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A little Perspective.

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AzPatsFan, Jan 28, 2013.

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  1. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    "It is the season of our discontent."

    Many posters are self flagelating and proposing all kinds of ill-considered moves, with none really necessary or affordable. For this AFCCG, the Patriots team was a shell of its true strength. It played without: Gronkowski, Stallworth, and Edelman on Offense, and Talib, Dowling, Fletcher, Love and Jones, on Defense.

    Fact: The Offense was the #1 Offense in the league by a hundred points. So, aside from health, and depth at OT, no significant changes need be made, since Brady aside, the O is young and deep.

    Fact: The Defense finished below the League average, just slightly below middling. Depth was middling too.

    Conclusion: You attempt to shore up the Defense, not the Offense, in the off-season. You trust that the return to health of Gronkowski, Edelman, Stallworth, and Demps will provide enough new features to the Offense. Money is barely available to resign the present pieces, so just do that.

    The Defensive needs are:
    Health,
    Maturity
    More Talent
    More Depth

    The Pat's need:
    a superior 3-technique penetrating DT,
    a superior pass rushing DE to balance Chandler Jones,
    a superior, good-sized, outside press CB,
    maybe a superior, good-sized, coverage SS.

    Some of these people may or may not be on the Team already, but have not broken out yet.

    I suspect that Tavon Wilson will be the new "coverage SS" to cover the TEs, with more experience.
    I suspect that one of the present young DEs, will take another step forward with maturity.
    I supect that Ras-I might be that good sized outside CB, if he remains healthy.

    I therefor would draft a 3-technique DT in the First,
    since the position is deep in this Draft, and someone should fall to the Pats. :D

    I would draft a good-sized secondary player in the Second, if one is available. Preference is for an ouside CB type though. (The First and Second could be reversed depending on who falls).

    It is possible that an actual TradeUp could be in the offing, like last season, as the needs are relatively few.

    I would draft the best player, either O or D, in the Third with preference for a developmental outside WR, a developmental LOT/ROT, to release Marcus Cannon to the interior O-line competition, or a LB. Provided we still have a Third. Frontline players are what is needed, not depth necessarily, at this point in the Patriot's rebulding.

    We already have a large haul in Vet FAs with Versa and Armond from the CFL. Zuscevics may be the developmental swing tackle candidate we seek too. Pryor might help too, along with Ballard and Demps.

    Simple, isn't it? :)
  2. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    First of all, I agree with your entire post. I think that many are overreacting in some crazy ways.

    I agree that the defense is the side of the ball that needs improvement more, as they need to be able to keep us in closer low scoring games when the competition increases and/or the offense has a bad day--which is obviously going to happen. Defense basically won 3 championships in 4 yrs, and that's the kind of play that we'll need again.

    I was midly surprised to look back towards the 2006 season where we lost the AFCCG to Indy, and see that this defense had the #2 scoring defense in the NFL that year, allowing 14.8 pts per game. Boy that seems like awhile ago.

    I don't think we need to change the kicker, or that Brady is faltering. I don't think that we need to change the offense altogether and start again from scratch. I think we need to try and continue the offensive output and make progression on the other side of the ball.

    The one thing that I would debate is choosing a DT in the first round. While there is certainly an argument for that, I think that Belichick said it best when he reminded us that you have to assess the whole entire big picture, meaning that those kinds of selections and moves are often dependant on the other ways that you make the team successful.

    So while I do think that there is a debate that could be made for selecting a DT first, I think that'd be in a base case scenario where the secondary would be shored up first through free agency and other selections in rounds 2-3, and I have a hard time seeing that happen if they intend on keeping Welker, which I hope that they do.

    I also wonder if we wait until further on in the draft or even next year to acquire some younger talent on the defensive line again. Currently I believe we still have Wilfork, Deaderick, Love, Pryor, Jones, Francis, and Cunningham. While it could always use a youth infusion, it's also not quite as bad as some make it out to be either. I think we need to shore up the secondary first and foremost. If that's done via FA on some appropriate level from signing a FA safety/CB or even Talib, then I'd be very happy with whatever selection that Belichick made from rounds 1-7.
  3. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan Rookie

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    #93 Jersey

    While I agree that it is not at all a time to panic,

    you initial position that poor health was a major factor flies in the face of the fact that we had an amazing healthy team. Every year the Patriots, and most other teams, lose multiple starters to injured reserve, since is a collision sport.

    We were as healthy as any team in the Belichick era. Losing Gronk and Talib were blows, but we've overcome worse. 21 of 22 opening day starters were healthy, I think, with Talib being an in-season upgrade. The Ravens just took it to us.
  4. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I think that this is not too realistic personally. I just don't envision another trade up, at least in the sense that most would define it as in a high round setting.

    I think that our work is still cut out for us in terms of not having many overall picks and having a challenging year of free agency signings of our own.

    Next year is a different story, as the team's FA signings will be nowhere near as plentiful as this year's.

    I would agree on some level that there aren't many "needs" overall, and that will still have somewhat of a luxury for rookie draft picks who will make the team, but I don't see that luxury being quite as nice as last yr's or the year before either due to the sheer number of free agents that need to be assessed here. That right there will add some other pieces that will either have to be taken, replaced, or at least moved around to try and stay status quo.

    While there may/may not be too many actual "needs" depending upon one's perspective, there are areas of concern that have failed us, and areas that need to be improved upon (especially depending upon how many they retain from their own FA's). On top of that you still have the usual positions that need addressing and maintenance such as LB/coverage LB/ and even TE--which are areas that none of us are truly "concerned" with.

    The secondary needs to be completed. The trenches need to be at least addressed. The WR position is certainly up for debate depending upon who they retain. It could be an area that needs addressed, or it could be an area that needs damn near an overhaul.

    I think that last year and even moreso 2011's draft was luxury galore, although many disagreed with me at the time. I'm not seeing it as much this year, unless they somehow were able to make more of a splash in FA than I am assuming.
  5. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In a perfect world, this happens by Nate Ebner actually learning to play safety this summer. He's got all the measurables in spades, he just needs to learn the position.
  6. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I think that this is a great point.

    We were relatively healthy this year, at least moreso than a lot of years.

    The problem was that certain positions took quite a hit. The TE position was never really truly healthy, although it was nice to not have both Gronk and Hernandez out at the same time, so that was a blessing.

    With as many of the positions that will be healthier next season, we'll have a bit of trade off in other positions. That's just the way it works.

    I will agree that it was unfortunate that we lost both Gronk and Talib for the AFCCG, and maybe even Jones to a lesser extent. Luck certainly factors into these closely competitive games, and we haven't had much lately outside of the missed Cundiff FG.
  7. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    No doubt.

    One thing though? Should I start holding my breath now or wait until mini's in the spring?

    :D
  8. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    The only needs I see on offense are a RG and a receiver to take Branch's role. In that receiver, I've already made it known in several threads what I'm looking for so that doesn't need to be repeated again.

    Defensively, I'd like to see a hard hitting safety (Matt Elam please) added, one more CB, and a DE/DT.
  9. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    It's time to blow up the defensive secondary! :eek:

    Bye! Bye! Chung, Gregory, Arrington, Cole

    FS1: Devin McCourty
    FS2: Tavon Wilson (dime back/special teams)
    SS1: 2013 NFL Draft 3rd Round Selection
    ST1: Nate Ebner
    ST2: Malcolm Williams

    CB1: 2013 NFL Draft 1st Round Selection (or trade down to the top half of the 2nd Round)
    CB2: Alfonzo Dennard
    CB3: One year veteran minimum salary, NO SIGNING BONUS, $25,000 roster bonus, $25,000 workout bonus
    CB4: One year veteran minimum salary, NO SIGNING BONUS, $25,000 roster bonus, $25,000 workout bonus
    CB5: Ras-I Dowling (injury prone)
  10. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    If nothing in the secondary is going to be addressed in FA then we aren't going to see anything close to what we need to in my opinion.

    The position of FA safety is affordable, unlike many of the other top named FA's every year. I can't imagine exploring the position in FA in 2012 and 2011 (Goldson, Landry, etc) and walking away with nothing again in 2013 too. Especially after such a poor showing initially + such a strong progression down the stretch.

    I'm all for drafting, but they have to make some kind of move in the secondary in free agency for crying out loud.
  11. DarrylStingley

    DarrylStingley Rookie

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    Ebner may stick but I really don't want to see him in the secondary. I don't recall a single good play he made in that capacity.

    The Pats seem to like Gregory. I wouldn't be surprised if he's back next year.

    In terms of perspective, I think they need help at D-line. Maybe Armstead is an answer. But another guy who can get to the QB is still needed. I also think they need one faster cover LB. And they need a corner if they don't bring back Talib. And they need a safety.

    On offense, they probably need one starting lineman as I think keeping Vollmer will be tough.

    And they need an outside threat WR in the worst way.

    Not a ton of needs but not nothing, too.
  12. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    CB3 & CB4 are free agent acquisitions. If the New England Patriots are willing to play hardball in contract negotiations with perennial Pro-Bowl wide receiver Wes Welker, the New England Patriots need to start playing hardball with bottom of the roster players Kyle Arrington and Marquice Cole.
  13. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    The fourth safety on the roster is typically a special teams ace. I guess you forgot about Je'Rod Cherry during the Super Bowl years.

    Je'Rod Cherry, DB at NFL.com

    Steve Gregory is not the solution at the strong safety position. Either you are part of the problem or part of the solution.

    The New England Patriots signed Marcus Benard to an one year contract.

    Marcus Benard, LB for the Cleveland Browns at NFL.com
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You want our secondary to have:
    A 2nd year starting S who struggled this year
    A rookie starting corner
    Nicleback who can't even demand a signing bonus, ie someone no one wants
    Dimeback who is equally unwanted and not quite as good as the nickle?

    You want Arrington gone, and a worse replacement?
  15. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    If one is to rebuild the defensive secondary, rebuild the defensive secondary and stop screwing around with safeties on the roster such as Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory.

    If the New England Patriots are willing to play hardball in contract negotiations with perennial Pro-Bowl wide receiver Wes Welker, the New England Patriots need to start playing hardball with bottom of the roster players such as Kyle Arrington. Equal treatment in contract negotiations across the board.
  16. ctpatsfan77

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    The Ebner played more ST snaps than anybody on the team other than Koutovides, and probably would have led the team had he been active for Week 17.
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