Training camp doesn't open until July 30, but with OTAs behind us, the Globe's Mike Reiss tackled all of your Patriots questions.
Chat with Mike Reiss
Mike, I was wondering what you thought about a couple things....
1) If the Patriots reach an agreement quickly with Wilfork for say 4 years, what about trading Brace & Lewis or Galloway to Denver for Marshall, Josh needs a NT to build around & I believe BB & the strength of the locker room could keep him in check, Marshall, Moss, & Welker would be unstopable....
2)If Peppers agent brought back to carolina an offer that included trading them Jarvis Green, Watson & one of our 2nd rounders from next year do you think that would work for them considering the situation they are in & of course Peppers doing a reasonable 4 year deal for say 32 mill with 28 guarenteed?
I know I'm probably dreaming but it's pre season & what else is there to do right now??!! BB has been known to pull off some big trades & many contracts are coming due at the end of this season & it would help with roster spots for this year......Thanks again for all your hard work & efforts!!!!!
Got another 2 part question.......
1) If the Partiots are up by say 21+ points, do you see Brady being pulled to give O'Connel some real game time & of course to protect Brady as well....
2)I really want to believe in Maroney like I did in his 1st year, do you think he should be used more in an outside alignment like Bush to give him more space to opperate, he always seems to do better running in space or running toward the outside then up the middle....maybe train him to work on his blocking too so to groom him as our next Faulk?? Appriciate your thoughts on this Mike.....
I think there should be some format for fans to be able to express their thoughts and wishes directly to the Patriots organization so our voices can be heard on important matters such as signing Wilfork. We all have favorite players and we see Samuals leave or we see Vrabel leave and we all have to sit quietly and bite our tongues with no explanation, and just meakly whimper things like, "In Bill we trust." Well, that just doesn't cut it and is very frustrating considering that we all invest a lot in being gans and should get some respect back.
Heloo, Mike. You are doing very well digging up items at this off period.
Are any of the team members staying around Foxborough during this vacation ?
Hey Mike, You mentioned in the chat that Wilhite would be the first man in at nickel back, is there any reason to believe that he outplayed Wheatley in the OTA's, or that he is seen as more of a back-up to Springs/Bodden? Thanks.
Sounds like you updated your roster projections today. Can you give us your locks, on the bubble, and projected number of players per position? I always find those very interesting.
Who do you see the Patriots keeping in the secondary? With the influx of youth and the veteran free agent signings would that put players like Ventrone, Richardson, and Spann on the bubble to make the team. Does the release of Patrick Pass lead most to believe that Ben-Jarvis Green Ellis has increased his chances of making the 53 man roster?
Hi, Mike. In today's chat, you broke the players who'll return punts and kickoffs in two groups. What skills or abilities make a player a better punt returner (like Maroney and Butler) as opposed to a kickoff returner (like Welker and Faulk)? Put another way, why don't the players who are the best punt returners also return kickoffs (and vice-versa)? And as a follow up: who's the best pure returner on the team?
Which six LB's do have as locks? I'm guessing Thomas, Mayo, Bruschi, Woods, Guyton and Crable.
I know you are not high on Banta-Cain, but he has proven he can start OLB in the Patriots defense if called upon. It's my understanding that he worked as a DE during the OTA's in four man fronts (which they do use from time-to-time). And he has special teams value. Unless the Patriots bring in someone else better to fill that role, I don't see him getting cut.
And Peris Lenon sounds like someone who should be kept for depth in case of injury. He has nearly four years starting experience and led his team in tackles twice. Certainly he would be the best choice to fill in for an injured ILB. And he has special teams value. I really can't see them releasing him and keeping Alexander, Ciurciu or McKenzie instead.
As I see it (which I'm no expert) there are 8 locks at LB.
Are you saying that if you don't have a say in personel moves, it's like you weren't a part of those championships?
I guess to clarify so I don't come across as a complete idiot, in my previous post I was going off the assumption that McKenzie would either be on the PUP or IR, and not holding a roster spot on the final 53. Thus, he could not win out over Lenon. Lenon's only real competition for the fourth ILB is Alexander and Ciurciu, and neither have much of any starting experience. Alexander and Ciurciu are competing with probably Redd and Tank Williams for likely one spot.
Do you think the Pats have interest in Derrick Brooks? He seems to have something left in the tank and is a high quality guy off the field? Are they waiting for his price to drop?
Ritchie, I actually think Alexander has a better shot right now than Banta-Cain. There have been several players who have left for greener pastures, flopped, and then returned but couldn't make the team. Tebucky Jones comes to mind. The recent evidence on Banta-Cain suggests that, for whatever reason, he's not a very good OLB. Personally, when he WAS in New England, I didn't think he was all that great either. He got after the QB ok, and was a good special teams contributor for a couple years, but he was clearly deficient against the run and a liability in pass coverage. Remember, the last game he played in as a Patriot he was BENCHED in favor of Alexander. [vs Indy, AFCCG]
Well, he wasn't benched, so to speak. Alexander started at ILB and Vrabel was moved to OLB, but that was in an effort to stop Dallas Clark (which didn't work). Banta-Cain did play in that game, especially in the second half.
Banta-Cain did not do well for the 49ers, especially last season. I think the 49ers thought he'd be a better all-around OLB. In reality, though, he never fully made the transition from 4-3 DE to OLB. That's why he was a disappointment for the 49ers (that, and the fact that they grossly over paid him).
I think, and this is based on a hunch and what I've read of the OTAs and nothing more, is that Banta-Cain will be used as a DE in 4-man fronts, situationally at OLB for pass rushing, and special teams. There is value in that versatility. And he has more experience than Alexander, Ciurciu and Redd combined.
MarkZ - I'm not sure about this but I think Tebucky Jones was injured prior to the season when he returned.
I would meet in the middle on your debate; I feel strongly both will make the team. TBC has more value in being a formerly semi-productive player at a position with little certainty. Just consider that, if given the choice, they would not have wanted him to leave for SF but he wanted to cash in and be a full time player. Can't say I disagree with his approach.
Alexander will be needed just because the roster is so thin in the middle but I've been incredibly disappointed with his production and/or playing time. After a start with good numbers in the 2006 AFCC he really hasn't seen the field much. I don't know what this indicates about his true value but, despite nothing special in front of him, they've obviously felt there were better options.
I really do enjoy your posts. But one thing that bothers me is Why is it that today's beat writers don't have the same insight into the "real story "such as Will McDonough and perhap even Ron Borges in his early days. Most articles, and not just the Globe seem like puff pieces these days
Does anyone know the date of the super bowl ,and where will it be played.
To Kevin (#16) -
Interesting observation. Perhaps it's telling that you cite Borges in his early days, along with McDonough, in that they predate a trend that may contribute mightily to this. It may be partly because BB and Co (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, The Tuna before him) run the show like Black Ops. That approach is widely perceived - correctly, I think - to have contributed to their success, and accordingly is emulated around the league. It also makes it much more difficult for outsiders - including the media - to get the access needed to develop the knowledge base and, arguably, the analytical skills necessary to offering "insight into the 'real story'" you miss. Personally, I think MR does abot as well as anyone, and a lot beter than most, in the contemporary sprts information environment. And not for nothin, let's give him a few years. Our freshest memories of McDonough are from his last years, when he'd been at it 40 years and could out-report and out-analyze (but probably not out-write, alas) correspondents with half his experience in his sleep.
All I remember Will Mcdonough writing about for about the last 10 years was the "business" of football/sports - ie, contract disputes, negotiations...not sure why everyone think he was that great.
TruePat not sure what you are getting at with the current Pats' organization. Prior to the Kraft/ Bill B regime, the Pats were the laughing stock of NFL and a hideous organization. I'll take the past 10 years before full disclosure anyday!
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