October 26, 2010
Grogan's Grade: New England at San Diego
BY: Steve Grogan
Morning Buzz: I think the word to describe Sunday Mr. Grogan is "escaped." Do you agree?
Steve Grogan: That would describe it pretty good I think.
MB: It felt like we escaped out of there. Even in the press conference after the game, Tom Brady was like, "boy that was ugly. That was about as ugly as we've seen," why do you think that is?
SG: Yeah it was a pretty sloppy game. I mean San Diego hasn't played that well this year. I think they were back home, they were a little bit desperate - which gave them a little incentive. You've got a young Patriots team that traveled across the country for the first time this year and that throws your schedule off a little bit - sometimes it affects the way you play. But it was just a sloppy game all the way around for both sides Sunday.
MB: In the first half they had real problems moving the ball. What does Tom Brady take away from this game, what do they need to work on first?
SG: I think they need to get Randy Moss back. (laughs) I just think they don't have anyone that's really stretching the field right now. They're not threatening anybody deep, and that makes it tough to throw the underneath routes. They've been running the football pretty good, which has taken the pressure off of having to throw the ball so much -- Sunday they couldn't run the ball. So it caused problems, this is an offense that's going to be in transition without Moss around to see what they do well and how they can get it done. And then you've got the young defense that seems to play well for three quarters sometimes a half, and then in the second half struggles -- and I think we saw that Sunday again. It's just a maturing process that's taking place right now.
MB: Brandon Meriweather appears to be a marked man and the crowd seemed ready to jump all over him, what were your thoughts on his first half hit Sunday?
SG: He's going to have to learn to play a little bit of a different game than he's used to, so that's going to be an adjustment.
I wouldn't expect to see that from a Belichick coached team, no. Norv Turner gets knocked a lot out in San Diego, they've always started slow and seemed to finish fast. But when you play that kind of sloppy football, it's just not smart. The kid that wasn't touched and laid the ball on the ground and got up, he's a young player -- you can say he just wasn't thinking, but when you're playing professional football you need to be thinking and you need to not be making mistakes like that. The four turnovers that San Diego had Sunday were the difference in the game, there's no question about that.
MB: What about the fourth and one call in the fourth quarter, what are your thoughts on that play?
SG: I question the call myself. They had not been running the ball well all day, they'd been struggling offensively. I know the defense wasn't playing all that well, but still in my mind you've got to make the Chargers go 80 yards to win, or 50 yards to tie. At that point in the game I would've punted the ball away and taken my chances with my defense.
MB: Steve, it seemed like a sloppy game all around the NFL Sunday. Do you agree?
SG: Sometimes the stars and the moons align like that, it just seems to happen that way. I mean who would ever figure the Raiders would go for 59 points the way they've been struggling. It's one of those "go figure" kind of days.
MB: Have you ever seen in your career NFL referees not be able to decide who recovered a fumble?
SG: Not that I remember no (laughs)
MB: Watching former Patriots coach Eric Mangini's team Sunday, do you think Colt McCoy has a chance to be a good quarterback in the NFL?
SG: I think there's no question he has an opportunity to be a really good quarterback in the NFL. For Cleveland to go into New Orleans Sunday and do what they did was another big surprise. I think you're going to see the maturation of this kid. I saw him play a lot in college - he is going to be a good one.
MB: Do you think it's a mistake that Belichick didn't grab back Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel? I mean they're both doing well in Kansas City right now?
SG: They're doing great in Kansas City. In retrospect I'm sure he would've liked to have had both of them back. But coaching, finding jobs, and who you sign with is something I've never really figured out in all the years I've been around the game. This year Belichick seems to want to do everything himself, that's just the way it this. That's the way it's going to be the year, and that's what were going to have to put up with.
Steve have you ever watched the NFL RedZone channel?
SG: I don't get to see it that much, but it is kind of neat. When you're not watching the Patriots game, you can put it on and see just about any game that's about to have a score, which is kind of neat. You almost need to have two TV's, one to watch the game, and one the watch the RedZone channel.
MB: So what are Grogan's Grades for this week?
SG: On Offense, I'm giving them a C+ There was no running game to speak of, and the passing game looked sporadic. They couldn't find a rhythm, and gave up four sacks, which isn't good. They were just 25% on third down conversions, and also had the ball for just 25 minutes, which also wasn't good.
On Defense, I give them a B. They shut down the Chargers' running game well, for only 38 yards, which I thought was good. However, they did let Rivers throw for 336 yards, which wasn't good along with allowing the Chargers to convert 46% of their third downs. San Diego also held the ball for 35 minutes. But they did force 4 turnovers, and that was the difference in the game. I still think there's room for more consistency in the 2nd half.
I give the Special Teams a B-. There wasn't much special about this unit Sunday. They had one nice return by Julian Edelman, and I thought the coverage for the most part was good. Stephen Gostkowski had a solid game, but Zoltan Mesko had a below average day punting the football.
Overall I give them a B-, it was a slightly above average performance. If not for a sloppy Chargers team, this one could have gone the other way very easily. They were fortunate that San Diego missed the field goal at the end, and that was huge to say the least. Next week against the Vikings should be interesting. They're reeling right now, and I think if he plays Brett Favre and Randy Moss will be a good test for this young secondary. I'm looking forward to that one.
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