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Bedard: Turning the Corner

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by MoLewisrocks, Jul 27, 2012.

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  1. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Really good overview of where the 2012 team stands and what needs to happen for them to get where we all want them to go. I love his read on the current of quiet confidence (not to be confused with phony or arrogant swagger) this current assembly is exuding, that they like themselves and their chances. That has been something that was missing the last 3-4 years. Greg calls it the aroma of great expectations...

    He singles out 6 players who have to turn the corner for it all to come to fruition. Solder, McCourty, Dowling, Cunningham, Scott and Jones.


    Key players must turn corner for Patriots - Sports - The Boston Globe
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Good article by Bedard.

    The vibe I get from this team so far - the "we've got this" mentality that Bedard mentions - is one of the reasons I love this Bill Belichick/Tom Brady-led team. Look at Addai. If you don't buy into this system, if you aren't on board - you're gone.

    This team is on a mission and if you aren't helping them achieve their goals, you're hurting them. I don't see another team in sports with the professionalism that this team has. It's why I have no fears about how they bounce back from a crushing defeat in the SB. As long as their health is OK, this team will be dominant this year.
  3. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great read, but this part had me scratching my head:

    "Left tackle Nate Solder — There is no question that Solder possesses the talent and smarts to succeed Matt Light as Brady’s blind-side protector. And the 11 starts at right tackle gave Solder invaluable experience. But doing it on the other side as a starter — not a fill-in for Sebastian Vollmer — is much different. Solder looks much stronger, and that will help him. What won’t aid his ascension is an extended absence by left guard Logan Mankins. They both need as many reps as possible. Solder will be watched carefully in this camp. While he played admirably last season, he didn’t fare well in his first camp. Solder lost 55.6 percent of matchups in one-on-one drills last August — by far the worst for any player who made the team. He doesn’t need to put up Vollmer-like numbers (24.1 loss percentage) but Solder needs to show much improvement. If Brady’s not comfortable, no one will be."



    -So, he performed great during the regular season after having a struggle earlier in a strike-affected TC with very little prep time.

    Why is the more recent game experience a sidebar, but the earlier, thrown-into-the-fire without OTA's TC the source for concern? Greg, do me a favor - - gimme Solder's "loss percentage" from the regular season and playoffs.

    Bedard says Solder is bigger and stronger this year - - he is an UPGRADE over Light. I'm more worried about Vollmer's back.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  4. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Adding to that, I think I saw a stat the other day that had the Patriots as the NFL team with the LEAST amount of rookies on the TC roster.

    Even with the nice infusion of draft talent this year, this may turn out to be the most savvy Patriots team in years.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  5. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    Solder has been an LT before.....the most important thing is that Solder protects brady's blind spot....he's bigger, stronger, and quicker than Light, so I'm not worried about the edge, and the pressure brady can see can be dealt with. Connolly has had plenty of time at LG and probably does well at replicating mankins in terms of pass pro

    as for Vollmer, Cannon is a very able-bodied replacement


    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  6. KontradictioN

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    I've been following Cunningham for much, MUCH longer than the majority of you (PatsBoy12 and GatorMike excluded) and I just don't see him turning the corner. I thought he was the wrong pick to make at the time (admittedly, though, I would have taken Dunlap) and I still do. He hasn't done anything to make anyone believe that he'll turn the corner outside of a pass rush against Manning back in 2010. Why would we expect it this year? FWIW, I agree with the rest, though.
  7. patsfaninpittsburgh

    patsfaninpittsburgh Banned

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    Bedard has interesting stuff and overall is a good addition to media.

    What he doesn't seem to do it think through things ahead.

    In 2010, over half the snaps were taken by rookies and second year players. Why exactly should that type of group have some mythical confidence? They are rookies.

    It would be interesting to see if he ever bothered to consider that going through the growth process of 2010/11 might have like led to this new feeling......circa....2012.

    He expects them to struggle against "elite" QB's.....OK....who doesn't struggle against elite QB's? That's kinda what makes them......like..elite.

    Besides, it would be fascinating what "struggle" means to him?

    Did he think the defense "struggled" Week Two against San Diego?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  8. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Bedard is actually pretty high on Solder from a talent standpoint. While he gives Light his due for 2011 he is of the mind that beyond that he was not an exceptional LT in the second half of his decade long career. And to keep TB12 going as long as he aspires to is going to require exceptional. Bedard is also pretty high on the OL in general because while some of the situations concern him he seems to have utmost confidence in Scar's ability to make whatever hand he is dealt work when the bell rings.

    Again, he's talking about achieving goals he senses this team is feeling absolutely capable of meeting and what it will take for that to actually happen. There may even be a wee bit of message sending being done here as I get the sense Bedard has developed some genuine insight and relationships among players and staff based on his work to date which shows balance, thoughtful analysis and restraint. He's not focused on launching his career at their expense. He's looking to do a really good job covering this team long term as opposed to exposing or confronting it for shock value and short term personal gain... He's like a cross between Mike Reiss (facts based) and Michael Holley (writer with discretion) with a touch of Felger (curious and intrigued) circa 2001 before he sold out and lost all access to break into multimedia.
  9. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The inclusion of Cunningham stood out to me, too. I completely agree with you. Cunningham may make the team, though I wouldn't bet on it, but I would be shocked to see him emerge as a major contributor. I just don't see it. I would expect more from Bequette and Scott far more than from Cunningham. I too wanted Dunlap in 2010, and he would have been very nice at LDE with Jones eventually at RDE.
  10. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Bedard is great. His knowledge and ability to analyze might be unmatched in this area. His dedication and appreciation for the game might also be unrivaled. He puts sites like PFF to shame. I don't know where Bedard got his hands-on football experience, but he knows the game very, very well.

    That said, he scared me at times in the postseason with his ability to creep into Felger-like contrarianism and tangets. His obsession over the Welker drop was rather self-indulgent. But as long as he keeps his pride in check, the guy is the best, no doubt.
  11. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    What a difference a few years make - I have to think Dunlap would've been the pick if it were this offseason. At the time, Bill wanted that versatile jack-of-all-trades 34 OLB he coveted. Belichick is now fully committed to a 43 base with subpackages 2/3rds the time.

    I just don't see how Cunningham fits in this team, nor do we need him to.
  12. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No doubt, Bedard is fantastic and I learn from his work all the time. To me, he is the best pure football analyst in the media.

    I just didn't get his reliance on the strike affected TC "loss percentage" stats for Solder instead of the subsequent regular season and playoff performance. For the life of me, I don't see the rational for his point there.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think you are underselling starting as a rookie as an accomplishment.
    Granted he didn't progress beyond that in year 2, but he was essentially changing positions to one that he is not as well suited for.
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Fully committed to a 43 base? What do you base that conclusion on?
  15. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not. Starting in this defense as a rookie, even if it isn't from Week 1 on, is definitely an accomplishment. I'll say the same about Hightower and Jones, should that happen. But, outside of a pass rush in one game that forced a bad throw, Cunningham hasn't given anyone reason for optimism that he'll somehow turn the corner.
  16. DarrylS

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    I believe the number is 13, Reiss said something about that, a lot of the 13 have been team captains or have a football lineage..

    Cannot wait for the ride to begin..
  17. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    I don't think anyone is basing his evaluation on that one play, it's just often used as an example for looking at pressures/sacks as opposed to just sacks. I remember Cunningham being around the quarterback a decent amount his rookie year (as Bedard mentioned, he was credited with 23 QB pressures), but just not quite having the finish once he was there. There was definitely something to build on.

    His sophomore year was a huge disappointment, mostly BECAUSE there was an expectation that he would improve, not regress. It was similar with McCourty (though to a much, much less extent). Everyone expected him to go from star rookie to shutdown stud in his 2nd year, and instead he seemed to go backwards. That made his performance that much more infuriating.

    I think we undervalue the benefits of camp for 2nd and 3rd year players. We obviously know how important it is for rookies who have never tasted the NFL, but I think we sometimes unfairly lump the 2nd/3rd year guys into the "veteran" group and think that they should be able to progress without the benefits of a full camp. Hopefully we'll see McCourty and Cunningham return to form this year, even if it's just to become a rotational backup for Jermaine.
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not everyone will agree with your "fully committed" assessment, though I personally agree that we're moving away from a 3-4 base to more of a hybrid defense and more use of sub packages, and that this influences the kind of player BB targets. Neither Jones nor Bequette were "pure" 3-4 OLB conversion prospects - both are primarily DEs with enough athleticism to stand up at times, which is precisely what Dunlap was, and whch reportedly was one of the reasons that BB opted in favor of Cunningham instead. Given the Jones and Bequette picks, I have to believe that BB would have viewed Dunlap differently than he did in 2010, at least from a schematic perspective.

    I'm also not sure how Cunningham fits, and of your opinion. If he shows that last season was a fluke, so much the better, but I'm personally dubious, and think we have better options. But time will tell.
  19. KontradictioN

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    I've got more hope for McCourty. His biggest issue was turning his head around in man coverage. For Cunningham? Not so much. I don't buy that it was due to a transition to a position that he was unfamiliar with, either. He played DE in the 4-3 exclusively for the Gators and had many of the same responsibilities there as he would have on our DL. I'm hoping for the best, but certainly not expecting it.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  20. Deus Irae

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    If they need Cunningham in order to win this year, we might as well all just get a head start on the 2013 season.
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