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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Oct 22, 2008.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    1. I don’t know about you but am I the only one thoroughly confused by this current NFL: season. Not only addled by our own feast or famine home team, but the rest of the league as well. Every week this season has seen week to week COMPLETE reversals like the Colts beating the Ravens by 20+ then losing by over 20 the very next week to a team like the Green Bay. And its not like this example is the exception, Every week we see 3 or four games like this.

    So what does this tell us. Well it should be telling us that for all the HYPE we hear from all the experts, the REALITY is…and has ALWAYS BEEN, that the talent gap between the best teams in the league and the worst teams is amazingly NARROW. Just because a team might not have “name” players, doesn’t mean that the guys who are out there AREN’T world class athletes being coached by the best minds in the football world.

    I guess we have always known that the old adage or “On any given Sunday…” wasn’t just talk, but THIS season should be the one that CEMENTS it into our DNA.

    2. That being said, 2 weeks ago the Rams were odds on favorites to be looking at the #1 pick in the 2009 draft. Now under a consistently underrated coaching job by Jim Hasslett, the Rams have won 2 in a row including a shocking blow out of the consistently UNDER ACHIEVING Dallas Cowboys They are next on the plate for the injury riddled local eleven, so what are we to think…Feast….or Famine?????

    3. For the past couple of weeks ago I have commented on Matt Cassell’s lack of any pocket presence. Well, despite 3 TD’s, no picks, or fumbles, and a passer rating WELL over 100, I still register the same complaint. IMHO at least 3 of the sacks were due to his inability to move in the pocket and throw the ball in rhythm,

    If he was n’t a QB who has had only 5 full games of live action in the last 8+ years, I would have to write him off as another in a long line of QBs who have come into the NFL with all the PHYSICAL gifts, but have failed at the MENTAL part of the game. Quite frankly its just too early to classify or even prorate the future abilities of Matt Cassel. I don’t think even a full year will tell the FINAL story.

    4. As far as the negatives go, my biggest complaint is that he rarely seems to throw the ball in rhythm. By “rhythm” I mean the kind of pass where he takes a 3-5 step drop and the ball comes out when he plants his back foot on the 5th step. Too often, especially when he throws down field, there is that half a count to a count delay in his release.. He is also very slow to get to his second choice, if his first look is covered. The #3 or #4 guy is simply out of the picture right now. Obviously this could be a lack of game experience. But it exists, and as a fan, I’m not looking for an instant turn around, but rather a consistent observable line of IMPROVEMENT over the last 10 games of the season.

    5. Bottom line he HAS to show that he can get better at “feeling the pressure, and developing a quicker release. Over the 2nd half of the season we need to get a lot better at throwing the ball DOWNFIELD in the 15-20 yd areas. BTW- to his credit a number of sacks have occurred because he has stubbornly refused to take even minor risks with TOs

    6. I guess like pitching you can never have too many RBs.:D It has to be the definition of IRONY that a team that has for years prospered with only 3 RBs on the roster can’t seem to keep a RB on the field after starting the season with FIVE. Now a mere 7 weeks into the season the Pats are down to having their primary RB being an UDFA, PS player whose most noteworthy accomplishment is having FOUR names. :D To his credit while, Ben Jarvis Green Ellis (BJGE) didn’t impress Monday he didn’t suck either. But I guess it only goes to show you how fickle fate is with depth.

    7. What a shame to have Sammy Ellis break his personal best IN A HALF, then get injured. What was so impressive about his game was the number of people he made MISS tackles. I haven’t seen that side of his game before. Here’s hoping that he or Jordan will be ready for the Rams

    8.JMHO, but that was a DISGRACEFUL performance by the Broncos on Monday. Not only were they beaten on the field, but they were INCREDIBLY sloppy. I know that Shanahan has the 2nd best coaching rep in the league, but that team he put out there on Monday looked like it WASN’T coached the week before.

    9. Really sorry that that Rodney Harrison has to lose ANOTHER season to injury. Clearly no one loved to play the game more, worked harder to get ready to play, and then see it all go south because of misplaced foot. That has to be hugely FRUSTRATING.

    Rodney was only here for parts of 6 years of the 15 he played in the league, but the leadership and attitude he brought to the game have made him a signature PATRIOT, so I think down the road his identity will be that of a Patriot rather than a Charger, and that his reputation might keep him out of the HOF in Canton, he will find a place in the one in Foxboro. Thanks for the memories, Rodney, you will always have a place in the hearts of the NE Patriots football fan
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  2. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    10.his just came to mind... was it JUST a coincidence that the Pats vastly improved their running game the same time Steven Neal gets on the field? It doesn't seem possible that the addition of a single offensive lineman would make such a quantum leap in the running game's effectiveness, but if not that, what explanation would you give. It wasn't all the inept denver defense.
  3. DaBruinz

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    PFK - I enjoy reading your posts. We disagree on the number of sacks that were the direct "fault" of Cassel. From what I saw, there were only 2 in which he could have moved around the pocket and possibly created something. The other 4, however, were the direct fault of the RBs not holding their blocks and the TEs letting their men come in clean. I mean, I watched Watson, literally, run around and avoid the LBer on his side who then had a direct shot at Cassel. While Cassel is responsible for calling out the blitz pick-ups, receivers are also responsible for it if they recognize it.

    I've been seeing slight improvements from Cassel. But, up until this game, the O-line was wildly inconsistent on both its run blocking and pass blocking. It was pointed out by Jaws that its extremely hard for a young QB like Cassel to get through his reads when he's being hit 2-3 seconds after the ball is snapped. And its extremely hard for the running game to do anything when the O-line is being pushed back 1-2 and even 3 yards.

    I was actually very impressed with BJGE. He ran down hill. Didn't try to be flashy. And didn't go down on the first hit. He's clearly a North/South kinda guy. And he could end up being a nice diamond in the rough for the Pats in the near future.

    Who is Sammy Ellis? You mean Sammy Morris? Morris did a great job running the ball. But he was beaten terribly on a blitz that led to one sack.

    Thanks for posting, as usual.
  4. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I mentioned this in another thread. I truly believe that the Pats have moved away from the Zone blocking scheme that they were using and have gone back to a more traditional style that they used when Dillon was the primary RB.

    Neal played only one series in the 1st half, but played almost the entire 2nd half.

    The Pats running behind Light and Mankins consistently was a big factor in the run being so good.
  5. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    And we did not get called for a single inelligable man downfield. We've had a few of those this year. Maybe it's a sign that Cassel's timing is getting better... or maybe the line has just adjusted to Cassel's timing.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  6. Krugman

    Krugman Rookie

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    Nice post,PFK,re the RB situation,I seem to recall some on this board questioning five rb 's on the roster,no doubt BB remembered how fast that group can get whittled down,added a few for a buffer.good thing!
  7. kurtinelson

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    It makes betting on the games absolute hell. ; (
  8. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    I agree with your take on Cassell. I'm a little surprised that he was awarded the AFC Off. POTW. Then again, I don't know who else was nominated. The longer he holds the ball, the worse my feeling grows that something bad will happen. And yes, I have taken into account the sad fact that this OL's pass protection has been embarassing for the last 9 months.

    I'm not jumping on the Jim Haslett-led Lambs bandwagon. Dallas was ripe for the picking at St.Louis without Romeo, and Washington had no business losing the week before, a game which I watched in Charlottesville VA with some shocked & very pissed-off Skins fans.

    To his credit, BJGE ran hard & hungrily, but he also missed opportunities for cutbacks that might've gained lots more yardage. It's that Vision Thing again. The FO's PR flacks claimed that Cedric Cobbs had "vision you can't teach." In his case, obviously not. In BJGE's case, maybe he saw openings elsewhere but just wanted to take what he was given, as per the coaches' instructions. Can't give a rookie UDFA too much freedom to think, and all that.

    I'm surprised I'm saying this, but I wouldn't be so hard on the donkeys. They easily matriculated the ball downfield on their first 2 drives, only to lose momentum, and the football, each time. And had Cutler not hurt his finger on the very first play from scrimmage, an over/under of 70 points would not have been unlikely. The Pats probably would have won anyway because of their success on the ground, and the loss of Champ Bailey. And remember, Denver was already without Selvin Young & Tony Sheffler, amoung others.

    Has this question been posed by anybody else yet: WTF was Rodney doing on the field in a 34-7 blowout anyway? What a terrible, terrible way to lose such an important player. The NEP have not won a SB, since Rodney's arrival, without him in uniform. Would it have killed the HC to give Bubba Ventrone, or even the useless bust Matt Slater, some reps back there? And while I'm at it, Crable & Wheatley need to be on the game-day 45 - now. Mike effin Richardson ahead of our 2nd-round draft pick? What a joke.

    And finally, I now have no sympathy for injured players whom I despise. I hope that Lord Farvequad, the Mannings, Rivers, LT, Ray Lewis, TO, Steve Smith & Ocho Cinco all suffer season-ending injuries on their very next snap. It's time to level the playing field.
  9. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OK, let me say this one more time. Slater was drafted to play ST, not specifically as a returner. And given that he's in on nearly every ST play, I don't see how anyone can call him a bust.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  10. captain stone

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    You don't draft someone in the 5th round just to play ST unless he's a returner. That's a foolish waste of resources. Larry Izzo went undrafted; this guy would've gone undrafted, too. And if someone else did take him? No loss.
  11. DaBruinz

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    1) Matt Slater is hardly useless. Maybe you should watch the kick-offs, kick returns, punt returns, and punt coverage instead of going to the kitchen and filling your face with Nachos and beer. How can you be so daft as to call him a bust?

    2) Richardson had a stellar camp last year and was one of the last players cut this year. The Pats lucked out and were able to stash him on the practice squad. Richardson also plays on special teams. BB has explained it before that they have dressed Wilhite over Wheatley because Wheatley has primarily been seeing time in the slot while Wilhite was seeing time on the outside. The same is probably true for Richardson. He's been seeing time on the special teams coverage units while Wheatley hasn't.
  12. DaBruinz

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    You do if he's the best special teams player in the draft. Slater isn't JUST a returner. He also plays on both coverage units and on the punt return unit. Its called versatility. Slater also can line up as a WR or as a safety, though those are on an emergency basis.
  13. chris_in_sunnyvale

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    He ruined his leg on a play where he went untouched. Absolute freak play. Normally we bemoan leaving in starters in a blowout to avoid exposing them to a contact-related injury or cheap shot. Are we now supposed to add "cleat caught in the turf" to those fears? I guess we could since such injuries aren't unheard of, but it does seem a bit much.

    Regards,
    Chris
  14. Patriotic Fervor

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    Nice post, Ken. Lots of useful insights there to enjoy.

    re:your comments on Cassel....there's a few things that still bother me about him.
    He doesn't - can't or won't - see the whole field when he drops back to pass. Of course, we have been ruthlessly spoiled over the years by one Tom Brady, so that may color my perspective. Still...

    He still has the bad, bad habit of following his receiver from snap to finish. He didn't have any picks Monday night, which of course is good, but they were playing the Denver Broncos, a vastly over-rated inflatable doll if there ever was one.
    On the plus side, while 6 sacks is doubtless 6 too many, it is far better than 6 picks or 6 fumbles, or some combination thereof. So maybe he's getting better at this.




    There's one thing that sticks out in Sunday's game with St. Loo, and that's containing the estimable Steven Jackson. I believe all else will flow from that.

    Just my $.02....
  15. Box_O_Rocks

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    Yup, well, there may be some others, but looking around the NFL the current chaos is entirely understandable - injuries and coaching/front office.
    - Injuries: Indy, Seattle, NE to name three teams struggling with major injury concerns.
    - Coaching/Front Office: Dallas, San Diego, Miami to name two meltdowns and a work in progress.
    - Sh!t happens: It's worth noting that 6 games into the season NE has 9 players on IR (three starters, three reserve OL, two Safeties, two potential HOF candidates), and is 4-2, a game back of Buffalo with 11 games to play, and currently the 5th seed in the AFC. I love this team.

    5-2 is my best guess.

    Its a reasonable assumption that the final story has a few years to play out yet.

    Sounds like a classic young QB trying to interpret the view from field level versus that camera eye perspective seen from the comfy chairs in the film room. From my couch, it looks like progress to me (note: a laddy who was a reserve QB behind Tommy at Michigan posts over at Planet and he has the same concerns mixed in with strong affirmation of improvement for Cassel and approval of his coach's handling). IBBIT.

    Sacks hurt, but they rarely cost you the game. Turnovers, however, have a much more significant correlation with losing. The kid is playing BB's game - joy joy happy! :singing:

    Despite the many detractors, the loss of Maroney hurts. On the plus side, the blocking style which seems more productive for Scarnecchia coached lines works much better when a Slammin Sammy and Lambasting Lamont are hitting the holes - great galloping shades of Pokey Smith!

    That was a meltdown. Shanny's glowing red eyes promised severe repercussions - so severe the Donkeys have signed Chad Jackson... :eek:

    Much sorrow. I will say Meriweather is flashing some of Rodney's field presence - think happy thoughts.
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