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Old 08-30-2013, 12:36 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Don Vito View Post
Ballard and Fells cut...wow
This better mean Gronk is healthy and were still cutting Tebow.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:54 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Don Vito View Post
Ballard and Fells cut...wow
Not shocked about fells, because he was going to cost 1.3 million to be a bad backup.

Ballard, I figured at the very least, would have been short term listed on IR. He would have a "setback" in his "recovery". His contract is basically the vet minimum.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:36 PM    (permalink
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Cuts so far:
TE Jake Ballard
DE Marcus Benard
TE Daniel Fells
WR Johnathan Haggerty
LB Mike Rivera
OL Luke Patterson
FB Ben Bartholomew
DL Gilbert Pena
C Matt Stankiewitch
DL Scott Vallone

Of those, I'm only really shocked by Benard and Stankiewitch. Ballard was on my final 53 because I felt like the team might keep him and wait out his recovery if they thought it was a medical issue. Clearly, they just feel he's lost his athleticism. Fells was just too expensive (1.3 million) for a backup TE. His being cut signals that Gronk will be back sooner than week 7. Probably in time for the real games (@Atl, @Cin, NO).

Benard was never a great pass rusher, but he seemed to be the #3 one on the team for a while, playing both inside and out. His release signals Jermaine Cunningham's likelihood of sticking on the 53 is on the rise (who I thought was going on short term IR, since he missed the beginning of the season)

Stankiewitch had a really good camp and has athleticism to get to the second level. I didn't think they would push him to the PS and risk losing him. Plus, a lot of the roster projections have 7 players at OL, which is a very low number for the Patriots (who tend to carry more OL than less).
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:55 PM    (permalink
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PFF had Stankiewitch as their 59th-ranked center over the first preseason games, out of 62 qualifiers. Unexpectedly, the only players who graded out lower were Rodney Hudson, Travis Frederick, and Maurkice Pouncey.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:52 AM    (permalink
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Patriots cut so far:
QB Tim Tebow
DT Marcus Forston
PT Zoltan Mesko (Allen was OK... but, not that ok...)
DE Jermaine Cunningham
RB George Winn

Shocked at Tebow being cut because I thought McDaniels would get him as a project. He did show some progress, but I guess it wasn't enough.

I didn't think Allen was that good, TBH. I think cutting Mesko to save <1 million is a mistake.

Forston being cut... who is going to play DT if Wilfork or Kelly goes down???

Cunningham isn't a shock to me. He can't stay healthy.

George Winn will either make someone else's roster or our PS.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:02 AM    (permalink
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Tebow can't play football end of story. He just isn't an nfl qb.

Concur with mesko release tho. He was a great punter for us, never understood why his services all of a sudden needed challenging this off season, to save 1 million? Meh
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:26 AM    (permalink
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Final two cuts: OL Josh Kline and CB Justin Green.

apparently, they haven't announced some cuts.

Here are 3 more: defensive end Justin Francis, linebacker Ja'Gared Davis and defensive back Kanorris Davis
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:50 PM    (permalink
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Haven't posted here in some time. Figure I would chime in on some of the goings on;

Start with yesterday with Ballard. It's not super surprising from a performance perspective. I made it down the camp a few times earlier in the process and he really didn't stand out. Slow in a straight line and didn't look right cutting and running routes(in what limited cutting and route running a 6'5 270 pound tight end can do). I still thought he would stick around though. He's not that expensive and still has quite a bit of value as a blocker. Also leaves us a little thin at the position with only two tight ends on the roster projected to be healthy for week 1. Last year, we carried four tight ends throughout the entire season. I think it's a given that we're going to see some changes to the way we use tight ends in our offense with Hernandez's killing people problem, but I wonder how often we're going to be running two tight end sets when we're only two deep at the position for a length of time. The obvious positive here is that Gronkowski will probably be ready within the first three or so weeks, but here's to hoping he isn't rushed back. It'll be interesting to see if we end up signing another player at this position.

Marcus Forston surprised me a bit as well. He had a pretty big opportunity to stand out in camp and in the pre-season with how thin we were at the position and never asserted himself. Still, we're as thin as it gets there with only three players. Forston might not have been an exceptional player, but I thought he was good enough to stick around as a backup, especially with the depth there.

Cunningham doesn't surprise me. Another second round bust. I liked the pick coming out, but he just never did enough here to stand out. Just didn't look like at NFL level athlete. He carved out some additional value for himself last year by showing the ability to kick inside on third down, but the suspension last year couldn't have endeared him to the team very much.

The way the Mesko situation went down surprised me. The word on the beat is that he and Ryan Allen have been pretty close in camp practices, but Mesko punted more in games and did it more effectively. Mesko is a class act and a good presence in the locker room and the community. His net punting average wasn't fantastic last year, but he was mostly punting deep into drives and in the mid-field area. When he was asked to bail us out a bad drive, he didn't always do it though. The real situation here is money. Mesko is expensive and a free agent at the end of the year. I think this is a combination of his price being too high and an acknowledgement that we're not going to re-sign him next season. It's never the right time for a team with deep playoff aspirations to break in a new punter and the potential upside of Allen probably isn't worth the potential growing pains that can happen with a rookie punter...but Allen's college resume probably would have made him a top candidate to catch on with another team if we had released him. We must like him enough to decide to start the transition a year early.

Pretty disappointing that Francis didn't make it. We have more invested in Bequette and he showed more in the pre-season, but Francis would have been my choice between the two. He ended the year as one of our better pass rushers and looked like he could continue to get better. I'm glad Buchanan made it as he's really shown up at times in the pre-season and has more upside than both of them....but I really would have liked to keep Francis around. Hopefully he catches on somewhere else and plays well. Bernard looked like a pretty good player too, especially as a pure pass rusher. I still think Bequette has some upside, but I'm just not sure he'll help us as much right now as Francis or Bernard would.

Tebow isn't even worth writing anything about. If you struggle in practices and games, you don't deserve to make a roster.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:33 PM    (permalink
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Mesko is disturbing. A fan favorite and a guy who seemed to be one of the better punters in the league and getting better. Seems like it ended up coming down to cap numbers. That said, Ryan Allen is also a beast of a punter. They're losing a great teammate with possibly the best name ever in the NFL, but they're not losing anything on the field and may even be getting better.

Ballard just got out-performed in camp. They love Hooommmaohopdfhjpdafpsdi and Sudfield. Hoomanohsdhfpi is a much better pass catcher than we've seen in his time in New England. He has some wheels and I don't think he was ever in danger of losing his spot. He's too versatile, valuable, and good.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:06 PM    (permalink
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Mesko as one of the better punters in the league is a bit of a stretch. He certainly never hurt us and that's most of what you want our of a punter...but I wouldn't say he's one of the better punters in the league. When asked to really boot the ball and bail us out of a short drive, he didn't do a great job. His touchback percentage was also a touch high and he certainly wasn't renowned for pinning teams back. It's tough to evaluate Mesko because of how rarely we've punted compared to other teams over his tenure, but that may have done a bit to make his deficiencies less apparent as well. I'm going to go ahead and give the coaches and personnel guys the benefit of the doubt here and see how it goes. We really didn't need the cash/cap savings that badly, so I think there's more than that at play here. We'll see though.

As mentioned earlier, I really wish we had brought someone in to push Gostkowski if we're really serious about improving the kicking game. While trying to improve over Mesko is admirable, last year made me feel that we need to start seeking an outright upgrade over Gostkowski. His percentages are less than ideal and he doesn't offer much more than average in terms of range either. I just don't have a high level of trust with him, especially after the Arizona game last year. Worst of all, he seems fragile too. When he misses field goals, he tends to go into bad stretches.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:25 AM    (permalink
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I don't think anyone saw Vellano, the undersized undrafted DT from Maryland, making this roster. Amazing he beat out Forston who is much bigger than him and looks more like a defensive tackle than Vellano. Pretty amazing he's backup defensive tackle.

I'm a bit surprised to see them only carry three tight ends as opposed to last year when they carried four. However I think that bodes well for the WR's and passing game. Belichick must've been very impressed with the rookie WR's, specifically Thompkins.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:29 PM    (permalink
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It's interesting to see us cut players like we are to sign other people's cast offs, especially when one of them is an OL and another is a LB, two spots we were deep at already.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:36 PM    (permalink
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Lot of roster movement today. Best news I've heard so far is that Justin Francis cleared waivers and is going to IR. Glad to see that he's under team control for the time being. There was some buzz that his injury was pretty serious, so it makes some sense for him to go unclaimed. I'll be surprised if he doesn't make the team next season.

Cole and Washington cut. I've always felt Cole deserved to play a bit more than he got the chance to here, but we've got a lot of draft and financial capitol invested in cornerback at this point, so there's not a ton of room. Washington lost the numbers game. We'll have to see who returns kicks this year. No clear option there. Boyce has the physical traits, but didn't look amazing at that spot in the pre-season.

Vellano won't be the only undrafted Terrapin to be with us at the start of the pre-season. AJ Francis claimed from Miami. I haven't watched a ton of Maryland football the past few years, but he seems to have some admirable physical traits and a decent motor. Miami apparently liked him, for what it's worth.

Also claimed Chris White from the Bills. Could be an information thing on the Bills(although we've never been huge on that), but I liked him coming out a few years ago. Pretty good size and athleticism and can do some different things. We're pretty deep at linebacker though.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:30 PM    (permalink
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Forston to the practice squad. Willing to bet he's back with the team sooner as opposed to later, although I'm interested to see what Vellano and AJ Francis can do.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:30 PM    (permalink
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More roster movement today;

Cole's back, Kline's out, and Develin's gone.

Kline and Develin are practice squad candidates. I have a soft spot for fullbacks, but Hooman can and has lined up there as a lead blocker. Develin's release will probably bring a fourth tight end to the active roster. In the end, the formation flexibility offered by multiple tight ends and Hooman's versatility are probably more valuable than what Develin brings to the table.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:12 PM    (permalink
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ESPN the Magazine predicts Miami makes the playoffs with a 10-6 record and NE misses with a 9-7.

Is weed legal in Connecticut yet?
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:22 PM    (permalink
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Having us lose every single home game outside of Buffalo, is quite frankly hilarious to me.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:21 PM    (permalink
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I was right about the tight end thing. Matthew Mulligan signed. Pure blocker. I still don't really understand why we didn't keep Ballard as he offers something in the pass game at least and is a fairly effective blocker...but yeah. We were trying Develin out at tight end previously. Must not have looked so hot at that spot.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:04 AM    (permalink
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ESPN the Magazine predicts Miami makes the playoffs with a 10-6 record and NE misses with a 9-7.

Is weed legal in Connecticut yet?
Irrelevant. They're using angel dust 'round those parts.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:07 AM    (permalink
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And by home game I meant away game in my previous post. Anyway that prediction is hilarious to me.
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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 09-04-2013, 08:22 AM    (permalink
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Ok, here are my expectations for Sunday's game @ Buffalo:

The 2 TE approach will not be used extensively during this game which may in fact be a good thing against this Buffalo team. The Bills front 4 can bring some heat so Hooman and maybe even Mulligan may be brought in as extra protection, however I expect a heavy dose of 11 personnel. With injuries in the secondary and no proven coverage LB available the Pats can take advantage of this Bills team and I expect a pretty big day for Tom Brady.

I don't expect to see the ground game have 250+ yards this week like they did in the first game against Buffalo last year, however I do think it will be an impressive day on the ground.

Overall, offensively I think the Patriots will match up well against Buffalo and scoring 24+ points should be achieved.

CJ Spiller is going to be tough match up. I envision he will receive up to 30 touches both as a runner and receiver. The Patriots front 4 should be stout at the point, however Spiller has an uncanny ability to bounce runs and see cut back lanes. If it becomes a chase between he and the LBs there will only be one winner. Spiller to have 150 all purpose yards is almost a given IMO.

EJ Manuel will make some really impressive plays against our defense but like most rookies he will make some really bad plays. This could be a fill your boots game for our DBs in terms of getting their hands on some balls.

Chandler Jones will face off against fellow sophomore Cordy Glenn and Jones got the better of the matchups last year. Glenn is a good LT but possibly better suited to OG. If the hype on Jones is correct this offseason I would expect a big game from him

Overall, I think this should be a double digit win although opening day is never straightforward. In saying that, my prediction is:

NE 27 - 14 Buf

Brady - 20/27 280 yards, 2TDs and 0INTs
Ridley - 21 for 110 yards, 1 TD
Thompkins - 6 97 yards
Sudfeld - 5 50 yards, 2 TDs

EJ Manuel - 12/25 175 yards, 1TD and 3 INTs
CJ Spiller - 22 for 100 yards rushing, 1 TD, 5 for 65 yards, 1 TD
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:35 AM    (permalink
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Biggest number for the game Sunday: 0. That's the number of times a rookie QB has beaten Bill Belichick in their first game.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:47 AM    (permalink
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Meh, that can't be a huge sample size. The Sanchize and RR beat us in game 2 of 2009. I always fear new coaches and new QB's. You never know what you're going to get.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:55 AM    (permalink
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Biggest number for the game Sunday: 0. That's the number of times a rookie QB has beaten Bill Belichick in their first game.
I believe this was true until Russel Wilson.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:35 PM    (permalink
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I believe this was true until Russel Wilson.
That wasn't Russell Wilson's first start.

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Meh, that can't be a huge sample size. The Sanchize and RR beat us in game 2 of 2009. I always fear new coaches and new QB's. You never know what you're going to get.
The Patriots have only lost 4 such games (rookie QB) ever. And that Jets team was far more talented.
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