In response to 42AND46's comment:
In response to hardright's comment:
I don't post here very often, and I believe this is the first-ever thread I've started, but this article, written by a long-time buddy of mine and the founder of the CHFF site, pretty much nails it, in my opinion. This is how I've felt for a very long time about the Patriots' sudden, dramatic style-shift following the catastrophic (some would say rigged) defeat in the '06 AFCC at Indy. It's high time they get back to playing football the "old school" way--even though, yes, The Polian Rules don't allow for that type of football to be played without consequences all the time. Over the long haul, my view is that the refs can't call EVERYTHING, and that in the post-season they call fewer and fewer penalties anyway. So I say, roll the dice, put the "high-octane" offensive side show to bed and start grinding out wins again. It's what won them those first two Super Bowls (the third title team was simply one of the best and most balanced NFL teams of all time).
As for the 2013 Patriots, I do believe there's a severe overreaction going on among the fanbase and, of course, the BB-hating media. Young WRs are going to make mistakes, especially in a complicated offense such as NE's. The good news is that--unless my lying eyes need glasses--I thought I saw Dobson and Thompkins getting open on a consistent basis Thursday night. So clearly, the talent appears to be there; it just needs to be cultivated and they still have 15 weeks (including the bye) to get that accomplished. Amendola will return--he's not as fragile as is being advertised. His injuries with the Rams were the unavoidable football-types of injuries that could hit any player, and groin injuries happen to athletes. What can you do? Most of you old enough to remember the Pete Carroll era might also remember that Willie McGinest missed the better part of two seasons in the late 90s with constant groin pulls/tears, or whatever. He even underwent offseason abdominal surgery to lessen the likelihood of groin injuries popping up again. I'd say Willie's career worked out OK in the end.
For those of you pining for Welker's "toughness" over Amendola's "fragility", I would simply remind you that Welker did suffer a torn ACL during his Patriots career, but since it happened in Week 17 instead of Week 6, he only missed one playoff game and came back by opening day the following season. Had it happened earlier in the year, he would have missed several games, and then perhaps HIS durability would be in question, no? The timing of that torn ACL had a lot to do with Welker not missing significant playing time.
Oh, and the best TE in the world will be returning soon. Vereen was a tough loss, but as soon as Bolden is ready to roll, the depth at RB will start to look better as well.
As for the defense, we can nit-pick all day long, but the bottom line is that they have allowed 24 points this season (obviously, the 7 on the fumble return in Buffalo do not count). The coverage in the secondary has been much better, too, save for a couple of correctable breakdowns, which happen to ALL defenses in the modern NFL. I know it was only against two rookie QBs, and that much tougher tests lie ahead, but what I'm seeing is much tighter coverage in the secondary against teams that, for all of their QB issues, still ran receivers like Santonio Holmes and Steve Johnson out there the past couple of weeks.
As for Brady's antics: I understand his frustration, but he's got to tone it down. I lived in South Florida for five years in the early 90s--the last few good, productive years of Dan Marino's career--and I became increasingly embarrassed for him as he constantly berated his teammates whenever things would go wrong, regardless of whether or not the breakdowns were their fault. The good news is that I believe Brady, unlike Marino or even P. Manning, is more equipped mentally to deal with NOT being the central focus of the offense than those two guys are/were. He's been the "game manager" engine driving the bus before, and he can be that way again. Marino and Manning were used to having the teams built around THEM their entire careers, and neither could handle any kind of change--Marino's dust-ups with Jimmy Johnson, after JJ wanted to reshape the Miami offense into the image of the offenses he ran in Dallas, were legendary (if underpublicized by the Marino-worshipping So. Florida media).
Anyway, enjoy the article. Feel free to share your thoughts, of course. And keep the faith! The team is 2-0, and 2-0 in the division, and they don't award style points in the NFL....just wins and losses.
did Rusty pay you for this?
I felt the article summed up my feelings over the past few years. I don't post here very often. I tend to lurk more than anything, and one trend that I detect quite often is the overreaction to small sample sizes. That goes both ways, actually, as I'm sure there were people here who were overly enthused about the first two pre-season performances by the Pats. I was pleased that they didn't look lousy in those first two pre-season games, but I've also watched the NFL long enough to know that pre-season doesn't mean a whole lot.
With that said, I've also been around long enough to know that trying to judge how a team will look come December after just two regular season games is also a fool's errand. The overreaction to a banged-up offense's struggles after two games has been extreme, in my opinion.
The article was written by a buddy of mine who has been preaching this same gospel ever since the Pats decided to shed their championship identity and mimic the Polian/Manning Colts, or even the Air Coryell Chargers, if you want to go back that far.
It's a philosophy that doesn't work, more often than not. The only reason the Colts won a Super Bowl back in 2006 was because every single thing that could possibly go right for them during that post-season, did. From facing three teams without QBs (Chiefs with Huard, Ravens with an ancient McNair, Bears with Grossman); to the Ravens' defense dropping at least three or four balls that Manning threw right at them in the rain in the divisional round; to the Patriots missing Rodney, Seau and Seymour on defense in the AFC title game and having the flu running through the locker room during game week; and to the officials botching three huge calls in that same game, EVERYTHING went Indy's way during that 2006 post-season. And they're really the only team that was built almost exclusively around offense to win a championship in the Super Bowl era.
So I agree with the article's premise wholeheartedly, and I view the 2-0 start as somewhat encouraging since it's been a long time since the Pats could, in fact, "win ugly."
And, to be honest, I've also followed this team long enough to realize that when BB is gone, and they stop cranking out 10 to 12 win seasons with regularity, a lot of the people who are so hard on him now will be pining for his return.
Yes, I'm aware of the draft busts (he's never really swung and missed on his first rounders, however, which is huge and rare--a few foultips, like Maroney and Meriweather, but no swings and misses). I'm also aware that every GM has draft busts. I'm also aware that he's had plenty of draft hits, too, and that his overall draft record puts him in the top quartile among NFL GMs, in spite of constant, key departures of some of the organization's brightest lights (for greener pastures, and who among us would fault them for pursuing such opportunities?).
The Welker thing, to me, seems far more complicated than just BB "screwing" him over or "stiffing" him, as the mad plagiarist from the Herald said in the Rolling Stone article. It's clear, based on some of his recent quotes, that Welker wanted out. Hey, it happens. After six years with the same company, it can get old and tiresome. Besides, after watching the first two games, I would say that getting production at the slot receiver position has not been a problem--the problem has been getting the young outside receivers on the same page with Brady. Having no healthy or unindicted tight ends hasn't helped either.
Basically, my point is that it's early, the team is 2-0, and there is plenty of time for them to correct things. Also, it's time to stop playing the fantasy football type of game and get back to their roots (accounting for the fact that the modern rules in Goodell's intramural flag football league only allow so much "old school" football to be played).
Great post and views I've shared for a long time. BB has slowly been putting this defense together and the starters now have been playing together for several years that pays big when it comes to good communications as well as trust knowing each player is going to be where they need to be for each play. Karen Guregian of the Herald has an article today talking on the those exact points.
As for the offense I've pointed out in other posts that it is not easy learning the Patriot's offense and the wide receivers, TE, and running backs really have to put in the extra effort and prove to Brady that he can trust them. Mark Daniels also from the Herald just happens to have an interesting article on this subject. He interviewed past receivers and TEs that had to do just that. As you'll see not all worked out.
The Defense has the capability to be very good. The offense is currently struggling but it will get better! As you mentioned they are 2-0 and it's much better than 1-1 or worse 0-2.