Re: Thinking Outside Of The Box
posted at 1/22/2013 10:53 AM EST
In response to VAPATRIOT's comment:
Let me first offer a disclaimer: I've been a Patriots fan in Virginia since the 70's, and I've suffered through many frustrating seasons. I'm not from the Boston area, but I love my Patriots! Been to a couple of games in both stadiums, and it was like being in heaven seeing so many Patriots fans in one place! I believe Tom Brady is the best quarterback ever to wear an NFL uniform, without him (over the past decade) the Patriots would have been just average IMO.
The lost to Baltimore was frustrating on multiple levels. 1. Because we all know our Pats can play much better than what was exhibited on Sunday. 2. The Ravens didn't really play that well either, but they played better and well enough to take the game. 3. The Patriots don't possess "enough" speed (in key areas) to crush teams like the Ravens and the Giants. If we all could participated in a post season think tank session with the Patriots ownership and coaches, and was asked to think "outside of the box" for a realistic solution to defeat teams like Baltimore and NY, what would you propose? Remember, the 07 team had the field stretching receivers with Moss and Stallworth, and a younger Brady.This would be my "outside of the box" suggestion:
While I still believe Brady can get the Patriots back to another AFC Championship game or two, or maybe to another Superbowl or two, teams built like the Ravens and Giants will always stand as a serious threat to do what happened Sunday. IMO more speed is needed in the engine as this game gets faster and faster each season. Trade Brady (35), Welker (31) and Ballard (25) to Carolina for Newton (23) and Carolina's first round pick (#14). Implement the read option offense with Newton, draft Cordarrelle Patterson (6'3, 4.46) with the Carolina pick, resign Talib, and draft the best available defensive lineman with our own first round pick (#29).
I like your outside the box thinking and agree it may be time. Cam Newton would be a terrific target but I'm skeptical that he's within reach. I firmly believe that "read-option" QBs will have about 3 -4 more months of shelf-life in a rapidly changing NFL. Viscious hits like that to Ridley or those absorbed by RG III will doom this gimmick soon. A mobile QB is, however, a boon in certain circumstances.
My thoughts about the game after a cooling off period are as follows. The Ravens were the better team by far. On our best day, it would have been close but we stunk. Just think, Flacco has been better than Brady in 4 straight outings. When Talib went down in the 1st qtr, we were back to the same pathetic collection of DBs we had when we started the year (and went 3-3).
My thoughts going forward. Spend money in FA or trade for (in this order)
1. A TALL aggressive CB to defend the passing game (our guys are midgets and weak tacklers).
2. A pass-rushing/sack expert for Left DE
3. A tall, speedy #1 WR (like Moss in 07). This offense gets bogged down in the middle of the field after short dink and dunk passes.
4. An intimidating presence somewhere on the defense. We play like little girls out there against good physical teams.
5. A punt/kick-off return specialist.
6. Dare I say it, a new young QB
In my opinion our defense is fundamentally flawed. Two years ago, Belichick changed his defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3 and the results have been a disaster. He was trying to copy the Giants, who beat him in the SB. The problem, of course, is that their front 4 are All-Pros and ours, not so much. Personally, I think this change has neutralized Wilfork. He is immensely strong but slow with all the weight he carries. Folks don’t realize that the front 4 of the Giants are smallish but FAST! We have lacked a true defensive end since Belicheck had a hissy fit about Richard Seymour’s effort level and his pay grade (BB has done this many times- Assante Samuel, the first Deion Branch, Ted Washington, even Ty Law). Now we have a hybrid, patch-work defense with 3 slow linebackers that can’t run down RBs on the outside or stay with tight ends in coverage. It is unconceivable that Belicheck could go into 2 straight off-seasons with the same pitiful collection of DBs. This seems to be an ego/arrogance thing that blinds him to reality. In effect he is saying “I can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” and the results are predictable. Unfortunately, the Pats can’t simply turn a switch and go back to the 3-4 because of our slow linebackers. We are stuck unless they blow the whole thing up.
My comments about the offense are much simpler. The need for a speed burner WR on the outside is just too obvious. We have so many guys running short and intermediate routes out there they bump into each other. This helps the other team’s defense too since they are never more than 2 large strides away from coverage. It is absurd.
Sadly, Tom’s skills have eroded to the point that he is not an effective playoff QB. He hears footsteps too often and gets jittery. This results in poor throws. All season, he has been prone to underthrown balls, poor accuracy, and even poor decision making. He’s a dinosaur back there. He has lost his mojo too. His competitiveness on the sidelines is gone completely. I wonder what is he thinking when his head is down on the bench. He should be yelling It’s OK. We’ll get it back when he is off the field.
I would trade Brady tomorrow for an early #1 pick and any skill player in my list of needs above. By the way, Mallet is not the answer either. He is too slow-footed and has difficulty getting quick reads on coverage. My solution is to pry Matt Flynn away from Seattle. He is young, mobile and deadly accurate. There was talk last summer that he was the better QB compared to Russell Wilson. Pete Carroll was just really keen on an option-based running attack. If the competition was even close, the guy has to be OK. By the way, he came to Foxboro as a backup when Aaron Rodgers was hurt about 2 years ago and passed for over 450 yards. Tom Brady had to pull out a miraculous finish to beat him by a smidgeon.
I would not be opposed to trading Vince Wilfork if they got value in return. He was INVISIBLE on Sunday and that is who he is in big games.
I would trade either Mayo or Spikes. They are duplicates of each other- strong tacklers but extremely weak in pass coverage.
I let Welker walk……… He has made far too many key drops and that is what he gets paid to do. The short passing game allows for easy catches (which is why his stats are so good). He is supposed to catch’em and run for 5 or 6 extra yards. He is doing neither these days (age and a LOT of hits to his body).
They have to negotiate hard for Talib. He is the ONLY talented DB they have. If it gets too pricey, at least they tried.
Trade Mankins. He’s been a cancer on the team for 2 years and his skills are vastly overrated. The O-line performs the same with him as without him.
Basically, Father Time has caught up to Brady. The window closed the minute Welker dropped that pass in last year’s SB. We are now like the Celtics trying to win with old guys in a young man’s game.
Some folks will be offended and rip me to pieces. But this was done in the spirit of thinking outside of the box. I am a fan and will continue no matter what happens.