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Eyes on the Prize - what to look for...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Aug 12, 2009.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    ....rather, what I'M looking for in the first preseason game. That was a little presumptuous. ;)

    Even though I've been to several practices, there really hasn't been any FULL contact football to see. This will be our first chance to see the Pats go full out. And don't be mistaken, BB went through EIGHT days of double sessions for a reason. He was never happy going 0-4 in last year's preseason, and I get the impression he wasn't happy with where the team was at for the first month either. So I expect to see the starters out there for AT LEAST the first quarter, and most likely one series into the second.

    IMHO the most important element for success in pro football is the ability to accelerate. Call it explosion if you want, but when most of the athletes you are playing against have about the same amount of talent, how explosive you are can be the great separator, and that's what I'll be looking for from several players.

    Laurence Moroney has been under the radar most of this camp, but has very quietly had his best one. He has been the best runner, best blocker, and best receiver (after Faulk) in camp. I don't think he's missed a practice. Finally he seems like he's ready to take on an NFL season. BTW, I was kind of shocked to read somewhere, where he is STILL only 24 years old. That seems odd in an age when most guys come into the league at 22 and 23. I could also explain his inconsistency, and immaturity at times. He's been better than most people give him credit for, and not nearly as good as his potential. He'll be the starter tomorrow, and like most of you. I'll be looking for him to make decisive cuts and hit the hole hard.

    In the same vein, I'll be interested to see how much Fred Taylor looks to have in the tank. Like Moroney, I'll be looking to see if he still can accelerate like he did at his best.

    I know its obvious, but the most important thing in my mind when it comes to Brady, will be to see how comfortable he looks in the pocket. Can he still make the first guy miss on a consistent basis? Are there "happy feet"? Will he hang in there till the last second? Quite frankly I don't care if he completes a single pass, but if at the end of his play you can answer those questions, Yes, No, Yes, I'll be a happy man.

    I'll be looking at the TEs closely. I want to see who get the reps. I want to see who blocks well. Who lines up at FB/HB? There was a time where I thought they might keep all 4 TEs, but roster spots are just so tight, that I don't think they have the luxury to do that. Dave Thomas' work in camp is going to make it a VERY hard decision. IMHO the Jets will/should grab the loser in this roster fight. Hell Tyson Devryss is better than what they have backing up Dustin Keller.

    Given that the Pats will throw to run, they are most likely to keep at LEAST 5 WRs, and probably 6. I think Galloway, Moss, Welker, and Lewis are locks. I think Aikens makes it because of his size, experience and special teams skills. That leaves one slot open for either Edelman or Nunn. These preseason games will go a long way in determining who gets the last slot, and who is on the PS.

    On the defensive side, once again the obvious focus will be on the OLBs/outside rushers to see who has that "explosiveness" off the edge. I wonder if Crable will even play, since he just came off the PUP this week. But we should get a good look at Woods, TBC, and Burgess.

    I'd love to find out how the secondary is doing, but frankly its very hard to get a good look at the secondary from the TV. Its impossible to get any idea of the presnap coverage. So I guess I'll have to settle for the occasional replay that might give us more than the usual info. As I mentioned in my last practice report on Tuesday, not seeing Springs and Bruschi much has been among my biggest disappointments this preseason...so far. And I very much doubt that I'll see them tomorrow either.

    The Eagles have a couple of OLmen out for this game, so I'm hoping that see some good pressure on the QBs. However I doubt you will see much blitzing over 4 guys. Reid and BB are friends and neither wants to see anyone get hurt this early. Also its a better method of evaluating their younger players, when they play straight up. I doubt the Pats blitz more than 5 times, and the Eagles 10 (which is very little since they blitz more on a regular basis.)

    I'd like to say that it will be interesting to see who gets most of the LS, since that is a very close competition. But I really don't care. ;). More interesting, on PFW in Progress Tuesday, they talked about how BB told them back in 2000, Lonny Paxton's first year, he was locked in a close competition with another guy, whose name they no longer could recall, just that he was from Iowa. At any rate, at the end of camp, there was nothing to distinguish the 2, and it was really a coin flip. It came out on Paxton's side. But I can't help but wonder if some poor guy in Iowa, is thinking late at night, that for a flip of the coin, that for the last 9 years, it could have been him rolling with the Pats.

    Finally, I'll look for the question all Patriots nation will be asking, 4-3, or 3-4???? :D

    Well those are the things I'll be focusing on, what's yours?

    Enjoy the game, I know I will....Its been a LOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG time coming.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  2. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This year, Brady stands out for me. I'm interested to see how he's going to handle a live pass rush and the Eagles are a perfect barometer for that.

    After that, the main thing I watch every year is the rookies. I want to see how Chung, Brace, Butler, Vollmer, etc. do in their first live NFL action. Then, I want to see how they progress through the rest of the preseason.
  3. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Now that is a crazy story. I guess long snapper is the one spot where you could flip a coin for who gets it, and still be okay.
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    WHAT I'D LIKE TO SEE FROM THE STARTING VETERANS
    As little as possible
    =================================
    The preseason is the time for the youngsters to get a chance to see real action and develop some. I include guys like Wheatley and Crable in this group.

    It is time to see how some of the new vets still have in their tanks: Taylor, Lenon, Springs, Williams and McGowan come to mind.
    ============
    Finally, it is time to show off a couple of players that we'd like to trade for a pick in the 3rd 4th or 5th round in 2010 when we have ZERO picks. In the end, this is no big deal. If nothing works out, next year, Belichick can trade one of our 2nds for a 3rd, a 4th and a 5th.
  5. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Rookie

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    Tru dat playah!


    It will be a nice chance to see the depth we have at Corner, and safty. I'm excited to see the crew of 4 second rounders!
  6. Gwedd

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    All of that, and nobody lost due to injuries. :cool:
  7. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree. For the first preseason game, all I want is no injuries. The starters will see very limited time and even the second string won't see much. We will see mostly guys fighting for a roster spot and other guys who will be ending their NFL careers pretty soon. I watch every preseason game (at least some of each), but I pay very attention to the first and last games. The only games I really care about are the middle two.
  8. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Ken just about covered it all for me, except for the one unit I always watch a little more closely when they're on the field: the OLine. Not only will I be looking for possible signs that any of the starters are beginning to deteriorate, but I also want to see if any of the young vets have progressed and if any of the new guys are ready for prime-time.

    On defense, I will be looking at the LBs, particularly Woods, Guyton & esp. Lenon - if he plays at all. We haven't had a decent ILB rotation since TJ, Bruschi & Phifer; or IOW, since we last won the SB.
  9. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wendell...
  10. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    Hey Box, are you looking to throw Koppen under the bus??????. Me, I'm looking at Seabass. I have heard more conflicting reports on that kid than any other player on the roster. Some say he's slow. Some have said he's quick. I went to 7 practices and quite frankly I never looked at him close enough to make an informed opinion (the damned offense line practices closer to Walpole than the stands...at least it seems that way)
  11. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I missed all the 'slow' reports on Seabass
  12. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wendell has been taking first team reps at RG when Neal is taking his Veteran rest days and he was reportedly working at second team Center during the Tuesday afternoon walk through. Koppen is a lock, but Hochstein and Yates are in a battle for their jobs and Wendell appears to be the top dog in that cat fight (how's that for mixed metaphors?).
  13. Isaac

    Isaac Rookie

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    ...unless the Eagles new DC is trying to develop his chops, we'll see. I'm looking forward to seeing Chung blitz.
  14. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Has Wendell reached even 290 lbs yet?

    Technique & leverage are good to know & use, but OGs are gonna need some sand in their pants, too. I fear that Wendell & OBurger are a couple (of dozen) scoopfulls light of the required load.
  15. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Bill might save that one for the regular season, when he knows that just one more sack at the end of a game will mean victory; think Meriweather v. Seahawks.
  16. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    Pretty much covered it all. One thing I am interested in is to see who gets first reps as returners.
    I remember I made the comment when we drafted him that we with his age we would be developing him for his next team/contract.....and than watched him flash his skills and people bash him for his inconsistancy thru his first few years thinking people were being brutal on this kid. I think he is far from showing his best as a RB and hopefully we get it this year.
    Glad to see someone recognize the numbers game I am guessing they keep 4 TE instead of 5 RBs but even 4 RBs his high without a FB. if they go 4 TEs though bye bye lawfirm. If they go three lawfirm still could be in trouble.


    I am assuming that coin was figuratively???? but I will use the story to tell my story of the greatest coin toss ever.....it was January in '97 and I was 13 and found out my older brother would be going to New Orleans with my father for the Superbowl. He was 18 so he won by default because the city is better for his age at the time. Well my twin brother and I decided to flip a coin to see who would go should the chance arise again (and we could afford it again too) and I won the flip. At the time I had no idea how lucky I would be as I didn't attend that loss and as luck had it I was 18 and it wound up back in New Orleans and the rest was history. When the next SB came around my father was a lot better off and decided to take us all giving my twin the ultimate spoiled complaint but they got more SBs than me (which he doesn't really complain about but joke about). we have gone to each since.

    for the rest of my life I could never win another coin toss and it would be OK.

    I don't think we will get a definitive answer here until a bunch of regular season games have been played as BB could use one VS a specific team and the other VS a different team....From what I have seen in camp though I think the 4-3 is more for short yardage and I think the base will still be 3-4 other than that 4 man line as far as nickle and dime will consist of LBs (and burgess) as the ends. But I also think this will be a year where BB uses an amazing amount of combinations of formations (for lack of better word) on DE.
  17. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Excellent point; I had forgotten about that one.

    Say what we might about Hobbs' ability as a CB, but we can't overlook his ability as a KOR. We need to find somebody who can average 25 yards for us; and I'd also like to find another PR, so that Welker doesn't expose himself any more than he already does.
  18. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    No doubt. Hobbs was an average CB, but he was one of the best at returning kicks.
  19. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In 2006 Maroney averaged 28.0 YPA on kickoff returns which is right in line with what Hobbs gave us. If Maroney stays healthy I don't think we'll miss Hobbs on kickoff returns although the new rules could skew the numbers one way or the other.
  20. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    one thing I remember from his returning kicks in 06 was that he was electric hate to use a cliche but it really does explain it...the crowd would rise to there feet when he returned a kick.
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