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After the Saints Game

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, we were exposed on national TV last night, and got a good old-fashioned butt whuppin' on both sides of the ball. Not pretty. But teams that learn from their painful experiences can turn it around quickly in the NFL. The Saints were the last place team in the NFC South last year at 8-8. Now they're 11 and 0 and looking like a SB team.

    After the Colts game I posted a thread looking at what I saw as I our offseason priorities:

    http://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/13/293497-after-colts-game.html

    After the Saints game, I see our priorities as being fairly similar:

    1. The pass rush, the pass rush, the pass rush. You just can't beat elite QB's in the NFL with no pressure. We got no pressure on Brees, and he destroyed us. We got no pressure on Manning, and he destroyed us in the 4th quarter.

    2. The offensive line. With Vollmer out, our OL was exposed. I'm tired of trying to win with journeymen on the line. Vollmer is a future pro bowler at LT. Mankins is a stud OG. We need similar players on the other side of the line. Kaczur and Koppen just don't cut it, and Neal can't be relied on for the long term.

    3. The run defense. The loss of Seymour has definitely hurt. The Saints didn't run for that many yards against us (they were too busy shredding us with the passing game), but they got to the 2nd level too easily too many times.

    I'm much less concerned with the running backs than previously. Maroney was our best player on offense last night, running with authority (when we let him) and punishing the Saints defense. We need a better oline for him, and more commitment to the running game. Yes, we need some more youth at RB to build around him, but I don't see it being the same priority compared to those other needs.
  2. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe Rookie

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    Yep, we need a DE/OLB (or two), an OG and a C

    Desperately
  3. carolinatony

    carolinatony Rookie

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    Yep, we need a DE/OLB (or two), an OG and a C
    Desperately

    Throw in a 3rd WR and I am with you.
    Another thing I noticed is we have no VOCAL leader on the Defense. Vince is a captain but it not the type to get everyone fired up. We seem to lack this.
  4. Lockdown06

    Lockdown06 Rookie

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    In the first day, I'd love to see two OLB/DE guys, a center or guard, and a 3-4 D-end - the good news is we really are in position to grab those kind of guys.

    I think next year ILB will end up being okay, with Mayo/Guyton having another offseason, McKenzie coming back into the mix, and whoever we add for depth through FA

    As long as Brace and Pryor continue to progress, the d-line could end up being pretty solid as well - its really the olb/pass-rushing de spots that are killing this D at the moment - while I saw TBC hold the edge admirably at least once last night, we don't have a guy like Vrabel anymore who consistently turns runs back inside, and i think we miss that pretty badly
  5. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    Last night's game was clearly lost in the trenches. The Pats desperately need to fill the large holes in the Oline and Front 7 before they even start thinking about skill positions.
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In my first mock of the season I had the Pats trading players to get 2 additional 3rd round picks, and using 6 picks in the top 90 on OL and DL (or DE/OLB), so I obviously agree.
  7. sg14

    sg14 Rookie

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    After the Saints game I was curious about their G-C-G combo, it looked like they ganged up and put Wilfork on the ground a couple of times.

    Their line up is 5th rounder, unrestricted free agent, 4th rounder.

    That is some pretty good drafting down there, nice way to build a team,, anybody know who is doing the picking??
  8. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    And Marques Colston was a 7th rounder. Sheesh.
  9. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wes Bunting came out with some notes on junior prospects today at the National Football Post:

    News, notes on junior prospects | National Football Post

    Some comments of particulari nterest:

    - On interior OLs: "Right now, Idaho senior guard Mike Iupati looks like the nation’s top eligible interior offensive line prospect. However, Florida juniors Mike and Maurkice Pouncey could both end up having something to say about that. The Pouncey twins possess a rare combination of size, power and fluidly and do a great job not only opening up run lanes inside but sliding their feet and mirroring laterally in space. Center Maurkice Pouncey grades out slightly better than guard Mike at this point, but both look like they could carve out starting roles early in their NFL careers.…"

    - On DE's: "Another talented class that will be fun to sort through on draft day is the junior defensive end group. With Derrick Morgan, Carlos Dunlap, Everson Griffen, Greg Romeus, Cameron Heyward, Jason Pierre-Paul and Adrian Clayborn all at least entertaining the idea of declaring early, we could see one of the deepest defensive end classes in years. Plus, this is a big defensive end group that possesses an ability to mature into three-down players at the next level. Also, Heyward and Dunlap have the versatility to play as either 4-3 defensive tackles or five-technique defensive ends in the NFL. Ultimately, this year’s DE group has the makings of one of the top classes in the draft." I don't see Dunlap as being a 3-4 DE, but it's certainly a talented group. And add Miami junior Allen Bailey, who I think would be a great 3-4 DE.
  10. SidelineSid

    SidelineSid Rookie

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    Quick thoughts:

    What pass rushers do you guys think will fall into our range?

    Do you think we might have to make a move to get Iupati or the Pouncey brothers?
  11. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    The only elite DE/OLB rusher I could see falling to us at this point is Greg Hardy because of injury concerns. But even that seems unlikely. Some elite pure OLB rushers like Jerry Hughes and Von Miller have a better chance of falling to us, but I'm not sure if BB is interested in that type of player.

    As for Iupati and Pouncey, Guards rarely are taken before the 2nd round anyway. BB should be able to get one of them if he wants.
  12. DocE

    DocE Rookie

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    This team has to acquire a playmaker on defense, and it can't hope to find one in the draft. Maybe Julius Peppers moves on if there is a coaching change in Carolina (or they don't want to tag him again) or maybe the Patriots make a run at Ray Edwards who will be only 25 as a FA. If not either of these guys, maybe they look at trading for a star on a team that is likely to make a coaching change such as Mario Williams from the Texans. Williams makes something like 25 million over 2010 and 2011, so his contract could be too rich.


    The best case scenario is the Patriots bolster their defense with a playmaker through free agency, but if that can't occur, I am fine with giving up picks to make it happen.

    I'd like to see another pass rusher taken in the draft as well as another RB (either a big back or a pass catcher). I agree with the need/desire to get better on the right side of the offensive line. I think we badly need a more physical/nasty aspect to our line and mentioned that after their performance in the Super Bowl. Neal (who left that game) is the one who really brings that attitude and he just can't stay healthy enough to play well for long stretches anymore. Even though the Patriots have invested heavily in corners over the past two years, I am not they've found the answer. If there is a really good cover corner available, I don't think they can pass that player up at any point in the draft (unless an elite pass rusher is there too).

    I really hope this post looks silly in February and beyond.
  13. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Doc,

    I always look forward to your posts, and generally find them insightful. But you've got to lay off of the sauce.

    The Pats need a defensive playmaker (more than one), I agree. But why not through the draft? And why go spend a fortune on guys who may not fit?

    There's going to be a lot of defensive talent in the draft, and plenty of pass rushers. Maybe BB needs to be a bit less conservative about playing rookies than he's been in the past, because they are able to come in and make an impact for many other teams. Merriman, Ware and Suggs all had an impact as rookies. Washington has one of the best defenses in the NFL, and rookie Brian Orapko is 2nd on the team in sacks with 7. Do you think Andre Carter would have 9 sacks if he didn't have Orapko opposite him as a pass rushing threat?

    There's no guarantee that a high-priced FA is going to make a big impact for us any more than a rookie. Adalius Thomas was brought in to be just that kind of playmaker, and he hasn't exactly wowed. Mario Williams? He would destroy the salary structure of the team, we could never get him, and it's not clear that he would be a good fit. Ray Edwards? Do you really think he's the playmaker we need? Maybe Peppers, but again, not sure how we get him or afford him. Shawne Merriman is the best pass rushing FA out there, but he's been showing signs of his old form and will likely be extremely costly, plus he has personal and health issues. I think it's fine to suggest a veteran, but I'm not sure how to do it. We'll likely be limited by who we can go after in FA, unless we lose key guys of our own.

    I'd rather get a young Jared Allen (Greg Hardy), Julius Peppers (Carlos Dunlap), Shawne Merriman (Derrick Morgan), Jevon Kearse (Jason Pierre-Paul), Adalius Thomas (Jeremy Beal), Jason Taylor (Austen Lane), Terrell Suggs (Everson Griffen) or Willie McGinest (Greg Romeus). Ideally 2 of them, or one plus someone like Sergio Kindle or Jerry Hughes. They're all young, talented, physical, and much more cost-effective.
  14. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

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    With BB, I'd never rule out FA, and usually keep my hands out of the Pats $$$ considerations. That said, doubling up on a position of need (as you've suggested), seems to be the BB way, as it's unwise to put all of your hope on ONLY one new addition at that positional need. Of course in the draft, players develop at different paces. Hypothetically, if a 3rd round pick develops faster than a first rounder -- who cares -- as long as the position's been upgraded.

    And with FA, we've seen how some of the veteran signings haven't met the expectations...therefore making the FA option a crapshoot -- like the draft. So we might as well just create competition for the position, by adding a couple of players to each priority position of need.
  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Last year the secondary was our weakest link. So we added Bodden and McGowan in FA and Butler and Chung in the draft with day 1 picks. Aside from the Saints debacle, our secondary has been the strength of our defense this year.

    This year our pass rush and OL seem to be the weakest areas. I'd like to see BB double or triple up:

    - At least 2 OL's (an OG/C and a RT upgrade); possibly 3.
    - At least 2 pass rushers (DE/OLB), and a 3-4 DE or DT (depending on what happens with Wilfork)

    If BB can fill some of those needs through FA and the trade I'm fine with it. But with all of our players whose contracts are up, I see the draft as more likely.
  16. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    The problem is that your wish list will be impossible to fill with draft picks

    if the Patriots lose Bodden, Burgess, Faulk, Gostowski, Green, Neal, Mankins,

    Watson, and Woods to free agency. The Patriots may also franchise/trade

    Wilfork and trade/cut Thomas. The Patriots have to re-sign a few of these

    players to maintain some continuity.
  17. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Some, but by no means all. The ones I would like to see re-signed are Wilfork, Mankins, Bodden, Watson and Gostkowski.

    Neal will be 34 next fall, is injury prone, and has a cap hit of almost $3.5M. Faulk is a stud but is a 3rd done back most of the time, will be 34 in June, and has a cap hit of over $4M. Jarvis Green will be 31, is a part-time player, and has a salary alone of over $2.5M. Woods is making over $1.5M and can barely get on the field. Derrick Burgess has done next to nothing for us, will be 32 in August, and gets $2M. Adalius Thomas was a healthy scratch, has questioned BB, has done very little this season, will be 33 in August, and has a salary alone of almost $5M. That's at least $18.5M (not counting bonus and incentives) tied up in 6 guys, who are definitely replaceable. Faulk is by far the most valuable right now, but at 34 it's not clear how long he can keep going on, and his contract is significant.
  18. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

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    Kevin is one from the short list probably wanting to retire as a Patriot, therefore willing to redo his contract.
  19. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Agreed. That's always an option if the player is willing to compromise. Of the guys listed as "expendable", Faulk is the one I'd most like to keep.
  20. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    This brings to mind something I've been musing over lately. The Patriots O-line has been built on fairly light, agile guys to get outside on screen passes and move quickly to the second level. And that's good.

    However, since aquiring Moss, we've obviously becoming more of a medium-to-deep-throwing team, requiring Brady to hold the ball longer, which has exposed our offensive lines weaknesses. Vollmer is hands down our best pass blocker, which is kind of sad being a raw rookie.

    In essence, what Belichick has done is change the identity of the offense with the addition of guys like Moss, Stallworth, Galloway, etc, but kept the same offensive line...which is good for continuity's sake, but doesn't allow them to play to their strengths -- which seems very un-Belichick.

    I don't have any answers here. But unless the Patriots offense goes run/screen/quick slant heavy, 4-3 defenses with good pass rushers on the line are going to give us serious problems.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009

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