I think I finally snapped with the "what the heck is going on thread". We are over 5 months away from the start of the season and "some" people are having kiniption fits over PERCEPTION...not reality.
FACT - our defense last season WAS NOT horrible. In fact it was very decent. It ranked FIFTH in scoring (the most important defensive stat) and 11th over all.
The perception that the defense is horrible comes from the fact due to all the Polian rules changes...pretty much ALL defenses have been rendered "horrible". We just have to look at the 30+ points second half the Colts threw up on the #1 defense in the league in the AFCCG.
So when we see our team give up a 3rd and long first down and decry its futility, we have to understand that THIS IS NOW THE NORM in the pass happy NFL. And despite our perception, our defense last season was pretty good.....RELATIVE to the rest of the sorry defenses in league.
MYTH - The Jets signing Antonio Cromartie makes their secondary the best in the league, with TWO shut down CBs.
FACT - has anyone bothered to check out Cromartie's performance the last TWO season, or are you still watching UTube highlights from 2007. Last season these were his sorry stats. 30 tackles, O sacks, 3 picks, O fumble recoveries, O forced fumbles, and this is the stunner. ... NINE whole passes defended, or roughly THREE times fewer than what Lee Boddin put up for our sorry assed Defense
His results for the season before where hardly better.
Given the nature of the league right now WHY would any team literally give up a quality CB, especially to the team that knocked it out of the playoffs. The fact is that they wouldn't....and they didn't. So stop worrying about Antonio Cromartie and his 9 passes defended. I don't doubt that the Jets will present a formidable defensive challenge this season, but it won't be because
Antonio Cromartie is playing opposite a REAL shut down CB in Derelle Revis.
Myth - the Signing of Karlos Dansby drastically improves the Miami defense.
FACT- HOW??? I ask. Granted Dansby is a fine LB, who adds speed to the ILB corp of the Fins, but his has NEVER been an impact player. He has NEVER had more than 5 sacks a season. He makes a lot of tackles, but who is going to replace the big play potential of Porter and Taylor. NOT Karlos Dansby
MYTH- According to the media, this team has more holes in its roster than ever before.
FACT- REALLY?????? Lets check it out, even before the draft where we have 4 picks in the first 53 in the deepest draft in recent memory.
OL - This is very good OL - Talented and DEEP... they brought the entire band back. I challenge anyone to find a hole, with Koppen who is decent, the only guy you are likely to want to upgrade...down the road
QB- All set there
RB - Well here you might get into an arguement, but with Maroney Taylor, Morris, and Faulk (assumption) The Pats may be old at the position, but they have enough TALENT there to have a good running attack....especially in an offense that isn't geared to run first.
TE- Much has been made of the fact that we don't have ANY TE's on the roster, but who cares in March. We don't use them in the passing game anyway. Besides, we are about to sign a blocking TE who caught over 30 balls, and Alge Crumpler's name has been thrown around along with Olsen of Chicago. I'm confident that by camp the Pats will have 3 TEs under contract that will satisfy the masses and more importantly, the coaching staff.
WR - Now this is really where there are holes in the roster. However it is also the position that is the EASIEST to fill. There are simply MORE people on the planet who have WR skills than say QB or DL. We made it to the AFCCG with Jabar, Reche, and a fading Troy Brown. I think we will be fine with Moss, Welker, Edelman, and whomever else we sign/draft to fill in. BTW- Brandon Tate was supposed to be a first round talent before he got hurt. How come no one in the media mentions him when talking about WRs.
So at this position I agree it is something to watch over the next coming months, but its NOT something to go nuts over
DL - Jarvis Green and his 3 sacks over the last 2 years is gone. I'm thrilled he got another pay day. He deserved it. However he had already been surpassed by Mike White, and the promising Myron Pryor is coming back, along with the "unpromising" Ron Brace, who will hopefully benefit from a full off season in the strength progam. However this is an area where I wouldn't be surprised if one of the "big 4 draft picks" is used for a DLman.
ILB - Surpisingly, I think we are pretty much set here with Mayo, Guyton, and McKenzie, along with the other usual suspects, FAs, and draft picks. ILB isn't a 3 down position anymore, so its not like we need much more than what we have.
OLB - The other position of concern - Here's what I don't understand. We act like we are the ONLY team in the league that needs to improve our pass rush. Do people know that we actually had MORE sacks than the Jets last season. EVERY team needs to improve their pass rush. Its the nature of the game now.
Also I'd suggest as required reading, Andy Johnson's post on TBC and his production. Tully doesn't have the "name", yet per this post, his production and efficiency ranked with the best in the league. It also was enlightening is pointing out how effective teams are in pass blocking since even the BEST guys in the league were averaging only ONE effective pass rush (sack, pressure, hit or blk) every 10 throws. Kind of makes you wonder about the competitive fairness of the current game.
So while I do expect the Pats to resign Burgess, I also expect them to address the pass rush issue in the first 2 rounds as well. There seems to be a very good crop of "Tweeners" his year. If we don't know all their names today, we certainly will over the next 6 weeks.
DBs - With the resigning of Boddin our DBs are settling in as becoming a strength of the defense. we are set at S with Merriweather, Chung, McGowan, and Sanders. We are getting better at CB with Wheatly coming back, and Butler and Wilhite with another year of experience. I also expect to see a DB among those picked in the top 4. I'm hoping we resign Springs, because we need another "big" CB for GL situations. Maybe that's the thought for the draft.
So in conclusion. Are we a finished team yet, OF COURSE NOT. However the sturm and drang wringing of the hands BS I've seen on this board is ridiculous, almost to be the point of being embarrassing.
I'm not being a homer when I contend that this is solid team, with a core that is capable of winning it all, just like about a dozen other teams in the league. Luck, injuries, good or bad calls, and the vagaries of dealing with an oblong spheroid will determine exactly WHO lifts the Lombardi in February, but as fans, all we can ask is that we be in the mix...and believe me Pats fans....we ARE in the mix...as of March 10th....as we will be come January