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11/4 Pats' needs positional rankings and big board

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Right now I see the Pats having needs at the following areas:

    1. OL
    2. LB
    3. DL
    4. RB

    Assuming Brandon Tate shows promise at WR, I don't see the Pats taking a day 1 WR or TE this year. DB seems set for the time being, though the long term status of Leigh Bodden may be a factor. QB is not a day 1 need.

    With that in mind, right now I like the following players for the Pats at those areas:

    OT:

    1. Bruce Campbell, Maryland (junior). 6'6" 310#. Best LT prospect since Ryan Clady. With Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain, my top pick for the Pats.
    2. Brian Bulaga, Iowa (junior). 6'6" 312#.
    3. Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin (junior). 6'7" 325#. Tremendous RT prospect.
    4. Kyle Calloway, Iowa. 6'7" 315#. Pure RT.
    5t. Jason Fox, Miami. 6'7" 315#.
    5t. Jeff Linkenbach, Cincinnati. 6'6" 311#.

    OG/C:

    1. Mike Iupati, Iowa. 6'6" 330#. Moves like a much smaller man.
    2. Maurkice Pouncey, Florida (junior). 6'5" 318#.
    3. Mike Johnson, Alabama. 6'5" 305#. A beast with a nasty attitude.
    4. Jon Asamoah, Illinois. 6'5" 315#.
    5. Zane Beadles, Utah. 6'4" 305#.

    RB:

    1. Ryan Mathews, Fresno St. (junior). 5'11" 220#. Reminds me of Rashard Mendenhall, with a dash of Donald Brown and a young Fred Taylor.
    2. Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech (junior). 6' 230#. A young Corey Dillon.
    3. LaGarrette Blount, Oregon. 6'1" 230#.
    4. Ben Tate, Auburn. 5'11" 220#. Poor man's Ryan Mathews.
    5. Toby Gerhart, Stanford. 6'1" 235#. Poor man's Jonathan Dwyer.

    Note: I'm not personally in favor of a speed back like Jahvid Best or CJ Spiller. I assume Brandon Tate will be our all-purpose guy.

    3-4 DE:

    1. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska. 6'4" 305#. A young Seymour. We won't get within 20 picks of him.
    2. Lawrence Marsh, Florida (junior). 6'5" 305#. Could be a younger version of Suh.
    3. Jared Odrick, Penn St. 6'5" 305#.
    4. Arthur Jones, Syracuse. 6'4" 295#.
    5. Adrian Clayborn, Iowa (junior). 6'3" 285#. Very strong and a playmaker.

    Note: I don't think Gerald McCoy or Carlos Dunlap are 3-4 DE's for the Pats. Brian Price is on the short side (6'2").

    4-3 DE/3-4 Elephant:

    1. Greg Hardy, Mississippi. 6'5" 267#. Terrific elephant prospect. A bull, like Jared Allen. Finally healthy again. My co-#1 pick with Bruce Campbell and Rolando McClain.
    2. Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech. 6'4" 268#. Incredible motor. Unstoppable. Reminiscent of Shawne Merriman.
    3. Everson Griffen, USC (junior). 6'3" 275#+. Amazing athleticism.
    4. Jason Pierre-Paul, USF (junior). 6'6" 265#. Incredible upside, but very raw. A young Javon Kearse.
    5. Carlos Dunlap, Florida (junior). 6'6" 280#. Inconsistent, but amazing upside.

    3-4 OLB:

    1. Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma (junior). 6'3" 257#. Combination of Kindle and Hughes. Reminds me of Terrell Suggs.
    2. Sergio Kindle, Texas. 6'4" 255#. Very fast and athletic. More athlete than football player. Upside is DeMarcus Ware.
    3. Jerry Hughes, TCU. 6'3" 257#. Terrific motor, reminds me of John Abraham.
    4. Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech (junior). 6'2" 252#.
    5. O'Brien Schofield, Wisconsin. 6'2" 248#.

    3-4 ILB/4-3 LB:

    1. Rolando McClain, Alabama (junior). 6'4" 255#. My co-#1 along with Greg Hardy and Bruce Campbell. In the Aaron Curry mold.
    2. Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri. 6'2" 247#. Makes plays all over the field in the style of Patrick Willis.
    3. Eric Norwood, South Carolina. 6'1", 252#. Very strong. A playmaker with versatility reminiscent of Adalius Thomas.
    4. Brandon Spikes, Florida. 6'3" 253#.
    5. Chris Galippo, USC. 6'2" 255#.

    This exercise ignores players at other positions as as CB, S, QB, WR and TE, some of whom could be tremendous values (Jermaine Gresham, Dez Bryant, Eric Berry, Taylor Mays, Joe Haden, etc.).
     
  2. NePatriots

    NePatriots PatsFans.com Draftnik PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Iupati is from Idaho, not Iowa. We (Iowans that is) grow Corn, they (Idahoans) grow potatoes. Dace Richardson, however, is an OG from Iowa that was having an All-American year before breaking his leg last week.

    Back to the point, Calloway and Bulaga are both great, and my opinion on Clayborn is well known. Both Bulaga and Calloway have experience with similar screen plays that the Patriots run, and also can run block as good as any tackle in the country. Both have minor injury concerns.

    Great work.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks for correcting the typo on Iupati, who I've discussed in numerous threads. That one went right by me.
     
  4. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

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    Good work Mayo. Thanks for taking the time to put that together. Would any of us be surprised if we pick a te with one of our 1st four picks? I wouldn't. We have a lot of big questions coming up regarding free-agency. That could dramatically change our needs.
    We really need to keep V.Wilfork and L.Mankins. For example, if we lose Vince. Do we go after a NT like Mount Cody? I don't think our T situation is all that desperate. But, If we lose Mankins. G becomes a top priority. Good weekend to check out some college games.
    Bama/LSU has a lot of prospects. And, so does PSU/Ohio St. I'm really curious to see Odrick against a good team. He's killed some poorer teams. PSU has played a god-awful schedule.
    Want to see him as the season winds down. The Iowa game was played in a Monsoon. Not exactly a good game to get a feel for how a player performs.
     
  5. bbell31

    bbell31 On the Game Day Roster

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    my thoughts have changed recently due to surprising performances but i think we take a ilb/olb/de with our first pick if there is not a value steal like a gresham or suh who's availablt...im uncertain about guard considering we have simmons, connolly, rich o., wendell etc...i think there could b a definite upgrade but duno if we need to draft an olinemen that early i like i recently stated...i pretty much agree with mayo's current views and thoughts on who we should draft..nice work btw mr. mayo...chris hall of texas who has played all the positions on the line is very intriguing..also brody eldrige late in the draft from ou who has played three positions on the line this year..g, c, te.. although, all of the guards you listed are very tempting to take a hard look at if you r bill belichick
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  6. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    A couple of thoughts:

    1.) on the list of priorities. Why OT?

    2.) Are you assuming we resign big vince? Because if he leaves then NT becomes a gaping hole.

    3.) Which of our gazillion FAs are you projecting we keep and which are you projecting we lose?

    4.) On the DE's I can see the Pats being interested in Oghsobasse of Duke.

    5.) Doesn't the funky offense run by GT make projecting Dwyer very difficult? Does anybody know if he can catch or block?
     
  7. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good thoughts, as I expect from you.

    I haven't really addressed the whole offseason plan this early. I am assuming that Wilfork is either extended or franchised for 2010, which is why I didn't have 3-4 DT as a major focus. Also, it is still too early to see where things stand with Ron Brace. Between Brace and Pryor I think we can at least cover the NT position even if we don't manage to keep Vince.

    I'm assuming Brandon Tate shows promise as a #3 WR and all-purpose guy, negating the need for a Jahvid Best/CJ Spiller type of back, and for using a high pick on WR. If someone like Eric Decker falls I could see us taking a gamble on him in the mid-late rounds, but I'm not big on the WRs in this draft. I could easily see us using our 2010 1st rounder from Oakland on an eventual successor to Moss (especially if there is a rookie salary cap keeping the cost down), with AJ Green, Michael Floyd, Julio Jones and DeAndre Brown all likely coming out.

    Regarding OT, Matt Light's contract is up after 2010 and I don't see him staying on. I can see Vollmer taking over at LT along with Kaczur and LeVoir, but there is certainly room for another OT. A top RT to go along with Vollmer (or a top LT with Vollmer moving to RT) would never hurt. I always feel that there's value developing the OL and DL, and I'd like to see us become more physical on the OL. I do see the interior line as a bigger area of concern right now. I'm guessing that we resign at least one of Mankins/Neal. Mankins is the obvious choice but will cost more, and Neal has been playing well this year. If Mankins is an RFA that makes it fairly easy for 2010.

    Regarding FAs, right now I cannot see us resigning Jarvis Green (5.4M cap hit), Kevin Faulk (4M), Stephen Neal (3.4M) or Derrick Burgess (2M) for anything near what they are currently costing. I'd like to see use resign Leigh Bodden, but the cost may be prohibitive. I think Ben Watson stays. I'm guessing Ghost will be tendered as an RFA. Guyton is an ERFA and isn't going anywhere - I hope he gets a long term deal. I'm hoping we can keep Ninkovich and Alexander for low cost, and possibly Woods, but none of those guys is critical. My priorities are Wilfork > Bodden = Mankins > Ghost, in that order, but that's mostly thinking of the top of my head.

    I agree projecting Dwyer is difficult. I see Mathews as a better option out of the backfield and a better home run threat, which are two reasons I prefer him at this point.

    I agree Oghobasse has to be in any 3-4 DE discussion. Right now I see 3-4 DE's as needed more than 3-4 DTs, particularly as I expect Green to leave. I like a lot of guys who could go later in the draft, such as redshirt sophomores Jared Crick from Nebraska and Matt Conraeth from Virginia if they come out. Corey Wooten from Northwestern may fall as well, and could be a steal if he regains his pre-injury form.

    I see this draft as very deep, with better quality at the top than 2009. Because of the depth I really don't see us trading away our day 1 picks, though I assume we will move around. I could actually see us trying to trade to get back into the 3rd round, where some 2nd round caliber guys will fall because of the depth.
     
  8. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

  9. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Even if Watson leaves?
     
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I personally don't expect Watson to leave, but that would obviously change things, especially if Jermaine Gresham fell. Gresham is clearly a top talent as a stretch the field TE and could be an amazing weapon, but I see him as redundant with Watson if Watson stays. I'd personally prefer to keep Ben if we can do so and use the pick on another area of need.
     
  11. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Since this thread has turned into something of a needs/strategy discussion as well, my #1 priority for the Pats for this offseason is upgrading the pass rush. I feel that BB felt that upgrading the secondary was our #1 priority last year, and he did that with a vengeance. I think he will be equally aggressive about the pass rush this year.

    I could easily see us using 2 of our top picks on pass rushers. I see players falling into 3 major groups:

    1. Guys who are 4-3 DEs who could play the elephant. These are guys in the 6'3"-6'7" and 260-280# range with exceptional athleticism. Julius Peppers and Jared Allen are the pre-eminent current players who could fill that role. I don't see Peppers to the Pats happening at this point. Greg Hardy, Derrick Morgan, Everson Griffen, Jason Pierre-Paul and Carlos Dunlap are the main guys I could see playing that role. Possibly Jeremy Beal.

    2. Guys who are DE/OLB hybrids who can rush off the edge, play in space, and set the edge. These are guys around 6'3"-6'5" and 250-260# with 4.55-4.7 speed combining the ability to rush the passer, the athleticism to play in space and pursue, and the strength to play the run and set the edge. DeMarcus Ware is the pre-eminent current example. Sergio Kindle, Jerry Hughes and Jeremy Beal are my top 3 in this category. I don't see speed guys like Ricky Sapp and Von Miller being stout enough to set the edge and play the run in the Pats' system, though they may be very successful elsewhere. I don't think George Selvie is either strong enough or quick enough to play in our system. Jason Worilds, O'Brien Schofield and Lindsey Witten might be lesser choices here. Eric Norwood could fit here, but I see him more as fitting into my third category because of his lack of height.

    3. Guys who are college linebackers with the versatility to play multiple positions in both the 3-4 and 4-3. This could be SILB in the 3-4 and SAM in the 4-3, or WILB in the 3-4 and WLB in the 4-3. Aaron Curry and Patrick Willis are the pre-eminent examples of these kind of guys. I currently see Rolando McClain as the #1 guy in this mold (3-4 SILB/SAM, in the Aaron Curry mold). Eric Norwood and Brandon Spikes also fall into this mold. Sean Weatherspoon is more of a Patrick Willis 3-4 WILB/WLB kind of guy.

    I think there are probably going to be a lot of these guys available. Many will go out of our reach, but some will fall. If Derrick Morgan and Greg Hardy go early, Carlos Dunlap and Everson Griffen may be available. Rolando McClain probably won't last, but Brandon Spikes and Eric Norwood may. Sergio Kindle and Jerry Hughes could go top 20, or mid 2nd round, and Jeremy Beal is currently still not on most people's radar.

    I would ideally like to see us use 2 of our top picks in this area depending on who is available. Ideally, I could see us using one on a 4-3 DE/3-4 elephant type of player and one on a LB player (either a hybrid DE/OLB or a hybrid 3-4/4-3 LB).

    Adding that kind of speed/athleticism and ability to bring pressure from different angles, combined with the stoutness of our DL, the core LBs that we have in Mayo and Guyton, and the secondary continuing to develop, would give us potentially a dominant defense which could wreck havoc and win games by itself. Add that to our offensive capability, and I think we would be very tough to stop.
     
  12. Jimke

    Jimke In the Starting Line-Up

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    While I agree with you 100%, I wonder if Bill Belichick does. It took

    him 9 years to invest a high draft pick in a linebacker.
     
  13. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I've completely given up trying to predict what BB will do - it's an exercise in futility. I've sure he will make a few moves which leave us all with our jaws on the floor.

    However, with that in mind, I think that he pretty much decided last year that the secondary was unacceptable, and took aggressive steps to fix it. This year the pass rush seems the weakest part of the defense, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him be similarly aggressive. But God only knows what he'll actually do.
     
  14. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It has been BB history to take care of his teams most glaring need BEFORE the draft. The few times that he did enter the draft with a glaring need, luck fell into his lap (Vince, Mayo).

    I think any talk of how the Patriots will target in the draft is going to be moot after the Free Agency period. And Any talk of that is going to be hindered by the CBBA discussions.

    First off, do the Pats re-sing Wilfork, Green, Neal, Faulk, Mankins, Burgess, Watson, Gostkowski, and Guyton (he might be a RFA).

    I say that Mankins, Wilfork, and Gostkowski are the MUST SIGNS. Faulk will come back, but I would hate to see any of the above leave.

    Then you have to look at who is going to be a Free Agents: (some names that I think would fit into the Pats system)

    Brandon Marshall
    Owen Daniels
    Julius Peppers (oops theres that name again)
    Richard Seymour
    Leon Washington
    Cadillac Williams
     
  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I understand that the Pats have tried to fill major holes before the draft wherever possibly so that they could draft from a position of strength rather than to fill major needs. However, I think there are some things to suggest that the Pats are much more likely to address some needs this year through the draft, especially in areas such as the pass rush:

    (1) The cost of quality pass rushing FAs is prohibitive. Peppers currently makes $1M/game. That simply won't work within the salary structure of this team.

    (2) Assuming that the CBA expires and we have an uncapped year, there will be restrictions on playoff teams signing outside free agents. For a brief review of what to expect in an uncapped year see:

    Free Agency: What will it be?

    There aren't many top pass rushers out there. Jared Allen, Terrell Suggs and DeMarcus Ware are all tied up long term. Shawne Merriman's knees are shot and he's a shadow of his former self. Julius Peppers will be 30 in January and commands a prohibitive contract. And there are a ton of extremely talented pass rushers who will most likely be available in the 2010 draft.

    As for your other players, Owen Daniels will likely be tagged by Houston again, and will be too costly. Resigning Ben Watson is far more feasible. Denver is reportedly working on an extension for Brandon Marshall. Leon Washington is coming off of a major injury. Cadillac Williams has been injury prone his entire career. We traded Richard Seymour in part because we didn't expect to resign him, so I doubt we will sign him as a FA, especially when he was pissed off at how we dumped him off to Oakland.

    I think this year we focus on resigning as many of our core players as possible, and then filling holes through the draft. Yes, we will probably sign a few relatively low-cost and low-profile FAs, as we always do (and hopefully some will turn out to be pearls like Brandon McGowan), but I don't see us being aggressive in FA this year the way we were in 2009.
     
  16. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Interesting tidbit out of the Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa. Mark Ingram is asking writers to vote for McClain for the Hiesman.

    When it comes to OLB's, I think the only guys that BB would even think about drafting early are the ones that can (in order of priority) tackle, be assignment sound nearly 100% of the time, play smart and diagnose immediately (Instincts), set the edge against running plays, play is space (coverage) and rush the passer.

    I think that if BB does not see a player do anyone of these on tape, then he is passing on them in the draft. The only player I have seen this season that even remorely meets these criteria is Sapp of Clemson but I am not 100% sold on him.
     
  17. SidelineSid

    SidelineSid Practice Squad Player

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    I've made my comments in bold. I'm projecting that we resign Wilfork, Mankins, and Space Ghost. If we can't, our draft needs drastically change. I say we pay Wilfork, but if Mankins wants us to break the bank, I say let him walk. Elite interior linemen could be attained with a high 2nd round pick and we have a couple of those.

    Based on Bodden's play, I think we can be resigned for a reasonable amount. If he can't, oh well. No big deal. Springs, on the other hand, must restructure his contract. That man robbed a bank. There's no way he gets payed like this next year. Average player, but no where worth the kind of cash we are throwing at him. With Weatley struggling and with Springs being less than stellar (and old), a corner could be picked up for very little with a late round pick.

    For all the people looking at OT and RB, I say what for. We have invested a good bit of change fairly recently in Volmer and Kaczur. I think Volmer will get better and Kaczur is very under rated. Besides, it makes no sense to upgrade the right tackle position with our first round pick. Even if we use a second round pick, that player is gonna have to be good enough to bump Volmer to right tackle, and Kaczur to the bench. I doubt that's going to happen.

    RB's are a dime a dozen. Surprisingly, there will be some interesting free agents this off season. Many running backs, such as Cadillac Williams, will be full of talent and hungry for a ring. We could set ourselves up nicely for very little.

    If we get a good inside linebacker, preferably McClain, and a good 4-3 end, I think we set ourselves up nicely. McClain could be used in the 4-3 and 3-4. The 4-3 end could greatly help in those 3rd down passing situations. If the 4-3 end is able to pick up basic pass coverage responsibilities, we can try him out at 3-4 outside linebacker. If not, at least we have a pass rusher.
     
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good thoughts.

    Nothing that happened today vs. Miami has affected the pass rush being my #1 offseason priority for the Pats. I still would like to see us use 2 of our top 4 picks in this area, as outlined in my previous post.

    I've never been down on Maroney like some, but I see him more as a change of pace and third down guy taking over Faulk's role than as a workhorse RB for us, and even if he is our #1 RB we need depth and youth at the position. I don't think BJGE is more than adequate, and our other RBs are coming up on their mid 30's, which is ancient for the position. Watching Cedric Benson run against the Ravens (we could have gotten him for a song a few years ago) makes me long for someone similar such as 5'11" 220# Ryan Mathews, who can pound the ball inside and make one cut and take it to the house. That and some good old fashioned power blocking on the OL would make a huge difference.

    I'd like to see us resign (or tag) Wilfork, Mankins, Ghost, Bodden and Watson. I think Springs is gone after this year and his money goes towards resigning Bodden. If Neal is willing to restructure for decent money I'd like to see that happen as he has played well, but I could see us re-signing Simmons as a cheap replacement and going with youth or the draft as an alternative.

    Assuming we do those things (big assumptions, obviously), and that Brandon Tate continues to show promise, I'd spend 2/4 of our picks on the pass rush and 2/4 on the running game (between RB and OL). The only other priority I would have is a 3-4 DE for depth, as I'm not sure Jarvis Green stays after this year. There's a lot of depth at that position, and I could see us trading back into the 3rd round to pick up someone who falls.
     
  19. SidelineSid

    SidelineSid Practice Squad Player

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    1.) Well put. Pass rush is a priority for us. We need to be able to put consistent pressure on oppossing QB's. I'm not entirely sure if it is a lack of speed, or just poor technique, but we have to improve in that area. I don't know if any young 20 something year old will be the key to solving our problems, but we need fresh bodies out there. We just aren't getting it done.

    2.) Also, what has surprised me this season is that we haven't been very good against the run. I think we're around 20th in the league after the Miami game. I don't get how we could be so mediocre against the run when we have Wilfork and Warren on the line. Someone has to step up.

    3.) After watching the Miami game, I'm a little more possitive about Maroney's chances with the team. His blocking has improved and he is running with more authority. If we can't resign him cheaply, we can find a number of young backs in free agency that can play at a high level.

    4.) I'm starting to notice a trend. We tend to run to the right a great deal more than we do to the left. The left side is suppossed to be the better part of line, but I don't think we run that way very often. Let me know if I'm off. I think the best example of this is when Maroney was up against Tennessee, his longest run was to the right. I think he ran behind Stephen Neal on that play.

    5.) Ben Watson is really starting to come on strong. I think that he and Brady are starting to really get on the same page. If he can continue to assert himself in the passing game, he can help take some pressure off Welker and Moss. In fact, if we can get Baker more involved in the passing game, we can add a new wrinkle to our offense.

    To be honest, we have been a bit predictable at times. It's pretty much been Moss, Welker, and Faulk most of the season. If the tight ends are more emphasized in the passing game, defenses will be forced to take less chances on blitzes. This will mean less blitzing by middle line backers and more conservative safety play. Now we'll be able to dictate the game better. The line backers will have to play closer to the center of the field. More bubble screens for Welker and Faulk!

    6.) Is it just me, or did James Sanders' offsides penalty against the Dolphins pretty much sum up his play with the team: No significant contributions except for the other team. His penalty really set up Ted Ginn for a nice return. It could have been very bad. Ginn is a terrible wide receiver. He makes his money by being fast and ellusive. For some reason, fast and ellusive players seem to bring out the worst in Sanders (see Addai, Joseph). Luckly, Space Ghost saved us. Thank you Brandon McGowan for keeping this man on the bench.
     
  20. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Either the Patriots willingly offered $9M/3y for a guy who can't do anything right, or, yes, it is just you.
     

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