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Old 08-09-2012, 01:22 PM    (permalink
Don Vito
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Originally Posted by Razor View Post
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.
I know I've been talking about Bolden a lot but I just want to throw out a few things on him. I know I am pulling for him a ton because of the Ole Miss connection, but in all honesty he could end up being a very good player for this team, not just a guy who has a chance to make the roster as a rookie UDFA.

He went undrafted mainly because of two things. First off, he has had some injuries and has some decent miles on him. Nothing too extreme in either department, but there are some flags. As I'm sure all of you know the big concern with Bolden is his incident this year. He was suspended for skipping a practice a few days before we played Bama, and that was as big of a dumb **** move he could've made. He never had any problems at Ole Miss off the field or anything of the sort, but that looked very bad to teams. It made it looked like he wanted to avoid playing the best defense in the country, there were various reports why he missed but all in all it was an unexcused miss and thus looked very bad on him. That probably looks worse to teams than a lot of arrests.

He will get a lot of comparisons to BJGE but he really isn't like Green-Ellis. BenJarvus is pretty one dimensional but he was as rock solid for us at getting the tough yards as he could be. He didn't do much else, but he served his role well. Bolden does have some size and power, but his game is a lot more than that. He is not as pure of a tough, guarenteed four yards a carry downhill guy like BJGE but he can pick up some tough yards. He's probably going to play at around 215-220 for us and that is where he needs to be.

Keep in mind that Bolden is an excellent receiver and pass protector. His only full, healthy season was 2010 after McCluster and pretty much everybody left and he was the team. He had 1320 AP yards, scored 17 TDs, led the team in catches, averaged 6.0 yards a carry, returned some kicks, and was a gunner on special teams. Those are first round pick numbers for an SEC back, especially considering he was the ENTIRE team.

Bolden came in as a freshman the same year Enrique Davis, a 5 start running back recruit did. Bolden established himself as the better player and never looked back. We wouldn't have beaten Florida in the Swamp without him his freshman year. He was one of the only consistent players the next year when we were ranked #4, and in that crippling loss at South Carolina he busted an amazing long TD run in the beginning of the game that was called back for holding and we were never (and still are not) the same team after that call. The following year was when everybody was gone and he was the offense and he was a stud. Then there was this year, and despite his problems still got it done when he played.

This year he got hurt and ****** himself with that suspension but he still put up good numbers in the little time he played with another terrible squad. If he stayed healthy and stayed out of trouble, I have little doubt that we would have had another big season and put himself at least in the second round range. He has some physical talent and is a complete back.

If he stays healthy and is given a shot, I think he could develop into a very exciting player for this team. He has four years of exeperience in the SEC and put up some very good numbers. Looking at the two you would never see the comparison, but I think Bolden's game is more similar to K-Faulk's then BenJarvus'. He isn't where Faulk was as a developed all around player yet, but he offers more on the ground. They are similar with their versatility, ability out of the backfield, and their blocking. I hope he makes it because this is the perfect team for his skills and I could see him fading into a what-could-have-been type stemming from his suspension, or I could see another team snatching him up and him panning out somewhere else.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:10 PM    (permalink
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Like I said: I think Bolden's a lock for the roster right now, but the starting job looks like it's Ridley's to lose and not for Bolden to win it. I hope Bolden turns out to be a stud since you can never have too many good RBs.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:42 PM    (permalink
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So what is everyone looking forward to the most tonight?
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:46 PM    (permalink
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Chandler Jones. So far he hasn't let me down.

I think McDaniels is calling some weird plays.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:44 PM    (permalink
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Well the OL looks terrible, especially Solder. Don't like that.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:01 PM    (permalink
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OL looks awful. In general we look pretty bad, but like what I saw from Jones tonight. Hightower hasn't done a whole lot. But back to the OL, I'm scared for Bradys life right now haha.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:04 PM    (permalink
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OL looks like **** tbh. Can't wait for us to get back Mankins and Vollmer. CJ has been a beast, I think I'm in love. Hightower has been OK so far imo, but he does have a tendency to bite on play fakes, thus losing a step. He also need to wrap up. I'm somewhat disappointed with the offensive playcalling, but seeing how this is the preseason I don't put too much stock into it.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:49 PM    (permalink
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Bad news. It appears Dane Fletcher has a torn ACL.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:37 PM    (permalink
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If that is true about Fletcher, that sucks very bad. I think we need him on passing downs. Hopefully he can come back because he is a player who I like a lot.

Concerning Vollmer, I heard he had a little work out the other day and looked pretty bad and noticeably in pain. I don't know what to expect with him going forward, don't know if anyone can verify that.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:41 PM    (permalink
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Well looks like it is a torn ACL for Fletcher, possibly out for the year. That blows.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:49 PM    (permalink
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Here are some of my observations from the game:

http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2012/...aftermath.html

Did anyone have any thoughts on Tavon Wilson? I didn't notice him too much. I'm looking forward to hearing what everyone else had to say about the game as well.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:59 PM    (permalink
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Nice write up. I agree on Forston and Cunningham, Jermaine is a guy who has been earning some praise and to see him turn the corner would be awesome. He has the explosion and athleticism off the edge to really help us out. Forston made a case for himself tonight as well, we have some big bodies inside but adding a guy with some quickness and explosiveness inside wouldn't be a bad thing.

Did Fanene not play or did I just miss him?

The running backs looked good, Ridley was about where I thought he would be but seeing Vereen play the way he did was encouraging. Bolden had a nice run.

Jake Bequette had a sack, I didn't see it, but other than that he didn't look like anything special. Looked pretty slow and stiff but like I said didn't see everything.

Trevor Scott made a few nice plays.

I like the Chung/Gregory combo, and I saw Tavon on special teams a few times but didn't see much else other than that.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:12 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
Here are some of my observations from the game:

http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2012/...aftermath.html

Did anyone have any thoughts on Tavon Wilson? I didn't notice him too much. I'm looking forward to hearing what everyone else had to say about the game as well.
Awesome write up +++ rep coming your way. Did Ebner do anything crazy? Make any big hits on ST?

That sucks Fletcher tore his ACL - he was a good player IMO. I think Carpenter can fill the void decently - from what I remember he is more of a coverage LB than anything.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:28 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
Here are some of my observations from the game:

http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2012/...aftermath.html

Did anyone have any thoughts on Tavon Wilson? I didn't notice him too much. I'm looking forward to hearing what everyone else had to say about the game as well.
Nice write up MJ!

I was very pleasantly surprised with how the defense played in general. Now granted it was the preseason and the Saints were as vanilla as they come, but I thought unlike the Tampa game last year Thursday's defensive dominance was the result of guys playing good fundamental football and just winning individual matchups.

To me the play of the day was Kyle Love splitting that double team for the run stuff early on. I'm one of the biggest Love fans around, and to me that play shows something special that is percolating between Wilfork and him. Love plays with such excellent pad level and really has the ability to hold his own against multiple blockers and flow to the play. He was really exceptional down the stretch last year, and seeing as how he's only entering his 3rd year I see no reason why he's not trending upwards.

Chandler Jones looked very good as well. I'd like to see how he plays against longer tackles because his length is such an asset going against medium sized guys like Bushrod. He needs to vary his rushes more, and I felt like he was too dependent on the bull rush, but supposedly he's been using an array in camp so far. He showed great run game awareness as well. The whole situation is exciting because I can honestly see Love, Wilfork, and Jones all being capable 3 down players by the end of the season.

I still need to see more of Hightower. I think he's going to be a great linear football player, but what will make or break him at this level will be his ability to play laterally. We didn't see too much of that in the game, but apparently he struggled against Sproles and Graham in practice this week. He'll get as much practice as he wants against the best being here in NE, but IMO he's still not a great option on 3rd down just yet.

The safety play was good last night, and it was great to see Gregory stepping up in run support. After the fiasco that was Brown, Ihedigbo, Slater, and Barrett last year Gregory certainly looks like he'll be a consistent player which is what we need as much as anything else. Didn't see too much of consequence in terms of Wilson, but I did see him in the area on a number of pass breakups which means at least he's pursing the ball. He's been decent in practice, and hopefully he can play similar amounts compared to what Meriweather and Chung did their rookie year.

I also liked how Dowling played in the second half. It was against lesser competition, but from what I remember vs. Miami last year, and what I saw last night he seems to be more comfortable facing the football than either McCourty or Arrington, plus that length allows him to get his hands on footballs that they can't. I honestly think he has the ability to have the single greatest improvement effect of anyone if he can be an good starting outside corner. He has a long way to go, but it was nice to see him out their again.

The Fletcher injury sucks. I've always liked him, and I thought this was a make or break year for him in terms of being a longtime contributor for this team. The positional conversion process generally takes a few years, but he had some promising moments as a coverage linebacker. One of the worst aspects of his injury is the fact that Carpenter is basically a lock to make the team now. I think this might make the Pats look strongly at an athletic coverage type LB in the draft next year.

Mayo was a stud last night and made 3 huge plays in the passing game. He's going to need to keep that up even more now that Guyton and Fletcher are both gone, and he has to rely on too mediocre pass defenders next to him in Hightower and Spikes.

Now there was a lot less to like on offense last night.

Solder was atrocious which has to be a bit of a concern considering that he struggled a bit towards the end of the year, and by most accounts isn't having a standout camp. He's more isolated now, and probably is getting a lot less help than he was his rookie year. He needs to improve because he has a tough year of rushers to face this year, and they're going to be a lot better than Will Smith.

It's not time to panic yet on the O-line, but I am a bit worried about Vollmer. That back issue is a problem, and I wish they would have just shut him down last season. He was good insurance in case Solder struggles at LT. Having him and Mankins out for a prolonged period of time could mean serious trouble for our previous seemingly unstoppable offense. I would like to see them make a Quinn Ojinaka type trade for somebody who can flex in at tackle and guard. I think a mid round draft pick or a swap of a player at a spot we have depth would be a decent move. Hoyer, Moore, Deaderick, and maybe even Woodhead come to mind.

I did see Ryan Wendell make some decent blocks in the running game, and I wouldn't mind seeing him make the team over an older more expensive guy like Koppen.

The young backs looked good last night. I think the stretch play is going to be a major component of our offense going forward, so it's nice to see some players with some more explosion taking those carries. Both players of the 2011 class particularly Vereen were able to pick up substantial yards after their first cut which is something BJGE always struggled with. I think getting more balanced in terms of both rushing the ball and screen passes are a good thing for us in the long haul.

Mallett looked shaky, but I still would like to see how he operates with a clean pocket and guys who can go deep.

I'm glad they're putting Vereen back as a returner, but I do hope he replaces Woodhead as the principle guy soon. Woodhead isn't a good fit their at all.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:13 PM    (permalink
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Plaxico Burress is heading to NE for a workout according to PFT.

Interesting. . . I wonder which OL spot he can play.
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:46 PM    (permalink
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Plaxico Burress is heading to NE for a workout according to PFT.

Interesting. . . I wonder which OL spot he can play.
Has to just be due diligence. He's purely a red-zone threat at this stage of his career, and the Pats already have Gronk and Hernandez to throw to in the endzone. Doesn't give the Pats anything more valuable than Stallworth or Branch.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:23 PM    (permalink
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Fascinating analysis of Mallett:

http://**************.com/film-sessi...source=twitter
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:13 PM    (permalink
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Mankins was back at practice today, off of the PUP.

All I can say is holy ******* ****. That's insane. He played with a torn ACL in the Super Bowl and is back at practice around 6 months later.

I really don't even understand how this is possible. F-R-E-A-K.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:03 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by descendency View Post
Mankins was back at practice today, off of the PUP.

All I can say is holy ******* ****. That's insane. He played with a torn ACL in the Super Bowl and is back at practice around 6 months later.

I really don't even understand how this is possible. F-R-E-A-K.
Mankins is as old-school as it gets. The guy would tear his own jaw off if it came between him missing a game.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:29 PM    (permalink
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Reports Jeff Demps has agreed with the Patriots, but Pro Football Talk also reports it's not final.

If he does sign would be an intriguing pick for our weak return game.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:52 PM    (permalink
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I like the Demps pick up but I'm not going to go overboard and say he is gonna dramatically improve the team.

Two things though that he can bring is an explosiveness to the kick return unit that has been missing for years and a potential to open things up in he passing game.

Even at Florida he was never a huge threat out of the backfield, however the Pats could motion him out of the backfield and get him to run go routes. The guy is faster over 60 metres than anyone in the NFL. He's going to draw some coverage deep, even if he is just a decoy.

So with Demps forcing a CB deep and Lloyd likely drawing double coverage on the opposite side really opens the middle of the field for the TEs and Welker.

He's an added option who will likely take a spot from a core special teamer or a fringe guy like Larsen or Bolden so the offense shouldn't be dramatically affected that way
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:55 PM    (permalink
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Obviously, the Jeff Demps signing doesn't bother me. It's a free roster spot that they filled with someone who has elite potential.

I'm just not sure he has a roster spot on the 53 man roster and I doubt he will be able to be stored on the PS.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:53 AM    (permalink
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I'd go with Demps over Visanthe Shiancoe.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:32 AM    (permalink
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Obviously, the Jeff Demps signing doesn't bother me. It's a free roster spot that they filled with someone who has elite potential.

I'm just not sure he has a roster spot on the 53 man roster and I doubt he will be able to be stored on the PS.
How does he not have a place on the 53 man roster? IMO he's a lock for the 46 man roster on game days just because of his return skills. Offensively there are no OCs that I have more faith in than McDaniels. If anyone can get Demps the ball in open space it's him, and when he has the ball magic happens.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:26 AM    (permalink
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All I can say about the Demps signing is that I love it. I am not getting my hopes up too much, but he should at least bring value as a returner. He has the ability to be an unbelievably dangerous weapon for us.
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