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Brandon Meriweather - ready to step up?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patsox23, May 15, 2008.

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  1. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    While it's becoming increasingly clear that Meriweather will indeed see the vast majority of his time at SAFETY, I don't think that necessarily means he won't make a sizable impact on the secondary. If he can grow into what the team expected he'd be - a dynamic, fast, playmaking member of the secondary - and if he can improve his hands EVEN A LITTLE BIT ("plenty of room for growth" is the optimistic way of looking at it) - the defense will overcome the massive loss of an all-pro corner with less concern than most think.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2008
  2. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Although Meriweather didn't start out as quick and strong as most had hoped, he was having very steady improvements as the year went on, his playing time increased as the year went on, making it obvious he was learning and improving. And that gives me great reason to be optimistic that he will make huge jumps this season. I look for him to be the Starter opposite Harrison and Sanders to be the Rotation guy. they will still use him as a corner in some sub packages as well.
     
  3. JoePats

    JoePats In the Starting Line-Up

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    Agree. I think the opinion of Meriweather would be drastically different (higher) if he actually caught one or two of the six interceptions that he dropped at the end of last year. I'm not saying that's not an issue, but it's certainly a correctable one. I'd rather have a guy in position to drop 6 interceptions than not in position.

    Note--I'm not killing him at all for the one at the end of the Super Bowl. That would have been a ridiculous catch, running with his back to the LOS and the ball and making a diving catch. In terms of degree of difficulty, that play was much much closer to the Tyree catch than it was to the Samuel INT drop.
     
  4. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    What's this got to do with spygate?

    Seriously, Belichick has been making an obvious effort to bring speed to the defense. If you want interceptions, you absolutely have to have safeties who provide security for a CB to jump the route. That means a smart, fast safety who reads the offense, calls out the right play and puts the CBs in the right position. And has the speed to back them up. That's Meriweather. It doesn't hurt that he can hit.

    So what's not to like?

    When you think about the sequence of events: Rodney present to school Sanders and Meriweather, and between Hobbs and Wheatley, a lot of speed at corner, the pieces are in place for what folks always call an opportunistic defense.

    Yup, I see a big role for this kid this year.
     
  5. hwc

    hwc In the Starting Line-Up

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    I thought he worked his way onto the field according to the kind of rookie schedule we typically see from Belichick (when there's not an injury hole that requires throwing a rook to the wolves).

    Belichick always says the improvement from year one to year two should be the biggest jump in a player's career. If that holds for Merriweather, he should be a contributing part of a solid rotation with Sanders and Harrison at safety. Ideally, you'd like to make the aging Harrison a role player at this stage of his career
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2008
  6. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Couldn't agree more. This has become a fallacy people in Patriot Nation seem to push forward. That was NOT an example of the easy INTs we saw Brandon drop all year. That would've been a highlight-reel pick.

    I take some consolation that Meriweather was, at least, IN POSITION to make a lot of plays last season. That's a far more important aspect of his game than his hands (which, to be fair, is obviously critical). Hopefully he can improve, at least somewhat, in terms of being able to hang onto the ball.
     
  7. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'll be very disappointed if Meriweather isn't ready to step up. He seemed young when we drafted him (compared to Mayo and Wheatley for sure) so I'm not surprised he got off to a slow start. But with the flashes we saw in the second half, a full offseason to work and a top notch DB coach, I expect him to force his way into the lineup. I also remember reading him saying he's been getting much needed work with the JUGGS machine this offseason.
     
  8. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I expect by mid-season that the starters will be Meriweather and Sanders, with Rodney seeing a lot of time.
     
  9. Grizzafted

    Grizzafted Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    what are you people thinking discussing football and football players?

    don't you realize we must focus on videotapes and scandals and the like at all costs?
     
  10. jays52

    jays52 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I also think Meriweather is ready for a big year. He has followed the normal schedule that most of our really strong 1st round players have followed. I think he is fast, agile, explosive and can really pop.

    Scheme wise, I think it's going to be Meriweather and Sanders over the top with Rodney getting situational work and as an OLB in sub-packages.
     
  11. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I wouldn't mind seeing Meriweather learn to blitz like Rodney. He has the burst for it that Sanders lacks. If he can get a few pressures and force a hurried throw, or a sack by someone else (or even get the sack himself), it throws another element of unpredictability into the defense.
     
  12. BrianPat

    BrianPat Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I think this year could another coming out for the Patriots defense. With the hiring of Caper and the FA and draft picks, this could be as entertaining as the offense was last year, can you imagine ....................
     
  13. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    From what you wrote it sounds like we are in agreement except that I think he was a little slower to contribute than most 1st rd picks in the past...I wasn't expecting a day one starter but a little more of a role...But more importantly I do not hold it against him one bit as all Rookies will develope a little differently.

    My point was not to dog his slow start just saying it could have been quicker(realisticly you can't expect the quick start though)...the more important part I was saying was that he didn't get discouraged one bit and kept working and improving and he was a lot better and had a bigger role as the season went along which is much more important than how quick he got it going.
     
  14. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

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    I say Meriweather AND Chad Jackson are the most interesting players in TC, IMO. Both present the possibility of big dividends for the team.

    I'm hopeful about both. I really thought Meriweather contributed down the stretch and always felt more comfortable about the pass D when I saw him on the field.

    I like Sanders, but I feel he's more of an SS and he doesn't have Meriweather's speed by any stretch. In fact, I saw the painful Tyree catch again the other nite, and Sanders is within striking distance when that ball is in the air, but just didn't become part of the play. Not sure if it was a mental or physical mistake, but I am betting that by next year, if Meriweather were to be in that position, he'd wreck Tyree.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2008
  15. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He's absolutely ready to step up. He was making some smash mouth hits at the end of the year. Going to love having this guy in our secondary.
     
  16. shawn1985

    shawn1985 Rookie

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    I agree, I'm excited to see what he can do with a year's worth of experience. I admit it was frustrating to watch him drop a few easy picks, but hey, every pick he got his hands on and dropped is still a deflected pass. I also liked how hard he seemed to be hitting by the end of the year. Hopefully he'll turn into an exciting player to watch.
     
  17. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    Not trying to hijack the thread (I'll get to BM in a sec) but I really believe the hiring of Capers to be significant. Dude has 16 years of pro and college experience as a DB coach. He is being brought onboard to teach, not just to maintain the status quo. His defenses in Pitt and Carolina were constantly forcing tipped passes over the middle. That is why I expect both Meriweather and Sanders to have plenty of opportunities for big plays.

    When Meriweather got opportunities this past year, it looked like his brain was working so hard that it was late getting his hands into position and his eyes locked onto the ball. As he starts to play more on instinct and muscle memory this year, I expect him to capitalize when the ball is in his area.
     
  18. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Good point, metaphor. Capers will be a great hire, I expect. Really looking forward to a more aggressive D, and seeing what we can do - a jump even HALF of what we had on offense last year could make this an incredibly exciting team to follow.
     
  19. c_nice_37

    c_nice_37 Practice Squad Player

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    2 words no one has yet to mention : JUGS machine.

    The kid has the raw ability and clearly his head is on straight based on his increased playing time. Here's hoping we have a starting safety who can cover the seam and lay some lumber(no offense Rodney, but you're a 2 down safety nowadays.)

    Remember Givens the year after hitting the Jugs machine, man his hands improved a lot.
     
  20. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I agree, Merriweather will HAVE to play this year because Rodney just doesnt have the legs anymore. Last year we were giving up so many yards over the middle with our slow coverage LB's and Harrison. If Merriweather uses that pace and starts using the nasty streak we saw him have at college and towards the end of last year I think he'll be starting by say week 8

    Some good offseason conditioning, more knowledge of the schemes, work on his hands and good coaching from Caper and he could be great next season. Big if though
     
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