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Patriots without Pioli

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by townes, Jun 30, 2010.

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  1. townes

    townes Rookie

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    Maybe it's just me but I really feel like these past 2 drafts have been much better than the drafts we saw when Belichik and Pioli were working together the past 5 years. Obviously we won't know for a few more years whether or not he was able to reload with the talent they need to be a championship quality team for the next 4-5 years, but I really like what I saw from last year's draft class and i loved this draft, and in working these drafts they set themselves up first for a great draft this year, and then for another next year.

    Frustrating as it is to watch, especially when everyone is jonesing for a pass rusher at OLB, i thought Belichik worked the 09" draft beautifully, and while the Brace choice is still questionable I think that they hit the jackpot on Chung, Butler, and Vollmer. I loved the McKenzie pick and Tate was considered first round talent if healthy. Moving down they also got production out of Pryor replaced Paxton with Ingram, and Edelman was a true find who will turn into a really good WR this season.

    In the 2010 draft they again frustrated many by overlooking OLB in the 1st and going with a CB, but i thought McCourty was the best CB in this draft and loved the pick when they made it. I have reservation s about Cunningham making an impact any time soon and thought he was the most questionable choice they made, but I thought the league was way off about Spikes and allowing a bad 40 time to dictate your decision on an all american ILB is foolish. Spikes knows the game and his instincts and reads will trump any questions about 40 times. He should see a good deal of playing time right out of the gate and will join an excellent ILB rotation. The Taylor Price selection was another great choice imo and i won't be surprised if he's the best rookie WR in this class, he has excellent speed, decent size, really good hands, and his primary drawback was the offense he played in. I like Larsen as a project to eventually replace Koppen, i thought using a 5th for the best punter in the draft was wise, and i liked the late flyers on deadrick and weston.


    Overall I believe Belichik is doing a really good job rebuilding the team into another championship team while staying in the hunt in the process. they lost a number of exceptional leaders and replaccing them on the fly is no small feat, however it seems like a number of their draftees have the leadership qualities that will eventually be able to fill that void as well as they could have hoped.


    Bottom line, i'm wondering, despite my respect for Pioli, if it's easier for Belichik to run the draft's and get the right players and make the right moves without going back and forth with Pioli during the process. My understanding was that they debated choices as they came up during the draft and wouldn't take a player unless they both agreed on them, which strikes me as unwieldy and a block to getting things done quickly, which can be necessary during a draft.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  2. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great post.

    FWIW, I don't know how much of that happened during the draft; my understanding is that most of that back-and-forth happened when the draft board was being set.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  3. BlueThunder

    BlueThunder PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    BB seems to be doing fine without Scott.....The next year or two when these picks blossom will be fun.....Pats retooling on the fly while keeping up their winning ways. Next year having 4 early picks will be the cherry on the top...


    Poor AFCE
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    2009
    This was a great draft with many contributers. Personally, I considered BRACE as insurance against Wilfork not re-signing or Wilfork being injured. IMHO, the NT position is critical to Belichick, so we need a backup NT, even if he doesn't do anything else. I hoped that it wouldn't take the 40th pick, but Belichick saw the value and certainly did well using the later pick.

    For me, CHUNG was the questionable pick at 34. There were lots of safeties later and we had (and have) two solid starting safeties without Chung. We could have had Laurinitis. We lost a year at ILB development. Obviously the injury to Mayo underlined the problem, but we would have been a better defense with Laurinitis. Laurinitis was ready to go. Perhaps Belichick thought that McKenzie was ready to start. Perhaps Chung will indeed start this year and be a future all-rpo. That isn't the issue. There were quality linebacker available and we drafted a safety when we had two staerting safeties for the foreseeable future.

    2010
    This was the best draft I have ever experienced since sarting to root rooting for the patriots in 1979.

    CUNNINGHAM is questionable only because I had him rated lower than Dunlop, but Belichick surely know which FL prospect will likely fit better into the future of the patriots. I would likely have missed on both (or not), since I would have drafted Spikes at 53. I suspect that I might have gotten Cunningham at 62 and ended up with the same pair,

    I am not as high on PRICE as you, but he was an OK addition. He was also deent value at a position of need.

    ======================

    OUTSIDE LINEBACKER / PASSRUSH
    This has been a clear problem since Thomas was injured. This was clearly the biggest need left by Pioli. So what has Belichick done? Belichick has chosen to bring in Banta-Cain, Crable, Burgess, Ninkovich and Cunningham. He also has chosen to retain special teamer Woods. Belichick has also chosen to dump Seymour and Green in favor of Lewis and G. Warren.

    The bottom line here is that the OLB/DE positions were an issue that Pioli had when he left. Belichick needed to replace Vrabel. He also need to get something out of Thomas. Finally, he needed to develop or acquire future defensive ends. 2009 was a disaster in almost all these respects. Belichick just added to the problem by not drafting a linebacker in the early part of the 2009 draft. Apparently he was surprised that Bruschi was no longer a top talent (no one here was surprised at the need). Belichick also added to the need by trading Seymour. We can like trading for picks two years in the future or not; the reality is that the 2009 deense was harmed.

    So, should we applaue Belichick for dumping Seymour without replacement, for getting no production or future out of Thomas, for not replacing Vrabel, and fpr not replacing Bruschi in 2009? Yes, it is a cause of celebration that we are building for a solid 2011 (if it happens) and a solid 2012. But the reality is that 2009 was a missed opportunity, 2009 was a year with the team happy to be in the playoffs.


    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  5. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Patriots saw more value in McKenzie in the third round than in Laurinaitis, or, for that matter, what seemed like God's gift to the Patriots in Connor Barwin.
  6. capetide

    capetide Rookie

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    Have been thinking much the same. If the 2009 draft class progresses and as many 2010 draftees contribute as the prior draft class, BB would have done a tremendous job transforming the team in two years. It will also be interesting to see what veteran free agents he'll be able to pick up when teams start cutting them (given that there's no significant slary cap ramifications as in prior years) in July and August.
  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Obviously it is way too early to assess the last two drafts, but as of now it does look like they've been the best back-to-back drafts by the Pats in a very long time. I know I am being a bit of a homer and perhaps overly optimistic in that assessment considering half of those players have yet to play a single down in the NFL, and most of the other half of the group have started only a handful of games between them. And even though history says someone among them will turn out to be the next Kenyatta Jones or Chad Jackson, the group does appear to be very solid, and a very solid foundation for years to come.
  8. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I think that the Florida players (as much as this Dawg hates to admit it) are really gonig to make a difference next year. Spikes is your Mike LB, nose for the ball, makes big plays. Cunningham will excite everyone at OLB. He will be the answer to the pass rushing woes...

    Of course when you have 12 picks in each of the last two drafts, it allows you to move around and position yourself much bettter than when you have the last pick in each round. Who really knows what the draft plans were going into draft day, would that Pats have taken Matthews/Spiller if they dropped down a little more? Were they sold on Graham but got beaten to him? The one thing for certian is that they wanted no part of Dez Bryant (I told y'all so), and they vauled Cunninham over Dunlap.

    I was facinated by watching the little clips of BB working the draft. Trading every which way he could. On the reverse, Pioli on the other hand did not move around at all in the first 4 rounds.

    Of course 4 more picks next year in the first two rounds!!!!
  9. Leave No Doubt

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    :agree:; personally my red,silver and blue heart sank when it was announced that Pioli was leaving. The Dynamic Duo's split was so dreaded! It's not so bad after all, we survived, and BB carries on perhaps even better than before.

    I loved this draft too, as well as getting the most bang for his buck BB really filled that 'void of intangibles'.
  10. DaBruinz

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

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    #50 Jersey

    Did I miss something and the rule of thumb for evaluating drafts changed?

    The first rule, which Belichick and every other Personnel guy touts as a mantra, is that it takes 3 years to fully evaluate a player. So, to be talking about these drafts being better already is jumping the gun..

    Also, people want to throw someone under the bus for the 2007 draft. How about the players themselves, from that draft? That draft has been extremely poor across the league.. Yet, people on here still slam BB for it.

    This is the year to fully evaluate the 2008 draft. On the hotseat are Mayo, Wilhite, Wheatley, Slater, and Crable.. So far, only Mayo has shown to be in the good to excellent category. Wilhite is a JAG at worst. Slater is an ACE special Teamer.. Wheatley and Crable need to show something or the draft will go down as a poor one..

    The 2009 draft looks very promising considering the contributions from Edelman, Pryor, Chung, Butler, Vollmer, etc, but there is still 2 years of playing before we can say it was an outright success..
  11. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In fairness to Pioli, the Pats have had what 8 second round picks the last two years. In 2007, the Pats had one pick in the first two rounds and only three in the first five rounds.
  12. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    The most impressive aspect of the 2010 draft was the fact we went into the draft with one first round pick, 3 second round picks, and zero 3rd round picks. And when the dust settled we managed to keep our first round pick, maintained the 3 second round picks and ended up with TWO 3rd round picks (one of which we traded for a 2nd in 2011).

    For the past 2 years we managed to draft 24 players. At the same time the Jets have drafted SEVEN! Clearly the numbers game favors us. The 2009 draft has already given us 7 players who immediately contributed to that season (Chung, Pryor, Edelman, Butler, Ingram Volmer, and Hoyer) That's a fantastic number for ANY team, and we still might see contributions from Brace, Tate, and McKenzie.

    Anything even approaching that measure of success would make these 2 years home runs.

    But it also points out the difference in drafting for an established team vs one in transition. Clearly your chances for relative success when you are in transition are a lot greater, than when you are drafting for a more established team.
  13. capetide

    capetide Rookie

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    Wasn't Pioli part of the decision-making process that led to the Pats having had one pick in the first two rounds and only three in the first five rounds?
  14. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    How about we look at KCs drafts with Pioli at the helm?

    2009: Pretty bland draft class. They received the most production out of a kicker. Not having a 2nd round pick didn't help.
    Tyson Jackson
    Alex Magee
    Donald Washington
    Colin Brown
    Quinten Lawrence
    Javarris Williams
    Jake O'Connell
    Ryan Succop

    2010: Hard to predict so early, but they didn't get help at two glaring needs of OT and ILB. Ryan O'Callaghan is starting if that tells you anything. Also, I am going to cringe every time McCluster gets tackled. He looks anorexic compared to other players on the field
    Eric Berry
    Dexter McCluster
    Javier Arenas
    Jon Asamoah
    Tony Moeaki
    Kendrick Lewis
    Cameron Sheffield
  15. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    TE - Glaring need
    CB/KR/PR - Glaring need
    slot WR - Glaring need
    S- Glaring need
    OG - Glaring need

    It's tough to 'fix' a 2 win team with just 2 drafts. It's so tough, in fact, that it's never been done in the salary cap era.
  16. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    There's no doubt there's a glaring need at every position on a 2 win team. After drafting DL in the first round the past two years, wouldn't OT be a good place to start? This was definitly more of a flashy draft then we've normally seen from Pioli.
  17. Deus Irae

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    They'd drafted the starting LT (Albert) in 2008, along with Richardson, who'll compete at both LT and RT. They drafted a T/G last year, in Colin Brown, only to see him end up on the IR, and he'll compete for a position on the right side this year. They drafted a guard this year. They signed a center and a guard this year. O'Callaghan is strong in the run game, although he's a liability on passing downs, and he's played few enough games that improvement is certainly not an impossibility. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Chiefs looking at RTs that get cut by other teams during training camp, but I can understand what they've done.

    That team needed playmakers to take some heat off of the running game and to give Cassel a chance. So far, while it's only been the underwear days, McCluster and Arenas have looked like excellent picks that should help in the running game, the passing game, and the return game.

    What's going to be key for the Chiefs is the improvement of Magee, Dorsey and Jackson. There's a lot riding on 2 of those 3 panning out as 3-4 DEs.

    When it comes to the AFCW, I have more problems with the Chargers draft than with the Chiefs. I thought the Chiefs and Broncos both had excellent drafts. For that matter, I thought the Raiders draft brought in a lot of down-the-road potential.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  18. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    What about a one win team with one draft - Miami in 08. Does that not count?
  19. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #51 Jersey

    The accumulation of draft picks for future use is what's impressed me the most. It not only sets up future draft strategy but also gives the Patriots leverage to make whatever moves necessary both draft and trades.

    All that remains is the draft class performance evaluations... but I'm happy where the Patriots are at.
  20. TommyBrady12

    TommyBrady12 Rookie

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    I agree that the florida players should make a huge difference, especially since they played a 3-4. however, how is it that spikes is going to be a Mike or middle LB? Won't he be a Will?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
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