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Calm before the storm

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Canada's #1 Pats Fan, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. Canada's #1 Pats Fan

    Canada's #1 Pats Fan Rookie

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    Does anyone remember when the Pats signed Colvin in FA years ago? The reason I ask is I am trying to guage the interest of the PATS for certain FA's. Was there a lot of speculation before heading into FA that the Pats were interested in Colvin and then out of nowhere he signed with us. I seem to remember that the Harrison signing that year was a bit of a shocker.

    This year there has been media reports that the Pats are one of the potential 'players' for Adalius Thomas, Nick Harper. Do Belioli set off potential smokescreens so that other teams won't target particular FA's that the Pats are interested in? There has been absolutely no mention of the Pats potentially pursuing: Clements, K. Curtis, etc.
  2. MrTibbs

    MrTibbs Rookie

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    Think more along the lines of London Fletcher and a released David Patten of the Redskins. If were lucky a big signing would be Stallworth.
  3. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I was surprised to read that Donnie Edwards' compensation last year was on the "top 10 at LB..." Obviously, that includes prorated bonus, but I wonder what he is going to want in Free Agency... I am hoping it is a number that recognizes teams are looking at him as an old warrior with something left, not a superstar FA prospect.

    Also wonder what Drew Bennett is going to go for... I see a lot of love for Donte Stallworth here, but I worry about durability with him. I'm just not a fan of hiring the "magic bullet" deep threat... I'd prefer a consistent contributer with evidence of some upside (my take on Bennett.)

    Of course, it's possible that Stallworth goes early, and Bennett becomes the "big fish" (i.e., expensive hire) in the receiver pond, who knows...

    I think we have to look at Chad as having the whole spectrum of possibilities, from always-injured-washout, to future-star-who-took-a-while-to-develop. I also think we're getting the absolute max out of Caldwell and Gaffney. It remains to be seen whether they maintain the level we were seeing at the end of last season and in the post-season. But that level's not likely to soar into the stratosphere either.

    Here's where you have to place a value on each "tier" and type of receiver. There's nobody available from the "proven elite" tier, and the Pats would be unlikely to make a grab even if one were available. Stallworth and Bennett are two different types of guys from the "good" category. Stallworth is more a stretch-the-field guy, and Bennett has been a possession guy. So you add another horizontal option with Bennett, and a vertical threat with Stallworth, to oversimplify. What do "good, not great" receivers cost this year? We're about to find out.

    So it comes down to a philosophy of what it takes to win a game. For five years at least, the Pats have answered that question with an emphasis on defense, mistake-free football, and enough offense to gut out the tough wins. Remember, the offense did fine all the way through the playoffs. This might be a hint.

    We want and need one or two more guys on that receiver corps, probably the "horizontal" model, because usually we can substitute reliability for quick-strike potential -- and because the "quick-strike", while seductive (and while it forces safeties to play in coverage, rather than add to run support,) are usually the pricey, speedy guys. Again, we don't know what Stallworth costs this year vs. Bennett. I bet it's more, even though he's more of an injury liability.

    I also expect a first-day (but not first-round) receiver move on the Pats' part. We're an injury or two away from the Bam Childresses of the world starting, and while I love the kid, this situation does not inspire confidence.

    I know the conventional wisdom is we grab Stallworth, but I wonder whether that's not a Bennett-acquisition smokescreen. Who knows...

    The one thing we can say with certainty, is we've won 3 super bowls with totals of 28 or fewer passing touchdowns in each outing. That's the range we're looking for, gentlemen, and Brady threw for 24 last year.

    The goal for the Pats the last few years has not been to throw quick strikes a few times a game for big gainers... it's to not be in a position where we need sustained aerial bombardment to beat a team. I think Jackson was supposed to be Brady's new toy, and they'll take another shot in rounds 2-3 on Tom's behalf, and pick up a decent option in FA. After that, though, it's all about keeping the D machine running into the future.

    Oh, and keeping an eye on the O-Line numbers. Yikes, we get these guys cheap! We need to keep working that carousel, or otherwise think about what keeps them happy.

    PFnV
  4. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    Totally agree. Good post, as usual, PFinVA
  5. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Good stuff, I agree with some of it but not all of it. I saw the offense as very inconsistent all year while the defense was very solid (14.6 PPG, only 2 games over 21 points all year, 10 passing TDs). They were exposed against Indy and more depth is required in 2007.

    As far as FA in general the Patriots rarely make any moves in the first week. It is very frustrating as a fan, players we have circled soon get gobbled up while the Pats wait, and wait, and wait....

    This may change slightly this year if there is a specific ILB they have targetted but in general I expect the same old, same old.
  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think that we do make moves in the first week, usually the re-signing of some of our own "minor" free agents. I see us re-signing Seau, Evans, Mickens, Izzo, Gardner and perhaps Brown. There is an outside chance of signing one of our top three free agents, but that seems unlikely.
  7. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I agree we should see some moves along these lines. Personally I see all those guys as JAGs and most are more valueable to the Pats than any other team. If thet really like any of these guys I am not sure why the Pats wouldn't try to sign them before free agency starts just to me safe.

    Re-looking at the list... you hit a nerve. If Izzo, Seau and Gardner come back I may vomit, so much for adding speed and youth the the LBs.
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We always have a few veteran JAGs on the squad. They are extremely cost effective. You get a player who provides solid depth, sometimes for $435K a year of cap money, a bit more than an UDFA. In any case, please consider that Izzo and Gardner should be considered special teamers, rather than linebackers. We still would need two veteran linebackers, even after signing all three. I suspect that Mays wouldn't make the roster.

    ILB: free agent, Bruschi, Seau
    OLB Colvin, Vrabel, free agent
    ST: Izzo, Gardner, Woods/Mays/draftee

  9. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Don't get me wrong. I love JAGs, you can't have a roster without them. I was just hoping that this is the year we got younger at LB.

    My wishlist... wishing never makes it happen.

    OLB - Colvin, Vrabel, mid level vet, Woods
    ILB - Bruschi, High quality vet, draftee (Day 1), alexander
    ST - Mays, draftee (Day 2)

  10. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Frankly, I'd rather sign Caldwell and Gaffeny to longer contracts, rather than sign Stallworth. How many millions to you want to pay a guy who didn't catch as many balls as fading Troy Brown? And this was the first year in his NFL career that that he played all season. So he is injury prone to boot.
  11. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    I agree 100%. Izzo and Gardner have no potential as starting linebackers in the Patriots defense. Woods, Mays, and Alexander (at least two out of the three) are the new special teams linebackers for the New England Patriots in 2007.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I suggest that you have little respect for special teams play. Izzo is a starter on Special Teams. Gardner was a start Ster before he was injured. If Woods and Mays beat them out, then they should make the team instead of them. As a practical matter, Woods and Mays are unlikely to get any reps at LB.

    Alexander might have a future as a LB, but likely not. However, he could have a future as a Ster.

  13. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    I suggest that you like the New England Patriots team to get EVEN OLDER!

    Pioli and Belichick have done a great job retooling the defensive line with young players. It's time to do the same at the next level of the defense.
  14. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    We shall see. As of now Gartner and Izzo are not signed. Woods, Mays, Alexander are cheaper, younger and faster and have experience playing for the Pats on special teams.

    I would argue the Pats STs has been overated for years. They have been average or below average for the past 2-3 years. Izzo was the leader of the unit, maybe it is time for a change. See Reiss' article.
    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/2007/02/special_stuff.html
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2007
  15. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1. Seau was doing well before the injury; we'll see how he heals. Yes he is old. No, I don't vomit when we get a last good year or two out of a good vet.

    2. Alexander on other than special teams -- I don't think he can do the job now, but I also think if the Pats believe he adds depth, and is still developing, I don't put it out of the question.

    3. I'd call it likely we see new linebacker talent in round 1 of the draft, unless the value calculation makes it prohibitive. The Pats will look for the right fit, and I believe they will get it, in round 1, possibly both picks, possibly a LB and a safety. (Now watch them go tight end in round 1...) I do think it's a better way to go than wideout, but at the same time, I know the Pats have been avoiding the draft as a source of linebackers for at least the last few years (though they did okay way back when they grabbed Bruschi and McGinest.)

    4. Whoever pointed out that some of our "JAGs" are worth more to us than to other teams is right on point. This is the flip side of the Pats' value approach - assuming we spend to the cap, for every "underpaid" household name, there's a middle-class guy who fits perfectly, and who never had it (or will have it) better. For the Pats, there's a premium on depth and interchangeability, and the "JAGs" are a little more than that -- they're trained JAGs, who understand the system, and understand how the Pats operate and are okay with it.

    PFnV

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