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Old 11-03-2012, 10:45 AM    (permalink
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The Patriots love in the box safeties.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:47 AM    (permalink
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The problem is that New England ranks dead last with 42 passes allowed of 20 yards or more - the Giants are second with 35 - and the Patriots must find someone who can execute deep zone coverage in order to fix the pass defense.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:13 PM    (permalink
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I just realized that trading our 4th round pick for Aqib Talib minimizes our chances at getting our #1 WR prospect - Ryan Swope. (implied sarcasm)

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The problem is that New England ranks dead last with 42 passes allowed of 20 yards or more - the Giants are second with 35 - and the Patriots must find someone who can execute deep zone coverage in order to fix the pass defense.
The two teams from the previous Super Bowl and two of the top 5 teams in the NFL are both at the bottom of deep zone coverages... interesting.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:17 PM    (permalink
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The problem is that New England ranks dead last with 42 passes allowed of 20 yards or more - the Giants are second with 35 - and the Patriots must find someone who can execute deep zone coverage in order to fix the pass defense.
I think this is as much of a problem with the interior pass rush and linebacker coverage as it is with the safeties. I think the limitations there give opposing QB's too many opportunities to step cleanly into their throws and drive the ball in accurately. If we can make opposing QB's get sloppy with their technique I think the balls will flutter a bit, and give our guys more time to break on balls. Also, I just don't think our linebackers cover enough ground in the passing game. It gives the safeties too much space to cover, and it allows a bunch of stuff to be executed at right around that 20 yard distance.

I don't think there are more than 3-4 safeties in the league who would be able to be a difference maker on the back end for us. I think the combination of the rule changes and our poor overall pass defense personnel has really affected our pass defense as much as the talent level back there. Guys like Chung, Gregory, and Wilson haven't been good, but like the cornerbacks there are a lot of factors affecting their poor performance.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:25 PM    (permalink
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Interesting thoughts cmarq. One potential free agent who I think would be worth investigating is Justin Tuck, whose play has dipped in New York; Tuck has a $4.5 million base and a $1 million workout bonus which may lead to his release. He has good size (6'5", 270) and his ability to play either left end or rush from the defensive tackle spot on sub packages would be appealing. Unfortunately, Tuck's play has dropped off this season (one sack through eight games, five sacks last year), he has struggled to stay healthy, and it's fair to wonder whether he has much left in the tank.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:44 PM    (permalink
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Interesting thoughts cmarq. One potential free agent who I think would be worth investigating is Justin Tuck, whose play has dipped in New York; Tuck has a $4.5 million base and a $1 million workout bonus which may lead to his release. He has good size (6'5", 270) and his ability to play either left end or rush from the defensive tackle spot on sub packages would be appealing. Unfortunately, Tuck's play has dropped off this season (one sack through eight games, five sacks last year), he has struggled to stay healthy, and it's fair to wonder whether he has much left in the tank.
I have the same thoughts about Tuck, very intriguing but I think the name will drive the price up higher than it should be compared to a guy like Jason Jones who probably can give you similar production at this point in their careers. Antonio Smith is another guy I'd be interested in if he got released from the Texans for cap reasons. Regardless, a RE who can slide inside on passing downs and cause havoc from the middle is one of the most glaring needs on defense for us. It's why I was such a fan of Wolfe and Crick around draft time. Either through free agency of the draft I think we need to go after a pass rushing specialist for the middle.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:04 PM    (permalink
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I like the thought of signing Jason Jones but the Patriots didn't go for him this year, even with an affordable price tag - he eventually signed for one year at $4.5 million - so I'm not sure that they'd target him in the future either.

I don't think that Antonio Smith is a fit. He's been a successful starter there in Wade Phillips' one-gap 3-4, so those are the types of teams that will be offering him contracts. He's going to be 32 next season and I think he's priced himself out of New England's range either way because we aren't looking for a full-time player.

Derek Wolfe has been very ineffective so far playing left end in Denver; he has three sacks but his auxiliary pressure numbers are very discouraging: no additional hits or pressures. So that's basically three successful rushes on 233 rush attempts.

Generally when you look at rushers you want to see a large disparity between their sacks and their rushing totals (sacks + hits + pressures.) For example, Von Miller has six sacks, plus three additional hits, plus fourteen additional pressures pressures (6 - 9 - 23) on 207 rushes. Wolfe has a 3 - 3 - 3 line.

Crick would have been a choice at some point last year as a replacement for the failed Brandon Deaderick/Shaun Ellis platoon. Before transitioning to more of a typical four-man front this year, Bill Belichick was doing some very interesting things by combining principles of both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses in a single defensive front; I'd like to see that idea explored in more depth if New England can find the personnel for it.

At least if there's anything encouraging to be extrapolated from this, it's that a couple of the guys you mentioned - Smith and Crick - were drafted in the middle rounds (fifth and fourth, respectively), and none were selected in the first round. So there's the potential to find those guys later on; it doesn't have to be a top draft priority even if they're needed.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:27 PM    (permalink
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I like the thought of signing Jason Jones but the Patriots didn't go for him this year, even with an affordable price tag - he eventually signed for one year at $4.5 million - so I'm not sure that they'd target him in the future either.

I don't think that Antonio Smith is a fit. He's been a successful starter there in Wade Phillips' one-gap 3-4, so those are the types of teams that will be offering him contracts. He's going to be 32 next season and I think he's priced himself out of New England's range either way because we aren't looking for a full-time player.

Derek Wolfe has been very ineffective so far playing left end in Denver; he has three sacks but his auxiliary pressure numbers are very discouraging: no additional hits or pressures. So that's basically three successful rushes on 233 rush attempts.

Generally when you look at rushers you want to see a large disparity between their sacks and their rushing totals (sacks + hits + pressures.) For example, Von Miller has six sacks, plus three additional hits, plus fourteen additional pressures pressures (6 - 9 - 23) on 207 rushes. Wolfe has a 3 - 3 - 3 line.

Crick would have been a choice at some point last year as a replacement for the failed Brandon Deaderick/Shaun Ellis platoon. Before transitioning to more of a typical four-man front this year, Bill Belichick was doing some very interesting things by combining principles of both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses in a single defensive front; I'd like to see that idea explored in more depth if New England can find the personnel for it.

At least if there's anything encouraging to be extrapolated from this, it's that a couple of the guys you mentioned - Smith and Crick - were drafted in the middle rounds (fifth and fourth, respectively), and none were selected in the first round. So there's the potential to find those guys later on; it doesn't have to be a top draft priority even if they're needed.
I think in regards to JJ the Patriots had already made their decision for DT's and went with Fanene, which in hindsight was a total bust move. I doubt they'd go after Jones either, but he's a great fit for what they need.

I think you're right with Antonio Smith pricing himself out of NE, but I still think he has the game to excel here as well. Plus, I personally think our personnel fits a 1 gap 3-4 really well.

I stick with my initial evaluation for Wolfe, and I think it's a little early to call out a rookie for being unproductive. 3 sacks is still 3 sacks, and I'm 100% sure Wolfe has some pressures because I've watched some Denver games and seen them myself, so I'm not sure about PFF's evaluation on that one. He needs to become more consistent, but I don't doubt that will happen with time. Still that size, length, motor, moves combination is the kind of thing we need. I think he went higher than I would have picked him, but he's the kind of guy that we need.

Ideally I'd like to go with the best DB available in the 1st and a sub rushing DT /sub linebacker in the 2nd and 3rd. This team just needs to be able to go smaller so that they can play with a lead. Our defense consists of mostly run specialists and special teamers. If we can even it out a little bit I think we can take off.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:02 PM    (permalink
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The good news: New England's defense has forced the third-most turnovers in the NFL.

The bad news: Opposing quarterbacks have thrown for more touchdowns against New England (17) than Tom Brady has thrown against opposing defenses (16).
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:37 PM    (permalink
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The good news: New England's defense has forced the third-most turnovers in the NFL.

The bad news: Opposing quarterbacks have thrown for more touchdowns against New England (17) than Tom Brady has thrown against opposing defenses (16).
Good news: Our run defense is elite.

More good news: We rush for a lot of touchdowns.

I know it hasn't been pretty but I'm pretty optimistic.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:37 AM    (permalink
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Ideally I'd like to go with the best DB available in the 1st and a sub rushing DT /sub linebacker in the 2nd and 3rd. This team just needs to be able to go smaller so that they can play with a lead. Our defense consists of mostly run specialists and special teamers. If we can even it out a little bit I think we can take off.
Like the positions to pick but I wouldn't define where to pick them just yet.

For instance if Banks, Milliner, Rhodes and Reid are all taken in the first before the Pats pick I wouldn't mind taking a guy like Sheldon Richardson at DT there and looking for someone like Elam, Lester or Carrington Byndom in the second.

Really depending on how value falls, one player who intrigues me is Shariff Floyd. He could be available in the second, however he could also be a late riser but he is the type of guy we need at DT
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:23 PM    (permalink
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Ryan Wendell is the only player that has played 100% of snaps on the OL.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:27 PM    (permalink
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sundays are so much more boring when the pats are on a bye :-/
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:34 PM    (permalink
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sundays are so much more boring when the pats are on a bye :-/
Agreed it sucks, but we really needed the bye.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:17 PM    (permalink
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Whatever happened to ElectricEye?
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:00 AM    (permalink
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Whatever happened to ElectricEye?
He disappeared after the SB loss only to re-emerge shortly around the time of the draft.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:19 AM    (permalink
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Whatever happened to ElectricEye?
He had some tough personal things going on in his life, and he reemerged around draft day. We had some pretty heated discussions that day, and he probably decided he needed more time away from NFLDC.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:10 PM    (permalink
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With Myron Pryor now ineligible for the season, our nickel pass rush isn't getting better anytime soon.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:26 AM    (permalink
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Yeah I don't like that. Hopefully Cunningham can step it up some more because the pass rush looks like it is going to be an issue again. Obviously Chandler is a stud but he can't do it by himself. Nink has come on as of late as well though, if he can get some pressure off the edge with Jones opposite him and we get something up the middle from Cunningham and Vince/Love/Deaderick then we should be good. I wish we had a healthy Mike Wright right now, I won't even talk about Seymour.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:09 AM    (permalink
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Having Seymour and Jones set the edges...... omg.
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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 11-08-2012, 10:40 AM    (permalink
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:37 AM    (permalink
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Anyone else hoping the Bills play their nickle defense all day on Sunday again? I would be good for Ridley to break 1000 yards in Week 10!!!!

In all seriousness, and I really don't want to eat my words, but unless the Bills d line absolutely dominates I think this should be a regulation win for the Pats. Our defense struggles on the edges but Fitzpatrick is horrible throwing outside the numbers this year. Offensively we have way too many weapons and the Bills will be down a starting CB. If the fron 7 can contain Spiller and Jackson then I don't see a way the Bills can make this competitive.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:54 AM    (permalink
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Losing this game would also potentially cripple New England's chances of making the playoffs, considering they still have some very difficult games remaining on their schedule (Miami twice, the Jets on the road, Houston and San Francisco.) The Patriots need to win every game they are favored in to account for a couple of potential losses down the road.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:05 AM    (permalink
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Losing this game would also potentially cripple New England's chances of making the playoffs, considering they still have some very difficult games remaining on their schedule (Miami twice, the Jets on the road, Houston and San Francisco.) The Patriots need to win every game they are favored in to account for a couple of potential losses down the road.
Gotta throw the Indy game in too as a difficult one. The one bright side is the division isn't exactly setting the league on fire. The Dolphins are already a game back and say we split with them. That means the Pats would be 6-4 and the Phins 5-5 based on records now.

If the Pats lose 2 further games it would leave them with a final record of 10-6. The Dolphins would need to go 5-1 in that stretch to equal that record. The Dolphins have some cupcakes on their schedule. Buffalo twice, Tennessee and Jacksonville, but they also play SF and Seattle.

If Miami can go the rest of the way having to play SF, Seattle and New England twice and only come out with 2 losses than more power to them, I just think that there are more opportunities for NE to pick up the neccessary wins than Miami.

I also believe that the rest of the division is too far back and trending downwards at the moment.

The big issue for me is what seed the Pats may or may not get. If the Pats can win out (big if) then they could realistically still get the 1 seed. The 2 seed should be the minimum target right now
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:45 AM    (permalink
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I don't see how the 2nd seed is the minimum target since the Ravens and probably the Texans will take the top two. I see us staying right where we are with the third seed. I see us dropping another game or two as Matt said.
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