October 07, 2009
Grogan's Grade: Week 4 - New England vs. Baltimore
BY: Steve Grogan
MB: Steve the offense showed some definite signs of improvement this week, do you agree?
S.G.: Brady looked a lot more confortable than he has since the season started and I think every week you're going to see him getting better and better. Of course he had his security blanket back with him, Wes Welker, which I think makes him feel more comfortable.
MB: That is a big key to it, isn't it, to have someone out there you can throw to that you have a rhythm with? It's almost as if he can anticipate what Welker's going to do and Welker knows what Brady's going to do. Were you ever in a situation Steve where you had noone out there that you really had a rhythm with?
S.G.: Yes a couple times, if Stanley Morgan would be hurt or not playing in a game, or Harold Jackson back in the eighties. You're playing with your back up guys, and it's not that they can't play, but you just don't have the same comfort level that you have with the starters. I think you saw yesterday that [Brady] had his guys back and felt pretty good about it.
MB: After the game the Ravens were highly uncompletmentary of the officials. Do you think there is any truth to what they were saying, do you think they are babying Tom Brady?
S.G.: I don't think it's just Tom Brady that they are protecting, but I do agree to some extent with what the Ravens were saying. The call where the guy fell at Bradys legs, you have to play football sometimes. I don't think he was trying to hit Brady low, he got blocked in that direction. At some point I think you have to let the quarterbacks be football players and I'm the first one to support quarterbacks being protected but that's going a little overboard. I think hey were being a little over protective yesterday.
MB: Didn't both of those penalties result in points for the Patriots too?
S.G.: Yes, they kept drives alive. I think they called at least one on the Patriots, I think it was Light that had his hand halfway on Flaco's head. So it went both ways but I think they are taking it too far. I know you have to protect those guys but you also have to let them play football.
MB: A listener emailed in a question. Will writes, "I wonder if you could you ask about Rodney Harrison's comment at the half of the Pittsburg/San Diego game, saying that Tom Brady was wearing a skirt because of the roughing the passer calls."
S.G.: I heard that comment. When Rodney said it, I know he mentioned Brady's name but I think he was addressing all quarterbacks. Basically saying they're football players, you can't put a skirt on them. I'm sure Tom Brady will give him a phone call. When that defender brushed his legs you could see him lobbying for the call, I think that was going a little far for Tom.
MB: Bill Parcells always said, when it came to your record, you are what you are. The Denver Broncos are 4-0, do you feel like they're a 4-0 team?
S.G.: They've had a couple of big plays late in games. In the opener they had a play you rarely ever see in an NFL game, the tip ball for a touchdown to win and this week they had a great effort by a wide receiver late in the game to win. You have to give Josh McDaniels some credit, they were ready to run him out of town in Denver 3 or 4 months ago when he traded [Cutler] to Chicago and now he's 4-0. There's a lot of season left, but they're sure playing well right now.
MB: Another team that surprises me, that I thought would be better is the Titans. They are 0-4 does that surprise you?
S.G.: That is surprising, they had the best record in the AFC last year and now they're 0-4. Jeff Fisher is a good football coach whose been there a long time and he'll get them winning games but it's probably too late for them to be looking at the playoffs now.
MB: After the game some friends of mine were complaining about Maroney, they're disappointed. What is your assesment of Maroney this season?
S.G.: I though in the beginning of the season he was doing more south running and hitting the hole more but yesterday he went back to his old routine. Kickoff returns he would bring the ball out to the 15 yard line and start dancing around and when they got him the ball he wasn't hitting the hole. I can't figure this kid out. He has so much ability but he's just not using it because he's so worried about breaking the big play everytime instead of just pushing the pile once in a while.
MB: What is Grogan's Grade for the Patriots win over the Ravens?
S.G.: I gave the Offense an A-. The fact they were 40% on 3rd down is good. They were scoring in the red zone, along with the fact they dominated in time of possession with 35-25 minutes, which was good to see. I thought it was a good effort by runningback Sammy Morris, especially as a pass catcher. I did think that giving up a fumble for a touchdown just when you thought you had the game in control was definitely not a good thing. Not sure what they were thinking late in the game on 4th down when they rolled Brady out and had him throw on the run. That is not his strength.
I gave the Defense an A-. They only gave up 14 offensive points, which was good. The interception by Bodden in the red zone, was a very good play. The bend but don't break style defense worked well, except for the fact they gave up 64% conversion of third downs. However, they were 0-2 on 4th down.
I gave the Special teams an A-. I thought they were good for the most part. I thought the kick off returns could have been better, not much effort there. The botched fake field goal also was not good. That could have been a big turning point in the game if they had given the Patriots a first down instead of the penalty.
They played very well on both sides of the ball, a couple things here and there that bothered me a little bit so that drops it from an A to an A- but it was a good effort all the way around.
ANNOUNCEMENT: The Patriots alumni group is having a 'Game with the Greats' next Sunday at Gillette stadium. Tickets are $40.00 and you can come watch the game in the stadium with about 25- 30 former Patriots players. The price incudes a pass to the Patriots Hall of Fame. The group supports youth football throughout New England. For more information go to the Patriots website (Patriots.com)and click on alumni.
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