....Just some comments on some stuff I haven't read or heard much about. Pardon any redundancy. 1.Matt Light was supposed to be facing a player who usually causes him fits. (James Harrison) The small, quick, low to the grown edge rusher....and he stoned him. How'd they do it. First, because the crowd was so quiet, Light was able to get off on the snap quickly. Second, he worked very hard to bend his knees and maintain leverage on the shorter guy. Third, the Pats reduced the number of times Light got the match up by formation. In other words they directed the formation to force Harrison into pass coverage OR if he came, to throw quickly to open receiver in the vacated flat area. Regardless of how, Harrison was a non-factor all evening. BTW- what did you see last night that would make you want to get rid of Matt Light next year....if his contract demands are reasonable (ie top 15 LT money on a 3 year deal). Another thought would be to Franchise him for a year. Yeah, you'd overpay him that year, but you wouldn't have the risk of a long term contract on an older player with diminishing skills. Good for both sides. 2. When was the last time you heard the name Sebastian Volmer talked about....and that's a good thing. Clearly we have solved any RT issues along the OL. This kid is going to b special as he develops. 3. Still staying on the OL, Dan Koppen is very quietly having a very good year. He's still a very solid and competent C, but not an impact one. I don't know the players but an impact C could very well be there at the end of the 1st or the top of the 2nd. So while the Dan Koppen era isn't over, the end isn't far off. 4.While, sadly, the Oakland pick keeps dropping, the Carolina pick is rising fast, and SHOULD be 33-35 at worst. Lots of good players to be found there. So unless something drastic happens the Pats will have THREE picks in the player pool of guys with low first round grades. Maybe not as good as we hoped, but it sure doesn't suck. 5. I was almost certain that when we drafted next April, the first pick off our board would be the best 3-4 DE candidate available. Now I'm not so sure. Right now the Pats are using so many different DL groupings it hard on TV to keep track of who exactly is in there, But it looks like Deadrick and Brace have passed Gerard Warren, or are at least interchangeable with him. As Deadrick and Brace are seemingly on the upswing, Wilfolk just entering his prime, and Wright, Pryor, and Warren as effective depth. Maybe taking a DE that high might NOT be the best use of that asset. Wouldn't Ty Warren who is likely to come back better since he'll be truly healthy for the first time a few years, be LIKE that impact draft pick, only without the learning curve. 6. Still picking a RB in that slot (whatever it is) doesn't look like a great idea either. There are just too many examples of effective running backs being had in the lower rounds. BJGE is a perfect example right here, but so are Peyton Hillis, and the kid in TB, Blunt (IIRC), and many many others. We definitely NEED an infusion of young RBs, but is it worth a #1? 7. Watching the impact of L Jackson, the Eagle WR, you can see what BB was going for when he took a shot at Bethel Johnson and Chad Jackson. Exceptional speed can really open up the field for an offense....if it can function within the offensive system of the team the speed is on. Jackson and Johnson clearly couldn't make the transition to a compete WR, but the CONCEPT was a correct one. I wouldn't be surprised to see BB take another shot this year in the first 3 rounds for a WR with "special speed" and hope he develops into a complete WR. You can't coach speed, and its damned hard to defend it. BB knows this. 8. I cannot do one of these threads without gushing some more about Devin McCourty, He is just now starting to attract some national attention, but the play that confirmed his potential greatness was his tackle in the open field. It wasn't that he dragged the RB down, which would have been super; he stoned him. Dropped him in his tracks....short of the first down. It was just special 9. Could it be that the change in the defense between Cleveland and Pittsburgh is as simple as the inclusion of Pat Chung. I couldn't help notice the speed comparison between him and Paloumalu. His he capable of being OUR Bob Sanders (hopefully without the injuries)? The word I think watching him play is "sudden". For example on that KO where it looked like the returner had a lane and was about to break into the open, Chung comes out of NO WHERE and stops him dead in his tracks. One second it looked very dangerous, and the next the play was over. BANG. I can't help but think how our secondary will look when Bodden comes back. I could be that our current "pro bowl" Safety might be the 4th best player on the back line....and lots of more experienced depth for all the various sub D's. A VERY exciting prospect 10. Rothlessberger might be a horrible person and an un-indicted sex offender, but you have to admire how tough it is to bring that guy down. Guys were getting one hand on him and couldn't even turn his shoulders, let alone bring him down. One play in particular was funny (now that the game is over). TBC bounces off him and has him by the ankle when he throws a completion to a back underneath. The play ends with Rothlessberger still standing. 11. I know the defense let up a lot of passing yards especially in garbage time. However I wonder how much of that yardage was made AFTER the original play had broken down, I would think at least 2/3rds off hand. That tells me that the initial coverage was good...and that's a good thing. Its just another sign of improvement. 12. This week will present different problems. On the plus side Manning, unlike Big Ben likes to throw in rhythm, so having good initial coverage is critical. Its also a lot less likely that we will have many nearly as many sacks. The down side is Manning's ability to read defenses and change the play into one where he will have a matchup advantage. BB in his Monday chat on EEI, gave the best explanation I ever heard on why Manning is so successful, and why he's still effective, even with all the injuries to his backs and receivers. I would check it out if you have a chance. Its really both revealing and scary. BB tells that Manning has such a sophisticated grasp of both HIS offense and your defense that he can get out of bad plays and into good ones on the LOS. Its one of the advantages of coming into the league and being in the same system for over a decade. When asked will he have something new for Manning this week, be said that Manning has pretty much seen every kind of disguise that coaches can think up, and more times than not, he recognizes it and gets his team into the best play possible. 13. All that means is that next week isn't going to be any easier than last week...or the week before. However it is a game we SHOULD win, and will if we follow the blueprint of all our victories this season. DON'T turn the ball over. Play great special teams. Don't give up big plays. Get TO's. All the things we DIDN'T do in Cleveland, so we shouldn't be shocked at the predictable result. We are a good team, but not good enough YET to be able to overcome sloppy play. If we bring our A game, and follow the plan, we will win this game at home. 14. I know we aren't supposed to look ahead, but I am very worried about the Detroit game. 15. You will never convince me that Merriweather committed PI on that play. It looked to me that it was the WR who initiated the contact. I know that PFW in Progress guys all think it was PI (except Fred, of course), but I still can't see it. I think the outrage on the Gronk call was due to the fact the replay was from behind, so you didn't see him extend his arms, which according to those in attendance, he did. OK that's enough....for now.