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Don Banks 20 NFL Question #6 Welker

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  1. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    From Don Bank's latest article"




    Kevin Kolb, Jason CampbellĀ the answer for Eagles, Raiders? - Don Banks - SI.com

    Banks lives in the area and he does have some good Pats sources. Most likely he is just speculating based on Welker's minicamp's performance, but I wonder if he might have some inside information that says Welker will be activated in the preseason.
  2. MoLewisrocks

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    Aside from Baltimore, that list of 2009 playoff teams somehow doesn't faze me...maybe becasue it's collectively struggled to phase this team for a decade, even in their most battered and beaten phases.

    As for his read on Welker, I think it's just common sense in the face of mounting evidence. Two weeks before TC he's moved past rehab and onto football training. With 2 months to go before the bell sounds, barring a setback it's pretty clear he's poised to return to the field along side his teamates when it does.
  3. Rob0729

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    Yeah, I agree somewhat with the playoff teams. I think Cincy is on the decline and snuck up on a lot of teams early last year. San Deigo could be without both Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil. The Jets will be without Holmes and I still think they did too much tinkering with their running game. I also wonder if Brett Favre can repeat his last year's performance another year older coming off of surgery (he hasn't been the model of consistency the last decade or so). None of those games are gimmes. I think those teams have questions, but those questions could be answered to make them better just as much as they could be worse.

    As for Banks' information, I think you are probably right. But I still wonder if he is hearing things that aren't being published because he does have a few good sources with the team.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  4. KontradictioN

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    Not to hijack this thread, but how does that list of playoff teams not phase you? We got our asses handed to us on a silver platter by a team (Baltimore) who was essentially playing without their quarterback. Imagine what they could have done if Flacco was healthy? I wouldn't want to see it. That team then went on and got THEIR asses handed to them in Indy the next week by a Peyton Manning team that's always given us problems and went on to the Super Bowl. Aside from Week 2 in 2007, the Chargers have never been an easy out for us and blew us out in 2005 and 2008, the last time we played them... and with a better defense than we had last year. Really, the Bengals and the Jets should be the only two teams that don't frighten you and even then, I can't see us beating either of those teams by two TD's or more. Should we even look at the NFC, we would be looking at the Saints as of right now who cut through us like a hot knife through butter when we played last year.

    I'm not sure what the basis is in not being phased by these guys. We're not in 2004 anymore and this team has a lot of uncertainty on both sides of the ball. I've said before that I'm optimistic but even I'm willing to admit that in 2009, the Pats were probably the second worst team in the AFC playoffs.
  5. MoLewisrocks

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    Yeah, and we were missing our best receiver and our QB was battling through tougher issues than a sore hip. We've always played Baltimore tough, because of their defense. Their offense may be improving, although I'm not sold on Flacco when healthy.

    We've had more than our share of success against Manning and came within inches of experiencing it again when we clearly weren't at our best. Colts got a few discontented cracks appearing in the foundation in case you hadn't noticed, and they're coming to our house for dinner this season.... SD is a fraud team that notoriously starts slow and eventually folds under pressure and their top WR has been MIA and talking holdout. We've even beat them when we were sucking fumes. They own Manning particularly on the road fwiw...the JETS, not so much apparently. Matt Cassel also isn't going to be under center this season in case you hadn't noticed.

    You don't need to win by 2 TD's unless they changed the rules in regulation, too.

    No team with Tavaris Jackson or Brett Favre at the helm ever scares me. Brett will occasionally pull a game out his ass. But by and large Bill has his number. Our toughest matchups occur at home this year, and I like that. This team was in full blown defensive transition last season, lacked depth on offense coming out of camp, was fronted by a rehabbing QB off a one year absence who got multiply cracked or broken early on, and then we had a little leadership void develop particularly on defense that flummoxed coaching down the stretch. I don't forsee nearly that much simultaneous adversity happening again this season. We've kept our FA (Mankins will show, believe me). Had a mahvelous draft. Mayo is healthy. Brady is healthy. Moss is healthy and motivated in a contract year. Welker who was dinged early and went down late will be back I believe better than expected. Neal will at least start the season... Edleman will be better with experience. We have depth at the position with Holt, Chief, Tate and Price. We got 3 new TE's including two the Ravens coveted. Vollmer will be starting at RT. We have excellent depth on the OL. It's the last hurrah for these RB's so they too should be motivated. O'Brien has another year under his belt coordinating an offense. Matt Patricia is being groomed as a DC while BB is essentially replacing Dean Pees.

    This isn't 2009 anymore. It's 2010. I expect to win a couple of more games than we did staggering through 2009 in transition. I think the FO sent a message and rid themselves of bad apples and dead wood and the next generation of the dynasty is being molded even as we speak.
  6. Kid~Brady

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    True. i am a bit concerned at how this season will play out. We have some tough teams to take on this season with the 6th hardest scheldule. We will have a better defense tho and hopefully Welker is back before reg season starts. I think we are alot better than in 2009 but we are also facing teams that are alot better as well some back to back. Gonna def be a interesting season.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  7. CheeseMonkeys

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    Flacco? Really? I don't think Flacco was who we had to worry about when playing the Ravens. What we had to prepare for was their running game and solid defense. Imagine what we could have done if BRADY or WELKER was healthy.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  8. Deus Irae

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    As long as he's 100%, having him on the field is an obvious plus. Just let him take all the time needed to get there.

    Also, Belichickfan would be thrilled that his prediction from months ago came true.
  9. Kid~Brady

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    Right! Flacco is wacco for the most part. They run the ball each down because of passing issues and receivers. It was Ray Rice who killed us, not Flacco.
  10. Rob0729

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    The Pats had one of the toughest schedules last year at this point too. The thing is like most years, the strength of schedule when you look at it in August isn't what it is going be be after you play all the games. Last year, the Pats played 2008 playoffs teams like Tennessee, Miami (twice), Carolina, and Atlanta failed to repeat past success. Several of these teams took a two or more game increase in the loss column.

    We cannot look at this year's schedule and think the strength of the competition is set in stone. We face the Chargers who were 13-3 last year, but 8-8 the year before. What if they go back to the 8-8 team especially if Jackson and McNeil holds out?

    I wouldn't be surprised if this year's schedule ends up being even easier than last year's. I also wouldn't be surprised that if when everything is said and done, the Pats have the hardest schedule in the league.
  11. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Flacco is even in the first or second tier as a quarterback in this league right now. But he is a solid presence that Baltimore hasn't had at quarterback in the last ten years. In this first game, he threw on us for 264 yards and 2 TD's and carved us up on the last drive until Clayton dropped an easily catchable pass. I do agree that a healthy Welker would have helped. But that running game was tearing us a new one all by itself. We were practically selling out to stop their running game and still couldn't do it. This was with Flacco throwing a grand total of 10 passes. If he's healthy and balances the offense even more, than game could have been much worse... especially with the way their defense was playing.

    This year they don't look like they're going to be a cakewalk either. They're returning the same running game that carved us up in the playoffs and the same receivers that Flacco showed he could use to drive against us on top of adding Anquan Boldin. On defense, they're going to be lining up Mt. Cody next to Ngata to make an already stingy run defense that much better. If their secondary can improve over last year, the Baltimore defense will again be tough to score points again. Surely, this is a team that should phase you.

    I'm aware of the successes we have had against the Colts. Since our last Super Bowl win, however, we're 1-5 against Manning & Co. including the playoffs. Their discontented cracks are not any different from our discontented cracks so counting those as reasons for why the Colts don't phase you, particularly since they match up against us extremely well, doesn't really make much sense to me. This is, again, a team that usually gives us problems and has had it's fair amount of success against us lately. They are absolutely a team that should "phase you".

    Vincent Jackson is MIA right now. That doesn't mean that he isn't going to suit up when our game comes around. Particularly if their passing game shows some flaws in the first few games. There are a lot of factors that could influence San Diego to get something done before Week 7. Even then, though, Rivers is a pretty damn quarterback that would most likely be able to make it work with the receivers he has on hand. As I said before, in the Belichick era, this team has typically been a tough out for us. It doesn't make sense to say that this team, one which went 13-3 last year, doesn't "phase you"

    For me, when I talk about teams that don't phase me, I envision teams which we would be able to beat pretty handily. That's just me, though. I would be surprised if we only beat the Bengals and Jets by one TD or less each.

    They should. Favre had the best season of his career last year with Minnesota. They have a very stingy defense which creates pressure with it's front four (remember the Giants defensive strategy) and, arguably, the top RB in the game. If that said RB didn't catch a case of fumblitis in the NFC Championship, we're looking at Minnesota in the Super Bowl. Last time we played a Brett Favre led team, he was working with half of the talent that he currently has on the Vikings. What happened was Favre driving down the field with ease for the win in OT. And that was against a far more proven defense than we currently have. This should also be a team that "phases you".

    I agree with this. It just sucks that we don't have more than one home game at a time. But it's still a good thing. God knows we were horrible on the road last season.

    You should realize that these are a whole bunch of IF statements. You keep saying "should be". What's your basis for that? Look, I'm high on our draft and free agent moves as well, but I think we should be reserved at this point. We haven't even seen these guys in pads yet. There is no rock solid indication that the defense is going to be an improvement over last year's. At RDE, Gerard Warren hasn't shown that he can be a consistent presence in the running or passing game throughout his career, Lewis is a JAG, and Deaderick is a rookie with promise. ILB is looking at starting a rookie and a first year player from South Florida who hasn't even so much as sniffed the field in the pros. I don't get what the basis is to expect that they SHOULD be improved. The secondary has one new potential starter in McCourty, who, once again, hasn't seen the field in the pros yet and, otherwise, is just returning everybody else from last year. The safety position is unchanged. To me, there is just as many question marks here as there were last year. The potential is there, but it is by no means a sure thing that an improvement is coming. I do like Belichick taking a fully hands-on approach though.

    The same thing goes for the offense. Brady should be better this year but, let's be honest, he still looked INCREDIBLY inconsistent even toward the end of 2009. Hopefully he remains upright and fully healthy. I like the O-Line right now. Kaczur's main weakness, lateral mobility, will be neutralized playing LG. I also like Vollmer at LT. Depth is another question mark though. I hope Dan Connolly never sees the field for an extended period of time. Ohrnberger looks very likely to end up on PUP. LeVoir is good for a couple of games but, like Connolly, I hope he never sees the field for an extended period. We have absolutely no idea what we have in Larsen and Bussey. So the depth is still up in the air at this point. I'm high on Gronk and Hernandez, but they haven't played a snap in the pros yet either. At WR, I like the addition of Holt. I still think he has plenty left in the tank. Not so sure about Chief. As a matter of fact, I'm not so sure he'll make it out of TC. Tate and Price are absolutely unproven commodities, one of which is a rookie facing an uphill battle for snaps. Moss is in a contract year, yes, but nothing he has said thus far in the offseason has made me think that he's any more motivated than he was in the last couple of years. Welker is looking good right now, but expecting him to be the same or even better than last year at this point is nothing but a guess. He tore two ligaments and there is a big difference between running drills and running routes in an actual game with pads on and opponents flying at your legs.

    As for leadership, I really hope that changes. I like what Wilfork has said. But saying it to the newspaper and actually being a leader in the locker room are two different things. Hopefully someone does the same on offense.

    Even with all that I just said, I'm optimistic about this team. However, I'm only optimistic because that's the way I am. In truth, I'm still holding myself back because there is so much we don't know about this team. At this point in the offseason, with the team not even having put on pads yet in practice, it seems unusual to fully expect that they SHOULD improve and that the bigger teams in the playoffs don't phase you.
  12. sbpatfan

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    If Welker can play by week one, great. If he can't, that's fine too. Because we have a lot of young receivers that need the experience. And ideally it'd be nice to see one emerge in his absence. Or watch multiple guys fill his role.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  13. patsfaninpittsburgh

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    Better yet, why not just quit and call the season a loser.

    Baltimore sucks. I just amazing that we lose Welker in week 17 and it can't be figured out that his loss one week before the playoffs would be devastating.

    Brady should have been inconsistent in 2009 because that's what happens with ACL's

    A whole off year should help correct what couldn't be overcome with the loss of Welker a week before the playoffs.

    If Brady is back to form, this team is superior to all these "playoff" teams.
  14. JoeSixPat

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    From what I hear in these parts, most Patriots fans tend to set their expectations too high, rather than too low.

    Common sense expectations generally get one labeled as a traitorous fan, but the fact is, the Patriots are playing in a tougher division, and with games against the Bengals, Ravens, Chargers, Vikings, Packers, Steelers and Colts it's going to be a harder fought season than in recent memory.

    The schedule makers did the Patriots no favors either - flying to San Diego to play a late Sun. game after a game against the Ravens, and coming back to face the Vikings could be a lot easier. Heck, travelling to play Detroit in an early Thursday game on 3 days rest isn't even a gimme.

    I wouldn't be shocked to see them split their Division games and split that stretch described above. If you're doing the math that would be a 9-7 record. I'd be happy with 10-6 given this schedule, and hope for a healthy team come the playoffs.
  15. KontradictioN

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    Once again your reading comprehension is a complete and utter failure. No surprise there. This team had more problems last year than Wes Welker being lost in Week 17 due to injury. That loss just compounded those problems which included, but were not limited to: hole at WR3-WR4, loss of TE's as pass catching targets, injuries to the O-Line and the back-ups not playing up to snuff, hole at RDE, issues at OLB outside of TBC, Gary Guyton starting at ILB, relative youth and inexperience at CB, Brady's inconsistencies, and a void at leadership. What I've pointed out is that I'm optimistic about the draft additions, but we shouldn't be overly optimistic about them. Sure, it looks like some of these holes are filled, but there are still a lot of question marks here. To say that you are writing off playoff teams who were clearly better than we were last year is jumping the gun just a wee bit.

    By the way, you never answered my question a few weeks back: which draft did I pan? Please present evidence to back up your claim.

    Take it easy, pfip.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  16. nashvillepatsfan

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    Talking about the Ravens. You forgot to mention the fact that the Pats didnt show up to play that game. Probably the only person who was fired up to get back in that game was Kevin Faulk. After the Rice run, it seemed like the team just said " screw it". They had plenty of chances to get back into it, even with what players they had, but the attitude just wasnt there. That should change this year, plus we'll have a healthy Brady who will hopefully make better decisions this year.

    I do agree with the rest though. The Ravens have always been a good team. People seem to forget that the Ravens really did end the perfect season. It was dumb luck we won that game. They will always be a tough team to beat as long as Ozzie is in that office. I also agree, the rest of our schedule isnt a cakewalk, but i think the defense will really start to gel about midseason. The media putting the Pats in 3rd place in the division is just stupid. It might not be pretty, but they'll win it again.
  17. KontradictioN

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    Actually, I think that game ended on a play that wasn't that noticed: the Ray Lewis sack. That was a HARD sack and afterward Brady had trouble getting up at first and was noticeably hurt by it. My dad noticed it before I did. In the first play from scrimmage after the game he turned to me and said, "Brady's hurt". Tommy was inconsistent throughout that entire season, but he was never once as inconsistent as he was that day. Personally, I think Brady might have further cracked the ribs in that sack.

    Really, though, without Welker and with the way our defense was yielding yards to a team with one arm tied behind it's back, we weren't winning that game.
  18. MoLewisrocks

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    I find at times folks here lose all perspective. A fine exercise is reading a broad based fantasy wire report like this one from KFFL where you will learn things like while Rivers is claiming to be unfazed by potential holdouts Jackson and MacNeill, AJ is reportely preparing for them to hold out until week 10 presuming they will be FA thereafter...while his shiny new RB who wants to be in camp on time has already uttered the infamous phrase "but, it's a business".

    The Vikings are apparently not going to sign any deals until a new CBA is in place.

    Revis inability to land a new deal is now reportedly the result of the REALLOCATION RULE, and he isn't gonna sign the kind of guarantee your own deal Ferguson got talked into.

    Kris Jenkins wanted to retire until Tubby talked him out of it...

    Ed Reed is likely starting the season on PUP since his hip is still only at 35%...

    In other words, everyone has issues. If he gets in to camp on time, Baltimore is apparently planning on starting their rookie TE. Should all be fine though because Flacco has determined that his is the best team he's ever played on in his two whole seasons in the league...He does however seem to have chemistry issues regarding Bulger being signed. Says that tension isn't good in meeting rooms and guys just want to have fun...

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  19. KontradictioN

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    Wow there. How am I losing all perspective? Because I haven't written off our opponents yet over what looks like a very good draft on paper? If anything, that sounds like perspective to me. I guess I should change my definition...
  20. The Dynasty

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    This years schedule is much more difficult than last years schedule. The 2008 playoff teams that we faced last year were pretty much just 1 and done in the playoffs. They were not really the top tier teams in the league. This is the year that we do face a good amount of teams in the top tier of the league.

    In 2010 by my quick count the Pats have 7 games against playoff teams from 2009. Of those they are facing the AFC Champ, the AFC runner-up (twice), the NFC runner-up and then teams like Green Bay and Baltimore that won a game in the playoffs. Doesn't get much tougher than facing 3 of the 4 final four teams from the previous season
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