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Idle thoughts - the bye week edition.

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patfanken

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Actually these WILL be simply 'idle thoughts' that have no real rhyme or reason. They are simply the musings of someone who feels the need to write some stuff down. ;)

1. This first one is the main reason I decided to write this column. When it occurred to me, I felt the need to put it in print (or whatever this medium is called). Every Wednesday I diligently head to Patriots.com and look for the Sights and Sounds segment, which, as most of you know, gives us a small "inside look" at some of the highlights of the game, some inside comments by players and coaches, and most importantly (at least to me) the locker room post game comments by BB and some players. I enjoy it enough that I usually watch it again when Patriots All Access appears on Fridays.

Well much to my surprise the early clip seemed have more on field stuff than usual. The reason being there WAS no locker room shots. I began to wonder, why was that? Up until now, every Pats win would be followed up by the locker room celebration scene. So naturally it got me to wondering if it had anything to do with the Collins trade.

Now this is pure and unadulterated speculation here, but might it have shown Collins pouting about his reduced snaps, or even an overt outburst (though if that had happened, it would have been hard to keep quiet given all the press that is there.) At any rate, it just didn't seem natural to me.

So I watched the live version of Patriots All Access tonight and I was rewarded with about 15 seconds of a locker room scene, a much abbreviated version of the usual clip. And of course Collins was no where to be seen.

We have spent almost a week now hashing and rehashing this trade. We have gone over this with a fine tooth comb either trying to bash it or justify it. But the unrelenting truth of this trade is STILL a mystery. It leaves us all wondering if there is something more that we're not seeing. So while I strongly believe that Bill made this trade because he felt "it was in the best interests of the team"; it still begs the question of WHY Bill felt trading Jamie Collins was better for his team, than keeping him for 8-11 more games.

Collins might have been inconsistent on the field, but while be might have been disappointing because he didn't dominate or "flash" like we were hoping, it wasn't like he flat out sucked. And while the "getting something" for sure now, as opposed to MAYBE getting something down road, IS a reason, but I really doubt it was the only one.

Now here is my best guess. Collins never liked living here in NE, and the team knew that would make it very difficult to resign him. However THIS season, it became clear that Collins was NOT buying into the program on the field as well. Up to this season, by all reports Collins had been a very coachable, willing player, looking to improve.

I'm betting Collins was butting heads with some of his coaches about how he was being used, and eventually this bad attitude started to trickle down into his locker room relationships. This might not have been a problem if Collins was a loner or a jerk, but he was, by all accounts, well liked and respected on the team. BB had already had one bad experience with a player who went from being a good soldier for 2 seasons to a locker room lawyer in his third with Adaleus Thomas. It wasn't pretty and the main reason for Bill never being able to "reach" that 2009 team.

I also willing to bet that this was NOT a sudden thing, and had been building up for a long time, at least since TC. Finally it got to the point where Bill felt that it could effect the team in a negative way if Collins was allowed to get away with a bad attitude, even if it was done in a subtle way. You can't have, even a great player, sulking about his role or his future. Maybe on some teams in the league, but not on this one.

Now I want to make it clear, I don't see Jamie Collins as a bad guy here. Maybe he genuinely wanted out of having to live most of the year in this area. IIRC he has a young family he's raising now, and feared that he'd likely get franchised and HAVE to stay another year. Maybe it was crap his agent was feeding him, which would lead him to believe the way he was being used wasn't enhancing his market value. Whatever it was, it had begun to effect, not only his play, but his general attitude. Evidently it got to a point where it was in the best interests of both parties that they end the relationship. Quite surprisingly, I never got the feeling from Jamie's post trade comments that he was in the least bit unhappy to be leaving. He sounded more relieved than bitter.

Well that's what I came up with just because I didn't see the locker room clip on the "Sights and Sounds" segment. Anyone else notice it?

2. It's official. Despite being 7-1 and 3rd in scoring defense, our Defense sucks. The podcast guys all agree, the mediots concur, as well as good majority of fans here on this sight. We got troubles my friend. Yeah we got troubles,. Right here in Foxboro city (sorry about the Music Man reference, but I can't get that song out of my head since it showed up in a clip the other day ;) )

Somehow this has become the prevailing question about our team, even though the 3rd down efficiency and red zone number have improved over the last few weeks. Well I'm NOT going to try and change anyone's mind. It would take too long, and I doubt I'd be successful. The impression our defense sucks is as heavily ingrained into the minds of our fan base, as the constant need for a new WR, and the perception that Marcus Cannon is the cause of cancer.

Now this defense is not devoid of legitimate criticism. I wonder why people are so concerned about lack of sacks, but fail to complain about the lack of turnovers. That would be my main complaint. We are not turning the ball over nearly at the rate we did last season. Sacks have been proven to be one of the most over rated stats in football, but the relationship between turnovers and winning has long been a constant. Where is the righteous indignation over that one. ;)

When the 2nd half begins, I will be interested to see if the seeming lack of pressure is because of design or the lack of talent. I will be interested in watching if Matty P does more to create pressure in his game plans. Now we start off with Seattle and a QB who we know BB is willing to sacrifice pressure to keep in the pocket, but we'll see what happens over the next couple of months.

Here's what I DO know. The Pat's defenses have consistently gotten better over the course of the season. Very often what you see up to now, is NOT what you get by the end of the season. The 2011 defense is a great example of it. It was a historically bad defense for most of the year in total D, but had improved over the course of the season so that by the time the playoffs came around they'd become decent. It was NOT the D's fault we lost that Superbowl. When you look at the personnel we had that year, you can understand how it gave up so many yards. But even with the likes of Kyle Love, Sergio Brown and Sterling Moore, it STILL got better over the course of the year. I expect this much more talented version to do the same.

3. I recently read, I think it was in PFT, about some players who had been thought to be busts, but in their 3rd or 4th years have been playing much better. IIRC Dee Ford was one of them. And it got me thinking about Cyrus Jones, who seems to be firmly cemented in BB's dog house, and perceived universally as a big disappointment thus far in the season, both as a return guy and nickel CB. I know I expected more. But the fact is different players develop at different speeds. Joe Thuney came out of the box and has been starting since May. Patrick Chung's up and down career has been well documented. I felt that Danta Hightower had a pretty disappointing rookie year, especially compared to Chandler Jones.

So while, at least to this point, barring injuries, it doesn't look like Jones is going to have much of an impact on this year's team. However that doesn't mean he won't ever be a contributing player for us.

4. Things I want to see more of in the coming weeks on offense:

a. More back shoulder fade routes to Gronk, Bennett and Hogan.
b. More passes to LGB, and break the tendency that when he's on the field that it's either a run or play action pass.
c. More Marty Bennett.
d. I'd like to see at least one game where DJ Foster gets some runs and pass opportunities before Lewis comes back and he is inactive every game, or even released. So far, whenever he's touched the ball I've been impressed. He is definitely a binky
e. Marcus Cannon finally get some credit for the job he's doing.
f. Brandon Mitchell get a game with 10 targets

5. Things I want to see more in in the coming weeks on defense.

a. More penetration by the DL on pass rushes (though we might have to wait until after the Seattle game for that )
b More of BMingo in the regular D (and BTW what do they call Mingo anyway. Martellus is Marty, is Mingo Barky? )
c. I'd like to see what Kyle Van Noy has to offer. Hopefully its more than what he showed in Detroit.
d. More turn overs.
e. More of Trey Flowers who seems to be developing nicely

6. General thoughts:

a. I voted today. Early voting was easier than on election day and makes so much sense I wonder why to took this long to enact. BTW- How many states have this benefit?

b. No one anything good to say about Roger Goodell in the media, not a single soul. I wouldn't say his demise is imminent, but it IS coming. He's not weathering this storm. It's too strong and the disaffection is too deep.

c. From what I gather, there hasn't been a good Thursday night game this year including the Pats/Houston game, and I watched THAT one. It shouldn't be surprising. I don't care how much money they make (though it will a lot less in the next contract), any league that portends to give a crap about the safety of their players wouldn't make them play on just 3 days rest. The NFLPA should make that a major consideration in the next CBA

d. I'm almost afraid to mention just how relatively healthy the Pats have been so far. (Knock on Wood....really hard) But the fact is, it's been great.....and as a team, the Pats have deserved this good run of health. We've seen the other side of this equation way too many times.

e. Rothlessberger is going to play this week. The winner of the last 6 "Steve McNair" drama queens awards is coming back after missing only one game. Despite the fact that many felt that his knee scope was a 2 week injury and it's been 2 weeks, Ben is once again playing it up like he's making a miraculous recovery. This history of mock toughness is kind of surprising since he actually is a very tough guy, who takes a lot of hits and keeps on getting up, unlike the topic of my next comment.

f. Cam Newton who is a great talent, but also someone who is becoming REALLY annoying. His latest trolling for roughing calls is really left me miffed. I felt for him after the first game for the head shots he took from those Denver thugs. But they do that to everyone. I read where the NFL looked back over the course of this season, and found officials had missed 2 roughing calls (including the one that set off the outburst).

I can almost guarantee you that if the league took the time to review EVERY QB in the league, they would also have at least 2 roughing calls that were missed, including one just last week that Brady just shrugged off. Grow a set, will you Cam. At best he is trying to work the refs, and at worst he is subtly using the race card for something that isn't at all racial.

Somehow I don't predict a long career for Cam Newton. I don't get the feeling he "loves" the game. And the fact the offense he runs seems to be designed for him to get hit way too often doesn't bode well for his longevity. McNair's career was also cut short for the same reasons.

Again feel free to comment or contend. I look forward to either
 

rochrist

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f. Cam Newton who is a great talent, but also someone who is becoming REALLY annoying. His latest trolling for roughing calls is really left me miffed. I felt for him after the first game for the head shots he took from those Denver thugs. But they do that to everyone. I read where the NFL looked back over the course of this season, and found officials had missed 2 roughing calls (including the one that set off the outburst).

And you believe the NFL why exactly? When the NFL opens its mouth, I assume their lying. I do know that low hit on his knee in the last game would be called 9 out of 10 times if it was TB on the receiving end. And what the Broncos did to him earlier this year should have had them all up on attempted homicide charges.

And I say that as someone who doesn't really like Cam at all.
 

IndianPat

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I just got done watching the 2nd half of SB XLIX. Collins was terrible in that game. Last year in Denver, I believe he was in primary coverage on both the Bronco's touch downs. We don't know the why and how the Collins trade went down, but I think the coaching staff was already down on the reliability of his play. The reason he got traded may even be Moss(ish). Pats may not even have shopped him around to get the best price - its was more like "Here Cleveland, do you want a great player? We will take anything" deal.
 
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AzPatsFan

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I offer an off the wall idea about the Collins trade.
The things you say about Collins attitude contribute to the trade for sure. But what if BB is also trying to pile up CAP space, to handle a 2018 need to pay two big QB contracts?
 

supafly

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I offer an off the wall idea about the Collins trade.
The things you say about Collins attitude contribute to the trade for sure. But what if BB is also trying to pile up CAP space, to handle a 2018 need to pay two big QB contracts?
Belichick certainly has the benefit of time and upcoming space to help plan accordingly, should he choose to do it. That's obviously not always the case in these types of situations.

I'd still be surprised if he paid for two quarterbacks, but it is a possibility, as you say.
 

nabwong

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Belichick certainly has the benefit of time and upcoming space to help plan accordingly, should he choose to do it. That's obviously not always the case in these types of situations.

I'd still be surprised if he paid for two quarterbacks, but it is a possibility, as you say.

I suppose he'd franchise and trade? That would require cap space?
 

Canuck

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
1: The locker room video I saw was a minute and 2 seconds long. It looked like the normal locker room celebration. Slater gave out a congratulations to "Robert" ( I never heard Gronk called that before) for his record. The video stopped just as Slater was about to give his Oh Yeah speech. I didn't see Collins in the video.

A few things Belichick said on WEEI about Collins I found interesting. Belichick didn't speak to Cleveland at all, that was all handled by Caserio, there were conversations and he was unaware of the timeframe involved. That the LB's behind Collins would be impacted by the decision but they are not really what it's all about. My take on it was Belichick gave Caserio the go ahead to trade Collins before the Bills game. Exactly when I am not sure or who else Caserio contacted.

2: This defense is good enough to win a SB with but they can't win it by themselves. With Brady as QB, we have one of the best offenses in the League. The defense is not elite or without flaws but it's still a pretty good defense. One can make an argument that this team is better then the 2014 and 2015 teams. There is room for improvement on this defense and any improvement just increases our odds of winning another SB.

3: Cyrus Jones reminds me of Edelman and Bethel Johnson. They both got their start on ST. Edelman worked his way to be a top receiver and Johnson never made an impact other then on ST. Unless Jones can make an impact on ST, I doubt he will get much of a look at DB.

4 and 5: Good thoughts.

6: Good luck on the elections on Nov 8. As a Canadian, I must say the Electoral College makes no sense to me.
 

PF_SU

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Now we start off with Seattle and a QB who we know BB is willing to sacrifice pressure to keep in the pocket, but we'll see what happens over the next couple of months.
Wilson is struggling with his mobility. Only 44 rushing yards on the season with a long of 9 yards. I think the coaches will take a good look at him on Monday Night against Buffalo. Because if he's not a threat to run you absolutely have to take advantage of that crappy offensive line of his.
 

PScottman

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Sacks have been proven to be one of the most over rated stats in football, but the relationship between turnovers and winning has long been a constant.

Hammer. Nail. Head.

This remains one of the key issues on both sides of the ball - the number of times the team has put the ball on the ground on offense versus the number of times they've seized it back on defense. Add in the most excellent, but statistically unsustainable, interception numbers and if there was a worrisome 'the sky is falling' meme for the boards to explore about - this should be it.
 

PScottman

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
b More of BMingo in the regular D (and BTW what do they call Mingo anyway. Martellus is Marty, is Mingo Barky? )
c. I'd like to see what Kyle Van Noy has to offer. Hopefully its more than what he showed in Detroit.

Likely a heavy rotational mix of the two. I think the key criticisms of both are that they're too specialized in their skill sets from a consistency point of view and therefore can be easily schemed against to either even out or overcome their athleticism.
 

DarrylS

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Good as usual and expected, PFK.

I never got the feeling we knew all that much about Collins as a person, do not ever remember him being interviewed. He had the ability to be a "human highlight film", but there were serious gaps.. the two TD's by Owen Daniels were due to piss poor coverage.

As much as I believe Collins had the potential and showed flashes of a great player he seemed inconsistent... and his freelancing, as much as Hue says he supports it, was bad for the defense.

Collins was not doing his "job".. I suspect it was a progression and last Sunday was the proverbial last straw..
 
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1960Pats

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1 - We're on to Roberts.
2 - I know that there have been some complaints about the defense, but they didn't come from me.
D - Fence.jpg
3 - Players develop differently. That's what makes drafting a crap shoot.
6f - When Cam Newton came into the NYFL he claimed that he wanted to be an icon. I knew something was wrong with him when I heard that nonsense.
 

mihap

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
1. And of course Collins was no where to be seen.
WHY Bill felt trading Jamie Collins was better for his team, than keeping him for 8-11 more games.
Collins might have been inconsistent on the field.
Collins never liked living here in NE, and the team knew that would make it very difficult to resign him. However THIS season, it became clear that Collins was NOT buying into the program on the field as well.
I also willing to bet that this was NOT a sudden thing, and had been building up for a long time, at least since TC. Finally it got to the point where Bill felt that it could effect the team in a negative way if Collins was allowed to get away with a bad attitude, even if it was done in a subtle way.

2. It's official, our Defense sucks.
Here's what I DO know. The Pat's defenses have consistently gotten better over the course of the season.

3. Cyrus Jones

4. Things I want to see more of in the coming weeks on offense:

c. More Marty Bennett.

5. Things I want to see more in in the coming weeks on defense.

c. I'd like to see what Kyle Van Noy has to offer. Hopefully its more than what he showed in Detroit.
d. More turn overs.


6. General thoughts:

a. I voted today. Early voting was easier than on election day and makes so much sense I wonder why to took this long to enact. BTW- How many states have this benefit?

d. I'm almost afraid to mention just how relatively healthy the Pats have been so far. (Knock on Wood....really hard) But the fact is, it's been great.....and as a team, the Pats have deserved this good run of health. We've seen the other side of this equation way too many times.

f. Cam Newton who is a great talent, but also someone who is becoming REALLY annoying. His latest trolling for roughing calls is really left me miffed.


1 For me Collins is special athlete and in one thread in preseason i wrote that he wont be on this team next season. Chosing betwen him and Hightower, Hightower wins easily.
We dont how LBs would be used last year if Brandon Spikes played. With Elandon emerges as good against the run, Collins can be replaced with Van noy or Mingo as pass coverage guys.
I left some of your words where you nailed it about Collins, but i dont think is good guy as you think that he is is. Lombardi with great insight told that he is freelancing or if he is good guy then he is missing assignments. Two options and none of them should put him as next year patriot. So they decided that with Elandon as run defender and i think that he is already better than collins and with Van noy or Mingo as pass coverage guys they ll be fine without him.
And maybe Pats D scheme is really to hard for Collins to understand. he wasnt used first year much. he emerged in playoff Colts game. Dont know. Guess.

2 I still think that D is not good, they are average. i cant forget Tannehill looking like Brady in those 3 TD drives and Pats werent playing prevent, they were playing MAN and Landry looking good against them. bills without top offensive weapons do some damagae. I am not talking about points. I am talking about how eeasily tehy got to redzone and how some better QB would easily score against them. I wasnt impressed against Arizona to. All poster here were writing how this D will be special and for me being special that means top 5 D and looking like top D.

3 After some fumbles issues Cyrus jones posted some tweets. Like how some fumbles dont mean anything really ****y stuff, so i think that BB put him on the real ground. i know that guys have to have swagger but not in the way i am the best even if i make mistakes. If you look Logan Ryan contribution in first year. he wasnt starting games, he was never a started or maybe in some games because of injuries.

4c
Healthy Marty in bills game, 60 points for sure. Dont know why they didnt rest him. Maybe he is playing for FA. Someone tweeted in september that in preseason Marty had an offer but didnt want to sign. hope that this is not true.
I am not an expert but looking Marty B before ankle injury. Gronk2.

5c. Maybe he was the reason for Collins gone.
d. what is with this lack of turnovers, we want more.

6 aI feel raealy bad about his two candidates. As neutral observer i feel bad for this world and where this is going. This is not democracy this is all about money and people who operate from behind. This two candidates shouldnt be on local level and one of them will be president of strongest country in the world. I bet that next election candidates like Kim Kardashian and Kayne west vs taylor Swift or Justin bieber will be in final round. No program just some insult one to another. Makes me sick. But in Europe is almost the same thing. No democracy just people with enough money to start campaign who are in righ or left groups.

d That is why i am not satisfied with defense. No one is missing all are here.
And no major injury, thank god.

f Newton had a chance to speak after first game in Denver. I think is phony and fake
 

luuked

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I offer an off the wall idea about the Collins trade.
The things you say about Collins attitude contribute to the trade for sure. But what if BB is also trying to pile up CAP space, to handle a 2018 need to pay two big QB contracts?

Trading Collins saves almost nothing in cap space so I don't really see what you mean. Given everything that came out since the trade about the two sides being far apart in negotiations I doubt an extension was a realistic outcome anyway.
 

Patsfanin Philly

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Great write up as usual. There is a solution to the Thursday night games. Have the teams playing on Thursday night get their bye the week before. Then they are playing in 11 days rest and have 10 days after. It might not work at the beginning of the season but it solves the problem of playing in three days rest....
 
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