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Old 07-31-2012, 02:09 PM    (permalink
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Our D could easily be a dominant unit again w/in 3 years if those top 3 defensive picks pan out.

As far as Wilson goes, uber-athletic talent is great but that's not necessarily a big need for our safeties. Solid, smart players with good all-around skills and ability can have a big impact back there for us b/c they are asked to do a little bit of everything.

I think our recent string of playoff football really serves to reinforce the idea that defense wins championships.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:09 PM    (permalink
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Would any of you be up for an all-time epic, greatest ever, Super Bowl matchup in February of your 18-0 Patriots vs our 18-0 Packers?

Seriously... we almost went 16-0 last year despite having a horseschit defense. Of course we flamed out vs the Giants the day after our coach buried his teenage son.

You guys already have gone 18-0, made the Super Bowl last season with also a terrible pass defense.

Both teams significantly upgraded the talent on defense, and the offenses figure to be outstanding again behind #12.

Barring significant injuries, I think both teams will be favored in every game. We could be underdogs at the Giants, at the Texans, maybe at the Bears or Lions but I doubt it.

Too soon?
Of course.

But anyone can talk about it once teams are 7-0, 10-0, 13-0, etc.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:44 AM    (permalink
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I see no chance of that happening. One can't simply count on being 18-0 because of a weak schedule. What happened in '07 was the perfect storm and I don't think we'll see anything like that for a long, long time. The Patriots look extremely explosive on offense and has improved the defense. But that doesn't equate to being undefeated, and frankly I'd prefer not to talk about it so I won't jinx it. Also, I highly doubt that we'll see the Packers being as unstoppable this year as they were last year.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:41 PM    (permalink
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New sig quote.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:31 PM    (permalink
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Very interesting analysis of Chandler Jones:

http://www.boston.com/sports/footbal...to_adjust.html
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:58 PM    (permalink
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Can't wait to see Jones play. Hopefully he's the player we've desperately needed for a while now. Him and Hightower are going to add some punch to that front seven in a major way, and if the reports on Tavon Wilson are right watch out.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:54 PM    (permalink
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Robert Gallery has announced his retirement. So much for that experiment.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:35 PM    (permalink
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He's been sucking in camp anyways. I think he realizes he's done.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:13 PM    (permalink
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Here's my current 53-man roster projection:

1. QB Tom Brady
2. QB Ryan Mallett
3. QB Brian Hoyer

4. RB Stevan Ridley
5. RB Shane Vereen
6. RB Danny Woodhead
7. RB Brandon Bolden

8. FB Spencer Larsen

9. WR Brandon Lloyd
10. WR Wes Welker
11. WR Jabar Gaffney
12. WR Deion Branch
13. WR Julian Edelman
14. WR Matthew Slater

15. TE Rob Gronkowski
16. TE Aaron Hernandez
17. TE Visanthe Shiancoe

18. OT Nate Solder
19. OT Sebastian Vollmer*
20. OT Marcus Cannon

21. OG Brian Waters
22. OG Dan Connolly
23. OG Donald Thomas

24. C Ryan Wendell
25. C Dan Koppen

26. DT Vince Wilfork
27. DT Kyle Love
28. DT Jonathan Fanene
29. DT Brandon Deaderick
30. DT Ron Brace

31. DE Chandler Jones
32. DE Rob Ninkovich
33. DE Trevor Scott
34. DE Jake Bequette
35. DE Jermaine Cunningham

36. LB Jerod Mayo
37. LB Dont'a Hightower
38. LB Brandon Spikes
39. LB Dane Fletcher
40. LB Bobby Carpenter
41. LB Tracy White

42. CB Devin McCourty
43. CB Kyle Arrington
44. CB Ras-I Dowling
45. CB Sterling Moore
46. CB Alfonzo Dennard

47. FS Steve Gregory
48. FS Tavon Wilson

49. SS Patrick Chung
50. SS Nate Ebner

51. K Stephen Gostkowski

52. P Zoltan Mesko

53. LS Danny Aiken

Injured/PUP: TE Fells, OG Mankins, DT Pryor

Tough cuts: WR Stallworth, OT Kopa, C McDonald, DT Warren, DE Francis, LB Tarpinian, CB Allen
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:17 PM    (permalink
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Other cuts:

FB Fiammetta, FB Kettani, WR B. Davis, WR Holley, TE Silvestro, TE Urban, OT Hix, OT Weems, OG Dennis, OG Waldron, OG Warren, DT Forston, DT Harrison, DE Bulman, LB Koutouvides, LB Lavarias, LB Rivera, CB Cole, CB Ventrone, CB M. Williams, FS Brown, SS Ihedigbo, K Koepplin
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:01 PM    (permalink
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I have a feeling Matt's list is too perfect and the Patriots will cut someone that we are not expecting so they can make a spot for someone else.

All in all, I don't see anyone I think is missing. The team has great competition all around, but it seems the people who deserve roster spots are really separating themselves.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:34 PM    (permalink
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Matt,

When do you think we should expect Tavon Wilson to be a starter?
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:40 PM    (permalink
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I'm pretty confident that Justin Francis will make the team. As for Tavon Wilson I think he could end up starting pretty early on actually. Reports so far is that he's looking good out there.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:01 PM    (permalink
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Will Ballard get IR'd then?
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:48 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by devinhester=R.O.Y 2006 View Post
Matt,

When do you think we should expect Tavon Wilson to be a starter?
I wouldn't. Steve Gregory has been pretty good at FS.

I would expect Wilson to be a situational player and special teamer this year. Rookies rarely are ready to play in year 1.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:48 PM    (permalink
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Will Ballard get IR'd then?
Ballard is a ERFA at the end of the year, so he will definitely be IR'd. The Patriots went and grabbed him for 2013.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:53 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by devinhester=R.O.Y 2006 View Post
Matt,

When do you think we should expect Tavon Wilson to be a starter?
Wilson may start a few games in 2012 (Chung and Gregory have each missed games over of the past two seasons), but I would be surprised if he supplanted Gregory as a rookie. New England uses a lot of five-DB sub packages, so Wilson should see a considerable amount of snaps this year regardless; his previous experience as a cornerback should make the coaching staff feel pretty comfortable with letting him get his feet wet a little bit as a rookie. Hopefully he can take over for Gregory at some point in 2013 considering the substantial investment New England made in selecting him.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:45 PM    (permalink
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Thanks Razor, Descendency, and Matt!
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:22 PM    (permalink
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I know a lot of us (me included) thought DeCastro would be an elite guard in the NFL, but apparently... it won't be right away:

Quote:
“I talked to him the other day,” Roethlisberger said. “I said, ‘How you doing? Evaluate yourself.’ “He said it’s different. I said what do you mean? He said it’s tough. I said what’s the tough part, the mental or the physical? He said, ‘The mental part I got. The physical is a lot tougher. These guys are really good.’”
He'll be the 3rd guard on the team when starting LG Willie Colon returns and starting RG Ramon Foster moves back into his spot. I hate to see him struggle, but it's nice to see a guy whom quite a few of us wanted not struggling here.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:09 PM    (permalink
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Lombardi was GUSHING about Brandon Bolden today, saying that he expects him to challenge Ridley for the starting job because he's been so impressive, citing people in the know.

Just FYI - I found it interesting.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:00 PM    (permalink
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Lombardi was GUSHING about Brandon Bolden today, saying that he expects him to challenge Ridley for the starting job because he's been so impressive, citing people in the know.

Just FYI - I found it interesting.
Lombardi doesn't know what the **** he's talking about. Yes, Bolden has been impressive. But there's no way Ridley is not starting for the Pats. Maybe in a year or two if Ridley fail to emerge as a lead back, but that's speculation at this point.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:27 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Razor View Post
Lombardi doesn't know what the **** he's talking about. Yes, Bolden has been impressive. But there's no way Ridley is not starting for the Pats. Maybe in a year or two if Ridley fail to emerge as a lead back, but that's speculation at this point.
I'll be surprised if Bolden doesn't make the roster, although I don't see him starting either. Hopefully Shane Vereen eventually develops into the back the Patriots were expecting when they drafted him the second round; I was a big fan of his on draft day.

By the way, Mike Loyko posted a new 53-man roster projection on NEPD:

http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2012/...tml#more-19297

He has Bolden on the practice squad, but I'm not sure he'd make it through waivers. Aside from that, Loyko has Branch beating out Stallworth and Dan Koppen getting cut. I'm surprised that Tracy White didn't make it as well. Overall, it looks like most Patriots fans have the same general idea of the team though.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:23 PM    (permalink
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I hope Bolden makes it because he was in the same graduating class of mine at Ole Miss and I got to know him a little bit, but I could see it going either way. Vereen, Ridley, and Woodhead are essentially locks to make it but it just comes down to a decision if we carry another back/fullback or whatever. I can't see him starting even if he is setting camp on fire since it is Ridley's job to lose I think. There are big expectations for Vereen as well and you have to figure that Woodhead is going to get his touches. We will see.

On offense, the only thing that I am concerned with now besides the loss of BJGE's steadiness at running back is the OL. The injuries scare me a little and with Brian Waters MIA there are some question marks. Mankins being hurt is obviously a blow but we just need to hope his rehab goes well and he makes it back, I think we can survive without him for a bit. Vollmer was not very good when he was battling injuries last year, and this season we can not put Solder there to mask his struggles because Light is gone. Strangely the guy I have the most confidence in is the most unproven, Solder. It may not sound that strange because of his draft position and talent, but continuity plays such a huge part on our OL. That is why easing him in last season was a good thing. Center and right guard are unsettled, LG and RT are impacted by injuries, and the only sure healthy (knock on wood) starter is Solder. Vollmer should be ready to go but I don't think Waters is coming back, and I think Cannon is going to stick at tackle and not move inside. So we need Koppen to get back to form, but more than likely we are going to need at least two out of Donald Thomas, Ryan Wendell, and Dan Connolly to step up. I think we kind of know what we have in Connolly, but Thomas has talent and Wendell has been here for a few years. We will see.

Gronk, Hernandez, Lloyd, Welker, and Gaffney make for an exciting group. Some are saying Gaff might not make it but I think he will. There is definitely a numbers game here though because Gaffney, Branch, and Shiancoe are on the bubble. Slater and Edelman are probably locks for what they bring.

I am very excited about the defense. I think Chandler Jones is going to play very well as a rookie, maybe not double digit sacks but I think he will make a big impact in pressure and run defense. Hightower should be on the field a lot early too, and he has been matching up against Jimmy Graham in the mixed practices a lot this week. I don't think he has been doing very well, but between him and Gronk he has literally been going up against the best since he's been in the league. I think that experience will be very valuable, because we know he will give us some power in run defense but covering those guys in practice will be extremely beneficial in making him well rounded.

Jermaine Cunningham is a player I would like to see step up as much as anyone on the team. With Anderson gone and Carter unknown, we need a few guys to step up. Chandler should help but we need more. You know what you're getting with Ninkovich. Solid player who can offer something, but not a guy you want to rely on to be a constant source of pressure. He is the poor man's Vrable, he can do a little of everything on defense just not as well as Mike or as consistently. Still a good piece to have though. Cunningham has ability, he just needs to put it together. I think he has the ability to be the most explosive threat we have in the pass rush department when it comes to how he gets off the ball and his athleticism, just needs to put it together. Trevor Scott could be a sleeper signing like Anderson or Carter last year, I just don't want to bank on it. We really struck gold with those two and while Scott is a guy who has some ability, I don't think we want to depend on lightning striking again. I like Bequette but I don't expect too much out of him this year, but I wouldn't mind being surprised. Hightower could provide some pressure but he is not going to be a terror of the edge, he will be a disruptive blitzer when asked to be though.

The DT's should be rock solid. Wilfork is one of the best in the business, he is just unbelievable and there is no need to explain what he can do. I am a big Kyle Love fan, he is more of a run stuffer obviously but he can get some push in the passing game when asked to. Fanene could be a guy who creates some pressure inside on passing downs and could play LE on first and second, he is a low profile signing and is not a super star but what he brings to the table is something we need. I hope Myron Pryor steps up because he has some skills that a lot of other guys on the roster don't really have, and I think he has the ability to be a guy who can create some pressure inside. We could see Chandler play inside some too, some people say Bequette but I don't buy him inside. Deaderick is tough and solid, pretty good run defender and had a few sacks last year but I don't think we're counting on him for that. He was in on passing downs a decent amount last year and a lot in the playoffs IIRC, but we have a lot of new faces in the trenches this year and we brought them in for a reason. I think Ron Brace will be the odd man out, if I'm not mistaken he's done fairly well so far but we are not going to be able to keep all these DL. Forston probably won't make it but I hope we can keep him on the practice squad. Gerard Warren is up there in age but he still can be a rotational piece, I just don't know if he will stick.

I think Mayo has a big year. There is more beef in front of him and next to him then there has been in his career, and that should free him to make some plays that we've all wanted to see more of. He has been a consistent tackle machine for us, but with Spikes and now Hightower we don't need him to be a thumper who gets pounded on his way to 120 tackle seasons. When we give 4-3 looks he will be playing maybe his most natural spot, on the weak side. Again, the tackle numbers may suffer but nobody is going to say that is a bad thing. Spikes in the middle on those looks will be nasty as with Hightower next to him. The addition of Hightower will mean Spikes will lose some snaps, but that will make the team stronger. We have a lot more talent and depth in the front 7 then we have had in a while and that will allow us to play people to their strengths. I'd like to see Dane Fletcher get some snaps, he has talent and could be a coverage type linebacker which is what I think he has been getting groomed to be. That's what we wanted in Tyrone McKenzie and Guyton, both were kind of failed experiments. Bobby Carpenter is an interesting name to see but I fail to see where he fits in, and Tracy White is a very solid special teamer but you have to wonder where he fits as well.

The biggest question mark we have is the secondary, and all eyes are on McCourty. Even the most casual Patriots fan could see the drop off he had last season. If he could come back and give us the kind of play he showed he was capable of as a rookie, that clears up a large amount of the doubt people have for this team. Sterling Moore had a nice run in the playoffs last year and should be pushing for a lot of time this year. I would like to see Dowling starting, but the best players now need to play. Arrington can make some plays but he can also be fursturating. Chung is solid and Gregory could be a big addition. Watching how Wilson and Dennard develop should be fun, they have talent and we should see Wilson at least seeing some time early.

Oh yeah, and stay healthy Brady
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:44 PM    (permalink
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I'll be surprised if Bolden doesn't make the roster, although I don't see him starting either. Hopefully Shane Vereen eventually develops into the back the Patriots were expecting when they drafted him the second round; I was a big fan of his on draft day.

By the way, Mike Loyko posted a new 53-man roster projection on NEPD:

http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2012/...tml#more-19297

He has Bolden on the practice squad, but I'm not sure he'd make it through waivers. Aside from that, Loyko has Branch beating out Stallworth and Dan Koppen getting cut. I'm surprised that Tracy White didn't make it as well. Overall, it looks like most Patriots fans have the same general idea of the team though.
I agree with you on the Brandon Bolden thing but I don't understand the Tracy White love. He's an extraordinarily replaceable player. His only real value is on special teams and there are bunches of special teams linebackers roaming the streets.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:15 AM    (permalink
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I'll be surprised if Bolden doesn't make the roster, although I don't see him starting either. Hopefully Shane Vereen eventually develops into the back the Patriots were expecting when they drafted him the second round; I was a big fan of his on draft day.

By the way, Mike Loyko posted a new 53-man roster projection on NEPD:

http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2012/...tml#more-19297

He has Bolden on the practice squad, but I'm not sure he'd make it through waivers. Aside from that, Loyko has Branch beating out Stallworth and Dan Koppen getting cut. I'm surprised that Tracy White didn't make it as well. Overall, it looks like most Patriots fans have the same general idea of the team though.
I never meant to suggest that he won't make the roster, I think he's a lock at this point. I'm just saying that I don't see him taking the job as the top back unless Ridley starts fumbling again and Vereen is absolutely useless (which I fear fear he might be, I was never a fan). I like the upside of Ridley a lot, and I don't think Bolden has the same kind of upside. I wouldn't be surprised if he turns out to be a more dynamic version of Lawfirm.

As for Loyko's prediction I think that it's pretty much what I had in mind if you take away that I'd take Bolden over Larsen. Also, I'd cut branch and keep Stallworth just because Branch looked so over the hill towards the end of last season. I like that Loyko keeps Francis, I really like what I've read/heard about him so far. Can't wait to see him in the preseason games. Cutting Tracy Whit and Niko Koutovides while keeping Tarpinian is a move that I really like. Lastly, I think that we're going to keep Ebner over Ihedigbo.
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