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Old 10-16-2012, 01:30 PM    (permalink
cmarq83
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I think the big issue you are having cmarq as you state is he didn't address a glaring need. However Belichick has long preached he doesn't draft for need. I can't remember the exact quote but he pretty much said if you only pick guys who fill a need then you are passing over guys with a higher value. Over a number of years this will leave you with a lesser talented squad.

I am not saying the Pats have been great drafting the last few years, in fact at times it has been awful, however the method works. Ozzie Newsome drafts off value and the Ravens have been pretty good. Ted Thompson drafts for value etc.

If nned meets value then that's great. Chandler Jones was a nice example of this. However seldom if ever is that the case.
I understand the methodology, but I think the practice has gone too extreme. For example we were exposed all week to stories about how BB went after Red Bryant in the offseason. He eventually settled on staying in Seattle, but if you would humor me for a second imagine if he had signed here for at or near what Seattle had paid him. I really like Red Bryant and he may have been one of the best free agents available, but we already had Love and Wilfork (who in my estimation are very good run stuffing DT's). There are decreasing returns to scale when you keep adding similar players to certain positions. What would the $30+ million have gotten us in Red's case?

At a certain point you need to address certain troublesome positions over others and overpay for talent. Would it have made more sense to focus a run on Carr, Finnegan, or Webb over Bryant even though Bryant may have been the best player out of the 4? I don't think there is a talent gap with this team vs. any other in the league. At the end of the day when you go to bat with Brady, Hernandez, Gronk, Welker, Ridley, Vollmer, Mankins, Jones, Mayo, Wilfork, and Spikes you should be able to play with anybody on a given day. The problem is that the guys around them are ******** the bed, and have been doing it for years. Our problems aren't new, but we haven't done anything to fix it.

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I was a huge fan of Zeitler and Smith as well, but I didn't want Jenkins because of the character concerns. However, I was very excited when we moved up to get Hightower. He's a great athlete at the position, and he's been solid in coverage so far. The versatility and upside in this linebacking group is just ridiculous. Drafting either Jenkins or Smith wouldn't have solved our problems in the secondary. The main problem right now isn't the coverage, it's the awareness. Even when the coverage is airtight the CBs don't look back when the receiver starts to adjust for the ball. It's coachable, but it's so frustrating to look at as a fan. I believe in Ras-I Dowling. I think he can be a good boundary corner, but the injuriezzz have set him back. Dennard looks to be a good fit as well. We need to replace Chung though. He's been terrible all year. He takes bad angles and just flat out can't cover. He's the real problem in the secondary right now imo.
The character concerns for Jenkins is a fair point. I think we'll have to wait and see on that one, but to me it's hard to pass up on a guy who we all pretty much knew would be good. He's a great man corner with ball skills which is like the antithesis of Kyle Arrington.

I really like Hightower's skill set as well, I just think he would have been a great selection for Pittsburgh where he could play in a 3-4 next to the rangier Timmons and bump down to 3-4 OLB to platoon with a more explosive guy like Worlids. Here I think we get back to the decreasing returns to scale argument. Right now he is a poor man's Brandon Spikes, now I hope in 2-3 years he's Ahmad Brooks reincarnated, but as of right now he's not a major factor in our pass defense. I think he can get there, and it may not be fair to judge after only 3 weeks, but he's just not there right now.

I want them to mix more blitzes in for all 3 linebackers (seeing as how we give up big plays anyways).

It's just disappointing because those 3 guys were my guys, and IMO all 4 including Hightower were first round talents, but we had a need for the other 3's positions, and they're all playing well.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:07 PM    (permalink
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Also it is the duty of some film inclined Patriots fan to make a quality Brandon Spikes Highlight video at the end of this season. Dude has been unreal this year.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:12 PM    (permalink
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The forum mock is done. How would you all feel about this?

28. OL Barrett Jones, Alabama

61. DE Cornellius Carradine, Florida St.

92. WR Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas

123. QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma

125. WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:13 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, I would absolutely love that. I am not as high on Hamilton as I was before but he has a lot of talent and would be great value there. Jones and Carradine are two of my favorites in this class.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:15 PM    (permalink
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Landry Jones is not really needed but again that would be nice value and give us too highly talented guys behind Brady. Probably the bet situation for Jones to land in.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:20 PM    (permalink
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Landry Jones is not really needed but again that would be nice value and give us too highly talented guys behind Brady. Probably the bet situation for Jones to land in.
I thought Jones was a nice a value pick at a position of eminent importance. Another factor to consider is that the contracts of both Brady and Mallett expire after the 2014 season; Mallett may decide to pursue a starting opportunity elsewhere if the Patriots re-sign Brady to an extension, which would allow Jones to move into the backup quarterback role.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:28 PM    (permalink
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That is true, forgot they are both up in 2014.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:37 PM    (permalink
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It'll be a difficult call because the Patriots will either have to pay Mallett like a starting quarterback without having seen him in game action very often, or give Brady an extension at 38 years old.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:42 PM    (permalink
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Hopefully we haven't seen much of Mallett in meaningful time by that point because one way or the other something bad would have to happen to get to that point.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:48 PM    (permalink
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It'll be a difficult call because the Patriots will either have to pay Mallett like a starting quarterback without having seen him in game action very often, or give Brady an extension at 38 years old.
I wouldn't put it out of the question to see both of those things happen. I don't necessarily think teams will be willing to break the bank on Mallett or give him a starting job outright, so I think a Matt Flynn like contract might just keep him around. TB will probably have to take significantly less money at 38, and the difference could be given to Mallett.

I don't think financial reasons will be the decider as to whether we keep Mallett or not, but instead how we draft players. Right now after watching preseason I'm fairly confident that Mallett is not a great fit in our scheme. We need to get some tall speedy receivers who can run deep patterns if we want Mallett to be successful here. He'd be wasted running short crossing patterns and dumpoffs to the flat. If in 2 years we still have short diminutive receivers then I think Mallett may not be in the longterm starting QB conversation for this team.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:17 PM    (permalink
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The forum mock is done. How would you all feel about this?

28. OL Barrett Jones, Alabama

61. DE Cornellius Carradine, Florida St.

92. WR Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas

123. QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma

125. WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
Wow. Landry Jones and Ryan Swope in round 4? I find that hard to believe. I think Jones is a flip type prospect (Mallett isn't going anywhere), so I wonder if NE would keep 3 QBs on their roster.

Swope is a guy I really liked, but he's clearly not a #1 on any team. He'll have to be hidden sort of on this team, similar to how Julian Edelman is used. (different WRs and talent levels, but similar concepts).

The rest of it looks good.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:54 AM    (permalink
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"In New England's three losses, Brady is 6-for-17 for 65 yards in the fourth quarter and the score within seven points."

http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/...-quarter-magic

Pretty much sums up our feelings right now, even tho I know I'm just angry at this team presently. I don't think Brady has completely lost his touch but its unsettling to read some of these stats. I think the ending comments are spot on.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:59 AM    (permalink
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It's a sad day when I can see those numbers and not be surprised at all. Just thinking,"seems about right".
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:20 AM    (permalink
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http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-e...n-rookie-watch

So to lighten the mood from my recent pissy posts about our first six weeks, i was not aware Jones had such a day (again only caught the last few minutes of the game on radio). Pretty much a lock to become Droty imo.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:36 AM    (permalink
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I've been thinking a lot about what I'm about to say today, and I think I might be on to something. It's something that we've sort of touched in our discussions on this board, but then again not really.

I don't think our problems in the defensive backfield has to do with the players we have. I used to think they weren't talented or instinctive enough, but that's not the case. The real problem with the defensive backfield is the scheme, which is old and predictable. It used to be great, but as the offensive playcalling has evolved over the last ten years the scheme has become obsolete. The spread offense simply puts too much pressures on a defense for this kind of scheme. The quick evolving routes and short drops by quarterbacks means that the zone concepts can too easily be exploited. So what to do? I think the answer is pretty obvious. On top of that it's battle tested. I'm talking about press-man coverage here.

What really stands out to me when I watch our DBs get burned is the lack of physicality and misdirection at the line of scrimmage. We have corners who can do it, but they're not asked too (I suppose). The big, strong and fast receivers of today's NFL eats up the cushion too fast and QBs are too familiar with the zone defense so they know exactly where to throw the ball. However, there's a significant downside to playing press-man. When the DBs get beat, they really get beat. Especially when the play from the safeties is as inconsistent as it has been in NE for the last few years. That doesn't mean that much to me, though. I just want us to stop the deep balls and get the opposing QBs out of their rhythm. So my question for you guys is: Is press-man the answer to our defensive struggles, or is it indeed the players (as many fans are claiming these days)?
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:43 AM    (permalink
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When we asked McCourty to do that last year, he got torched so I'm not sure about how well he would flourish with that. Dowling is much bigger and appears better suited to that type of coverage but I havent explicitly seen us use him like that (possibly because hes like 5th on our depth chart lol).

I will say, and I didn't see Dennard play this past weekend, that Dennard looks pretty solid for us already in our scheme. McCourty always seems to be in position but doesnt make plays, or gets called for PI. Its sort of a Butler lite at this point, only with a little less consistency in ******* up every single play.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:53 AM    (permalink
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Scheme + talent. We've been drafting guys for a zone and ignoring the aspects that make good press players. The migthy-mites we draft won't be effective in that type of scheme.

Square peg, round hole.

There's also the question of saftey play (as you mention) which would require more centerfielder type guys that can get deep and cover range (the anti-Chung?) when CBs need help. And, of course, pressure. No CB can cover man for 5+ seconds. Though we are certainly better there now than last year. Moving to press man allows for more blitzing which is clearly where our strength lies when it comes to pressuring the QB.

I do agree with the idea, though. I've hated the zone schemes we've been running for a long time.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:34 PM    (permalink
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When we asked McCourty to do that last year, he got torched so I'm not sure about how well he would flourish with that. Dowling is much bigger and appears better suited to that type of coverage but I havent explicitly seen us use him like that (possibly because hes like 5th on our depth chart lol).

I will say, and I didn't see Dennard play this past weekend, that Dennard looks pretty solid for us already in our scheme. McCourty always seems to be in position but doesnt make plays, or gets called for PI. Its sort of a Butler lite at this point, only with a little less consistency in ******* up every single play.
McCourty's actually been pretty good this year aside from a few visible mistakes:

17/37 (45.9%), 264 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 6 PD, 65.6 rating against
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:45 PM    (permalink
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The main issue with McCourty is when he gives up a play it's a big play at a bad time. McCourty for 3 quarters is one of the best in the league however he just melts down with the game on the line. I don't know if it's nerves, bad luck, bad play calling or what but that is my big takeaway.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:41 AM    (permalink
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Thats a lot of yardage DMac has given up
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:50 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HellonEarth84 View Post
Thats a lot of yardage DMac has given up
Really? Considering he gave up more than a thousand yards last year I'd say this is pretty darn good through six games. The opposing QB rating is nice and low as well.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:50 AM    (permalink
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Arrington:

22/27 (81.5%), 357 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT, 1 PD, 158.3

Moore:

14/19 (73.7%), 225 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 0 PD, 130.4

Dowling:

6/6 (100%), 38 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 0 PD, 93.1

Dennard:

3/12 (25%), 15 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 2 PD, 67.4

Cole:

0/1 (0%), 0 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 0 PD, 39.6
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:53 AM    (permalink
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That is just absurd.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:56 AM    (permalink
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I really want to see McCourty/Dowling/Dennard as the three regular cornerbacks considering how awful the numbers for Arrington/Moore are right now. It can't get worse than that.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:11 AM    (permalink
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13 yard average when it is thrown at Arrington. I don't even...
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