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Idle thoughts - Wrapping my head around BB's signing Blitzkrieg - implications, possibilities, etc

2021 Patriots Season:
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Sep 12th

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patfanken

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This is a lot to unravel. It is literally a matter of so much SO fast that it is probably going to take me a while to get it all down. This thread will be my therapeutic method to try and understand the strategy behind what was obviously a very thoughtful and designed plan to revamp a roster and make us INSTANTLY into a legitimate playoff contender. So here are some initial short takes.

a. Today's signings were PARTIALLY in response to a bad 5 year run of drafts. Get over it all you BB haters. this kind of drought happens to every program. It is the nature of the game. Everyone in the media is kissing Jason Licht's ass this off season, but if you look at his drafts over his first 5 seasons you'd have to wonder why he even HAD a job after those first 5 years. There is more than one way to build a football team these days, and Bill is showing us a different way. In season's when we have drafted well like in 2010-15 it wasn't necessary to make a statement like this. After the 16-20 classes, now we have. I wish it were different but it wasn't. Would'ves and Could'ves are wastes of time. What needs to be done to put a good product on the field THIS year is the task at hand. So if telling me we could have this guy or that guy is moot. If it makes you feel better to practice you Monday morning QB rant, tell it to a mirror. I'm not interested in yesterday, and neither is Bill.

b. Now I know what it's like to be a Jet fan all these years when everyone in the media has anointed your team the March superbowl. ;)

c. I don't think we are done, but we won't be able to tell until @Miguel gives a run down of exactly how much is left of that 65MM, and things that can be done to add some more to our cap space. These will be more about the old FA strategy of picking off decent deals for decent player 'in positions of need. So lets talk about still needs to get done

1. Solidify the C position. - Obviously the first choice would be to resign David Andrews, but it is clear now that he wants to see what's out there and that can be a dangerous game. MIami is reported to be his biggest suitor and Andrews is familiar with some of their offensive staff and I think they are using similar semantics to communicate. BB has often allowed vets he respects to test FA and see what the market bears. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm hoping he's back.

However a very intriguing option just opened up as the Raiders have just released their starting C, Rodney Hudson a very athletic, 3 time all pro, who is just 31. Just saying. To me he'd be an interesting option to offer a 2 year deal to and draft the next Koppen this April. If this isn't a possibility there are 16 FA's that are 30 and under listed on one site I found, including old friend Ted Karras (not my first choice...or second....or third)

I'm hoping that the FA signings we did make plus the chance to work with a potentially outstanding OL will keep Andrews here for a few more years.

2. Add an interior DL penetrator. Nothing affects a passer more than penetration up the middle. We got more of that from Adam Butler last season than we ever had before. It wasn't consistent and we didn't want him out there when a run was probable, but as a situational guy, he wasn't bad if we can't get him back at the right price, then I want a equal or better player. Maybe they think or rather hope Byron Cowart might be that guy Maybe it's Anderson. I don't know, but I do know its a position of need

Prior to Monday, I would have thought that a MUST resigning was Lawrence Guy. IMHO, Guy might have been one of the more underrated DLmen in the league. Week after week the guy would very quietly make tackles in the run game, put pressure on the passer and come up big. He played over 500 defensive snaps every year he was here. I'd love him back....BUT based on the Anderson and Wise signings, I think that ship has sailed, especially when there is a possibility that top 3 interior DLman will be there at 15 (if we use the pick)

Kind of an intriguing guy is the 26 year old Solomon Thomas, and underperforming but athletically talented DT of the 49ers. Just a thought of a 2nd or 3rd wave guy.

3. Add another RB - One would think that with Sony and Harris back along with JJ as a change of pace, we'd be fairly set at the position, but this offense (as I'll go into later) is going to be run heavy, and if it is, you can never be held hostage to injuries. I think that you need 4 competent guys to insure you have 2 healthy RB's every game. It's an occupational hazard for all RB's so I'd like to see the Pats add another guy to the mix assuming Burkhead is gone. The guy that would ring MY bell is to go after RFA (low tender) RB Philip Lindsay of Denver. Injuries are an issue (as it seems with all RB's, but when healthy he'd be an upgrade over Burkhead. He catches the ball well, makes people miss and runs hard for his size. Leonard Fornett is a thought if he doesn't return to the Bucs. Bill has always like that big back to gets you those tough yards on 3rd and short and the GL. Antwan Smith and Blunt come to mind. Also old friend Dion Lewis is available as a possible White replacement.

Prior to the FA blitz, Bedard opined that going after RFA's from teams that are cap strapped was a good strategy when your team has a lot of space. He thought I was a good plan to to get YOUNG talent in the FA market. I agree. The Bronco's, very strangely, didn't tender Lindsey so there would be no draft pick lost if the Pats made a bid that Denver couldn't match because of their cap situation. Just a thought

4. Adding speed to the ILB position. This of course could be Micah Parsons, but in the event he's not a draft pick. I'd like to see the Pats add another ILB who has sideline to sideline speed and is not a liability in coverage.

5. I'd be looking to improve the depth at OL Assuming that Brown, Wynn, Owenu and Mason will surround some C in some configuration, I think we are OK at OT depth with Elumanour, Herron, and Cajuste BUT our current depth at C and OG IS a big need.

A. Assessing the signings to date - As I said this opus is being written as a therapeutic exercise to make some sense of the last day's signings and perhaps help the reader as well, so I'm going to just give MY feelings on each guy to that end.

a. Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith - A+

One would have been a coup, but BOTH will make the Pats offense SIGNIFICANTLY better regardless of who is the QB when all the dust settles. (I'll explain in more detail why later. and yes there will be a later. ;) ) Henry is a true in line TE who is both a big target receiver, especially in the red zone, and a better than average blocker. Smith is the more athletic receiver who was also an accomplished blocker in the best running game in the league. You can't imagine the problems that having those 2 on the field at the same time creates for DC's It is why Bill never passed up a chance to draft a QB early during the first run, and why he gave BOTH Gronk and Hernandez (at the time) big contracts so early in their careers to lock them up. As the consument "defensive guy" Bill understands the problems and pressure having to good TE's on the field at the same time.

b. Agular and Bourne - B-

Not in love with Agular, though that 19ypc average is just what the Pats DIDN'T have last season when their top 2 receivers (Bird and Meyers) averaged just over 12ypc. I'm hoping that this ends up being a 1 year deal with a team option. I really wanted Samuels and I hope he doesn't get paid the same or less when he signs. But aside from the fact Agular got run out of Philly for "questionable hands and toughness", he does add speed and a legit deep threat. Could be a steal if he repeats his 2020 production, could be a bust. This is the most risky signing of the bunch (but then again he's a WR ;) )

Bourne looks like a quality number 3 receiver who excels in the red zone and on 3rd down. My issue is that his skill set seems exactly the same as Jacobi Meyers. I'm hoping someone will explain the difference between them. I've read where Shanny really liked him. Bottom line the WR corp has been upgraded to at least mediocre, which is a big step over last season.

That room will likely be crowded, with Harry, Gunner, Lee and Byrd for starters. Perhaps the fact that he's fighting for his NFL life will spur Harry to become the Player we hoped he'd be when he was drafted.

c. Judon - He's the big defensive piece so far. I think he brings a degree of toughness and run support to the OLB/edge position that the Pats didn't have last season. It takes a bit of the pressure off Winovich to play that role, though he NEEDS to get better at run support. I don't think he going to be some double digit sacker, but he DOES upgrade that area for the Pats and his presence will open up opportunities for others. He's also a guy you play all over. B+

d. Mills - I did a bit of a double take when I heard about this. I didn't think that Bill would add to the secondary until after the draft, or when he made a final decision on Gilmore. However the more I learned the more I liked it. This kid could be the most versatile DB in the league, and Bill saw his effectiveness first hand in the superbowl where he had 9 combined tackles and 2 PDs. He had snaps at all 7 second level positions last season. Remember that Bill is a believer in the "positionless defense". and Mills' versatility not only adds depth, he adds that flexibility to do some strange things. I think it means that with Duggar, Phillips and Mills to go along with McCourty the Pats will have a strong and very flexible safety group. a subtle B

e Godcheax - A legit nose for the Pats and help to stem the leaks we had in the run game. His stats are unimpressive. He size at 311 or arm length (32) aren't all that impressive, yet the spin is that this kid is a legitimate run stopper. The Pats have seen him 6 times in person over the last 4 years so I'm trusting they understand his game better than I. So I guess he's an upgrade at a position of need, but I'll have to see it myself. C

f. Anderson - I'm guessing this guy is the sleeper pick on the defensive side of FA - 6'6, long armed and 300lbs he's the perfect size to play a 3-4 DE and has been effective setting the edge as a 4-3 DE. In 2018 he had some success as a pass rusher with 7 sacks and 18 QB hits, but in my mind right now he looks to be a 2 yr younger version of Lawrence Guy. Solid against the run, provide some push up the middle and get 50% of the defensive snaps. B-

g. Wise- At 6'5 and 275, Wise is kind of like Henry Anderson lite. The kid DOES have some rushing ability, especially when he stunts. And has had double digit QB hits in all 4 years including a high of 19. While he has problems holding up against the run, he has improved his consistency and as a situational player, I'm OK with the signing, but would have been happier if it had been Guy. C-

Overall I think we improved the defense;s depth and athleticism but not to the same extent as the offense's vast improvement.
 
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patfanken

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B. An interesting note I came across answering the question we all would like to know, which is how much is left in our 2021 cap space. It comes from an unlikely and unreliable source, but it IS a number we can at least start with. According to the vile Ben Volin, the Pats spent $31.8MM of cap space on today's signing not counting Henry, Agular, Anderson and Trent Brown. Smith's first year cap hit is going to be $6.3MM according to Volin, so one would have to assume Henry's number will be close to that. So one would assume that those 4 guys will be AT least an addition 20MM and probably more. So cap room will have to be added if we want to sign Andrews our draft picks and any 2nd and 3rd wave FA's. I think 10MM in space can easily be found by cutting Chung etc. But if Volins' numbers are close to correct, then our FA buying spree is close to over. Just sayin'

C. Disclaimer: I am not an offensive genius. I never called the offensive plays in all the years I was a HC. In fact I spent most of my coaching (and playing) career on the defensive side of the ball. But I thought I'd try and explain an early contention that when Hunter and Smith are on the field at the same time it will cause a HUGE problem any kind of defense. It would be a lot easier to show you if I had a chalk board, but I don't. It is also 2am and I'm already in rambling mode so apologies in advance if I'm not clear in my exposition.

a. Lets assume the Pats line up with 2 TE's a RB. a FB and a WR. Here are the immediate problems for the defense (especially when you have good blockers at TE and you OL is good to begin with. First you have to be balanced. You can't over load any one side. You need your personnel on the field big enough to hold up against a strong running formation. This immediately creates a problem for the DC because the LB's he needs on the field to stop the run will be very unlikely to be able to run with the TE's should they release. Your 250lb or less edge rusher will become a liability against this formation. Then the REAL problems come.

b. Motion. There would be several motions that would cause problems for the DC. Say for example you motion Smith across the formation away from the wide slot.
Immediately the defense's reaction would tell the QB a lot. Is it man or zone, how will DL and LB's react to the motion. If they do nothing at the snap of the ball, the offense can outflank the D with that extra man and run a sweep or a counter sweep where the FB goes opposite direction and seals the pursuit while the RB gets the ball wide. If the defense counters this with a slant to the motion, or a rotation to the motion there is a wide variety of counters Josh can run

And that's just the weak side TE Motion. The FB can motion and cause a similar problem on the edge yet because you are in 2 TE's you force the D to remain balanced because you can easily run to the weak side if the defense moves to protect its flank from the motioning FB.

If you motion the RB you can release both TE, and still have 6 blockers (the FB)

My favorite problem I'd hate to face is 2 TE's and an empty backfield. That would force the defense to spread itself thin yet be a big problem if your 250lb QB decides to run the ball with 7 solid blockers against what would likely be only 7 immediate defenders, 3 or 4 of whom will be much smaller than the blockers they will face. I hope you are getting my vision of where the problems lie. I'm kind of running out of steam here.

The passing issues are equally problematic for the defense when 2 receiving TE's are lining up either on the line or in a wing position. 2 wides and one RB to go along with the 2 TE's create issues for the DC in how to get the proper personnel on the field and where the ball is going to go. Lots of motion opportunities. God I wish I could draw X's and O's to show you what I'm talking about. But believe me I would be hard pressed to defend having 2 quality TE's on the same field and all the options the OC would have to exploit my personnel decisions

D, The defense will be more able to reflect the style of defense Bill wants to play. That is a defense that can morph week to week into whatever it takes to stop a specific offensive strategy and personnel they will face. In other words players who all can play multiple positions and execute multiple schemes. Sometimes I think Bill would love to play an entire game with an amoeba D of positionless defenders who never line up in the same place twice in a row.

Speaking of dreaming, that's what I should be doing. I have sadly matriculated from rambling to babbling and need to stop this now. Too tired to edit it so sorry for any mistakes and hope you enjoyed it.
 
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Hyped

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Some more comments, LOL...still on PST here:

a.) Yeah, I figure we still have about 10-12M to play with..cap-wise. That is more than enough to land a Golladay with the signing bonus proration.

b.) Yes, we need more meat in the middle of the front 7...ideally a penetrating interior DT and a coverage linebacker. But as presently constructed....assuming we just give Gilmore a raise and stand pat....we have a top 5 D...no doubt. Think last year's D plus: Hightower, Judon, Wino year 3, Uche year 2, Jennings year 2, Gilmore on an one year deal seeking to cash out, DMac and Chung sniffing another SB ring, Dugger in year 2, Mills being mixed in all over, Phillips' jersey being cleaner, Jackson playing for CB#1 moolah, and a better NT situation vs. the run..... can't complain..this is a top 5 D. QB's are gonna get bruised ribs and see ghosts!

c.) And that doesn't even cover our ace ST units..we have Slater, Bethel, Cardona, Bailey, and probably Folk. And I think Brandon King makes the 53...ditto for Bolden.

d.) The offense needs interior depth as you alluded to. I would not hate Hudson...but I prefer Andrews...love that guy!
 

zimmy

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We got really lucky and it feels great. In any other year, quality starters in their prime wouldn't have hit the market. I went back to look at last year for example and there isn't really any comparison with who was available. Without Covid, Smith, Henry and Judon never make it to market - and the very few who do would have got ridiculous contracts. We'd have had $65m and having to overspend it on 30 year olds looking for a last payday. Instead it's as if we were just paying the second contracts of guys we should have drafted in 2015-17.

Covid-19 saved us from a long rebuild through the draft, and if we can find a QB (big if..) we can be back where we were pretty quickly.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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B. An interesting note I came across answering the question we all would like to know, which is how much is left in our 2021 cap space. It comes from an unlikely and unreliable source, but it IS a number we can at least start with. According to the vile Ben Volin, the Pats spent $31.8MM of cap space on today's signing not counting Henry, Agular, Anderson and Trent Brown. Smith's first year cap hit is going to be $6.3MM according to Volin, so one would have to assume Henry's number will be close to that. So one would assume that those 4 guys will be AT least an addition 20MM and probably more. So cap room will have to be added if we want to sign Andrews our draft picks and any 2nd and 3rd wave FA's. I think 10MM in space can easily be found by cutting Chung etc. But if Volins' numbers are close to correct, then our FA buying spree is close to over. Just sayin'

C. Disclaimer: I am not an offensive genius. I never called the offensive plays in all the years I was a HC. In fact I spent most of my coaching (and playing) career on the defensive side of the ball. But I thought I'd try and explain an early contention that when Hunter and Smith are on the field at the same time it will cause a HUGE problem any kind of defense. It would be a lot easier to show you if I had a chalk board, but I don't. It is also 2am and I'm already in rambling mode so apologies in advance if I'm not clear in my exposition.

a. Lets assume the Pats line up with 2 TE's a RB. a FB and a WR. Here are the immediate problems for the defense (especially when you have good blockers at TE and you OL is good to begin with. First you have to be balanced. You can't over load any one side. You need your personnel on the field big enough to hold up against a strong running formation. This immediately creates a problem for the DC because the LB's he needs on the field to stop the run will be very unlikely to be able to run with the TE's should they release. Your 250lb or less edge rusher will become a liability against this formation. Then the REAL problems come.

b. Motion. There would be several motions that would cause problems for the DC. Say for example you motion Smith across the formation away from the wide slot.
Immediately the defense's reaction would tell the QB a lot. Is it man or zone, how will DL and LB's react to the motion. If they do nothing at the snap of the ball, the offense can outflank the D with that extra man and run a sweep or a counter sweep where the FB goes opposite direction and seals the pursuit while the RB gets the ball wide. If the defense counters this with a slant to the motion, or a rotation to the motion there is a wide variety of counters Josh can run

And that's just the weak side TE Motion. The FB can motion and cause a similar problem on the edge yet because you are in 2 TE's you force the D to remain balanced because you can easily run to the weak side if the defense moves to protect its flank from the motioning FB.

If you motion the RB you can release both TE, and still have 6 blockers (the FB)

My favorite problem I'd hate to face is 2 TE's and an empty backfield. That would force the defense to spread itself thin yet be a big problem if your 250lb QB decides to run the ball with 7 solid blockers against what would likely be only 7 immediate defenders, 3 or 4 of whom will be much smaller than the blockers they will face. I hope you are getting my vision of where the problems lie. I'm kind of running out of steam here.

The passing issues are equally problematic for the defense when 2 receiving TE's are lining up either on the line or in a wing position. 2 wides and one RB to go along with the 2 TE's create issues for the DC in how to get the proper personnel on the field and where the ball is going to go. Lots of motion opportunities. God I wish I could draw X's and O's to show you what I'm talking about. But believe me I would be hard pressed to defend having 2 quality TE's on the same field and all the options the OC would have to exploit my personnel decisions
Arthur Smith got a well deserved raise to HC and it's mainly for his creative personnel looks in the running game & TE usage. He really helped out Smith at Tennessee. Not afraid to get creative. Knew exactly who Smith was and how to use him. I'm at work and don't have time to make clips but Smith lined up in the slot, x, backfield, inline-detached, took ho's out of the backfield and on motion.

I'm excited bc all we have to do is dust off some sections of our playbook and we should be good. I hope we steal some stuff around the league as well.

This is really a follow through from last year and building off our running game. Winning with "#'s" and we get to expand on that with more talented players(key) out different formations.

Hyped for unbalanced sets - The trio of Wynn (maybe not so much Wynn - I love how he breaks the mold lol), Onwenu & Brown are literally and figuratively huge and should provide very useful for us here. And scary for other teams! Shaq, Brown, Onwenu lined up next to each other with Shaq pulling in front of Harris or Cam. The confusion causes for easy gains on strong/weak side. Weak side you can really have fun.

No one is preparing for unbalanced looks as a primary during the week. Plus most aren't equipped to deal with it more than 5-10% of a game Id think. Like you could really catch some teams sleeping ... If you can consistently pass. Even easy 6-7 yard gains, screens which is the most common pass I'd say?
But we have NA to stretch the field. Smith for YAC. Henry can get open quick or just muscle out a DB. Meyers to move the chains. KB brings the same but might be able to gash teams a little more. He's a little better than Meyers at the top of His route. Don't want to call him a field stretcher but he can come away with a quiet 3/60 , 4/75. Those are our two inside/outside WR

Then off that confusion you can go to counter with nub sets :)

Mix in RPO and that gets defenses absolutely spinning.

12 personnel will be back. I posted this eariler. C2 is the new C3 and with our running game we should catch S creeping to the los big time. MOF/Seams are open.
We now have two capable TE's to stretch the field vertically between the #'s. Both are a handful and can bust a seam open. That's a nice a nice go-to against those 2hi looks.

13 is interesting as well bc of how versatile Smith Henry & Asiasi/Keene are. Keene is interesting bc if he can hold up as a blocker we could, hopefully use him as a FB at times which would be awesome in the passing game.

Both those guys should have butterflies in their stomachs rn. Sometimes it's not an on the field issue but an off the field one too. Bill had to see from both lens that neither would be good enough any time soon. Again this isn't just Bill wanting production from the position although that is a big part. This is him saying, these (Henry & Smith) are the two guys I want & need and who you (Asiasi, Keene) should strive to be. Not happening fast enough, welcome to the NFL.

I'm really excited with both these guys. Both can line up at the X, inline-detached and in the slot and are effective. I think people will be surprised with Smith's blocking. He'll be as good as anyone we have there. Big time effort and leverage. I think people will be impressed by Henry's r/r abilities. He's quick for a big man, can get off the line. Creates a nice stem-nice in route adjustments. And can just body you out if need be.

D, The defense will be more able to reflect the style of defense Bill wants to play. That is a defense that can morph week to week into whatever it takes to stop a specific offensive strategy and personnel they will face. In other words players who all can play multiple positions and execute multiple schemes. Sometimes I think Bill would love to play an entire game with an amoeba D of positionless defenders who never line up in the same place twice in a row.

Speaking of dreaming, that's what I should be doing. I have sadly matriculated from rambling to babbling and need to stop this now. Too tired to edit it so sorry for any mistakes and hope you enjoyed it.
 

DarrylS

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PFK, well thought out post as comprehensive as can be found by the most well thought out pundits.

My view is that the Pats are not done, they have decent "draft capital" that may move themselves downward to be in a more viable position to draft either Trey Lance or Mac Jones, probably more in the Jones range.

Agree about David Andrews, this guy is a binky of mine.. and hope he comes back.

Do not think that Edelman will be in the mix, last I read how is recovery is going slower than expected.

Glad to see you did not go down the road, as sportstalk radio wants us to, about how this is all about some sort of revenge over #12 winning the Superbowl.

It is none of that, it is about a team that got older and showed many flaws on both sides of the ball, things had to change and because of a lot of cap room BB & crew were able to make this team different and better.

Interesting note, was listening to sportstalk, and Zolak commented that Matt Patricia was signing contracts for new players, not sure what that means but had thought that Patricia was here more in an "Ernie Adams" type role...
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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This is a lot to unravel. It is literally a matter of so much SO fast that it is probably going to take me a while to get it all down. This thread will be my therapeutic method to try and understand the strategy behind what was obviously a very thoughtful and designed plan to revamp a roster and make us INSTANTLY into a legitimate playoff contender. So here are some initial short takes.

a. Today's signings were PARTIALLY in response to a bad 5 year run of drafts. Get over it all you BB haters. this kind of drought happens to every program. It is the nature of the game. Everyone in the media is kissing Jason Licht's ass this off season, but if you look at his drafts over his first 5 seasons you'd have to wonder why he even HAD a job after those first 5 years. There is more than one way to build a football team these days, and Bill is showing us a different way. In season's when we have drafted well like in 2010-15 it wasn't necessary to make a statement like this. After the 16-20 classes, now we have. I wish it were different but it wasn't. Would'ves and Could'ves are wastes of time. What needs to be done to put a good product on the field THIS year is the task at hand. So if telling me we could have this guy or that guy is moot. If it makes you feel better to practice you Monday morning QB rant, tell it to a mirror. I'm not interested in yesterday, and neither is Bill.

b. Now I know what it's like to be a Jet fan all these years when everyone in the media has anointed your team the March superbowl. ;)

c. I don't think we are done, but we won't be able to tell until @Miguel gives a run down of exactly how much is left of that 65MM, and things that can be done to add some more to our cap space. These will be more about the old FA strategy of picking off decent deals for decent player 'in positions of need. So lets talk about still needs to get done

1. Solidify the C position. - Obviously the first choice would be to resign David Andrews, but it is clear now that he wants to see what's out there and that can be a dangerous game. MIami is reported to be his biggest suitor and Andrews is familiar with some of their offensive staff and I think they are using similar semantics to communicate. BB has often allowed vets he respects to test FA and see what the market bears. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm hoping he's back.

However a very intriguing option just opened up as the Raiders have just released their starting C, Rodney Hudson a very athletic, 3 time all pro, who is just 31. Just saying. To me he'd be an interesting option to offer a 2 year deal to and draft the next Koppen this April. If this isn't a possibility there are 16 FA's that are 30 and under listed on one site I found, including old friend Ted Karras (not my first choice...or second....or third)

I'm hoping that the FA signings we did make plus the chance to work with a potentially outstanding OL will keep Andrews here for a few more years.
Hudson is one of the low key great OL'm in the league. Unbelievable in pass protection. Hes a great player. Talk about a super line. Honestly on paper Wynn Onwenu Hudson Shaq Brown has awesome potential. Best in the league peak. ***If we're healthy***.

Humphrey, Menet, Morrissey & Dickerson might be the most pro ready in terms of being able to call out protections and fit with us? It's also 6am and I don't have my A game. Opinions maybe differ lol but all really helped out with calls, awareness etc. Morrissey is mid-late round guy that might need the most work. Wildcard is Meinerz - big boy with length. Really like his lateral movements and overall athleticism the 2nd time I watched him. Played G in college in DIII so there should be several levels of adjustments for him but his tape is really good and he's got size and traits.
2. Add an interior DL penetrator. Nothing affects a passer more than penetration up the middle. We got more of that from Adam Butler last season than we ever had before. It wasn't consistent and we didn't want him out there when a run was probable, but as a situational guy, he wasn't bad if we can't get him back at the right price, then I want a equal or better player. Maybe they think or rather hope Byron Cowart might be that guy Maybe it's Anderson. I don't know, but I do know its a position of need

Prior to Monday, I would have thought that a MUST resigning was Lawrence Guy. IMHO, Guy might have been one of the more underrated DLmen in the league. Week after week the guy would very quietly make tackles in the run game, put pressure on the passer and come up big. He played over 500 defensive snaps every year he was here. I'd love him back....BUT based on the Anderson and Wise signings, I think that ship has sailed, especially when there is a possibility that top 3 interior DLman will be there at 15 (if we use the pick)

Kind of an intriguing guy is the 26 year old Solomon Thomas, and underperforming but athletically talented DT of the 49ers. Just a thought of a 2nd or 3rd wave guy.
Thomas haunts me but I wouldn't mind on the cheap. One guy I'd gamble on is Clowney. Not exactly Butlers type but versatile and effective both as a run defender and rusher. Perfect for amoeba and stunts. Only on a one-two year deal decent money. Him, Judon, HT, Wino, Uche ...
Draft - Maybe. Twyman, Stills, Onwuzrike, Brown ...
3. Add another RB - One would think that with Sony and Harris back along with JJ as a change of pace, we'd be fairly set at the position, but this offense (as I'll go into later) is going to be run heavy, and if it is, you can never be held hostage to injuries. I think that you need 4 competent guys to insure you have 2 healthy RB's every game. It's an occupational hazard for all RB's so I'd like to see the Pats add another guy to the mix assuming Burkhead is gone. The guy that would ring MY bell is to go after RFA (low tender) RB Philip Lindsay of Denver. Injuries are an issue (as it seems with all RB's, but when healthy he'd be an upgrade over Burkhead. He catches the ball well, makes people miss and runs hard for his size. Leonard Fornett is a thought if he doesn't return to the Bucs. Bill has always like that big back to gets you those tough yards on 3rd and short and the GL. Antwan Smith and Blunt come to mind. Also old friend Dion Lewis is available as a possible White replacement.

Prior to the FA blitz, Bedard opined that going after RFA's from teams that are cap strapped was a good strategy when your team has a lot of space. He thought I was a good plan to to get YOUNG talent in the FA market. I agree. The Bronco's, very strangely, didn't tender Lindsey so there would be no draft pick lost if the Pats made a bid that Denver couldn't match because of their cap situation. Just a thought
I actually really like Lindsey but since you brought him up here's someone I compared to Lindsey a month or so ago. Khalil Herbert. Patient pressing and working down the line before exploding. Pass pro is a mixed bag some bad but hes shown effort and flashes.
Some other names you can get late-udfa - Hawkins, Rountree, Fulton (multiple visits with great rec upside), Stevenson and Patterson are all guys that will be there between 3/4-udfa.
4. Adding speed to the ILB position. This of course could be Micah Parsons, but in the event he's not a draft pick. I'd like to see the Pats add another ILB who has sideline to sideline speed and is not a liability in coverage.
Surratt is an old prospect with big time upside in coverage but almost a liability in run defense. Didn't like his tape but his flashes in coverage/range are real.
Other names - Cam Mcgrone + smarts, instincts and versatility. Baron Browning lined up everywhere and was effective everywhere. Love his upside. Maybe take a shot with Dylan Moses the Bama kid who looked like a top 25 pick for a minute. Bad tape lost in coverage still looks like he's getting over his injury. Amen Ogbongbemiga is a late round guy I'd gamble on. Love Tony Fields toughness and physicality but he's small. He could be a Bill project on the squad.
5. I'd be looking to improve the depth at OL Assuming that Brown, Wynn, Owenu and Mason will surround some C in some configuration, I think we are OK at OT depth with Elumanour, Herron, and Cajuste BUT our current depth at C and OG IS a big need.
Trade up for a QB. Then use our next two picks on offense, OL/WR. If anyone was asking me lol. If not I still want to build the line. Incredible class.
Again Quinn Meinerz (wrestling background), Dickerson, Myers all have C/G versatility. K Green (former DT coming to college)
Cole Van Lanen, Jackson Carmen and Sadarius Hutcherson all have some T/G experience. All mid-late round guys with the exception of a few.
A. Assessing the signings to date - As I said this opus is being written as a therapeutic exercise to make some sense of the last day's signings and perhaps help the reader as well, so I'm going to just give MY feelings on each guy to that end.

a. Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith - A+

One would have been a coup, but BOTH will make the Pats offense SIGNIFICANTLY better regardless of who is the QB when all the dust settles. (I'll explain in more detail why later. and yes there will be a later. ;) ) Henry is a true in line TE who is both a big target receiver, especially in the red zone, and a better than average blocker. Smith is the more athletic receiver who was also an accomplished blocker in the best running game in the league. You can't imagine the problems that having those 2 on the field at the same time creates for DC's It is why Bill never passed up a chance to draft a QB early during the first run, and why he gave BOTH Gronk and Hernandez (at the time) big contracts so early in their careers to lock them up. As the consument "defensive guy" Bill understands the problems and pressure having to good TE's on the field at the same time.

b. Agular and Bourne - B-

Not in love with Agular, though that 19ypc average is just what the Pats DIDN'T have last season when their top 2 receivers (Bird and Meyers) averaged just over 12ypc. I'm hoping that this ends up being a 1 year deal with a team option. I really wanted Samuels and I hope he doesn't get paid the same or less when he signs. But aside from the fact Agular got run out of Philly for "questionable hands and toughness", he does add speed and a legit deep threat. Could be a steal if he repeats his 2020 production, could be a bust. This is the most risky signing of the bunch (but then again he's a WR ;) )

Bourne looks like a quality number 3 receiver who excels in the red zone and on 3rd down. My issue is that his skill set seems exactly the same as Jacobi Meyers. I'm hoping someone will explain the difference between them. I've read where Shanny really liked him. Bottom line the WR corp has been upgraded to at least mediocre, which is a big step over last season.

That room will likely be crowded, with Harry, Gunner, Lee and Byrd for starters. Perhaps the fact that he's fighting for his NFL life will spur Harry to become the Player we hoped he'd be when he was drafted.

c. Judon - He's the big defensive piece so far. I think he brings a degree of toughness and run support to the OLB/edge position that the Pats didn't have last season. It takes a bit of the pressure off Winovich to play that role, though he NEEDS to get better at run support. I don't think he going to be some double digit sacker, but he DOES upgrade that area for the Pats and his presence will open up opportunities for others. He's also a guy you play all over. B+

d. Mills - I did a bit of a double take when I heard about this. I didn't think that Bill would add to the secondary until after the draft, or when he made a final decision on Gilmore. However the more I learned the more I liked it. This kid could be the most versatile DB in the league, and Bill saw his effectiveness first hand in the superbowl where he had 9 combined tackles and 2 PDs. He had snaps at all 7 second level positions last season. Remember that Bill is a believer in the "positionless defense". and Mills' versatility not only adds depth, he adds that flexibility to do some strange things. I think it means that with Duggar, Phillips and Mills to go along with McCourty the Pats will have a strong and very flexible safety group. a subtle B

e Godcheax - A legit nose for the Pats and help to stem the leaks we had in the run game. His stats are unimpressive. He size at 311 or arm length (32) aren't all that impressive, yet the spin is that this kid is a legitimate run stopper. The Pats have seen him 6 times in person over the last 4 years so I'm trusting they understand his game better than I. So I guess he's an upgrade at a position of need, but I'll have to see it myself. C

f. Anderson - I'm guessing this guy is the sleeper pick on the defensive side of FA - 6'6, long armed and 300lbs he's the perfect size to play a 3-4 DE and has been effective setting the edge as a 4-3 DE. In 2018 he had some success as a pass rusher with 7 sacks and 18 QB hits, but in my mind right now he looks to be a 2 yr younger version of Lawrence Guy. Solid against the run, provide some push up the middle and get 50% of the defensive snaps. B-

g. Wise- At 6'5 and 275, Wise is kind of like Henry Anderson lite. The kid DOES have some rushing ability, especially when he stunts. And has had double digit QB hits in all 4 years including a high of 19. While he has problems holding up against the run, he has improved his consistency and as a situational player, I'm OK with the signing, but would have been happier if it had been Guy. C-

Overall I think we improved the defense;s depth and athleticism but not to the same extent as the offense's vast improvement.
Between Davis, Anderson and DG our run defense should be much improved. Lots of flexibility so we're not overpaying for a run stuffer.
 

PP2

Pro Bowl Player
This is a lot to unravel. It is literally a matter of so much SO fast that it is probably going to take me a while to get it all down. This thread will be my therapeutic method to try and understand the strategy behind what was obviously a very thoughtful and designed plan to revamp a roster and make us INSTANTLY into a legitimate playoff contender. So here are some initial short takes.

a. Today's signings were PARTIALLY in response to a bad 5 year run of drafts. Get over it all you BB haters. this kind of drought happens to every program. It is the nature of the game. Everyone in the media is kissing Jason Licht's ass this off season, but if you look at his drafts over his first 5 seasons you'd have to wonder why he even HAD a job after those first 5 years. There is more than one way to build a football team these days, and Bill is showing us a different way. In season's when we have drafted well like in 2010-15 it wasn't necessary to make a statement like this. After the 16-20 classes, now we have. I wish it were different but it wasn't. Would'ves and Could'ves are wastes of time. What needs to be done to put a good product on the field THIS year is the task at hand. So if telling me we could have this guy or that guy is moot. If it makes you feel better to practice you Monday morning QB rant, tell it to a mirror. I'm not interested in yesterday, and neither is Bill.

b. Now I know what it's like to be a Jet fan all these years when everyone in the media has anointed your team the March superbowl. ;)

c. I don't think we are done, but we won't be able to tell until @Miguel gives a run down of exactly how much is left of that 65MM, and things that can be done to add some more to our cap space. These will be more about the old FA strategy of picking off decent deals for decent player 'in positions of need. So lets talk about still needs to get done

1. Solidify the C position. - Obviously the first choice would be to resign David Andrews, but it is clear now that he wants to see what's out there and that can be a dangerous game. MIami is reported to be his biggest suitor and Andrews is familiar with some of their offensive staff and I think they are using similar semantics to communicate. BB has often allowed vets he respects to test FA and see what the market bears. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm hoping he's back.

However a very intriguing option just opened up as the Raiders have just released their starting C, Rodney Hudson a very athletic, 3 time all pro, who is just 31. Just saying. To me he'd be an interesting option to offer a 2 year deal to and draft the next Koppen this April. If this isn't a possibility there are 16 FA's that are 30 and under listed on one site I found, including old friend Ted Karras (not my first choice...or second....or third)

I'm hoping that the FA signings we did make plus the chance to work with a potentially outstanding OL will keep Andrews here for a few more years.

2. Add an interior DL penetrator. Nothing affects a passer more than penetration up the middle. We got more of that from Adam Butler last season than we ever had before. It wasn't consistent and we didn't want him out there when a run was probable, but as a situational guy, he wasn't bad if we can't get him back at the right price, then I want a equal or better player. Maybe they think or rather hope Byron Cowart might be that guy Maybe it's Anderson. I don't know, but I do know its a position of need

Prior to Monday, I would have thought that a MUST resigning was Lawrence Guy. IMHO, Guy might have been one of the more underrated DLmen in the league. Week after week the guy would very quietly make tackles in the run game, put pressure on the passer and come up big. He played over 500 defensive snaps every year he was here. I'd love him back....BUT based on the Anderson and Wise signings, I think that ship has sailed, especially when there is a possibility that top 3 interior DLman will be there at 15 (if we use the pick)

Kind of an intriguing guy is the 26 year old Solomon Thomas, and underperforming but athletically talented DT of the 49ers. Just a thought of a 2nd or 3rd wave guy.

3. Add another RB - One would think that with Sony and Harris back along with JJ as a change of pace, we'd be fairly set at the position, but this offense (as I'll go into later) is going to be run heavy, and if it is, you can never be held hostage to injuries. I think that you need 4 competent guys to insure you have 2 healthy RB's every game. It's an occupational hazard for all RB's so I'd like to see the Pats add another guy to the mix assuming Burkhead is gone. The guy that would ring MY bell is to go after RFA (low tender) RB Philip Lindsay of Denver. Injuries are an issue (as it seems with all RB's, but when healthy he'd be an upgrade over Burkhead. He catches the ball well, makes people miss and runs hard for his size. Leonard Fornett is a thought if he doesn't return to the Bucs. Bill has always like that big back to gets you those tough yards on 3rd and short and the GL. Antwan Smith and Blunt come to mind. Also old friend Dion Lewis is available as a possible White replacement.

Prior to the FA blitz, Bedard opined that going after RFA's from teams that are cap strapped was a good strategy when your team has a lot of space. He thought I was a good plan to to get YOUNG talent in the FA market. I agree. The Bronco's, very strangely, didn't tender Lindsey so there would be no draft pick lost if the Pats made a bid that Denver couldn't match because of their cap situation. Just a thought

4. Adding speed to the ILB position. This of course could be Micah Parsons, but in the event he's not a draft pick. I'd like to see the Pats add another ILB who has sideline to sideline speed and is not a liability in coverage.

5. I'd be looking to improve the depth at OL Assuming that Brown, Wynn, Owenu and Mason will surround some C in some configuration, I think we are OK at OT depth with Elumanour, Herron, and Cajuste BUT our current depth at C and OG IS a big need.

A. Assessing the signings to date - As I said this opus is being written as a therapeutic exercise to make some sense of the last day's signings and perhaps help the reader as well, so I'm going to just give MY feelings on each guy to that end.

a. Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith - A+

One would have been a coup, but BOTH will make the Pats offense SIGNIFICANTLY better regardless of who is the QB when all the dust settles. (I'll explain in more detail why later. and yes there will be a later. ;) ) Henry is a true in line TE who is both a big target receiver, especially in the red zone, and a better than average blocker. Smith is the more athletic receiver who was also an accomplished blocker in the best running game in the league. You can't imagine the problems that having those 2 on the field at the same time creates for DC's It is why Bill never passed up a chance to draft a QB early during the first run, and why he gave BOTH Gronk and Hernandez (at the time) big contracts so early in their careers to lock them up. As the consument "defensive guy" Bill understands the problems and pressure having to good TE's on the field at the same time.

b. Agular and Bourne - B-

Not in love with Agular, though that 19ypc average is just what the Pats DIDN'T have last season when their top 2 receivers (Bird and Meyers) averaged just over 12ypc. I'm hoping that this ends up being a 1 year deal with a team option. I really wanted Samuels and I hope he doesn't get paid the same or less when he signs. But aside from the fact Agular got run out of Philly for "questionable hands and toughness", he does add speed and a legit deep threat. Could be a steal if he repeats his 2020 production, could be a bust. This is the most risky signing of the bunch (but then again he's a WR ;) )

Bourne looks like a quality number 3 receiver who excels in the red zone and on 3rd down. My issue is that his skill set seems exactly the same as Jacobi Meyers. I'm hoping someone will explain the difference between them. I've read where Shanny really liked him. Bottom line the WR corp has been upgraded to at least mediocre, which is a big step over last season.

That room will likely be crowded, with Harry, Gunner, Lee and Byrd for starters. Perhaps the fact that he's fighting for his NFL life will spur Harry to become the Player we hoped he'd be when he was drafted.

c. Judon - He's the big defensive piece so far. I think he brings a degree of toughness and run support to the OLB/edge position that the Pats didn't have last season. It takes a bit of the pressure off Winovich to play that role, though he NEEDS to get better at run support. I don't think he going to be some double digit sacker, but he DOES upgrade that area for the Pats and his presence will open up opportunities for others. He's also a guy you play all over. B+

d. Mills - I did a bit of a double take when I heard about this. I didn't think that Bill would add to the secondary until after the draft, or when he made a final decision on Gilmore. However the more I learned the more I liked it. This kid could be the most versatile DB in the league, and Bill saw his effectiveness first hand in the superbowl where he had 9 combined tackles and 2 PDs. He had snaps at all 7 second level positions last season. Remember that Bill is a believer in the "positionless defense". and Mills' versatility not only adds depth, he adds that flexibility to do some strange things. I think it means that with Duggar, Phillips and Mills to go along with McCourty the Pats will have a strong and very flexible safety group. a subtle B

e Godcheax - A legit nose for the Pats and help to stem the leaks we had in the run game. His stats are unimpressive. He size at 311 or arm length (32) aren't all that impressive, yet the spin is that this kid is a legitimate run stopper. The Pats have seen him 6 times in person over the last 4 years so I'm trusting they understand his game better than I. So I guess he's an upgrade at a position of need, but I'll have to see it myself. C

f. Anderson - I'm guessing this guy is the sleeper pick on the defensive side of FA - 6'6, long armed and 300lbs he's the perfect size to play a 3-4 DE and has been effective setting the edge as a 4-3 DE. In 2018 he had some success as a pass rusher with 7 sacks and 18 QB hits, but in my mind right now he looks to be a 2 yr younger version of Lawrence Guy. Solid against the run, provide some push up the middle and get 50% of the defensive snaps. B-

g. Wise- At 6'5 and 275, Wise is kind of like Henry Anderson lite. The kid DOES have some rushing ability, especially when he stunts. And has had double digit QB hits in all 4 years including a high of 19. While he has problems holding up against the run, he has improved his consistency and as a situational player, I'm OK with the signing, but would have been happier if it had been Guy. C-

Overall I think we improved the defense;s depth and athleticism but not to the same extent as the offense's vast improvement.

Excellent write up, Ken. You really put in the work on these things.

Hard for me to get excited just yet because we still don't have a competent QB at the helm. BB is taking a huge gamble signing all that talent while there is still a big question mark at the most important position.

I still think he is going to make an aggressive move for a QB come draft time.
 

betterthanthealternative

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Good stuff.

Center is the only position where there's no starter. So that's the undeniable priority. And QB is a wild card.

Beyond those two, I'm most concerned about ILB. Hightower is far from a sure thing after a year off and a year older, and he gets nicked up a lot. If he's out, the defense immediately gets slower and creates a distinct vulnerability, plus has a significantly less effective blitz package.

OTOH, he may have an MVP year, starting a trend in the NFL where players take off a year somewhere around 30 to recuperate from the first 10 years of pounding, let their brains heal, and extend their career an extra 3 or 4 years. :)
 

stinkypete

In the Starting Line-Up
Good analysis, definitely better than any media reports have to offer.

This offseason boils down to the Belichick's age-old mantra of exploiting market inefficiencies. While this flurry of deals appears to be decidedly anti-Patriot overspending by 2021 standards, they are actually below market value according to 2020 or 2022 standards. This isn't necessarily by design - while the plan was to use 2021 to rebuild all along, nobody could have predicted the cap impact of the pandemic, or the carry over of over $30 million due to opt outs.

These deals are all back-loaded with very low cap charges for 2021. This is being viewed by the media as something of an escape hatch if the players under-perform. I don't think this is necessarily the plan. Instead, I think Belichick is anticipating retirements of several high-cap number players in the next 12 months. By spreading out the cap hits across 2022, 23 and 24, Belichick is able to take one more shot with the veteran core of Edelman, Hightower, McCourty and Chung. Once these guys hang them up, their cap hits will simply transfer to the likes of Judon, Smith and Henry. This also means that the team will be able to invest the cap bump that 2022 promises without having a ton of roster holes to fill.
 

patfanken

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We got really lucky and it feels great. In any other year, quality starters in their prime wouldn't have hit the market. I went back to look at last year for example and there isn't really any comparison with who was available. Without Covid, Smith, Henry and Judon never make it to market - and the very few who do would have got ridiculous contracts. We'd have had $65m and having to overspend it on 30 year olds looking for a last payday. Instead it's as if we were just paying the second contracts of guys we should have drafted in 2015-17.

Covid-19 saved us from a long rebuild through the draft, and if we can find a QB (big if..) we can be back where we were pretty quickly.
That's a great take. Covid helped create the low cap number that really hamstrung a lot teams. Players were ready to take the first good offer knowing that the longer they waited the more cap money dried up, and offers would shrink. Hopefully the Pats will end up with enough cap space to take advantage of FA's in the 2nd wave (now until the draft) and 3rd wave (after the draft) L. ots of teams are in the process of redoing current contracts and creating space. I think after the Bills signing bing, the Pats will be in that situation. They have the ability to make some cuts (ie Chung) and redo deals (Gilmore, McCourty, etc) in order to create enough space to take advantage of the 2nd and 3rd wave markets and add 2 or 3 more players in the bargain basement. We shall see
 

patfanken

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Arthur Smith got a well deserved raise to HC and it's mainly for his creative personnel looks in the running game & TE usage. He really helped out Smith at Tennessee. Not afraid to get creative. Knew exactly who Smith was and how to use him. I'm at work and don't have time to make clips but Smith lined up in the slot, x, backfield, inline-detached, took ho's out of the backfield and on motion.

I'm excited bc all we have to do is dust off some sections of our playbook and we should be good. I hope we steal some stuff around the league as well.

This is really a follow through from last year and building off our running game. Winning with "#'s" and we get to expand on that with more talented players(key) out different formations.

Hyped for unbalanced sets - The trio of Wynn (maybe not so much Wynn - I love how he breaks the mold lol), Onwenu & Brown are literally and figuratively huge and should provide very useful for us here. And scary for other teams! Shaq, Brown, Onwenu lined up next to each other with Shaq pulling in front of Harris or Cam. The confusion causes for easy gains on strong/weak side. Weak side you can really have fun.

No one is preparing for unbalanced looks as a primary during the week. Plus most aren't equipped to deal with it more than 5-10% of a game Id think. Like you could really catch some teams sleeping ... If you can consistently pass. Even easy 6-7 yard gains, screens which is the most common pass I'd say?
But we have NA to stretch the field. Smith for YAC. Henry can get open quick or just muscle out a DB. Meyers to move the chains. KB brings the same but might be able to gash teams a little more. He's a little better than Meyers at the top of His route. Don't want to call him a field stretcher but he can come away with a quiet 3/60 , 4/75. Those are our two inside/outside WR

Then off that confusion you can go to counter with nub sets :)

Mix in RPO and that gets defenses absolutely spinning.

12 personnel will be back. I posted this eariler. C2 is the new C3 and with our running game we should catch S creeping to the los big time. MOF/Seams are open.
We now have two capable TE's to stretch the field vertically between the #'s. Both are a handful and can bust a seam open. That's a nice a nice go-to against those 2hi looks.

13 is interesting as well bc of how versatile Smith Henry & Asiasi/Keene are. Keene is interesting bc if he can hold up as a blocker we could, hopefully use him as a FB at times which would be awesome in the passing game.

Both those guys should have butterflies in their stomachs rn. Sometimes it's not an on the field issue but an off the field one too. Bill had to see from both lens that neither would be good enough any time soon. Again this isn't just Bill wanting production from the position although that is a big part. This is him saying, these (Henry & Smith) are the two guys I want & need and who you (Asiasi, Keene) should strive to be. Not happening fast enough, welcome to the NFL.

I'm really excited with both these guys. Both can line up at the X, inline-detached and in the slot and are effective. I think people will be surprised with Smith's blocking. He'll be as good as anyone we have there. Big time effort and leverage. I think people will be impressed by Henry's r/r abilities. He's quick for a big man, can get off the line. Creates a nice stem-nice in route adjustments. And can just body you out if need be.
I really like your take on the unbalanced line. I hadn't thought about that and it struck a cord. If you go WAY back to single wing concepts the unbalanced line was a primary look. Back in the late 1970's, N.Quincy HS still ran that offense, so I'm trying to remember what we had to do to defend it..... OK some of it is coming back. IIRC, we were normally a 5-2 team (now called a 3-4 alignment) with a monster (now called a SS in the box) and a rotating 3 deep secondary. But because the unbalance single wing I went with a 6-2 alignment to stop their strong running attack, Making sure the kids recognized where the unbalance was and adjusting the DL was critical.

Oh its all coming back. I stole an old dallas cowboy tactic of aligning their DT's off the LOS a couple of steps so they could stunt more easily. Remember. Fortunately N.Quincy had a lot of good formation tendencies so I would have the LB on each side of the 6-2 call gap stunts for the 3 DL on each side depending on what backfield formation they saw. I turned out to be very effective, but was a b!tch to prepare for.

OK the nostalgia trip is over, and getting back YOUR point, running an unbalance line against an unprepared defense could be devastating. THEN after that, forcing opposing defenses to need to take time to prepare for it in the future is a great advantage whether you run it or not that week., They STILL have to prepare for it. I'm starting to love the idea of running an unbalanced line for a series or two then go back to balanced formation for a while then go back to unbalanced for a critical 3rd and short.

Now we need to get a quality C (Andrews or Hudson) Then draft his replacement and add OG depth. Now with the OL set and the 2 TE's who have decvent (we hope) back ups in Assaisi and Keen) and we CAN create a lot of offensive looks that will create a LOT problems for defenses.




COOL TAKE
 
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SlowGettingUp

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I'd love to see you do a post on the whole Belichick zigging when everyone else is zagging theme.

Right now, I'm seeing everyone else moving to lighter and faster defensive fronts, so Belichick goes all in on the best TE group in the League and one of the best OLs.

It's really interesting that top TE's are the worst-paid group of all - really surprising to me, and I wonder if you can explain it.


I also wonder about the apparent overpay for Agholor - do you see the combination of the two top TEs and a WR with the second-highest yards per reception (and 6th highest yards per target) as something notable?
 

n6249c

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Great analysis, as always.

and now we’ve got the question about who plays center answered, two answers, with Andrews resigned and Karras back. Gives a really good starter and a very good C/G backup. Not too shabby.

plus another DL with the signing of Adams from GB.

camp will be exciting.
 

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