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2017 Season Blog.

Defending

Super Bowl Champs.

7-Things For Thursday: I. 

By TOM

Greetings Pats Fans,

First off I just want to thank all the fans of this site. I have been promoting my books for sale primarily on this site. As a result, I have sold almost 500 books in the past year. Thank you for your support and patronage, both are greatly appreciated. I cannot tell you how happy it made me when I read that report. So thank you Draft fans and Patriot fans alike, and mostly thank you to all the fans of my books and website worldwide.

Let's See Whose Worse.

By TOM

1. Couldn't Predict the Win Last Week- I think I was the only one who didn't predict the Pats would win against Carolina last week. I just couldn't type my usually 7th Thing- Pats Win. It just didn't seem right. All this talk about the demise of Cam Newton was so nearsighted. He had shoulder surgery, and was working through the first three weeks like it was preseason, and he was finally ready to play. 

I was uncomfortable writing the preview. Then when Benjamin said he was playing? I just couldn't see who could cover Benjamin and Funchess. Not that I thought they would have the complete self-destruction of the Pats secondary, but they were just so big and athletic.

I also didn't think the refs were going to fix the game. The refs made a bad call seemingly at every big moment in the game. And! A Defensive Holding call on Safety, on a run play! Where the WR was clearly blocking Chung on a run play, as Chung was trying to shed him and get inside. That was a fireable offense.

However, as I tried to write "Pats Win" it just seemed like no one was taking the Number One Defense seriously. And the attacks on Newton were just stupid. It just all seemed so wrong. So I couldn't predict the victory, But I couldn't predict the loss either, for fear I'd jinks them. So I just never uploaded the 7th Thing- Pats lose.     

2. Communication Breakdown. It’s Always the Same- I'm a little offended when you call what the Pats are playing defense. Maybe, defensively challenged. Or, "We don't need no stinking defense?" Or best of all, De-fense, De-frense, the De-fense is on fire! We don't need no water let the Mother F-er burn!

So we have half a team, or two-thirds of a team if you like Special teams units. So they have a two wheeled tricycle for a team. And because of the short week the Pats don't have time to fix the popped tire. They have to start communicating like a team. Not like a murder of crows cawing wildly at each other.

When one crow doesn't know the signals than the murder of the defense is inevitable. "Communication is a two-way street. One guy talks. One guy listens. I don't know many ways that you can do that any better," McCourty said. "We have hand signals. We talk. When we talk, we have ways that guys know you got it by you confirming. So I mean, I don't know if there's many ways that we can change how we do that. Like I said earlier, it's about getting it and then just doing it." If they don't get it this week than they will get it again in the Win-Loss column (3 and 2).

So there's no time, with the same cast of characters, and the same troubling lines of communication. "That's very dangerous. I mean, that's why we're meeting and that's why we're going over things so it doesn't turn into that. Where now a guy is unsure of what's going to happen, so he's trying to do this and that. That will never work," McCourty said. "That's why it's always key. I know you guys always ask us Sunday after a game, 'What happened?' That's why Monday is so key of maybe the next team's not like that team, but maybe that comes back up later in the season or maybe it comes back up the next week. That's why it's important to go back and correct those things for that reason that you're talking about so we're not sitting and a guy's like, 'Dang, I remember this formation. We got this last week and I didn't know what was going to happen and I still don't.' That's why you want to go over it. It's like alright, we messed it up on this play, but the next time it comes up, let's get it right so everyone can still play fast." It looks like we might be doomed to do the same thing over again, and I'm not expecting different results. 

3. Quick Week- The biggest problem this week is that the Pats had two days to prepare, after the worst defensive breakdown in the BB-Era. "The sense of urgency I would say is the quick week," Gronk said. "It's urgent to switch the page right away, which was yesterday, and just start focusing on Tampa Bay. You've got to do it quick. I mean this is a different week than any other week. We're playing like three days before Sunday on Thursday night. So you've got to turn the page, you've got to be prepared, you've got to lock it in and just do overtime right now." There is a whole lotta urgency on the other side of the ball.

However, this tight week usually favors the better-coached teams. "We're moving along here this week. Today is a big day for us in terms of our scouting report, game plan. We're trying to get as much done as we can today here and tomorrow and then we'll be going down there tomorrow afternoon." BB said. "Tampa is an impressive team. They have a lot of good players; a well-coached team, obviously. We don't know them very well but we'll grind it out here and do as good of a job as we can familiarizing ourselves with the players, the schemes and what they do in the time we have available. That's where we're at." Which brings up the question we'd never thought could possibly be asked this season, "who is the better coached team?"

I mean, this secondary is going up against Mike Evans! He may the best big WR in the game, with elite hands, and as physical as it gets in this game. "Yeah, we'd have to put [Deatrich] Wise out there to match up with him physically. He's a big guy. We don't have any defensive backs as big as him. There's probably not one in the league. We've got to cover him. Whoever is on him is on him," BB said about Evans. "[He's] big, fast, can really go up and get the ball. They throw a lot of high balls to him and he goes up there and can take it away from the defenders. He's strong. He's a big target, catches the ball well. He's tough." Is there a guy in this secondary that can stop a high lob pass to him?

Then they have the ultra-speedster DeSean Jackson. "He's a great big-play threat. He's had tremendous production in that area through the course of his career, as good as any player in the history of the league," BB said. "He's a very explosive guy, short catch-and-run plays, vertical speed, good intermediate route runner. Again, one of their many options in terms of playmakers." If you have a communication breakdown against him, he could outrun a hurricane.

I questioned Winston's mental makeup a little, but I never questioned his arm. "Good quarterback, very good arm, accurate, gets the ball to all of his receivers, uses the tight ends well, the receivers well, strong, can stand in there against the rush, moves well in the pocket to create a little extra time," BB said. "He's a hard guy to tackle, hard guy to bring down. He can throw the ball with people hanging all over him and he can throw it accurately and throw it pretty far, too. He stretches the field on you, sideline to sideline, vertical passer, five-thousand yards the last two years offensively, 50 touchdowns. They've had a lot of production on offense in two years. Coach Koetter has done a great job with him. He's done well. For a guy in his third year he's had extraordinary production. Not many guys that have more than he has and we've had some pretty good quarterbacks." He can put the ball were he wants it everywhere on the field.

This is not the week to be la-de-dah in the Secondary. This is the week to be tough, smart, and fast as a hurricane. Because when the communications break down in the those swirling winds, we've all seen the disasters that can occur. This is not going to be an easy victory by any stretch.  

 

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