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Old 10-19-2012, 10:15 AM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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So for impending free agents, can we say this?

Yes: RB Bolden (ERFA), WR Edelman, OT Vollmer, OG D. Thomas, LB Fletcher (RFA)

No: FB Fiammetta, WR Branch, TE Hoomanawanui, TE Shiancoe, OG Waters, C Richard, DT Pryor, DE T. Scott, CB W. Allen, CB Arrington, SS Barrett

Maybe: RB Woodhead, WR Welker, DT Brace, LB Carpenter, LB T. White, LB Koutouvides, CB Cole, SS Chung
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:50 AM    (permalink
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Technically Waters wouldn't be a free agent, right? Since he didn't show up this year he should become a Patriot if he decides to come back. Also, I'd put all your players in your "Maybe" besides Carpenter category in the "No" department.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:08 PM    (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)?
I'm not sure how much of it really is scheme though. Trust me I'd rather play press man as well because any decent QB can pick apart a mediocre zone defense, but as it appears to me right now I think a significant portion of the blame needs to be placed on the DB's. Arrington and Moore have been god awful, and they lack the talent to be successful CB's in the NFL. However, guys like McCourty, Butler, and possibly Dowling have talent oozing out of them, but they simply don't have the mentality to be #1 corners. Those guys were drafted because they were big, ran fast 40's, had great vertical jumps, could tackle a bit, and were potential special teams contributors. None of them were exceptional press man prospects with the exception of maybe Dowling.

CB in the NFL is as much about mentality as anything else. You need to trust in your ability and be able to take risks. If those risks blow up in your face then you need to forget about them. Ty Law and Asante Samuel weren't more talented than any of the aforementioned guys, but they never played scared. Guys like McCourty and Butler had some initial success when they made it into the league, however once they got beaten a couple of times they became reactive players. They're afraid of making a mistake so they don't instinctively play the ball like any normal corner should. Joe Haden, Ladarius Webb, and Brandon Flowers are all great cornerbacks in this league, but they're not as physically talented as McCourty. The problem is we need to start drafting our guys for their man coverage skills and attitude, you can always find core special teamers and guys who can tackle elsewhere.

I think people made too big of a deal about the story about how the Patriots coach their corners. I'd be surprised if other teams did it significantly different. I think the gloss has worn off the Belichick coaching mystique since the illegal contact rules crushed the way he liked to run his defenses, but I think we're trying too hard to find reasons to gloss over our cornerbacks' shortcomings. I mean first it was the passrush, then it was the safeties, and now it's the scheme. I think those are all contributing factors, but the guys who are having plays made on them play the biggest role. We're never going to have Seattle's secondary, NYG's D-Line, and Chuck Noll's schemes at the same time, so the performance of the corners cant hinge on that.

Dowling and Dennard should be getting their chance because at least they're unknowns and we'd be hard pressed to do worse.

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Old 10-19-2012, 02:13 PM    (permalink
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Technically Waters wouldn't be a free agent, right? Since he didn't show up this year he should become a Patriot if he decides to come back. Also, I'd put all your players in your "Maybe" besides Carpenter category in the "No" department.
eh, I'm pretty much the exact opposite. I'd take any of those players besides Bobby Carpenter and maybe Tracy White for the right price. Chung has been awful so far, but he has 3 seasons of decent play behind him and I think he'll get better as the season roles along. Woodhead shouldn't play as big of a role as he has, but as a 4th back he brings you enough versatility. Brace is a decent rotational D-lineman and a big body as insurance in case something happens to Wilfork or Love. Koutevites and Cole I have no strong opinions on.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:22 PM    (permalink
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How much does everyone think Welker, Vollmer, and Chung should be offered in free agency at the most?
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:29 PM    (permalink
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How much does everyone think Welker, Vollmer, and Chung should be offered in free agency at the most?
I'd say Chung should get a Gregory-esque deal if his play doesn't pick up.

Vollmer's contract should be in the realm of a Eric Winston or David Stewart type contract that pays him an average of $6-7 million a year, but has a decent sized roster bonus in the middle of it as insurance in case his health worsens.

Welker should get 3 @ $21 million. He has more value here than elsewhere, and honestly he'll be a legend here if he finishes up his career here. He'll get a local media contract when he retires, and will be the toast of the town for the rest of his life. I don't think that is something that for him will be worth throwing away to get a couple million more elsewhere
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:31 PM    (permalink
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Welker: I'd offer him $7 million per year over three years. However, the guaranteed portion of that should decline as he gets older. With the hits he takes he's going to decline rather rapidly at some point.

Vollmer: When healthy I think he's the best RT in the NFL. However, he's just not able to stay on the field. I'd probably offer him a 5-year deal worth around $30 million. I'd put in an option bonus after two years in case he can't stay healthy.

Chung: I'm really not a fan of re-signing Chung. He's a disaster in coverage and can't stay healthy. He's overaggressive more often than not and gets the occasional dumb penalty. If we decide to re-sign him I hope it's a cheap deal. Something like 3 years, $10 million. Preferable a bit backloaded or with an option in it so we can cut ties with him without having a ton of dead money tied up in him.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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lol, cmarq and I finally agreed on something. Huzzah! :D
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:19 AM    (permalink
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Chung: I'm really not a fan of re-signing Chung. He's a disaster in coverage and can't stay healthy. He's overaggressive more often than not and gets the occasional dumb penalty. If we decide to re-sign him I hope it's a cheap deal. Something like 3 years, $10 million. Preferable a bit backloaded or with an option in it so we can cut ties with him without having a ton of dead money tied up in him.
Here's the thing with Chung, he could go into another system, one where he is used correctly, and be an absolute stud. I think he knows he is not in the right system for him and for that reason I would expect him to walk
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:42 AM    (permalink
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I'm thinking I'd offer maybe 4-$16 for Chung, 5-$25 for Vollmer, and 2-$16 for Welker.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:46 AM    (permalink
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I would probably offer a higher contract than that to Vollmer, Matthew. With a injury stipulation of course. As has been mentioned above, when healthy he is one of, if not, the best RTs in the game. We all seen what happened when Cannon started in preseason. That's gotta up Vollmer's value to this team.

I would probably say somewhere between 7-8m a year. Base I would maybe say 5-6 with escalators based on appearances and performance
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:41 AM    (permalink
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I think you guys are way too optimistic on Vollmer. His deal will more than likely end more like $50 for 5 with 20-25 guaranteed. The only question is how much of that money is guaranteed against injury and how much is skill only.

edit: Your list forgot TE Jake Ballard, who is an ERFA.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:47 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
The 6/6 against Dowling is deceptive as he covers RBs in dime packages as a linebacker. He's not even playing CB.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:00 AM    (permalink
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I think you guys are way too optimistic on Vollmer. His deal will more than likely end more like $50 for 5 with 20-25 guaranteed. The only question is how much of that money is guaranteed against injury and how much is skill only.

edit: Your list forgot TE Jake Ballard, who is an ERFA.
I'd show Vollmer the door if he requested something along those lines. He has played well this year and is one of the better players in the league at his position but it's just not wise to invest 8% of your salary cap per season in a right tackle. Dante Scarnecchia has consistently been able to produce efficient offensive linemen and I'd rather replace Vollmer with Cannon than shell out anything close to $10 million per season at the position. Consider the most recent high-profile right tackle signing: Eric Winston. He was an elite 28 year-old right tackle when he signed with Kansas City for $22 million ($8.4 guaranteed) over four years back in March. In that context, I think $25 over five is generous for Vollmer, who is not as talented as Winston and has struggled to stay healthy.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:07 AM    (permalink
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Weekly preview:

http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2012/...eek-seven.html

I'll go with 24-17 Patriots for a prediction.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:43 AM    (permalink
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Eh, I really don't think Chung is going to be anything special no matter where he goes. Can't stay healthy, can't cover and makes bone headed plays. I'd be ok with him walking.

Vollmer, if he stays healthy for the rest of the season I think we resign. He's one of the more solid linemen we have.

Welker is either tagged again or gone.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:48 AM    (permalink
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Nice write up again Matthew but a few things I would say;

Firstly, I'm not sure D'Brick is an elite LT anymore. He has been ok but not great, and bear in mind that Andre Carter whooped him for 4 sacks last year in one game. The Pats have also played Chandler Jones quite a bit on the left side the last few games. I wouldn't be surprised if Jones struggles with Ferguson that BB moves him to the left side for prolonged spells in the game.

I agree that protecting Brady will be key, however I have a feeling the Jets won't blitz too much. They have had more success in coveraged based schemes this year than pressure based. In both Muh Wilkerson and Coples they have high upside guys who can be disruptive but inconsistent to the point they may both lay eggs. If the front can neutralise those two guys I think Brady should be fine.

I think heading into this game all signs point to the Jets being a team who don't match up well with the Pats. They need an offense based off a strong ground game and Greene isn't the type of guy who should give our defense issues, especially if Hightower plays. However, if Sanchez can go deep early it may back the LBs and safeties off a little. On defense the Jets can't stop the run. If Ridley gets some yardage early then they will be forced to commit to the run and then Brady should take advantage. I also really question Landry and Bell's ability to stop either Gronk or Hernandez.

Cro is the biggest issue for the Pats. I think we will see him matched on Hernandez quite often, but in that case it would leave Kyle Wilson on Lloyd which should be reminiscent of Lloyd against Williams for the Ravens.

Overall I'm not sure the Jets have the horses to go toe to toe with the Pats on offense or defense. In black and white terms this could, and should be a blowout, however there are just some nagging doubts about this team at the moment that I wouldn't be overly shocked if the Jets take this one
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:55 PM    (permalink
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I'd show Vollmer the door if he requested something along those lines. He has played well this year and is one of the better players in the league at his position but it's just not wise to invest 8% of your salary cap per season in a right tackle. Dante Scarnecchia has consistently been able to produce efficient offensive linemen and I'd rather replace Vollmer with Cannon than shell out anything close to $10 million per season at the position. Consider the most recent high-profile right tackle signing: Eric Winston. He was an elite 28 year-old right tackle when he signed with Kansas City for $22 million ($8.4 guaranteed) over four years back in March. In that context, I think $25 over five is generous for Vollmer, who is not as talented as Winston and has struggled to stay healthy.
The problem with Vollmer isn't his back. It's that he can play LT. I think the chances of him being here next year are slim. There's too much money for a guy with his talents.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:02 PM    (permalink
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Pats inactives: Gregory, Bolden, White, Mankins, Chung, Brace, Bequette.
Well ****. Two rookie safeties starting? This could get really bad.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:02 PM    (permalink
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Why, it isn't like were going to be asking our safeties to cover Sanchez's check downs.
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Jesse realizing Walt was Santa Claus could really shake things up.
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I don't know how old you are, but if you can get to 24/25 without getting arrested or killed, you've done well for yourself lol.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:05 PM    (permalink
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Run DMC!!!

What happened to Mankins? Is that Brian Waters playing left guard?

edit - nevermind. I thought 64's jersey said Waters
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:23 PM    (permalink
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This team is a ******* joke, and its time to stop making excuses for them.
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Jesse realizing Walt was Santa Claus could really shake things up.
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I don't know how old you are, but if you can get to 24/25 without getting arrested or killed, you've done well for yourself lol.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:52 PM    (permalink
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Holy ****... they didn't blow this one.

Still not a good team, but 4-3!
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:52 PM    (permalink
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Holy **** my nerves are shot right now. This is not a good football team at the minute, there is so much which needs worked out
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:55 PM    (permalink
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Good god, this defense really suck balls. I've never witnessed such undisciplined play by the defense and complete lack of awareness by the defensive backs. The pass rush was mostly non-existant and the offensive playcalling was atrocious at best. Mankins was a big loss today, but that doesn't even come close to justifying this kind of performance. McDaniels needs to take a hard look at what worked the last two years for this offense. All these crappy backshoulder throws aren't working and it's time to move on from that. Our TEs and Welker are working the inside and getting seperation. How can you not take advantage of that. I'm so disappointed in this team right now. Happy that we won, but damn it was ugly.
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