Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 06-28 and AFC East notes this week.
Quick Hitters For the Pats, and the NFL:
Patriots Sticking With Stidham: The 2nd year QB is going to be the starter for the team in September, with much of the talk since the news that Tom Brady left for TB has been that the Patriots were interested in Andy Dalton, Cam Newton et.al., none of them are here now. And if they were going to sign Newton or one of those other retreads, they’d have been here by now.
Now it will be up to Stidham, the coaches, and the WRs to find a comfort zone with one another. Julian Edelman seems to be embracing the arrival of the young QB. We’ll have more on Stidham below.
Brady Singled Out for Workouts: Yes, we said we were moving on …and we are, but the workouts that Brady is conducting with his new TB Bucs teammates are not the only ones that NFL players are conducting before training camp.
But if you were to look at things being posted in the national media, you might get a different take on that. There are no rules forbidding offseason workouts, the NFLPA “suggests” that players refrain from gathering in groups and working out. And he’s getting called out to stop it.
One writer called Brady’s belief in hisTB12 system that he espouses “Snake Oil” salesmanship, and called out Brady throwing in shoulder pads and helmet as being conducted in full pads. (sigh) or anyone who proclaims to be an NFL writer…it would be known that he has always thrown with those on as part of his preparations. But he’s not the only one…by a long shot.
Bill Belichick: One radio station (no we won’t mention WEEI) had one host say that Bill Belichick gets one mulligan before going on the “hot seat” and that the team will be “unwatchable” this year. Really? Things must be really getting bad at some places…If you really believe that… watch QVC.
4th & 2 Podcast – If you’ve haven’t checked out our PatsFans.com podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2” in a bit, please check it out. On Friday, Russ, Derek, and I recorded a video/podcast and talked about some of the offseason issues with the team. Included in that were bits about Joe Thuney, the Patriots Offensive Line, Jarrett Stidham, and more. Please give it a listen.
Russ Francis/ Chuck Fairbanks: The former Patriot tight end and head coach both should be in the team’s Hall of Fame…this will be a frequent sight on our posts until it happens.
Patriots and Stidham, to Utilize More RPOs in 2020? Probably a Good Idea:
The Patriots offense is going to look different in 2020, we all know that, with Brady now with the Bucs, the QB position will be a question mark for the first time in 20 years. On our Friday podcast, Russ Goldman asked the question: Will the Patriots utilize more RPOs in 2020 to take advantage of Jarrett Stidham’s mobility? And the short answer is…I hope so, but yes they will.
One of the constants with Bill Belichick is that they’ll put players in the best position to succeed. And with Stidham’s mobility, they should be putting into action some RPO plays to take advantage of that. We all know that defensive coordinators will be attempting to bring the heat on Stidham and force him into making mistakes. (The Patriots and Belichick do this often as well)
One way to counteract this is to have Stidham roll out and alleviate pressure in the pocket, making his reads and throws easier with the option to run if nothing is there. We saw small glimpses of that last year during training camp and preseason.
Of course, fans shouldn’t expect that Stidham will be scrambling like Lamar Jackson…he’s nowhere that mobile. But extending plays and simplifying reads can and should be done to make his transition easier. That all ties into the running game and the pass protection. If those are working as well as the coaches hope, it will make his job a lot easier. As we all know, there is a vast difference between 3rd and 7 and 3rd and 2 or 3.
We’re excited to see what Stidham can do this year. Are there questions along the OL, WR, and TE positions? Yes as well as with him and Brian Hoyer at QB. But that uncertainty makes for watching the games closely this year even more intriguing.
NFL Still Planning on Beginning TC On Time:
The Patriots, like 31 other teams are looking at the July 28 date as the official start of the 2020 training camp. But what it looks like and how it is conducted is up in the air. But the NFL is planning on running training camps and the regular season as normal.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told the media that the plan is to “get ready for games at our stadiums and to engage our fans both in stadiums and through our media partners” during a conference call this week
Goodell did say that the league is discussing options with the NFL Players Association, however, the league has offered no alternative solutions or indicated any plans to change as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spike in several states.
Both the NHL and NBA are planning to finish out their respective seasons without any fans in the stands. MLB’s 2020 season will finally get started this summer but will either eliminate or greatly reduce any fans in the stadiums. But meanwhile, Goodell is saying that the NFL plans to move forward as normally as possible. The league has said it will listen to the medical community, but its plan they also plan on having fans (by the sound of things) at both training camp and the regular season.
It seems difficult to imagine …given the situation in Massachusetts that the Patriots will be conducting training camp in front of the huge crowds that we’ve come to expect at Gillette Stadium in the past…stay tuned.
Excited to See What N’Keal Harry Can Do in 2020? We Are:
Patriots 2nd year wide receiver N’Keal Harry was another subject on our video podcast on Friday. We’ve seen the films of Harry working out with Rischard Whitfield this spring, and the results have been pretty impressive.
Whitfield believes that Harry was slowing himself down last year due to poor footwork. By trying to stay low…as he’d done in college and where he could overpower defensive backs, it didn’t work in the NFL where DBs are bigger, faster, and more physical.
Whitfield told Mike Giardi of the NFL Network that the plan is to get Harry to narrow his base a little, like a boxer and make him more nimble on his feet. “This is the prime example I give him: You can’t box with no footwork. You got to bob and weave and move out of the way. They’re nimble. They’re light. I got to get him to that, because he’ll get wide. He’ll stomp. He’ll move his feet, but it’s so heavy that it’s not going anywhere. He’s not moving the defensive back vertical.”
Harry saw he needed better footwork and speed off the line in his rookie season and like professionals should…is looking to improve himself. Now healthy, we look for a quicker, more confident wide receiver in Year 2.
Eastbound and Down AFC East Notes:
The Bills Have Put Everything in Place for Josh Allen to Succeed:
The Buffalo Bills 3rd year QB Josh Allen will have a lot of people watching him closely in 2020. Many NFL analysts have the Bills as the team to beat in the AFC East in 2020. They already have an excellent defense, now they’ve added all of the pieces to make their offense as good this year. It’s up to Allen to make it all work.
The Bills have a plethora of riches with receivers who can catch the ball, wide receivers Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley in the slot gives them three excellent targets. Add in TE Dawson Knox and running backs Devin Singletary, Zach Moss, and T.J. Yeldon and there is no shortage of weapons this year.
Now, Allen will have to improve his accuracy, timing and decision making. But with the coaching staff in place, there will be no excuses for him to have a big year.
Dolphins Offensive Linemen Working Out Together to Improve:
The Miami Dolphins offensive line has their third coach (Steve Marshall) in the last 11 months. And the players have been working out together…hard in South Florida (gasp!) trying to get ready for the upcoming season and to learn Marshall’s system.
Both rookies and veterans have been working out regularly on a South Florida football field not to get their conditioning up to speed but also to perfect making the correct line calls and beef up on learning the terminology emplaced by Marshall, according to the Miami Herald.
Right now, the starters look to be Ted Karras who came over from the Patriots at center and Ereck Flowers at left guard. Julien Davenport and Austin Jackson will battle at left tackle during training camp for the starting role. Georgia rookie Solomon Kindley is expected to compete at right guard with Jesse Davis, (the only holdover starter from 2019) will play right tackle.
Jets Targeting LT La’el Collins in a Trade Scenario:
The New York Jets have been the subject of many trade talks surrounding star safety Jamal Adams. But now, Gang Green may have not only found a trading partner, but will be getting a substantial return for Adams as well.
Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network, reported that the Jets are exploring a possible deal for Dallas Cowboys’ offensive tackle La’el Collins in a deal that would include Adams.
“I’m told right now that the player the Jets would ask for in a trade for Adams would be right tackle La’el Collins. That’s the player that they want,” Pauline said.
“That’s the player that they’re going to target…If you’re a Jets fan, you know one thing – you can’t start the season with Chuma Edoga starting at right tackle.”
“Hi, this is Bill Belichick. Congratulations on your high school careers as student-athletes. I know this is an exciting time for all of you. When I reflect back on my own career, I know it was one of the most exciting times of my life…And the (county) coach of the year is Neil Baasten, soccer coach at Hoover High School.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick who presented last week at the USA TODAY Network’s annual High School Sports Awards show
“So, how was your week?”
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Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Jamal Adams Jarrett Stidham Josh Allen Miami Dolphins N'Keal Harry New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots Tom Brady