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Idle thoughts - The insomnia edtion

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    #91 Jersey

    OK - its 1:20 as I start this. I can't seem to get to sleep, so maybe I can get some of you TO fall sleep with this post; ;)

    DISCLAIMER - Any thoughts or opinions in this missive should be taken within the context that this was just the Pats 19th practice. Last season within the same time period the Pats had conducted 32 sessions. Is it any wonder that things aren't exact perfect, or as smoothly run, as last season. (especially the offense) That's 40% FEWER practices. And that's a lot.

    And its not just the Pats who are experiencing this dislocation courtesy of the new CBA. Along with GB and NO, the other best offenses from last year have also done little to distinguish themselves either so far.

    The point is, just please keep this in mind before you abandon ship or start taking anti-depressants, because you think there is something terribly wrong with this team.l There were certainly things that were obviously "less than perfect" (as BB might say) There's no attempt on my part to hide or ignore it. If things don't improve, there WILL be a time to "panic".....but that time isn't now.

    I'm sure no on will be shocked to read that I saw a lot of positive things in this game. The Eagles are a very talented team and, as expected, played the their starters into the 3rd quarter. The Pats, due to the logistics of having to play 3 games in 10 days, with 2 away games, didn't. So to make ANY draconian judgments based on what went on last night is quite simply shortsighted (which is a polite way of saying DUMB.) This game was all about giving young players some playing time, evaluating the bottom half of your roster, and creating teaching points you can use to improve play.

    Lets start with the GOOD:

    1. Granted most of us expected the defense to be improved, but none of us could have expected to play 2 very talented offenses and allow only ONE TD drive over 20 yds. Granted for all the reasons mentioned in the disclaimer, I'm not expecting this defense to suddenly become "dominant". But one would have to say that the overall outlook is certainly encouraging.....and a lot better than expected.

    2. I though Ryan Mallet looked comfortable in the pocket for the first time in my observation. He finally showed me some "pocket awareness" He still isn't processing things as fast as he should. He was late on a couple of passes I thought. But the important thing was that he visibly improved. He showed some progress

    3. I liked what I saw from Edelman, and more importantly I can infer that BB liked what he saw as well because he was pulled early in the 2nd quarter. Granted its just an inference and I'm clearly a supporter, so take it for what its worth

    4. Deion Branch was our best WR last night. It certainly helps his chances of making the team. and I think he passed Stallworth on the depth chart. Lets see in Donte can respond over the next 9 days.

    5. Hard not to love the Ebner pick, but I would still caution people on ceding him a roster spot based on an individual play. I can remember Michael Biship and Sean Morey combing for a bunch of great individual plays back in the day. But its safe to say he already has better instincts than Sergio Brown.

    6. Special teams coverage was excellent once again. I was especially impressed with the results from the KO from the 20. Its often very easy to forget to notice ST's

    7. Jermaine Cunningham - He again flashed some aggressive speed off the corner. He's a perfect example of a player so many dismissed and with just a few plays turns those fickle fans around in nano second.

    8. Brace and Love - Both showed some burst up the middle vs the pass and were solid along with Deadrick vs the run. That's 2 decent showings in a row for Brace. that 2009 2nd round is looking a bit better now.

    THE DISAPPOINTING'

    1.; I think I was much more disappointed by the OL's run blocking than I was by their pass blocking. I can't think of a single run where I saw a clear gap for the RB's to attack. Clearly that was a step back. None of the RB's looked good, but I don't think they had ANYTHING to work with.

    2. Marcus Cannon - He seemed a step slow out of his stance all night. I don't know if he just had a bad game or he really is more suited to be an OG. Again I would have been placated with his bad night of pass blocking if he used that big bulk and buried some people in the running game, but I didn't see that either

    3. Trevor Scott - Flashed some in the last game. I didn't see much this game. If Carter comes back he could be the odd man out.

    4. Brian Hoyer - Maybe he wasn't used to working with the bottom of the roster, but if he was hoping to put some film together to get him a job next year,or add to his trade value he'd better not send that one.

    5. Chandler Jones. I don't remember seeing anything bad from him, but he didn't "flash" either. In fact did he even play beyond the first series or 2? That would expain his "absence"

    6. When Brace and Love weren't in the line up we got absolutely NO puch up the middle

    MISCELLANEOUS

    1. I was disappointed in the play selection for the RB's. There was not attempt to get Vareen outside like the first game. There was very little misdirection. It was like the coaches were limiting the running game on purpose for some reason I can't fathom. Did anyone else feel that way.

    2. It was however nice Ale Silvestro had a highlight moment that he can savor for the rest of his life. I'm thinking to get him to move to TE so they'd have some bodies to play TE in camp ,even though he has NO chance to make the team, the Pats probably promised him a spot on the PS in return. Its an apt reward for the kid.

    SUMMARY - I think I'm running out of gas here, but this was a hard game to assess given the disparity in the talent that was out there. It was good to see how well the defense played despite the players who weren't out there. It was disheartening to see the OL fail to open any holes for the RB's

    I guess there is nothing left to do but wait to read how the end is near from the Cassandras on the board and try not to get sucked into endless debates for the rest of the week. Take heart friends it WILL get better.....much better
  2. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Dante is going to be hoarse by Labor Day, if he isn't already.
  3. slash83

    slash83 Rookie

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    So jones was a disappointment because he didn't flash in the one or two series he played... You gotta be kidding me.
  4. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rookie

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    We can definitely reemphasise this...Cannon is NOT a Tackle. Manoeuvres like a battle ship...which leads me to believe he's not going to work out as a LG if we need him to either...lateral movement looks very poor. This guy is supposed to be athletic and he only shows flashes of it. As you said Ken, he was slow out of his stance; has a poor first step and his footwork can be all over the place at times.

    Since he was drafted a lot of draft nuts like myself said this guy would be better of as a Guard in the NFL....despite his history of playing tackle in college too.

    Saw some nice flashes from Ebert....I'm still rooting for him to make a late charge and steal a spot from someone.

    Really, really happy for Silvestro. After activating Fells off of PUP most seem to think the team definitely envision taking a 3rd TE so if Fells and Shiancoe can't get on the field and don't show much, Silvestro might snag a spot. So I wouldnt say he has no chance at all given the situation but Fells gets the nod if healthy.
  5. randomk1

    randomk1 Rookie

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    Haha...you asked for it. You got it.
  6. slash83

    slash83 Rookie

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    Seriously dude lol... some people man, guess I asked for it ha.
  7. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    People need to remember that he was going up against a scrambling left handed QB (he was pulled shortly after Vick went down). That changes his responsibilities immensely. He is no longer rushing on the QB's blindside and now has responsibilities to take away Vick's scrambling lane.

    Watching him, he didn't see to really make nearly as much of an effort to get to the QB as he did last week and delayed his rush a bit. It seemed like Belichick wanted him to stay at home a bit while Cunningham rushed Vick's blindside.

    I personally never expected nearly as much from him last night know that he was going against a scrambling left handed QB unless they moved him to LDE.
  8. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rookie

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    Absolutely spot on...you can see he's playing contain. It's exactly the same approach we took to Vick last year and Tebow as well. If a rusher over pursues or is allowed to be drawn up field, you open yourself to being calved up!
  9. resdubwhite

    resdubwhite Rookie

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    #87 Jersey

    Remember.

    Its only preseason.

    there will be wrinkles, but no way Bill is showing his full hand now.

    No way. No never.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  10. stcjones

    stcjones Rookie

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    Would disagree with a few things ...1) I think Vereen played VERY well DESPITE the atrocious play of the OL. He seems to be able to turn nothing into something and at least get positive yards...even with run blocking as bad as last night. I think Bolden did more to play his way off the team last night and no other RB did much. 2) Cannon played like *****. Extremely slow....horrible technique ...and Solder? Who is this imposter? This guy looks like he's never played a snap...slow,outplayed,quits on plays....he acts like he is already ENTITLED to the position. Sterling Moore looked like Duane Starks out there last night....Lastly, I would not feel comfortable at all with either Mallett or Hoyerat this point if God forbid something happens to TFB. Thanks Ken....
  11. mrscruff

    mrscruff PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Personally, my early impression was that Shane Vereen looked quite good in picking up the yards he should have as well as sidestepping defenders who were constantly in the backfield to achieve "minor" gains.

    It is completely fine having Vereen run on inside runs in preseason IMO. Many smaller backs are reluctant to stay inside choosing to bounce everything to the outside when given the choice. Ball security and running technique,reads etc can all be evaluated and deficiencies coached up. The endgame is that a threat like Vereen who is dangerous in space but who can run inside will have opposing defensive coordinators guessing, which is exactly what BB likes to do.
  12. PatsBoy12

    PatsBoy12 Rookie

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    Guys, I think it's pretty obvious based on last season and what we saw last night that Kyle Love is the real deal. He and Vince will wreak havoc in the middle of offensive lines. If Jones keeps coming along and we get the same steady production from Ninko on the other side, I really do think we could see that disruptive pass rush we've been wanting for years now.
  13. VinnyPatrollie

    VinnyPatrollie Rookie

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    #26 Jersey


    Once again Ken, playing loose with the facts. Isn't coming to conclusions based on falsehoods also shortsighted? (DUMB?)

    The Eagles ALSO play 3 games in 10 days, just like the Pats, yet they decided to play their starters anyway. Different coaching philosophy obviously.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  14. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Thank you for providing context to the situation. Good stuff....far more analytical than my "he sucks, he's awesome, where's my beer" post game breakdown.
  15. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    This is what I saw, too. He squeezed forward for yards a couple of times where I can't recall another Pats RB being able to do so. I hope he's not too beaten up because he was not treated well by his OL and/or the play calling last night.
  16. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Lots of scouts in the house.....was BB providing a stage for a Branch showcase? We know Bill always treats established vets with extra TLC....releasing them earlier in preseason allowing them to catch on with another club before the mass layoffs hit the tape.
    Probably reading too much into Branch's full participation last night....no LLoyd, no Gaffney, Gronk, Hernandez....someone needed to play....right?
  17. BSR

    BSR Rookie

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    How does is that contrary to his statements? The Eagles, as mentioned in the broadcast, are more likely to scale back their starters next week against the Browns since they play them the first week of the season. The point about playing 3 games in 10 days was accurate.
  18. borg

    borg Rookie

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    After watching Vareen get the bulk of the carries in the 1st half, I came away thinking...no worries here. He has skill, toughness, grasps the playbook...I'm putting him in the Least of my worries column
  19. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Short and general: I saw a B-grade team face off against an A-grade team and hold their own, even putting up 11 points to zilch on them. New England came in with their 3rd string QB and a mix of various level players, and managed to knock the opposing team's QB out of the game, and basically take on all comers.

    Once the lower-tier guys started to get more playing time, it was more difficult and the Eagles started to score. I don't see it so much as bad technique on the Patriots side (though that was there) as much as a high-level of motor from players on each side trying to make a play so as to make the team.

    I always dampen my criticisms (as well as my praise) by understanding that we fans don't know what each player's assignment was on any given play. True enough, we might be able to make an educated guess, and there's certainly times when it's obvious that someone messed up big time.

    Having said that, however, it's hard to be to judgmental when you don't know actual assignments for each play, and when you don't know WHY certain plays were called. Knowing how much Coach Belichick stresses situational football, it's very likely that some plays were called to see how players reacted, how well they understood their assignments and executed them, rather than how well the play worked against the opponent.

    Overall, I'm not in any way panicking, and I feel a LOT more comfortable with Mallett than I did earlier. I also feel pretty well overall. If this group could put up 11 points with all of our A-list players (or most of them) sitting things out, then how much better when it really matters?

    V/R
  20. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Correct....as the announcers explained quite clearly....last night was the Eagles dress rehearsal....costumes, lighting, full orchestra....all because next weeks opponent was their week 1 opponent
  21. BSR

    BSR Rookie

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    I think my biggest concern from watching the game was the officiating. Most are saying that the replacements are going to be inconsistent and do a bad job. However, I think they have been consistent in two areas, at least through two games. They have been harder on Oline in calling holding and have been much more lenient on contact between WR and DBs down the field. Normally you see just the opposite in preseason. Originally I thought this was the inexperienced NFL officials but now my tinfoil hat is tingling and am wondering if the powers that be might be trying to tone down the pass happy league.
  22. borg

    borg Rookie

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    The eagles defensive penalties in the first half had more to do with the Patriots putting up points than the Pats O, IMO. The refs were on a mission last night....and the eagles had a few brain cramps as well.

    Thinking out loud now...BB allowed Ghostowski to tee up up from beyond 50 yds multiple times.....something Bill almost never does in the regular season. It felt like a Raiders game with Janikowski launching bombs. Will BB be more liberal in FG attempts in the regular season after Ghost's successes last night? (yeah I know....meaningless, hot weather, yada yada)
  23. patsfaninpittsburgh

    patsfaninpittsburgh Banned

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    The only thing that should be concluded from last night was there seemed to be a real emphasis on running screens.

    Backup QB- If Brady goes down...does that mean that Lloyd, Welker, Gronk, AHern, and Gaffney can no longer play?
    If you are going to "evaluate", project the play to the starters.

    The Eagles led the NFL in sacks. If this was regular season game, the offense would have gone hurry up and those guys would have been passed out before the end of Q1.

    One would bet that Sterling Moore would not in man with zero safety help against desean Jackson in the regular season. Just sayin'

    If at RT, Cannon would obviously get some help/chip in a regular season game.

    So with the exception of Vince, Love, Brace, and Fanene....the Patriots have noboby who can get pressure up the middle......? Huh? How many of these guys get on a roster?
    ....Hey, our 10th DLine guy gets 15 sacks.....

    Over at the various Eagle sites, they were irate that their Super Bowl caliber team couldn't beat the opponents 2/3 stringers.

    Think about that for a second.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  24. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As I said, my comments were generalizations. I really don't go into a lot of specifics during the pre-season because there's a lot more going on there than just trying to win a game.

    And yeah, there were some problems with the refs. The Eagles certainly shot themselves in the foot several times too. Hard to quantify pre-season games.

    That doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. I'm leaving that, though, to PatsFanKen, MoLewisRocks and others. In the pre-season, I'm more into sitting back and enjoying the game(s), as I'm in need to football fixes after the long summer of baseball. I'll be more critical (constructively) when the real season starts as then we'll have (IMHO) a better baseline to judge plays & players against than during the pre-season with so many other variables in play.

    V/R
  25. ctpatsfan1

    ctpatsfan1 Rookie

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    they talked about this last night apparently the "normal" dress rehersal which is game 3 of the preseason for most teams is against the Browns. The Eagles opening game 2 weeks later is against the same Browns. Hence why Reid decided to use this as his game 3 dress rehersal because now the Browns game will be plain vanilla and probably will sit the starters.


    btw just my two cents I thought the blitz pickup by the RB's was sorely lacking and a large step down from what BJGE and Faulk used to provide.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  26. borg

    borg Rookie

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    At one point, Vareen looked like a Match Box going up against Optimus Prime
  27. Gronkandez

    Gronkandez Rookie

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    He had a couple nice receptions but what is the deal with him muffing kicks? He was lucky not to lose that punt at their own 10-yard line. Also, lucky for him Bolden looks pretty awful as a punt returner.

    I don't think he is the short-term answer on KO/punts but I'm excited to see Demps on Friday night.
  28. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks Rookie

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    I thought Vereen did a lot of good things. He didn't have much running room, but he did manage to get the yards that were there. He wasn't perfect, but he definitely showed that he is ready to play.

    I would have liked to have seen him do a better job with blitz pickup, he needs to learn how to cut block those blitzers.
  29. Buchanty

    Buchanty Rookie

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    I agree for the most part with Ken, as I usually do, other than two points - Jones and Ebner. I missed the first Eagle possession, but saw nothing from Jones in the second to disappoint other than my high expectations. Neither he nor Hightower were in for enough snaps and were probably conserving energies for Friday (here come my high expectations again).

    On the Ebner front, I agree that it is still very early to slot him into a roster spot. However after missing 7 days of camp due to a mystery ailment/injury, he has made quite a name for himself with playing in the secondary where he wasn't really expected to show up (3 snaps in college). 5-6 interceptions in the last few practices (including last night's game), is impressive even for veterans. There is no way he is going to clear waivers. There are three positions that will be snapped up when the cuts come down - Tackles (we aren't going to get any better than what we have), QBs (providing they are not Sorgi-esque) and Safeties, for which there was a dearth in the draft. Wilson and Ebner have so far proved that they are reasonable which means they are good enough for at least a dozen teams to snap up if they are released.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  30. PatsWickedPissah

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    Disable Jersey

    One can only pray that some 2012 opponent takes Sergio Brown and adds him to their 53.
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