2006 and 2007 comparisons
I'm actually getting annoyed at some media types being very closed minded.
They are still trying to make judgements by saying "Well the Patriots did this against this team last year, so similarly this will happen this year".
Don't they see how GREATLY the dynamics of the team have changed.
We all know what the loss of Seymour and Harrison will mean for the short term. But let's look at how very different this team is from last year.
1.) The running game. Maroney is back to full health playing along a blocking scheme that better takes advantage of his running style. The running game will also be greatly impacted by a passing game which last year, very few feared. Anyone remember Bob Sanders constatly playing t5 yards off the line waiting for Maroney?
2.) Eluding to the new run blocking. Opposing D-lines will now have to adjust to the scheme. When O-lines zone block, defenses need to play less agressive as theie over-pusuit will get them easily washed out of the play.
3) The Linebackers. The AGELESS Seau seems to have embraced our system and was quickly becoming very very productive until his injury. Him coming back healthy along with all-world LB Thomas is a wrinkle many teams are not accustomed to yet.
4) Lastly, and MOST importantly the receiving corp. Think about this..........
With Caldwell, Doug Gabriel, Gaffney, Troy Brown, Chad Jackson and you all well recall how much those guys contributed, what their talent levels are and where they are now, the Pats were 1/4 of a game away from the Superbowl. A receiving corp supported by an aging and injured running game.
That just blows my mind!
We now have REAL NFL receivers.
One who was and still is by some considered one one of the top 5 greatest modern era receivers to play the game.
One who is easily one of the fastest men in the entire league.
Another who many believe that while working with Brady could become one othe league's best slot/possession receivers.
One who other than Brady, became a shining star in last year's playoff run and continued to mature in the off-season.
We are a very different team this year, ad as much as people say they will have to learn to play together, the opposition is going to have a hard time playing against them.
Re: 2006 and 2007 comparisons
I have a bit different view, especially of the running game.
OVRALL - AN INCREIBLE INCREASE IN TALENT
Brady finally has better than a mediocre set of receivers! Adding Moss OR Sallworth OR Welker would have been great. The best receiver from last year's playoffs is #4 or #5 depending on who's evaluating! We also have arguably the best set of TE's in the league. And the pass-blocking is awesome.
We've replaced Dillon with Morris. We changed blocking schemes to accomodate Maroney's running style. The running game may look great to the degree that it is freed up by the passing game. And there is little backup. I certainly hope that they stay healthy. I would think that we might have picked up a short-yardage back.
THE OFFENSIVE LINE
This line will continue to get better. We now have entire OL locked up for years.
DEFENSE - Thomas makes all the difference.
This is really strong, but Seymour's health will balance out the improvements by Wright and Smith.
Thomas is arguably the single most important pickup in the NFL. We now have five top linebackers.
The corners are improved marginally with Gay replacing Scott. James replaces a long-forgotten UDFA. The safeties are much improved with Sanders having one more year of experience and with Wilson back, and Harrison is a few weeks. Even the special team safeties will be improved with Andrews having more experience, and with the addition of Mitchell.
Re: 2006 and 2007 comparisons
A virtual all-star team.
Still all depends on health.
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