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Idle thoughts ....redemption

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Dec 7, 2010.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    Lots of disperate thoughts in no particular order.

    1. I was thinking about our skill players and it occurred to me that not one is a first round pick and MOST were afterthoughts on draft day.

    Brady - 6th
    BJGE- UDFA
    Woodhead -UDFA
    Welker - UDFA
    Branch 2nd
    Tate 3rd
    Gronk - 2nd
    Edelman -7th
    Hernandez 4th

    Now those are the skill players on the highest scoring team in the league - kind of makes you wonder about where we find players. I guess there is more than one way.

    2. Speaking of that I noticed Dan Fletcher getting some regular play last night (including one play I bet he'd like to have back), and it got me to wonder if the Pats don't have more guys who started as UDFAs on their team than most, especially winning teams. Right off the top of my head, Woodhead, Welker, BJGE, Guyton, Fletcher, Love, and Wright.

    That's 7 guys and I wouldn't be shocked if there weren't a couple more. Isn't that a lot? Can someone help out here? Do the Pats have more than most teams?

    3. OK lets get started on last night's game. First lets talk about the defense. I would caution people who now expect the defense to be holding teams to single digits. You will be disappointed. That's the bad news. This defense didn't transform itself from one of the historically worst Pats defenses in history to the 85 Bears in a single game.

    The good news that it took a SIGNIFICANT step into becoming a good defense...perhaps by playoff time. The problem with the defense was that for a lot of reasons, they haven't been able to string 3 straight plays of good defense together. That's what you have to do to get off the field. Lately they'd often put 2 plays together, only to frustrate us with the dreaded 3rd and long conversion...over and over again.

    But lately IMHO, they seemed to making more plays, mostly in the form of turnovers. They also seemed to be getting closer in their 3rd down conversions. Not making them, but being SOOOOO close.

    Well last night they made more of them to add to the turnovers, and we got the result we'd been hoping for all season. But we shouldn't make the mistake to think this is nothing more than a STEP in the right direct. An indication that the lessons are starting to learned. That the mulitudes of reps are leading to faster recognition and quicker responses.

    Remember the goal for this defense is to be good enough not to cost the offense a victory. Next week we will be playing a much better offense...on the ROAD. The challenge will be bigger, and I doubt the results will be as good. I'm just looking for the defense to keep getting more consistent...like they have been.

    4. Have you ever seen a year where the Pats did more situational substitutions on the DL. It will be very interesting to see Reiss' article on who got how many snaps. It was impossible to keep track of all the comings and goings.

    BTW- Gerard Warren is very quietly becoming a nice part of that DL rotation. There was a lot of garbage time rushing yardage that the Jets picked up in the 2nd half. The DL did a decent job, especially without Wright or Pryor. I hope we get at least one of them back this week.

    5. Kyle Arrington and D Butler are showing improvement each week. Who would have thought that Arrington was going to be anything more than a special teamer. ANd I like the fact that he's making it difficult for Butler to get a starting job back. Besides, I'd rather have Butler playing on the slot receivers

    6. I'll skip my usual bombast about Devin McCourty and just point out that I take offense that the announcers made it seem that the only reason McCourty got that first pick was because the pass was underthrown. Yes it was, but I would like to point out that McCourty had put himself right in the "pocket" of Edwards, with his head turned to the ball. If the pass had been longer it STILL would have had to have been an EPIC pass and catch for it to have been completed Though it should be notted that he did miss a tackle last night.....ONE :eek;

    7. This is the best tackling secondary I can recall since 2003.

    8. Hey, Jerrard Page, so THAT's why we picked you up. He had some big hits. What does anyone know about his coverage skills. I like his size back there.

    9. Interesting that the Jets only get 150 odd passing yds and we hardly ever heard mention of Chung OR Merriweather. Does that mean they weren't impactful. I don't think so. We also heard VERY LITTLE from Dustin Keller. And that seam pass I begged to have stopped....WAS. :D Still its interesting to note that in a game where our 2 impact S's were kind of invisible, they probably played very well.

    10. I thought Graham kicked pretty well on most of his KO's. His kicks were generally inside the 5, even against the wind. Coverage was not good, but not horrible either. I was happy with it over all. Smith wasn't the factor that I fearded originally.

    11. I won't say much about the offense because I'm sure it will be well discussed, but I hav a few thoughts.

    a. I got a big kick out Gronk's catch, where he litterally walled off the defender. Understand that he can do this almost every play. I'd HATE to have to cover him one on one, because you really can't . That play showed it.

    b. When Hernandez learns over the next couple of years to really become a professional route runner, he is going to be VERY VERY good.

    c. The OL was VERY GOOD again last night. Yes I know that there was 3 sacks, but they were mostly due to schemes rather than blown assignments. They were really getting movement on those runs. Hard to think that we have lost 2 good guys in Neal and Kascur and still are so solid.

    d. I'd like to think that there was something like the 10th player award that we could give to Alge Crumpler. Talk about being an unsung hero. Its hard for me to fathom a guy who was a premier passing catching TE in the NFL doing such a critical, selfless job... so well. Talk about a critical pick up that has good unnoticed. I think that at some point this year, BOB is going to unleash him at a key moment.

    e. I'm less upset about the lack of production we are getting from Tate and Edelman lately because it seems Brady has so many targets that its just hard to get everyone looks. I have a feeling that their time will come....or not. But I think its less a reflection on them than who else is out there. Ther IS only one ball.

    f. This is the best Tom Brady....ever. Not much more than you can say than that.

    g. The best stat you never hear much is the fact that no Pats RB has lost a fumble THIS SEASON. That Brady hasn't thrown a pick since Baltimore. When a team refuses to turn the ball over, it puts so much pressure on the defense. It won't last forever...it just seems like it will ;)

    12. There was a time where we all felt that this was a "rebuilding season". Granted is was not going to be a rebuilding season in the usual sense. It was going to be a Patriots rebuilding season, which means 10+ wins and a lot of young guys getting reps, and maybe even a playoff win.

    I have to tell you, that when I watched the Jets be unable to even bring this game back to repsectibly, I have to tell you that I started thinking about the S word again. I know this is still a flawed team, but what team isn't. Sure there are teams that can beat the Pats on a given day, but there sure isn't any team that the Pats can't beat either.

    So if they can finish 3-1. If they can get that bye and have 2 home games for the playoffs, who would I fear playing. Not the Steelers, Not the Jets. I would fear the Ravens and the Chargers (for some reason), but its not that I would think they WOULD beat the Pats, just that they could.

    13. The Bears and Packers are 2 of the NFC's best. Plenty of interest Plenty of fun. Enjoy....and respond.
  2. patriotscpfc

    patriotscpfc Rookie

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    Was Connelly a UDFA as well?

    One thought from me, Brandon Tate showed what you need to be a Pats WR.

    Get open and Tom will find you.

    Like against the Vikings, he made a move shifted away from the DB and got open for the Touchdown.
  3. Patfandango

    Patfandango Rookie

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    Long time lurker that has long admired your posts Patfanken.

    RE Defense. I think BB's quotes say it all. Stats are for losers and It's all about situational football. This young defense is being molded to understand the situation and make key stops when it matters. Late in games when they are ahead, they trade yards and points for time off the clock. This is an exciting group and will get better and better.

    i think last night was about a perfect storm of events; 11 days of prep, avenging the previous loss, weather, injury to Leonard without sufficient time to change game plan, very bad game management by Ryan and a stinko performance by Sanchez. That said you have to be excited by how well TB is playing and seeing the field, the multitude of weapons and how the rookies are buying in. Last night was 60 min of following the game plan and it shows the young ones if you do your job, very good things happen.
  4. hughthehand

    hughthehand Rookie

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    "They were really getting movement on those runs. Hard to think that we have lost 2 good guys in Neal and Kascur and still are so solid."

    In typical BB fashion, having Mankins out for the first half of the season was actually a good thing, because Dan Connolly has gotten a lot better in that time. I personally think that Neal was playing injured for a while and was just sticking it out for the team until Mankins returned.

    And Vollemer is definitely an upgrade over Kaczur at RT, and Connolly is an upgrade over an injured Neal or Kaczur at guard IMO.

    Its awesome to see our OL playing nasty.

    100% agree with your comments on Crumpler, when a guys comes in and is named a Captain in his first season (I think Rodney Harrison also received this honor), you know that player excels with the Team Concept.
  5. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    The Packers game will be very interesting. I'm beginning to think the Patriots gotta win this Bears game. Rodgers is one of the best 4 QBs in the league, IMO, and he has the WRs to carve up a defense. They are a bad matchup for us. They're kind of like the Saints but with a better defense.

    That being said, Rodgers throws INTs at times.

    I'd hate to see us lose 2 to the NFC and watch the Steelers squeak in for homefield, especially after that absolute gift the Steelers got from the Buffalo Bills.

    As for the Ravens, Joe Flacco doesn't scare me at all.
  6. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    - Is Fletcher the one who couldn't hold on to the LdT fumble? That's about the only thing that would have made the night even better, an LdT turnover.

    - Thought the same thing about G Warren. Turning into a real nice pickup. Not on the Bryan Cox/Ted Washington level, but nice.

    - Good to see Hernandez back into things a bit. From what Brady said this a.m. sounds like they're working on some things with him. I like the way he fights for extra yardage, but he sure makes me nervous the way he holds the ball when he does it.
  7. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wendell, LeVoir, Arrington, Brown & Hoyer also come to mind.

    Edit: And that wrestling fool Stephen Neal! And while we're on the IR topic, Leigh Bodden I believe.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  8. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    Check out these stats from Breer on Twitter:

    Albert Breer (AlbertBreer) on Twitter
  9. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    Are you kidding me? You just watched the Pats dismantle the top teams in the AFC - Steelers, Colts, and Jets, and you think they're going to lose back to back games to the putrid NFC teams? I'm sorry I don't see it happening. A split at the worst and I wouldn't be surprised if the Pats ran the table from here on out. If you're not a believer in the Pats after this huge win then I don't know what will do it for ya.

    BB said it best. Stats are for losers. The Pack are good but I don't think they can stop our offense. All our defense has to do is play good enough to win and they have been improving week by week.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  10. JMarr

    JMarr Rookie

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    Just a generalization, but it seems like at this point in time BB favors taller, more physical corners who can jam guys at the LOS and are better in run support, as opposed to the smurfs with quicker hips that he was partial to for awhile. Maybe he had enough of seeing guys like Hobbs, Asante, Wheatley, Wilhite [and possibly Butler] either getting manhandled and outfought by some of the bigger receivers in the league, as well as having an achilles heel in run support.

    I was kind of surprised (but very happy) last year when he prioritized signing Leigh Bodden straight after Wilfork, and by the amount of dough that he was willing to give to Bodden. Bodden is the prototype of the type of corner BB wants IMO, and now McCourtey is going to hopefully take it to another level.
  11. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    Patsfanken, from what I understand about 20% of NFL rosters are composed of UDFAs. So take 20% and multiply by 53 and on average that's about how many UDFAs would be on an average NFL team. So that would be about 10 players per team. If you think about it, that's a pretty significant minority. So although the Draft is of prime importance. The post-draft game of picking up the most desirable UDFAs that didn't make the final picks is also very important in teambuilding efforts annually.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  12. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Rookie

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    We all know he said that, though I think it wouldn't be shocking to find out that even BB might use stats to analyze things once in a while.

    I think it's valid to point out that, as amazing Brady has been, Rodgers has done the same. Of course the stats don't show the leadership TFB has been bringing every week. (And I know this is getting a week ahead; but I was responding to someone else who brought up the Pack).

    Either way, I'm confident in where this D is going and their ability to stop both Cutler and Rodgers. After all, the Jets held GB to, what, 9 points?
  13. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    A total misinterpretation of what I wrote. I said, IF they lose to the Bears, there's a decent chance they can lose two in a row.

    Do I think a 10-3 Patriots team will beat the Packers at home? Yes. Do I think it will be a close game that they could easily lose? Yes. You don't think so?

    So, the AFC teams we beat are great but the NFC teams are putrid? Really? How did Green Bay fare against the Jets in NYC? The Colts have looked pathetic. They got clunked by Dallas.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  14. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    The Dallas Cowboys played their backup quarterback, as well.
  15. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Arrington may play that way, but he's not built that way. He's actually an inch shorter than Butler.
  16. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    A better indicator of the quality of scouting is the development of undrafted free agent rookies rather than signing undrafted restricted/unrestricted free agents developed by other teams.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  17. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    That Packer game should be a great one, but I'm more worried about the away game. Plus we have a short week, and the possible let down of such a big game with such a big build up. Maybe we can us some of AD's humble pie this week.
  18. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    20%, wow. That's a lot. That would put the Pats around the average then I guess. I wonder if there are more accurate stats on this
  19. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I though Brandon's pick at the goal line reminded me of vintage Bruscii. He also did some noice interior delayed blitzing that required superb pickups, by Richardson.
  20. asfpnepRefugee

    asfpnepRefugee Rookie

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    Yeah, the Bears game worries me more than the Packers.

    Honestly, *every* game left is a losable game. Every game is a very winnable game. I'm not ready to crown their ass just yet, but man it's been a fun season.
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