We will have a "complete team" before the draft
I believe that we will have complete unit before the draft. And I'm not concerned with 3rd round TE's or QB's. Comparisons are to the 2005 playoff team/
QB all set
OL a solid game day seven
TE starters set
RB they are a healthy group (a big plus)
WR WE NEED AT LEAST ONE BEFORE THE DRAFT
DL all set except for end of bench (with Wright as NT backup)
LB WE NEED AT LEAST ONE BEFORE CAMP
CB a complete solid improved unit
S an improved unit
ST WE NEED A PLACE KICKER BEFORE THE DRAFT
Please, you're only supposted to post strident, panicy "We're Doomed!!!" topics at this time of year. I know you addressed starters, but we also need solid backups at QB (least important cause if Brady goes, so goes the season), TE, LB (2) and a developmental RB if available day 2.
QB- Brady, Cassel, need 1. Flutie= UFA
OL- need depth
TE- need a 3rd
RB- Set, might need 1 for future
WR- Branch,?,Caldwell,Brown,Childress and Johnson. Need a reliable #2 or 3
DT- could use better depth
ILB-Bruschi,Vrabel,Beisel, set. could look for future
OLB- Need 1 to replace big #55. Need another backup
CB-Set,could bring competition
S-Pending Harrison situation
Anyone pretending to know how good, or bad, the 2006 New England Patriots are going to be on March 25th is talking out of an orifice other than thier mouths. IMO, the facts are that the signed players on the team TODAY, do not make up a team even as good as the team that lost to Denver in the playoffs last year. And certainly not as good as the 2003 or 2004 version. Will they get better or not is just guesswork. BB/Pioli have made great FA/DP pickups and made some bad ones. Mike Vrabel and Rodney Harrison versus Duane Starks and Donald Hayes.
Just to be as good as the team that lost to Denver last year they have to at least replace the production and effectiveness of Willie M and D Givens. To date they haven't. But, just being as good as that team isn't going to be good enough to win the SB, IMO. I try to deal with reality and not just wishful thinking and hope it'll be OK or that on 3/26 the end is at hand more than 5 months before the season starts. There's no way BB knows what kind of team he'll have in 2006 anymore than anyone else does. He's often said it takes about 5 or 6 games for him to know. So, why would anyone believe anyone else does?
Matt Light? Dan Koppen? Rodney Harrison? Randall Gay? A healthy Brady? A healthy Dillon, Faulk, Pass, and Evans?
I also don't understand how anyone can compare the team we have now to the team that lost to denver. They havent even played one game yet. The roster has yet to be filled. I disagree with the notion that we are set. We got it handed to us in denver, remember? And dont blame it on the d-backs. Brady,Brown,Faulk, and Hobbs were key contributors to us losing that game. Hello, they r all still here. The only thing we have done is lose great depth and some starters. So, what makes anyone think we are set? IMO this team is going to have to be far superior then the one that took the field last yr. for us to make a run at the superbowl. Thank God for BB cuz atleast we know he is going to do all he can to get us there.
I hate to break it to you, but according to my count, the Pats have re-signed the most players in the league this offseason. They'd re-signed 8 so far, the Bucs have also, and teams like the Steelers, Seahawks, Lions, Packers, and Raiders have re-signed 7.
For the Pats, these signings have come at excellent prices, avoiding the big money and thus big name losses the media has shoved down our throats.
LB play is what makes the 3-4 defense work. Bruschi returning from his stroke and thereby relegating Beisel back to his rightful back-up role really helped the team, as well as replacing Chad Brown with Vrabel.
As far as the secondary, forget the CB, the key is safety play. We saw that in our Super Bowls when our safeties went down. BB gets "cheap" at CB. Guys like Samuel, Hobbs and Gay are 3rd/4th/UDFA and are small, undersized but good at playing their zone. It is the play of the safety that makes BB pass-defense thrive. And that is why Hawkins really helped because he has CB speed at the safety position. So does E. Wilson.
BB needs an impact LB to complete the 3-4. Someone who weighs at least 250 lbs, can seal off the edge and be excellent in pass-coverage.
The defense really suffered without Seymour anchoring the line, because when the DL doesn't do their job, its impossible for the LB to do theirs. That is why the defense stunk it up last year, and why it will be different this year (Sey & Bruschi)
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