. But overall, I'd agree that more of a commitment to running with the quarterback under center would help the team. I base that opinion, in part, on the end of the year when the Patriots tried something different -- a two-back set with Kevin Faulk as the deep back. They had success with it, and I think it was something the players developed some confidence in. I remember seeing it and thinking to myself "Where was this earlier in the year?"

     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots





    XLV
     
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    Sizing Up the Patriots

    Great post thanks, thought the Herald article was the best over all on assessing the team and battles(opportunities) to come.
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH 2 RAIDER CASTOFFS?? AS STARTERS??? THE PATRIOT SHIP IS SINKING FAST! THE 2010 SCHEDULE IS WAY TOUGHER THAN 09. 8 OPPONENTS WITH ALL PRO QBS AND HIGH POWERED AIR ATTACKS. TOO TOO MANY QUESTIONS ON D, TO MANY UNTESTED PLAYERS ON D, AND STILL THE ABSCENCE OF A LEADER THERE.  RESULTS-- ANY WHERE FROM 5 TO 8 WINS THIS YEAR, AT BEST.  
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Sizing Up the Patriots:
         As training camp nears, here are some ideas what to expect from the Patriots:   1.) OL:  The OL has gotten a lot of attantion this summer due to the ugly hold-out of Logan Mankins. I don't believe he'll resign with the Pats...and will eventually be traded. That being the case, I expect that the Pats OL going into the season will be: Light (LT), Kaczur (LG), Koppen (C), Neal (RG), Vollmer (RT). Keep an eye on rookies Thomas Welch and Ted Larsen, who will eventually be contributors. Here are some comments on the OL from Jeff Howe (PatsPulpit):      "Vollmer, who was wildly impressive as a rookie, projects to be the Patriots' best offensive lineman in 2010, and that would, in theory, make him the best fit as the team's left tackle. However, Belichick seems to loathe the idea of putting Light on the right side, citing Light's failure over there earlier in his career. Since Light is better on left than either Kaczur or LeVoir are on the right, Light will anchor Tom Brady 's blind side and Vollmer will likely hold down the right. Another intriguing combination would put Vollmer at left tackle, Connolly at left guard and Kaczur at right tackle. But again, that keeps Light on the bench, and that doesn’t really appease Belichick.      At the very least, the Patriots are extremely versatile, with Vollmer, Connolly and Kaczur being able to fill multiple positions. New England would still be strong in the trenches if it lost a key member of its line because there are so many suitable combinations. Heading into the season, look for Light, Kaczur, Koppen, Neal and Vollmer to start from left to right, as that is Belichick's most ideal combination on the offensive line.  2.) Secondary: The starting CBs should be Leigh Bodden and Darius Butler. Devin McCourty will likely see action as the nickel CB. While Jonathan Wilhite will contribute in a back-up role, it will be sink or swim time for the disappointing Terrence Wheatley...who must stay healthy, for a change. At safety, the Pats appear to be good to go, with Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, and Brandon McGowan. It remains to be seen whether Patrick Chung can be anything more than a reliable special teams player.       On paper, this group appears solid. But, the Pats' dismal pass-rush is going to put a strain on this unit. How McCourty progresses will be key. Remember, the Pats passed on college pass-rushing terror Jerry Hughes, now an Indianapolis Colt, to snare McCourty. Here's a good article on the Pats' CBs: http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/14824/big-question-patriots-cornerbacks 3.) DL: The starters appear to be Vince Wilfolk (NT), flanked by DEs Ty Warren and Gerard Warren. Mike Wright appears to be the top reserve, with Damione Lewis, Myron Pryor, Brandon Deaderick, Ron Brace, and Darryl Richard battling it out for spots. Brace must prove to be more than the rumbling, stumbling tub or lard, that he appeared to be last season. It remains to be seen whether this group can bounce back from that embarrassing, emasculating effort against the Ravens in the playoffs.  Here's how Mike Reiss views the DL:  http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4679935/nfl-context-pats-defensive-line ; 4.) TEs and WRs: Though there's a lot of excitement over the new trio of TEs, Alge Crumpler, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez, don't lose sight of the fact that Crumpler is on the down-side of his career, and Gronk and Hernandez are rookies. Too many fans are expecting these guys to be world-beaters. Here's how Mike Reiss sees the Pats' TEs: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4679837/nfl-context-patriots-tight-ends .      As for the WRs, much depends on whether Wes Welker can recover, and return at 100%. The Pats' would be making a serious mistake if they rushed him back. I expect a big year out of Randy Moss...as it is a "contract year" for him. Unlike Joey Galloway, veteran Torrey Holt should contribute. Sam Aiken will likely remain as a reserve WR, and special teams ace. The guys to watch are Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman, and rookie Taylor Price. If two of these guys can contribute, this has the makings of a special group. Here is Reiss' take: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4679805/nfl-context-patriots-receivers 5.) LBs: Lots of training camp battles here. I anticipate that Jerrod Mayo and  rookie Brandon Spikes will start, with Tyrone McKenzie as the top back-up. On the outside, TBC and Derrick Burgess will "start". I put the word start in parentheses, because rookie Jermaine Cunningham will see lots of time. Look for Gary Guyton to be switched to OLB to take greater advantage of his speed and quickness. If the Pats get anything out of Shawn Crable, Thomas Williams, and/or Pierre Woods, other than special teams play, this group could show marked improvement. Here's a good article on the expected training camp battles: http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/rap_sheet/index.php/2010/06/26/patriots-coach-bill-belichick-anticipates-training-camp-full-of-interesting-position-battles/ ; 6.) RBs: Many of you have justifiably voiced concern over this group. Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris, and Fred Taylor are 33 years of age or older, and the underachieving Laurence Maroney developed a severe case of fumble-itis last season. Unless Maroney has an unexpected break-out year, this will be the final year for this group...which will go the way of the 2009 TEs, following the 2011 draft. I expect the Patriots to draft at least two RBs next season...and to be on the look-out for adding to this group this season, via trade. Depending upon how Maroney performs, I wouldn't rule out a trade for Rams RB Steven Jackson, provided that the cost is no more than a second round pick. Here's how Mike Reiss rates the RBs: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4679789/nfl-context-patriots-running-backs         Thoughts?             
    Posted by TexasPat3


    Thanks for the well thought out summary of the state of the pats. Its too bad that they have a monkey wrench in their versatility with Light only being useful at LT. I'm not real happy at the thought of our second best tackle having Brady's back for the whole season. 
    It also points out the Mankins issue to me. I think they're making a huge mistake in letting their bext Olineman walk. It'll take 3 years minimum to draft and coach up a guy who might be the equal of what they have now at LG. Just doesn't make sense over a relatively paltry amount of money.
    Just keeping my fingers crossed with LBs and Dlineman. I think we have the Dline to bring us deep into the playoffs but some of our new/IRed LBs are really going to have to come on strong in order for us to be contenders again. Without that and given our weak running game, we're lucky to end above .500.
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    One scenario no one ever mentions is putting Light at left guard. I always thought he was better suited to play guard and he was projected as a guard coming out of college.
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    My observations are this.  We have improved on both sides of the ball.  More offensive weapons and fixed the running leak that's on the right side.  Two problems still remain.  The RB situation and the pass rush.  The Pats go into the season with questions again. 

    The Pats also have a very tough schedule that some what favors them because the toughest of the teams are at home.  A tough schedule plus a bunch of young players doesn't usually bode well. 
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    I'm looking forward to this season. There's a number of question marks, but we should get some answers to those questions this season. That's why I'm thinking about 11-5 and a playoff win this year.

    QB - Brady 2 years removed from his knee injury. If he can avoid the multiple injuries he had last year he should put up not only better numbers but not wear down as much during the course of a game/season. Plus 2nd year with O'Brien one would think it should be better.

    RB - Probably same cast of characters as last season and I think this position will have a change over very similar to TE next year. Maroney needs to get past the fumbleitis, probably would have rushed for over 800+ yards if he doesn't cough it up at the Jacksonville goal line. Taylor and Morris have to stay healthier than last year (missed combined 14 games last year). Faulk will once again be one of the best third down backs in the game.

    WR - Moss should have a better year with a real receiver playing opposite of him at the #3 spot. Welker will probably still go on PUP IMO and be back for week 7. Edelmann won't put up WW numbers but still fill the role adequately. Holt should win the #3 spot and while he won't be putting up greatest show on turf numbers should finish around last years numbers with more TD's.

    TE - Massive turnaround here with Crumpler I imagine being more of a blocking TE. Looking forward to see what Gronk and Hernandez can bring although it will probably just be a glimpse of their full potential next season. Don't think we'll miss the stone hands and/or lack of blocking from this position the previous years.

    OLine - Probably going to see LT (Light) LG (Kaczur) C (Koppen) RG (Neal) RT (Vollmer) as the starters. Question I have how much drop off will Kaczur be from Mankins then how much of a upgrade Vollmer be over Kaczur at RT. Will it be enough to actually see an improvement? Hoping Crumpler can help out Light at LT. Can Neal hold up for a full season. Will any of the last 2 drafts bring anything to this seasons OLine.

    DLine - Will WWW (T. Warren, Wilfork, G. Warren) hold up during the season. Last year Ty and Vince missed combined 7 games. Can Ty Warren ever get back to his 2006 level. How much will Pryor and Brace improve from last year if at all?

    LB - On the outside can Burgess play like he did the end of last season? How will Cunningham do in his first season? Can Banta-Cain post the same sack total as last year? Can Crable after 2 years of injuries make the team? Who will win the other inside position next to Mayo? Lot of questions hopefully we can get some answers. See the one constant of this group being Mayo. Should get some answers this season.

    DB's - Last year I thought Bodden did quite well in his first year as a Pat. Be nice if Butler or McCourty could shut the revolving door at last years other CB spot. I imagine it will happen. Moving Wilhitte to 4th this year will show this unit is improving. I too hope Chung is as advertised a hard hitting good tackling SS is what this team needs. Put the fear in receivers going over the middle. Then Meriweather at FS should do well playing center field. He seems to have a good knack for getting to the ball. McGowan and Sanders as backups would give us a pretty deep safety position.

    ST- We have one of the best kickers in Ghost, a hopeful upgrade with Zoltan. Hopefully better kick returning with Tate and a good special teams standout with McCourty.

    Coaching - BB takes more control over the defense which could be a good thing. Lets hope O'Briens year 2 is better which it should be. 
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Sizing Up the Patriots:
         As training camp nears, here are some ideas what to expect from the Patriots:   1.) OL:  The OL has gotten a lot of attantion this summer due to the ugly hold-out of Logan Mankins. I don't believe he'll resign with the Pats...and will eventually be traded. That being the case, I expect that the Pats OL going into the season will be: Light (LT), Kaczur (LG), Koppen (C), Neal (RG), Vollmer (RT). Keep an eye on rookies Thomas Welch and Ted Larsen, who will eventually be contributors. Here are some comments on the OL from Jeff Howe (PatsPulpit):      "Vollmer, who was wildly impressive as a rookie, projects to be the Patriots' best offensive lineman in 2010, and that would, in theory, make him the best fit as the team's left tackle. However, Belichick seems to loathe the idea of putting Light on the right side, citing Light's failure over there earlier in his career. Since Light is better on left than either Kaczur or LeVoir are on the right, Light will anchor Tom Brady 's blind side and Vollmer will likely hold down the right. Another intriguing combination would put Vollmer at left tackle, Connolly at left guard and Kaczur at right tackle. But again, that keeps Light on the bench, and that doesn’t really appease Belichick.      At the very least, the Patriots are extremely versatile, with Vollmer, Connolly and Kaczur being able to fill multiple positions. New England would still be strong in the trenches if it lost a key member of its line because there are so many suitable combinations. Heading into the season, look for Light, Kaczur, Koppen, Neal and Vollmer to start from left to right, as that is Belichick's most ideal combination on the offensive line.  2.) Secondary: The starting CBs should be Leigh Bodden and Darius Butler. Devin McCourty will likely see action as the nickel CB. While Jonathan Wilhite will contribute in a back-up role, it will be sink or swim time for the disappointing Terrence Wheatley...who must stay healthy, for a change. At safety, the Pats appear to be good to go, with Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, and Brandon McGowan. It remains to be seen whether Patrick Chung can be anything more than a reliable special teams player.       On paper, this group appears solid. But, the Pats' dismal pass-rush is going to put a strain on this unit. How McCourty progresses will be key. Remember, the Pats passed on college pass-rushing terror Jerry Hughes, now an Indianapolis Colt, to snare McCourty. Here's a good article on the Pats' CBs: http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/14824/big-question-patriots-cornerbacks 3.) DL: The starters appear to be Vince Wilfolk (NT), flanked by DEs Ty Warren and Gerard Warren. Mike Wright appears to be the top reserve, with Damione Lewis, Myron Pryor, Brandon Deaderick, Ron Brace, and Darryl Richard battling it out for spots. Brace must prove to be more than the rumbling, stumbling tub or lard, that he appeared to be last season. It remains to be seen whether this group can bounce back from that embarrassing, emasculating effort against the Ravens in the playoffs.  Here's how Mike Reiss views the DL:  http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4679935/nfl-context-pats-defensive-line ; 4.) TEs and WRs: Though there's a lot of excitement over the new trio of TEs, Alge Crumpler, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez, don't lose sight of the fact that Crumpler is on the down-side of his career, and Gronk and Hernandez are rookies. Too many fans are expecting these guys to be world-beaters. Here's how Mike Reiss sees the Pats' TEs: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4679837/nfl-context-patriots-tight-ends .      As for the WRs, much depends on whether Wes Welker can recover, and return at 100%. The Pats' would be making a serious mistake if they rushed him back. I expect a big year out of Randy Moss...as it is a "contract year" for him. Unlike Joey Galloway, veteran Torrey Holt should contribute. Sam Aiken will likely remain as a reserve WR, and special teams ace. The guys to watch are Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman, and rookie Taylor Price. If two of these guys can contribute, this has the makings of a special group. Here is Reiss' take: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4679805/nfl-context-patriots-receivers 5.) LBs: Lots of training camp battles here. I anticipate that Jerrod Mayo and  rookie Brandon Spikes will start, with Tyrone McKenzie as the top back-up. On the outside, TBC and Derrick Burgess will "start". I put the word start in parentheses, because rookie Jermaine Cunningham will see lots of time. Look for Gary Guyton to be switched to OLB to take greater advantage of his speed and quickness. If the Pats get anything out of Shawn Crable, Thomas Williams, and/or Pierre Woods, other than special teams play, this group could show marked improvement. Here's a good article on the expected training camp battles: http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/rap_sheet/index.php/2010/06/26/patriots-coach-bill-belichick-anticipates-training-camp-full-of-interesting-position-battles/ ; 6.) RBs: Many of you have justifiably voiced concern over this group. Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris, and Fred Taylor are 33 years of age or older, and the underachieving Laurence Maroney developed a severe case of fumble-itis last season. Unless Maroney has an unexpected break-out year, this will be the final year for this group...which will go the way of the 2009 TEs, following the 2011 draft. I expect the Patriots to draft at least two RBs next season...and to be on the look-out for adding to this group this season, via trade. Depending upon how Maroney performs, I wouldn't rule out a trade for Rams RB Steven Jackson, provided that the cost is no more than a second round pick. Here's how Mike Reiss rates the RBs: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4679789/nfl-context-patriots-running-backs         Thoughts?             
    Posted by TexasPat3


    Mike Reiss is clueless.  I am anxious to see what the departure of Dean Pees will mean.  I have always felt that Dean's Defense was not aggressive enough in terms of applied pressures to the opposing QB's.  You don't have to sack them each time but just make them throw earlier than they would like and blitz a little more than he did as they became very comfortable when they lined up against our Defenses of the past few years.  I hope Bill will have his Defense play with increased pressure applied to the opposing QB's and in a manner as will not allow them to view us as so predictable as to how we apply this pressure.
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    In Response to Sizing Up the Patriots : Mike Reiss is clueless.  I am anxious to see what the departure of Dean Pees will mean.  I have always felt that Dean's Defense was not aggressive enough in terms of applied pressures to the opposing QB's.  You don't have to sack them each time but just make them throw earlier than they would like and blitz a little more than he did as they became very comfortable when they lined up against our Defenses of the past few years.  I hope Bill will have his Defense play with increased pressure applied to the opposing QB's and in a manner as will not allow them to view us as so predictable as to how we apply this pressure.
    Posted by Clay73


         I think you're being a bit too hard on Mike Reiss. Compared to some of the folks currently covering the Pats, he does a fine job. You may not agree with him, but at least he presents topics of interest to Pats' fans...and gives reasons for his opinions.

         I agree with your point on Pees. BB stuck with his good buddy too long. We'll see whether the Pats switch to a more aggressive style of play.
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    So what does all this translate to in terms of wins and lossses?
    4-2 in division is maybe the best I see, with 3-3 a sad possibililty.
    6-4 outside division?
    Bottom line: it will be a tough battle for the Pats to win the division with the hope the best football is being played at the end of the season with the team jelling for a playoff run.
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH 2 RAIDER CASTOFFS?? AS STARTERS??? THE PATRIOT SHIP IS SINKING FAST! THE 2010 SCHEDULE IS WAY TOUGHER THAN 09. 8 OPPONENTS WITH ALL PRO QBS AND HIGH POWERED AIR ATTACKS. TOO TOO MANY QUESTIONS ON D, TO MANY UNTESTED PLAYERS ON D, AND STILL THE ABSCENCE OF A LEADER THERE.  RESULTS-- ANY WHERE FROM 5 TO 8 WINS THIS YEAR, AT BEST.  
    Posted by jaycee1m


    It's called the "Shift Key", know it, love it, learn it, use it...please.  I did say please.
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    ...QB - Brady 2 years removed from his knee injury. If he can avoid the multiple injuries he had last year he should put up not only better numbers but not wear down as much during the course of a game/season...
    Posted by Wizardsjag


    I've been thinking lately that Brady's injuries of late is one of the most important topics not being discussed or taken seriously by us fans.  In late 2007 he hurt his foot and it did effect his play "some" in the playoffs.  Although not a mobile QB anyway, he was even less mobile.  We all know about 2008.  2009 he also had some injuries effect his play in a few games.  Give the guy credit for playing through his injuries, but he has been more injury prone the last 3 years, and it has effected his game.

    We are extremely lucky to have Brady.  That said, there is an injury trend developing with him.  Whether or not that continues probably deserves a lot more discussion than it's gotten.  I hope it was just a string of bad luck and he returns to his usual iron man status this year.
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots : I've been thinking lately that Brady's injuries of late is one of the most important topics not being discussed or taken seriously by us fans.  In late 2007 he hurt his foot and it did effect his play "some" in the playoffs.  Although not a mobile QB anyway, he was even less mobile.  We all know about 2008.  2009 he also had some injuries effect his play in a few games.  Give the guy credit for playing through his injuries, but he has been more injury prone the last 3 years, and it has effected his game. We are extremely lucky to have Brady.  That said, there is an injury trend developing with him.  Whether or not that continues probably deserves a lot more discussion than it's gotten.  I hope it was just a string of bad luck and he returns to his usual iron man status this year.
    Posted by carawaydj


    DJ, I talked about this as well on a separate thread. I think Brady's multiple injury's have been a direct result of our offensive game plan. By using the spread offense more then we ever did in the Super Bowl years I think we are leaving Brady vulnerable to "BIG" hits. Not necessarily sacks but getting hit while he throws. The deep throws require Brady to hold the ball longer and gives pass rushers more time to get a hit on him. The knee was a deep ball, the ribs in Miami were from a deep ball to Moss again.

    Given the current question marks we have on the o-line I think this is all the more reason to go back to mid range passing and play action. All of this is directly set up from an effective run game that the coaches NEED to commit to. I hope the running dinosaur brothers Taylor/Morris can stay healthy this year because a solid run game can help keep Brady healthy as well.

    Another thing the short to mid range passing game would do is keep our offense on the field longer as we sustain longer drives(as opposed to throwing Moss a 70 yard td). This would take pressure off of our young defense and allow them to play a little more aggressively then they might have played last year.

    I miss watching Brady and the coaching staff engineer 15 play 7 minute drives that result in 7 points!

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    So what does all this translate to in terms of wins and lossses? 4-2 in division is maybe the best I see, with 3-3 a sad possibililty. 6-4 outside division? Bottom line: it will be a tough battle for the Pats to win the division with the hope the best football is being played at the end of the season with the team jelling for a playoff run.
    Posted by NYC


         It's much too early to tell. Right now, my guess is that the Dolphins will be better than advertised...the Pats will be solid, but not great...and the Jets will prove to be overrated. With the Jets, so much depends on the play of QB Mark Sanchez. Can he stay healthy?
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from themightypatriotz. Show themightypatriotz's posts

    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots : DJ, I talked about this as well on a separate thread. I think Brady's multiple injury's have been a direct result of our offensive game plan. By using the spread offense more then we ever did in the Super Bowl years I think we are leaving Brady vulnerable to "BIG" hits. Not necessarily sacks but getting hit while he throws. The deep throws require Brady to hold the ball longer and gives pass rushers more time to get a hit on him. The knee was a deep ball, the ribs in Miami were from a deep ball to Moss again. Given the current question marks we have on the o-line I think this is all the more reason to go back to mid range passing and play action. All of this is directly set up from an effective run game that the coaches NEED to commit to. I hope the running dinosaur brothers Taylor/Morris can stay healthy this year because a solid run game can help keep Brady healthy as well. Another thing the short to mid range passing game would do is keep our offense on the field longer as we sustain longer drives(as opposed to throwing Moss a 70 yard td). This would take pressure off of our young defense and allow them to play a little more aggressively then they might have played last year. I miss watching Brady and the coaching staff engineer 15 play 7 minute drives that result in 7 points!
    Posted by TrueChamp

    The biggest problem might be Brady himself - he likes to hold onto the ball for as long as possible to hit the optimum receiver.  He's always done this and it has won him well deserved praise for being one of the toughest QBs in the league (as opposed to you-know-who), but it might shorten his career.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots : The biggest problem might be Brady himself - he likes to hold onto the ball for as long as possible to hit the optimum receiver.  He's always done this and it has won him well deserved praise for being one of the toughest QBs in the league (as opposed to you-know-who), but it might shorten his career.
    Posted by themightypatriotz


    It is a very good point Mighty. What has helped Brady so much in his career may actually be hurting him. Amother reason why Charlie Weiss( or any OC that demands the respect of a QB) is missed so much. Players are not coaches. This is a fact and even a player with Tom's resume needs to be coached. other then BB from what I have seen watching games nobody is talking to TGom about what could have been done on particular plays. Not only in the aspect of keeping Tom healthy but also for the good of the offense. Believe me I'm not saying TB is the problem but even the best need to be coached.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

         here's a guy who predicts that the Pats will go 12-4 this season: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/413463-any-given-sunday-new-england-patriots-2010-week-by-week-predictions
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Clay73. Show Clay73's posts

    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    Agreed. Mike Reiss is the most level headed Pats beatwriter and analyst there is out there next to Perillo.  The Globe hasn't been anywhere remotely the same here since Reiss. No one is perfect, including Reiss, but he's fair and objective and doesn't try to bait readers with outlandish, knee jerk commentary that makes no sense.
    Posted by russgriswold


    Reiss writes about things that you and I have thought about three years ago.  He is a lame Humpty Dumpty!

    I see our TEs as being the key to our Offense.  These guys pull down receptions like I think they will and Tom gets his spread Offense back and nobody can stop us.  We move the chains, we wear them down and keep our Defense well rested.  Tom has made this model work very well in the past.  We are back in the saddle again.  Yes - No??? 
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheFantasyBaron. Show TheFantasyBaron's posts

    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots: This also ties into the O Line and them going from what many considered a top flight unit to all of a sudden people saying they aren't any good.  In my opinion, these aren't fundmental issues, but aspects that can be tweaked and addressed by slight changes. I would be stunned if the aspects of balance/play calling, O Line play and the running game don't make Brady look better than he did as compared to last year. It's really hard to believe it will be worse.
    Posted by russgriswold[/QUOTE]

    I don't see anything that leads me to believe the O line will perform better than last year. I understand that its a group that can't stay healthy but even when healthy this isn't a group with much upside potential. Add to their overall declining skills a predictable offense where the D line is just waiting on one of O'Brien's signature run plays and the O line looks downright terrible. The D line knows where the run is going and the O line can't perform under those circumstances.

    One thing I noticed is that Brady's QB rating was only good when doing play action passing last year; guess what everyone that means they'll be in the shotgun all year long running play action. The Pats are one of the top teams in the league for not keeping guys on the line to protect Brady. He gets hit more than almost any other QB but the catches aren't there to make it worthwhile. The question this year is can the O line keep Brady on his feet long enough to connect with a receiver and will that receiver catch the ball?

    One thing that Madden picked up on this year is the relative lack of playmakers for that Pats on either side of the ball; a bunch of guys rated in the 70s overall. I know you can't take the game for real life but the game needs to reflect what happened last year. The game pigeon holed a lot of players with mediocre numbers because they played mediocre. As of now the game and real life suggest the Pats have many, many mediocre players. How did this happen? Should some of these guys register higher? Not if we're looking at last year. It would seem to me that to change the trends of mediocrity some of the new guys are going to have to find greatness on their own. Also O'Brien needs to become more creative in his play calling. Run it on third down once in a while.

    There was an interesting article that showed the Jets as one of the weakest teams defending the screen pass. Is this year's Pats team going to become a screen pass team to take advantage of the Jets in particular? The screen counts on pass rushers on Brady and I'm sure he'll see plenty of them.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots : This also ties into the O Line and them going from what many considered a top flight unit to all of a sudden people saying they aren't any good.  In my opinion, these aren't fundmental issues, but aspects that can be tweaked and addressed by slight changes. I would be stunned if the aspects of balance/play calling, O Line play and the running game don't make Brady look better than he did as compared to last year. It's really hard to believe it will be worse. Posted by russgriswold
    I don't see anything that leads me to believe the O line will perform better than last year. I understand that its a group that can't stay healthy but even when healthy this isn't a group with much upside potential. Add to their overall declining skills a predictable offense where the D line is just waiting on one of O'Brien's signature run plays and the O line looks downright terrible. The D line knows where the run is going and the O line can't perform under those circumstances. One thing I noticed is that Brady's QB rating was only good when doing play action passing last year; guess what everyone that means they'll be in the shotgun all year long running play action. The Pats are one of the top teams in the league for not keeping guys on the line to protect Brady. He gets hit more than almost any other QB but the catches aren't there to make it worthwhile. The question this year is can the O line keep Brady on his feet long enough to connect with a receiver and will that receiver catch the ball? One thing that Madden picked up on this year is the relative lack of playmakers for that Pats on either side of the ball; a bunch of guys rated in the 70s overall. I know you can't take the game for real life but the game needs to reflect what happened last year. The game pigeon holed a lot of players with mediocre numbers because they played mediocre. As of now the game and real life suggest the Pats have many, many mediocre players. How did this happen? Should some of these guys register higher? Not if we're looking at last year. It would seem to me that to change the trends of mediocrity some of the new guys are going to have to find greatness on their own. Also O'Brien needs to become more creative in his play calling. Run it on third down once in a while. There was an interesting article that showed the Jets as one of the weakest teams defending the screen pass. Is this year's Pats team going to become a screen pass team to take advantage of the Jets in particular? The screen counts on pass rushers on Brady and I'm sure he'll see plenty of them.
    Posted by TheFantasyBaron[/QUOTE]

    Amen. Brady put up his best #s in the play action. Well No #$%@. I never would have guessed that. BTW I'm not degrading your post Baron because you are dead right, Im just emphasizing what I have been saying for the past year. Brady is the best PA QB in the game....Maybe of all time. The Pats offense was close to dominant with personnel such as...hold your breath, Deon Branch, David Givens, David Patton, Daniel Graham, Christian Furia, and of course the great Troy Brown.(no sarcasm intended on that last one as Brown really was great)

    Yes Yes I know 2007 was an example of what Tom Brady can do with REAL weapons on offense but unfortunately that kind of team only happens once in a blue moon. I would rather see us go back to the basics and make teams "Guess" what we are going to do instead of putting it in there faces and daring them to stop us.

    We all know the 2007 season ended with some unfortunate luck for us and we would have been the greatest team in NFL history unquestioned( even though we are anyway) but I still believe we need to go back to Patriot football. Grind teams down with long drives and kill teams with our best weapon....Tom Brady and the PA.
     
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    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    I think how far we go this year will soley rest on the shoulders of the D. I really believe its all them. I think our O will preform at a high level and be the world-beaters we have come to expect from them. Everyone keeps talking about how this is a contract year for Randy and although I believe that will have an affect on him ... just like it would every other player in the league ... he'll be healthy! I love the fact that only Randy Moss would be affected by playing for another contract , the last of his career at that ... wow what a greedy no love for the game SOB LOL. You dont think 12 will try to light it up a little more if his isnt worked out before the start of the season? I think not playing almost an entire year w/ a seperated shoulder and bad back will have a lot more to do w/ his production than a contract. 81 will be playing football for someone next year and he'll get scooped up extremely quick , I can think of at least 4-5 CONTENDERS that would love to have a 6-4/210 vertical threat that when healthy is an automatic double digit TD monster. I really like our WR corp this year and absolutely love the fact that we have someone to play the X position. I really think we're over-looking Holt and the things he can do for this team. I dont want to hear about his age , look at 81's age , theres no way a 32 y/o WR w/ a seperated shoulder should be putting up 1265/13 TDs. And believe me I know their two completely different WRs , but Holt IMHO is a top ten WR all time and when you stop to think about it had a very good year last year w/ the dogchit team he was on last year. Granted no TDs , which I believe is how Wrs should be judged , but again look that team. No other options at WR besides Sims-Walker and MJD , terrible O-line and a QB who has made tons of mistakes since breaking out in 07'. Holt is legandary for his route running , his digs , comebacks and crossing patterns will be huge for this team. And I still believe he has some gas left to get down the field. He's always run that post or slugo route at an extremely high level and matching up against opposing teams 3rd/4th best CBs will help him put 6 on the board. And if we can stay healthy at the RB position I really think we have a chance to be a top 5 O ... a real top 5 O , not just by the numbers. Having a respectable running has really hurt this team IMO , look no further than last year. Plus 12 just cant keep taking these huge hits that hes been taking , having a running game will go along way in that area ... as most of you know. Again I think this whole year and how far we go we depend on our D. Whos going to play the 5 technique , which hurt us bad last year. Teams made no secret about the fact that they we're going to run on what would have been Seys side. You can have all the OLBs you want , w/out someone playing solid at the 5 tech. backs will continue to get the edge on us. Next up 'backers and let me say that I was hoping and pseudo praying that we would grab Spikes , I love this kid and think he has everything you want in a I/MLB. Obviously all that fake praying paid off. Theres no ceiling for what a Mayo/Spikes tandom could accomplish. I thought/think the ILB position is just as important in a 3-4D as the OLB spot. So Im very happy we filled that need , but there are still many q's about the OLB position. Can we really depend on TBC and DB again this year. DB didnt show up until week 10 last year and TBC got half his sacks in one game. This is real cause for concern IMO and we could be screaming at the TV all year about the same issue , lack of pressure. And although I do believe that our secondary will be much better this year , no secondary will last w/ QBs like Favre , 18 , Rivers , Big Ben etc. having 6-7 seconds to throw the ball. And along w/ those QBs , we'll be playing some absolute studs at WR w/ guys like Marshall , Wayne , Rice , Holmes , Edwards , Q , 'Tron etc. Pressure is a must this year! And this could be the last year we see football for a while , at least w/ this group. CBA , Moss , 12 , are question marks until their signed or gone.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from hammer219. Show hammer219's posts

    Re: Sizing Up the Patriots

    In Response to Re: Sizing Up the Patriots:
    In Response to Sizing Up the Patriots : Mike Reiss is clueless.  I am anxious to see what the departure of Dean Pees will mean.  I have always felt that Dean's Defense was not aggressive enough in terms of applied pressures to the opposing QB's.  You don't have to sack them each time but just make them throw earlier than they would like and blitz a little more than he did as they became very comfortable when they lined up against our Defenses of the past few years.  I hope Bill will have his Defense play with increased pressure applied to the opposing QB's and in a manner as will not allow them to view us as so predictable as to how we apply this pressure.
    Posted by Clay73

     
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