Nfl.com praises pats offseason moves
I thought the league hated us now? Looked that way last year!
NFL week in review: Versatility in demand
By Dave Gladow
(March 8, 2007) -- With the flurry of signings, cuts and trades over the past several days, even some of the bigger stories have been glossed over. For instance, even though the Broncos have added three big names in tight end Daniel Graham, running back Travis Henry and cornerback Dre' Bly, folks aren't making much of it.
Perhaps that's partly due to the dismal track record that big-name free agents have for improving their new squads. There are countless examples of teams spending good money on a big name, then plugging him into a system he won't work in.
And then there are the Patriots, who are uniquely positioned to have more success in player acquisition than perhaps any other team. Why? Call it the versatility factor.
The Patriots are more creative in their offensive and defensive schemes than just about any other team. Instead of coming up with rigid schemes and forcing players into them, they adapt their schemes to the talent on hand. And when their players can do multiple things, that's when the real fun begins.
The signing of versatile linebacker Adalius Thomas just makes sense.
Need to confuse Peyton Manning? Drop your athletic ends into coverage. Out of defensive backs? Put your wide receiver back there. No running backs? Run a five-wide set. No receivers? Throw to your tight ends. It never seems to end.
That's why anyone who appreciates what this team continues to do had to smile at what the Patriots did in the first week of free agency. Firstly, New England made a point to address its needs, bringing special teams ace Larry Izzo back into the fold while signing blocking tight end Kyle Brady (replacing Graham) and productive running back Sammy Morris (replacing Corey Dillon ).
But where the Patriots were truly golden was in addressing their biggest weaknesses in 2006. Speed at linebacker was a problem, as was production from the receiving corps. But after signing the top free agent available, Adalius Thomas, at linebacker and trading for wide receiver Wes Welker, the Patriots look like they hit home runs once again.
Adalius Thomas can play linebacker. He can play end. He can cover receivers down field. He can rush the passer. He can stuff the run. In short, he's Bill Belichick's dream player. Welker, by comparison, is a limited player, but what limitations those are! In addition to being a first-class kick and punt returner, he's developed himself into a superb possession receiver. Like Troy Brown, he'll do the dirty work and fill in the cracks.
Between the additions of Thomas and Welker and the rest of their offseason moves, the Patriots continue to display that they know what they're doing, and that teams around the league would likely do well to emulate them -- both when it comes to talent acquisition and usage of said talent.
Bills: Ending the speculation, the Bills finally traded running back Willis McGahee. In exchange, Buffalo received three draft picks from the Baltimore Ravens. The Bills may now look to someone like Chris Brown or Dominic Rhodes to replace him ... Buffalo placed a premium on improving its offensive line early in free agency, adding guard Derrick Dockery from Washington, tackle Langston Walker from Oakland and tackle Jason Whittle from Minnesota ... Dockery may replace guard Tutan Reyes, who was released.
Dolphins: The big move is the addition of linebacker Joey Porter, who was released by Pittsburgh. Porter is slowing down, but he should still be an emotional leader for the Dolphins ... Miami is butchering its own roster at the moment, apparently dissatisfied with the previous status quo of mediocrity. The latest cuts included quarterback Joey Harrington, tight end Randy McMichael, defensive end Kevin Carter and guard Jeno James ... One player who will return is defensive tackle Keith Traylor, who re-signed as an unrestricted free agent ... Former Green Bay tight end David Martin was signed as a free agent to replace McMichael ... Miami inked former Chicago safety Cameron Worrell to a two-year deal.
Re: Nfl.com praises pats offseason moves
The Pats are smart. They do things the only way they 'should' be done. They figure out their needs and figure out whose available to fill those needs. That includes RFA's with a tender pending! Way to go teams who needed a receiver for only considering UFA's!
Wes Welker was a great acquistion and I believe time will prove me right. Adalius Thomas was a no brainer to me, I can even back that up with a post I made on here.
Good organizations with HOF QB's and Coaches and Personel decision making, and you have a dynasty.
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