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Thnings I learned on Sunday.....

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    ....and it was exactly as I expected.

    1. After much harranguing and complaint, the Pats FINALLY threw some sucessful Play Action Passes (PAPs) HALLA-F*CKING-LOOYA. The Patriots finally caught up with the concept that a good running attack can be futher enhanced with PAPs off those runs. Maybe NEXT time the Pats play the Colts, Bob Sanders won't be playing most of his time IN the PAT's Backfield.
    Ya Think!!!!

    2. Clearly the Pats should spend a big hunk of that Cap room this year to extend Ty Warren. We have all commented of how much this has been a breakout year for the young Mr. Warren. But over the last couple of games, the comparison of this DL with and without Ty was glaring. I'm pretty sure that he is locked up until at least2008, but I would hope that the Pats would make an exception in his case and raise his pay and extend him until at least 2010. In the long run it would probably be a lot less expensive to do it now than wait until his contract year. He has EARNED IT.

    3. It hurts me to think that the Seahawks could just as easily be 4-6 as 6-4 at this point of the season, and the Pats could have been looking at pick in the early teens as opposed to the late 20's. Its possible that this scenerio might still come to be, since its the Seahawk DEFENSE that is crapping the bed, as much as the losses of Hasselbeck and Alexander. Still its hard to picture Seattle NOT winning their division. However there is room to hope for a 9-7 record which will give a choice in the early 20's.

    4. Speaking of Draft Choices and next year, it perfectly clear to me that the Patriots have only 3 areas where I would like to improvement.

    a. The one area that I think needs the most critical improvement is in the secondary. While the current edition is decent, it is still the weeklink on the team. IMHO the key area that this lacking is SIZE. I can only think that THIS lack, is why the Pats secondary is constantly in a state of decimation. I would REALLY, REALLY like the Pats to draft the best available DB when their first pick comes up. Ideally this will be a S or CB with some size, and could become and immediate starter on this team. Secondly I'd like the Pats to sign the best available DB FA this off season. Again someone with some size. Bottom Line- a shut down secondary would make this defense almost impenetrable.

    b. The next area of concern, would be to add talent and youth to the LB corps. Right now the LB play this season has been excellent, but with Jr, Tedy, and Mike all WELL over 30, it is time to bring in some new blood....and anymore of those 5th-7th round development choices. We need to add one blue chip LB athlete from the draft, and one from FA. I think there are several FA possibilities this coming off season, including Lance Briggs.

    c. While I think the WR corp has adequate talent, and Chad Jackson is a special talent as an athlete, it wouldn't hurt to go out on the FA market and find a guy who could come in here and be an immediate #1 type talent. I don't know if there will be a guy out there who can fill that role. I just think it would be nice. I don't think we should waste one of the first round picks on a WR UNLESS there is someone so outstanding that for some reason they dropped to early 20's where the Pats should be using the Seattle pick. Clearly picking WRs isn't easily predictable. Just ask the Lions and Saints. The Lions have had 3 shots at the BEST WR on the board, and have only hit on ONE. (BTW- Don't blame Millen for the misses, while many would have picked other positions, very few thought that the WRs chosen weren't worth their place on draft board) And the Saints got the best rookie WR in the league some where in the 3rd or 4th round, so who can tell about drafting WRs. It is one of those very UNPREDICTABLE positions. That's why I'd RATHER spend the $ on a proven veteran. This is also a definite THIRD priority. If it didn't happen, I'd be OK to go with our current group into next year.

    What we don't need are more QB's, DL, OL, TE's, & RB's In those areas we have enough talent, depth & youth to last a couple of years (well maybe we can pick up a younger RB to replace Pass and develop behind Faulk and Dillon, who are aging) I really hope we trade MANY of draft picks we have next April to move up for quality or out to future years. If we make only 7 picks next year, it would be fine with me, 5 would be better. IMO you could leverage the 11+ picks the Pats are due to get into 5 first day picks - 3 DB's, 2LB/DE's and 2WRs would be perfect IMHO. The key for the Pats is Quality not Quantity

    5. I wonder about the lack of playing time that Gabriell has gotten the last 2 weeks. It CAN'T just be that he made a key fumble. Many have committed that mistake. As an observation, I haven't found him to be an explosive WR. It seems to take him a couple of steps to get to full speed. He has run 4.3 40's so it is not a matter of raw speed. He has that. His production was fairly good up until his benching (especially given his late arrival), and Brady has gone out of his way to mention him a couple of times. Every Raider fan I spoke with only spoke glowingly about his character as a team guy, So why is Doug Gabriel on the bench??? I can only hope that the other 4 WRs are simply just better at this point. Any ideas???

    6. This will be a very interesting team to watch as the season closes. It will be tough to get a read on how this team will fare in the post season. Not even a win against the Bears will offer a real picture, since the NFC is SOOOOO bad, a win over them won't have the same value as a win over the Bronco's, Colts, or SD, who are clearly the cream of the crop....league wide, right now.

    Hopefully the defensive secondary will be healthier and Rodney will be back. Hopefully the WRs and QB will be more in synch, but of all the teams we have watched over the last 5 years, this is the hardest to figure out, since this is the first year, they've had such an easy schedule and have played so few games against the elite teams in the league. INTERESTING.

    7. Watch out for Miami. The game down there is going to be much more difficult that most will think. They finally have gotten their act together and have run off 3 straight wins. Winning in Miami has ALWAYS been a difficult task for the Pats. I don't think Saban and his group will do us any favors and roll over. Like the Jets, a victory over the Pats will MAKE THEIR SEASON. So beware the Phish

    8. For some reason the Baltimore Ravens are the team I hate the most recently. My dislike for them equals my hate for the Broncos and Colts (teams we actually play). Maybe its their coach. Maybe its the Ray Lewis Hype machine. Maye its their thug image. I don't know, but for a team that we have played only once during this 5 year run, emotions have run high. I would love to play them in the playoffs. They are a perfect fit for us....IMHO

    9. Is the NFC SO BAD that makes a victory over the 9-1 Bears relatively meaningless. I think the answer to that is YES. The Bears have eked by with wins over the Packers and Vikes, and have lost to the resurgent Dolphins. It is hard to take them THAT seriously. From what I have read we WILL see their offense at its best, with Berrian back at WR, but Grossman is s hit or miss kind of QB, so how good their offense will be is subject to conjecture. It will be interesting to see how the Pats will attack "the best defense in the league".

    One thought would be to spread them out like we did the Vikes and Steelers. Another would be to run right at them and wear them down, then hit them deep with (dare I say it) Play Action Passes. They are weaker in at the safeties with Mike Brown out for the year (though the same could be said of our safety position.) The Bears play an aggressive brand of defense, we should use that agression against them. The would mean the following.

    ON THE RUN - Quick hitting traps and draws. We should run NO running plays that take time developing. That would be suicide against this kind of defense. Between our TEs and FB, we can attacks all allong the line with good angle blocks that will make the Bears pay for their agressive one gap techniques.

    ON THE PASS - Again PAP's are my favorite but that would assume that we are running the ball effectively. I hope we have seen a little bit of the future when we saw Moroney catch the swing pass for the last TD. I would like to see more of that kind of simple pass play. I would also love to see the spread-no huddle formation for a series of plays and then without warning or reason 2 TEs and a single back, also from a no-huddle. This kind of personell moves will cause the Bears to use a time out or better, not use a TO and be caught in some bad mismatches.
     
  2. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What does it say about our personnel strategy when we have the same projected needs for five years in row: CB,LB,WR, depth at S
     
  3. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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    . .. ... ....
     
  4. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    Nothing like sticking with the run to set up PAP, eh? ;)

    They will attempt to resign Warren early, but it will be a discounted contract. I don't think it gets done until the last minute, and it will be for Seymour level money, IMO.

    Between us and the Seahawks not having the best records in the league, we will get two good draft picks at the value end of the first round. That can go a long way if we scout well. This team thrives on cheap labor, and hopefully can pick up some good players in the 20's area of the draft. Or trade up a little. No worries!

    I believe that a shut down corner back and a real pass rusher are our biggest priorities. Not a big two gapper, but somebody to replace the Willie role. Not another scrapheap project but a DE that can play some LB and RUSH THE PASSER!!!!!!!!!!!

    I also think we need a shut down left tackle more than another WR. If Brady has time, he makes anyone look good. If Brady doesn't, he throws picks or gets killed. The Chargers picked up a left tackle with pick #50 who would eat anybody on our O-Line.

    I think we should try to get a #1 WR through free agency, not the draft.

    Clearly, Gabriel has been somewhat of a disappointment to the coaching staff for a little while now, because they had a back up plan in place and pulled the plug on him during a game. Kind of like Starks last year.

    I think that our offense will win or lose the game this weekend, with no doubt. We throw the ball to Uralcher and the game is over. The O-Line lets Brady get hit on every play and the game is over. Our WRs get no seperation and the game is over.

    I think we can win, but I'm not worried about Grossman beating us as much as us laying another stinker on offense.

    I don't share your hate of the Ravens to the same rarified atmosphere as the Donkeys and Dolts. But I dislike them for the same reasons you do.

    Hope we play consistently this weekend. That seems to be a problem this year, and I've been saying it since week one.
     
  5. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    True about LB but not with the others. We've brought in lots of CB/S, Hobbs, Scott, Sanders, Reid (and Hawkins to a lesser extent as he was a street FA although he's been a nice surprise). The "strategy" hasn't been the problem, the first four were all 4th round picks or higher - we just have made poor picks and/or not developed them well. Same with WR, we brought in Jackson and Caldwell and then when the Branch thing erupted, Gabriel.
     
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And remember, it's Warren we got with the Bledsoe pick :D

    I think 21-22 is almost a lock. They should squeak out the playoffs in that division but they aren't very good even with Hasselbeck and Alexander coming back. If they lose to Denver and SD that's 6 losses - just one more puts them at your mentioned 9-7 which would be one of the worst playoff records.


    TE - If Graham leaves, we're likely to draft a TE. Very likely, in fact.
    DL - Belichick will always draft one if he likes the value. Supposedly he was interested in Ngata this past year.
     
  7. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    We've addressed some of those needs - some well, some not so well. It might also be a comment on what we fans see as the proper personnel strategy, and how that may differ with the F.O. After all, looking at the last five years we don't have a lot to complain about. Or shouldn't, anyway.
     
  8. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    mgteich,

    Simply this. You and I don't know F**k All about building a football roster. Belichick wants experienced players at most of those LB positions and has gone out and gotten them by acquiring veterans.

    Meanwhile he has built in the trenches... And How!!

    He has also drafted and developed Asante, Blue, Hobbs, Geno, and Sanders nd failed with Dexter and Guss. At WR he drafted Deon, Givins, and BJ, succeeding with two, failing with one.
     
  9. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est In the Starting Line-Up

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    Final analysis, we don't need a lot, but a SS, CB and LB are MUST acquisitions next year. Throw in a major FA like Briggs and we are just fine.
     
  10. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    One of the best threads that I've read in a long time.

    But leave Mgtiech alone....he's been working on this website a long time.

    It would not surprise me at all if BB looked at this and agreed that we will have needs with the mentioned positions....but It would also not surprise me at all if they already have a good idea what draft picks and FA's they will target (and expect) to sign.

    But the heart and soul of our team is in the DL, OL, QB and RB positions on this team are rock solid and headed that way for a while.
     
  11. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think it says that BB drafts the best player available, not for need. (By the way, I don't completely agree that WR has been a need for the last five years. I would have been happy with Givens, Branch, Brown, Dwight and A.N. Other. I would, though, add NT.)

    And that strategy is very defensible, given that our early round draft picks have been so consistently productive. I wouldn't have drafted Maroney, given the team's needs, but I'm mightily glad that they did. However, it does lead to team imbalance. I've lost count of the number of articles/posts there have been about why BB needs so many top-quality defensive linemen or wants to run an offense with three tight ends. Basically, I think that the explanation is simpler: there were good players available at draft time and BB was confident that he could find a way to make use of them.

    But there are risks and difficulties. In 2000/2001/2002 BB and Pioli were incredibly successful at picking up second or third-tier free agents/ageing or injured players who had been written off to fill the gaps. We've been much less so recently, although there has still been the odd conspicuous success -- Seau and Hawkins have been great pick-ups. I wonder why. It's possible that the quality of guys on the fringes of the league has diminished and that teams are getting better at evaluating and retaining their own players. Which brings me to my criticism of BB and Pioli. The number of our valued players who are leaving is giving the team an awful lot of holes to fill.
     
  12. Patfandango

    Patfandango On the Roster

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    Always my favorite thread of the week. Thanks Ken and others. I agree completely on Warren. He is the must re-sign this year.

    RE drafting: I guessing that defense will be the focus and DB and LB are the obvious place given that the DL will be young, excellent and locked up for several years (if we re-sign Warren). I also like our depth here wih Green and Wright, who has been a wonderful surprise.

    Free agency. I'm pleased that we hit with hawkins and seau the last couple of years but i think that getting 1-2 FAs that make a difference is about right. 2002 was a bust year (Hayes, Martin) but otherwise BB/SP have got 1-2 that make a difference. The fololowing analysis suggests how important getting at least 2 FAs that make a diffference can be. Here is a list of players via FA or trade on the roster or that i remember with ! beside those of profound contribution and - for negative contribution except this year (too early to judge).
    :
    2001: Vrabel! Neal! Izzo! Cox! Patten! Pfifer! Pleasant! Smith!, Chatham, Ashworth, Cherry, Coleman, Compton Edwards Huard, Johnson (Charles), Parker- Shaw- Sullivan, Walter. 2002: Hochstein!, Fauria! Buckley Cleeland, Holsey-, Knutson-, Lyle-, Tuitele-, Green, Martin-, Hayes-. 2003:Harrison! Colvin! * due to injury), Poole!, Washington!, Gorin, Mrukowski, Akins, Cloud, Davis, Kichen, Mayer-, Ward. 2004: Dillon!, Miller Josh! Gay!, Traylor!, Andullah, Alexander, Kasper-, Miller Jim, Moreland, Poteat, Weaver, Yates 2005:Hawkins! Scott, Evans, Britt, Childress, Flutie Starks-, Brown-, Beisel-, Stone, Thomas, Tucker,Wright. 2006: Seau, Caldwell, Baker Gabriel Gaffney, Mays, Testeverde, Woods. One could argue that the FA success is the tipping point as 2002 and 2005 were weaker years and they were non superbowl years.

    You can see that in Superbowl years we do quite well for ! compared to -. It's not that FA success is the most important thing but perhaps the thing that puts us over the top given that we draft reasonably well and coach and train superbly.
     
  13. carolinatony

    carolinatony In the Starting Line-Up

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    Good post and I agree but would add 1 more thing

    MORE TEAM SPEED on defense
     
  14. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I think MGtech is really correct. BB/Pioli have, just like every organization, have had their share of misses in FA and the draft. Given the number of first day picks we have allotted to the safety position (and early second day ones as well), we have STILL not been able to find a S that looks like he can replace Wilson or Harrison....or even Hawkins. Very strange give the way we have continually found several starters in the second day of the draft.

    What I have liked about the Pats FO, is that they don't dwell on their mistakes. They get rid of them and move on. A lot of teams tend to refuse to admit to the mistake, therebye added to the original problem. BB/Pioli go about their business as if they assume that SOME mistakes will be made and they have a plan to deal with them.

    Also a key to the Pats success is that they are nearly 100% successful in the first 2 rounds (yes, even Bethel provided some important production, though he never lived up to his potential). Also they have invariably have found at least one starter on the second day EVERY YEAR. For all the mistakes, you can't over look that. I doubt anyother team can equal those 2 perameters. Now if we can just find that GD safety. ;)

    Finally, IIRC as successful as BB has been in the draft, it is ironic that the 3rd round seems to baffle him. Can anyone recall a single 3rd round pick that has been successful...or even moderately success?????
     
  15. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    How did the O-Line look to you in both Bills games? The recent Jets game? The Denver game? For that matter, how about the run blocking in the Colts game? Were they world beaters in the Miami game?

    Just curious how they looked to you, because they looked really average to below average to me in those games. Especially left tackle.

    I don't know how anybody could conclude that our O-Line is anything other than wildly inconsistent at this point in time.
     
  16. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ellis Hobbs was a 3rd rounder if I remember correctly.


    Edit: I looked up our 3rd round history going back to 2000:

    05: Ellis Hobbs and Nick Kaczur
    04: Gus Scott
    03: No Pick
    02: No Pick
    01: Brock Williams
    00: JR Redmond

    Last year in the third round we drafted a full and Part time starter. Two contributors currently on the team, one past contributor and two busts. Doesn't seem to be a bad 3rd round track record.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2006
  17. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    They have been inconsistent in the running game. But the pass protection is convoluted, Brady calls out the pass protection so if a defender comes in unblocked it is most likely due to Brady mis-reading the defense.

    I would also say a lack of continuity due to injury and yes poor play at the LT position have aided in this.
     
  18. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    I just never feel confident about our line against teams like the Bears, because ever since 2001 we have had a one trick pony at left tackle. Put Light in the competition at right tackle and get a true left tackle through the draft, a stud like the Chargers got with the 50th pick, and then people can brag all they want about our world beater O-Line.
     
  19. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Not wanting to pick on wording, the reason I disagreed with mgteich is that he questioned the "strategy" not the "execution" of getting young DBs. With draftees Hobbs, Sanders, Reid, Scott and FA Scott, Hawkins, Warfield they have tried to bring in some fresh (some old, some young) blood but have failed other than Hobbs, C. Scott and Hawkins (although there's still hope for Sanders too).

    This is a deep and talented group at safety in the 2007 draft so we should see two draftees, I would expect, on Day One, in the Defensive Backfield. Maybe even three.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2006
  20. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Time and again we have serious injury problems in the secondary. And this is not surprising -- given that these are small, fast guys who have to tackle much bigger ones it stands to reason that the physical toll will be extreme.

    But seeing it happen once again leads me to ask whether we are making the best provision for the possibility of injuries. Are we keeping enough defensive backs?

    It seems to me that the issue to re-visit would be our preparedness to keep special-teams-only players (Izzo, Davis, Alexander). It isn't as if our special teams had been so fabulously good with them there and those slots impose a really significant cost if it means that we can't keep people like Hank Poteat on the roster and have to start Troy at corner.

    Thoughts?
     
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