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Old 03-20-2008, 12:00 AM    (permalink
Geo
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Default Will the Patriots suffer for Belichick's hubris?

As BBD said, it's boring with the Draft a month away, so let's try to drum up some good discussion. I've contributing two threads for this purpose, even if they're a bit more outspoken than I usually am.

First off, the Pats are still one of the teams I respect the most. They were the most respected team, but the whole Spygate business (especially when they didn't need to cheat, they're very good) knocked them down a notch. But regardless of all that, still respect the Pats a great great deal. The Colts and Pats respect each other a great deal, they do and that's part of what makes their rivalry so great. The fanbases probably don't respect each other as much, although I could be off about that. Colts/Pats is the best imo, and they probably unite further with their mutual dislike of the mouthy Chargers.

I'll readily admit that Belichick is easily the best head coach of his era, nevermind the best HC right now. He is, he does a stellar job of preparing his team for the playoffs.

But as a Colts fan, I'm pleased to see what his hubris is doing to a great team, as of now. The secondary is gutted and the linebackers are as old as ever. This obviously benefits the Colts, as you can imagine. It's almost as though the Pats' window took a hit after the Super Bowl loss to the Giants, even though their potent offense is still intact. They'll have to win games purely on offense now.

And they aren't the top dog in the Draft that everyone paints them to be. Have they done great things in the Draft, in building up their team? Absolutely, look at their roster. But they haven't been all that great for a number of years, they aren't hitting like they did three or four years ago.

The Packers and the Colts immediately come to mind as much better in this regard in recent years. Patriots do a good job of using free agency and being aggressive with trades via the Draft though, which helps as Belichick prefers veterans. But at the expense of youth?

Look at the Patriots' 2007 draft class, courtesy of a blog entry from Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe:

Quote:
Recapping the Pats' 2007 draft
Posted by Mike Reiss, Globe Staff February 27, 2008 08:30 AM

With Tuesday's release of LB Oscar Lua, the Patriots have just two of the nine players they selected in the 2007 draft on their roster.

Here is the breakdown:

1st round -- Brandon Meriweather -- Defensive back played in every game in 2007 with the Patriots, mostly as a reserve/special teamer.

4th round -- Kareem Brown -- Defensive lineman was waived in late November and claimed by the Jets. He played in one game for the Jets last season.

5th round -- Clint Oldenburg -- Offensive lineman was initially signed to the practice squad, before being cut in mid-September. He hooked on with the Jets practice squad and was activated for two games at the end of 2007. He is under contract through 2008 with the Jets.

6th round -- Justin Rogers -- Outside linebacker was waived on the final cutdown to 53 players last season and was claimed by the Cowboys. He played in all 16 games, primarily on special teams.

6th round -- Mike Richardson -- Cornerback spent last season on injured reserve and figures to compete for playing time with the Patriots in 2008.

6th round -- Justise Hairston -- Running back sustained a hamstring injury in training camp and was waived. He later hooked on with the Colts practice squad. Hairston, who is signed through 2010 with the Colts, did not play in a game last season.

6th round -- Corey Hilliard -- Offensive lineman was cut at the end of the 2007 preseason. He later hooked on with the Colts practice squad, was activated for three games, and is under contract with Indianapolis through 2009.

7th round -- Oscar Lua -- Inside linebacker was released on Tuesday. He had hurt his knee in the 2007 preseason and spent last year on injured reserve.

7th round -- Mike Elgin -- Center/guard was cut at the end of the 2007 preseason, before hooking on with the Jets practice squad. The Jets cut him and he recently signed a three-year deal with the Colts.

FACTORING IN WELKER AND MOSS: While at first glance it might appear to be a poor draft, the acquisition of WR Wes Welker (for 2nd/7th-round picks) and WR Randy Moss (for 4th-round pick) should be factored into the mix. Also, the 2007 draft was considered to be generally weak. The chatter at the NFL combine is that the 2008 draft has more quality players.
Two guys of an entire draft class remain on the roster. The Colts poached more draft picks from them with three, than that remaining number.

They've got the 7th overall pick in this year's Draft, poised to get a great player thanks to shrewd manuevering. Everyone seems to think they'll take a corner, but I honestly don't think Belichick values a corner that highly to do so. Is it hubris? The Colts under Tony Dungy haven't drafted a linebacker higher than the bottom of the third round, it's determinational value but maybe it's hubris too. The Pats could very well draft some corners in the 2nd-4th rounds, like they did with Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs, is what I'm thinking is their mindset - or rather, Belichick's mindset.

Will Belichick indeed take a corner that highly, or a pass-rusher to give the team a semblance of a pass rush other than overperforming Mike Vrabel? Do they even trade down, when they've been more frivolous with their picks as contrasted to when they built up their dynasty? Can this veteran-laden team muster its big-game experience to overcome a complete transition in its secondary to get back to the Big Game?

Chime in with your thoughts.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:29 AM    (permalink
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Geo, I respect what you have done, but I wouldnt look too much into this.

1. First and foremost, people, don't look past what BB does and doesnt do. Actually, yea, keep looking past it and doubting him because everyone does every yer.
2. They have the best offense of all time, and it is basically in tact from last year, minus Donte Stallworth. They will put up points, and a lot of them each game.
3. Because of point #2, they don't need to have the best defense. In many games, not saying every game, but in many games, the Pats will get so far ahead, and a team wont be able to keep up. Thus, the "old" defense doesn't need to be the Ravens of 2000.
4. Don't look past younger guys they have on the squad. I remember when everyone was bashing NE when they let go of Ty Law because all they had behind him was Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs. Yeah...and we know how that worked out. BB sees something in the guys he has. Whether it be Merriweather at CB to help out or if they re-sign Troy Brown to play the nickel. I won't doubt BB once. I trust him, and everoyne should trust him and the moves he makes and doesnt make.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:05 AM    (permalink
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2. They have the best offense of all time, and it is basically in tact from last year, minus Donte Stallworth. They will put up points, and a lot of them each game.
.
they had the best offense last year, im not so sure that they can be so outstandingly productive like last year because of many factors like health and luck. i just really wonder if tom brady can get protection like that for another year.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:18 AM    (permalink
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I'm not sold they'll go CB with their first pick. The signing of Tank Williams not only gives them a third safety, but it suggests that Meriweather has the potential of seeing more time at CB next year. They've added the usual bit players like Jason Webster and Lewis Sanders, and were rumored to be investigating others. None of these guys are studs, but it does seem to suggest to me that, unless there's stunning value, they might not go CB early.

That said, I'm not necessarily saying they'll go LB either. I do think there's a higher possibility of LB vs. CB, simply because the need is great there right now. The versatility of Thomas and Vrabel allows them to buy some time, though, but that said, they probably need to come out of this draft with one edge guy and one interior guy that they can project in a couple years (or they need to find someone in the remaining market, perhaps if they revisit that Seward thing, which seems to have died down).

The possibility of a darkhorse (as LB/DB have been the top focuses) exists. The first place I'd look is OL. O'Callaghan is intriguing but iffy, Kaczur might be a better guard than tackle, Hochstein is an average backup, Light is a solid starter but eminently upgradeable, and Neal is coming off injury (and I'm not sure what current status is). A guy like Branden Albert could be a possibility in a deal down (could challenge at guard and be developed long run at tackle, Scarnecchia's good, and Albert would give him his best raw talent in awhile). A guy like Chris Williams screams Patriots to me for some reason. That said, OL is also a spot they haven't consistently shown a desire to draft high (granted, moreso than LB/CB as they did take Mankins). I could see them, depending on Neal's situation, perhaps picking up a 2nd-4th guy to challenge and call it a day.

What other darkhorses? I wouldn't rule out DL. Both Seymour and Green's contract ends after 2009. Seymour's number for 09 is also quite astronomical I think (11 million?). It's hard for me to see them resigning Green to a long term deal at that point. With Warren and Wilfork in place, would they draft for the future? I wouldn't rule it out, although again, darkhorse.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:36 AM    (permalink
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The Patriots are the scum of all scum imo. Without spygate I don't think they'd have won any superbowl...heck I don't think they'd have even gotten there. They weren't the best team when they went and this year when they finally were the better team they didn't have the cameras to help them out and the Giants took them down. (In one of the greatest super bowls ever though) So this year they did it legit (for the most part) and it didn't pay off for them.

Watching any Patriots game just infuriates me, because of the love they get from the officials against whoever they play...Baltimore Ravens anyone? COMPLETELY BOGUS tuck rule (which will always discredit them imo) and the list is endless.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:20 AM    (permalink
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Please dont get me started on the Ravens game. If you think the Refs gave NE the game with the calls at the end of the game, you need to stop watching football.

Anyways, Toon, I agree with you for the most part. I really dont see them going LB in the 1st. Keith Rivers just doesn't fit in NE, as I see it anyways. I dont see him as either and ILB or OLB in the 3-4 that NE runs. I see J Leman, and it screams NE ILB. I think they could have him in the 3rd or later, and groom him behind Bruschi.

OL I see as a great possibility. Especially because of the top end talent. CB is up there as well, but you makes good points as to why they won't.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:37 AM    (permalink
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The Patriots are the scum of all scum imo. Without spygate I don't think they'd have won any superbowl...heck I don't think they'd have even gotten there. They weren't the best team when they went and this year when they finally were the better team they didn't have the cameras to help them out and the Giants took them down. (In one of the greatest super bowls ever though) So this year they did it legit (for the most part) and it didn't pay off for them.

Watching any Patriots game just infuriates me, because of the love they get from the officials against whoever they play...Baltimore Ravens anyone? COMPLETELY BOGUS tuck rule (which will always discredit them imo) and the list is endless.


Hahaha one little cheating scandal and all of a sudden everyone is up in arms over the TUCK RULE again. haha Excellent, and hilarious.

Patriots deserve to crash and burn, but it won't happen. I can still wish though.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:41 AM    (permalink
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On a side note, I was a fan of their picks relative to where they were picked, so I am glad to see that it seems like most of them are getting a shot in the NFL. Rogers, in particularly, was a guy that intrigued me.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:31 PM    (permalink
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I think the karma of spygate has come in and gone in the form of david tyree's ridiculous catch. In regards to the draft the pats are predictable only in the aspect that they like to accumulate draft picks. Linebacker is a need, look for a first day ILB to fill into that 3 way rotation they had, Leman, Goff, or Mayo. If the dont trade down then the top edge rusher will be taken.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:37 PM    (permalink
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Please dont get me started on the Ravens game. If you think the Refs gave NE the game with the calls at the end of the game, you need to stop watching football.
I didn't have a problem with the false start, it was a false start, and they caught it. Although I think that it shouldn't be a dead ball foul, I think it should be treated like the offense treats offsides. A free play.

What I take issue with was when they called a time out for the Defensive Coordinator, who's not allowed to call timeouts.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:23 PM    (permalink
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Two guys of an entire draft class remain on the roster. The Colts poached more draft picks from them with three, than that remaining number.
In regards to the Patriots 2007 draft class, keep in mind that the Patriots had a STACKED roster going into the year and it was full or near full going into the draft. I think the Patriots had a great draft as evidenced by all of the players that they drafted who ended up on somebody's roster. The problem was for every player they kept, they had to cut someone else. Even though the players the Patriots drafted were good, in many cases the backups we already had were better.

Kareem Brown made the team and we wanted to keep him but all our TEs got injured at the beginning of the season and we needed to cut him to make room for another TE.

Justin Rodgers we cut so we could practice squad him but Dallas grabbed him off the waiver wire.

Richardson and Lua got injured. Lua is seriously injured. That is why we cut him at the end of the season.

Our backup linemen beat out Oldenburg, Hilliard, and Elgin. We couldn't keep any of them. Meanwhile Hairston was competing with Eckel for a spot but Eckel is a special teams beast and Hairston tweaked his hammy so he lost out.

So 4 of the guys we drafted lost in position battles with our backups, 2 we wanted to keep but couldn't, and of the remaining 3 that we kept 2 of them had season ending injuries, one of which is likely a career ending injury.

The lack of contribution by our 2007 draft class (not counting Moss and Welker even though they should be) was a result of a very good team and some bad luck. You can't hate on Belichick for that.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:13 PM    (permalink
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An argument like this is pointless. What are the Pats supposed to do, go out and overspend for marginal talent in free agency? Trade picks for proven players? No, of course not.

They are sticking with their guns and letting players walk when their perceived value exceeds their production and/or they can't afford to pay exorbitant amounts on a certain guy because of previous contractual commitments. Its what has allowed them to stay at the top for so long, and the key to all of it has been their ability to continually find cheap players, either by picking through the FA leavings, signing guys off the street or finding good players late in the draft.

That's how you stay good for so long in today's NFL. If you can't do that, then the salary cap will eat you up. That simple.

I myself doubt that they can continue to do that on a yearly basis, and I think their roster over the last 3 seasons has reflected that. They were terrific offensively last season, but that was mostly due to the acquisition of Moss and the O line playing at a level that not many people would have thought it was capable of playing at.

They have young talent at RB,TE and WR (if you count Welker as being young)....but where else? Mankins and Wilfork might be the only young studs on that entire team now. Seymour hasn't been his dominant self for two years now, though he's still relatively young and very good as is. Warren is extremely solid and still relatively young, I guess. But after that you get either gaping holes, marginal players or old vets on the downside of their careers.

Bruschi is nearly spent. Harrison is coming back, but he was--imo--a liability this season, how much worse will he be next year? Vrabel had his best year, but at 33 I think he will take a big step back next year. Thomas is 31 and seems to be slowing down a bit. They have no talent at CB, very little at S (I think Merriweather is a disappointment, but thats just imo) and no depth to speak of anywhere on that side of the ball.

Basically, the offense has to carry them, but with Randy getting up there and losing a little physically, along with what appears to be a developing problem on the right side of the line (it was noticeably bad later in the year) and defections in the WR corps that was such a strength last year.....who knows what might happen.


It will all fall upon their ability to find inexpensive gems. That is something we won't even be able to talk about until the middle of next year, because it all happens behind the scenes.

So who knows? All I know is I pray against them every night before I go to sleep. *shrug*
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:23 PM    (permalink
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i think the issues in the secondary are not as big as we think it is. the style of 3-4 that they run, they use a ton of 2 deep safety looks, and run a lot of 3 safety looks as well.

their CBs in this system are almost like Tampa 2 CBs, except theyll run a little more man on the outside. However, their responsibilities are similar, and aren't asked to be on an island as much against top tier talent.

they run that bulky strong 3-4 front, and with that they don't need 8 in the box. they rely on safety coverage to defend the middle, with one ILB running down the seam in some cases, it can get rather complicated.

i don't want to write an essay on it, but to put it simply, they don't need a lot of talent in the secondary based on their system. all they need is a talented SS and a somewhat talented #1 CB.

They have that in Harrison, while old, he's savy and he does what they ask him to do very well. He can cover the TE, he can blitz, and he can stop the run. Runs a decent deep zone, although usually when they come out in those sets, they use 3 safeties and have Harrison in a rover type role underneath.

As for CB, I can see them either drafting one in a later round, or converting Merriweather into a CB. He's just like Samuel, he can easily make the transition. That would not surprise me at all.

Their real issue is at LB, as already eluded to. They desperately need some youth in both OLB and ILB. This is where they need an upgrade. An elite pass rusher is without question the most important thing theyve been missing. Ever since McGinnest left them, theyve never been the same defense. They desperately need a dominant pass rusher off the edge. Vrabel is more of a Carl Banks type, you don't want him being your primary pass rusher. Thomas can provide push inside, he's better there then OLB now with his age. This is where I see them making a move, and this is where I feel they need to make one.

Remember, its not necessarily how much talent you have, its where you have it. They have it in the right spot, on the dline. Now with some youth in the LB core, particularly at pass rusher, they'll be good. They have 7 rounds, they can really address that defense in this draft and be right back in the mix.
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:32 PM    (permalink
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The Patriots are the scum of all scum imo. Without spygate I don't think they'd have won any superbowl...heck I don't think they'd have even gotten there. They weren't the best team when they went and this year when they finally were the better team they didn't have the cameras to help them out and the Giants took them down. (In one of the greatest super bowls ever though) So this year they did it legit (for the most part) and it didn't pay off for them.

Watching any Patriots game just infuriates me, because of the love they get from the officials against whoever they play...Baltimore Ravens anyone? COMPLETELY BOGUS tuck rule (which will always discredit them imo) and the list is endless.
boy, such absolute hatred for the pats. you name for me a team a team that doesnt cheat and i will name for you a liar.

as for the original part of the topic, i do believe the pats are going to start feeling some of BB's burn. a quick look at the LBs they keep around tells you a great deal. he thinks he can win with anybody, and its going to start hurting him.
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:53 PM    (permalink
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and i'll ask you for proof and you'll fail to come up with anything concrete. but no one cares because you people have had this same idiotic argument 4.5 million times over the last two months and i'm bloody sick of it.

sthu about it already.
the dolphins signed justin smiley half an hor after free agency started the other week. now i dont know if you know this or not, but teams arent supposed to be talking to the players or their agents before FA starts.

and im relatively sure that it would be amazing feat of negotiating to get a multi-millional dollar deal with all kinds of bits of contractual language and escalators and workout bonuses done from scratch in a half hour.

i just cant take anyone who thinks the pats are the only team who cheats seriously....

now to move this back on topic, heres an idea. maybe BB realized that his defense was waining and decided to go overboard offensively. it was becoming clear that even with his full load of talent, he couldnt stop peyton and indy anymore. same could be said about the chargers the year before.

so maybe he just decided to get what he can out of the aging D and become sort of an offensive minded coach heading into the future.

one could argue he is just outthinking himself at this point...
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:05 PM    (permalink
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After the Super Bowl, I'm willing to bet Brady would like some O-line help. They're sitting fine at #7, where they could address either OL, LB or CB. Or even trade down. They have some age issues, and their O wont be nearly as dominant as it was last year(i mean really, can they possibly match THOSE kind of numbers?). they aren't in "excellent shape" for the future, but they're no mediocre team.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:22 PM    (permalink
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2. They have the best offense of all time, and it is basically in tact from last year, minus Donte Stallworth. They will put up points, and a lot of them each game.
So you're saying your team has become that which your kind has whined, moaned, and complained about forever: the 2003-04 Colts?
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:03 AM    (permalink
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Well it has always worked out for Bellicheck so far but eventually you would have to imagine he would need to get some quality young LBs. Since Bellicheck has been the coach of the Patriots he has not drafted a LB higher than the 163rd overall pick(Hakim Akbar). CB on the other hand has not been drafted higher than the 84th overall pick(Ellis Hobbs).

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/nwe.htm

The past would seem to indicate he won't consider either position very early in the draft. However I would still be surprised if that didn't change this Draft and he doesn't at least grab a LB in the late 2nd to 3rd round.

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Old 03-21-2008, 10:20 AM    (permalink
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I'd argue that Eugene Wilson at 36 is the highest he's drafted a corner. Yes Wilson ended up playing safety but he came out of college as a corner and I think they planned on using him at corner when they drafted him. It was only when they tried him out at FS and realized he was pretty good that they made the switch.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:39 AM    (permalink
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I really liked Kareem Brown, I hope he succeeds in NY.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:28 PM    (permalink
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So you're saying your team has become that which your kind has whined, moaned, and complained about forever: the 2003-04 Colts?
If thats how you want to look at it then fine. NE will still be solid up front, and they should still have a decent secondary. As stated above, they dont highyl skilled guys playing CB, because they don't leave them on island's alot. With that said, they have signed a bunch of journeymen, who could work out.

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Well it has always worked out for Bellicheck so far but eventually you would have to imagine he would need to get some quality young LBs. Since Bellicheck has been the coach of the Patriots he has not drafted a LB higher than the 163rd overall pick(Hakim Akbar). CB on the other hand has not been drafted higher than the 84th overall pick(Ellis Hobbs).

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/nwe.htm

The past would seem to indicate he won't consider either position very early in the draft. However I would still be surprised if that didn't change this Draft and he doesn't at least grab a LB in the late 2nd to 3rd round.
Exactly why we won't go with Keith Rivers in the 1st. The more I think about it, the more I see this pick going the way of OL, DL/OLB.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:31 PM    (permalink
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I always think of Humus when someone mentions the word Hubris. Then I get hungry, so screw you Geo.

Also, I won't comment in this thread about the Pats because as a Giants fan, I feel that all talking should be done on the field. =D
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:20 PM    (permalink
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i wish i knew what a hubris was...
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:23 PM    (permalink
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Attention: your post has been moderated due to:

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further posts about this garbage will be moderated.

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:08 PM    (permalink
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1. New England drafts two corners in Round 2 and Round 4, as indicated they would.

2. '08 Patriots' passing defense gives up 27 TDs, worst in the league except for Arizona (36). A poor secondary pretty much delivers as expected, ultimately keeping them from the playoffs. That and injuries to many of the defensive players, most of which are older guys as Belichick prefers.

3. To be fair to Belichick, he got the team as a whole to 11 wins. Just came shy of going back to the playoffs. Although that was mainly thanks to the offense, with Cassel filling in for Brady in and having a lot of talent around him.

And credit to Belichick for playing more youngsters this season than he ever has. The rookie corners didn't show much, but the rest did look promising. Mayo looks great, Guyton was a great pick-up in UDFA, and Meriweather is looking better than I thought he would.


The next Draft is coming, and people are starting to mock a first round cornerback to the Patriots again. Some people never learn, I suppose. Apparently Belichick is now going to start valuing corners in the first round? We'll see.
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