Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Brady_to_Moss, Oct 14, 2012.
the trolls like to make stuff up
From my time lurking on this board it is just an example of how a lot of people here think. Gronk didn't get 10 catches, a TD, and break off a 50 yard run causing Mike Ditka to instantly burst into tears of envy. So to most people he was invisible.
Gronkowski is personally responsible for the best 2 week running attack the patriots have had since 1978. Gronkowski's blocking has been awesome, and he has playing fine, especially considering his continuing injury.
The bottom line with this team is if Brady plays below his elite QB status then the team usually loses. They don't have anything reliable enough to compensate for his underperformances... the running game isn't good enough... the defense certainly isn't good enough (as they prove literally every single failed opportunity to close out a game late)... and no, Belichick is not good enough, not a good enough head coach, and unequivocally not a good enough GM. This is after all Belichick's lousy defense that he put together schematically and personnel-wise. The astonishing amount of putrid defensive back draft picks has especially become a huge stain on his legacy.
I wanted to start a similar thread. Whenever the team loses, people naturally complain. Just as naturally, some members of the forum wnat to claim everyone is playing chicken little.
My take is that the reality is somewhere in the middle. Here it is.....
We're 3-3 which is still good enough for a tie atop the division. Of the other teams in our division we still appear to be the odds on favorite. So no issue there.
Now the bad, most of the key components return from a team that was one Wes Welker reception from a Super Bowl victory. All offseason we were comforted by the fact that we added defensive reinforcements (Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower) and even bolstered our receiving corp (getting Lloyd, Gaffney, and Stallworth). So even if the defense was still a letdown, our dynamic offense would be even more equipped to bail them out. Our additions brought up multiple comparison discussions to the 2007 team. Now add in the fact that our schedule was one of the weakest in the league. With our team stacked and our easy schedule, it was tough to even find three losses. Sure, we knew that Baltimore, Houston, and San Fran would be tough opponents, but no one predicted that we would lose all three.
Now wake up to reality, we are six weeks in and we are 3-3. So in six weeks we already suffered as many (or more losses) than many predicted before the season even started. Sure, we're still not REALLY sweating the division title just yet, but it's clear that expectations need to be reassessed. We came into the year thinking 1 or 2 seed, but we're already behind Baltimore and Houston.
Sure, many will point out that we should not go crazy thinking about three games in which we lost by a grand total of four points. I do see it as a concern though. The Patriots staple year in and year out is making the key plays at the end of the game that allow your team to win. In this department the Pats just haven't been able to close the door. You figure the Brady/Belichick experience and aura would count for something, but not even they could not stop a rally from a rookie quarterback. This is NOT the 2004 Patriots, and it's clear that we're not the 2007 Patriots either. It's time to lower expectations. The harsh reality is that maybe we're just not as good as we thought.
Everyone settle down I am still putting you guys in the SB this year and possibly having the number 1 seed in the AFC when its all said and done.
Well, it was a bad penalty call that cost them the Cardinals game. It was multiple bad calls that cost them the Ravens game. The only game they truly lost on their own was this one.
What I didn't see coming was the collapse of Chung and Arrington. I'd expected little from either, but they're not even reaching that status. I hope Dennard or Ras-IR can ramp it up for next week.
Yes, hopefully Dennard and Dowling will continue to improve.
As was the case last year, it our safeties that are even a worse problem.
Does dowling even play a down ?
As was the case last year, the corners are every bit the problem the safeties are.
I think a loser mentality has creeped into the team. Too many mistakes poor play at crucial times. Bad teams find a way to lose, and the 2012 Patriots are pretty consistent in finding ways to lose close games. This team is the antithesis of the championship teams.
Not sure if it's fixable, it's an intangible thing that defines champions and differentiates them from the rest. The bad thing is, it seems to have even affected the one guy who was once considered clutch. Now, he looks below average when the game is on the line. He's making the errors that for so many years were relegated to the opponents.
Looking forward to the next nailbiter, and there will be another one. Can the Patriots shake off the "choker" tag they're deservedly wearing right now?
you realize Ebner was one of the safeties on that 46 yard TD winner, right?...no team coaches their players to let the WR beat them in two deep zone with a minute and a half left...it's always the infuriating "prevent" defense that seems to always prevent the win but THIS...this was a rookie failing to get the defensive call correct...on just football smarts itself he should have been able to react faster to a WR on a deep go...it was a rookie mistake, which is what rookies do and it cost the Pats a game. Hopefully, he doesn't blow the assignment the next time he's faced with it.
I don't know...why don't you ask Rivers...
Two rookie safeties
rookie LB who didn't even play
There's learning to be done. That's not the problem. The problems is the veterans. And it's not about a loser's mentality, IMO. It's about a talent deficiency on defense.
Wall of text warning: I usually only write posts this long when I'm on forums about politics, philosophy, history or economics. Those are all passions of mine that I study intensely and like to write about. Obviously another passion of mine is the New England Patriots.
To be fair they closed out Denver last week. One of the TDs the D gave up near the end was on relatively short field position, and even the best D might not be able to stop a charging 4th quarter Peyton Manning on every drive. It may not be much, but for a defense still trying to find its identity like ours it is something.
BB's last defensive draft was, to this point, a major success. The Jones pick was a masterpiece. Hightower looks like a gem too. Wilson got burned today but to me it still looks like he was a good 2nd round pick because he is already competing with Chung and Gregory (not great veterans, but veterans none-the-less). Dennard also got burned, but in only his 2nd or 3rd active game he was already taking snaps from Arrington. Ebner was never meant to playing in this critical a position this early in his career, and when Chung, Gregory, and Moore were down he had to step up, we shouldn't be surprised that it didn't work out.
Lets just look at the gems BB brought in (drafted and undrafted) who were first thought of as risks or players who were very far from being sure things, basically players who are contributing a lot right now because of BB's ability as a talent evaluator. Gronk, Hernandez, Welker, Vollmer, Woodhead, Ridley, Bolden; Jones, Spikes, Ninkovich, Love. BB also picked Wilfork and Mayo, and was aggressive in getting Hightower.
We all know the failures at picking DB's. It just simply doesn't overshadow the brilliance of BB over the last few years. Any other coach could have picked the players I mentioned, BB was the only one who made it happen.
So basically if McCourtey turns his game around (he's been up and down this season), or one or two of the recent crop of DB's like Dennard, Wilson, Dowling, or Ebner can become a solid contributor then BB will have built a SB contending foundation at basically every position.
So sure, as of now the DB position is the single dark spot in BB's history personnel decisions. But he is clearly learning, and personnel is always a game of chance. Dowling was clearly picked because BB was tired of seeing his smaller DB's get jumped over. Wilson is BB trying to draft a player specifically designed to confront the NFL TE revolution. Ebner could be another LB/SS hybrid designed for the new sub-package NFL. Dennard sort of fell into BB's lap, but a pick is a pick. None of these guys look like pro-bowlers, but they have a legitimate chance of replacing Chung, Arrington, and Gregory. If they can stick together and learn how to gel it is pretty easy to see how they might end up becoming a respectable secondary.
In the end, how many other coaches have been able to build a team from the ground up like this? BB coached a D that had no right talent-wise to be in a SB into the SB last year. If it turns out that BB got this draft right, and our secondary and front 7 have no glaring weakness, then we are not just set up to win this year, we are plausibly (not certainly at all) set up to compete for a dynasty.
Sure, they could all be busts and this goes down the drain. But in the free agent era that is always a possibility. What BB has done is bring us only a few lucky picks in the draft or a few lucky bounces of the ball away from dominance and super-bowl contention almost every single year. It is straight up absurd that some fans can barely appreciate that.
Go try to be a fan of the Chargers, Broncos, Raiders, Chiefs, Texans, Colts, Titans, Jaguars, Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Jets, Bills, Dolphins, Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, Falcons, Buccaneers, Panthers, Bears, Vikings, Lions, Eagles, Redskins, or Cowboys over the past 12 years and tell me how much better it is than being a patriots fan. I've excluded some teams over the past 5 years or so, they won over the period of the patriots decline/rebuilding period. The Steelers, Packers, Giants, and Saints all won over that time. Importantly, none of them during BB's reign were better in the years before our rebuilding period and none of them are clearly positioned to be better than us going forward.
For a moment everyone needs to step back and realize the context of the things we are discussing. BB is obviously the best coach of recent times. He has coached great, good, mediocre, and bad players into being Super Bowl contenders. He has done this despite only having 3 picks in the top 15 of the draft throughout his entire career in New England. Meaning BB has almost never had the ability to draft sure-fire players without risking the future through trading picks up. BB has been so successful as to handicap himself in a way that few, if any, organizations have during his time in New England. Yet he is still successful. We are 4 points away from being 6-0 while in the middle of reshaping the personnel and schemes of our Offense and Defense. That is, right now we are still as difficult as almost any team in the NFL to beat despite our focus on the long term.
If you find yourself criticizing BB more than appreciating him you are delusional, and wrong, and need to ask yourself if you are a fan and supporter of the New England Patriots or a crybaby wannabe know-it-all masked in flying Elvis merchandize.
1) First round draft picks are supposed to "look like gems", although it's understandable that a Patriots' fan would be largely unaware of this since it's a rarity with Belichick's drafts.
2) Wilson does not look like a gem... particularly when he's chasing a receiver who's jogging into the end zone on the game winning score. And if he's truly competing with Chung and Gregory then it's mostly due the incompetence of those "veterans."
3) Dennard is "already taking snaps away" from Arrington because Arrington is dreadful.
4) I agreed with your final point..."we shouldn't be surprised that it didn't work out"... no, we definitely should not.
Firstly, Woodhead is NOT a gem.
Secondly, you may want to refine your definition of a "gem." Gronk, Hernandez, Welker, and the most obvious one of all, Brady, are gems. None of those other players are truly gems... at least not yet.
Thirdly, Jones again, a first round pick is supposed to be high impact right away... "thought of as a risk" or "very far from being a sure thing" are not descriptions applicable to first round picks.
McCourtey is not "turning his game around", he's getting worse.
That's a huge 'if' when referring to that list of definite non-contributors. Seriously, no way is the Patriots' defensive backfield anywhere near having a "SB contending foundation"... in fact they're so bad at that position that it basically eliminates them from serious SB contention.
Also, "the brilliance of Bill Belichick"? Over the last few seasons especially I don't see it. Brilliant head coaches don't preside over bottom ranked defenses that simply CANNOT hold onto fourth quarter leads.
Not only is it not "pretty easy" to see how they might end up becoming a respectable secondary... it's pretty easy to see how the incredibly poor secondary will prevent them from seriously contending for a championship. I mean look at what you just said there essentially... if three-quarters of the current starters are benched then maybe they could become respectable. That's amusing.
Dowling is apparently so bad he can't even get on the field ahead of any of these other stiffs. That's all I need to know about his potential.
And the DB position is hardly the "single dark spot" in BB's history of personnel decisions... many free agent and drafted WR's have not worked out... or how about first round pick Maroney at RB?... really the examples of BB personnel failures are significant.
The defense having "no right talent-wise" to be a contender is a condemnation of Belichick's ability to judge talent. Also, the 31st ranked defense was not the reason why the team had any success last season... obviously the 2nd ranked Brady-led offense gets the credit. And how can you even question if the secondary has "glaring weaknesses"? Glaring weaknesses is an understatement for how bad the secondary is.
You need to ask yourself if you're little more than a Belichick apologist because his abundance of personnel blunders, his bottom ranked defense, and his defense's repeated inability to hold onto fourth quarter leads has opened himself up to very legit criticisms.
Wouldn't the fact that we have only allowed 30 one time give you reason to change your opinion that we need to score 30 to win?
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