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Old 09-30-2010, 09:54 PM    (permalink
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I just havent read about this anywhere, this is the first im hearing about it. Last year he looked like a stud.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:25 PM    (permalink
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I find it kind of interesting that Meriweather would be in the dog house for freelancing when BB has always wanted an Ed Reed...all Ed Reed ever does is freelance!
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:05 PM    (permalink
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Links;
http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sp...-playing-time/

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/f...&position=also

Freelancing is fine when it's going right, but the problem was that he was getting burned for it. You kind of saw a bit of it on the CJ Spiller touchdown last week. He made a move to the inside when he was supposed to play zone on the outside and wasn't in position to make the tackle.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:07 PM    (permalink
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Yeah the Spiller one was the only thing I could recall. Huh that suck, I would love to see Chung and Merriweather as our safties down the road.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:10 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, it really does kind of suck. He was really one of two guys we could count on to play his best football this year along with Vince.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:08 AM    (permalink
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I was bored so I wrote a little article on New England's needs for anyone who's interested.

New England Patriots Positional Needs

QB – Low

Quarterback is perhaps the position of least need on the team. Tom Brady is the highest paid player in the league. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon. The coaching staff also feels as though they have something in Brian Hoyer, who’s looked very poised whenever he’s been on the field. New England only carried two quarterbacks on roster this year because of how comfortable they felt with Hoyer. One possibility would be a late-round developmental quarterback and practice squad candidate.

RB – High

Every running back on roster has a contract that expires at the end of the season. Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris are both over 30 years old and have battled a number of injuries. Kevin Faulk is 35 and coming off of season-ending ACL surgery which may force him to retire. New England traded Laurence Maroney (along with a sixth-round pick) to Denver for a fourth-round pick. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead have shown some flashes but it’s too early to feel comfortable with either of them. The team also signed Thomas Clayton to the roster this week and has Javarris James on the practice squad, but neither is proven.

WR – Medium

Randy Moss is in the last year of his contract and has expressed feelings that he won’t be playing in New England after this season ends. However, the Patriots have a number of other wide receivers currently on roster – Wes Welker is one of the best receivers in the league in terms of getting separation. Julian Edelman is a versatile player who can also exploit underneath coverages. Brandon Tate, a 2009 third-round pick, looks to be developing nicely as a deep threat and return specialist. In 2010, the Patriots used another third-round pick on a project at wide receiver – Taylor Price. Price has nice physical tools but appears to be developing very slowly, particularly when being jammed at the line. Matthew Slater is a special teams ace.

TE – Low

Along with safety, one of the deepest positions on the roster. Historically somewhat of a weakness, the Patriots decided to overhaul this position dramatically last year, releasing Chris Baker and letting Ben Watson walk in free agency. They used a second-round pick on Rob Gronkowski, a huge red zone threat and a solid blocker. Fourth-round pick Aaron Hernandez is immediately making an impact – the team is trying to get him the ball by any means possible, including reverses. Alge Crumpler has developed into a leader in the locker room and is an outstanding blocker.

OT – Medium

2009 second-round pick Sebastian Vollmer appears to be the team’s future at one of the tackle spots. Currently he’s playing right tackle, with veteran Matt Light on the left side. Light is solid for the most part in pass protection, but his weaknesses in the run game, age, and Vollmer’s progress may drive him out of town once his contract expires at the end of the season. Behind their two starters, the team is currently using Mark LeVoir as a swing tackle, but he is more of a reserve than a starter. Nick Kaczur also has significant starting experience at tackle, but is recovering from what seems to be a serious back surgery. He was also being projected as the starter at left guard this year due to Logan Mankins’ holdout.

OG – Medium

It’s a bit too early to tell whether or not guard will be a concern this offseason. Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins is still holding out, and it does not appear that there is an end in sight – he may have burned too many bridges to return. Nick Kaczur appeared to be a nice replacement for Mankins (moving from right tackle), but will possibly miss the entire season. However, Dan Connolly has played well in Mankins’ place and could potentially earn himself a starting job in future seasons with his play the rest of the year. Right guard Stephen Neal is also a solid player, but suffers from constant injuries and has announced that he will retire following next season. The team also has Rich Ohrnberger on the roster, a fourth-round pick in 2009 that has experience at all three interior spots.

C – Medium

Dan Koppen has been New England’s starting center since 2003, so he has an extremely strong rapport with Tom Brady and is well-versed in making line calls. However, he struggles to match up against nose tackles in 3-4 defenses, which could prove costly for him. There are also reports that the team has considered using a first-round pick on a center each of the last two years – Eric Wood in the 2009 draft, and Maurkice Pouncey this year. Reserve center Ryan Wendell has been with the team for a few years but most likely doesn’t have the size or strength to start.

DE – Medium

The depth at defensive end is good, but it’s possible that the team would like to bring in a high draft pick to try and fill the gap left by Richard Seymour’s departure last season. Ty Warren is normally a strong starter at left end, but is on injured reserve rehabbing from a hip injury and will miss all of 2010. In his place, Gerard Warren has played well, especially against the pass, but is 32 years old. On the right side, there appears to be a rotation between Mike Wright (more of a situational pass rusher and “hustle” player) and Ron Brace (a 2009 second-round pick who the team hopes will develop into a run stuffer.) Rookie Brandon Deaderick has also seen the field a few times and has prior experience in Alabama’s 3-4 defense under Nick Saban. Another rookie, Kade Weston, is on season-ending injured reserve (2010 appears to be a “redshirt” year.)

NT – Low

Nose tackle is one of the major pieces needed to build a successful 3-4 defense, and luckily New England has one of the best nose tackles in the league in Vince Wilfork, who was rewarded this offseason with a $40 million contract. Behind him, the team has been using second-year player Myron Pryor in their nickel packages, and he has played well. For depth, the team has Kyle Love, a rookie who made the team as an undrafted free agent, and Darryl Richard, who is on injured reserve but could eventually see the field as a part of the nickel and dime packages on obvious passing downs.

OLB – High

One of New England’s most pressing needs is at outside linebacker, where the team has failed to find a pass rusher that can consistently put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Finding a quality sack artist would take a lot of pressure off of the young secondary and vastly improve the defense. Jermaine Cunningham looks to be a fixture on one side as the team’s “elephant” (a big linebacker who is asked to set the edge vs. the run), but opposite him Tully Banta-Cain is not playing particularly well this year and is probably better suited to a rotational role. Depth consists of Rob Ninkovich (who has started at times this year but has been inconsistent) and Shawn Crable (a former third-round pick who missed both of his first two seasons with injury and can’t really be evaluated yet.)

ILB – Low

An area of strength for the team is inside linebacker. Jerod Mayo is a former top-ten pick and a leader on the defense. Alongside him, the team has used a rotation consisting of rookie second-round draft pick Brandon Spikes, and Gary Guyton, who has significant experience in the defense. Spikes is more of a two-down run stuffer in the vein of Ted Johnson, whereas Guyton is a more athletic linebacker who does a nice job in coverage. Reserve rookie Dane Fletcher is also more of a coverage specialist, and the team also employs Tracy White, who is one of the best special teams players on the team. It’s also worth noting the presence of 2009 third-round pick Tyrone McKenzie on the practice squad, who is a candidate for a promotion to the active roster at some point this season.

CB – Medium

A lot has been invested into the cornerback position, but there’s still a good chance the team will add some new blood at the position in the offseason because of the poor results they’ve gotten from the players on roster thus far in 2010. Leigh Bodden was placed on injured reserve before the season, a crippling blow after his excellent 2009 season and $22 million contract extension in the offseason. In his absence, 2009 second-round pick Darius Butler and 2010 first-round pick Devin McCourty had some major struggles. Butler was benched after the first two weeks of the season, in which he was constantly exploited by opposing offenses. McCourty has played very well at times but has also made some mental mistakes in the red zone that resulted in opposing touchdowns. Kyle Arrington is currently starting opposite McCourty, but is much more suited to special teams duty. Jonathan Wilhite is the team’s slot cornerback – he was exposed as a starter last season, but has done a better job in his new role. 2008 second-round pick Terrence Wheatley has been a disappointment so far and has had trouble getting on the field due to injury, but will most likely return in week six following the bye week and should get an opportunity to prove his worth.

S – Low

Patrick Chung (yet another 2009 second-round pick) and James Sanders (with six years of experience in New England) have made up the team’s starters in the base defense so far in 2010. Chung didn’t see the field much last year but is off to an extremely hot start this year and appears to have locked down one of the spots. Sanders is a solid if unspectacular player at the other spot, with excellent knowledge of the scheme and strong instincts to mask some physical deficiencies. 2007 first-round pick Brandon Meriweather has also seen extensive playing time as part of the team’s nickel package. He had a fantastic 2009 campaign, but has been in the doghouse this year as the coaching staff has been unhappy with his performances in practice and his constant freelancing. He is still considered to be a long-term starter opposite Chung but must show the staff that he is willing to reign in his play. The team’s fourth safety is Jarrad Page, recently acquired from the Chiefs for a late-round draft pick before the season. He was a solid player in Kansas City but has some catching up to do in New England before he will see substantial playing time. He will be asked to fill Brandon McGowan’s role as a rover on the defense. McGowan is on season-ending injury reserve along with Bret Lockett and Josh Barrett.

K/P/LS – Low

The team has invested heavily in their specialists and the chances of them adding new players at any of these three positions are extremely slim. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski was a fourth-round pick and recently received a long-term contract extension. Rookie punter Zoltan Mesko is a fifth-round pick and appears to be the team’s long term starter at that spot. The team’s long snapper is Jake Ingram, a 2009 sixth-round pick who will also most likely handle those duties long-term.

Ranking of Team Needs

1. OLB
2. RB
---
3. DE
4. OT
5. WR
6. C
7. OG
8. CB
---
9. NT
10. QB
11. ILB
12. TE
13. S
14. K/P/LS
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:01 AM    (permalink
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You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to RavenOfProphecy again.

Very good write-up. ROP. I agree with most everything, but I think we have a low need for CB. We have probably the youngest (and some of the most talented) corners in the league who's been thrust into the defense because of Boddens injury. If they had some help from the front seven I'd like to think they could be very, very good. I have a lot of confidence that this defense in the long term will be dominant. We just need some talent and nasty demeanor up front, and I think we're all set acutally.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:10 AM    (permalink
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Quick question guys;

If the Raiders end up finishing poorly and leaving us with a top 8 or so pick and we have the opportunity to draft Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara does BB take it? With Bodden's injury and Butler's poor play do they take what would probably be the BPA or go need at OLB, DE, WR, RB?
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:20 AM    (permalink
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Quick question guys;

If the Raiders end up finishing poorly and leaving us with a top 8 or so pick and we have the opportunity to draft Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara does BB take it? With Bodden's injury and Butler's poor play do they take what would probably be the BPA or go need at OLB, DE, WR, RB?
That would be so, so, so very tough to call. Prince, I could probably pass on without feeling horrible. Peterson is another story.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:33 AM    (permalink
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I think it really depends on who's left on the board.
I'd take an elite WR (Green, Jones) over a CB though PP is a beast.
I'd take an elite OLB or DE over a CB as well.
The CBs are studs, IMO and just need some experience.
I fully expected them to get burned early on.
It's definitely something to keep an eye on.

Only and only if PP is far and away the best prospect on the board
(Like A.Peterson and the Vikings) would I be okay with draft PP or trading down

I agree with EE. Prince, I wouldn't mind too much but PP is a monster. I'd cringe seeing someone else get picked over him. But again, if that name is Green then I'm happy as can be still
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:13 AM    (permalink
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With all the cover two we run I would be surprised with a top 12 pick being spent on a CB. I also believe we have talent there that is asked to do too much b/c of poor pressure.

With that said . . .

The massive amount of passing going on across the league right now means there's always room for another top tier CB on the team. Any team. I'd be fine with a stockpile of solid CBs, as I can't remember the last time we didn't have at least one of our top CBs injured / missing time / on IR. Every year there's one or two of them out.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:07 AM    (permalink
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Gun to my head, if the Patriots are convinced Peterson is going to be a top three corner, I would take him. There's just so much value with a guy like that.

The only caveat would be in they're convinced someone in this class is going to be a top linebacker of proportionate value to our need. I'm not sure there's a guy like this in the class. I'm completely off the Von Miller bandwagon. He's not a good fit scheme wise, and he might not even be an every down linebacker/defensive end in the NFL. Herzlich probably is not worth that pick at the moment and he isn't a perfect match scheme wise either. There's not really a solid conversion prospect out of the top defensive ends either. Robert Quinn might be able to do it, but he's also more of a traditional 4-3 End. Same thing with Romeus. Kerrigan is the guy I probably like the most for us, and he'll be a late first rounder/early second type anyway.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:11 AM    (permalink
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I still think Butler and McCourtey will be beastly with some experience... But I don't think the Pats would pass on Peterson.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:19 AM    (permalink
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I'm completely sold on McCourtey. Love the way he plays. Perfect fit for us. Butler, I still have major hangups about. Sure he has potential. But he can't position himself on a guy to save his life. Leads to a ton of PI on him, not mentioned that he gets beat quite a bit too. He has his good moments, but his play needs to improve. Haven't seen any real improvement from him from last year, and that's concerning.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:29 AM    (permalink
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Here's a lovely stat about how good the Patriots pass defense has been thus far;

Against Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez and the Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Patriots are giving up a 69% completion percentage. Now obviously when they play bad QBs like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers etc this will come down but 69%!!!! I couldn't believe it
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:29 PM    (permalink
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Butler always seems to have good coverage, but his positioning when the ball arrives has been terrible. He gets abused by stronger receivers.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:51 PM    (permalink
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this upcoming CB draft class is deep, id be be fine with peterson, but he'd be the only one id take in the first round. janoris jenkins is a perfect fit for us in my opinion, and we could get him possibly at the top of round 2.... other than peterson i hope we go with DE/OLB/RB/OL
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:22 PM    (permalink
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Bill Belichick says Nick Kaczur is getting closer to a return:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...ser-to-return/

Wow. I guess that injury wasn't as bad as any of us thought. I still think the Patriots should go with Connolly at left guard as long as he continues to play well, but Kaczur will be much-appreciated depth.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:21 PM    (permalink
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That's good for depth, but I can't see him playing for us really.
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:42 AM    (permalink
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Ugh, why do we have to play on Monday night, I cant wait that long.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:14 AM    (permalink
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That's good for depth, but I can't see him playing for us really.
I think he could get somewhere between 4-8 starts considering Neal usually misses around five games. Then again, I think Logan Mankins has to play at least six games for us to escape as a free agent next year. That is, unless New England places the franchise tag on him and really screws him over.
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:13 PM    (permalink
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I think he could get somewhere between 4-8 starts considering Neal usually misses around five games. Then again, I think Logan Mankins has to play at least six games for us to escape as a free agent next year. That is, unless New England places the franchise tag on him and really screws him over.
We totally should, and then place it on him next year, the D bag. Either way i think we should place it on him this year and then trade him.
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:15 PM    (permalink
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Oh yeah, Mankins is getting F-tagged...no doubt.
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:52 PM    (permalink
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Oh yeah, Mankins is getting F-tagged...no doubt.
It won't be an exclusive one though, because the Patriots WILL want to trade him. I won't be shocked if they have offers lined up before the draft.
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:56 PM    (permalink
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Think well get anything good for him. Wishful thinking but maybe a second, early third?
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