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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    I guess my post was lost in cyberspace last night. No big deal, it happens. I'll try again, but i have to admit that some of what I say will be colored by some of the comments written since then.

    I only watched the first 3 quarters. That's how uninteresting the game had become. In no particular order here's what I thought.

    TJ O'Sullivan was the best QB on the field last night. He made several very good throws in the face of some good pressure by the Pats.

    Clearly the bad tackling by the Pats tarnished a pretty good night by the defense, especially by the first unit and the packages that ran. But I can understand WHY the tackling was so bad. The Pats do VERY little live tackling in camp. In fact the ONLY live tackling I saw were one-on-one open field drills with each guy getting just one or two reps during the time allotted. I even understand WHY that's the policy. These days there is just too much money tied up in these players to risk an injury. What I DON'T understand is why they don't use the MANY tackling drills that AREN'T fully live, that would promote some of the fundamentals that we cleary DIDN'T see last night.

    This is a pet peeve of mine, since I believe across the ENTIRE league, the level of tackling skills gets worse every year. This isn't just a Pats problem. On the plus side, as they do more live tackling in games, they will get better. Not good, just better.

    One the Brady sack - I'm assuming Kazcur is getting killed on the boards, however quite frankly (after looking at the tape more than a few times) I don't think it was entirely his fault. Clearly he looks inside FIRST, which allows Gathers to get by him untouched. You might notice that after the play he throws his arms up in surprise that no one else had him.

    Later on the side line they caught Brady and Nick laughing and fist bumping. I THINK that either Brady or Koppen made a bad call at the LOS that caused the error, probably Brady. It was not a lack of talent, but communication. If anyone cared to look, on the very next play, Kaczur engages Gathers on another pass play and PANCAKES him.

    Cincinnati has a pretty good team. They put decent pressure on the QB, and have good corners. On offense Benson likes like the real deal, while they have a WR corps that is as good as there is in the league (Chad, Coles, Henry) You can't help be impressed with the catches a couple of no names made and the back up RBs. People better not sleep on the Bengals this year. They might actually be as good IN the season, as they hype tthey get in the off season.

    Its official, IMHO, the Pats have become the Colts. We no longer even look comfortable running the football. We are totally a finesse team who passes to set up the run. Virtually all of our running plays are delays or counters. Slow developing and not aggressively blocked. The toss sweep to Taylor was perhaps the only running play that was still left from the 2004 playbook.

    Running the football is a mind set, not just a play call. All you have to do is look at the kind of plays the Bengals were running and compare them the types of plays the Pats ran to see the difference. To see the difference in the COMMITMENT to the run. People may want to complain about the RBs or the OL, but I think the problem starts at the top.

    Now that being said, I know I AM complaining about an offense that was 6th in the league WITHOUT the best QB in the leaue, and broke records WITH him. I also agree with the Football outsiders view that it is more efficient to move the ball thru the air than on the ground. However I also agree that the way to win games (especially in the northeast in winter) is to score with your passing game in the first 3 quarters, and seal it with a good ground game in the 4th. Right now I wonder if we are capable to pound the ball at a defense who is expecting us to pound the ball. Not only don't I think we have the right plays to do it, I don't think we have the right mind set. However I DO believe we have the right talent, both on the OL and in the backfield.

    KOC - I think in the first couple of series he was hamstrung by the play calling. However I liked the fact that he staying in the pocket against a heavy rush and ignored the instinct to take off and run. At the end of the half, when they got back in the shot gun, he did as well as expect. He might have done better if Edelman had run a smarter route on the 3rd down play.

    Hoyer - Looks like he'll make a fine PS QB, and might even develop enough over the next few years to find a place in the league for the long run, but he's not someone you want to actually get into a real game. I hope people see it.

    I'm encouraged by the play of the secondary, especially Butler. There was a lot less separation by the receivers, even on completed passes, than there was last season. Even on the TD pass, Wheatly had his hand ON THE BALL, just a second late. You can see the need for improvement, but at least the amount of improvement that is needed, is in the realm of reality.

    Springs played like his name WAS Ron, and he was 50+. He looked as slow and unsure of himself as he did the first practice I saw him at. The possible good news is that he improved immensely the more he practced. I don't know how many practices he got in before this one, but I doubt it was many. Personally I hope that was the problem. However if there isn't a great improvement next week, then HE might be the surprise Vet that gets cut.

    We aren't cutting ANY of our TEs. However trading one won't be out of the question. There are a number of teams who have had injuries at the position and SHOULD be willing to give up a 4th or 5th rounder for a legit TE. Smith would be my guess.

    Pryor keeps on impressing as well as Brace. Volmer less so, this game. He looked lost out and unsure of himself on occassion

    The 2 main Binkyiots, Chung and Edelman came back to earth. But neither changed his status on the team. Both are works in progress, and both will prove to be excellent STers this season.

    Tully better find another move beside "run around the QB". Woods got a sack, but it was a coverage sack. Ninkovich showed me enough that he deserves another 2 weeks to see if he can find a place on the team. On the negative side, Burgess underwhelmed me AGAIN.

    Glad to see Ty Warren back, and when the 3 amigos are all together, it won't matter WHAT their alignment is. they'll be tough.

    THere was some other stuff I commented on last night, but I forgot it, and this is long enough as it is. I await your comments
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  2. Box_O_Rocks

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    "I await your comments"

    Pffftt :p

    :D

    Question on the Edelman route you panned, the NFLN rebroadcast doesn't show it, what did you see other than he wound up short of the line to gain?
  3. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    That's it. When you have a 3rd and 6 IIRC, you DON'T run a 4 yard sideline route, you run it at SIX yds. No big deal, it was a rookie mistake, on BOTH parts. Because if you have 6 yds to go, you don't throw it to a receiver who is 4 yds deep on the sideline. BTW- how often do we see experienced guys make the same mistake, eh Box
  4. 363839

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    I'm pulling for Ninkovich.
    He was born where I am now employed.:)

    I must say this is a discouraging if not accurate report.
    Thank God it's still preseason.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  5. Warren94

    Warren94 Rookie

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    I agree about running the ball. I do not like the right hand side of our offensive line between Neal and Kaczur. They both give me nightmares. I realize the pre-season is a time to "iron out the kinks"


    Happy with our draft as a whole. They're is much more speed in our defensive secondary. Brace is going to be a keeper as well as a nice gem with Edelman and Ingram who seems to not miss a beat on the LS.
  6. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    Me too. I prefer a smash-mouth offense so I'm trying to set aside my personal preferences. I've accepted the fact that this team is the Colts/49ers of the 80s/90s. SBs can be won with this style of play. You do have to wonder if they exhibited more of a power running game, would they be better off long-term?
  7. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    The finesse offense isn't the only thing like the Colts now.
    Many Pats fans are like 03-04 Colts fans now too, with their obsession over offensive stats, and constant excuse making over playoff failures.
  8. Solryn

    Solryn Rookie

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    Butler again looked fantastic both on special teams and as a CB. I personally would rate him as one of our top 3 CBs right now and expect to see him getting a good amount of playing time when the regular season starts. That was one of the few positives I took out of the game last night.
  9. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    Hard to argue at this point. If the season were to start today, you'd have Bodden on one side and Willhite/Butler on the other. Springs & Wheatley may step it up, but there is some distance there no question.
  10. Deus Irae

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    Why would you have Bodden starting? It's certainly not because of stellar play on his part. Hell, he's still looking for Chad85 to try covering him.
  11. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    Huh? Bodden wasn't the one doing the Elvis Patterson impersonation last night. It was Wheatley.
  12. DaBruinz

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    I really hope we don't see that officiating crew again. They were absolutely HORRIBLE. I am 90% certain that all the "illegal formation" flags were bogus. The one on the Patriots punt that pinned the Bengals at their 6 most certainly was.

    That being said, I think that Tank Williams isn't long for the team. His tackling was mediocre and his effort was less than desired.

    Alexander continues to draw my ire. On the long De De Dorsey run, both he and Tank just watched from behind as Butler came over and hit Dorsey for the tackle.. But Williams and Alexander had both basically given up on the play..

    Ohrnberger looked like the rookie he is. Yates continues to play his way off the team.

    BJGE had some nice runs.. even with poor blocking..
  13. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Don't forget Britt's terrible game, and the ignoble legend of Chicken Legs.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  14. DaBruinz

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    I do want to point out that the Refs blew the call on one of Alexander's tackles. He tackled Brian Leonard and stripped him of the ball prior to Leonard landing on the ground. Yet they still gave the ball back to the Bengals..

    It was one of the good plays that Alexander made..
  15. Box_O_Rocks

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    Butler ran as the Nickelback against the Eagles, taking the outside and sliding Wilhite inside, I thought he showed promise then and what I could see last night he was doing pretty well as the "starting" CB across from Bodden.
  16. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm interested to get the DVR perspective on that play, because my impression at the time was that Edelman got the ball as a last-option dumpoff, that he was desperate to stay in bounds and pick up the final yards with running room ahead, but that the throw was so high it carried him out of bounds. That's not to say that he shouldn't have run the route deeper, but he looked very aware that he wasn't at the marker yet.
  17. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    I don't think we should be that hard on Wheatley because he was switched over.

    Smith may not be cut but I do see him being traded. He is not picking up on the blocking scheme consistently (games 1 and 2).

    If Pats did not have to eat his signing bonus, I would say Springs is as good as cut- but I think right now it's 50/50. I really hope BB eats his pride and just cuts Springs in favor of youth (Butler/Wheatley/Wilhite). I am so happy that Bodden signed for only one year, because honestly I think that is all it will take for our drafted CB's to flourish.

    BJGE makes roster, and so does Ventrone, Aikens. Morris being out this long has pushed BJGE into a lock. His fumble was a result of holding the ball out too long- easily correctable mistake. He'll know to hold it high and tight next time.

    Against all odds, I am hoping Nunn makes practice squad, he ran good sharp routes and finished his plays.
  18. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    With regard to that route, I'm sure BB will have a "teaching moment" with young Edelman..
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  19. DaBruinz

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    That's how it looked to me.. That the ball was thrown so high that the momentum of going to catch it took him out of bounds..
  20. Obnoxio

    Obnoxio Rookie

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    Hoyer impressed me last night. He did a lot good things like ball security. Johnson swiped the ball and he held on and then a DT nailed him and he again held his grip on the ball. He made accurate throws and was under a lot of pressure.
    O'Connell looks less aware, less accurate and generally not an NFL player.
    The 1st team defense got a lot of pressure on the Bengals QB in the 1st quarter. I liked the agressiveness.
    Green-Ellis looked to be taking Maroney's job until he put the ball on the ground at a critical time.
    Awful 2 minute drill to end the game. Brady would have won the game there for sure.
  21. Box_O_Rocks

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    There's my confusion with Ken's point, I had a different play in mind. Yes, he wasn't deep enough, but then I don't think he was intended to be. It looked like he was running under the zone coverage there and I think O'Connell or Hoyer or whichever was slow to check down to him and got him the ball to late for him to turn it upfield. And yes Ken, it's not like we haven't seen long term veterans execute it the same way.
  22. Rob0729

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    Still not worried about the offense at all. I still think this team's success and failures will rely mostly on the defensive side as it has pretty much since 2004. Every year since 2004 with the exception of 2006, all the biggest issues with this team was on the defensive side of the ball.

    As for running the ball, this has always been a pass heavy team with very little balance of production except for 2004. Even with Weis, the mantra was the Pats' short passing game was their running game. The Pats rarely were high in the running category in the Brady era. Only in 2001 and 2004 were they up there.

    As for the Pats becoming the Colts' offense, that is definitely far from the truth. First, the Colts do run the football. Other than the last few years, Marshall Faulk, Edgerinne James, and Joseph Addai were always near the top in running yards. Also, the Pats use the short passing game to suppliment the running game far more than the Colts. The Colts were not a pass happy offense either. They were a great offense and not much of a defense. They run the ball a lot.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  23. mayoclinic

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    Let me get this straight: the Pats were rarely strong in the running game except for in 2 of their 3 SB-winning years, so therefore it's not an area of concern? I would argue that it's a strong justification for a power running game. The only other year that we run the SB we had a suffocating defense. I don't want a version of the 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008 Patriots. The only years that count for me are the ones in which we took it all home, and I think we need an effective running game if we are going to do that this year. As of right now, I don't think we've shown that we have an effective running game.
  24. Rob0729

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    Well, 2001 they were average. I overstated the strong. They were strong in the sense that they didn't suck. They were 13th in running with 1793 yards, 23rd in YPC with 3.8 YPC, and 7th in TDs with 15. The defense carried that team and the offense played efficent enough to not make mistakes and score enough to make it close. Do you want the Pats to go back to the passing offense of 2001.

    I am not concerned about the offense. I will restate it. Only in 2004 did the Pats have a good running game. We won two Super Bowls with Antowain Smith running the ball. I don't know if we have an effective running game yet, but othewr than 2004 I don't really know if we had anything more than efficient enough.

    BTW, the 2006 run offense had more yards (1969), more YPC (3.9), and TDs (20) than the 2001 run offense and we didn't win the Super Bowl. Why? Because the defense gave up 35 second half points to the Colts in the AFCC. That is why I am concerned about the defense and not the offense.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  25. mgcolby

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    Are you sure that was Alexander? I thought it was McGowan. Or am I mixing my fumbles up? :confused:

    Edited: If I remember correctly McGowan made the hit to jar it loose and Alexander had "recovered" it, but they gave it back to Cincy.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  26. mayoclinic

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    I'd personally be happy to go back to Tom Brady being more of a "ball control" QB and "game manager" instead of throwing up Peytonesque numbers if it means more SBs. The track record of pass-heavy teams winning SBs is not particularly strong. I would like to see more balance on offense and more physicality and aggressiveness on both sides of the ball. An effective running game is key to this. We had a reasonably effective running game last year - not up to 2004, but overally pretty solid. We seem to be going backwards so far in preseason. I know it's early, but I'd like to see more evidence that we are committed to running the ball effectively as a basic part of our offensive scheme (not just dinks and dunks).
  27. Rob0729

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    I agree that if more ball control would mean more championships, I would go back to it too. I'm sure Brady would too. Unfortunately, I don't think the Pats can win games 14-13 or 17-6 or 10-3 on a regular basis anymore for a number of reasons.

    First, the league is different. Since 2004, there has been a lot of rules put in place that were geared to increase scoring. Few teams even with great defenses can win games on a regular basis without putting up points on offense. The PI emphasis on the chuck, rules on hitting QBs, etc. have made it harder to have a shut down defense.

    Which brings me to point #2. The Pats' defense hasn't been nearly as good as at least the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The 2003 defense was the best in Patriots history and I would argue top 10-20 in league history. The 2004 defense wasn't that much worse. This defense has the potential to be a top defense, but it is unclear if they will. They struggled against the run a bit in the first game and last night there was no Carson Palmer to really test them. I don't think until this defense is proven that the Pats can go to a ball control offense like they had in the past.

    As for the running game this year vs. last season, you are comparing the regular season vs. the preseason. The running game this preseason is worlds better than last preseason. The RB is better than last year since Maroney went to IR early and Taylor is better than LaMont Jordan. Morris didn't even play last night, but he is still here. If you were satisfied with last year's running game, this year's running game has the potential to be far better.

    People are making too much of preseason games with no gameplanning and coaches experimenting on different things.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  28. slash83

    slash83 Rookie

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    All the elements for the Pats to have a strong running game are in place. Teams simply cannot commit 8 in the box to stop the running game, especially with a WR group of Moss, Welker, Galloway, and Lewis. Mankins and Neal are two good guards who are physical, especially Mankins. Koppen isnt the most physical dominating center but can get the job done. Light and Kaczur arent close to be scrubs either and are effective. Watson and Baker are both can block in the running game, especially Baker. The running game should at least be able to average 3 to 4 ypc.

    I expect Brady to play into the 3rd quarter vs Washington, and maybe even a couple of series in game 4. Moss had a defender beat last night which probably would of resulted in a TD if Brady hadn't overthrown him. The timing still isn't there, I'm not worried about it though, it will be there with more game play, this I'm sure about.
  29. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    The bottom line is that I'M not worried about the offense that much. My concerns are for the playoffs where its one and done. A game lost because we CAN'T run the ball efficiently at the end of the game. Just look back to the 2006 AFCCG, when ONE first down means a trip to the superbowl. We couldn't get it done.

    BTW - you are correct in your saying the DEFENSE will ultimately decide how far we go in the playoffs. It has been the DEFENSE that ultimately knocked us out the last 3 years. But a good running game is the defense's best friend, and I believe we have more than enough talent to make one work. We just need the commitment
  30. mayoclinic

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    I don't particularly disagree with anything you are saying. I agree that our 2003 defense was exceptional; I would settle for this team's defense to approach 2004 (which I thought was overall the most balanced and strongest of any Pats team) - I think the talent is there for that to happen; whether or not it does is a whole 'nother question.

    What I guess concerns me so far this preseason is the appearance that the Pats are moving more and more towards a finesse team with less commitment to the run than ever before. I understand that it is early and that we are assessing personnel. But what I have seen so far worries me considerably. I'm not suggesting that we should emulate 2003-2004 and try to win games 14-13. As you say, the roles and talent have changed, and we have much more offensive firepower. But I'd much rather win games 24-17 with a physical defense and running game complementing a lethal quick-strike and ball-control passing game than see us emulate 2007 and set records while blowing out teams, only to find ourselves on the losing end of a 17-14 slugfest when up against a power running and defensive team like Pittsburgh or the Giants. History (2003 Colts, 1998 Vikings, 1990 49ers) suggest that that is the likely outcome for such unbalanced teams.
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