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Content Post Idle thoughts: the "slow your roll" edition

2021 Patriots Season:
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This has an opening post with good commentary and information, which we definitely recommend reading.

reflexblue

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I don't get the Jonnu bashing at all.
My beef with smith is his hands, he wasn't signed to replace gronk, hes not a great blocker from what i read. He was suposse to be fast and athletic, with great hands. Hes dropped a lot of passes or had them bounce off his hands, some of them for ints I think hes injured, but that doesn't explain his drops.
 

n6249c

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That might be the place to be for a Pats fan in DC, but that river is real lol... When I was younger, it was just a different metro stop but I didn't know Capitol Lounge. :/

Probably in Pats bars that is a niche in the ecosystem... in Murphy's I think the guy is the owner
Unfortunately Capitol Lounge is a Covid casualty. It was a great Cap Hill Patriots home while it ran.
 

n6249c

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Exactly. Greatest ever debate is best saved for after a career, not before it barely begins.

On the line of Mac's narrative, there's an aspect I haven't seen brought up yet that is likely to start getting dissected by the media - watching mac's non-verbals, since we cant hear what he's saying most of the time we are exposed to him, he seems like a total goofball. By that I mean watch his eye rolls, faces he makes, hand gestures, etc - they're not typical ones (the fist pump, the double arm raise, etc) normally seen by a "trash talker" or the "quiet confident" types. They look like the class clown, happy go lucky kid that doesn't care whether the outside world "sees him dancing in front of the mirror."

As a similar personality myself, it's immaterial to me, but I expect the media, if he continues playing well in this hot take world, to start harping on non-football stuff to try and generate content and clicks.

(and yes, I could be way off here because of the minuscule sample size)
Does that mean Mac has been mentored by Steve?
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
Elusiveness good; running not so much:

I think you and Ken are in agreement frankly. He's not asking Mac to "run", but instead "escape". There was a play vs ATL where the majority of the rushers were flowing past him and he stepped up a smidgeon too late and got leg swiped for a sack. If he'd stepped up a little earlier there was a good 8-12 yards of space that he could've run and slid - modest gain and pretty safe versus a loss.
 

Kasmir

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I don't think Mac will be setting records...
He's already setting NFL rookie records for accuracy, after setting the NCAA accuracy and QBR records (single season but he only had one full season).

Accuracy isn't everything, but that plus elite processing and anticipation counts for a lot, even with (today) an only average NFL arm.

This year is showing that he's not just a flash in the pan. As you said, physical development is to be expected. And while the narrative is that he is the most NFL ready rookie QB, the reality is that he hasn't played that much football, so I expect him to improve with experience more than (say) Lawrence or Fields. 4.0 undergrad GPA and 4.0 Masters GPA and being named #1 NCAA Scholar/Athlete in any sport also attest to his smarts.

Athletically his principal limitation is his size and especially weight. He needs to get bigger and stronger. But a 4.8s 40, good 3-cone and vertical leap and excellent broad jump indicate he's a good all round athlete.

With his history, skills and "intangibles", I can't understand those who are so confident he has a limited ceiling
 

BaconGrundleCandy

#1 Mac Jones fan
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He's already setting NFL rookie records for accuracy, after setting the NCAA accuracy and QBR records (single season but he only had one full season).

Accuracy isn't everything, but that plus elite processing and anticipation counts for a lot, even with (today) an only average NFL arm.

This year is showing that he's not just a flash in the pan. As you said, physical development is to be expected. And while the narrative is that he is the most NFL ready rookie QB, the reality is that he hasn't played that much football, so I expect him to improve with experience more than (say) Lawrence or Fields. 4.0 undergrad GPA and 4.0 Masters GPA and being named #1 NCAA Scholar/Athlete in any sport also attest to his smarts.

Athletically his principal limitation is his size and especially weight. He needs to get bigger and stronger. But a 4.8s 40, good 3-cone and vertical leap and excellent broad jump indicate he's a good all round athlete.

With his history, skills and "intangibles", I can't understand those who are so confident he has a limited ceiling
I was specifically talking about his legs. That was kind of the topic at hand.
 

Kasmir

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I was specifically talking about his legs. That was kind of the topic at hand.
Sure, but the broader topic is Mac's ability to transcend his perceived limitations. This "low ceiling' stuff is really irritating. As for his scrambling, I think the principal limitation is his size not his athleticism. While he has survived some big hits in the pocket, I worry about his endurance if he takes hits while running.
 

patfanken

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So what have we learned from the Sunday games.

Buffalo and Tennessee are tough but can be had. I wouldn't be surprised to see us a 5+ point favorites next sunday. Same could be said for Buffalo. But you can't count on 4 TO's a game from them. THAT critical aspect of the colt game was an anomaly not likely to be repeated. AND the Colts are likely to be tougher than expected , especially at home.

Who would have thought a month ago that we'd have. a leg up in the division. Gonna be a LOT harder for people and the media to "slow their rolls". In one of these next 4 games, I predict we are going to have a stinker and get rolled. One of those games where WE are the team with 4 turnovers, or the like. It's just one of those things that happen during a long long season, Lets get it out of the way during this stretch.

IMHO I was HOPING for a 2-2 result over the next month. Now it's an expectation. EVERYONE in the AFC can be beaten OR fully capabble of beating us. Lets just see if we are REALLY a strong playoff team or a midseason wondere who fades in the stretch. Playoff teams are forged AFTER Thanksgiving . We will be relatively healthy and rested after the mini-bye. Lets get it on!
 

NormZauchin

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He's already setting NFL rookie records for accuracy, after setting the NCAA accuracy and QBR records (single season but he only had one full season).

Accuracy isn't everything, but that plus elite processing and anticipation counts for a lot, even with (today) an only average NFL arm.

This year is showing that he's not just a flash in the pan. As you said, physical development is to be expected. And while the narrative is that he is the most NFL ready rookie QB, the reality is that he hasn't played that much football, so I expect him to improve with experience more than (say) Lawrence or Fields. 4.0 undergrad GPA and 4.0 Masters GPA and being named #1 NCAA Scholar/Athlete in any sport also attest to his smarts.

Athletically his principal limitation is his size and especially weight. He needs to get bigger and stronger. But a 4.8s 40, good 3-cone and vertical leap and excellent broad jump indicate he's a good all round athlete.

With his history, skills and "intangibles", I can't understand those who are so confident he has a limited ceiling
Those who are so confident that Mac has a "limited ceiling" have a limited IQ.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
I predict we are going to have a stinker and get rolled. One of those games where WE are the team with 4 turnovers, or the like. It's just one of those things that happen during a long long season, Lets get it out of the way during this stretch.
Yeah, that a fan issue because we don't know like in previous years what constitutes that type game with all the new faces and rookie QB - were any of those early games the annual WTF game where both the players and the coaching were simultaneously terrible...or is there still one of those out there lurking...like a Shaughnessy or Borges column...
 

Bill Lee

What, me worry?
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Here is one thing I'd like you to consider. Bill is a long term thinker. The Patriots run offenses and defenses that are rather unique in nature. Who else runs a defense that asks their DLimen to 2 gap a good deal of the time. I doubt that Godcheaux ever did it before coming here. It has been often reported that the TE position, next to the QB, is the most difficult to learn. So it is understandable that Smith might have issues right now in developing a feel for the game. Also his development might be hampered by a rookie QB on a tight leash. How often have we seen Mac take the easy throw just when if he waited a half second more a more rewarding receiver was just breaking open deeper down field. I know that has issue has affected Agular's production. His best routs take time to develop which a rookie QB who is hearing every day "get it out quick" isn't going to wait for...right now.

Like I said Bill is a long term thinker. I believe that when he came here in 2000, he looked at this as a complete rebuild. A 3 -4 year project. In 2000 on a tight cap and limited talent, he probably just wanted to establish the culture and trust in the coaching staff. 2001 was just lightning in a bottle. They far exceeding 'the plan' and from an unexpected source found his long term QB. That superbowl was an anomaly/ 2002 exposed what they REALLY were, which was a good but not great team on the rise. By 2003 Bill had assembled a team that could compete for a superbowl every year and the dynasty really began.

The point is that when Bill grabbed all those FA's he was thinking long term as well as a short term infusion of talent. NEXT year he will have a QB who is much more ready to compete. He will have skill position people who are comfortable in their roles. He will have defensive position people who are now comfortable in the new techniques they had to learn.

So when I see guys like God, Smith and Agular struggle at times, I keep that in mind. They are OK this year, but wait until the NEXT
I agree with what you wrote about Mac, but his ugly pick against ATL was when he didn't take the open guy underneath and forced it in to double coverage deep.

I agree BB is a long term thinker, and I think here in 2021 we're a year ahead of plan. I think BB was fully prepared to roll this year with Cam and Stid if Mac didn't fall to us at 15. He just would have taken Barmore without trading up or whatever off-the-radar dude he had a desire to take. I think the fact we didn't trade up shows BB felt he'd be happy with whatever was available at 15.

I agree this was on track to be a full rebuild year, but we got lucky with Mac falling to us.

Thanks for the thought provoking post.
 

Sicilian

Pro Bowl Player
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Godchaux last 7 games have been really good. Once he started playing better, notice how our run defense has improved dramatically.

On that note, just for fun, the Patriots run defense is now:

8th in the league in yards per game (101.7)
8th in the league in yards per carry (4.1)
2nd in the league in rushing TD's allowed (5)

Last year:

26th in yards per game (131.4)
20th in yards per carry (4.5)
T-18th in rushing TD's allowed (17)

I would say this is one of the biggest reasons the defense has improved from last year overall, and it's been a combination of factors including Godchaux (as well as Hightower, Van Noy, and Judon additions and improvements from Bentley and Dugger).
 

masterbouncer

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
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Mac's ceiling is limited only by the protection he is given (a pocket passer needs more of it) and the imagination of the play-calling to help shake his receivers loose...
I still think that with more experience he will improve when it comes to moving around in and outside the pocket and avoiding rushers, thus will make the D# accounting for his running, because he actually is not that slow and he can move around enough to get a first down at least, it just takes some time for him to evolve in this role, he was not used to run around at Bama

but of course he is not like the other QBs "with high ceiling" running around as soon as they get the snap :whistle:
 
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Sicilian

Pro Bowl Player
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I still think that with more experience he will improve when it comes to moving around in and outside the pocket and avoiding rushers, thus will make the D# accounting for his running, because he actually is not that slow and he can move around enough to get a first down at least, it just takes some time for him to evolve in this role, he was not used to run around at Bama

but of course he is not like the other QBs "with high ceiling" rouning around as soon as they get the snap :whistle:

We talk all the time about how Brady helps his OL be better because he gets them in the right protections, slides well in the pocket, and gets the ball out quickly. And there's a big difference between what Tom Brady can do after 20 years in the league versus what a rookie QB can be expected to do. Give the kid a few years to learn some nuances, I think he'll be good at it too (not TB good, but good enough to make a good line look great, and a bad line look serviceable).
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Sure, but

I consider it a win that construction guy has majorly backed off the crappy claims that Mac has a weak arm, can't throw deep, and only makes 50% of his 2nd read throws. Now we're just down to other stupid myths like the guy's legs are bad or that he can't run. Still hard for him to not diss Mac, still have to try to save face via some pretty weak arguments at this point.

Frankly I'm all for the dumb analysis. And let the public mediots on TV keep dissing Mac while the Pats keep winning and they say Mac is a system QB with a bum arm and can't run. I am all for this. The only thing that can derail this is an egomanic oc chasing passing yards via shotgun, but in a very pleasant surprise I am shocked the Pats offense has actually been relatively disciplined the last 5 weeks here.
 

VJCPatriot

Pro Bowl Player
Not doing the 3am posting any more. Just a few general observations from this game and then it on to a VERY tough 4 game stretch that will tell the story of this team.

I was very leery of this game simply because it was an away game on Thursday night. Normally this is a very big advantage to the home team. I didn't know Bill was 14-3 on Thursday night. I knew it was good, but not that good. I have always said that coaching has more impact in football than any other team sport. Bill always says it all about the players, but in reality coaching plays a big part and last night you saw the results. Atlanta is a flawed team, no doubt, but they were good enough to beat the Saints on the road, a team that crushed us. I'm not saying it was a team that should have beaten us, but a dangerous team that should have at least been competitive to some degree....and they weren't. Good for us so here are a few thoughts before we move on.
It did feel like a 'trap' game didn't it? Fortunately the Pats didn't get your memo and just blew the Falcons out of the water to the tune of 25 unanswered points.
1. I was trying to think about who RStevenson reminds me of and it hit me this morning. Leveon Bell. It's the patience, the short burst in the hole, and the vision that Bell had that made him special when he was with the Steelers. THAT's what I saw last night when Stevenson ran the ball. Something special. What a pick in the 4th round. A pick,. btw, that was a head scratcher for me with Harris, Michel, White, and Taylor already on the roster. But with Michel traded, White on IR, and Taylor relegated to the inactive list, Stevenson is now firmly entrenched as the #2 RB's and will get 10-15 touches along with Harris.
Stevenson has been a great pickup. He kind of reminds me of Michael Turner, another big boy who could actually get some huge gains at time. Surprising speed is what I think when I see him run. It's like, he's pretty big so he can't go that fast right, and then he just runs by the defender.
2. Mac is a funny guy to evaluate. It would be easy to comment on the sacks he took, the pick he made, and the 2 missed passes for first downs he threw. Then when you look at the box score you come to find out that on 26 attempts he only threw 4 incompletions. Ho Hum, just another 85% completion day for Mac. Overall it was a mixed night for Mac even with the high percentage of completions. He took 33 yds of sacks, and I believe should have avoided 2 of them (see next comment). I thought he missed a few plays on the line where he could have gotten them out of bad plays. But when you think about it, he STILL yet to play his best game of the season, and we got out of Atlanta with a 25 point win.

3. I posted the other day that Mac has the same athletic ability (speed and short area quickness) as Russell Wilson, one of the more elusive QB's in the league. Clearly Mac doesn't have the instincts and experience to use those gifts. Hopefully that will come over the next few years (or few weeks even). This is a part of his game that he needs to work on.
Mac Jones does need to work on his pocket presence, awareness, and pocket manipulation. As far as running the football, clearly in terms of baseline combine measurements he 'could' run more if he wanted to, it just doesn't seem to be part of his makeup at the moment. He's most comfortable passing the football and staying in that pocket for the most part.

4. The Pats are now 14th in the league in rushing at 113 ypg, BUT they are averaging 156 ypg over the last 3 games. The best rushing team in the league are the Ravens and Brows at 154 ypg followed closely by the surprising Eagles. Since RStevenson has been inserted into the rotation, the Pats running game has gone from decent to formidable. That's the good news

5. The bad news is that 3 of the next 4 games come against teams that are ranked 4th (Buffalo) and 7th (Titans) in the league against the run.. This is a team that NEEDS to run the ball around 30 times per game to synch up with its passing offense. We have no idea how well Mac will do if he has to carry this offense...and I don't want to find out.

Obviously the Pats are best when they are running the football early and often. That's part of their identity. But if the run gets taken away, can Mac Jones carry the load? Oddly I'm comfortable if that happens to just wait and see what Mac Jones can do when asked to carry the load. I don't think he's going to wet the bed like a Baker Mayfield when put into that type of situation.

Mac just looks too poised and in command of the offense to not at least have a competent game where he doesn't hurt the team. And with the defense that we have this year, mostly that's all he has to do. That and just continue to improve week to week. With his attention to detail and growing mastery of the nuances of the game, I just feel like we are just scratching the surface on Mac Jones right now. The Browns game was his comeout party. Now he has to put that type of game together on a more consistent basis. Believe it or not, we're still dealing with a rookie here.

10. Now for the "slow your roll" part. We are now a respectable 7-4, on a 5 game win streak, and every mediot's flavor of the day. HOWEVER over the next 4 games that can all change in the blink of an eye. In the next 4 weeks we will have 3 games with the top 2 teams in the conference as well as a Colt team who has won 4 out its 5 games IN Indy. Not an easy task at all. We have to do all this with a rookie QB, a thin defensive backfield, and passing attack that doesn't seem ready to play from behind.

The next 4 weeks is the toughest stretch the Patriots have left. The conference leading Titans, two games against the Bills who were picked to win the division at the start of the year, and a red hot Colts team that is imposing their will through the run game with Jonathan Taylor.

If the Pats only manage to split 2-2 during this stretch, unless we lose both games to the Bills we should still be topping the AFC East regardless. 1-3 would be very hard to come back from, 0-4 would be disastrous.

BUT if we can win 3 out 4 games here, the Pats should be in firm control of their destiny and well on their way to winning the AFC East, a feat that most 'prognosticators' didn't believe possible. Certainly I didn't see this coming when we were sitting at 2-4, but 5 straight wins later and these 2021 Patriots have woven a new story for themselves.

As far as 'slow your roll' goes, I'll return those words back to you. Kyle Dugger is a solid player, but I don't see enough to dub him an 'all-pro' as you're seeing. Not even close to that yet.

The most vital cog I see on this defense that I don't want to lose next year - is that man on the outside - JC Jackson. If you pull JC Jackson from the starting lineup, do you really believe the Patriots are leading the league in Turnover differential over the past 5 games? I don't think so.

Regardless of what you believe he 'should' get paid, I'll tell you this, If the Patriots don't, someone else WILL. Because this league is STARVED for high end CB talent. JC Jackson is a premium talent ballhawk and he enables this defense to tick at such a high level. But don't take my word for it. Check out these stats.
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Obviously the Pats are best when they are running the football early and often. That's part of their identity. But if the run gets taken away, can Mac Jones carry the load? Oddly I'm comfortable if that happens to just wait and see what Mac Jones can do when asked to carry the load.

The most vital cog I see on this defense that I don't want to lose next year - is that man on the outside - JC Jackson. If you pull JC Jackson from the starting lineup, do you really believe the Patriots are leading the league in Turnover differential over the past 5 games? I don't think so.

Regardless of what you believe he 'should' get paid, I'll tell you this, If the Patriots don't, someone else WILL. Because this league is STARVED for high end CB talent. JC Jackson is a premium talent ballhawk and he enables this defense to tick at such a high level. But don't take my word for it. Check out these stats.

Well said.

1. JC Jackson is a no brainer to extend ASAP. I said pay the man $18m/year a month ago and now I'm afraid the price is now in the 20's to keep him. He's a CB1, pay him. The patriot defense has never worked with crappy CBs.

2. To your question about Mac. If the question is, in order to stop the run where a defense has to commit 8+ guys in the box to stop the run, can Mac beat 3-4 Dbacks? The answer is absolutely yes. This guy is so well prepared and anticipates well. Any CB 1-1 against a guy Mac has chemistry throwing to, some routes are basically impossible to defend with good route running.

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