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idle thoughts.....I mean....really....idle thoughts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Nov 2, 2012.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    These are the dog days of the bye week. I mean we at least have to thank the Patriots for providing us with a little mid-week entertainment by trading for Tailb. At least that gave us one meaty thread to gnaw on. Here is some additional minutia to ponder before we get back to the season.

    1.It occurred to me that we are very quickly building a stable of RB's that is versitile, deep, talented, young and currently very inexpensive. Next year our RB stable will consist of Ridely, Vareen, Boldin, and Demps just for starters. All very young, fast and explosive (Boldin not so much, but he runs the hardest). And if for some reason you wanted Danny Woodhead back, he could be had for well under a million/yr

    That's probably the most RB talent the Pats have ever had going into a season. And for those you desperate for more draft picks, an obvious area where we have some trade ammo.

    2. Even before Talib was acquired a popular topic here was "Where should Devin McCourty play the rest of the season. Here is my 2 cents.

    a. FS - There is a good case to move him back there. He has excellent range. Good coverage skills especially since he doesn't have to turn his back to the play as much, closes well on the ball, and is an excellent tackler. These are all things you look at in a coverage safety. So the safety position for the Pats would definitely be upgraded with that move.

    b. Personally I'd be against it, if/when Gregory and Chung both return to health, for a bunch of reasons but these are the most pressing

    1. McCourty has been very undervalued as a CB here. The stat that keeps sticking in my mind for no apparent reason, is the one where I read his QB rating against is only 67. Doesn't that seem good to you. It does to me. Granted he still has the technique flaw of not getting his head around, but when he does, he will truly become the #1 type CB we thought he had in 2010. If CB's are valued higher than safeties in the great scheme of things then, I'd rather not move who I think will be a good one to the "less" valuable position.

    2. Gregory is the key to all this. Because of his injury, Chung was forced to his position, and he just isn't suited. Chung has been much more effective when playing more of the strong safety. I feel that with Gregory back, we will see an improvement in Chungs' play since he will now be put in more positions to suceed. He'd be back in his "comfort zone". Also, with Wilson's workload lowered, his natural progression can get back on track. So getting Gregory back improves 4 secondary positions. FS, SS safety depth and CB

    If there has been an error in planning it was in creating the situation where Gregory has become such a critical piece.

    3. Now with the safety position stabilized a bit, McCourty can go back to CB giving that position the kind of depth and skill sets that will allow Patriicia to get much more creative with the pass rush.

    With Cole, Dennard we now have 2 guys who do reasonably well in man coverage inside the numbers. In a few weeks with Talib available, we can add 2 guys who are decent in man coverage outside the the numbers. in McCourty and Talib

    The most important aspect of the Talib trade is that the Pats are now in the best condition personnel-wise to play man to man coverages that they've ever been under BB.

    4 The defense, despite what we are kept being fed, is already better than last season, and is being put into a position to get better yet as the season goes on. Its certainly not where we want it to be, but if you haven't been encouraged by what you've see the defense accomplish the first half of the season, despite some key injuries, then you must have a thing against happiness.

    5. I'm not saying things are good, or even acceptable on defense. BUT THEY ARE BETTER and along with the complaints we should be willing to recognize that as well.

    5. I know that it was an extremely small sample, but for some reason I was very happy with Ryan Mallett's very brief showing last week. I think the thing I'm taking away from the few plays he was given was his comfort level in the pocket. Even though he was under pressure during those screen passes, he never looked panicked or rushed. The one that was called back especially. On that one he was forced to change his throwing angle and loft, and still managed an accurate pass He showed a level of calmness that I don't remember seeing previously, and makes me look forward to seeing more. Any others feel the same way?

    6. The loss of the 4th round pick got me thinking about the draft and I thought I'd mention this again. The new CBA mandates that players coming into the league are limited to 4 year contracts now.

    There are 250 odd players drafted every year. 4 years later there are roughly 150 survivors from that class who are now proven assets with tons of film on them who will be eligible to become UFAs. I have to think ONE of them will be both of sufficient skill and reasonable cost to be a become a more impactful player than whomever we might have taken with the 130th pick in the draft

    The shorter cycle to FA and larger numbers will make the market both talent heavy and economical for smart teams to pick up PROVEN talent to augment their rosters. It won't replace the draft as the best way to economically restock one's roster, but in the odd year when you don't have your full compliment of picks for one reason or another, a team in good cap shape, can recoup those losses in the FA Market without having to pay big money

    On average, every year teams replace 15-20 players on their roster. Every year the Pats have to add 15-20 new names. They don't give you extra points if most come from the draft That's why giving away mid round picks for shots at high end players is not a bad idea, even when they don't work out. Its not like the spigot of new players is going to stop running because you lost a draft pick...or even 3

    7. I can't see a franchise in London working until they can put an entire division over there. The logistics would just be too unfair. Besides would you really want to see more than 32 teams in the league. What would happen to the talent level. We've see what over expand gets you.....the NHL

    8. Interesting bye week hypothetical - Brian Waters calls up Bill and says he's in great shape and dying to play the rest of the season for a Million Dollars. Your reply would be........

    OK, that should kill some time. Feel free to add any of your own whimsical thought to the discussion. Its not like we have anything else to do for the next week or so. I'm really not ready to start talking about the pros and cons of the Buffalo Bills
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I hadn't thought about the domino effect with Gregory being injured, good point there. I considered the safety position to be the weakest of all positions on the 2011 team. With that in mind I was a bit disappointed that the Patriots did not bring in more player(s) at that position for training camp (and OTAs). By comparison look at the number of wide receivers that were signed to compete for what was realistically only three roster spots (Welker and Lloyd being roster locks).
  3. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    They would have to have the London team play 4 home, 4 away, 4 home and 4 away to make it work for them. They would then have to set up a home base in the states.

    The interesting one is how do you work the schedule for the teams traveling over there? If you start London at home the first 4 weeks are rough. If you start them on the road the last 4 weeks are tough. What about Monday and Thursday night games?

    I think you would have the first 4 games against teams all from the eastern time zone going to London. Then the next 4 games which would fall in games 9-12 teams would have the bye week after. If a team plays a Monday or Thursday the bye week would have to be worked in.

    Then there's the biggest issue of all. What happens if they actually host a playoff game? Now imagine a conference championship game? The entire press corps having to take it over seas?

    I really don't think they have the European traction that they think they have to make this happen any time soon and I seriously doubt they've thought this all out.
  4. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ridley is the leading rusher in the AFC.. not bad for the oft maligned Offensive Line.. hats off to Dante.

    Or D backfield has gotten quite a bit more experience with one move...

    Talib is a big strong d back..
  5. smg93

    smg93 Rookie

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    For me, Yes on Waters
  6. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est Rookie

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    A minor point too, which is nice to consider as we go through a bye week getting our inuries healed up, the Pats are not only adding a quality player to the DB ranks, but with his four week suspension added to our own bye week, he should be completely healthy.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  7. coolguy

    coolguy Banned

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    Am i the only one laughing at the fact the patriots beat the eagles in the Superbowl without ty law?

    I think we all took for granted the depth the patriots use to have
  8. Don_the_patfan

    Don_the_patfan Rookie

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    One thing to keep in mind. Talib and Dennard (even Dowling) better in man coverage. McCourty better in zone struggled last year in man. McCourty makes the safety position better. So personnel indicates man thus McCourty at safety. I might be wrong but personnel is screaming man coverage IMO.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  9. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    On the surface, Don, that makes sense. McCourty was brought up in a zone system at Rutgers and played mostly zone in his first year. Over the last 2 years he's had to play more man coverage and zone coverages that require him to use the trail technique. In 2011 he didn't do well in man, and while improving this season, clearly he isn't what you'd call a man to man specialist.

    Still I think we'd be better off with Dennard and Coles working man coverages in the slot, with Talib and and McCourty working outside the numbers. I think Gregory Chung and Wilson cann fill the safety slots with McCourty available to go back there if there are injuries.

    Next it IF we re-sign Talib, and IF Dowling comes back healthy I wouldn't mind the idea of putting McCourty back there at on a permanent basis
  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I hadn't thought about this until now but this reminded me of the pre-season projections and predictions amongst fans and media members of the AFC East division teams. Just two months ago anybody that were to suggest that the Patriots running backs were anything other than lagging far behind those of the three other teams was laughed at and shouted down as being a delusional homer; 'experts' and fans alike declared that it was an undebatable point that the running games of the Bills, Jets and Dolphins were all vastly superior to that of the Patriots.
  11. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    Dennard has shown more at CB playing MtM than Dowling. Hes the incumbent at the other CB spot.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  12. Gumby

    Gumby Rookie

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    Another good thought provoking read. thanks Ken.
  13. resdubwhite

    resdubwhite Rookie

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    You mean like BB.



    The guy makes plays.

    deny it all you like.
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with almost all your musings. I have two sets of comments.

    WOODHEAD
    We really should extend him as soon as possible. And I do NOT want us to trade one of our running backs. We FINALLY have a solid running game, with a KR coming back next year who might contribute.

    MCCOURTY
    There are two keys.

    First, Gregory is the key. If he is healthy, I think that the safety position is in good hand with Wilson and Gregory. Chung's health would also help in certain situations.

    Second, McCourty is a solid corner. Having McCourty, Talib and Dennard as our 3 primary corners would be fine. This gives us Cole as a sub for any position and as our dime back.

    BOTTOM LINE
    Given a bit of health, Belichick will have revamped the 2011 secondary. Of the starting (including nickel) five, McCourty is our only carryover. Even the dime is new. Gone are Moore and Dowling. Demoted are Arrington and Chung. This is truly an amazing transformation. And the current secondary is much better than 2011, even before Talib takes the field. Extend Talib and Cole and we will be in fine shape for 2013. We even have Ebner, our developmental back for 2013 and beyond. I am NOT saying that we shouldn't be looking to upgrade in 2013. We should always do that. After all, we would still have Chung and Arrington to replace.

  15. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Mood
    I want him back, and I'm pretty sure that TFB would like him back too. Kid's a gamer.


    Absolutely agree. McCourty has been trying, it seems to me, to adapt to man coverage and as much as folks want to nail him on it, the coaches also have to take some of the blame. He played in a primarily zone system at Rutgers and it still has to be a bit difficult to unlearn certain things.


    Can't argue with this.

    Well said. What does it say when I actually look forward each game to seeing what Ninkovich is going to do? :D I'm a big 'Bama fan and was ecstatic when the Pats took Hightower. Love watching him play, but still..... Ninkovich is such an "X" factor.

    His comfort level seems to have steadily risen and he's growing into the Back-Up role quite well. I'm much more comfortable with him in that position now than i was at the start of the season. Having TFB as your mentor can't ever be a bad thing for an aspiring quarterback, no? :cool:


    I'd say "See you tomorrow morning". Then I'd call the facilities guys and have them get his locker set up and ready for him.

    Thanks again for another fine post. I always look forward to reading these.

    V/R
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  16. DocHoliday

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    I can't wait to see what Ballard and Demps bring to these team!
  17. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    I;m a big Woodhead fan. No on defends him more than I. However we have to face facts that Woodhead is limited physically to a certain skill set. That skill set is duplicated to a great part by both Vareen and Demps, and to a lesser degree by Ridley.

    Next year roster spots will be as tight as they were this TC and with Demps, Ripley, Vareen, and Boldin all already on the roster BB might opt to swap Woody with Demps, add some speed and KRing and cut a few thousand K by moving Woodhead. Nothing against Woody he's been a fine player and far more productive over the last 3 years than we as fans had a right to expect.

    Who knows if BB will go with more than 4 RBs, and if he does go with 5 will he need Woodheads skill set since he he has similar skills in the others and add a FB type like Larsen or K
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Roster spots are tight because we choose to have 23 players on offense instead of 25. I agree that we may be choosing between Larsen and Woodhead for the 5th RB spot.

    Also, we will need to make a decision on Woodhead long before we know whether we have anythin in Demps. I would keep them all for camp and the preseason.

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  19. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Gregory is being talked up more than McCourty is talked down.
  20. OMGWTFJUDD

    OMGWTFJUDD Rookie

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    Just on point 7.

    You are right that logistically a UK based NFL side would be a nightmare.

    But id be less concerned about the watering down of talent, such has happened in the NHL.

    Ice Hockey has a skill set that is held by a minute Number of people around the globe and it's also a skill set you can't just "pick up" in a few years. (plus it's a **** sport, sorry)

    In US football the different skill sets required to play differing positions are much broader and , to me at least, much more tranferable and simpler to learn. Apart from QB.

    Running, blocking, tackling and catching are skills that already exist in a number of sports or could be picked up through intense practice.

    Eventually, the UK team would have "home grown" representatives and remember they would not just be drawing on UK players but there's a very real likelihood of players coming from all over Europe.

    I don't know how much international BBall you guys watch, but size won't be a problem. I don't know what they put in the water but Lithuanians, Croations and Russians are HUGE!

    Sure, a lot of players will still need to come from the US for a long time but eventually the traffic may well start going the other way..
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  21. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Some nil coaches, even now, think that rugby players have the skills for nfl football.

  22. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    And for the life of me, I don't understand why.
    I never bought the line that Gregory/Wilson were the answers to our problems at FS.
    What we need is a 4-down Safety who could be paired with Chung during running situations,
    and with Gregory/Wilson during passing situations, and who could thereby hide the deficiencies
    of his lesser-talented partners.
  23. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rookie

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    The logistics aren't really that unfair. If you rotate a west coats team so that they hit Europe, the east coast and then back around home, it's really not that much of a travel issue. Likelihood is it would be off the back of or leading into a bye week. The logistical issues are overrated. For an east coast game, it's slightly longer than a trip out west but really not that much different than flying out to somewhere like Seattle. Teh fact every team has a Thursday night game could mean they hit their London game after that. As I said, the logistical issues are overrated. The biggest issue is the difference in things like tax policy and how the NFL will comply with it compared to your system.


    I do think they may consider two European teams and tap in to somewhere like Germany, where FYI, American football is much bigger...especially being played at an amateur level.

    As for Waters...no. I'm not sure he's interested anyway.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  24. VJCPatriot

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    I think that McCourty stays at Free Safety until we can get warm bodies back there who have a clue on how to cover. A CB tandem of McCourty and Talib looks good on paper, I"ll give you that. But as long as the Safety play hurts us, McCourty is going to be stuck back there for a while.

    With Chung and Gregory finally getting healthy, we might see more snaps for them. But honestly does anybody have confidence in these guys getting the job done? Chungs struggles in coverage have been widely documented and Gregory hasn't covered himself in glory either.

    Look at it another way which lineup gives you a better chance to win:

    CBs: Talib, McCourty, Dennard, Arrington
    S: Chung, Gregory, Wilson

    or

    CBs: Talib, Dennard, Arrington
    S: McCourty, Wilson, Chung, Gregory

    [Starters in bold]

    I'm not even sure of the answer to that yet, but I think you want to keep Chung and Gregory OFF the field as much as possible.

    As for the Waters scenario. NOT GONNA HAPPEN! But I think BB would take him back in a heartbeat. He's way more talented than any other of our interior linemen not named Logan Mankins.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  25. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    Whatever combination best prevents the 20+ yard pass is what I am in favor for. Personally, I'd like to see Dennard and Talib as the CBs with Chung & McCourty as the safeties with Chung playing closer to the line and have Arrington/Wilson/Moore/Gregory in your nickle/dime.

    Chung and Arrington need to raise their games though...
  26. furry

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    Get rid of the Jags as nobody watches them anyway, move the cowboys into AFC South and London into NFC East

    Bigger question is who would support them. I've been a Pats fan since the late 80s when I first visited Boston and a huge NFL fan over all that time.

    I would follow London out of curiosity but I wouldn't make the 8 hour drive 8 times a season, I'd save the money and take 2 trips to Gillette a year rather than just 1.

    From the look around the crowds at my two Wembley game there are many many people who feel the same. I'm curious to see how they manage to sell two games next year before we even talk about a franchise.


    On Waters, my response would be we'll send the plane
  27. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    It will never happen. Look at the most valuable franchises in the NFL. Along with the Patriots, it's Dallas, Wash, NYG and Philly. Jerry Jones is not about to give up those rivalries for Tampa Bay, Carolina, NO and Atlanta...
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  28. furry

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    I was being hypothetical / sarcastic

    I agree it will never happen that way
  29. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Move London into the AFC East and Miami into the NFC South. After all, Kraft is supporting this idea.

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  30. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy Rookie

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    I had forgotten all about Demps. If you think of him as our 4th round pick next year (and Ballard as our 5th rounder) it makes it easier to see why BB would be willing to trade the pick for Talib. At this point, Demps in fact is a little more likely than the average 4th rounder to succeed in the NFL - BB had a peek at the kid in camp and in preseason, so he must a have at least a bit better idea whether Demps will pan out.

    I agree with patfranken, I wouldn't give up on McCourty as a CB yet. He's good at safety but if he even has the chance to be an above average CB then McCourty needs to play there until it's proven finally that he is not.

    To me, Wilson has more potential at safety than many seem to think. He's made some bonehead plays but in general looks competent and is improving.
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