We are still the Patriots, and I will enjoy and look forward to a great future

2020 Patriots Season:
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upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
I have watched too much football to not have faith in Belichick and McDaniels. In Belichick's first stint in New England as a DC, he was the difference that brought us to the 96 Super Bowl. Then he went to the Jets w/ Parcells and that team was a bear to play against. I wanted Belichick in the 1990s, and when he came to New England, I was totally convinced he would lead us to Super Bowls. He has ALWAYS been great. He will turn this around.

I have a lot of faith in Josh as well. And I am not blinded, someone who simply likes whoever is running the Patriots. I did not much like Bill O'Brien's stint here. I blame BOB for a Super Bowl loss in fact. McDaniels has something else, and that's an ability to maximize the field like few other OCs. Josh will figure this out.

That being said, I see huge deficiencies in personnel at key positions (wideouts on offense, front 7 on defense) that will make this season an uphill climb. My advice: enjoy the rebuild. Have faith in BB and Josh. They will turn this around. Stop feeling like the world is falling down. This team is rebuilding the right way (cap space, youth) and the turnaround will come quick, maybe even next year.

Build on these players on D: JC Jackson, J Jones, Dugger, JJ Williams, M Bryant, , Adrian Phillips, Anfernee, Winovich, Uche.
Build on these O players: Harris, Wynn, Thuney, Mason, Onwenu, Andrews.

I have no idea what we have in the 2 rookie TEs but obviously they will be around for a bit.

The point is, these players are the foundation for the team that will compete at the top of the league. Combined with what I anticipate is a draft with picks in the teens of every round, and a huge salary cap advantage, and Bill will be in optimal position to find more young players and to season them with prime free agents, who will become available with the new cap ramifications.

My only big concern really--outside of WR--is the front 7 on D. Notice I didn't include Bentley as a building block. He's a fine player, and occupies a central role in Belichick's D--but I wonder if this is the D of our future.Having a run plugger in the middle when our DTs are 2 gapping is critical. But now that you see the college game creeping into the NFL so much, it makes me wonder if we can't get by with the likes of Bentley anymore. It was just deflating to watch him chase an RB in the open field. Bentley did everything right. He diagnosed the play. He got himself into perfect position to stop it. Garoppolo waited, and even got the ball to the RB late, and then HORROR the guy just ran right by Bentley. We are so limited right now in our front 7. The DBs are being exposed.

So--I am still very optimistic about our future. But I'd like to see a total focus on WRs and LBs in the fraft and FA next year.

We are hurting there.
 

Joker

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
SF came in to the Razor and pushed the Patriots around. Everywhere on the field. The Pats looked smaller, weaker and slower almost every single play.Keene is 6'4" but played like he's 5'11". TE or "move" or whatever you want to call the position is a big hole on this current squad. Cam Newton is a stopgap that looks washed as a starter. The other 2? One should be holding a clipboard as a coach the other....uh....anything but NFL football.

So, AFAIC, THE main priority going forward is the QB postion....followed by some coherent philosophy on the type of receivers this QB should grow with. Izzo's a nice scrub, but if he isn't the worst TE in the NFL, he's bottom three. He "does his job" sure, but so did "Rudy!" in the Notre Dame film.

This team needs an infusion of bona fide NFL starter talent at linebacker and the DL, at least two difference makers....the successful teams this year have more than two for the most part. Winners in this league impose THEIR will, losers get pushed around. The Pats "middle class" strategy of team building may have seen its' day.
 

upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
SF came in to the Razor and pushed the Patriots around. Everywhere on the field. The Pats looked smaller, weaker and slower almost every single play.Keene is 6'4" but played like he's 5'11". TE or "move" or whatever you want to call the position is a big hole on this current squad. Cam Newton is a stopgap that looks washed as a starter. The other 2? One should be holding a clipboard as a coach the other....uh....anything but NFL football.

So, AFAIC, THE main priority going forward is the QB postion....followed by some coherent philosophy on the type of receivers this QB should grow with. Izzo's a nice scrub, but if he isn't the worst TE in the NFL, he's bottom three. He "does his job" sure, but so did "Rudy!" in the Notre Dame film.

This team needs an infusion of bona fide NFL starter talent at linebacker and the DL, at least two difference makers....the successful teams this year have more than two for the most part. Winners in this league impose THEIR will, losers get pushed around. The Pats "middle class" strategy of team building may have seen its' day.

I agree with the assessment on the players you mentioned, which is why I didn't include them. But I still think we have some talent to build off and work with. Don't know if Uche is going to work out but we surely need fast LBs like him to defend the intermediate stuff. It's the way of the future. I don't think we can afford to play guys like Bentley, and this might change Belichick's thinking up front as well.

I also think BB drafting Uche and Dugger is a good sign for us since it's clear he now sees the value is lighter faster LBs and big safeties. These aren't the prototypical Patriots defenders from the past, when BB would prefer LBs even outside with more heft, and also safeties who were more like CBs. Dugger is a true bigger type safety.
 

203Pat

In the Starting Line-Up
I wish I could be optimistic but I just am not seeing it. This is an old slow roster and most of the younger players are completely unproven or inconsistent at best.

There is clearly no long term plan at QB.

Our two best RB's will be free agents next year, Edelman looks like he is done and Harry is a bust.

Our offensive line has some promising young players but our two best lineman will also be free agents next year and I still am not fully sold on Wynn.

Our TE group may be even worse than our receiver group and that is saying something. We have no idea if the rookies can play as they haven't gotten much of a chance, Izzo is a practice squad level player, and I hope to never see Lacosse in a Patriots uniform again.

Our defensive line has one promising young player in Winovich, who all of a sudden is in the doghouse. Then Guy, who has been our most consistent D-lineman is a FA, Wise who seems to be finding a role is a FA, Butler and Simon who are solid rotational players are FA's. Maybe Cowhert continues to develop but we will still need a ton of pieces depending on who we let walk.

The linebacking core is another disaster. Bentley is being asked to do way too much and is failing miserably. Outside of him, Copeland is a special teamer, and Jennings and Uche are completely unproven and Calhoun is another free agent. Maybe Hightower comes back and helps but I wouldn't be surprised if we have seen the last of him as a Patriot.

The secondary is the strength of the team but I think many (myself included) believe Gilmore is playing his last season as a Patriot (if he doesn't get moved in the next two weeks) and they still have yet to pay JC Jackson or he walks. Neither McCourty has looked good this year with Jason struggling particularly badly and one would assume one if not both of them are gone next year. Brooks is a FA and Chung may be gone as well. That leaves us with Jon Jones who I still believe in but has struggled quite a bit this year, Joejuan Williams who looks like he is heading into bust territory, Duggar who looks up and down but has deftly showed some promise, and Adrian Phillips who has been solid as well.

I know this seems like a "sky is falling" type post and maybe it is but I have been *****ing about Bill's personnel moves for the last few years and I think without Brady it exposed just how bad recent drafts and signings have been. I know he will re-sign a few of these guys but I don't know how he can turn this around with the state that this roster is in right now. To me this looks like a 2-3 year process at absolute best to be a real contender again.
 

haripi2

Practice Squad Player
I think you retain few core players and move away from the rest. Thuney might be a keeper at a high price tag . Jc jackson will also be a keeper. The rest all could be expended. If we can get 2 among wise, Butler, simon on a cheap FA contract , sign them in. McCourty, high tower, Chung, Gilmore , edelman are pretty much goners. Get a solid number 1 FA receiver and see how we can get 2/3 from draft to see which own has it. Get a first rounder for Gilmore and trade down for 2 second rounders and draft two receivers in second round . Let's see how the second rounder luck pans for us.

Try harry as number 3 or maybe as a tight end .

Simplify offense and see what you have got with stidham and other rookie receivers. Need to identify the keepers. Meyers and Byrd seem a decent 3 or 4 . I don't think we can draft a number 3 receiver well. So keep those two and hope gunner grows into a edelman clone. And if we get a number 1 like Julio jones who knows maybe we can compete again next year. Offensive line looks good enough.

Linebackers - get one/ two free agents and hope Jennings / uche grow into someone reliable. For that we need to give them chance to discover themselves.

It's maybe couple of years before we can even compete. But get the core ready through smarter drafts. And please no more DB drafts within first two rounds. Maybe 3rd round or beyond.
 

Boomer B

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
I like the OP’s post, and I’m all on board with Bill and Josh on the rebuild, but I do wonder if at 68 years old Bill will want to stick around for a rebuild. He knows more than anybody what a franchise QB means to winning football games and there isn’t anyone in sight for us. Bill could be well into his 70’s before the next one comes along. Will he want to coach through some losing seasons to get there? It’ll be interesting to see.
 

farn

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Good drafts in 2001-02-03 set up the dynasty. Good drafts in 2012-13 set up the most recent string of success.

A 2003-type draft would change the entire outlook. I think one thing that too often goes unmentioned : teams have gotten better at drafting. In the early 2000s, BB wasn’t competing with as many people for “the right players”.
 

farn

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
I like the OP’s post, and I’m all on board with Bill and Josh on the rebuild, but I do wonder if at 68 years old Bill will want to stick around for a rebuild. He knows more than anybody what a franchise QB means to winning football games and there isn’t anyone in sight for us. Bill could be well into his 70’s before the next one comes along. Will he want to coach through some losing seasons to get there? It’ll be interesting to see.
BB always says he likes “every part of coaching” and often cites the draft, summer practices... While I agree that at 68, normal people would become tired of it all - that’s not the impression I get. Dude lives for football.
 

borg

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
The OP has inspired me with his positivity.
Well done
——————————————————-
Speaking of Mr Positivity.....
Bill’s pregame speech yesterday has leaked out and he was channeling his inner Herb Brooks

"Great moments are born from great opportunity, and that's what you have here today, boys. That's what you've earned here today. One game; if we played San Fran ten times, they might win nine. But not this game, not today. Today, we run with them. Today we tackle them, and we shut them down because we can. Today, we are the greatest football team in the East not named Buffalo or Miami.
You were born to be football players—every one of you, and you were meant to be here today. Maybe not you Harry or you Hoyer but this is everyone else’s time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great football team the Niners are and how handsome Jimmy Effing G is. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and let’s kick a couple field goals”
 
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PATSYLICIOUS

Pro Bowl Player
History shows that after winning a bunch of super bowls in a short period of time, there will be some rebuilding. The next few years may be challenging for what we’ve been used to, barring a 1995, 2003 or 2010 like draft and our franchise qb suddenly appearing. I’m happy for Tom that he went to a team where he can succeed, he’s still a great qb but probably not the qb that could carry teams on his back to be contenders like in 2009-2013 while we rebuilt our team for further dominance, at this stage it’s really not fair to expect that from him. It’s very likely that we will spend a few seasons in an ACTUAL rebuild that human nfl teams are accustomed too, it was bound to happen at some point.
 

PatsBoy12

Pro Bowl Player
We are still the Patriots because of the logo, but make no mistake about it, this isn't typical. The team has major issues that likely will not be fixed this season and COVID will likely continue to be a topic of conversation and a persistent issue around the league. This season just isn't a typical season.
 

scott99

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Good drafts in 2001-02-03 set up the dynasty. Good drafts in 2012-13 set up the most recent string of success.

A 2003-type draft would change the entire outlook. I think one thing that too often goes unmentioned : teams have gotten better at drafting. In the early 2000s, BB wasn’t competing with as many people for “the right players”.
Problem is, and people have reported this, the Pats have a very small draft board and they are very rigid, they won’t stray from that board. So when you are talking about “right players”, well from 2013 on, he’s missing out on those “right players”, sometimes by bypassing them when they are there for the taking. Totally destroyed the dynasty and has put us 5 years behind.
 

brdmaverick

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
The Pats have been fortunate in that Brady historically has allowed them to rebuild on the fly. We no longer have that luxury, and honestly I'm ok with the logic of taking two steps backwards before we are able to move forward again.
 

scott99

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I agree with the assessment on the players you mentioned, which is why I didn't include them. But I still think we have some talent to build off and work with. Don't know if Uche is going to work out but we surely need fast LBs like him to defend the intermediate stuff. It's the way of the future. I don't think we can afford to play guys like Bentley, and this might change Belichick's thinking up front as well.

I also think BB drafting Uche and Dugger is a good sign for us since it's clear he now sees the value is lighter faster LBs and big safeties. These aren't the prototypical Patriots defenders from the past, when BB would prefer LBs even outside with more heft, and also safeties who were more like CBs. Dugger is a true bigger type safety.
I watched Uche and Dugger in the Senior Bowl, they were two of the best defensive players.
 

festy1986

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I like the OP’s post, and I’m all on board with Bill and Josh on the rebuild, but I do wonder if at 68 years old Bill will want to stick around for a rebuild. He knows more than anybody what a franchise QB means to winning football games and there isn’t anyone in sight for us. Bill could be well into his 70’s before the next one comes along. Will he want to coach through some losing seasons to get there? It’ll be interesting to see.

If bill knew more than anybody what a franchise qb meant to winning he wouldn't of disenfranchised and pushed out the greatest of all time.

Bill is great but he has a smug attitude about him that thinks he can win with anyone.

Wrong.
 

DarrylS

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
My disappointment is tempered with the belief is that things will get better, probably not so much in '20, but '21. BB is not known to be complacent, a trade or 2 will not make this team all that much better, unless the Pats are the "seller" and can pick up more draft picks. I like Newton but the past couple of weeks he has looked like crap, otoh our WR corps of Meyers & Byrd does not strike fear in the hearts of many opposing defenses. The TE situation is abhorrent.

The good thing is that next year we have $70+ million available to begin to right this ship.. things will get better.
 

farn

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Problem is, and people have reported this, the Pats have a very small draft board and they are very rigid, they won’t stray from that board. So when you are talking about “right players”, well from 2013 on, he’s missing out on those “right players”, sometimes by bypassing them when they are there for the taking. Totally destroyed the dynasty and has put us 5 years behind.
“Destroyed the dynasty”

I mean. I don’t even know where to start. Dynasties are short. The greatest ones are 2/3 SBs and are then gone forever.

I think posters minimize the incredible skill, luck, and health it takes to win just one SB. This team went 3/4 and 3/5. Amazing.
 

Doctor DDS

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
If the Patriots are fortunate and end up with someone like Hebert in the draft next year I think they can turn things around quickly. QB is so important that nothing else really matters until that problem is solved. They are in an enviable position $ wise compared to the rest of the league and if the cap drops like expected there should be a bunch of quality veterans available for cheap dollars. I think more than the draft the Pats need to hit on the group of "middle class" players and find their next batch of Ninkovich, Hogan, Van Noy type players to fill some holes. If they do there is no reason they are not serious contenders in a couple years.
 

upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
If the Patriots are fortunate and end up with someone like Hebert in the draft next year I think they can turn things around quickly. QB is so important that nothing else really matters until that problem is solved. They are in an enviable position $ wise compared to the rest of the league and if the cap drops like expected there should be a bunch of quality veterans available for cheap dollars. I think more than the draft the Pats need to hit on the group of "middle class" players and find their next batch of Ninkovich, Hogan, Van Noy type players to fill some holes. If they do there is no reason they are not serious contenders in a couple years.

Drafting a Herbert or signing a Tannehill. Some of these teams chuck their good QBs away rather than blame their ineptitude on the front office. Bridgewater could be another Tannehill. They are out there.
 

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