Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]Lies, damn lies, and statistics . . . Statistically, the Pats defense wasn't so good and their offense very good last year. But in the Jets playoff game it was the offense's inability to move the ball and get key first downs that sunk the Pats.  The D played well enough to win if the offense could have sustained drives.  Here are the results of each offensive drive in that game: 1.  8 plays, interception 2. 11 plays, field goal 3.  4 plays, punt 4.  5 plays, punt 6.  7 plays, fake punt 7.  3 plays, kneel 8.  5 plays, punt 9.  6 plays, punt 10. 9 plays, TD and 2 pt conversion 11. 15 plays, turned over on downs 12. 7 plays, field goal 13. 7 plays, TD Those stalled out drives in the middle of the game (drives 3 to 9) were what killed the Pats.  Both of the Jets touchdowns in the first half resulted when the Jets started drives with good field position.  The first touchdown was the direct result of a pathetic offensive performance (drive 3) which ended with Brady being sacked at the 16 and the Jets getting the ball at midfield after the punt.  The second touchdown was the result of the fake punt. In both cases, the defense was put in bad positions by the offense.  The Jets third touchdown didn't come until the fourth quarter and that was a true defensive breakdown (the 58-yard completion by Cotchery against an out-of-position secondary), but other than that 58-yard give-up, the defense generally played fairly well (not great, but okay).  Our problem really was that our offense wasn't effective against the Jets' defense.  Yeah, we need a better pass rush and better coverage in the secondary, but mostly we need more diversity on offense so we can respond when an opposing defense is able to shut down our short passing game as the Jets did. If your strength is supposed to be your offense, scoring your first touchdown in the closing seconds of the third quarter just doesn't cut it. 
    Posted by prolate0spheroid[/QUOTE]

    i believe the draft was a direct result of games like this. against the jets and ravens, nwe did not have the confidence to run the ball down the opponent's throat. in the jets game, i remember asking myself what the heck were all the cutesy run plays they ran with woodhead. jets knew that nwe was scared of running the ball so they just dropped a lot of people back, yet nwe still could not take advantage on the ground.
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections : i believe the draft was a direct result of games like this. against the jets and ravens, nwe did not have the confidence to run the ball down the opponent's throat. in the jets game, i remember asking myself what the heck were all the cutesy run plays they ran with woodhead. jets knew that nwe was scared of running the ball so they just dropped a lot of people back, yet nwe still could not take advantage on the ground.
    Posted by seattlepat70[/QUOTE]


    Absolutely correct.  The Pats offense against the Jets was designed to spread the Jets defense out horizontally and either throw the short pass or run into open spaces with draws. The Jets had the defensive answer to that strategy and the Pats offense was absolutely one-dimensional and didn't try to change what it was doing until that long, but scoreless, drive in the fourth quarter. In the next playoff game, the Steelers bunched up and blew the Jets D off the ball.  The Pats, as designed, can't do that effectively. Nor can they stretch the field vertically effectively.  They have a fabulous short spread game right now--and a lot of defenses can't handle it.  But when the Pats run up against a D that can stop that short game, they have no where else to go.  

     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    May I just add one caveat to the complaints about the defense? Trust me, I would kill to see a DeMarcus Ware-type flying off the edge for the Pats next season, and I've been dying for a pass rush for three years at least. BB's lack of attention to that part of the defense is puzzling at times, but then again, the man has been around and he must like the young talent that he's already got on that side of the ball given the lack of effort to bolster the pass rush through the draft.

    That said, please remember that by the time that playoff game kicked off the Pats were able to dress just four defensive linemen. Four. Everyone else who had contributed to the cause all season long was injured and unable to play---Pryor, Wright, Brace (and that doesn't include Warren, who missed the entire year).

    When you're that thin on the D-line, if the offense can't grab you an immediate two touchdown lead--which it was doing for most of November and December--then you're going to have problems.

    It wasn't a great defense in 2010, but it was decent, and young. You have to believe that some of those young guys will improve heading into 2011. BB must believe it because, clearly, he didn't address the obvious need in April.

    However, when the lockout lifts there will be free agency, and we all know that Belichick prefers to bring in veterans on defense to plug existing holes, rather than rookies, because a veteran's learning curve is much smaller.

    I wanted more help on the Front 7 in the draft, too, but the reality is that very few guys at those positions come in and make an immediate impact. Getting Solder was important because the offensive line is aging (except for Vollmer) and is in total flux with Light and Mankins both potential free agents.

    The running back corps needed a youthful upgrade as well, unless you believe that Woodhead and BJGE is enough (I don't). Hence, they drafted two backs--perhaps one too many, but you never know.

    Dowling is a boom-or-bust type of pick, but in "The Polian Rules" NFL, you can never have enough DBs, and Dowling, but for the injuries his senior year, probably would have been a first round pick.

    And one more thing about the playoff game: the Jets had two good drives all night long, really.

    Two of their four TDs came on short fields thanks to Chung's botched fake punt and the onside kick that the Pats misplayed and allowed Cromartie to return all the way to the NE 30.

    The one series that the D can really be criticized for was the 70+ yard TD drive right after NE cut the lead to 14-11. That was bad, but again--four healthy defensive linemen, for the entire game. I'd cut them a little slack on that.
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    I think saying the draft was a result of the jets game is a a bit of an overstatement. Adding a developmental tackle who needs more strength won't be an improvement for the running game in 2011 over having Matt Light. Neal won't be back, so that's a negative. Who knows about Mankins? Cannon doesn't fit their mold as an OG (he's  more of a Raven's type OG). Sure, they added a few RB's who may help since they are probably more explosive than BJGE but you can't really count on them being Curtin Martin for day one.

    They draft the way they always draft- they pick the players they like the best and don't reach for need. They've been successful with that strategy so I'm sure they picked up some good players in 2011.

    I don't think you can understate how stubborn they were with the offensive play calling. The jets took away what the Pats did best and the pats couldn't react. Totally unacceptable for a coach like BB with two weeks of preparation. You add Brady playing tight and the Jets playing well and you end up with a loss. The D didn't come up big in the 4th quarter but played pretty well otherwise. Losses happens when your league leading offense doesn't show up.


    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections : Absolutely correct.  The Pats offense against the Jets was designed to spread the Jets defense out horizontally and either throw the short pass or run into open spaces with draws. The Jets had the defensive answer to that strategy and the Pats offense was absolutely one-dimensional and didn't try to change what it was doing until that long, but scoreless, drive in the fourth quarter. In the next playoff game, the Steelers bunched up and blew the Jets D off the ball.  The Pats, as designed, can't do that effectively. Nor can they stretch the field vertically effectively.  They have a fabulous short spread game right now--and a lot of defenses can't handle it.  But when the Pats run up against a D that can stop that short game, they have no where else to go.  
    Posted by prolate0spheroid[/QUOTE]
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    Ugh, this crap about Vereen being a third down back is beyond stupid. They need a replacement for Faulk? Who played that position last year for 15 games?

    Perhaps Woody can fill the void? They only were the best offense in the NFL with him as a playmaking third down back who played like a perfect fit in the system. But no, I'm sure BB wanted to waste a high draft pick to spot on the roster where they're already set. 

    If anything, Vereen is going to take snaps from BJGE. Vereen 15 lbs heavier than Woody and 5 lbs lighter than BJGE. I don't understand how the immediate reaction is that Vereen is supposed to replace Woody and not be a combo back out of the backfield on downs 1 and 2. This is clearly a need as BJGE is awful catching out of the backfield.



    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections :      Actually, I'm not that critical of the Patriots' draft. I agreed with the selection of OT Nate Solder at #17, overall. As I have repeatedly stated, protecting Tom Brady is job one. With aging, fading LT Matt Light an UFA, this selection made a ton of sense.      I also think that trading the 28th overall pick for the 56th overall pick, plus the Saints' #1 in 2012, represented good value. I wasn't sold on RB Mark Ingram. Evidently, BB wasn't sold enough on DE/DT Muhammad Wilkerson to prevent him from pulling the trigger on the aforementioned Saints' trade. Time will tell whether BB was right.      The selection of DB Ras-I Dowling over DE/OLB Jabal Sheard and/or Brooks Reed bothered me initially. But, Dowling isn't one of those smallish Terrence Wheatley/Ellis Hobbs 5'9", 185 lb CBs. Were it not for injuries sustained in college, the Leigh Bodden-sized Dowling would have been a #1 pick.        Where I had a problem was with how the 56th, 60th and 73rd overall picks  were used. I thought that RBs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley could have be had later, and that there was better value at the WR position. BUT...upon relection, wasn't Vareen selected primarily to be a receiver, coming out of the backfield? A replacement needed to be found for 34 year old Kevin Faulk, who is coming off a season-ending knee injury.       As for Ridley, perhaps BB sees another BJGE? At the very least, Ridley should replace Sammy Morris as a short yardage, goal-line power back.       Taking QB Ryan Mallett at #74 appears to be a good gamble. He's got the size you love in a QB, standing at over 6'6", and weighing over 250 lbs....and has a cannon for an arm. This is not another Kevin O'Connell long shot. Mallett starred in the rugged SEC...not at San Diego State. If he works hard and matures, the Pats might have another Tom Brady-type steal.       I really liked the selections of OG/RT Marcus Cannon, and TE Lee Smith. Keep an eye on Smith. He has the size and athleticism to eventually be converted to an OT.      Like most of you here, I'm sick and tired of watching average QBs get all day to throw, and pick the Pats' defense apart. But, as "Quagmire" pointed out, the offense failed against the Jets. Furthermore, the last three playoff losses against the Giants, Ravens, and Jets had much to do with the Pats OL losing the battle at the line of scrimmage.      Let's see what these kids can do, before we start ripping BB.                      
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE] I don't think you can understate how stubborn they were with the offensive play calling. The jets took away what the Pats did best and the pats couldn't react. Totally unacceptable for a coach like BB with two weeks of preparation.[/QUOTE]

    Shades of SB 42, actually.

    McDaniels couldn't adjust that day either. That Maroney--coming off back-to-back 100 yard playoff games--only touched the ball about 15 times that night, when the Giants were daring them to run the ball, was ridiculous.

    In my view, the Pats have never adequately replaced Charlie Weis. He was the master of the in-game adjustment and was able to put together great offensive efforts with less talent than his two successors have had (save for the 2006 season when they had crappy receivers--McDaniels did a good job that year). Weis' two successors seem to be great at drawing up game plans and putting up a lot of points, but when the opposition figures them out, they haven't been able to adjust. Weis, on the other hand, was usually great at changing on the fly.

    Defensively, the aging and loss of the Super Bowl talent like Bruschi, Harrison, Law, et al, has been the bigger problem than losing RAC was, given that it's BB's defense that they've always run anyway.

    Hopefully O'Brien will learn from his mistakes that day against the Jets.
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]I think saying the draft was a result of the jets game is a a bit of an overstatement. . . . The D didn't come up big in the 4th quarter but played pretty well otherwise. Losses happens when your league leading offense doesn't show up. In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections :
    Posted by Rockdog1293000[/QUOTE]

    Completely agree with this too, Rock.  

    BB isn't going to set his draft strategy based solely on one game. He's way too smart for that.  Only thing I'd maybe state a little differently than you did is how BB addresses "need" in the draft.  I think he does consider need, but he never lets need supersede value.  Solder was a need and the right "value" at a top round pick.  Ras-I Dowling was a need (yes, the secondary still needs help!) and BB thought he had very high potential value in the second round.  What BB wasn't going to do was pick a DE or an OLB high in the first or second round if he wasn't convinced that the guys available were good value picks in those rounds.  BB definitely considers need in his picks, he just doesn't let need trump value. 


     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]May I just add one caveat to the complaints about the defense? Trust me, I would kill to see a DeMarcus Ware-type flying off the edge for the Pats next season, and I've been dying for a pass rush for three years at least. BB's lack of attention to that part of the defense is puzzling at times, but then again, the man has been around and he must like the young talent that he's already got on that side of the ball given the lack of effort to bolster the pass rush through the draft. That said, please remember that by the time that playoff game kicked off the Pats were able to dress just four defensive linemen. Four. Everyone else who had contributed to the cause all season long was injured and unable to play---Pryor, Wright, Brace (and that doesn't include Warren, who missed the entire year). When you're that thin on the D-line, if the offense can't grab you an immediate two touchdown lead--which it was doing for most of November and December--then you're going to have problems. It wasn't a great defense in 2010, but it was decent, and young. You have to believe that some of those young guys will improve heading into 2011. BB must believe it because, clearly, he didn't address the obvious need in April. However, when the lockout lifts there will be free agency, and we all know that Belichick prefers to bring in veterans on defense to plug existing holes, rather than rookies, because a veteran's learning curve is much smaller. I wanted more help on the Front 7 in the draft, too, but the reality is that very few guys at those positions come in and make an immediate impact. Getting Solder was important because the offensive line is aging (except for Vollmer) and is in total flux with Light and Mankins both potential free agents. The running back corps needed a youthful upgrade as well, unless you believe that Woodhead and BJGE is enough (I don't). Hence, they drafted two backs--perhaps one too many, but you never know. Dowling is a boom-or-bust type of pick, but in "The Polian Rules" NFL, you can never have enough DBs, and Dowling, but for the injuries his senior year, probably would have been a first round pick. And one more thing about the playoff game: the Jets had two good drives all night long, really. Two of their four TDs came on short fields thanks to Chung's botched fake punt and the onside kick that the Pats misplayed and allowed Cromartie to return all the way to the NE 30. The one series that the D can really be criticized for was the 70+ yard TD drive right after NE cut the lead to 14-11. That was bad, but again--four healthy defensive linemen, for the entire game. I'd cut them a little slack on that.
    Posted by hardright[/QUOTE]

    More good points I agree with here.

     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    Remember all those fans criticizing BB for not starting Michael Bishop? Well, the CFL is underway here in Canada and I was watching the Argos-Stampeders game last night and guess who's backing up Burris, the Calgary Stampeders' starting QB: Michael Bishop.  Now it's nice to see Bishop still making a go of it in football. Nothing against him. But watching him come into a CFL game to take one snap just goes to show how incompetent most of us fans are in evaluating talent. It's our prerogative as fans to second guess BB in his personnel decisions, but ultimately we should all be thankful it's him making the decisions and not us. 
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]I think saying the draft was a result of the jets game is a a bit of an overstatement.
     
    RESPONSE: I'm not sure I agree. The selection of CB Ras-I Dowling at #33 over a pass-rushing prospect indicates that BB is concerned about how his secondary has faired against tall receivers, such as Braylon Edwards. Shane Vereen should present plenty of match-up problems for the Gotham Goblins. The Pats really missed a healthy Aaron Hernandez in that playoff loss.   

    Adding a developmental tackle who needs more strength won't be an improvement for the running game in 2011 over having Matt Light.

    RESPONSE: You don't know that. Just because that's stated in some draft publication, doesn't make it true. Teams don't take projects with first round picks. The NY Giants reportedly would have taken him at #19, had he slipped by the Pats. That means that they too considered Solder to be a blue-chip prospect. Physically, he's another Sebastien Vollmer, who practically has been a starter from day one. Here's what was said about Vollmer: "...very average run blocker...long range prospect". Matt Light, an UFA at age 33, has seen better days. Solder should be an upgrade. I'm excited to see what Donte Scarnecchia can do with Solder.  

    Neal won't be back, so that's a negative.

    RESPONSE: How so? Neal has been repeatedly hurt for the past several years.

    Who knows about Mankins?
     
    RESPONSE: The Pats will likely sign him, long term. Worst case scenario is that he'll be franchised.

    Cannon doesn't fit their mold as an OG (he's  more of a Raven's type OG).

    RESPONSE: Who does fit their mold? Rich Orhnberger? Other than Logan Mankins, the Pats don't spend high draft choices on OGs. Cannon was projected as a late second round pick, before his health issues came to light. I'm excited over how the Pats are going about rebuilding their OL. 

    Sure, they added a few RB's who may help since they are probably more explosive than BJGE but you can't really count on them being Curtin Martin for day one.

    RESPONSE: Who can be Curtis Martin from day one? Martin himself was a 3rd round pick. No one is expecting Vereen to be the second coming of Martin. They are hoping he'll be the second coming of Kevin Faulk.  

    I don't think you can understate how stubborn they were with the offensive play calling. The jets took away what the Pats did best and the pats couldn't react.
     
    RESPONSE: I disagree. The first two drives of that game killed them. You may recall that the Pats were going through the Jets defense like a knife through soft butter, until Brady threw that horrible pick. The Crumpler drop on their second drive cost the Pats 4 points.  Those two gaffes on those first two drives, especially that early pick, were huge momentum changers...and cost the Pats 14 points (11 of their own, and 3 given away to the Jets). Those boners allowed the Jets to hang around, and gave them hope. 

    Totally unacceptable for a coach like BB with two weeks of preparation.
     
    RESPONSE: Don't know if you can blame BB. It's up to the players to execute the game plan. The plan was working until those two above mentioned gaffes. That pick seemed to have a lasting effect on Brady, who played one of the worst games of his career. 

    The D didn't come up big in the 4th quarter but played pretty well otherwise.

    RESPONSE: Playing well in the 4th quarter is a must. The "D" was awful. But, it was a "D" built to play with a lead. Due to the offensive failures discussed above, the Pats trailed the entire game. 

    Losses happens when your league leading offense doesn't show up.

    RESPONSE: The "O" showed, but didn't execute. 

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections :
    Posted by Rockdog1293000[/QUOTE]

         Thank you for your interesting post.
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    Thanks for your response.

    A couple of points:

    Yes, Ohnberger is exactly what they look for in a guard (althought RO can't play apparently). 6'-3" to 6'-4" at around 300 lbs. Guys that can move and block for screens well. They typically don't draft mountain like guys who are over 320 lbs. Please name the last OG who started for the pats that was over 320 lbs. Go back far and you won't find one. Compton, Andruzzi, Mankins, Hochstein... Cannon is a huge divergence from the mold and was obviously a pick made with the thought he clearly should've been picked higher.

    They hit it out of the park with Seabass, and I'm sure they were surprised how quickly he developed. You don't build a team hoping lightning strikes twice. I'm sure they love Solder, but how is he even going to develop with no offseason? I could see him taking some time to develop. Youtube clips are what they are, but he doesn't look like the most developed guy. Long term he probably will be, but it might be asking a lot to have another Vollmer from day one. I am huge Vollmer guy by the way and wouldn't mind him at LT going forward no matter what. 

    I can't disagree more with you regarding Vereen. Why replace Woody with Faulk still being an option? Woody is a perfect fit in the third down role. The use of Woody on downs 1 and 2 during games throughout the year indicate that they could've used more explosion and quickness on those downs, not on third down. I would bet money that Vereen will cut into BJGE's time and not Woody/Faulk. I'm not saying Vereen=Curtin Martin (I could also point out that saying Solder=Vollmer is very optimistic), but that is the thought. When Bob Kraft called JR redmond in 2000 after the pats drafted the RB, Kraft mentioned having a back like Martin that can run and catch. I'm thinking that is the thought with Vereen. More of a Matt Forte type guy than Faulk/Woody. Who knows if it'll work out? 


    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections :      Thank you for your interesting post.
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    Vereen was drafted to compete for the starting role, I think.  He's more of a possible replacement for Maroney and Taylor than for Faulk and Woody. I like BJGE, but I think he's still more of a fill-in player than a long-term solution at the starting RB position.  I see BJGE and Ridley competing for the Morris role as a shorter yardage back and as the back-up to the starter. I'd like to see Faulk back, but I think Woody has future third-down back written all over him. 
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]Thanks for your response. A couple of points: Yes, Ohnberger is exactly what they look for in a guard (althought RO can't play apparently). 6'-3" to 6'-4" at around 300 lbs. Guys that can move and block for screens well. They typically don't draft mountain like guys who are over 320 lbs. Please name the last OG who started for the pats that was over 320 lbs. Go back far and you won't find one. Compton, Andruzzi, Mankins, Hochstein... Cannon is a huge divergence from the mold and was obviously a pick made with the thought he clearly should've been picked higher.
     
    RESPONSE: Dan Connelly, Logan Mankins, and Neal averaged out at 6'4", 310 lbs....same as the OGs on the Ravens: http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/roster/_/name/bal/baltimore-ravens. Cannon measures in at 6'5", 358 lbs.. No team has a OG this big! He played LT at TCU, and is projected as a RT/OG as a pro. He is known to be "a mauler" as a run blocker, who needs work on pass blocking technique. He's also going to have to shed at least 25 pounds.
         It is thought that Cannon has enough athleticism to get to the second level on blocking assignments. His selection is a further indication of BB's commitment to upgrade the OL, and to the running game.     


    They hit it out of the park with Seabass, and I'm sure they were surprised how quickly he developed. You don't build a team hoping lightning strikes twice.
     
    RESPONSE: Why do you think that the Pats got "lucky" with Seabass? He was a second round pick...#58 overall. Much is expected of such a high pick.  

    I'm sure they love Solder, but how is he even going to develop with no offseason?

    RESPONSE: What has he really missed" Mini-camp?? Do you really believe that someone from the team hasn't been in contact with him, providing him with a play-book, a weight training regimen, and pointers on his technique? It appears that the lockout will end just in time for training camp. He'll be fine...and ready.  

    I could see him taking some time to develop. Youtube clips are what they are, but he doesn't look like the most developed guy. Long term he probably will be, but it might be asking a lot to have another Vollmer from day one. I am huge Vollmer guy by the way and wouldn't mind him at LT going forward no matter what.

    RESPONSE: Why so pessimistic? Do you really think that BB spent the 17th overall pick on a project? Solder dominated second overall pick Von Miller, when Texas A&M played Colorado last season.

    I can't disagree more with you regarding Vereen. Why replace Woody with Faulk still being an option? Woody is a perfect fit in the third down role. The use of Woody on downs 1 and 2 during games throughout the year indicate that they could've used more explosion and quickness on those downs, not on third down. I would bet money that Vereen will cut into BJGE's time and not Woody/Faulk.
     
    RESPONSE: BB had to be very judicious in his use of Danny Woodhead last season. Being generous, Woodhead is 5'7", and weighs less than 190 lbs., soaking wet. Yet, he was a key part of the Patriots' offense. Faulk, at age 34 and coming off knee surgery, may well be done. Having Vereen will hopefully give the Pats "a Woodhead" on every play. Look for even more tough to defend screens, draws, and swing passes.  

    I'm not saying Vereen=Curtin Martin (I could also point out that saying Solder=Vollmer is very optimistic), but that is the thought.

    RESPONSE: A very nice thought! Hope you're right! Vereen seems to have Martin-like skills. But, few have had the heart that Martin had.  

    When Bob Kraft called JR redmond in 2000 after the pats drafted the RB, Kraft mentioned having a back like Martin that can run and catch. I'm thinking that is the thought with Vereen. More of a Matt Forte type guy than Faulk/Woody. Who knows if it'll work out?

    RESPONSE: Doesn't everybody want such a player?
    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections :
    Posted by Rockdog1293000[/QUOTE]
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    Good dialogue IMO. I miss talking football.

    They totally got lucky with Seabass, just like with Brady. If they knew he was going to be a developing all pro two years into his career and be a franchise tackle then he would've been a top 10 pick and the pats would've taken Seabass over chung. Now, the pats did the best job scouting OT and found Seabass which they deserve all the credit in the world for but I don't think they knew he would be so good. A lot of credit goes to Scar obviously for developing the player.

    The pats did a GREAT job finding talent, but in re-drafts Vollmer is a top 5 guy. Finding a top 5 guy outside of round one does take skill but also luck.  

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections :
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    Starting quality LTs rarely slip past the first round.  There are exceptions, of course, but they're few and far between.  The Pats made a great call with Volmer, getting a high first round talent at 58. I don't think they were "lucky" because I think they knew what they were doing. But you can't rely on guys like Volmer being overlooked in most drafts (Volmer's background was unique and made him harder to evaluate than most American players).  Generally, if you want a top tackle you need to pick high.  I think BB understands that and that's why he was willing to take Solder with that first pick.

    Personally, I love the Solder pick.  I've been arguing for the Pats to grab a tackle high in the draft since about 2003.


     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from natesubs. Show natesubs's posts

    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    i am really looking forward to seeing this line, especially if we resign mankins and light and if cannon is healthy to start the season.  i mean this is probably one of the biggest lines BB has fielded:
    solder (6'8")  mankins (6'4)  koppen(6'2")/connolly(6'4")  cannon (6'5")  solder (6'8")

    we have 2 maulers in mankins and cannon who will definiately open some runnign lanes.  now if next years draft we can get a monster center similar to the jets mangold we will be set on the offensive line. perhaps brewster (6'5") from the OSU or a later round prospect danny baker from texas A&M (6'5")
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    TURNOVERS killed the pats, plain and simple.  Especially the fake punt which led to a jets TD.  If that didn't happen the complexion of the game would've been completely different.

    The pats lived by getting takeaways and not giving them.  giving away 2 comp[letely killed them plain and simple
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    1. Pats O was statistically very good last year but not so in the playoff game. This was the third playoff game in a row that the O was NOT up to the task

    2. The D was not a dominant unit last year but showed real improvement over the previous year and showed flashes from packages and several individuals. It had its moments in the playoff game and was decent but not strong enough to overcome a poor game by the offense and special teams. It is realistic to expect some of the better, younger players to show imrovement this coming year. It is also realistic to expect something from the quality players that were injured last year.

    3. Regarding the draft: while I and so many others were expecting and hoping for one or two studd pass rushers...
       - an aging Light, an aging Koppen, a retiring Neil, an unhappy Mankins all add up to extreme need on the OL. Add to this the weakness of the running the past two years (more extreme two years ago but very clear in the playoffs this year as well as being one of the least threatening in the league even if the yardage was not so bad during the season). It was critical to add to the youth and talent movement. Adding a potenitally All Pro caliber pass blocker at tackle and a potential monster at guard (and/or as a 6th OL in short yardage - though with these TEs I am not thinking this is a major concern) to the strong value of Volmer and Connolly quickly covers a WHOLE lotta ground (pun intended).

       - aging Faulk, Taylor, Morris; the lack of a feature back with the talent to make a D pay for not accounting for them; the weakenss of the running game stated above... made a real case to add at least one real asset to the RB unit. If the footage I've seen of Vereen is indicative of his real talent we have a keeper. I have less confidence in my read of Ridley but if he is simply a good short yardage back - meaning if he upgrades this part of the O, then a WHOLE lotta ground was covered here!

       - The dynamic and profound change to the O with the three (exceptional and complimentary) TEs added last year make having a strong and more dominant running game both more possible and more valuable. TB at the helm multiplies all this. The combination of additions on the OL and RB unit together yield value which should be MUCH more than the sum of the parts.

       - Dowling adds a CB with the physicality to handle the proliferation of big WRs. Moreover it has become necessary to be able to field three solid (not the historical 2) CBs at the same time. That means it is even more important to have a fourth because it is common to have one or more of the three go down during the season.

       - The above taken together could translate into one of the best drafts in recent memory. Add to that the potential for Mallet and the fact that they added draft picks next year and this could be a truly amazing draft.

    So while most of us were crying over no pass rusher for Christmas the D and some of the younger players may resolve some of that, the improvement with experience for the unit may bring them up to par and the upgrade on O could bring them up to the task of going deep into the playoffs.

    There are some very key questions needing to be answered. Starting with Mankins, the actual value the rookies might add in what will be a shortened off season and whether in fact there will be organic improvement in D and in pass rush... But this team looks to me to be the best team on paper since they went 16-0 and in fact it looks, at least on O, more flexible.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    Good post, portfolio1-- +1
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from garytx. Show garytx's posts

    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    You have to agree that the defensive backfield wasn't much to be scared of last year.  Butler didn't step up thus the draft of Dowling.  A surprise pick for me when it happened but after some thinking on the matter it made sense.  I did think that this was the pass rushing OLB spot.  I'll be keeping an eye on Carter, Reed and Bowers.  yikes!!

    Ridley is the only pick I cannot justify.  I don't get it at all.   
     
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  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]1. Pats O was statistically very good last year but not so in the playoff game. This was the third playoff game in a row that the O was NOT up to the task
     
    RESPONSE: This is true...and is something that seems to be overlooked by Pats' fans in analyzing the three horrid playoff losses. The OL was manhandled by the Giants during the 2007 SB loss. It's failure to protect Tom Brady was the main reason for that awful 17-14 loss.
         In the blowout loss to the Ravens in 2009, the OL was once again manhandled by the Ravens' defense. But, in that game, unlike the Giants'  SB loss, the Pats were beaten in the trenches on both side of the ball.
         In last years' loss to the Jets, the failure of the offense to execute in the first quarter, as it had throughout the regular season, put the Pats on their heals early, and led to that embarrassing defeat.  


    2. The D was not a dominant unit last year but showed real improvement over the previous year and showed flashes from packages and several individuals.
     
    RESPONSE: Agreed. CB Devin McCourty was a godsend. Much maligned (by me) safety Patrick Chung was Troy Polamalu-like early, until injuries limited his effectiveness. LBs Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Ron Ninkovich, and Dane Fletcher all had their moments.   

    It had its moments in the playoff game and was decent but not strong enough to overcome a poor game by the offense and special teams. It is realistic to expect some of the better, younger players to show imrovement this coming year. It is also realistic to expect something from the quality players that were injured last year.
     
    RESPONSE: I'm not optimistic about Mike Wright, Leigh Bodden, and Ty Warren returning to form. They are all coming back from serious injuries. But, if the Pats can get something from even one of these three, their "D" will improve. 

    3. Regarding the draft: while I and so many others were expecting and hoping for one or two studd pass rushers...    - an aging Light, an aging Koppen, a retiring Neil, an unhappy Mankins all add up to extreme need on the OL. Add to this the weakness of the running the past two years (more extreme two years ago but very clear in the playoffs this year as well as being one of the least threatening in the league even if the yardage was not so bad during the season). It was critical to add to the youth and talent movement. Adding a potenitally All Pro caliber pass blocker at tackle and a potential monster at guard (and/or as a 6th OL in short yardage - though with these TEs I am not thinking this is a major concern) to the strong value of Volmer and Connolly quickly covers a WHOLE lotta ground (pun intended).
     
    RESPONSE: As I've said many times, protecting Tom Brady is job one. Many look at the selection of Nate Solder as a potential replacement for Matt Light. I look at it as not only a replacement of Light, but an upgrade. Light has been a good to decent LT. But, he's somewhat overrated.    

       - aging Faulk, Taylor, Morris; the lack of a feature back with the talent to make a D pay for not accounting for them; the weakenss of the running game stated above... made a real case to add at least one real asset to the RB unit. If the footage I've seen of Vereen is indicative of his real talent we have a keeper. I have less confidence in my read of Ridley but if he is simply a good short yardage back - meaning if he upgrades this part of the O, then a WHOLE lotta ground was covered here!    - The dynamic and profound change to the O with the three (exceptional and complimentary) TEs added last year make having a strong and more dominant running game both more possible and more valuable. TB at the helm multiplies all this. The combination of additions on the OL and RB unit together yield value which should be MUCH more than the sum of the parts.
     
    RESPONSE: Some posters here have questioned why BB drafted a 3rd down RB to replace Kevin Faulk, when the Pats already have Danny Woodhead. Judging from where BB selected him, and who he bypassed to select him, Belichick expects big things from this young man. Could it be that BB envisions Vereen to be another Percy Harvin? Remember, the 5'11", 184lb. Harvin was a RB at Florida, before the Vikings converted him to a WR.  In 2009, the Pats had supposedly targeted Harvin with their 24th overall pick...but were derailed when the Vikings swooped him up.  

       - Dowling adds a CB with the physicality to handle the proliferation of big WRs. Moreover it has become necessary to be able to field three solid (not the historical 2) CBs at the same time. That means it is even more important to have a fourth because it is common to have one or more of the three go down during the season.
     
    RESPONSE: BB doesn't know what to expect from Bodden, and CB Darius Butler has been a bust. For these reasons, another CB was a necessity.

       - The above taken together could translate into one of the best drafts in recent memory.
     
    RESPONSE: Don't know about this. The 2010 draft class will be hard to top. Let's keep our fingers crossed...LOL!!

    Add to that the potential for Mallet and the fact that they added draft picks next year and this could be a truly amazing draft. So while most of us were crying over no pass rusher for Christmas the D and some of the younger players may resolve some of that, the improvement with experience for the unit may bring them up to par and the upgrade on O could bring them up to the task of going deep into the playoffs.
     
    RESPONSE: All the gnashing of teeth about failing to land a pass-rusher stems from the Pats passing on Clay Matthews in 2009. But, if you look around the league at who the best pass-rushers are, it appears that BB's philosophy about getting veterans to play at the OLB position is the correct one. DeMarcus Ware and Dwight Freeney were both 11th overall picks, respectively. Cameron Wake was tabbed from the CFL. James Harrison was an undrafted free agent, who developed in time into the player he now is. Terrell Suggs was a top 10 pick. With the exception of Matthews, and the top tier draft picks, it usually takes time to develop a pass-rusher. Obviously, BB thought that a CB like Dowling would have more of an immediate impact on his "D", than OLB/DE types Jabaal Sheard, or Brooks Reed. Time will tell whether he's right.   

    There are some very key questions needing to be answered. Starting with Mankins, the actual value the rookies might add in what will be a shortened off season and whether in fact there will be organic improvement in D and in pass rush... But this team looks to me to be the best team on paper since they went 16-0 and in fact it looks, at least on O, more flexible.

    RESPONSE: I too am optimistic. The Pats are wise in using some of their current draft picks, to set themselves up for the draft in the following year. With wholesale changes across their OL, the Pats will need a steadying, veteran presence. For this reason, along with his talent, they will get a long term deal done with Logan Mankins. Mankins will anchor the OL, much like Vince Wilfolk anchors the DL. How much the young players progress, and injuries, will determine how far the Pats go in 2011. 
    Posted by portfolio1[/QUOTE]
     
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  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hoier. Show Hoier's posts

    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    I would have been/would be interesting to see the free agent signings to agument the draft.  If BB doesn't address some of the defensive problems, I will be concerned.
     
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    Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections

    In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Why Many Patriots' Fans Were Upset over 2011 Draft Selections : This kind of reminds me of last year when people didn't get the two TEs picked. We all saw how that worked out. When Ridley is running over people in the 4th qtr and catching check downs for 10 yards to seal games or add on a late score, you probably will see why depth at RB is needed with Faulk in question and Morris probably done. We know Fred Taylor is done.
    Posted by RidingWithTheKing[/QUOTE]

    The two TE picks were alright by me.  The Pats only had one on the roster.  Gronkowski was the guy they wanted but the fall of Hernandez was a coup.  Hernandez was pretty bang-ed up at the end of the year.  It will be great to see him put in a full year. 

    I've got to believe Morris is done.  He worked special teams and did little else.  It sounds like Faulk will be back so that fills the RB slots.  I was looking for two RBs to be drafted last year.  I just had to wait a little.  I'm happy to see you're good with Ridley.  I just have to wait and see.  That was the head scratcher of the draft for me.
     

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