What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?..... : I really don't understand why everyone on this board is so critical of the pats' Oline. It may not be the best but its far from the worst. We have two of the best guards in the AFC, solid vets at the other three spots and a kick-azz blocking TE in crumpler. Sure, Light is on the downhill slope of his career but Volmer is a rising star. They've also been together for several years, a huge plus for an Oline. Here's some objective assessments of NFL Olines; http://fantasyfootball.fanhouse.com/2009/07/29/2009-offensive-line-rankings/ ranks pats' line as among the best in football. http://www.fftoolbox.com/football/article.cfm?article_id=428 rates pats' Oline as 6th best overall. http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/415640 rates Pats' line as "good". Do these rankings mean anything? Not really, but I have more confidence in them than joe lunchbucket's evaluation. 
    Posted by unclealfie
    Because we watch the games and see our RBs being stuffed and our QB running for his life and lying on the turf. There have not been any upgragdes to the OL since last season, only TE. Do you really believe that the TEs were the only turnstiles letting people through?
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    I'm a season ticket holder and watch all the games.  Personnally I think our O-Line has been overrated for years.  But in the past, I thought the biggest weak spot was run blocking.  Now, I think pass blocking has become a problem too.  In my opnion, we've been weak at right tackle for years--and anyone who watched Kaczur (or worse LeVoir when he lined up as tackle rather than end) struggle to stop pass rushers last year has to recognize the problem. 
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?..... : I really don't understand why everyone on this board is so critical of the pats' Oline. It may not be the best but its far from the worst. We have two of the best guards in the AFC, solid vets at the other three spots and a kick-azz blocking TE in crumpler. Sure, Light is on the downhill slope of his career but Volmer is a rising star. They've also been together for several years, a huge plus for an Oline. Here's some objective assessments of NFL Olines; http://fantasyfootball.fanhouse.com/2009/07/29/2009-offensive-line-rankings/ ranks pats' line as among the best in football. http://www.fftoolbox.com/football/article.cfm?article_id=428 rates pats' Oline as 6th best overall. http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/415640 rates Pats' line as "good". Do these rankings mean anything? Not really, but I have more confidence in them than joe lunchbucket's evaluation. 
    Posted by unclealfie


    I think because it was built to protect Brady, but they're having a harder and harder time protecting him (not in terms of sacks, but in harassing Brady w/ hurries, knocking him down, disrupting his passing lanes). If our OLINE is "so good" why do they need TEs and RBs to help protect Brady?

    Finally, OLine hasn't been having much success opening holes for running game. IMHO, the running game is important for a balanced offense - keeping opposing D off balance - and for controlling the clock. It's kinda hard NOT to be so predictable if all were doing is the same old passing plays.....
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?..... : The defensive assigns gap letters to the spaces between offensive linemen: "A" gap is the space between the center and guard. "B" gap is the space between the guard and tackle. "C" gap is the space between the tackle and  TE or outside the tackle. In the Pats' system, defensive lineman are responsible for two gaps. Wilfork is accountable for both "A" gaps, and Ty Warren/Somebody are responsible for the "B" and "C" gaps on their side.  In most 4-3 alignments, each lineman has a single gap responsibility, and it's usually to penetrate that gap to either tackle the runner in the backfield, or get to the passer.  You can see a pretty good diagraming of the gaps here:
    Posted by USMCM1A1


    I am assuming that the gaps are designated the same regardless of if it's a 3-4 defensive alignment...just that the DL are playing 2 gaps?....
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    As I have yet to see any of the new acquistions accomplish anything, I'm going to say that the Pats biggest problem is still the last one we saw: The inability to stop a team that says, "We are going to run the ball right at you all day long and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it."
    Posted by p-mike


    I agree w/ u and rolltide...they ain't done nothin yet; but at least they're trying to do something...
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
     I have to agree with Mr. Spheroid, our OLine isn't scaring anyone except Tom Brady. We need to do a better job of keeping TB upright. The sack numbers are deceptive because he gets rid of the ball before he gets creamed. The running game is anemic....
    Posted by Cyberknot


    The O-line is an efficient pass blocking unit.  I think RT is a position they will need to address next year, and guard to replace Neal.  Hopefully Larsen is a keeper and one of Bussey, Ohrnberger or somebody will emerge, and they resign Mankins.

    But, I'm not sure the run game is a real weakness, at least not nearly on par with the pass rush.  They rushed for over 1,900 yards and 4.1 per carry last year, and they were second in the NFL in time of possession (behing Green Bay), so I just don't see that as a major flaw.  Yes, it would be nice if Brady could turn around and hand it to a Steven Jackson, but the Pats, like the majority of the league (including the Saints and Colts), will rely on a committee approach.

    They're a passing team in a passing league, like they've always been (at least in the BB era).  I doubt they're ever going to a Jets run first approach.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?..... : I am assuming that the gaps are designated the same regardless of if it's a 3-4 defensive alignment...just that the DL are playing 2 gaps?....
    Posted by BubbaInHawaii


    Yes--gaps are independent of system.  Responsibility for gaps is system dependent.  So in the Parcells/Belichick (and now Mangini, Crennel, Groh, etc) 3-4, each lineman has responsibility for two gaps, and mst be big enough to take on a double team. In the Cowher/Capers/LeBeau 3-4, everyone has a single gap responsibility.  Basically, in our system, each lineman lines up directly over the opposing O-lineman, and then covers the gap on either side.  In the Steeler version, the D-lineman play off the shoulder of an O-lineman, and the LB behind them covers the opposite shoulder gap.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    I have always looked at Light as an overachiever.  He isn't your prototype when it comes to playing LT.  He is still serviceable.  Vollmer corrects the RT spot.  We have a lot of good guards.  Koppen is the odd man out and is in my crosshairs.  We are seeing more 3/4 fronts especially in the East and Koppen struggles greatly against those NTs.  We need a center that can handle that NT.  We didn't start off too good last year.  The OL had some injuries and we didn't see the actual starting line up until the end of the year.  By then it was too late.  Moss was playing hurt and we were down to one RB and Welker.

    Running Backs.  I thought for sure the Pats would draft a RB.  They'll be forced into to it next year because Taylor's contract is up.  Maroney's upright running style will get him hurt and he could end up on the IR again.  It's a very volatile spot.

    The defense is a big wait and see for me at this point.  As usual we have questions going into the season on the pass rush.  Will Crable make it to the field?  Cunningham will have a learning curve on the OLB spot.  I'm surprised by the thoughts on the DT front.  With the addition of Lewis and Warren that position should be better than last year.  Pryor gets a year to get stronger and knows what's expected of him after a not so bad year. 
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    I think the full back position is the glaring weakness.  Heath Evans was the biggest loss.  They could always depend on getting a yard or two. I also see it as the last line of defense for Tom Brady.  Someone to help in the backfield.
    Posted by msteven



    This is a very good point.  Last year was the first year we didn't have a FB....and sending Thomas to the Saints didn't help their cause. The short yardage situations and extra protection for Brady was hurt as a result.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    I know this post will sound insane to all of the diehards who post here,but here goes: the Patriots could very easily switch to a 4-3 and they are better suited at this point in time to do so. Their inside DT's are above average and as for DE's just put Deaderick at one side and Cunningham at the other,run Spikes out of the middle flanked by Mayo and Guyton,of course this is not BB's favorite defensive scheme but you have to make due with what you have to work with. I think that both of the rookies are strong enough to hold the edge and Cunningham can definately get after the QB where as Deaderick is more of the run stuffing end. I don't see a weakness on the O-line Vollmer should be playing the LT not the RT he controlled 3 of the best rushing DE's in the league last year on successive weekends,Light might very well be losing his battle against time. So move him to the right side and push Kaczur inside or hope George Bussey or Orhenberger is ready.Center is still solid though Koppen was injured and tired by the end of last season,remeber it takes most of Dante's students 2 years too get the system down pat. RB will be ok for this year but the guys are getting long in the tooth. Maybe Pat Paschall makes an impression and gets the invite back to the big camp. If Maroney would just run forward instead of dancing the team would be ok until next years draft.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    Speculating fans.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    I think o-line needs some work. i thin BB addressed all the others with the draft ans low key FAs
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?..... : This is a very good point.  Last year was the first year we didn't have a FB....and sending Thomas to the Saints didn't help their cause. The short yardage situations and extra protection for Brady was hurt as a result.
    Posted by BubbaInHawaii



    Fullbacks are so out of vogue in the NFL, but in past seasons guys like Marc Edwards, Heath Evans, and Patrick Pass helped our offense I think.  A big guy who can run for short yardage, block, and also catch out of the backfield would be useful on this team I think. But the highest rated fullback in the draft (Rashawn Jackson) didn't even get drafted this year!  I think Tampa Bay signed him as an UDFA.  I was hoping the Pats would get him in the late rounds but I guess they weren't interested. 
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    I know this post will sound insane to all of the diehards who post here,but here goes: the Patriots could very easily switch to a 4-3 and they are better suited at this point in time to do so. 
    Posted by sportsbozo1


    Not an insane idea, but the problem is that our D-linemen don't really have the speed for a true one-gap 4-3 system.  To run an effective 4-3, you need good pass-rushing ends, which I don't think we've got.  And while our DTs might be okay in a 4-3, usually you want more speed guys than the big strong guys BB drafts for the 3-4.  I do think we have plenty of LBs who we could fit into a 4-3 scheme though.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    I THINK WE WILL WIN THE DIVISION BY A NOSE WITH A 10-6 OR A 9-7 TEAM
    Posted by auchhhhhhhhhhh


    I got some grief when I said they might finish at 10-6....lol :)
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?

    Experience on defense and depth at tightend...
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    I have no particular beef with the O-line.  The two guards are both excellent.  Vollmer is excellent.  Light and Koppen are average in the NFL.

    I (prematurely) assume that the two new linebackers are as healthy as can be expected and are going to step in come September, also McCourty works his way in to start by November, also a big pile of last year's draftees experience lots of improvement from year 1 to year 2.  If all of this happens, New England will get one tough defense.

    Nobody famous is at the second defensive end position, but there are possibilities.  If anyone else can hold the Nose, Wilfork can slide over to end.  Maybe some reasonable defensive end will be released in this uncapped market.  Finally, maybe BB has a serviceable rookie.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

     The lack of a pass rush exposes our weak secondary. It's been true for 3 years and even mediocre QBs like Seneca Wallace have been able to torch us. I'm hoping for progress but this year's draft didn't look like it solved the problem.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    Whilst just mirroring much of what is being said already, the simple weaknesses are DE and OLB, together with declining OLine. All other areas (IMHO) are serviceable to excellent (QB! Kicker!).

    The Oline will need significant work and improvement next year (Light contract up / Mankins too if not long term deal struck / Neal to retire? / Koppen - whilst a TB favourite - surely to go), but I think / pray we can get one more decent year out of them. I think they have, for the last two seasons, been living off past accomplishments slightly, with poor pass blocking (though that's no excuse Maroney) and waning pass protection, despite the stats - just look at the pressure created and enclosing pocket TB had to work with most of the time). Maybe another 'project' will come along nicely and seems to be quite a bit of promise about Larsen. The non-starters (Seabass excluded) might need to come along significantly this year though, as with the schedule being so tough (and against such traditionally gentle teams!), there might need to be a fair bit of plug and play on that line.

    The DE and OLB situation is what significantly worries me though. All other great Pats teams have had a consistent unit working and applying as one, which whilst perhaps not blessed with greatness sometimes, had no obvious deficiencies. If  season starts today (and I pray this will change and the coaching staff have the personnel to address this) I think we've some significant holes there which good teams will exploit time and time again. Agree that we do not neccessarily need (and BB's schemes do not envisage) a top-line pass rusher, but a consistent strong presence who can set the edge, get pressure when called and diagnoses plays swiftly (see Vrabel, Mike), sacks are a natural adjunct to the rest of those, provided all other members of the defence do their job - however if you've a let down at DE, the OLBs are covering those flaws / problems most of the time.

    Whilst I appluaded, and still do, the Seymour move, in getting something valuable for a player (oft injured in the last few seasons) that we were unlikely to keep and would lose for nothing, I am surpised / annoyed, that the line was not adequately addressed to rectify the issue since. Is there any chance Pryor can come through at this point to fulfil this role? Scary as it may sound, I've seen ideas out there that Brace should fill nose at Wilfork in the 5? Don't like it as VW is best in the middle, but he did play out there against Long last year.

    Overall these are the main questions for me (for the season as a whole) - can Crable / Cunningham offer us something more meaningful at OLB to reduce our continued concerns on this point and can anyone fill in the DE issue!! I don't think any more free agency pick ups are on the cards, with size of roster and normal leanings of BB.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    Obviously we need to a hell of a lot more pressure on the QB. I have no problem admitting when Im wrong , but I was dead on about this years projected OLB's and the fact that teams would lay off them early because there was no "must have" guy and the fact that there have been so many bust at that position the last 6-7 years. I never thought we would take an OLB w/ our first , like I said there were no standouts this year. IMHO there just isnt that much of a difference between a Kindle or Bowman , Hughes or Washington. Not one guy was taken w/ the inntention of playing at OLB. Now I would have like to see them grab someone w/ one of our 2's or w/ the 90th , but hey it didnt work out that way and you cant argue w/ Hoodie. Ive had the feeling for a while now that we were going to ride w/ the guys we have. I think BB thinks we can get a full 16 from TBC and one of the young guys waiting in the wings. The other position that is a "must upgrade" is that of the 5 technique. This is absolutely critical when you look back at last year and think of how teams made no secret about the fact that they were going to run and run at what would have been Sey's side. Now I would have made the same trade in a second and Seys one of my favorite all time players. Theres no denying the fact that it hurt us bad , hurt us because he was such a great player and because that position is so important. After that , in terms of the D I have to say that CB with S coming in right behind that. We have young guys ready to prove themselves at both position and I think they will. I cant wait to see Chung on the field flying around and hopefully Butler studied and learned from last year , he regressed towards the end IMHO. Its not fair , but I expect the world from guys like Butler , Chung and Brace because of who we could have had. We ended up w/ those guys , but could have had Matthews and Maualuga/Laurinaitis to fill two very valuable positions , ILB/OLB. Anyway I liked all three before last years draft , but just thought two of those backers would have been better. On O we need to have an actual respectable running game that opposing teams have to consider while game planning for us. After that we need to figure out the WR corp and whos playing and whos playing where , I actually like this projected group. Especially when you factor in our new TE's , I have no doubt the TE position will be a huge contributor in our O this year.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    Nick Kaczur. My hope is that Vollmer or LeVoir will take his place.
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    The 12th Man.

    The Razor is way too quiet and fans need to step it up this year. Especially w Indy coming to town!

    Imagine teams fearing to come into Foxboro because of the noise and knowing the FANS will be against them the whole time.

    The Peyton Pout on every opposing QB!
     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    I feel the Patriots greatest weakness is their weaknesses. Yes it's true! Their weakness is certainly not their strengths because their strengths are their strengths. No it has to be their weanesses. Apart form that, if they can strengthen their weaknesses then they will add to their strengths and have no weakness. With that being said I hope this clears all that up! Any Questions?Yell
     
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    In Response to Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    The 12th Man. The Razor is way too quiet and fans need to step it up this year. Especially w Indy coming to town! Imagine teams fearing to come into Foxboro because of the noise and knowing the FANS will be against them the whole time. The Peyton Pout on every opposing QB!
    Posted by Patriots1970


    Gillette will never be a loud stadium . . . it's too open.  The loud stadiums are either more enclosed or have much steeper sides that focus the noise back on the field.  I'm a season ticket holder and I lose my voice at every game. Everyone around me is loud too, but the noise we make dissipates because of the stadium's design. 


     
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    Re: What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....

    In Response to What is Patriots' Greatest Weakness At This Point?.....:
    Pass Rush? BB has addressed secondary, TE, punting, ILB, and mebbe OLB w/ Cunningham. What are the Patriots' needs at this point - and why?
    Posted by BubbaInHawaii


    Pass rush and playing a vanilla prevent D. Need to aggressively get after the opposition QB in this pass happy league.
     

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