Fans 2017 Blog.
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.
is no doubt who had the best Patriots draft coverage this year. All the
pretenders fell behind the preeminent expert on the NFL Draft from a
Patriot's perspective. I had all the Patriots picks (that's right,
all 4 of them;) in my player ratings. And to say they had a great draft is
had all four of the Patriots Draft picks rated at least a round higher
than they were taken. I had three guys in my Expert Draft Tape Profiles
(granted Garcia was in my Basham
Tape;). It is a very rare Draft where every single player the Pats
take were rated a Round or two earlier, rather than later, and this was an
exceptional Draft. This might have been, besides QBs, the most talented
Draft we've seen in ten years or so.
had Rivers rated as a 2nd Round pick. "I'm [all about] work
ethic," Rivers said. "No. 1, my faith in God is what got me
here. And then, besides that, he gave me my work ethic. So I'm work ethic.
I do more than what's just asked of me, and that's the type of player they
get. A guy that he does more than what's just asked of them and he does
everything that the coaches want him to do. I listen to whatever my
coaches need me to do. I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it 100
percent." Patriots know that work ethic is as important as any other
trait in the Draft.
also have to be accountable. They are no longer college kids. They are now
adults with a lot of new found cash in their pockets. "Bo was
awesome, man. He was like another father to me as far as when he came to
Youngstown," Rivers said. "I mean, he took our team to another
level. Just the little things that he focused on as far as accountability,
doing all the little things right Ė I mean, those were the things that
Bo emphasized and those were the things that Bo instilled in me. He's an
awesome coach. I mean, he's a great dude, great guy. I could call him.
Throughout this process, he was always there for me, my teammate Avery
Moss and all the other guys at Youngstown that were going through this
process as well." Rivers has all the traits the Pats want in players.
also had him going in the 1st Round. "Derek Rivers, who we took a
couple of picks before that, a defensive end," BB said. "[He]
played competitively in the all-star games and in a good program there
with Coach Pelini [formally at Nebraska]. Who we know very well. Bo does a
great job with his players and his team. Derek's been in a good system,
has been well-coached. Even though he's from a smaller school we'll see
what he can do for himself here, as well, when all is said and done."
They will be playing him as a D-End/OLB speed rusher on the edge.
didn't think he was a 1st Round pick but a little bird told me that the
Steelers loved him. I thought Rivers was so good that I had no trouble
with him going in the 1st Round. And that was before the Draft, not after
the Pats took him. In the end, the Steelers went with the stock, and took
JJ's little bro.
is no doubt that no one forecasted the Pats' Draft better than I did. I
mocked only three need positions to the Pats. That's it: DE/OLB, OT, and
TE (and they took all four;). Not only that but I was more specific. They
needed a DE who could run the arc. Play like Sheard or Long, only faster.
They need a pure speed rusher, who could put speed to power and push the
OLT and/or ORT out wide. They needed a TE who run down the seam like
Gronk, and get open deep. They didn't just need an OT, they needed a
prospect they could develop into an NFL OLT behind Solder.
they all had to be Patriots' type players. "We have a lot of great
relationships with a lot of college coaching staffs out there,"
Cesario said. "What they're being coached and what they're being
asked to do, honestly, isn't what we're going to ask them to do. Maybe
you're kind of looking at the program, maybe there are some certain
fundamentals, and techniques, and how they work and how they run practice
that you might say there may be some carryover.
I would say in the end once they're out of college. They're going to be in
the Patriot program and the most important thing for them is to get in our
program right away, kind of understand what we expect. It's not that what
they did in college was wrong or we disagree with it, it's just how we're
going to coach them, how we're going to prepare them and how they're going
to be a part of our program. The biggest thing that these players have to
do when they get here is get in our program and the sooner that they do
that, on a multitude of levels, the better chance at least they're going
to have to be competitive with the players that are in our locker room.
It's a competitive situation and that's what we want to try and
create." Division I, II, or III doesn't matter as long as they have
the traits the coaches like to fit the system.
needed a speed rusher, who could test the outside edge, and drag the
Tackles out wide to open lanes inside. "When you're evaluating a
player, you're kind of evaluating the athletic component and there's a
playing style component," Caserio said. "The NFL is a tough
game. It's a very violent game. It's a physical game. So if you're not
tough, if you're not physical, then you're probably not going to last very
long. You like to see guys that have a good playing style, that have an
edge. I mean, it's a physical game, so it's running, it's blocking, it's
tackling. This isn't patty cake, so you've got to go out there. It says
something about their physical toughness and then they have the mental
toughness, so you're putting everything together. Ultimately, it's when
they get on the field, it's being able to perform at a good level and
being able to perform at a winning level to help our team. I mean, that's
the most important thing in the end." And the Pats always look at
tough guys first.
Pats also want some nasty on the O-line. " I would say
physical," Garcia said abut himself. "Athletic. Just
nasty." Scarr likes him already.
they traded up from 96 to 85 for Garcia, and it cost them a 4th.
"Where we were picking, we were at 124 and 141, I want to say. So,
how many of those guys have a grade that we would say we're going to pick
them here and we're going to feel comfortable with them? Or, we have a
player that we like. Okay, let's just make sure that we get the player
here. If we have to give up a little bit in order to get him, it's really
just a matter of draft positioning and draft strategy," Caserio said.
"So I think the focus is on the player. Let's figure out a way to get
him here, let's get him here and if we can trade up and get him, great.
And then part of it is, too, based on what other teams are doing behind
you, so that's where kind of your pro scouting, your needs analysis comes
into play. Each team is up there that's behind us, so we're looking at
that going, OK, what are their needs? Maybe they're looking at the same
player. Alright, well, why risk it? Let's sit there and wait and let's
hope it happens. Or, you know what, it looks like there might be an
opportunity for us to move in if a team is willing to trade." When
you can catch a 2nd round talent at a need position in the 3rd, who
dominated at the Senior Bowl?
you just have to give up a lonely 4th? "I mean, we traded with
Tennessee and Detroit," Cesario said. "We've got a great
relationship with them and they were willing to do it. The trades really
happen like that. I mean, there's a lot of talk, 'Well, they talk before
the draft about trading up, trading down.' It's really you're looking up
there going alright, who are the players you like, where are we picking,
do we think the guy is going to make it there? Well, we're not sure. Let's
see if somebody's interested in trading. At that point, it's all
player-driven and player-specific, so we just try to make a good decision
and get the player, try to secure his services and get him here."
Sounds good to me.
can play. He was the most physical and nasty OT at the Senior Bowl. He
looked a little stiff a few times, like he should play ORT. But he did not
give up anything to anyone at OLT on the field. While it wasn't always
pretty, he was always successful. He needs a year to develop into an NFL
OLT, and he could be the starting OLT in 2018.
is a guy who reminds me of Sheard. "The player's body composition,
his measurables, they're a part of it to a degree," Caserio said
about Wise. "Ultimately, it's going to come down to player
performance and then how do they utilize, if they have a strength, how do
they utilize that strength or can we get them to a point where they can
actually utilize whatever it may be - whether it's his speed, whether it's
his quickness, whether it's his strength, whether it's his explosiveness,
his power, regardless of the position. I think it's a part of the
composition. You're evaluating that, but how does he use whatever assets
and strengths that he has and can we get him to a point where it actually
can be productive on the field? Everybody's got different shapes.
Everybody's got different body types. I wouldn't say that's really a big
part of the evaluation. There's not a lot of guys with that type of
length, but what does that transfer over onto the field? Ultimately,
that's the most important thing." He's a bigger rusher who showed he
could run the arc, more than he showed at Arkansas, at the Shrine Game.
was one of my favorites at the Shine (obviously, because I made a Tape;).
"When you're watching a team. So as an example when you're watching
Arkansas. If you're watching them two years ago, we were watching Trey
Flowers. Who [else] is on the field? What year is this guy? This guy's a
sophomore. This guy's a junior. At some point, you're going to have to do
those players anyways. So your focus isn't on maybe that player at the
time. But maybe a guy jumps out of the film a little bit and you're making
the notes as you go. So you're prepared," Cesario said. "Let's
say the guy is a sophomore [Wise]. You're watching Trey Flowers as a
senior. Flowers is in the draft. We know this guy. We're going to have to
go through the process and be ready for him. But this guy over here that's
a sophomore, like is he going to come out as a junior? He may or may not,
but you'll evaluate him." He played in the same system as
plays a stack and shed system, where they grab an OL, and then read and
react. "Maybe your focus isn't as much on that particular player.
You're focused on maybe the seniors," Cesario said. "We try to
stay ahead on that as much as you can. When the guy's a freshman when he
walks on campus, do you notice him? I mean, maybe? If the guy's out there
with the rest of the team and he's the star as a true freshman. You're
probably going to keep an eye on that guy, especially in a conference like
the SEC. It could apply to the Big 10." He will be able to play some
5-Tech as well.
like Flowers, I saw him as a base D-end who can hit the quarterback.
"Were we watching Wise when we were watching Trey Flowers?'"
Cesario said. "I'm not saying that. But if you notice a few plays
here and there, you make a note. We know what years these guys are. So
when they're a freshman, you start to keep a file on the guy and they go
in the database. I'd say probably in a two to three year window. There
were some redshirt sophomores in this draft this year who have only been
on campus for three years. Maybe they've only played one year of actual
football. They redshirt and then they don't really play. They're a backup
and then they start their redshirt sophomore year. So, are you ready for
that guy? You might have to be. And if the guy's starting, he must be a
pretty good player." He showed could hit the quarterback as a 5-tech
Wise, like Flowers, was tagged with the "lack of burst" moniker.
Which wasn't true with Flower, and isn't true with Wise. It was the
Arkansas "read and react" system that takes away the first
burst, and makes DLs find a second burst. Wise doesn't play as low as
Flowers, but he is more of an edgerusher than Flowers.
liked McDermott so much I had him rated as a 3rd Round player in my first
Player Ratings. He got pushed back into the 4th by the time the Draft
started. He was a steal in the 6th. He has all the traits the Pats look
for in an OLT. He has great size and long arms. He is a rare size agility
athlete. He reminds me physically of Solder.
Solder, he played TE in high school. Which is a trait old school
evaluators like BB love. He showed up at UCLA as a 235-pound tight end.
"I was a tight end my whole life," McDermott said. "Then
when I got to UCLA, they moved me right to tackle and then I did some
tackle-tight end formations on goal-line and short yardage, my first two
years. And then I was a full-time left tackle starter." He showed
great size-athleticism playing TE and basketball in high school.
had so many similar traits as Solder at UCLA and the Combine. "[Being
a TE] helped me when I got to UCLA," Conor said. "They threw me
right in the fire at Left Tackle. It helped me. My basketball skills and
tight end ability helped me learn fast and helped me tremendously."
Solder got that same treatment at Colorado.
7.44 3-Cone Drill, 4.34 Short Shuttle! (O) 5.05, 32" Vert! And 9'2
Broad jump! He measured out at 6-7 and some change, 319-pounds, and has
great 35 1/2" arms.
didn't quite match the Combine Numbers, butt he was pretty darn close, and
was top five in the 3-Cone and Short Shuttle this year: 5.52 3-C! 4.58 SS!
(O) 5.18, 28.5" Vert, and 8'9" Broad. Plus, neither benched at
was also a Solder-like 6-7 and some change, but only weighed 307-pounds
with very nice 34 3/4" arms. "Just not strong enough to play in
our league," a
scout said. "Unless he finds more core (strength), I can't see
him being able to survive against power." Solder went in the 1st
because he was ready to be a starter, and was much more developed than
is going to need a year or three to develop, like Cannon. "I feel
like thereís room to grow," McDermott said. "And Iím excited
to get to New England with a great coaching staff there and just get to
work. Whatever they want from me, Iíll put my 100 percent effort
in." Solder is playing on the final year of his Contract.
Pats traded for a TE in the 4th to complete the triumphant of positions
that I told everyone were their only real three needs. "James
OíShaughnessy is a player who we actually did a lot of work on coming
out [in the 2015 Draft]," Caserio
said. "He was a player we did quite a bit of work on. [We] worked
him out, spent some time with him. So he was available, and we thought it
was an opportunity to add another player to our team." He has been
more of a special teams player than TE for KC.
Is The Best QB In The 2017 NFL Draft.
started Collins, Hightower, and McClellin at OLB. "Shea has
done a good job," BB said. "Shea has worked hard, he's a smart
kid, he runs well, he's athletic, he has a good set of skills, so he has
been productive for us in camp and in the one game we've had."
They all played extremely well in the Pats aggressive 4-3.
most interesting, Cyrus Jones started at CB with Butler, Chung, and
McCourty. "Well, we're getting tested," BB said about the
secondary. "We got tested last week. We're getting tested this week.
We win some, we lose some, but they're battling. They're out there every
day battling so that's a big part of it. That group has been very
consistent in terms of having those guys out there every day, keep working
to get better so that they have improved. They are getting better and
they've gone against some really good players." It will be
interesting to see who wins the Nickell role.
most interesting aspect of the NFL Draft right now for Pats Fans is
"Oh where and oh can poor Garoppolo go. Oh where of where can he go (1:37)?"
Since all Mock Drafts are an exercise in futility before the Combine and
free agency? I'm go do my own wacky thing, and show some trade scenarios
for the Pats, like Jimmy-G to the Duh Bears for the 4th Pick in the 2017
NFL Draft.This pick is
wacky. It's crazy! It might just happen. Word coming out of Chicago is
that they love-love-love their little Jimmy-G. But what do they have
to offer? Pick 36? Not when they are battling it out with Cleveland and
San Fran. This bidding war starts at pick 12. What do duh Bears have to
offer better than pick 12?
Now you can
call me crazy, but you have to remember that the Draft is about: team
building, advertisement, fan excitement, parity, yada-yada-yada. But it is also
about jobs. If you are the HC of the Bears, whose hands would you want to place your career in? A QB
who has won games in the NFL, and has been
trained by the best Coach in NFL history for three years? Or DeShone
"I'm not enamored with any of the quarterbacks in this draft, that's No. 1,"
Casserly said. "No. 2, Garoppolo today is better than any quarterback in this draft. Now, he's had three years of experience. You look at him coming out
[in the Draft]: the guy had a quick release, he's smart, he knows where to go with the ball. The guy is accurate, and he can make some plays on the move. You see all
[his skills] in the NFL. His deep-ball accuracy, you'd like that a little bit
were a GM making picks for the Bears? I would not place my career, my
dream job, on the brain of rookie QB. When I could grab a QB who has
studied the every move of the best QB ever, for three years! Would you?
More HCs and GMs get fired for drafting a rookie QB than for any other
reason. The picking up of a great QB
for a GM and HC is the difference between being fired and being geniuses.
When these guys are making picks on Draft Day they are not just thinking about
team building, this is their lives on the line.
When you put
your job on the line for a QB with less than 23 Wins in college? HC's tend
to get fired. When you Draft a QB in the top ten who hasn't started 30
games in college? His transition to the NFL is likely to cost the GM their
you draft a QB who didn't have a 2 to 1 TD to INT ratio or never completed
60% of his passes? Then your rookie QB is highly unlikely to develop into
an NFL QB who will. Though it does happen.
exceptions to the Parcells' QB Criteria. The drafting
of a QB is the most exasperating and critical aspect of a GM and HC's job.
He has to have the physical talent. He has to have the size and the
ability to take a hit and complete the next pass. He has to have an NFL arm, and an NFL brain.
Some of those are measurables. But as Bill Parcells knew, most are not. So
he created a list of criteria that does a good job of trying to measure
the immeasurables, which is an oxymoronic exercise (as immeasurables by
definition cannot be measured). Here is my list of his Criteria:
1. Be a three-year starter.
2. Be a senior in college.
3. Graduate from college.
4. Start 30 games.
5. Win 23 games.
6. Post a 2-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
7. Tally a completion rate of 60 percent or higher.
8. He must be a senior, because you need time and maturity to develop into a good professional quarterback.
9. He must be a graduate, because you want someone who takes his responsibilities seriously.
10. He must be a three-year starter, because you need to make sure his success wasnít ephemeral and that he has lived as "the guy" for some period of time.
11. He must have at least 23 wins, because the big passing numbers must come in the context of winning games.
buy the Senior aspect of the the Parcell's QB criteria anymore, because
there has to be a certain level of talent as well. Money matters too
much to the prospects. The top talents are going to come out after their
Junior seasons. That is just the economic realty of the NFL now a days. So
his criteria is a little bit out of whack, but only a little because of the
money involved for these kids. But not in principle, wisdom, or
fit most of the criteria, and he had as wacky a college career as anyone
ever did. Where he couldn't taste a start his first two seasons because of
an upperclassman in front of him, and the betrayal of his HC the last two
seasons. Which I do believe developed his competitive spirit, ability to
study and take it to the field, and helped make him the best clutch QB in NFL
As a two year starter he almost meet every
Parcells criteria including Graduating. He completed over 60% of his
He started 25 games in those two seasons, and won the Orange Bowl against
Alabama. Which included coming back from two 14-point deficits (14-0 in the 1st
and 28-14 in the 2nd). It included a game winning drive at the end of the
game, and he threw for 369-yards and 4 TDs. I watched that game, and those
guys who said he sucked at Michigan are just stupid.
His 30 to 16
TD to INT ratio is not 2 to 1, but is pretty darn close. Parcells guidelines
were likely absolute 35-years ago. They are not absolute anymore, but
they are pretty darn close. He didn't have to deal with underclassman when
he thought them up. He took Bledsoe #1 overall as Junior. So he had to
adjust his criteria for the 1993 Draft just to suit underclassmen.
You have to
look at circumstances as well, like Brady's. "I think it goes back to the fact that Drew Henson has been here two weeks and Tom Brady's been here three years,"
the HC of MU in the 90s Lloyd Carr said. "Tom Brady knows the offense.
He's a talented guy. Tom Brady is a fighter, he's a competitor, so I don't sell him short at all."
All four years of his college career Brady had to deal with wacky QB
issues created by Carr.
Brady never looked like he had the athleticism needed to play in the NFL,
but he had it mentally like no QB we ever saw. "Drew has made excellent progress,"
Carr said. "[He] has gotten better almost daily. He's picked up the offense well. He is without question the most talented quarterback I've been around. It's just a matter of continuing to compete and continuing to prepare. He's going to play some this year because he's not just 'another guy.' He's got everything you want. He is a guy who really adds a lot of mobility to that position."
But mentally Hansen was a train wreck.
showed Brady the respect he should have. "Tom Brady has paid his dues,"
Carr said. "He has worked extremely hard. He's a bright guy. He has a good arm, and he has the respect of his teammates. I'm anxious to see Tom play. He's got all the right stuff." Carr fell in love with his
top high school recruit and the rest is history: Carr was canned, Brady went on to win five Super Bowls, and counting.
25 games and won 20 of them, because he had the Senior QBs in front of him. He
also played in 4 other games. So while he didn't reach 30 starts, he did
play in 29 games after essentially redshirted his first two seasons. He
did have a TD to INT ratio of over 2 to 1 (16 to 7) in three of his
seasons combined, including his Senior season (8 to 3 ratio). But he threw
10 INTs his Junior year. Which now is obviously the aberration.
you look at Parcells criteria it is really trying to measure the intangibles
and immeasurables that QB must have: Smarts, commitment, toughness, responsible,
work ethic, maturity, Leadership, clutch-clutch-clutch play, etc.
An NFL QB must be
clutch. "He must be a senior," Parcels said, "because you need time and maturity to develop into a good professional quarterback."
It is getting harder and harder to find a talented Senior QB. But this is really
about his sticktoitiveness, commitment to team, and ability to work in a
team environment through tough times. But not all QBs can stick for four
years. They have to cash that NFL Draft Lottery ticket.
So not all
Junior QBs can be expected to graduate. "He must be a graduate,"
Parcells said, "because you want someone who takes his responsibilities seriously."
Junior QBs have to be on pace to graduate when they come out.
But that is really a measurement of: smarts, the ability to understand
complicated concepts, and the ability to read and understand books; In
particular the play book. It is about understanding lectures; In
particular coaches in the film room. And translate that knowledge to tests
and classes; In particular the football field. Can he learn, study, and excel
in test taking: on the field, in group meetings, and film study? Does he take his
responsibilities if not obsessively than at least seriously, because class
work is absolutely a responsibility in college.
are extenuating circumstances, he needs to be the leader of the team for
three or four
years, and not one year. "He must be a three-year starter,"
Parcells said. "Because you need to make sure his success wasnít ephemeral, and that he has lived as
'the guy' for some period of time." So many things: leadership,
captaincy, sticktoitiveness, courage under fire, trust of coaches, ability
to adapt, trust of his teammates, winning (because a three year starter
has to win to keep his job), etc. This is the main failure of Brady in
college. But in the intangibles in the Parcell's criteria
is trying to measure he showed all of them.
WINS MATTER JUDGING QBs MORE THAN ALMOST ANYTHING ELSE. "He must have at least 23 wins, because the big passing numbers must come in the context of winning games."
Brady was never allowed to be the fulltime do or die starter for a full
season, yet he still led them: to a 10-3 record in 1998, was 7 and 1 in
the Big-10, and beat Arkansas in the Citrus Bowl. He was also 10-2 in 1999
(including an Orange Bowl win), in
the most tumultuous seasons of his life: where he kept getting yanked out
of games, not because of performance, but because his Coach is nuts, and
kept his word to a freshman QB who sucked his way out of football.
But what it
did do was force Brady to dig their way back into games in the 2nd
Half, and comeback to win over and over. "The 1999 Michigan Wolverines started off
5-0, including a 26-22 win over Notre Dame, and a road win against eventual powerhouse Wisconsin. Against Michigan State, Brady was not chosen to play
[start] the second half [because Lloyd left Hanson in to start the 2nd
Half, and he sucked. I watched this game]. However, he was reinserted into the game with Michigan down by 17 points, and he nearly led Michigan all the way back before losing 34Ė31. After a 300-yard passing game the following week, Carr went exclusively with Brady for the remainder of the season. Brady went on to lead Michigan to multiple 4th-quarter comebacks, including a remarkable 31Ė27 win against Penn State, and leading them out of a close game against Indiana,
34Ė31." He was the fiercest QB in the 2nd Half for his last two
seasons at UM, which made him the most mentally tough QB in the 2000
Parcells' criteria is about measuring the immeasurables: heart, ability
to fight through every obstacles, taking the hits and injuries that hurt
and continuing to fight, etc. So while Brady did not meet his criteria perfectly in
college. He was ironically trained in college to meet the intangibles of
Parcell's criteria were meant to judge, better than any QB ever has while
at Michigan. He not only had to fight through a dumb freshman QB, who
couldn't play, he had to fight through a stupid HC who kept putting the
idiot QB back in the game to disrupt and destroy the offense.
Now I do
believe that this rant started off about Garoppolo. He was a four year
starter (which obviously means he was senior, though I could find no
evidence that he graduated, or didn't). He completed over 60% of his
passes. He was over a 2 to 1 TD to INT ratio by 16 TDs. He called his own
plays (smarts). He played for two HCs (which means he was smart enough to study
and learn two systems). He started every game while he was in college (which means
he was smart enough to start as a true freshman, and tough enough to play
through injuries). He actually won exactly 23 games in college.
really met all of Parcell's
criteria, and like Phil Simms he went to a small school (Morehead State).
"Garoppolo to me is not a special guy [athletically] who will just raise the level of everybody around him. Like for example,
a Luck. That's a rare guy," Casserly
said. "But yet I do think all the characteristics I talked about, the ability to be accurate, get the ball out on
time. I think he'll do a great job
there." Plus he met my criteria of: taking a head shaking hit,
getting up off the ground, and completing the next pass.
But most importantly, he has been trained for three years in the best
QB-College in football history! The Patriots, with BB, McDaniels, and TB12
tutoring him. When he finally got to start a game he was spectacular.
In his two starts, or rather wins, he was 43 for 63 for 502-yards and 4
TDs. Plus, he was near perfect on 3rd downs in those two games. Which is a
QBs main job in the NFL (well, besides wins). He averaged 252-yards and 2
TDs in the two games he started.
No QB in
this Draft matched Parcell's criteria better than Garoppolo
in college. Plus, they don't have his NFL experience learning behind the
best QB ever! Being coached by the best HC ever! Or have won
two games, and faced an NFL pass rush on 3rd and long and consistently
Okay! In a
momentary lapse of reason, I was so blown away by his composer on 3rd down
in those first two games that I would have traded Brady right then.
But in my defense that was before the greatest NFL game ever played. And,
before I thought Brady could legitimately play for two and maybe three more
So the idea
that Garoppolo isn't the top QB available in this Draft is ludicrous. If
the Bears GM Pace and their HC John Fox want to keep their jobs? There is
only one player available in this Draft who can instantly do that for
them, and he is an Illinois native.
Today ranked all the GM
and HC combos
in the NFL. Now I don't know how much validity the article has (I mean,
Browns 24? Chargers above the Dolphins)? I mean, a team in the Super Bowl,
the Falcons, 19th and a non playoff team, the Vikings, 7th is just dumb
for opposite reasons. But it was interesting. They ranked duh Bears 16th (I
mean, Bears 16th is dumb as well). To not start start with Cleveland,
49ers, and duh Bears as 32, 31, an 30 is just stupid.
Anyway, who do
think would get Pace and Foxy into next year's top five GM-HC Combo List? Watson? Trubisky?
Kizer SŲze? Wrong! The correct answer is Jimmy Garoppolo. Because Garoppolo
is the only QB in this Draft who can save these guys jobs this year.
Defense: Trey Flowers.
thought Flowers has had the best game at D-end of all the Pats. "He's
competed well," BB said. "He has definitely got some good
skills. He has shown up inside and outside, both of the defensive tackle
positions in some passing situations and at defensive end. Again, we'll
evaluate the consistency, not one game or one play, but over a lot of
snaps here in preseason, and training camp, and preseason games and see
how it all plays out, but whatever role he has or whatever role anybody
else has will be what that player earns based on their performance. We
don't hand out roles here, so I don't know." Even though Sheard had a
good game, and played against the starters.
has only played in two preseason games for the Pats. "Trey was with
us in training camp last year," BB said. "[He] was kind of a
little bit limited, never could quite get his shoulder probably to 100
percent, or whatever it was, and then went on injured reserve and missed
the rest of the year. He fought through it, he played, but wasnít really
able to explode with it like he is now. That was a strength of his at
Arkansas and for not a tall guy he has long arms, he has some length as a
player even though his stature is not exceptionally long, but he has long
arms and he plays the run well. Heís a tough kid. All of those guys
[are]: Rob, Jabaal, Chris, Shea, Geneo, Rufus. Theyíre all pretty stout
out there. [He's] got good playing strength, good length. So, that end
position in the running game, so far, Iíd say that hasnít been the
major problem for us. Itís been everything else." I thought he was
the best D-end in both games.
just has that knack for getting past blockers and into the backfield when
lined up outside and inside at D-tackle. "He didnít play a lot
inside in college," BB said. "I think there was one game against
LSU when he was in there, but for the most part he was on the edge, so
thatís an adjustment that heís making. Heís definitely getting
better at it. He has quickness and again, the play-strength, and I would
say the mentality to play in there. Itís just going to come down to
experience and getting comfortable. Itís a little bit different.
Youíre not working against as long of a guy usually at guard, and maybe
not as athletic a guy as the ones that play tackle, but there is less
space. The center is a lot closer to you. When youíre rushing against a
tackle there is usually nobody else involved. Itís just the end and the
tackle. When youíre inside, its some kind of three-on-two, so there is
another guy in there." He was terrific as an inside rusher against
missed all of last season recovering from surgery, but was able to recover
and get a step up on this season. "Trey's had a good spring and a
good camp so far," BB said. "We didn't really get to see a whole
lot of him last year. He fought through an injury and really couldn't be
as effective as what he wanted to be, so we ended up having the surgery
done on the early side so he was actually able to get into the spring
quicker than guys that would've had it, say, at the end of the season so
he was ahead of them by three, three-and-a-half months, whatever it was,
so he was able to be a full participant in the offseason program, full
participant in the spring workouts, so I think the fact that he went on
Injured Reserve so early last year is benefiting him this year because
he's had a full year of training and a full year of the installation and
all the preparation going into the season. It's good to have him out
there. He's done a good job for us when he's had an opportunity to play.
He played some in the kicking game. He's got obviously a lot of things he
has to work on, too. But he's shown up pretty much daily in one way or
another with some positive plays. He's a hard working kid so hopefully it
will continue to get better." All that hard work and sacrifice really
showed up on the field against the Saints.
doesn't have all the measurements 1st round picks have, but he has some of
the best hands on the team. "He's competed well," BB said.
"He has definitely got some good skills. He has shown up inside and
outside, both of the defensive tackle positions in some passing situations
and at defensive end. Again, we'll evaluate the consistency, not one game
or one play, but over a lot of snaps here in preseason, and training camp,
and preseason games and see how it all plays out, but whatever role he has
or whatever role anybody else has will be what that player earns based on
their performance. We don't hand out roles here, so I don't know."
Plus, he has great explosion in his legs.
don't know what his forty was, but he has great speed on the field. On one
play in the 2nd quarter, he lined up as the blindside DE. They ran the
play action to his side, and the QB took off to the other side of the
field. He was able to hustle all the way over to the far sideline, after
holding the point on the play action, and make the tackle off the fumble
caused by Harmon. He just
reads and reacts faster than any of the other D-linemen off the
misdirection play action, and was the furthest of the four from the play.
Defense: 2nd Quarter Vs Saints.
come out to start the 2nd quarter in their aggressive 4-3. They line up in
a 6-2 with Richards up at ILB. Oddly they had in Brown, Knighton, and Long
in on the D-line, and Trey Flowers. They had McClellin still in at OLB.
They also had Kamu Grugler-Hill in at ILB. I suppose having some of the
new guys in makes sense, to give them some more live experience in the
is in at D-end. He burst inside the OLT and the OLG goes to pick him up.
He spins inside of him and burst right at the QB. You can't teach moves
like that. He didn't really uses his hands, he just broke out the power
spin at the exact right time, and left the OLT and OLG in the dust. And
those were the two O-linemen who started the 1st quarter. Then he was
charging full speed to the QB. The QB made him miss with a feint to the
left, and then sprinted to the his right. Flowers recovered, and gave
chase hard enough to make the QB throw the ball away.
and 10, Pats come out in a 2-4 Nickel with Brown and Knighton inside.
Brown has a nice swim move over the OLG. But he breaks to the other side.
Knighton falls down and traps everyone on the wrong side, and Spiller
beats Coleman to the corner and turns up field. But the O-lineman who
tackled Knighton was called for a chop-block.
and 10, the Pats go into the 2-4 Nickel with McClellin standing up on the
blindside, and Long on the strongside. McClellin bursts inside the OLT,
but it is an off tackle run. He gets a hand on Spiller, but falls down.
Brown and Grugler-Hill make the tackle, and Long jumps on Spiller as well.
and 23, Pats in a Prevent. Brown
Swims over the OC, but it's a screen so the OC runs outside. Brown gets
picked up by the OLG, sees the screen, and then grabs the OLG so he can't
get outside. This was a great play by Long. He leaped up and almost tipped
the screen pass. Then turned to see that the RB had to turn around and
come back for the ball, as the QB had to throw around him. So he turned
and charged and tackled Thomas just past the LOS to force the punt. Then
Cyrus Jones had a rookie punt return, where he ran 70-yards sideways and
zero-yards up field.
come out in a 4-3 with McClellin up on the line on the blindside. They run
playaction to the blindside, and most of the front seven falls for it. But
Long maintains discipline on the strongside by himself. He gets out in
space and covers the QB like he is playing basketball. He hits the TE who
snuck back against the grain. But that only sends him further outside than
he can reach as the QB throws it to the TE. Harmon flies in, hits the TE,
and pops the ball out. Flowers, who hustled all the way over from the
blindside to get the tackle in on the guy who recovered the fumble,
was the best DE in this game.
and 6 Pats match up in a 4-2 Nickel with Richards up as the Sam. Saints
run it. Flowers moves inside, he grabs both arms of the OLG, and then
slips past him. The OLG tries to tackle him from behind with an illegal
chop block, but Flowers is still able to dive at the RB and slow him down
a little. This allows Richards to follow Flowers through the hole he
created and tackle the RB behind the LOS. Kuhn fell down as well. Then
both Flower and Kuhn get back up and help Richards take Spiller down.
and 7, Flowers and Long line up on the strongside, with Flowers inside and
Long standing up outside of him. That is a very interesting scheme for 3rd
downs. Flowers gets stuck hand fighting at the line, but Long is able to
break inside the ORT. He breaks free to the QB, but the ORT grabs him from
behind with an obvious Hold that allows the QB to throw. Coleman was able
to dive to the side of 83 and knock the pass down. But, the refs call the
obvious Hold, and the magical hands to the face by Coleman that no one
off setting penalties make if 3rd and 6 again. The Pats line up in a
similar fashion with Flower and Kuhn inside and Long and McClellin
standing up outside. They get a good rush. Two blitzers run past the QB,
and Long is a half second late getting to him. He lofts a beautiful pass
down the sideline to 13, EJ Biggers had good coverage, but the QB put it
on his outside shoulder perfectly.
and 10, Pats stay in the 2-4 Nickel, but bring Richards up into the box to
give it a 4-3 look, with Long and McClellin standing up. They run a sweep
to the blindside. Long holds contain on the backside again, and when the
RB runs back he makes the tackle. Kuhn gets in on the tackle as well. Then
the refs decide it is time for some face time again. They call a Hold on
and 20, the Pats go back to the four man line and finally get Flowers back
in the game. Flowers breaks free from the OLT with a nice spin move
inside. But the QB throws the ball to Thomas and he drops the ball.
and 10, and the refs throw a flag again. After a false start it is 2nd and
25. Pats go into a four man front, but have Long and McClellin standing
up. Both are able to drive the Tackles back to the QB. So he has to dances
to his right. McClellin shoves the OLT's feet into the QB's feet as he
tries to throw, and he falls to the ground as he misfires to 34. That was
nice pressure to cause the incompletion by Long and McClellin.
and 25, the Pats front four stays the same, but the rest of the defense
goes into a prevent. The D-end gets nice penetration again, but the Saints
had setup a screen. Flowers lined up as the strongside D-tackle, and was
the only defender to read it. He got his hands on the RB as he tried to
catch the ball, but he dropped it. Another great play by Flowers where he
just reacts mentally quicker than everyone else to force the punt.
Offense: 2nd Quarter Vs Saints.
come out 1st and 10 to start the 2nd Quarter hoping to do better.
"Like I said after the game, we have to get off to a faster
start," Garoppolo said. "That was pretty clear, we didn't start
the way we wanted to, but you know it's something we need to work on. And
I think that coming out here to practice and having fast starts and the
periods and everything it's contagious, I guess." He did play much
better in the 2nd quarter.
play shows the difference between when the starters leave and when they
are in. Garoppolo drops and sees that no one is covering Dopson. He whips
the ball at him quick. Dopson ran a quick 5-yard out. He turns like he is
going to go out of bounds, and then sees that the DBs had dropped back
into a deep zone like they were practicing a Prevent defense. So he turns
and runs up field for ten more yards and hops out of bounds untouched.
It's difficult to glean anything in this game after that play.
Pats still have the starting O-line in, except Andrews has been replaced
by Stork. Some think Stork might be released if Andrews wins the starter
role. But that is nonsense. Stork is still being paid 4th round money and
can play four positions on the O-line. He started two games last year at
and 10, Pats come out in a twin-twins Singleback. Bennett goes in motion
to the right. They run Blount behind him. Cannon and Bennett seal the end
of the line, and Blount is able to burst past two defenders to turn the
corner. Then he cuts behind a Dopson block to get the 1st down. Harper has
a nice block down field as well.
and 10 Garoppolo in the 4-Wide weak shotgun. They send two guys off the
edge, and one goes untouched. Garoppolo has to retreat for his life as he
raises his arm to throw the ball. He hit James white on the well set up
screen. "Jimmy did a good job of getting the ball off," BB said
about this play. "They were in a blitz and Harper was coming off of
the edge. So we did a good job of getting the ball around them. Shaq got
out in front and made a good block.
Stork made the defender, the linebacker sort of ran around him, and
that opened up a little space. But I'd say really the key block on the
play was by Dobson. Who got the linebacker that was in coverage on White.
It was certainly one of our better executed plays of the night,
offensively." It should have been a touchdown.
did more than just his job on three straight plays. Shaq took the legs out
of the second last defender, and Bennett had the final block on the edge
that sprung White, and allowed him to complete the 56-yard run. "He
made a tremendous play," Jimmy-G said. "Actually, a lot of guys
made tremendous plays on that. The linemen got downfield, had some nice
cut blocks and everything, and it was a well-designed play. I thought he
was in, personally, but tough call." But the refs spot the ball at
the one-friggin'-inch line. Seriously?
the Pats handed it to Blount and pops it in easily with the Pat starting
O-line going against the Saints backups. He just lowered his head behind
them. Then the Pats decide to go for Two. They come out n a 4-Wide
Singleback. They hand it to White, but he gets hit on the side by the OLB
before he reaches the LOS.
come back out 1st and 10 empty. The Pats still have four starters in on
the O-line, and Stork. Garoppolo has time. Dopson lined up in the left
slot, and the Saints still in that deep zone. When he turns to look back
at Garoppolo all the cover guys have retreated past the marker 10-yards
down field. The Saints are practicing their prevent zone. Garoppolo
3-steps, plants, and throws quickly enough to Dopson to make you feel
okay. All three linebackers turn and charge him quick enough to stop him
from getting a 1st.
Dopson is healthy, he produces. "You know, Aaronís had a good
spring and a good few days here at training camp," BB said. "I
think weíve seen that from him before. Iíd say Aaron just, for
whatever reason, hasnít been able to consistently be on the field and do
it. You know, when heís been out there heís looked good a lot, but he
hasnít always been out there for one reason or another. Hopefully. I
know heís training hard, looks like heís in good condition this year.
Hopefully heíll be able to stay on the field and continue to improve. I
think thatís really the key, you know, itís not just being healthy,
but being healthy to practice and improve. And Aaronís worked hard,
heís made some good catches, so hopefully he keeps climbing in that
direction." If he stays healthy he will help Garoppolo win the first
and 2, the Pats go power with a Twin-TE Singleback. The Pats block it well
at the point, but two D-linemen slip into the backfield and turn inside to
hit Bolden, who is trying to run a Dive. He fights for a couple of yards.
Shaq sealed the DT, but he was able to shed him and hit Bolden. Solder
slide past the big DE-63 and hit the LB, which allowed the DE to loop
around and hit Bolden first.
and 1, Pats go into a tightly wound I-formation. Dopson goes in motion to
the strongside like a TE. Develin hits the line hard, and Blount cuts
outside his block between Shaq, Bennett, and Cannon blocking very well on
the strongside, and gets the 1st.
is much better RB than given credit. "Heís been a four-down player
for us," BB said about Bolden. "Heís played the role of big
back, heís played the role of sub back, and heís played well for us in
the kicking game on fourth down. So, it might be hard to increase each
role. Itís possible, but I think it would be hard to realistically to do
that. But maybe that needs to be done." If he wasn't so valuable on
special teams he would have gotten a lot more carries a long time ago.
come out in a Twins-Twins Singleback, and Bennett goes in motion to the
Blindside. They hand it off to Blount who runs a very slow sweep to
nowhere. The entire O-line gets run over, and every single one ends up on
the ground. That was the worst calls and execution of a play so far in
this game. Blount actually did a great job only losing a yard.
and 11, Pats come out in a 4-wide Weak-shotgun. They set up a WR screen.
Garoppolo gets the ball to DeAndre Carter with nice quickness. But he had
gone in motion to the left and shifted a lot of defenders to that side. He
was luckly to reach the LOS.
and 11, 4-wide Strong-shotgun. Bolden motions into the backfield to give
Garoppolo two chippers. Both White and Bolden get in very effective Chips
to help out Cannon and Solder. The inside guys block it very well.
Garoppolo has plenty of time, and is able to step up and throw a bullet to
Mitchell. But he is coming-back too fast and slides down short of the
decide to go for it on 4th and 2 just past midfield. This is one of things
that makes Preseason football so much fun. They stick it all on
Garoppolo's shoulders by going Empty. Saints bring six guys up to the LOS.
So if they all come one of them cannot be blocked. They bring four.
Garoppolo looks left, both guys are covered. He turns to the middle and
sees the D-end running around Cannon. He makes a great quick move to avoid
him. He also avoids the DT who got the outside shoulder of Thuney and was
bulling Thuney back into him. So he took off. He got outside with his head
up, but he was running all the way. He pump faked a little, to try and
freeze the three linebackers now moving towards him. It worked just well
enough for him to dive through 54 for the 1st.
would have liked to seen him throw the ball on that pressure down.
"On the scrambling question, we talk to the quarterbacks all the time
about different situations with that being one of many-many that we
discuss," BB said. "So, they've been taught about kind of what
the guidelines are. Every play is different and every situation could be a
little bit different. There is not necessarily, I would say, one rule that
fits every situation, but again there are some general guidelines so
that's how we try to coach it and I think they understand that. I'm saying
all of the quarterbacks, Tom [Brady], Jacoby [Brissett], Jimmy and they're
trying to do the right thing or the best thing for the team, as they
should, and like I said, I think there are sometimes a number of things to
consider in that conversation and we've talked about that at length."
However, when all else breaks down it is nice to have a QB who can run.
come back out 1st and 10 in a 3-wide Strong shotgun. This might have been
Garoppolo's best throw of the game. This was the throw that restored all
my faith in him after the 1st quarter. He ran a little play action to
Bolden and looked right. Most of the rushers fell for it, which allowed
the Pats O-line to occupy all the rushers completely. Garoppolo turned to
the middle of the field as a DT was still trying to tackle Bolden. Then he
turned all the way to the left sideline, going from sideline to sideline.
He spotted the One-Armed Bandit (is that in poor taste?). He took a couple
of extra steps forward and throw a beautiful ball to Mitchell on the left
sideline. Mitchell had found a soft spot between the linebacker and
safety, and Garoppolo put it in there on the opposite side of Mitchell's
body as the safety was on.
was a great 24-yard pass and catch. "Malcolm's had a solid camp [and]
spring," BB said. "He's picked up some good techniques in terms
of route running. He had some of that at Georgia last year when Coach
Schottenheimer was there, so it was a little more of a pro offense. Last
year you could see his development in that area and I'd say he's continued
that since he's been here. So, he's making progress there. We'll just take
his situation here day-by-day and see how it goes." He needs to get
back on the field soon.
come out 1st and 10 inside the twenty in a power left Singleback. They run
a misdirection play action. The entire offense goes to the left, except
Develin. Garoppolo runs play action to Blount, and waggles to the
strongside. But 41 had blitzed up the gut and was the only defender who
wasn't fooled. He hit Garoppolo as he threw. The pass went into Develin's
feet. He wiped out as he tried to catch it off his ankles.
and 10, 3-wide Singleback. They hand it off to Bolden, but they don't
block 90 and 54. They take Bolden down behind the LOS. 90 just ran past
Stork, and 54 ran past Thuney. It looked like Stork was suppose to get to
the second level and block 54, and both Thuney and Stork went after him
instead of blocking 90, and both missed 54 as well. That was a clear
mental error by Stork or Thuney.
and 12 Pats in a 3-Wide shotgun with both RBs winging Garoppolo. Garoppolo
3-steps, and then hops up into the pocket like he is going to throw. The
O-line had blocked a perfect pocket. But he holds the ball and hops back
out of the pocket and takes off to his left. He turns his body to the
wrong side, and throws horribly across his body. That was his worst throw
of the game to force the field goal. Pats-17.
Past come back out 1st and 10 with Garoppolo padding his stats a little in
the 2nd quarter, and is now 9 for 15 with 146-yards. They go into a
Twins-Twins Singleback. The O-line wins nicely against the D-line. The
hand it to Blount. He dances a little too much at the LOS, but is able to
pop forward for four. Thuney and Stork double team the DT at the point.
Solder blocks down on the other DT. Bennett gets pushed back by the OLB,
but holds on long enough for Blount to cutback behind him.
and 6, Pats go 3-Wide Singleback. Garoppolo looks right as he drops, and
then snaps back to the left and hits Mitchell in the hands. He makes a
nice move to make the CB miss and gets the 1st down. Then he makes a great
move to make the safety miss, and heads down field for more. He gets
another 8-10 yards off his double move after he catches the ball. The
Saints brought four, and none of the Pats' O-linemen missed a block.
and 10, Pats stay 3-wide Singleback and send Carter in motion again. They
give it Blount. He hops around Kline and Stork, and rams into the line. He
falls forward over midfield, and the two-minute warning.
and 6, Pats going into a 3-Wide Strong shotgun. Garoppolo throws in rhythm
to Mitchell running a Dig on the right sideline this time. He catches the
high pass over the CB easily and turns up field. But the CB is able to
reach out and grab his foot to trip him up. It seemed a pretty innocuous
as the CB was pulling Mitchell down by his shirt, he reached out to the
ground with one hand and his elbow bent the wrong way, and he was gone.
"Malcolmís had a solid camp, spring," Belichick said.
"Heís picked up some good techniques in terms of route running. He
had some of that at Georgia last year when Coach Schottenheimer was there,
so it was a little more of a pro offense. Last year, you could see his
development in that area, and Iíd say heís continued that since heís
been here. So heís making progress there. Weíll just take his
situation here day by day and see how it goes." He has been seen on
the practice field this week already, goofing around with Gronk's giant
and 10, Pats go into a 3-Wide Singleback. Bolden charges to the line. He
cuts back behind Thuney and Stork, and turns up field at the marker still
heading towards the sideline. He finally is flipped over after 24-yards.
Solder did a nice job sealing he DE outside to help give Bolden that lane.
and 10, they hand it off to White, and he danced a little in the backfield
to make a linebacker miss, and then bolts forward for a few. I thought he
was very impressive in this game. He was their best 3rd down back last
year. But if you think back to last year he was terrible running the ball.
But so far this Preseason he has been an effective runner. Which we never
saw out of him last season. That is a massive improvement from last year.
and 7, they run a Draw. White hops through the line between Andrews and
Thuney. Then skips left past a linebacker, who was diving to his feet, and
hops forward into the safety coming up to hit him. That was a great run.
and 1, Pats go Singleback with Blount behind Garoppolo. Blount tries to
get fancy and gets taken down behind the LOS. It was not blocked great.
But it was blocked well enough for him to lower his head and have a shot
at the TD. Instead he stopped, and turned sideways to the LOS, and got
and 2, and they go Empty to put all the pressure on Garoppolo again. He
has time. He looks left, and then snaps to the right and throws a back
shoulder fade to White. White leaps up and catches it. But the linebacker
made a great play to reach between his arms and rip the ball out as they
hit the ground to essentially end the 1st half.
Pats primarily played in a 4-3 with Long, Branch, Brown, and Sheard as
their D-line in the 1st quarter. "It's really competitive,
yeah," BB said. "It's as much depth as we've had at that
position that I can remember. [There is] good competition, we have some
young guys, we have some guys with experience, and as you said, there's
some different playing styles in there so it's not quite apples to apples
with each comparison. They've all been productive. They can all do
something pretty well to keep them in a competitive situation. There may
be one guy that can do something better than another player or vice versa,
but in the end everybody's been able to do enough to kind of keep it going
in there, keep it competitive." The D-line has changed maybe more
than any other position this off-season.
are expecting a lot from Brown and Branch. "I'd say that some of it
is just supply and demand," BB said. "Guys that have a lot of
length in there, that are able to play in there, a player like Richard
Seymour; the guy is the sixth pick in the draft. A lot of the players that
are playing that position just don't have those kinds of qualities. They
have other qualities; size, maybe quickness, maybe heights not one of
them, but I think if you can get that in there, if you can get a bunch of
6' 5" defensive tackles that are as athletic and powerful as you want
them to be then probably not too many teams in the league would turn those
guys down. They're usually drafted pretty high, but there's not as many of
them. There's the Vince Wilfork's and the Malcom Brown's, guys like that
are a little more common. They just come out more like that than they do
some of the 6-5 6-6 guys." Both those guys have shown they can play.
love the idea of Brown and Branch starting together at D-Tackle.
"Malcom, he's working at it," BB said. "Kind of like last
year, the way we talked about David Andrews: played as a rookie, got some
experience, is certainly ahead of where he was last year. Both of them,
they still have a lot of room to go. They're second year players so there
are a lot of things that Malcom can work on and do better but he's making
progress. He's out there every day working at it. That's good." I
thought Branch has been their most underrated D-linemen the past couple
has spent the offseason working hard to get better physically and
mentally. "Maybe the way I see it is if a player understands what
you're telling him and he works hard to try to improve on it then he gets
better," BB said. "If he doesn't understand or doesn't want to
understand what you're telling him then how does he get better? Even if he
works hard he's probably not going in the right direction. Being able to
understand what we're doing, how to do it, and then being able to
understand how to do it better, how to improve, wherever that is, whether
it's in training, in the weight room, technique, preparation, any of those
areas, if a player understands what he can do and he works at it then he's
going to improve. But I think that's the most important thing to me, not
what he can do outside of football on some other occupation. I care about
that but I don't really care about that. I care about whether he can do it
in a football context." The Pats need him to be better this season.
He is their inside rusher at DT.
started Collins, Hightower, and McClellin at OLB. "Shea has
done a good job," BB said. "Shea has worked hard, he's a smart
kid, he runs well, he's athletic, he has a good set of skills, so he has
been productive for us in camp and in the one game we've had."
They all played extremely well in the Pats aggressive 4-3.
most interesting, Cyrus Jones started at CB with Butler, Chung, and
McCourty. "Well, we're getting tested," BB said about the
secondary. "We got tested last week. We're getting tested this week.
We win some, we lose some, but they're battling. They're out there every
day battling so that's a big part of it. That group has been very
consistent in terms of having those guys out there every day, keep working
to get better so that they have improved. They are getting better and
they've gone against some really good players." It will be
interesting to see who wins the Nickell role.
starting is a very big sign that he is going to play a lot as rookie. He
will be their starting Nickell come September. Another sign of that is
Coleman got beat on the first play of the game. "He's athletic, he's
fast, he's a productive player," BB said about Justin Coleman.
"He was productive in college. His opportunities last year were
spotty because of his availability but he did everything he could, even
with I'd say minimal reps over the course of the season relative to guys
that were out there on a continuous basis. He still worked hard, continued
to make improvement, which I think he has this spring, this training camp,
so he's getting better. He works hard at it. [He's a] very competitive
player." He lined up inside as the Nickell, and lost the race outside
on an out and up. Jones had perfect coverage in the Slot next to him.
Butler got so physical that the outside WR just stopped.
D: 1st Quarter.
and 10 Saints, the Pats come out in a 4-3 with six guys up on the line.
McClellin gets a good push on the TE, shoves him off, but misses Ingram
slashing between him and Long. Chung gets a hit in, but Ingram bounces off
and keeps going. Jamie Collins slides over from the strongside and knocks
him down hard.
and 2 Saints, Pats come out with a six-man line in their new 4-3 again.
Sheard lines up as the strongside D-end. He powers right through the
inside of the ORT and into Ingram. He grabs Ingram, gets a hand on the
ball, and rips the ball out as he is twisting in the air like a lasso.
Cyrus Jones recovered it.
and 10 Saints, this was a great play. Pats put five guys on the line with
Collins and Hightower off the line. Collins is lined up in front of the TE
on the strongside about 2-yards off the LOS. He follows him back a few
yards, and then turns outside when the tight end goes inside. Meanwhile
the WR on the outside ran an In as well, and Chung swooped in and crushed
him a split second after the ball arrived. The ball popped up, and Collins
dragged it in, and returned it for a score.
was the play of the game. "Defensively, we got the turnovers,"
BB said. "We got the two [defensive] touchdowns so that's kind of 14
bonus points. It's hard to count on that in a game. In the end that really
ended up being the difference in the final score. It was a great job by
the defense to not only turn the ball over but converting it into two
touchdowns. So those were obviously huge plays for us." Jamie Collins
is now a superstar.
it was Chung who made the play on the ball. "Anytime the defense can
score, it's a real game changer," Long said. "For the entire
team, it's a little bit of a lift so ball disruption, creating turnovers.
That's always an emphasis for everybody. So anytime you can do that it's a
good thing." Butler was actually covering #16, but Chung had over the
top on the seam. When he saw Grayson wind up, he charged forward and made
the play. Pats-8.
was very disappointed with the offense. "We had our moments," BB
said. "I think there were times where we did some good things. There
are some things we need to work on. Sometimes those guys played inside.
Like for example Trey was inside on the strip-sack that he had. So he
actually did it from the tackle position. McClellin's primarily an end. He
also played some outside linebacker for us. But in any case, that whole
group of guys that you mentioned, they did have some production. They did
some good things. Again, some other things we need to improve on."
But the defense was terrific.
come out on 1st and 10 in the 4-3 with the strongside OLB up on the LOS,
and Hightower and Collins behind them like two ILB. Collins blitzes right
into the backfield, between Long and Branch holding up four blockers, and
slams into the Saints' Hightower for a loss of three. McClellin got in on
the tackle from the other side of the line.
and 13, the left side of the Saints O-line chops Long and Brown, while the
right side of the line charges over to the blindside on the screen.
McClellin gets into position to make the tackle for the third time, and
grabs the other Hightower's leg and holds on this time. Sheard does an
amazing job hustling over to get in on the tackle after rushing from the
strongside. Brown and Long get up off the ground after the chop blocks,
hustle outside, and dive onto the RB as well.
think there are some players in that group, like McClellin, like Ninkovich
that are closer to linebackers than some of the other players," BB
said. "And then you have some of the other players, Sheard or
Flowers, that are maybe not really linebackers at all but could go inside
more than you would want to put a player like McClellin or Ninkovich
inside. I'm not saying they wouldn't go in there from time to timeÖ Your
right, they're all a little bit different and we're kind of having to
learn and adjust and figure that out. It's, in a way, kind of similar to
the defensive tackle position, too. They're working hard, they're all
really trying to do what we ask them to do but they have some different
skill sets and I think it's part of our job to figure out how to best
utilize those skills." They
look like they have the most versatile front-7 in the NFL.
defense showed they have amazing depth at all three levels. "It's
really competitive, yeah," BB said. "It's as much depth as we've
had at that position that I can remember. [There's] good competition, we
have some young guys, we have some guys with experience, and as you said,
there's some different playing styles in there so it's not quite apples to
apples with each comparison. They've all been productive. They can all do
something pretty well to keep them in a competitive situation. There may
be one guy that can do something better than another player or vice versa,
but in the end everybody's been able to do enough to kind of keep it going
in there, keep it competitive." They will be a huge force in helping
Garoppolo win the first four games.
and 7, Pats go into a 2-4 Nickel with Collins at ILB. The the only LB off
the line. They rush four. McClellin turns the corner and gets into
position to hit the QB, but the QB was winding up and let it go just in
time. Hightower rushed from the strongside, and spun off the ORT and
leaped up into Grayson face as he threw. But Grayson hit Fleener, who was
being covered by Chung for the 1st.
and 10, Saints stay 4-Wide. Pats stay in the 2-4 Nickel, except they have
Collins and Hightower in at ILB. The run too Collins side, and he slashes
around the ORT and hits the RB. Kuhn holds off the ORG and stops the RB
cold as Collins grabbed him from behind. McClellin got a hit in as well.
and 8, they are really liking the big 4-3. They keep Collins and Hightower
in a ILB, and McClellin at OLB on the strongside. With Knighton and Kuhn
in at DT. Hightower slices around the line and dives at the other
Hightower's feet. He grabs a foot and holds on to secure the tackle. But
it was Sheard and Kuhn at the point who held their ground inside the waves
of player surging to the strongside that help make the tackle.
and 7, Pats go into a 1-4 Dime, with Collins at MLB. He is the only one
who doesn't blitz. Sheard is standing up inside of McClellin on the
Blindside. They stunted, as Sheard burst into the OLT and McClellin swings
inside underneath him. It looks like both are going to hit the QB, but
Sheard gets tacked to the ground, and the refs call a drive ending Hold.
The QB hits the RB in the hands, and he drops it. So the Pats can refuse
the hold and force the punt. That might have been Sheard best play of the
game. He stunned into the OLT, and the OLG stayed with him, and he still
flushed the QB. And it also allowed McClellin to go untouched looping
inside the OLG.
and 10, Pats come out in the 4-3 with five guys on the Line and Hightower
and Collins ready to dominate at ILB. The play is slow to develop.
McClellin makes a great play shoving off Fleener, and diving inside to hit
the RB. Sheard absorbs the double at the point and breaks free to get a
shoulder in on the RB. And Branch gets through the center to get in on the
play as well.
and 8 at the 11, Pats stay aggressive in their 4-3. They line up McClellin
and Collin like 3-4 OLB, with Hightower in as the Mike. They run play
action to the blindside. Grayson waggles to the right unaccompanied by
blockers. The FB Kuhn crosses from the left, and is the only Saint going
in the same direction as Grayson. McClellin reads it and shoves Kuhn, the
FB. But that just shoved him wide open to the flat. Grayson lobs the pass
past McClellin, but he catches up and tackles Kuhn out of bounds.
and Goal from the 4, Pats go 2-4 Nickel. They run a smash. Collins catches
Ingram at the 1 and stands him up. He starts to push Ingram back, and
falls down. Ingram scoots to the left and tries to get in but Cyrus Jones,
McCourty, and Butler were there to stop him inside the One. Then they run
a Dive to the other side and Ingram digs under all the big guys like a
gopher for a TD. Jamie Collins dived on him in the middle of the hole, but
he was moving to fast and low to stop. Saints come out for a 2-point
conversion. They run play action but the Pats had everyone covered.
Meantime Grayson had bootlegged outside and ran it in for the 2-point
Pats defense comes back out on 1st and 10. Pats defense stays in their
aggressive 4-3, which they are really running like a blitzing 3-4. They
bring six guys up to the line with Collins on the right and McClellin on
the left. Hightower sits at MLB. The Saints line up big, but throw.
Grayson 3-steps and throws too quickly for the rush to even start. The
Pats front seven were clearly playing run. He hits Thomas in the left
flat, and Cyrus Jones quickly shoves him out of bounds.
and 1, Pats stay aggressive with their 4-3, but take Collins off the line.
They hand it to Spiller. He has to hop cut to the left to avoid Sheard
bursting inside. Sheard jumps on his side and tries to rip the ball out
and falls down. McClellin and Collins actually make the tackle. I didn't
notice McClellin when I first watched the game, but he is having a great
game. Sheard didn't make the tackle, but slowed him up enough for
McClellin to swoop in from behind and stop him for nothing.
and 10, the Pats bring six of their front seven up to the line again, and
bring Chung up like a linebacker. However, they only bring four in the
rush. Long gets the outside shoulder of the OLT, but turns sideways and
falls down. Sheard gets up field with a bull. Then he makes an inside move
and shoves off the ORT and gets a lane to the QB. Grayson has to take off
to his right, and hits Hightower crossing underneath. He catches it and
turns up field for the 1st.
and 10, Saints go 4-Wide. Pats match up with a 2-4 Nickel. Saints run.
Knighton swims over the center and forces the RB to bounce it outside, and
Justin Coleman is waiting for him. He dives his shoulder pads into the
RB's feet and takes him down instantly.
and 8, Pats essentially go into a 5-3 with McClellin standing up on the
Blindside and Chung at the Will. Sheard gets a great rush. He uses both
his hands to shove off both of the ORT's arms, and cuts inside him. He
gets double by the ORG and still hits Grayson as he throws. The throw is
high and outside as he lofts one down the sideline to Thomas. Thomas
catches the bad pass and flips out of bound, and as you watch it he is
clearly out of bounds. But, when you see it on replay he did impossibly
get both feet down with the ball in his hands before he flipped out of
and 10, Pats go 4-3 and bring both OLBs up to the line again, with
Hightower as the Mike. Saints run play action. Long gets a nice rush. He
hits the RB, off the play action, and then almost pushes him back into
Grayson. But Grayson throws quickly to 83 going against the grain. He runs
diagonally to the 10, underneath the coverage guys. Then makes Harmon miss
with a quick inside move. Collins and Coleman jump on him and he slides
down inside the Five.
come out in an I, on 1st and goal from about the Four. Pats go 4-3 with
McClellin on the line, and Collins and Hightower at ILB. Saints run a Dive
to the FB. He smashes into the line. But Kuhn and Knighton hold their
ground. After a big scrum, it looked like Hightower finally knocked him
and Goal from the One. Saints go into a 4-Wide shotgun and spread the D
out. Then Grayson quick snaps it before the D is really ready. Ingram
dives over the top for a TD. Saints go for Two, like it seems both teams
decided to do. They run a Jet Sweep that the defense was not prepared for.
Not Good Enough.
was not great. "It wasn't our best start, no question," Jimmy
said. "We started a little slow, which we never want to do, but
that's going to happen sometimes. You're not going to always start the
right way and it's just how you react to that. It was a good experience
tonight just being put in a difficult situation and then just seeing how
the guys responded, how everyone responded. I think we reacted in the
right way." In fact, he was not very good at all against the Saints.
has to be better against Chicago right away. "I think Jimmy has got
good presence for the position," BB said. "I think he always
has. Again, it's always a work in progress. There's always development.
Every player develops throughout the course of their career as they gain
experience. That's no different than him or anybody else, but I think his
demeanor is good." Nobodies really great in the first Preseason game,
because it is still practice.
he was terrible. "Defensive signal callers and quarterbacks, part of
their position is to get other things to other players, make calls, make
adjustments, do the right thing that other people are counting on them to
do," BB said. "It's their decision to make. So, doing that,
playing with poise, there are 1,000 things, probably 10 things on every
play. In general players that have a good aptitude for it or some guys are
better at it than others, that's all." I just don't think he got the
ball where he needed to get it.
I'm not looking at him as a backup. I'm looking at him as the starting QB
of the New England Patriots in September. "I think I'm working in the
right direction," Jimmy said. "I said earlier this week, there's
plenty of things I could work on, little things here and there. That's
just part of being a quarterback. There are a lot of little things here
and there and you want to be the best at your craft." I'm looking at
him to be good enough to force them to trade Brady after this season.
mean! I meanÖ
the Pats have a Playoff future for 10 to 12 years instead of two or three.
I'm looking for him to be an Aaron Rogers: a young almost untested QB, who
replaced a living legend, proves to be a very successful for 10 to 12
years, and goes on to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory, or
two. I'm not looking for the Pats to trade him for a bag of beans. It is
looking now like both Brady and Jimmy-G will be on the Pats next season,
which is unacceptable. It means the Pats will have to Franchise Jimmy-G
after the 2017 season, and makes things so much more complicated for the
do not want both Jimmy-G and TB12 to be on the roster for the 2017 season.
They will both have 1st round value this coming offseason. One of them
needs to be traded for a 1st this coming offseason, and the other
needs to take over complete control of the team. I was positive they would
go with Jimmy-G. Not because he is better than Brady, or because he will
be better than Brady in 2017, obviously. But because Brady will
have a year or so left as a viable option at QB, Jimmy-G will be a viable
option for 10 to 12 years at QB. But what he showed in the 1st quarter
Thursday night was nowhere near good enough to make him a viable option to
for the panic attack:
Jimmy-G has shown that he is a hard worker in practice but they need more,
now. "I think that happened day one when he came here," BB said.
"I think he has always done that. I don't think it's been any
different this year. I think he has grown this year but I don't think his
approach has been any different and I think he does have that. I'd agree
with that." But when you convert 1 of 4 3rd downs (with two sacks)
against the starters in the 1st quarter of a Preseason game, that is as
bad as it gets.
certainly where some extenuating circumstance (obviously no Gronk and
Edelman), and the Pats O-line was not great. "I think that's always
been a strength of Jimmy," BB said. "He's a tough kid and he's,
I think, responded well from those in the past. I can't remember too many
quarterbacks getting hit harder or more often than he did against Buffalo
a couple of years ago. I don't think that's an issue. He's been resilient
and has good toughness." He took some seriously vicious hits and got
back up like nothing happened.
made Garoppolo look like he was going to go 0 and 4 to start the Regular
Season. "The situations out here, they're live," Jimmy said.
"You don't know what the situation is going to be on the next play.
You don't know what's going to happen, a turnover, whatever it may be.
Whatever the situation is, in practice, a preseason game, regular-season
game, whatever it is, you've got to treat them all as important." He
did not look as prepared as he needed to be for the unknown against the
was genuinely terrifying, because the 1st quarter is really the only true
judgments you can make in the first Preseason game. "We still have
three preseason games," Garoppolo said. "So it's hard to judge,
but I think we're going in the right direction. As an offense, as a team,
we've got to take it one day at a time, one practice at a time and
everything. We'll be where we want to be by the end of the
preseason." He better be.
was only the first Preseason game, which is usually virtually meaningless.
But, he can't go into Arizona and play like that. He was statistically 3
for 7 in the 1st quarter (with one completion on 3rd down). But he
actually dropped back to pass 9 times in the 1st quarter for: 3
competitions, got sacked twice, and had zero TDs (as did the entire
offense). But what really worried me is that he was 1 for 4 on 3rd downs.
That is just not good enough.
1st and 10 they handed the ball off to Blount, and it looked like the
rookie Thuney got a great block, sealing the DT on the backside. Cannon
had a good block as he rode the DE to the other side of the line. But two
Saints burst into the backfield and hit Blount behind the line. Which is
always the fault of the O-line. Andrews got burnt by the big NT, who
actually made the tackle.
and 12, The Pats go 3-wide. Thuney picks up #70 and stones him at the
line. Mason shoves the other DT out of the play. Garoppolo throws a nice
quick pass to Bennett. He looked over at the H-Back in the left slot, and
came across the field to Bennett on an out on the right sideline. The
protection was excellent. By the way just for clarification, Andrews
started the game a center, not Stork.
and 5 with Trips left. Solder gets beat by an outside move by #91 for a
sack, and Cannon gets beat by a power move that sends him right back into
Garoppolo by 98. It was a great move by 98. He actually jammed the RB
coming out of the backfield, and then turned into Cannon and hit Garoppolo
to force the punt. Thuney and Andrews were excellent in pass pro doubling
99 inside. Shaq got jacked a little, but held onto 95 long enough to keep
him out of the play.
Jamie Collins' interception return for a touchdown the Pats decided to go
for Two. The Pats came out in a 4-Wide Weak Shotgun. Jimmy-G handed it off
to White who slashed behind a down block by Cannon for the TD. Cannon
grabbed the D-end and tossed him inside. That might have been the best
block of his career. Pats-8
and 10, Garoppolo has a nice smooth 3-step drop. He turns to Bennett after
looking left in his drop, and hitches and throws in rhythm. But it is a
bad throw. The CB had inside leverage, and he threw it inside. That should
have been an easy competition to Bennett's outside shoulder. The CB would
never have been able to get to the ball. Not only was it low and inside
instead of high and outside, but Bennett had to interfere with the DB to
prevent the INT.
Pats came out on 2nd and 10. They hand the ball off to White. He cutback
behind a Bennett block to reach the LOS. Cannon and Shaq had collapsed the
right side of the D-line so he was able to slice through for three yards.
That play was blocked well.
and 7 Empty. Garoppolo has time in the pocket and throws at DeAndre
Carter, but again the accuracy is off just enough for him to be unable to
drag it in. That is not what you want against the Saints 1st defense. The
O-line kept the rushers off him again. Thuney doubled the outside rusher
with Solder, and hit him so hard he almost fell down. Saints only brought
three as one DT zone dropped. So Andrews and Shaq doubled the other DT and
stoned him. Cannon did a nice job kicksliding back to cut off the big
D-End at the pass. The Pats are forced to punt, and all the cover guys
loose their lanes, and the returner goes wild and takes it over midfield
to the Pats 15. It was finally Grissom who hustled through the chaos to
make the tackle.
come out 1st and 10 in a Twins right Singleback. Garoppolo five steps
drops, hitches, and throws in rhythm to Bennett underneath the coverage.
He catches it heading outside. He turns up field and dives for the first.
That was Garoppolo's best throw of the game. Garoppolo got hit by two guys
as he threw. Cannon got into nice position kicksliding back again, but
Shaq got beat by the DT looping outside behind the DE, and hit Garoppolo
high. Andrews and Thuney were efficient again, but Solder got beat low by
the DE, who turned and dived into Garoppolo's legs after he threw.
Garoppolo got high-lowed there with two vicious hits.
and 10, Pats go into a Twins left I. The O-line wipes out the D-line
inside. But it is suppose to be an off tackle run by Blount. The Saints
OLB shots outside to protect the edge. Blount tries to cuts back inside,
but can't make 59 miss.
and 9, Pats in a Weak formation. Garoppolo 3-steps and gets swarmed over.
He whips it wildly outside, but it skips past Develin out in the flat.
This play was another example of why the O-line is so important. Garoppolo
had three guys diving into him as he threw and there was virtually no way
he could complete the pass. As the O-line goes, so goes the offense. He
got absolutely crushed again by the DT 98.
and 9, this is the money down. Pats in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Bolden
motions into the backfield with White and Garoppolo. Both White and Bolden
chip on the D-ends. Bolden had such a great hit he knocked the strongside
DE on his butt, and then cut out to the flat. Garoppolo had so much time
that he starts hopping up and down, and finally fires it to Bennett for a
big 1st down, and his first 3rd down conversion. In fact, it was his only
3rd down conversion of the 1st quarter. Again, it was the great blocking
by the O-line that allowed it to happen.
and 10, Pats go into a 3-Wide I. They run play action, but none of the
rushers fall for it. Garoppolo spins under the first rusher and gets away.
Then instead of throwing it away he tries to make a play. But he runs
backwards and then gets tackled backwards for a 14-yard loss.
and 24, Pats in a Singleback. They run Bolden and he bursts through a big
hole created by the interior O-line. He almost breaks it. 3rd and 15,
4-Wide Weak shotgun. All the interior guys are solid again. The DEs get
the corner, but Garoppolo is able to step up. However his throw was way
off. That was his worst throw of the game. He had plenty of time. He
stepped up nicely it the pocket. Then he missed White by two or three
yards to force the punt.
of the funniest things about things about Darth Goodell's
railroading Brady is that now, technically, Brady is not the starting QB.
So he doesn't have to be made available to the media on the podium until
after September. Now he just stands in a corner and takes questions:
Here he is on the reason why he finally surrendered to tyranny: "It was just a personal
decision," TB12 said. " I try to come out here and just focus on what I need to do to get better and help our team, and like I said, I'll be excited to be back when I'm back. I'll be cheering our team on and hope we go out and win every game."
Interpretation: It is time to get back to football so I can get my revenge
on the field, which is the only place I have the power to truly stick it
to the NFL.
how much watching Jimmy-G quarterback his team for four games hurts his
soul: "I've tried to just be as positive as I can be," the
Tomster said carefully. " I think that's kind of always been my motto. I know over the course of my career, I've been faced with different things and I've tried to overcome them the best way I could or the best way I knew how. I'll try to do the same thing. I just want our team to go out there and play really well. I think we've had really good competition, trying to push each other so that we're ready to go. It's tough competition, the NFL. Every team is working real hard this time of year and we can't take any days off. We have to go out there and try to work on something every day. Everyone has to be ready to go."
Interpretation: FU and the Ass Monkey too.
"the dreaded decision"... again: "I think it's just
personal," the Tominator said. " I've tried to move on from it. I try to just, like I said, focus on the positive, being here with my teammates and getting better. You don't want to go out and do anything but try to be a great example for your teammates. We've got a lot of competitive guys that have been out here on the practice field and I think that's where the focus needs to be."
Interpretation: I just answered that question you idiot.
his family: "My family's been everything to me," TB-Daddy-O
said. "And obviously, the support of my teammates and coaches, Mr. Kraft and Jonathan.
The whole team and all of our fans. I said the other night, I think we've got the best fans in the world, and we do. Hopefully we give them a lot of reasons to cheer this year."
Interpretation: I love you man!
how pissed off he really is at being exiled on the Chateau d'If: "I always approach it, I have a job to do, and I try to approach it the best way I
can," Zen Brady said. "I've always tried to do things the same way. Every day is important to me, certainly as someone who's been around here for a long time, I know I have to bring it every day. I think I just try to go out there and lead by example, try to bring it and show my teammates that I'm ready to bring it mentally and physically every day."
Interpretation: (*^%) YOU! AND THE !&& *&$! HORSE YOU RODE IN
ON. YOU *&^&* *&%# %$@$#^ )@*&# &#^%&@
)*&()! Hey Rodger, you can suck it too.
how much he will hate missing games... huh... again... "I'll deal with that when it
comes," Tip-toeing through the tulips Tom said. "I could have a plan and then change the plan, I really don't know. I'm really focusing on every day and trying to get better. One of my coaches said, ĎLook, you've just got to get better every day,' and that's where my focus has been. These days are important for me, they're important for every guy on this team to get better and make the improvements. Collectively, it's a long season. We've got a good, competitive team. Like I said, I'm just going to be rooting for us to win every game that we're playing that I'm not in, and certainly when I'm in I hope we win every game, too."
Translation: Even though I will be so transcendentally jealous of little
Jimmy-G that I will be spiriting bad thoughts about his mother for a
month, the Mighty New England Patriots going 16 and 0 this season might
make the false imprisonment worth it.
pissed are you right now at King George Goodell: "I'm pretty much the
same," Major Tom said. "I've been that same way for a long time. I think it's just a way to elevate everybody's game. It's a very competitive team, it's a competitive sport. You've got to bring it mentally every day. You've got to have an attitude about you. We have a lot of guys on this team that bring that. Trying to push their buttons, I love to do that, and they push it back. I think that gets the best out of everybody."
Translation: Ground control to idiot media guys, "I flip-out and
swear on the field every year, like an oxygen deprived Astronaut. Most of
you trouble makers have seen me do it every year! Do you really have to
act like me just being me is so far out that it gives you amnesia, and not
some silly sign of annoyance at being exiled on the moon.
how being sentences to the Chateau d'If has changed him: "Honestly, I'm just trying to be as good as I can be every
day," Tomichick said. "I think making improvements in certain
areas, we've tried to make them. We changed our offense; we've had a lot of, kind of new players on the team, and just have been trying to incorporate them, so I feel like we're building towards something. We've got a lot of meaningful preseason games coming up that we have to see some improvements in and we've got a lot of practices left. It's a long season so it's just going to be a lot of hard work, a lot of discipline and effort. Like I said, I'm going to go out and do the best I can do in whatever role that I'm asked."
Translation: it is what it is.
Up for Mr. Jones.
find it so surprising that everyone is so willing to just dismiss the 12
sacks that Chandler Jones had last season that helped the Pats place second
to Denver in total Sacks last season. He was the leader of rush, and the
guy other O-lines had to account for first. He was a ball of energy on the
edge with an attitude that bothered QBs. So as important as it is to get
Garoppolo ready to start the season, I think it is just as important to
get the rush back to last year's status.
first move was getting Chris Long, and we know BB was a big fan of his
dad. "Well, weíve known Chris for a long time," BB said.
"He came out in í08, or whatever it was, so from scouting him back then and playing against him, seeing him in the league. Coach
Daly was with him at the Rams, so he had a little bit of knowledge of him. Chris obviously missed some time here the last couple of years so part of that was just where he was physically, but I think heís been able to train. Heís in good shape. He had a good offseason for us. Heís definitely ready to compete."
The Pats were picking 7th in the 2008 NFL Draft and where interested in
Long. When he went 2nd to the Rams the Pats traded back with New Orleans
to pick 10 to select Jerod Mayo.
was coached by BB's ex D-Coordinator Al Groh. So they got the inside scoop
from him. "I think we did that," BB said. "Chris, he was the 2008 draft, right? Which was the
Mayo draft. Where we picked higher than we normally pick. I think we were at seven, Chris ended up going at four or five, whatever it was, so he was in that conversation. We
didnít know whether heíd be there or not be there but thatís part of the conversation. We did a lot of work on him. In the end, he was drafted before we picked so it never played out but we definitely spent a good amount of time with Chris and of course talked to Al and the other coaches down there. But thatís a long time ago. At this point I think the players definition of his NFL abilities and value is based on,
thereís a lot of evidence there much more so than there is in college. I think that ship has probably sailed from an evaluation standpoint."
Now he is an NFL Veteran looking to regain some of his passrush prowess.
he has lost some of his edge speed because of the riggers of the NFL. So
they plan to move him inside a little on rushing downs. "Chris would fall into that
category ;as a DE who can rush inside], same thing," BB said. "He really hasnít played inside, but weíve played him some in there."
He has the size and experience to help make up for some of Jones' sacks
it is a whole different world rushing inside than it is outside. "Itís a different type of
matchup," BB said. "Generally, when an end works against a tackle itís pretty much just those two guys. Sometimes a back or a tight end might chip him but for the most part itís pretty much truly a one-on-one situation from a wider alignment with rush-lane responsibilities on the edge. Inside thereís a third guy involved somewhere between the center and the guards against usually two rushers, unless you blitz but letís just say you donít, if you rush four then itís some version of three-on-two in there, so youíre dealing with another guy that youíre just not dealing with outside. The guards are generally have a little less length and a little less athleticism than the tackles but you also have a little less space in there. Seeing the way the protection slides, which way the center goes, whether youíre rushing on the guard or rushing on the center; as a defensive end youíre really not that worried about which way the slide is going because that doesnít affect you too much. It might affect you from the inside to make an inside move on the tackle. The guard might be there, but again, Iíd say overall thatís less of an issue than when youíre playing inside, so there are some scheme things, thereís a little matchup difference. Itís different for the guards to see those guys inside like
that too, that usually have more length, more speed, more quickness, less power generally."
It is also a shorter distance to the QB.
are going to try and use five or six guys to make up for the loss of pressures,
hurries, hits, and sacks that Mr. Jones had such a flare for doing. "Yeah, well I think really the key number is six
[passrushers], not five," BB said. "If itís five, they can identify who youíre five are then theyíre going to be five-on five. Thatís what we see. If there is six, then thereís I would
say on paper anyways, a potential mismatch of a back or a tight end on one of those
guys: a defensive end, or Hightower, or Collins, or linebackers, but you could call them ends if you wanted to.
So I would say those are where the mismatches are. And then, if so, it could be any number of things where we could locate them. If thereís only five guys, if the team has one good blitzing linebacker and four down lineman then what we would do,
what most teams would do, try to do probably is just us five have those five and sort it out from there and get the other protector, usually the back, the sixth guy."
If they get seven sacks from Long, they only need the other five guys to
make up one extra sack each.
guy who is going to help close that gap is Trey Flowers. "Trey was with us in training camp last
year," BB said. "[He] was kind of a little bit limited, never could quite get his shoulder probably to 100 percent, or whatever it was, and then went on injured reserve and missed the rest of the year. He fought through it, he played, but wasnít really able to explode with it like he is now. That was a strength of his at Arkansas and for not a tall guy he has long arms, he has some length as a player even though his stature is not exceptionally long, but he has long arms and he plays the run well. Heís a tough kid. All of those guys, Rob [Ninkovich], Jabaal [Sheard], Chris [Long], Shea [McClellin], Geneo [Grissom], Rufus [Johnson]; theyíre all pretty stout out there. [Theyíve] got good playing strength, good length. So, that end position in the running game, so far, Iíd say that hasnít been the major problem for us. Itís been everything else."
They need all those guys in the rush even more.
is more of an outside rusher than Long is now. "He didnít play a lot inside in
college," BB said. "I think there was one game against LSU when he was in there, but for the most part he was on the edge, so thatís an adjustment that heís making. Heís definitely getting better at it. He has quickness and again, the play-strength, and I would say the mentality to play in there. Itís just going to come down to experience and getting comfortable. Itís a little bit different. Youíre not working against as long of a guy usually at guard, and maybe not as athletic a guy as the ones that play tackle, but there is less space. The center is a lot closer to you. When youíre rushing against a tackle there is usually nobody else involved. Itís just the end and the tackle. When youíre inside, its some kind of three-on-two, so there is another guy in there, another body in there thatís generally not in play in the tackle-defensive end matchup. So, itís a little bit different but heís making progress on it."
So we could see Flowers and Long lined up next to each other all over the
line, which is a nice place to start replacing those 12 Sacks.
Mitchell was getting some run with the ones. He has been steadily
progressing in one on ones. From getting a lesson on hand usage from
Washington, to beating guys with his quickness and athleticism. You could
see him using his hands and arms to shove off CBs trying to grab his
shirt, like Nate the veteran told him to do. He shows some nice quick feet
on Digs. He flies up in the air on fades in the endzone and leaps over
everyone they put on him. He still loves the shake an' bake with his
shoulders a little too much.
of Brady, he has been taking reps specifically from David Andrews.
"David played a lot of football for us last year, smart kid, very
football savvy," Belichick said. "He's got good instincts for
the position. I think he built on last years' experience. [We] saw that in
the spring. He's always got good command, but I'd say he's got more
command, more confidence, maybe sees things just a little fraction of a
second quicker because he anticipates it more and has seen it more."
Stork has been working with Garoppolo in practice.
and Ninkovich started taking over some of the leadership roles that left
with Chandler Jones. Ninkovich was in a great hand fight with Cannon. He
has to be the old veteran leader now. Sheard has been killing it. He has
been going against the Pats ones on the O-line, and eating them up. He can
rush inside as well. He was killing Solder in one on ones. He has to have
a great season now that Jones is gone, and all's they got for their top
sacker last year is an IR-guy and a CB from Alabama. And of course some
Cap space to sign Collins, Hightower, and Butler (they better).
Dopson continues to be the top WR with Edelman out. "Aaron's had a
good spring and a good few days here at training camp," Belichick
said. "I think we've seen that from him before. I'd say Aaron's just,
for whatever reason, hasn't been able to consistently be on the field and
do it. When he's been out there he's looked good a lot, but he hasn't
always been out there for one reason or another. I know he's training
hard, looks like he's in good condition this year. Hopefully he'll be able
to stay on the field and continue to improve. I think that's really the
key. It's not just being healthy, but being healthy to practice and
improve and Aaron's worked hard. He's made some good catches. So hopefully
he keeps climbing in that direction." When he is healthy he is the
most physically talented WR on the Pats Roster.
ends working on blocking had Bennett and Gronk going at it a little.
"I was super excited to see him go out there," Gronk said about
Bennett. "I made a couple big catches and he went, made a big catch,
so it's great to see that; other players out there making big plays. And
it's all about a team coming together and celebrating together after. It
was super cool. It's awesome to see things like that." Gronk has been
celebrating on the field, like Darth Goodell will be on September 11th.
had a great endzone catch from Brady, and celebrated as only Gronk can:
going out and high-fiving with the fans. "We out here for the fun of
it, and for the grind," Gronk said. "We understand that if they
make a play they will be celebrating. You know, you see them celebrating.
It's part of the competition. If you don't want them (offense) celebrating
[you gotta] make a play and stop us. If they don't want us to celebrate,
they gotta stop us. So it goes both ways. That's what cool about it'' He
also grabbed a tough catch through Chung. He is a difference maker not
just on the field, but on the practice felid. But he got his teammates
chest bumping, high-fiving and laughing with each other.
kid who has been excellent so far is Cyrus Jones. "It's a little bit
of a different skill," BB said. "As a returner, you're basically
going forward, kind of like a receiver. A receiver goes forward; defensive
backs spend a lot of time going backwards. One way or another even if they
turn and run they still have to go from facing one way to facing the other
way. A returner is like a receiver, you're going forward and you usually
know where you're going, where as a defensive back, you spend a lot of
time going backwards and you don't know where you're going. So they're
different." The best way for a youngster to make the team is to
impress the special teams coach.
has not just been impressing the special teams coach, but the DC as well.
"It's similar I think to what we saw at Alabama: smart kid, athletic,
obviously very good hands, he's got good quickness, good ball skills, led
the nation in punt returns," Belichick said. "I think you can
see his return skills out there. So, he turns the ball over defensively if
he can get his hands on it. He can make plays on the ball." He has
been very physical in coverage, which he needs to do as a shorter corner.
not only has been impressive on special teams but he has shown the ability
to stick with WRs in drills. "He's fast. He's quick. He's
smart," BB said. "He obviously was well coached [and] played in
a great system at Alabama. Nick [Saban] did a great job with him, like he
does with all of his defense backs down there. He's fundamentally a good
technique player. But you know, it's another level here, and so he'll have
to make that adjustment like all rookies do. But I think he's competed
well and has a lot of things going for him." He was a shutdown Corner
at Alabama last year on a Championship team.
has adjusted so quickly that he is already bringing his athleticism to
coverage. "I mean you play football your whole life, especially once
the nerves calm down," McCourty said. "But I remember my rookie
year [when the pads came on], you're just nervous. You don't know what to
expect, what the tempo kind of is, how you practice at the next level. But
they'll ease. They'll calm down, and then they'll be ready to go."
Jones looks to me like he has eased, and is ready to go.
had some nice coverage on White in one on one drills. Donald Brown got
some hand offs from Brady. Brown has also been showing some amazing lateral
bursts in drills. Garoppolo has had three turnovers in the heavy rain. He
dropped a ball, and two of his guys dropped passes (Martin and Mitchell)
that were then intercepted. You have to play in bad weather in New
went down with a shoulder injury. He has been on the field, and soon was
participating in drills again. "Like I always say, any good player
you add to the team, it helps out," McCourty said. "Hogan is a
hard-working guy. Working out with him for the first time this offseason,
I saw how much work he puts in, so just that day-to-day grind of him
coming out, he catches everything. Just him going out there trying to beat
guys, especially in training camp, the competitive edge of going day after
day, play after play against each other, I think he'll get us a lot
better." Believe it or nor, but he is the highest paid WR on the
they are counting on him to have a better season than any he had in
Buffalo. The problem with signing Patriot's killers, like Chandler, is
that when they don't play the Pats. And when they can't pad their stats
against the Pats, their stats don't look that good. However, he did look
very good running with the Ones in the first two days of camp.
McClellin was a D-End at Boise, who got lost at OLB in Chicago. Then found
a home with the Bears at ILB. But now is working at D-end for the Pats.
"I like doing whatever," Shea said. "Honestly,
itís not my job to pick where I play. Thatís the coachís job and
Iím just going to come out, work hard, show them what Iíve got and
theyíll put me where I best fit. I donít care either way." He has
started to show that he can get up field like he did at Boise. Though I
did find him a little straight-linish at Boise.
has a lot of learning to do still to find his home on the Pats.
"Itís been pretty good so far, getting used to the techniques and
the fundamentals," McClellin said. "Iím just coming in every
day and working. Learning from the coaches, learning from the older guys
like Chris and Rob and Jabaal. So far, so good." He has looked like a
nice backup for Long, Ninkovich, and Sheard.
will get some more chances to rush the passer when New Orleans is in town.
"Itís been so far, so good, like I said," Shea said.
"Youíve got to learn not just your position. Youíve just got to
learn the concept of the play and know what everyoneís doing. But so
far, so good." They have to make up for Chandler Jones' lost 12 Sacks
of my favorite players the Pats have picked up the past few years (and
re-picked up) is Tyler Gaffney from Stanford. "Obviously, he can get
the job done," Blount said. "Heís a good back. Thatís why
heís here. Thatís why heís getting the chance to showcase what he
can do. I like him a lot." He was a great power back at Stanford.
he might be a little optimistic about his potential. "The way
[Marshon Lynch] ran," Gaffney said. "How he took everything
personal. Iíd kind-ah like to replicate that. Be my own back, but the
same mentality. It feels good to get back into what football is based
around." But you have to dig the confidence.
has been moved up and down and all around since he joined the Pats a
couple of years ago. "Iím trying to keep up," Gaffney said.
"Aiming to be a three-down back, if I can do it all. If they only
need me for the first two downs and not [the] third, or just [the] third,
as long as I can do whatís asked of me, Iíll be alright." He was
a great power back who could also play on 3rd down for Stanford.
best way for a youngster to make the team is to impress the special teams
coach. "I think heís got the right mentality," Slater said.
"Tylerís eager to learn, and he really prepared himself this
offseason to compete at a high level. I love his attitude and the way
heís working out there in the kicking game." He has been making
plays on special teams as well.
Wide Receivers Better Be Ready.
There are some life changes going on at the WR position in Foxboro. Who is Garoppolo going to rely on in September? Because right now the top WRs down at Foxboro are Dopson, Washington, and Hogan. Either Amendola or Malcolm Mitchell
might not make the team, if Edelman can come back from his foot injury. Yes, he looked ready to play on the sideline, but foot injuries are always trickier than you think.
Just look at the odd and sad plight of one Aaron Dopson. He caught more passes from Brady as a rookie than any other rookie WR before him. Then he hurt his foot. "Going through what Iíve gone through has been difficult but you just have to stay grounded," Dopson said. "You canít let it hold you back, you canít let it keep you down, you canít worry about the past, you just gotta worry about the future and what I can do to help myself." He never seemed to get over it. He is the most physically talented WR on the roster, and couldn't show it on the field. He only played in 12 games the past two years, and never looked right.
Then in June he started looking like the athlete he was as a rookie. And he has been doing it all off-season. He was grabbing big time catches in minicamps in June this year like they were hot cheeseburgers off the grill. He is the best size speed athlete at WR. If he can stay healthy he should be the starter going into Arizona.
In the first two practices he was the best WR on the field. "Itís always exciting to make a catch, a good catch," Dobson said. "You gotta stay humble, be consistent with it. Make plays like that every day. Everybody can make one-handed catches like that. You gotta do it a lot, catch the ball consistently." His ability to leap up with his great Vert. and snagging one-handers out of the sky is something to see.
They were running fades into the endzone, and he was running past the CBs and leaping up and grabbing the high lofted balls, and looking like he was going to soar out of bounds.
Then he tippy-toed his feet down in the corner and slid to the ground still holding on. He, Mitchell, and Nate Washington were killing the corners in the endzone in that drill.
He had a great one handed TD catch from Jimmy-G on Day Two. "People are going to say what they want to say," Dobson said. "Thatís just a part of it. One of the sayings here is, Ignore the noise. So people are going to say what they want to say, and itís my job to come out here and get better as a player." He has looked surprisingly better so far this Preseason.
Getting used by the two starting QBs is never a bad thing for a WR. "Brady, who was standing at the 40-yard line, then told Dobson to stand in place at the goal line at the front-left corner of the end zone,"
the Herald reported. Brady threw a high-arching pass to Dobson, who only needed to move about a step and a half to make the catch. Garoppolo then told Dobson to stand in the same spot, but Garoppoloís throw pulled Dobson to the back of the end zone. There was clearly some sort of competition going on between the quarterbacks because Brady walked away after Garoppoloís throw with a big fist pump." That was on Day Three.
If Dopson can keep this up he could have a nice season for Garoppolo and Brady. "I feel like I can play football," Dopson said. "Itís up to me to show my abilities to everybody. Itís hard to really say. For me, Iím just trying to get out and get better every day, every day, every practice." They are going to need some weapons on the outside.
He has the size, speed, and hands, and he certainly has the leap deep down field. Plus, last season in limited action, he showed he could run the short quick routes that keep drives moving. He just has to stay healthy. "Itís always competition every year," Dopson said. "Thatís the fun part of it. Iím just trying to stay healthy. And play football, have fun, and just play better and help my team get better." He looked like his foot has finally healed and he is ready to start his career again.
They gave Washington some nice money to be a veteran presence and he has done that. My favorite scene from Day One was Malcolm Mitchell running a pattern in three on three drills. He started juking and dancing and got lost as the CB didn't react and then just grabbed him. Logan Ryan got in front of him and never turned around, and then grabbed his shirt and he was done.
Washington then went over to Mitchell and started showing him how to use his hands like a veteran. You could see how he was telling him to stop dancing and make the cut. Then he was showing how to get the shoulder, and jam
the CB with an elbow or forearm. It was a great teaching moment from a veteran to a rookie.
Then on Day Two he was tearing up the secondary in the Endzone. He is more fast than quick, but he has great size and length. Plus he is smart. He knows who to suck up too. "Jimmy is a guy that understands this offense, thatís the first impression," Washington said. "Heís been doing a good job, but at the same time, you have to ask Jimmy that. Heís been helping me out, putting me in my right place sometimes when Iíve been lacking or not understanding some of the plays. Heís definitely been a guy that I can turn to, so thatís definitely been an understanding that I have with Jimmy right now." He knows who will be throwing to him on week one.
You also have to remember that he played in this offense for two seasons in Houston for O'Brien. "This offense is this offense," Washington said. "I think [McDaniels] does an awesome job of implementing what he requires of us. And from there, itís our job to make sure that weíre on the same page. Every day we have an installment, every day we have a requirement of us to come out here and do our job." He was running all the patterns without thinking and catching everything that was thrown to him.
The scary part however is that Washington was chilling with the PUP-guys on Saturday. Which just might have been a rest day for a 10-year veteran. With their ridiculous depth at WR, they need to give some of the younger guys some reps.
There are so many guys trying to make the team at the WR position that some quality guys are going to be let go. "Thereís a lot of weapons on this team. Thereís a lot of guys you want to put the ball in their hands. Itíll be fun to see when once gets healthy." Hogan said, and he knows he has to take advantage now with Edelman and Amendola still on the mend. "You see how physical they play [Edelman and Amendola]. How they play the position. Itís good to watch and learn from them." He has really stepped up his game early in training camp.
In the first two practices Hogan was making a living lining up next to Gronk, and watching the DBs covering him get distracted watching Gronk. "Thereís still a lot for me to learn," Hogan said. "But I like where Iím heading right now." He looked a lot like Edelman playing off the attention Gronk gets from coverages.
Only Hogan is 6-2 and 220-pounds. But he does not look out of place in the slot at all. He was running all the Pats short stuff that Edelman and Amendola make a living at doing. And he was very successful beating whoever they put in front of him.
They gave Hogan some guaranteed
money. So he is making the team. "I make sure Iím accountable," Hogan
said. "And know what Iím doing on the field." He hurt his shoulder yesterday in practice so he will likely be out a few days.
Hogan was also killing it in blocking drills. "Good route runner," Malcolm Butler said. "[He] can catch the ball. [He's a] good blocker, good player." The problem is that he didn't practice today because of injury.
Mitchell has been working hard to make the team. He caught five passes in team drills on Day four when they were in full pads, including the final 2 passes from Brady. But how does he make the team?
We know that Edelman and Hogan are going to make the team. If Washington and Dopson stay healthy they are going to make the team. We also know that Keshawn Martin and Mathew Slater are going to make the team on special teams. They can keep six WRs because they have two important special teams guys. But can they keep seven, and keep both Amendola and Mitchell. Of course there will be injuries in the Preseason. So maybe a spot opens up, or they keep Amendola on the PUP until a spot opens up. It will be interesting to
see these guys competing against New Orleans.
Rufus Johnson was looking good zone dropping at MLB. He is an interesting cat who looked great passrushing in Preseason last year. He would lose technique sometimes and get out of control sometimes, but he can really rush the passer. He is a long tall DE like Chandler Jones, but they are now playing him at LB as much as possible. The problem is that they really have a ton of depth all over the defense.
We all look at Brady and say Super Bowl. But they have a shot at the mythical fifth because Brady will be more pissed off than he was in 2015, and the defense might have more depth on it than I have ever seen. Johnson is an NFL OLB now, and he might not make the team. He has Grissom, McClellin, and Flowers ahead of him on the depth chart. He is an NFL DE right now, but he has Sheard, Ninkovich, and Long ahead of him. He is being listed as an ILB behind Jamie Collins on the depth chart. Which might be the only spot he can make the team.
He is listed as 6-4 248, so he has taken off some weight to play off the line linebacker, as BB likes to say. He has the speed and heavy hands to blitz the QB up the gut like Collins does. He not only showed last season that he has that knack for making plays in the backfield, he also showed his senior year at Tarleton State. He garnered 50 tackles that year, which is not super impressive. But he also garnered 10 sacks and 17.5 TFL. Making 27.5 impact plays behind the LOS is impressive. I will be looking for #59 against New Orleans.
And Bennett Better Be Ready.
The Pats have to find a way to go at least 3 and 1 while Brady is in Ch‚teau d'If. The player who is most responsible for doing that is Garoppolo. "It definitely started two years ago," Gronk said. "That's the whole point of not just focusing and practicing with one person. That's the whole point of training camp. That's the whole point of practices. I've gone with Jimmy many times, threw with him one-on-one many times out at practice. So, to just get that chemistry going we've just got to go out on the field, get reps together, go do one-on-one sessions together, just throw like we do and we always do. Just like any other process, repetitions with each other so that everyone's on the same page." We haven't really seen anything like this before in NFL history.
Jimmy-G will be leading this team in September through all the perils and pitfalls teams can put in front of him. "It's always important," Gronk said. "Obviously, he's going to be going in the first four games as you speak to Coach. So, it's huge to get these reps in now. Not just day one, not wait until week 3, not wait until week 4 of training camp. It's important to get on the same page now and that's what is so crucial about coming out to practice, coming out to training camp on Day One and just hitting it on the ground getting going." He has to hit the ground leading this team to give the Pats a monumental victory in Arizona, which I am not confident they can do. I think the other three games will be much easier at Home.
That is why I say 3 and 1 and not 4 and 0.
Then we hope we never see him again in 2016. "Coach just told us that Jimmy is going to be the starter week one through four and then Tom is going to be coming in at week five and the rest," Gronk said. "You can just ask Coach Belichick about." Any inclination that Brady isn't the instant starter in Week Five is too stupid to acknowledge.
He can no longer defer to Brady's leadership in August, like he did as a rookie. "Compared to last year and rookie year?" Garoppolo said. "Compared to
my rookie year it's not even close. But that just comes with experience, though. Three years in the same offense, same team, same organization you just get used to things and things come more naturally to you." But he still was hiding in Brady's
shadows last year.
That legendary shadow will disappear in September. "I certainly think we understand what we have to prepare for now," Slater said. "We understand what everyone has to do moving forward. To have a little clarity with that situation is obviously going to help our quarterback situation the first four games, and we know what it is now we can prepare for it. I think Tom can help us prepare for it as well, as I'm sure he will, being the leader that he is for this team. I think in that regard the clarity helps us as far as our preparation is concerned." The third preseason game will really be the first time he will have to rip Brady's hands off the strangle hold he has on the leadership of this team.
Players like Slater, Gronk, and McCourty have to help him. "I think it's [an] adjustment," McCourty said. "Obviously, you can't take the field without a guy like that and think you're just going to go out there and pick up where you left off last year and fall right into stride, but I think we have a lot of good players. We have two other quarterbacks that have been very competitive. Jimmy has been here a couple of years now, so I think as a team we'll just come together, go out there and figure out a way to win. That's what it comes down to; we can't stick on that subject, just prepare and get ready to play." So the getting ready to play without Brady's shadow covering up for the team started on Day One of Training Game.
started stepping out of that vast shadow right from the start. "I think some of that is overrated," McCourty said. "What is a good presence on the field? You either play well and your offense moves the ball and you do a good job, or you don't. I think for [Jimmy-G], you just see him getting better. You just see him making great decisions, putting the ball where only the receiver can get it. Things like that, to me, stick out when you watch a young quarterback keep getting better. Looking off safeties, being able to get in the right play, you can see it. I think for me, playing safety I always talk to those guys about what they see and different things of that nature. I get to learn from them so I can take that on the defensive field and help the other guys on defense. You see him developing and getting better." He is now the Patriots starting QB.
Garoppolo actually looked a little more efficient
than Brady on Day One of Training Camp. He has more quick twitch and faster
feet, and his arm was perfect all day. "Just his power of the ball," Gronk said. "His accuracy going out there. The way he moves the pocket; I like how he can scramble out and keep it going if everything's not going right. He's just a competitor, a hard worker, which is always great, which always goes good with the team when you have someone that wants it and goes out there and competes." He has such smooth feet in his drop.
He knew the offense and what his reads were without thinking, which is step one for a young QB coming into the NFL. "I know he's been working hard just like the rest of us have," Mathew Slater said. "He's prepared himself for a moment to play since he got in this league. He's worked for it, and we believe in his abilities, and we know that he's going to go out to give us everything he has. And again, I'll say that I know Tom is going to do everything that he can do to make sure that not only Jimmy is prepared, but that this football team is prepared to do what it needs to do moving forward." He completed more passes than Brady on Day One, by one.
He won day one of training camp over Brady. "We're super confident in whoever's in there and that's what practice is for, that's what training camp is for, for everyone to get on the same page," Gronk said when asked about Garoppolo. "It's great to get the first day, get our feet wet a little bit, get reps with everyone, all three quarterbacks. So far, it's going well but [we've got] a lot to improve on, for sure. I definitely can myself, add a lot to my game, had about one or two dropped passes there. So I've got to make sure I limit those down and that doesn't happen." But like Mike Tyson said, "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth." Garoppolo has to be punch to the mat a few times, and then get up and show he can do it again.
No one is better after getting punched in the mouth than Brady. That is Playoff football. That is the football Jimmy-G will be stepping into in Arizona. The Cardinals not only blitzed more than any other team, they like to rush with big passrushers. When they get after the QB they are bringing 300-pounders, or guys close to 300-pounds. The have Calais Campbell, Red Bryant, and Robert Nkemdiche at D-End. They are all 300-pounders who can rush the passer. They will be rushing the edge with an
angry Chandler Jones, Marcus Golden, and Kareem Martin who can all hit the QB like
When QBs get hit by those 300 plus pound guys it is like getting punch in the mouth by Mike Tyson. That is what Jimmy has to be able to stand up to in order to help the Pats get home court advantage throughout the Playoffs. "We really haven't gotten into that," Jimmy-G said. "It's the first day out here, so implementing the offense as we usually do and whatever they ask me to do I'll do to the best of my ability." I will be watching what he does after he gets punched in the mouth against New Orleans.
Which puts both Brady and Garoppolo in an awkward situation, and all the other offensive players as well. Garoppolo has to seize the leadership of this team from Brady in August, or they could be in trouble. He has to show he can be more than just the other guy. He has to own the offense, like Brady does, or they will falter. Luckily he has the new Twin Towers to help him.
The best news is that they got him some help. Martellus Bennett made the catch of the day in Day One. He was heading to he left looking for the Fade. The ball went fast to his right. So he had to pirouette around backwards to grab the ball with one hand and drag it in. He was a basketball player in high school, and he showed all those aerial basketball skills that you have to have playing on the court.
He is a phenomenal athlete, and just a hair shorter than Gronk. "He's great," Gronk said. "He's a great guy to work with. He's football smart. He came in, he's picked up the playbook very well. Which is super, super beneficial here in our offense. So that's super good to see. It's fun working with him. It's another guy that is just super talented and wants me to push harder, too. I can take things from his game, seeing his athleticism, seeing how he gets off the ball. I can bring it into my game, use some of his routes, he can come use some of mine, so it's great to work off of each other and great to be able to work with." He was super fun to watch on Day One.
Garoppolo is also a super smart kid. He knows the advantage of having the Twin Towers. "It's awesome," Garoppolo said. "It makes my job a whole lot easier that's for sure. There are some big bodied guys out there. Martellus had a nice catch today. Gronk had a couple nice ones. So when you have guys like that it always makes throwing a lot easier." When he gets in trouble when the Cards blitz, he knows he can loft one up high to Gronk or their newest power forward Martellus Bennett.
He has already shown that he has some chemistry with Gronk, and on Day One of Training Camp he showed he is getting some chemistry with Bennett already. "The primary focus is just getting everyone on the same page," Gronk said. "It's the first practice. It's really the first time we truly get our feet wet all together, everyone gets the same chemistry, get our body flows, get our body movements, see how fast we are, see where Tom throws the ball. I've been doing it with him for seven years now, so we kind of have the same chemistry right when we hit the field. I know where he's going to usually put it. I know that he knows where I'm going to be, but obviously my rookie year I didn't know that and as Marty [Bennett] is being kind of a rookie here, it's cool to see everyone work together, help each other out, and just go over and get some extra work. There's no such thing as [extra work or too many reps]. So it's always good to put in extra work and get more reps, as many as possible." Because Arizona is coming quicker than you think right now.
I took my son to the first two practices and we had a great time. Day One was brutal with the heat and sun, but Day Two was perfect with the rain and cooling off. I love to go to Foxboro and watch a couple of practices every year. It is so much fun, and you get to see so much. What players are surprisingly showing up on special teams. When, where, and how are the rookies
are getting reps. I started off with the Day Two notes because I left my Day One notes in a bag in the car, and I'm in my underpants and don't want to streak outside and get it. Plus I didn't really take notes today, I kind of was trying to learn all the new numbers. So this is all just off the top of my head.
Remember these guys have been working and studying in Gillette since April 21st. "Well, the way we look at it Tom [not me] is we have a certain amount of time, whatever that is, and we try and make the most of that time," BB said. "So, whether that's in the spring, in the fall, in training camp, meeting time, practice time, whatever it is, we try to make the most of it. A lot of things are considered. We have players at different experience levels. We have priorities of getting individuals ready, getting units ready, getting the team ready. There are certain things that we need to do, there are certain things that we have to prepare for in terms of our opponents. We just try and balance all of those things out and make the best use of the time that we have." So nothing they are doing on the field is by accident.
DeAndre Carter is another tiny receiver who caught some balls and got some snaps on special teams.
It was very interesting to watch BB move around and work and coach the other coaches. "These guys do an excellent job," BB said. "I'm very blessed to have an excellent staff. We've got some coordinators. We have a good coaching staff. We have coaches that have a variety of experience. Dante, Ivan, Ernie; guys like that and then there are other coaches that have only been here for a year, or less than a year, or two years that are in there early to mid-twenties, whatever it is, and many in between. It's a mix. It gives me a lot of different opinions, perspectives. They do a good job. They work hard. They work well together. They're team-oriented. The team gets better consistently, so we're very fortunate to have them." It seemed to me he was more involved on the field than when I watched practices in other years.
The one WR guaranteed to make the team is Keshawn Martin. When you get a fist-five from the special teams coach it is always good (if you don't know who the ST Coach is, his initials are BB). He caught a punt and the gunner got down there fast. He found a seam, made a move, and got past them without looking like they could touch him. As he jogged back the ST coach walked over to him and gave him a fist-five.
V'Angelo Bentley, another nameless Safety from Illinois that has been showing up as a kick and punt returner the first two practices. He was the 3rd string returner on Day One. I don't see how he makes the team, but if he is getting on the special teams this early it looks like they might have a plan to stash him.
The Special Teams Coach was seen spraying Ryan Allen's hands as he held the ball for Gostkowski to kick after the rain stopped in Foxboro. "We're underway here at camp," BB said. "Hopefully today the weather holds, gives us a good opportunity to work in some inclement weather, which we can always use, so that'll be good. Again, as I said the other day I think the team is in pretty good condition, saw that yesterday. Hopefully, we can just string them together, which we need to do, string a lot of them together and just take it day-by-day, keep improving every single time we go out on the field. There's no shortcut to it." The weather stayed nice, cool, and wet.
It was reminiscent of Cleveland QBs coach Pep soaking down the hands of Goff at his Proday, because he played terrible in some rain games at Cal. BB loves to make the conditions as difficult in practice as he can. It was one of the funniest things I ever saw on the football field. The second time he did it, Allen looked up at him and back like he was pissed, and then remember the ST coach is Belichick and quickly snapped his head back towards the snapper. The good news is that he didn't miss a hold the entire day. Each field was successful.
Cyrus Jones has been terrific in coverage, and has been the first team punt returner. He is
in no jeopardy of being cut, but he is showing some nice speed and skill on the field as well. He has been alternating with Martin as the 1st team returner as well. Right as practice started on Day One, they were doing some endzone passing drills. He intercepted Brissett in the left corner of the endzone to start off his NFL career.
Brandon King and Slater were duking it out on punt returns to be the gunner to get to the returner first. "I think he's got some good skills, some skills that can translate to the kicking game, that can translate to passing situations on defense," BB said about King. "We'll see how it all plays out. I don't know, I think it's a little too early to start getting the bust ready for Canton [Pro Football Hall of Fame]. I think we'll just take it one day at a time, but he has good things to work with. Again, it's kind of Brandon King-ish from a skillset standpoint, 215, 220 pounds, can run, hit." King won a couple of times, and is making himself invaluable to the Special teams coach. Which is the best way to make the team.
I don't see anyway Kuma Gruier-Hill makes the team. "He's a smart kid and he started off at safety," BB said. "He's played linebacker, so he has some experience working on those positions which is a lot of coverage responsibility, a lot of adjustments. You can call him a safety, or a linebacker, or whatever you want to call him but there are certain times when he's going to be in more of one area than the other even though he might be playing the same position but by formation, by adjustment, or whatever it happens to be. We'll see how it goes. I think he's more of a third and fourth-down player. I'm not saying he doesn't have a role on early downs, but I think he has a bigger role on third and fourth-down at least at this point, so we'll see how it goes. But he's picked things up well. He's been productive. Kind of like Brandon King, he runs well and he has some length at linebacker, or at that position, linebacker, safety, whatever you want to call it. He's got some length and those things work to his advantage." However, impressing the ST Coach is the best place to start.
LaAdrian Waddle was taking reps at Left Tackle. He looked good in 11-on-11s. He also was more than passable in his limited time when Solder went down last year. I think he is the 3rd tackle on the team, and has to stay healthy. I like the way he moves backwards. I will be watching him closely against New Orleans.
They have to start Garoppolo in 3rd preseason game. I think they can monkey around and let Brady start the first two Preseason games. But Jimmy-G has to start game 3. "We have really 10 practices until we go with the Saints and then the Bears," BB said. "So that'll be five practices and two games. So, we have 10 practices here to kind of get some installation done, work on our fundamentals, getting into the basics of training camp, and then we'll really have seven opportunities between the practices and the games to compete with those two organizations and see where we're at." Both Brady and Garoppolo will be getting game like reps against New Orleans, so it isn't important who plays in the 1st Preseason game.
Brissett will get most of the reps and the overreactions will start. He cannot play this season under any circumstance. And frankly, I don't think he can play at all. My notes from Senior Bowl on Brissett, "He cannot play quarterback in the NFL."
Both Brady and Garoppolo looked good in goal line Drills. "It's just part of training camp," BB said. "There's a balance. Players that will probably play together, you let them work together, but you never really know how that's going to go. And in the end everybody's got to work with everybody until those things get worked out, get declared. I don't think we're really in that spot yet. But, you know, you get into the season and you want a certain receiver running a certain route, a certain situation, that's who it's going to be. I don't think we're really there. Offensively, we're just installing our offense. We don't even have 50 percent of our red-area offense [installed], and that's what we worked on yesterday so we're a long way from really trying to nail down a lot of specifics. But you saw some times in practice where the quarterbacks would be working with an individual receiver, maybe during a special teams period, things like that. There's some of that but we're not in that full-scale mode yet." But Garoppolo had a little bit better of a day than Brady.
The best part of practice today was Brady's competitiveness getting the best of him. He missed a pass. Then he threw the ball into the funny tennis racket looking things that the ball boys hold up to simulate rushers. He then walked twenty or thirty yards down field holding his two fist over his head in shocking rage at himself. He brought his hands down only to rip off his chinstrap. Then he grabbed his helmet with both hands on the facemask and slammed it to the ground. His mouthpiece and the pad that twists around his ear hole popped out. I can't wait to see his revenge tour this season as he wins his unprecedented fifth Super Bowl.
I find it ridiculous and shocking that anyone would imply that TB12 is anything other than the starter starting week Five in Cleveland. " We have finally some definition with Tom situation," BB said. "So our priority now then is to get Jimmy ready for the start of the season, for the Arizona game, so that'll be obviously a comprehensive process. Tom will return as the starting quarterback when he comes back, but in the meantime we have to prioritize the first part of our schedule and that'll be to get Jimmy ready to go." Brady is the pissed off HOF who is looking for the unprecedented Fifth.
Garoppolo might be the future, or he might be sent packing for picks after this season if BB cannot part with Brady. "That's pretty much where we are for today," BB said. "It'll be a day by day, step by step process. I think the players are, hopefully, ready to handle the challenges of training camp; working in different spots, doing the things that we did in the spring but doing them at a more competitive level, eventually in pads, eventually against good competition on the practice field and in preseason games. Like I said, we'll just go day by day [three things I pray] here." Garoppolo is working day by day to be the best imitation of TB12 he can be.
I caught a few glimpses of Rufus Johnson, Grissom, and McClellin looking good in coverage. "He's been a versatile player," BB said. "Shea's a four-down player. He's done a good job for us at defensive end, pass rushing situations. He's got good quickness and strength in the running game, as well. Again, you don't need to move everybody. I don't think you need to have six guys that all play a bunch of different positions and move around a lot. That's kind of counterproductive, really. You need somebody that can move, or you've got to find your depth somewhere, but if it's a player that has multiple position versatility then great. Then you use that player. I don't think you need four of them." Ramon Humber was also putting in some extra hustle during Special Teams groups.
Well, that's all I got tonightÖ
It Ain't So Tom! Say It Ain't So...
So the three main positives
that the Brady exile on Ch‚teau d'If will have on the team is one: he
will play in a shortened season and Training camp. So he will have less hits
on his body when the Playoffs roll around. Two: Garoppolo will get his first real NFL
action. And the best positive is that Brady is going to be pissed off at the entire NFL
world, and there is nothing better than a pissed off Brady in Foxboro.
When Brady has been healthy in the AFC Champ game he has mostly won. When he was hobbled or hurt, it tended to get to him in the AFC Champ game, and the Pats lost. So the idea of him having a month long reprieve in the middle of the season (if you include training camp and preseason games) can
only be seen as a very good thing. He will get rusty and upon his return he will have some timing issues with his receivers. But he will be able to step right in and be a better general for the offense than Garoppolo immediately.
The best news is that he will have Gronk. "Heís a smart football player," BB said. "He understands leverage. He understands position. He understands technique. He understands the concept of what youíre trying to do. Probably other than the quarterback, the tight end position on our offense is the hardest to play. You have all the protections, all the [blocks in the] running game, and you have routes from sideline to the middle of the field to occasionally even in the backfield. There are really no plays off mentally for that position. His work ethic, his ability to work with his teammates, whether itís the quarterback, the offensive tackles, the other tight ends or even with the defensive players, is good." He will also have Bennett at tight end.
They also have to get Edelman on the field as healthy as possible. "No. Iím just going to go out there and do what I have to do to get myself better to try to help this team win ballgames," Edelman said. "Iím sure there are other guys doing the same thing. Competition makes you better. Competition is big in any aspect of life. You guys are competing, weíre competing. We just so happen to have ours on TV and newspapers and stuff. If youíre afraid to compete, youíre in the wrong field." They need him on the field competing, healthy, and helping both his QBs.
The next best news in this scenario is that we play Cleveland in week five. Brady will essentially have a two-week preseason to prepare for playing the Bengals at Gillette, with a preseason game in Cleveland as a
tune up (which should get ugly). "Iíve said many times there is no quarterback Iíd rather have than Tom Brady," BB said. "Heís my quarterback. So Iíll stand by that." They likely will be battle the Bengals (and the Indianapolis Dirty-Rats) for AFC supremacy, and hosting the Champ game. So winning Brady's first two games back is paramount to getting the Champ game in Foxboro.
But so much of what happens next season is on the shoulders of one Jimmy-G. It is easy to forget that this is his third offseason and training camp with BB and
McDaniel, while studying everything that Brady does. "We've been here since April 21," BB said. "We've been together for a while and we'll be together for quite a while after this. It's all part of the process." He has been in the best football college in the nation. So he will be ready to go on Opening Day.
Playing QB is so unique in all of sports. "The biggest value is consistency," Gronk said about the value
of practices. "Going out there and making sure you're still on the same page. You don't want to lose it, you want to keep on getting gains. You want to improve. You go out there and make sure you knock all the rust out. We're always on the same page, and just don't lose it. Just keep going out, keep working hard and keep getting better." Both Jimmy-G and Brady have to get on the same page with
all the other players on offense. That is what makes playing QB in the NFL so difficult.
This Preseason is going to be a very difficult blend of getting Jimmy-G ready to start the season. "We're all starting all over," BB said. "We're all starting all over: coaches, players, everybody. It's a new year. We're all starting over." And getting the team ready for two different QBs, who will be playing at two different times.
But they also have to get Brady as many reps as you can to help protect against the rust of a four game exile in the Ch‚teau d'If. "No, my dear Dantes," King George Goodell said. "I know perfectly well that you are innocent. Why else would you be here? If you were truly guilty, there are a hundred prisons in France where they would lock you away. But Chateau d'If is where is they put the ones they're ashamed of." Sociopaths have no shame.
Garoppolo has to get top minutes against the opposing teams starters, and so does Brady. "Just keep making progress," BB said. "Each day, just try to build on the day before: a lot of new faces, a lot of new installations. So just grind through it day by day." The delicate balance of that high wire act could make or break the Patriots season.
Brady has to put his fear of losing his job that he earned at Michigan behind him, when they stuck a freshman in the 2nd
and sometimes 3rd quarters of games when he was suppose to be the fulltime starter as a senior. "He looks pretty good," Gronk said about Brady. "No, he look's great. He looks the same every day that I've been here. He's always coming out with a competitive edge. His arm always looks strong. His football knowledge, you don't have to talk about it, it's second to none. He looks very sharp." He is going to get less minutes as a starter in Preseason, and then be exiled to Chateau
So much depends on the Garoppolo experiment they have been conducting the past three off seasons and training camps. "He's doing great, definitely," Gronk said about Jimmy-G at the last OTA. "You can see a huge development over the last two years in the way he handles the offense now. He's doing a great job going out there, listening to coaches, and just working together with the whole team." He has to be the leader of the offense over the next few months.
Which brings us to the unanswerable question facing the team, can Garoppolo go 3-1 to start the season? I'm just not as certain as most other Pats fans. I don't see how he travels 3,000-miles to Arizona and wins. Whenever teams travel across the whole country they loose a hell of lot more than they win. Arizona played in the NFC Champ game last year, and is a tough veteran team with a tough veteran QB and defense. I just don't see them winning that game.
So if they lose on opening day, he has to direct the team to three straight wins. "I think Jimmy has made great strides for us this season," BB
said in the Playoffs. "The reps that heís gotten on the field in preseason games and in practice, I think heís shown a lot of: development, better understanding, quicker recognition, and reading of the defenses. [He's shown:] more awareness of whatís happening on the defensive side of the ball, better communication, better understanding of the offense, better understanding of the defense. Really everything." He has to take all the progress he has made
the past two and half years, and translate it onto the field into winning football against: Miami, Houston, and Buffalo.
Which brings us to more good news that should piss King George off, after the trip to Arizona the Pats next three games are at Home. I didn't they could beat Houston now that they have an above average
QB with a gross history of beating the Pats, but with Watts bad back they certainly can
beat them. " JJ Watt can return week 1 but also could miss some time," Dr. Mark Adickes
tweeted. "Backs [are] never 100% after surgery. [But] Watt regularly does
[the] impossible." Garoppolo can beat those three teams at home.
But he can't so 3 and 1 without the newly PUPed Edelman. "Heís always been one of the hardest workers," Brady said about the Julian puppy who follows him around everywhere he goes. "One of the hardest workers Iíve ever played with. One of the most determined young men thatís on this team. And heís got as much heart as anybody." With Edelman, Gronk,
Dion, and Bennett Jimmy-G can go 3 and 1.
But even if they go 2 and 2 it is not the end of the world. BB
teams have a habit of starting off slow and progressing continually through the season.
"Heís a hard-working kid whoís always prepared," BB said. "Itís a tough position to be in when you donít know if youíre going to play or
not. But he prepares hard to play [and he will know he will be playing in September].
We push him hard to be ready to play, and heís made a lot of progress this year. As a football player, I think everybody has a lot of confidence in him based on the opportunities that heís had to show what he can do and how heís working."
It is not uncommon for his Patriots to go 2-and-2 or 2-and-3, and still reach the Super Bowl.
BB wants to develop Garoppolo into a viable option as a starting QB in the NFL.
"Heís worked on a lot of things that weíve identified for him to
do," BB told Mike Reiss in April. "Heís gotten better. He certainly
has a much better understanding of the league. These last three weeks have been good for him and probably a lot of the other
rookies too. Just in terms of the second time around. So kind of where we were the first time we played Buffalo to where we are now and sort of the better familiarity that he has, not only with the league, but in this team in
particular. Since weíve already been through them once, I think that they can start to see, and as a coach you can see, that thereís a growth of understanding and the ability to process a lot of information."
The truly best thing that can come out of Brady's exile on Chateau d'If is that they could come out of this season with two starting caliber options at QB. And they will have to trade one of
them after this season, as Jimmy-G will be on the final year of his rookie
contract. So don't be surprised when they trade a 40-year old Brady after this season.
It Ain't So Tom! Say It Ain't So...
I am an unabashed Jimmy-G fan. Though I am also Brady's biggest fan. But we are 0-and-Everybody against
Father Time. So much of what we see this Preseason and in September will have rippling effects on the history of the Patriots to come. This is likely Brady's last season with the Patriots. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
I have always compared Brady to Joe Montana, and old Joe was traded to KC for a 2nd and 3rd round pick to play his last two seasons in the
NFL. I also have always compared Garoppolo to Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers supplanted the living legend Favre in the final year of his contract his rookie
contract, after Farther Time took too much away from Brett. I simply, sadly, and honestly donít see how those two things don't repeat themselves after this season.
Jimmy-G is about to experience his first four games as an
NFL starter. If he busts off a 3-and-1 or 4-and-0 record, the Patriots cannot under any circumstance go into next season with both QBs on the roster. One will have to be traded for
a 1st to make up for the theft of last years pick. This is not how I want it to happen, and I'm positive that it is not how Coach Belichick wants it to happen either.
He has cold heartedly had to let go of guys that almost got him lynched in Foxboro. "[Brady is the] greatest quarterback of all time. He's been just a tremendous leader and tremendous player for our organization," Belichick said. Then continued. "One of the things we've tried to do is be an outlier in some respects. We've had to find different ways to capitalize on the talent that's
available [because all the winning lowers the level of Draft picks]. Otherwise, we're going to get like the fifth-, sixth-, seventh-best guy at whatever the position is. So we've tried to take more of our way in areas that are less populated." From Lawyer Milloy to Logan Makins, he has shown a cutthroat ability to let stars go a year or two before
Farther Time has taken away what made them special in the NFL.
Brady will turn 40-years old in training camp next year, and Garoppolo will be 26 next year. "Garoppolo can play," the HC of the NJJ Todd Bowles said. "They don't worry about who they have. They just have a system in place and they go play football. I think people underestimate that." Joe Montana could play.
If BB sees Garoppolo as a viable winning QB in the NFL, he has no choice but to trade Brady to the highest bidder. Montana won four Super Bowls in San Fran, where he got the crap beat out of him by Father Time, and was sent packing so they could win a fifth with
a younger Steve Young. The question BB is asking himself right now, and will be repeated on an infinite loop in his head for the next year is, "Who can win more Super Bowls with over the next 5 to 10-years, a 40-plus year old Brady or a young Garoppolo?" If the honest answer that he hides in the darkest stains of his soul is Garoppolo than he has no choice.
It is cold. It is ugly. It is the realty of the human condition. "Brady makes that team go," Eric Decker said. "I don't think he's appreciated enough for what he does as far as at the line, putting them in positions to be successful. He's one of the premier players. Because you can plug people in, and he still has so much success." BB is going to find out in a hurry if Garoppolo can make this team go, like Aaron Rogers did in Green Bay.
Joe Montana got traded for a 2nd and 3rd round pick because he got old, and Young got good.
Brett Favre turned ugly in Green
Bay, and was traded to the Jets for a 3rd that could be turned into a 2nd round pick, because a young Aaron Rogers had 10 to 12 years more time in the future as an NFL QB.
Now Brady will be standing on the precipice of being 40-years old after this
season. He will be a year older than Favre was when he was sent to the Jets, and three years older than Montana, who was
36 when he was traded to Kansas
City. BB witnessed all these things and knows the heart and soul of professional athletes better than we do. He has shown that he can hold the cold sword of
Damocles over the heads of his favorite aging stars, like Seymour and Law. The only real question that remains is can he do it to the player who he deemed as the "greatest quarterback of all time," or will he buckle under sentiment? He has consistently shown that he doesn't buckle under the later (I actually teared up at the end of this ugly piece).
It Ain't So Tom! Say It Ain't So...
never saw him surrender before. I'm not sure I know what to make of it.
Does that mean he might start surrendering on the Field? I think that is a
Big No. Next season will be the 2014 Revenge Tour all over again. That is
the good news. Along with the fact that Brady will be playing a 12 game
season, which can be nothing but good for his old body.
don't want to re-litigate all the lying crap the NFL attacked Brady with
in this whole mess. The misinformation campaign against Brady was one of
the most disgusting things I have ever seen in pro sports. I was talking
to a cop in Fitchburg at a basketball clinic about Brady last week, and he
was a Marcus Smart fan so you know he is smart, but he kept spewing all
the lies that Roger Dodger and the NFL offices were spewing.
is a Celtics and Patriots fan. But when I asked him, "when, where,
and how the balls were allegedly deflated?" He thought the ball boys
stole the balls from the refs and disappeared. He would not believe that
one of the refs said that the ball boy waved at them, and said he was
taking the balls no, or whatever. Then he was under surveillance by the
cameras the whole time he had the ball sack, except for a 90-second potty
break; He also wouldn't believe that Luck's balls were also being tested
as under inflated as much as Brady's balls, so they stopped after three
balls (like wretched lie number 4 by that rat bastard Mort said when asked
about all the Colts balls, he told the lies that were programmed into him:
"Yes, they were within regulation and remained within
regulation." Which Rodger-Dodger is still pretending is true). He
wouldn't believe the facts written into the Wells report, only the lies
that were told that weren't in the Well's report.
I'm not interested in going over all that crap again, other than to say
there was no motive and no opportunity for for the alleged ball boy
to suck the air out of Brady's alleged balls. The misinformation campaign
was so successful that even intelligence well-meaning Patriot fans got
fooled to their core by Rodger Dodger's pathological lies. And the fact
that it was meant to cover up Rodger Dodger's and Grison's attempt to fix
the 2015 AFC Champ game in Foxboro.
only thing that matters from here is where do we go from here? First,
Brady has surrendered: "I'm very grateful for the overwhelming
support I've received from Mr. Kraft, the Kraft family, coach Belichick,
my coaches and teammates, the NFLPA, my agents, my loving family and most
of all, our fans. It has been a challenging 18 months and I have made the
difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process. I'm going
to work hard to be the best player I can be for the New England Patriots
and I look forward to having the opportunity to return to the field this
fall." You're welcome Tom.
other fact is that Kraft choose his NFL money over his so called buddies
BB and TB12. "The penalty imposed by the NFL was unprecedented, unjust and unreasonable, especially given that no empirical or direct evidence of any kind showed Tom did anything to violate League rules prior to, during or after the 2015 AFC Championship Game," Kraft'
said. "What Tom has had to endure throughout this 18-month ordeal has been, in my opinion, as far removed from due process as you could ever expect in this country."
However, I think it is safe to say that no one excepted the completely
insane punishment for an alleged equipment infraction that the Well's
report proved never happened, and Brady, as is his right, to refuse to
give up his cellphone under any circumstance (Brett
Favre received a
50,000 dollar fine for sexually
harassing a female reporter, and
refusing to give
up his cell phone).
surrendered Brady to the NFL TV money he and his other owners are
guaranteed before the fight even started. Granted, it is estimated that
the owners will be divvying up approximately 6.4-Bil in NFL revue money
this year alone (it does not include local dough earned by each individual
owner). But he could have put up even the slightest semblance of a fist
fight first, before he surrendered to the TV money. This swung open the
gate for King George Goodell to decree martial law on the Patriots.
the money he surrender to is ridiculous. In a moment of weakness I would
have certainly surrender to approximate 1/2-a-Bil in guaranteed revue
stuffed into my greasy pockets in 2016. The Packers are forced to report
everything because they are publicly traded, and they reported 375.7-Mil
in total earnings in 2014, two years ago. It was estimated that the NFL
would increase revenue by 14.3% in 2015, which was an estimated 429.4-Mil
in total revenue for the Packers last year (only a 10% bump in Cap cash in
2016 could possibly be 472.34-Mil). I can guarantee you the Pats earned
more than that in total revenue in 2015 (And could possibly earn a lot
more than that in 2016).
It Ain't So Tom! Say It Ain't So...
Then of course Brady surrenders. After all the lies, misinformation, and
pathological liar alarms surrounding all that is Rodger-Dodger
it just can't be so (like wretch lie number 1, which really was the source of all Rodger-Dodger's statements after the Well's Report when he knew for a fact it was a lie: "NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sundayís AFC title game were under-inflated by 2lbs each, per league
source."). Rodger-Dodger has become King George. As Thomas Jefferson
said in the Declaration of Independence: In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free
in spite of all these affronts King George Goodell did nothing, and
continues to do nothing, but continue the lies and misinformation. (like wretched lie number 2: "In fact, one of the game balls was inflated to 10.1 psi, far below the requirement of 12 1/2 to 13 1/2 psi." Which Rodger-Dodger is still pretending is
true). That is what scares me.
The NFL decided to have their refs run a sting operation rather than ref the AFC Champ game properly, and then King George Goodell lied about it (which led to wretched lie #3 by the head ref Dean Blandino
, which is the lie I'm breaking down in Part I: "The issue came up during the first half,
as far as I know. There was an issue that was brought up during the first
half, a football came into question, and then the decision was made to test them at
halftime." The "Issue" that came up was an interception of a Brady pass by Colt's LB D'Qwell Jackson, who had no idea what reporters were talking about when they asked him about deflated balls. "I wanted that ball as a souvenir," was all he could say as the pundits pretend he intercepted a ball on the field, felt the massive loss of 3 or 4
OUNCES of PSI missing, and concluded that it was a plot by Brady to suck the air our of his balls.
Then he incomprehensively got on his cell phone, on the sideline, during the
AFC Champ game, and called the Colt's GM, and resident pathological liar, Grigson on the sideline.
Free Press played their part in King George Goodell's tyranny, and kept pressuring Jackson to validate the lie that his hands were so sensitive that he could feel when a ball lost a few ounces of pressure do to the ideal gas law, and the lie that he said anything to anyone that Brady's ball felt soft, which he categorical
denied. "I wouldn't know how that could even be an advantage or a disadvantage," Jackson
said about the irrelevant air pressure of a football. "I definitely wouldn't be able to tell if one ball had less pressure than another."
Which makes the NFL's scheme to railroad Brady during the AFC Champ game even
more malevolent, because none of the refs who handled Brady's balls more than all the players on both
teams combined, except the OC and QB, felt the slightest bit of difference in the 3 or 4 ounces of pressure lost during the game do to the cold New England night.
None. Nada, Zero.
This is of paramount importance, because they claimed it was not a sting operation. That there was no plan to check the balls at halftime.
This is what King George Goodell is really hiding with his lies and misdirection.
King George Goodell is guilty of colluding to destroy the integrity of the
game with a sting operation during the AFC Champ game to try and steal the
game from Brady and the Pats.
But because of Jackson's INT and subsequent complaint, as told to the refs by the lying sack of
crap Grigson, that the refs were then forced to check the balls at
halftime (which I must say again that Jackson said that he did not make! "I definitely wouldn't be able to tell if one ball had less pressure than another," Jackson
said completely debunking the lie that it wasn't a planned sting
operation.). Which is an incomprehensible story. It simply makes no
logical or logistical sense at all, even before you realize that Jackson never said anything to anyone about
balls ("I definitely wouldn't be able to tell if one ball had less pressure than another."). Then you can only conclude that it was a prepaid lie set up by the Colts, King George Goodell, and the refs to destroy the integrity of the AFC Champ Game with a sting operation.
reason King George Goodell is 100% positive that the integrity of the 2015
AFC Champ Game was tampered with is because he is the one who did it, and
the Wells Report proved it. SuckMyBallsGate was his cover up.
the linebacker wearing gloves who intercepted a ball and gave it to a ball boy to hold
as a souvenir did not lie revealed the truth ("I definitely wouldn't be able to tell if one ball had less pressure than another," Jackson
said.). The press continued to press the lie that King George Goodell didn't set up the sting before the game, even though Jackson kept telling everyone who wouldn't listen that it was
a steaming pile of tyrannical poo. "I mean, Anderson Cooper asked my agent if I could come on his show," Jackson said about how he "definitively" couldn't tell whether Brady's ball was soft or not. "I'm honored that he wants to talk to me,
I guess! But I really just wanted my souvenir from a special accomplishment in my career." He did have an actual INT in the AFC Champ Game.
The whole sting operation was based on one baseless lie told after the fact. "I definitely wouldn't be able to tell if one ball had less pressure than another," Jackson
said (Which brings us to wretched lie #4 by the head ref Dean Blandino, "Kensil also forwarded Grigsonís email to Dean Blandino and Alberto Riveron, both senior members of the NFL Officiating Department, with the message 'see below.' Both Riveron and Blandino decided that they would raise the issue with Walt Anderson, who had been assigned as the referee for the game."). Now if you believe that all those lies could be accomplished at halftime (because Anderson was on the field during the
game!!!!!), and that they could then confiscate the balls and test each
one of them after the refs had walked up the ramp and off the field. Because
Anderson was not answering his emails on the damn field!!!! Seriously!
This whole lie is based on a ref answering his emails, on the field, during the game? Seriously! If you believe that than are
too stupid to my website anymore.
despite reality, Anderson apparently grabbed all the Patriots balls,
before running up the ramp to the refs halftime room and before he read the emails. Then read the
emails in the locker room, and was he happy he just happened to confiscate
Brady's balls before he went up to the refs room? Even King George Goodell doesn't understand that incomprehensible lie. It could only have been coordinated with Anderson before to game, period. To believe otherwise makes you dumber than
all those suckers who bought the Brooklyn Bridge.
Because no matter how much the
Free Press failed, and tried to make one honorable man lie, he refused! "I wouldn't know how that could even be an advantage or a disadvantage," Jackson said about the NFL
lyingly making him the linchpin of their sting operation. And the pathetic pundits just kept ignoring him like he was reality.
Especially since the outcome of the game was not affect by the lost of pressure in
the balls of both teams (and yes, the Colts' balls lost 3 to 4 ounces of
pressure do to the ideal gas law as well), but it was clearly affected by the Sting operation at halftime. "It wouldn't have changed the outcome of the game," Jackson said with the rarest of honesty in this whole sting operation. Then continued "They outplayed us. We didn't match their intensity. I don't feel slighted at all personally. They created turnovers, they ran the ball on us. They won that game because of their intensity, not the pressure of a football!" These are the words of the Colt's LB who intercepted Brady's pass. Then the NFL stooges said that the ball he intercepted felt a little soft to him,
in order to justify the failed Sting operation.
is what SuckMyBallsGate is really all about. It is the cover up of a crime
committed by those with enough power to cover it up. And like most tyrannical
cover-ups, the fact that is makes no logical or logistical sense is irrelevant,
as they know the lemmings will follow them off the cliff. They
planned a sting operation. Failed, because they proved that no air was
taken out of Brady's balls illegally. And then pretended that the sting
operation never happened, and that Brady's balls were somehow tampered
with illegally, even though they couldn't show when, where, and how it
happened. They did it to cover up the fact that King George Goodell and
that lying sack of Crap Grigson conspired against the Patriots before the
AFC Champ game to destroy the integrity of the game. You cannot have the
head of the League conspiring with the GM of team before a game to disrupt
the game in the Colts' favor. And taking away Brady's personally prepared
balls at halftime of the AFC Champ Game was a distinct advantage for the
once King George Goodell failed miserable to set up the Patriots, he had
to change reality to cover up his attempt to destroy the Pats chance to
get to another Super Bowl. That is why he refused to be reasonable. To
actually read the Wells report (which he obvious didn't do), and not
conclude that it was impossible for the Brady's balls to be manipulated
before the fact is incomprehensibly stupid. Because once the refs checked
the balls they were within sight of the refs or under video surveillance
the entire time, except for a 90-second potty break by a ball boy. And no
matter how much of a lying sack of crap you are, even you don't
believe that you can suck exactly 3 to 4 ounces of air out of a dozen
balls in 90-second, even under the best of conditions. Never mind get all
the balls in and out of a ball sack in a bathroom in the bowels of Foxboro
Stadium. It is not possible, period.
I didn't want to relitigate this whole scam by King George Goodell, but every aspect of SuckMyBallsGate are such incomprehensible lies that when you look at any section
honestly, god forbid, is simply doesn't conform with reality. No one has yet to explain even the simplest of lies: When? Where? And How? All the Haters refuse to even acknowledge the when, where, and how the ball could have possibly
have been deflated after the refs checked them. Not a word about it. Not a sentence. Just that scared look on their face that liars get when they get confronted by their lies.
So getting to the positives of Brady's surrender is going to take a lot longer than I
planned, as I am pissed off againÖ
All Hell Broke
Loose Part IV.
Brown: The Future of the Celtics.
My Goodness! I go on vacation for a week, and all hell breaks loose in
Boston sports. The best part about Jaylen Brown's game was on display the
past few games in the Summer League, and that aggressiveness will be a
huge plus in the NBA. Once his knee finally got better, he turned up the aggression a notch or ten. Attacking the basket, sometimes aimlessly, over and over again with an aggression that can make him a star; once he learns how to play. He still breaks out the high school basketball too much. He has been so aggressive that the refs couldn't stop calling fouls for him to the tune of 16 free throws a game.
That is a great stat. But, the NBA refs are not going to put a rookie on the free throw line 16 times a game. "Time will tell," Ainge said. "[Jaylen's] not a cornerstone today. I would never put any pressure on a kid that young, but listen, that's how cornerstone players are made. There are so many guys as you look all around the league, nobody on draft night knew what they were. We'll see. Time will tell." He still has so much maturing to do in his game.
It is so important to remember that he is still only 19-years old. And like Anderson Espinoza, he is not likely to be a winner contributor to the major League team for at least three or four years. "We grew very fond of Jaylen," Ainge said. "Heís a great kid. [Who's still only] 19 years old. Who has a manís body [and] great athleticism. Sort of a vogue/new type of player in the NBA: of the versatile players, the versatile wings, can play multiple positions defensively. And we think he has a lot of upside. But we think heís a 19-year-old kid that can get on the court and play with the big boys right out of the gate." He struggled to play with the big boys down in Utah, and then hurt himself.
He still showed too much of high school game before he hurt his knee. He kept beating his man off the dribble, and then dribbling in a straight line to the hoop without adjusting to the Bigs getting in his way, and then leaping up and trying to dunk over them. You cannot do that in the NBA. NBA Bigs are experts at blocking shots of straight liners who try to dunk over them.
But something changed after he was forced to sit down for a week. Something finally clicked in his head that he didnít have at Cal. He started playing with his head up and seeing the defense and making quick adjustments after he broke down his man. His handle has also vastly improved in the short time he left Cal as well (The PAC-12 channel replayed some of his Cal games in the PAC-12 Tournament and I was pathetic enough to watch a couple). He can get past his defender, and actually change directions and hands while watching the defense and his teammates, and pass, pull up, or attack the hoop. When he applies true basketball skill to his elite athletic body, he looks like the kid who some called the best high school basketball player from Atlanta ever.
I watch the final
Summer League game where he progressed so far in such a short period of time that his
game really shined. He had an impossible lefty reverse layup through three defenders in the 1st quarter that looked like LaBron. He shot a soft
three. He grabbed a rebound and attacked up court with his head up, spotted a teammate, and hit him in stride for a fastbreak layup. If you want to be a true transcendent player you have to not only affect winning, but you also must make your teammates better. He showed he could bring the ball up on offense, and make passes that make his teammates better.
Now I'm only talking about flashes and dashes and sparks of his immense talent. He still plays too dumb sometimes, and his high school game has to be beaten out of him by his obvious intelligence. He is still such a kid. But you can see that there are thing he does on the court that if he can start to be consistent with those flashes in three or four years they can bring him to stardom. Or his foolish high school mentally can crush his vast potential. He showed enough flashes and dashes of brilliance to me to say that he is only three or four years of maturity, repetition, and
learning away from stardom, and maybe five to eight years away from being a true transcendent player in the NBA.
Another trait that showed up over the last few games of Summer League has been
that he is rebounding at a terrific rate and playing terrific defense. It's like I always say, "in today's NBA to be a true transcendent player you have to be able to create offense." He has been phenomenal at creating offense for himself and sometimes for his teammates. He has been able to take the D-rebound, take it up court, and hit teammates breaking to the hoop, or obviously attack the rim with reckless abandon. His passing has raised his game to a whole new level the past two games. He even clanged in a pull up jumper in the 2nd quarter to get the Celtics back to within seven.
However, his jumper has been a clang-fest. He hasn't just been missing, he has been hurting the rim with his hard shooting. He has had hard bounces off the rim that consistently clang the ball up above the backboard. There is little or no softness in his jumper, and his clangs ring through the area like a case of glass bottles smashing on the ground. However, he did get a nothing but net Three in the final game, which I think was his only three since he came back.
Plus, I hate to criticize young player for having bad jumpers. All young
kid have the clanging disease that can cured by relentless repetition if
they want to.
He has consistently been a terrific player on defense. "I like the integrity with which Jaylen has been playing with,"
Ainge said . "I like that: he defends, he rebounds, he passes. Heís a complete player. Heís gotta become a better shooter and he will because heíll put in the work. And heíll be better finisher around the rim and all those kind of things. But, at age 19, with his body and athleticism and willingness to play defense, I think heís going to be a terrific player." There were so many Celtics Vets in Vegas that you can see Brown
has taken to watching and listening to them and what the coaches are teaching.
When he sat down in the 2nd quarter of the last game (Rozier did not play in that game) they lost the lead. And they were killing Portland in the 1st quarter with him attacking so wonderfully aggressively all over the court. With Rozier out, he was the primary ball handler more than in the last game. He has become a much better lefty dribbler than given credit. He has been crossing over from hand to hand a lot the last few games.
But what has made him special the past two games is that he has ramped up his aggression to a star in waiting level. "I know I have a really quick first step, so if you donít cover for that Iíll get to the basket," Brown said. "Every game Iím just trying to be aggressive and attack." He not only had 21 points in the last game, he also had 7 rebounds and 5 steals.
He still showed some wild high school forays to the basket, and even got called for traveling when he drove and shot it up wildly, and then caught it in the air and came down with the ball even through it didn't hit the rim or backboard. But then he took it to the hole on the next possession and slammed it down hard. Which got them back to within two in the 3rd. Then Yabusele hit a jumper and broke open deep on the fastbreak to put them up two.
He is so young
that it is hard to say how good he can be, but after a year of NBA practices, constant shooting, and weight room work he could a star waiting to happen if he could just soften up his Jumper. "Iíve had practices for three or four days and Iíve played four games," Brown said. "Thereís a lot of defensive stuff, different actions coming at you fast. The pace of the game, itís all an adjustment. But I want to get better every day, and then when you look back a year from now or six months from now, youíll be in a good place." He looked better on offense, but still had one of those hard clangs from three that bounced up over the backboard in the 4th quarter of the last game.
He had a great steal early in the 4th, where he used his great suddenness to steal the ball after Portland rebounded a
Celtics' miss, and drew a foul going to the hole. He hit both free throws to tie the game "That was crazy," Jerebko said. "Jaylen has some really nice moves. A great feel for the game. A good body." He drew two fouls late in the 4th to go from down two to up two, by hitting four straight clutch free throws.
They started doubling him late in the 4th, which is another sign he can be a star on the floor. But he decided to throw up a Three late when they were down Three, and clanged it off the rim and over the backboard again. Then he got a free lane to the basket and went high school by going up too early and missed the dunk. Then tried a horrible high school turnaround fall away Three to end the game. He still has some high school decision making that he has to get rid of.
He kept drawing fouls into the 4th quarter, and he hits his free throws. The stroke is there, he just has to extend the range to Three. "I think his range is real," James Young said. "Heís shown this whole time that he can hit that. Heís absolutely good enough to take the next step. Heís quick, athletic, and he can guard a few positions. Heís got a lot going for him." He is still five years away from being 25, when Larry first won it all, and seven and eight years away from LaBron's (27) and Michael's (28) ages when they won the a Championship for the first time.
All Hell Broke
Loose Part III.
Rozier: The Eye of the Hurricane.
Let's not forget about Captain Clutch Terry Rozier. He looked like he took about five steps up this off season. "Heís been our best player from the first day of training camp this summer." Ainge said. "Heís been terrific for us. He was a good player last year in training camp. [He] just didnít get a lot of opportunities because of our depth at guard. I think heís winning a spot." He will get plenty of opportunities this year.
He was a lost little rookie early last year after being picked 16th in the Draft. "You just never know,"
Ainge said. "I think that the odds of the guys in the 20s making it and having a lasting career as a rotation player are slim. But if you look around the league, on every team, thereís guys that are drafted late in the draft, on every single team there are significant players. Having swings of the bat. Youíre going to get some right, youíre going to get some wrong. Guys are going to improve, guys are going to get to the NBA and thrive in the NBA game, where they might not have had as much success in college. You just never know about the draft." If not for Isaiah Thomas he could've had a shot at starting at PG this year.
He would be a guaranteed lock to start at the Point for the
Sixers if they trade for Okafor. "My mind is slowing down," Rozier said. "Iím making better reads that allow me to play better, because they get me better opportunities." His jumper has not only been incredibly consistent, he has also been able to flash to the basket whenever he wants.
There's a reason the Celtics didn't even try to resign Turner. "Evan Turner not signing back to us," Rozier said. "We need somebody to step up, and I've got to be that guy." Turner was their clutch
guy at the end of games. Rozier has been their clutch shooter, passer, and scorer at Summer League.
His clutch shot to win the San Antonio game was a thing of beauty, but he also hit a bunch of other clutch shots that lead to that
miraculous big shot. "It's big," Rozier said. "I wouldn't sit here and lie to you and say it's not big. It means a lot that I can play and help our team get wins. But a lot of credit goes to my teammates." But he can take credit for all the obvious hard work on his game he did over the past year.
In the alleged Utah Summer League Champ game, he not only
the shot of the entire Summer League, he was the Celtics' clutch weapon the whole 4th quarter. "I think heís winning a spot [in the rotation]," Danny said down in Utah. And I told all you all that he was their best player at Summer League before
that game. "[I'm trying to prove] that I can step on the court next year and play a bigger role," Rozier said at the end of the Utah Summer League.
He started off the 4th quarter scoring by hitting Bentil on the pick and pop between the college arc and the NBA arc. Then he used a pick, and tried to take a big step past the switching Bigs on defense, and drew the foul to get his first two points of the 4th quarter. Those four points where the only points the Celtics scored in the first 5-minutes of the 4th quarter, and with 10-minute quarters down in Summer League that is half the 4th quarter.
So with just under five minutes to go, Rozier took it into his hands. He over dribbled a little to the left. But then went back to the right and hit an elbow Jumper to put them up 74-73. Then he missed a Three after the Spurs got a fastbreak layup. With under four minutes to go he drew another foul, but didn't shoot. Off the inbounds pass, Terry took it to the hole. Then he dropped a pass down to Yabusele for a layup. Yabusele was hammered as he shot and got two freebies. But Rozier was still on all the points in the 4th quarter as his pass lead to one made FT by Yabusele to tie the game.
The Celtics gave up a hoop on the other end through some tough D by Yabusele. And while the Spurs whined about the contact, Rozier took the inbounds pass and ran past all the Spurs like a runaway mustang and tied the game with a great one-man-fastbreak-layup. So he was still in on all nine 4th quarter points with about 3-minutes to go. Then he drove to the
hoop and had to twist his body awkwardly to get the shot off, as a Big
leaped over to try and block it, and missed. But he hustled after his miss and grabbed the ball
and fought with the Spurs center until they called a jump ball. Which he wasn't going to win, but the hustle was nice.
However the Spurs scored off the jump ball, and Rozier had a bad turnover, which led to a fastbreak basket that put the Celtics down four. Jackson brought the ball up with under two-minutes to go and hit a Three. That was the only basket of the 4th quarter that Rozier didn't have a part in. Rozier got the ball back with 1:20, and you could see he was pissed about the turnover. He drive to the hole for an open layup, but missed because he was pissed.
And that really was the only time I can remember seeing his emotions get
the best of him. PG's have to be calm, cool, and collected. The Spurs went up 84-80 with 1:10 left, and it looked like the Celtics were done.
Rozier got the inbounds pass and drew a foul driving to the hoop. He got the ball back, and drove left to the hoop. He switched to his right had to shoot the diving scoop. But a big came over, so he turned his body and extended his hand to the left in the air, and put it in. I think it is especially important for the point guard to be able to hit a layup with either hand.
Rozier has to switch unto the Spurs big scoring small forward Ryan
Anderson on D. Rozier made him miss without fouling him to get the ball back with 34.6-seconds left. They couldn't get the ball to Rozier, and the Spurs almost stole the ball but it went out of bounds. Then Young hit Rozier breaking to the basket off the inbounds pass he hit the lay up to make it 84-86. The Spurs called timeout with 18.4-second left in the game, but had 14-second left on the 24 second clock. The Spurs got a shot up, and Rozier grabbed the rebound with 5.6-seconds left on the clock.
The Celtics called timeout. Rozier said he was "gassed", but Ainge snuck over and told him that he was the man. "I don't care how tired you are,"
it was tweeted Ainge whispered into Rozier's ear during this
timeout. "You've got to shoot the ball." James Young inbounded the ball to Guerschon posting on the right Angle. "I was kind of open for a second, so I called [Guerschonís] name," Rozier said. "He got me the ball, and I threw up a prayer. I was just like, 'I gotta hit it.' Us going against the Spurs, itís always down to the last shots. It was a fun game." He nailed the game winning shot, with the small forward Murray fouling him off the switch.
It was the best clutch quarter for any player at the Summer League. He scored the Celtics finally seven points once they lost the lead, and would have had the final eight, but he had to miss his free throw
on purpose after his historic three to get the clock running with 1.8-seconds left. He also was in on all 19 of the Celtics points in the 4th quarter, except Jackson's Three. Then he went and hit what was not only the best shot of the Summer League, it was also the most clutch shot in the Summer League from well beyond the arc while being fouled by the bigger player.
He also showed that clutch-gene in Boston last season. " If you remember last year, I hit a big [Three] in the corner [to tie the game with 2.5 seconds left)," Rozier said about hitting a clutch shot to tie a game with only seconds left on the clock. "Then they came down and hit a running floater to win the game." I do remember.
A true point guard has to be in complete control at the end of games when the pressure is swirling around him like a hurricane. "[His composure's been] really big, and weíve leaned on him," Shrewsberry said. "With R.J. and Jaylen not playing, heís really had to take on a leadership role, even more. But also a bigger scoring role." Rozier showed he was the eye of the hurricane down in Utah and Vegas.
All Hell Broke
Loose Part II:
A Thousand Times No.
My Goodness! I go on vacation for a week, and all hell breaks loose in
Boston sports. First off the Celtics cannot trade for Russell Westbrook under any circumstance. "Sources indicate the Celtics are very much open to major moves,"
wrote. "But while situations certainly remain fluid and they have expressed interest in Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook in the past, there have been no discussions regarding those players in quite some time." Now that Durant has bailed and Westbrook will be gone after next season, OK City is in full reboot mode.
OK City has to demand a king's ransom for their top five
NBA player. Then he will be gone to LA-LA Land next year. "Considering how strongly Ainge has praised Westbrook in the past, it is logical to conclude that he wouldnít mind having the Oklahoma City guard playing for his team. But there are several hurdles between here and that," Bulpett wrote, then added. "For the Celts to give up the kind of assets it would take to get one of the most talented players in the league, they would have to be convinced he would stay beyond the 2016-17 season ó the last on his contract." He will never be a long time Celtic.
There is just no long term upside to trading for
Westbrook. His heart and hometown is in LA-LA Land. The Celtics might be
able to get D'Angelo Russell from LA next year in exchange for Westbrook's
Bird Rights. And maybe best case scenario Brandon Ingram (not). Or
Westbrook just goes to LA and signs the new in vogue two year opt-out deal
until he is there for three years. That is a huge risk to risk the 2017
Swap of what could be another top three pick, only this time in a top
talent Draft. No-no-no. Because there is massive long term damage if they
allow OK City to rip the Brooklyn picks off their cold dead hands.
No-no-no a thousand times no.
They will start by demanding both Brooklyn picks, which cannot be bartered for a one year wonder. But the ex-Supersonics know Danny loves Westbrook. "Well, I feel the phones are definitely ringing," Wyc said. "Danny is definitely talking to people for sure. And has indicated that our work is not yet done." The problem is that everyone wants in on the Nets picks.
If OK City realizes that they are in the middle of a fire sale, and the
Celts could get Westbrook for Isaiah Thomas, a bag of beans, and a handful
non-Nets picks than yes. Which is not insult to Thomas, it's just that
Westbrook and Thomas have far too similar games to be on the floor together.
They need the ball in their hands at the point to be stars, and Westbrook
will be playing that role for 40-minutes a game next season, where ever he
brings us back to the Celtics problem. They have enough assets to get
any deal done, but everyone wants the Nets picks for their one year wonders. "If you're the Knicks or whoever, would you want Blake Griffin? I would. So I don't see what the story is," Doc Rivers said. "Call Pop (Popovich) and ask if he would like Blake. I think he'd say. 'Yeah, I think so. Yeah I think so. We had nothing to do with it." So the other problem is Blake Griffin.
You cannot give up the Brooklyn picks for
Doc's one year wonder Blake Griffin. They are allegedly working on a 3-year deal to send Gay to LA and Griffin to the
Celtics (not buying it). The good news is that Danny is sticking to his guns and refusing to give up the Brooklyn picks for a one year wonder.
Griffin has one year left on his contract as well. Trading for a healthy
Griffin without giving up a taste of the three Brooklyn picks could significantly
change the face the East. Griffin has the size, athleticism, and Vert to
slow down LaBron maybe significantly at Home (and maybe even shut down for
a game or two in Playoff games in Boston), but so far not the heart.
Plus, there are now reports that Griffin's knee has a tear in it. "We looked into him, and weíre hearing thatís a pretty serious thing," a GM said. "Iím not saying you donít go after him, but youíd better be really sure about that leg before you go making any big commitments."
No-no-no! To both deals no. A thousand times no.
But again it keeps coming down to those Brooklyn picks that they cannot give up. "Another sticking point in that and in other deals Boston is talking about is that pick from the Nets next year,"
a GM told
Bulpett. "Danny will make it available in the right situation, but heís not going to give it up with core players, too. Thatís going to be a good draft, and thatís going to be a high pick. Everyoneís been talking about how Dannyís trying to make a killing out here, but when it comes to certain pieces you have, I get that you have to be careful. You can give up equal assets, but you donít want to take away your best opportunities to keep things going down the line." The Brooklyn picks are
a boon for the Franchise that have turned into a curse this offseason as all the rebooters desperately want a piece.
I still think the deal that works the best
is Okafor. "Oh, Danny definitely wants to do something," a GM told Bulpett. "Weíve got nothing that really works with Boston. But I bet something happens there."
It just makes too much sense for both teams for it not to happen.
The Celtics are going to have to live with the fact they are looking at
three to five years before they are a true contender. They are not going to get an instant fix as long as they have those Brooklyn picks. Jaylen Brown made such a vast improvement from his first comeback game to the last two that he is untradeable, but he is still three to five years away from being a real star in the NBA.
Larry Bird didn't win his first Championship until he was 25. It took
LaBron, who was closer to Browns age coming into the NBA, until he was 27.
Michael Jordan was 28. The Celtics will be forced trade for another young player, Okafor, who can grow up with Brown and who ever they get in the Lottery
with their Swap pick next year.
Adding Horford, Rozier, Brown, and Okafor to last year's core makes them an instant adversary to Toronto for 2nd place in the East. Sacrificing Brown,
the 2017 Swap pick, or the Nets 2018 pick to the alter of a one year wonder is bad business. Maybe they beat Toronto next year and battle LaBron in the East Champ game with one of them. Then what? Then bye-bye Russell, or bye-bye Blake, and bye-bye Lottery.
And, they loose out on a player or two who could impact winning for
15-years. No-no-no. A thousand times NO!
All Hell Broke
Loose Part I: The Sox.
My Goodness! I go on vacation for a week, and all hell breaks loose in
Boston sports. The Sox
finally make the trade for a desperately needed starting pitcher, and Red
Sox Nation shows it true colors by booing it. I always used to say that
the lowest form of humanity are Red Sox fans who call WEEI. I know less
about Major League Baseball than Republicans who call Trump an
unacceptable racist, but "I'm voting for him anyway because he
has an (R) next to his name." To me, that is the new definition of
coward Mr. Paul Ryan. Evil is as evil does. When you recognize evil you
fight against him at all costs, and not join him like he is Adolph Hitler
at a tea party!
That this is a viable reference, because
Trump proudly admits that he studies the speeches of the fascist dictators
Hitler and Mussolini. "Donald Trumpís ex-wife Ivana related in a 1990 interview with Vanity Fair that
'from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitlerís collected speeches,
My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed.' Trump confirmed that the former Mrs. Trumpís 1990 assertion is true."
The only important thing you can learn from this article is that both
Hitler and Mussolini were duly elected officials! Who once elected proceeded
"to kill those who know more than they do (Bob Dylan)", to
complete consolidate power. Then they said "you're fired"
to their countries Democracies, and made themselves Emperors for life.
They proudly turned their counties into the greatest evil the world has
faced since the Dark Ages. This
is no joke! "Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter
cousin] works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says,
'Heil Hitler,' possibly as a family joke." Trump is planning a
coup, not an election. If you think otherwise than you are just another
sucker who got ripped off by a master conman.
back to our regularly scheduled program:
my new definition of the lowest form of humanity aside, even I knew the
Sox desperately needed a starting pitcher or two if they want to win some
Playoff games. "It takes a lot of pitching prospects to end up with a
championship-type pitching staff [because so many great young pitching
prospects fail]," Preller said. "There's huge value in depth and
numbers." Because so many great young pitching prospects fail.
traded an 18-year old kid who won't be a starting pitcher in the Majors
for four or five years, if ever. "Not an easy guy to deal,"
Padre GM Preller said. "Any time you have a left-handed starter
that's performed the way he has, you have to feel very good about the
return you're getting. We felt like we were getting a premium guy and
someone who's been close to untouchable last year." He was a top 15
to Baseball America.
did you also know that he was the youngest and furthest away from the
Majors of the top 25 or so. "The youngest player in the South
Atlantic League has flashed brilliance; remember, heís just 18." It
also has to be pointed out that the Sox had three players in the Top 15 of
that list, and Espinoza was the lowest.
have the top prospect of the revised top 100 Prospects List in 2nd
baseman Yoan Moncada. "So far, Moncada has managed to live up to the
hype generated by his $31.5 million signing bonus." And the 9th rated
player is outfielder Andrew Benintendi. "Benintendiís combination
of batting eye, power, and defense is pretty special." Sox pundits
said for weeks that they didnít want them to give up their top four
no one mentioned Espinosa. They also didn't want Dombrowski to give up
their next two top prospects. So they couldn't give up their 4th rated
prospect according to the new list, because he was 2nd on the list at the
beginning of the year. Funny how quickly thing change when you dealing
with teenagers. So they can't give up 3rd baseman Rafael Devers?
"Bostonís No. 2 prospect [now 41 on revised list] entering the
season has shown ability to rebound after slow start; still just 19."
Okay fine, but they can't give up their 5th rated prospect Righty pitcher
Michael Kopech either. "Kopech has barely pitched this year thanks to
hand and calf injuries, but when he has his fastball remains elite."
So who was left off that list? Espinosa that's who.
all the vitriol for this trade was stunning. I heard for weeks that nobody
wanted them to give up one of the top four prospects who are most ready to
play in the Majors for a starting pitcher. They didn't! "He was a
high-profile July 2 sign, and pretty quickly lived up to the hype,"
Preller said about Espinoza. "Not ultra-tall, but we do think there's
some physicality there to the body. He's filled out, started to put on
weight. Our scouts talked about how easy his delivery is, how easy he does
things. He throw strikes. As we looked at it and evaluated prospects and
pitchers in the minor leagues, he was pretty much at the top of our board
over the last year or so." But you have always had to give up
the highest quality in order get a left handed All-Star pitcher. Do I no
longer understand reality?
gave up an 18-year old kid who is four or five long and dangerous years
away from being a legit starter in the Majors. "Heís a youngster
that we liked a great deal," Sox GM Dombrowski said. "He was a
few years away from the major leagues. Not somebody that we wanted to give
up." He is young and talented, but has a long way to go.
return, they got a guy who will be starting in the Playoffs, this year.
"Best case scenario, obviously you're contending and in first place
and Drew's pitching in game one or two of the playoffs," Preller said
about the Sox. "But we mentioned it all along: we're trying to build,
acquire, and add to a talent base. It's a good scenario for us to get one
of the top 15-20 prospects in baseball. And a guy, long-term, we think is
going to be a big asset." Did you expect the Sox to give up a bag
filled with a dozen properly inflated footballs and a 40-year old ball boy
for an All-Star Lefty?
the Sox just aren't ever allowed to trade a top 100 prospect in their
system for an All-Star Lefty? "The first time I got traded, I was in
the bullpen warming up for a game in Double-A and got called back in and
got traded," Pomeranz said about being bounced around the minors like
Trump's ridiculous hair when he is bouncing around in a bouncy house.
"So that was probably the craziest it could be. Once I got traded the
next time, it got a little easier. And then I get traded the next time.
Itís just part of it. Itís part of the game." The fact is that
you can call Espinoza their top pitching prospect, but the further away
from the Majors a pitcher is the less likely he is to fulfill his vast
Ainge is fond of saying, "it takes two to tango." Other teams
aren't "gonna-be ripped-off" just to make the Red Sox fans who
call WEEI happy. "We think [he] makes us better now; Now, thereís a
sacrifice for the future," Dombrowski said. "There are only a
couple of pitchers we thought had a chance to be available that we thought
would give us an upgrade on our pitching staff." A Pitcher who can
help a Playoff Contender right now, is more valuable right now than
a pitcher who might be able to help a Contender in four to five years.
Even I know that, and I know nothing about baseball or any of these guys.
Pats fans, I expect more from you. All this whining
There is just
too much great stuff going on in Free Agency to write about it all. But
the hugest signing is the hugest guy in this years huge free agency class.
How do you spell NT: K-n-i-g-h-t-o-n. He is, or rather was, a defense
changer. I didn't study him as much once he was in Washington. But I did
watch Washington a few times this year and their defense was phenomenal,
especially right up the middle like every defense he has played in. So I
have to give him credit for that.
with this offseason was that I thought the Pats defense played it's best
when Malcolm Brown and Hicks were on the field together. Loosing Hicks was
a bigger loss then I think Patriots Nation thought. Plus, when you add in
the loss of the great Chandler Jones, who is being disrespected for his
talent and contribution to the team, those two guys really were the
blindside of the Pats D-line. Losing them left a huge hole on the right
and in the middle of the defense. Knighton is a huge guy who can fill a
huge hole right in the middle of the Pats huge defense (every time I write
huge now I hear that idiot megalomaniac Trump in my head, and giggle at
how small he must be).
isn't small. He stuffs the run as well as anyone in the NFL. "Myself, Iím a run
stopper," Knighton said. "I take up a lot of room in the middle."
The Pats need that. Plus he holds up blockers, and should allow Brown to
shoot some gaps more. One of the hopes is that Knighton helps to free up
Brown, who looks like he is developing into a star. Knighton was an immovable
object in the middle. If he can play like he did in Denver, and that was
only three years ago, the Pats got a steal.
But he is
such a unique athlete who just keeps getting bigger. He played WR in high
school. "Yeah, I was a wide receiver in high school," Knighton
said. "You said that like you were surprised. I played wide receiver, a little tight end. I was actually All-State at wide receiver. Chris [Baker] always tried to mimic me but Chris has always been that size. I just got this big like in college. Chris has actually been that size since like fifth grade, so he has always been O-lineman, D-lineman for his whole life. Chris, heís just happy about life. He is high off life. Like I said, I am very proud of him and we are just going to have a lot of fun this year, especially with two personalities like me and Chris."
It seems he hasn't stopped getting bigger. He ballooned up to 354 last
season, and was simply too fat to play like he did in Denver.
Knighton does best is play Nose tackle, and use his quick hands and feet
to move laterally to the ball. "I think playing basketball, playing different positions in high school definitely helped with my foot speed and my hand
quickness," Knighton said. "If you look at all the big guys that have played my position:
Wilfork, Casey Hampton, Jamal Williams. You know, big guys in the middle. Shaun Rogers;
Those type of guys are special because of their foot speed and their hand speed, and that's something that Iíve watched and I've watched over and over and over. I watched old film, new film on guys. One thing I always notice about is they're always in the right
place. Their feet and their hands are accurate." Which is something
he slowed down at doing last season, as he struggled with his endurance
for the first time.
signal a switch to more of a 3-4 again. "Throw ('em) in the rotation with Malcom Brown and Alan Branch,"
Albert Breer said, "and youíve got a good group of players that you can kind of rotate through
there." Over his seven seasons in the NFL he has garnered: 24 Sacks,
230 tackles, and an odd 10 PBU. The massive run stuffer is still only
29-years old. Last season he did not fare well. He was said to lose steam
in the 2nd Half, and only garner 29 tackles and 1.5 Sacks.
So if Siliga
and Kearse are equal JAG players inside, then the Pats are in good shape.
I thought that Hicks was a top player on the defense. So Knighton has to
be what he was at least. At his best he was a top five run stuffer, if not
the top NT in the NFL. Last season he was busting the seams of his game
shirt in all the wrong places. He went from a fat nose tackle to a sloppy
looking waste of talent last season, who didn't have the stamina to play
in the 2nd half. That will not be allowed to happen this season for the
Pats. Take this warning Terrence. You better get into the best shape you
have been in since you played for the Broncos, or BB will make you the
So if those
guys are even we are still at a net loss on the D-line because of the loss
of Chandler Jones. "(Mr. Jones) was somebody who would demand the attention of the offense and now youíre going to have to do a little bit more to generate a pass rush,"
Breer said. "But I think, overall, you look at it and I can understand why they decided to let him
go. The main thing being, of course, that all those pieces on the defensive side of the ball and they werenít going to be able to sign everybody, so you want to get something for at least one of those guys."
That will be my last Mr. Jones whine.
only had 1.5 Sacks last season. He looks sloppy on the field. He struggled to stay on the field because
he was out of shape. "One person with knowledge of the situation,"
Mike Jones said, "said that Washington would have likely signed Knighton to a long-term deal this offseason had things played out differently for him in 2015"
He went past fat and into sloppy looking in his uniform last season.
Which is not as big a problem for the Pats, because he will be in shape to
start the season, or he will be gone. Plus, they like to rotate guys to
keep them fresh more than any team in the NFL. When he was playing in
better shape in 2014, he was a guy Washington wanted to give a long term
contract too. So he better be ready to play, because if he is too fat and
tired to stay on the field BB will make him the fat guy fall-guy.
Best case scenario
is that he gets the message. Not staying in proper football shape cost him
millions in garnered money last season. And he has to know that BB won't
put up with those shenanigans. So he gets in shape and plays Nose Tackle
like he did in 2014, when he was so good Washington thought they were
going to give him some big money. Because he can control the middle of the
line and allow guys next to him, Brown and Easley, to burst up field and
disrupt plays more freely. Which just might offset the loses of Hicks and
I get the
feeling the Knighton might be the fall-guy pick up. BB loves to get big
named guys that everyone knows, and use them as the fall-guy. It's a
tactic that Parcells liked to use. You cut a big name guy late in preseason,
or early in the season, and it scares the cap out of players. It is the
"if they can cut him, they can cut me" effect. Remember when
they got Haynesworth. That team was a mess. Then they cut Haynesworth, and
the team really came together. That was the best example of the "if
they can cut him, they can cut me" effect. When you cut a guy who was
Defensive Player of the Year only a few years earlier, that really scares
the crap out of players by showing them how short the NFL life can really
be. You better outwork everyone. You better listen to coaches, and do
everything you can to keep alive on the roster. You better get in the film
room and study, and learn every check, call, responsibility of your
a Probowler a few years ago (or at least he played like one for Denver
against us). All the young guys and Draft picks will know who he is. If he
comes into camp fat and sloppy like he did last year in Washington, and
doesn't have the stamina to do the conditioning run, he will be the most valuable
player in preseason for BB. He will be the big name fall-guy cut that
scares the crap out of the young players. So he gets off his butt and
works his way back into Probowler condition, or he becomes the cautionary
tale that scares players into the obsessive work ethics that turns young
guys into NFL players.
an interesting guy. He was the preverbal guy picked by the wrong team for
the wrong system. He never fit in in Chicago, until they moved him to ILB.
"We take everything into consideration when we evaluate players," Belichick said. "I donít know. Everything is a factor."
He was playing like Jamie Collins in Chicago.
up my suspicion that they are worried about signing Collins, and McClellin
is the backup plan. He can play the utility infielder at the linebacker
not like we didnít want Shea McClellin," Fox said. "Youíd
like to keep everybody, but itís the way it fits. There's the way it
fits, there's number problems. Shea is probably an arrow-up guy."
He has shown he can stuff the run a little inside, and showed he could
bring some heat on the outside at Boise. He also seems to have a knack for
coverage. The Bears liked to use him to cover tight ends and RBs.
Plus. he has
developed himself into a very good special teams player as he tried to
find his spot on the Bears defense. "We add all the players that we added to our team we felt like to help our team,"
BB said. "Thatís why we added them. Weíll see how it goes." So he can
also backup Collins and Hightower, and you could see him maybe backing up
Ninkovich outside a little. I saw him in the Vrabel role when he was
He is listed at 6-3, 245, and was an important piece of the Bears defense
last season. "I like him," the DC of the CB Vic Fangio said.
"His future is bright. Heís playing good for us. Obviously, we think heíll play even better as we move on through this season and in the future. His future is bright here as a linebacker."
So we know that BB has a plan for him.
didn't want to let him go, as you could tell by how Fangio talked about
think Shea's probably an arrow-up guy," the HC Fox said. "I
think heís settling in at inside linebacker. Historically, Bill and Matt
[the DC] up in New England, they like guys who can play both [inside and
outside] and can at times confuse the opponent. I think he's a smart,
tough guy. Heís young. As we signed those other two [LBs], we kind of
ran out of room." So he had to go for Cap reasons.
So it looks like the Pats stole a good one.
Expect More From Pats Fans!
C'mon Pats fans, I expect more
from you. All this whining
about the Pats not going to the free agent candy store, and getting you some sugar rushes is ridiculous. Remember last year when Miami won the Free Agent Frenzy Bowl. It allowed media guys to write articles
this, and say it was nothing similar to Albert Haynesworth mega deal that won Free Agency for Washington.
Remember when Washington won the Free Agency Bowl in 2009, and flushed their franchise down the toilet, again, and they still haven't recovered. It allowed media guys to write stupid stories
this. Which of course lead the Cap destruction of Washington, and the mental destruction of Haynesworth (like we are currently seeing with Suh). He signed for 100-Mil, and then no longer wanted to do what the coaches told him to
do. What a shock! Then media guys got to write stories like
They got signed Suh to start
free agency frenzy. They won the free agency Bowl, and have gone straight down hill since. That contract ruined Suh's great team first attitude, as he refused to play certain roles they wanted him to play. And destroyed their Cap to the point that is was a major contribution in the loses of Lamar Smith,
Rishard Matthews, and Vernon. Now, they are asking Haynesworth, I mean
restructure his contract to save their asses.
In 2014 Tampa was pegged as the biggest winner on the first day of free agency, and they rode that awesome wave right to the 1st pick in the draft. The Giants and Colts were also winners and went straight down the poop-shoot last season. Atlanta was the fourth and has been in disarray ever since.
The first week of free agency is for suckers. The Agents and media colluding for big stories that usually end up hurting teams and getting coaches and/or GMs fired. It allows media guys to write stupid stories
this. Then crucify teams for screwing up a year or two later, like this: How The Miami Dolphins Won NFL Free Agency And Sent A Message To Rest Of AFC East, yay. It took only a few months before the Suh stopped listening to his coaches, hurt the Dolphin scheme, and the media attacked.
His coach defended
him, got smacked
down, and then got
The 100-Mil money destroyed Haynesworth, and it looks like the 100-Mil is going to destroy Suh. "I couldnít tell you," Suh said. "At the end of the day, we have to go back to the drawing board and figure out what we want to run so guys can make plays and go from there." Or what Suh said
more specifically, "Aaah-duuuh, it wasn't me."
Free Agent Frenzy would be a sad joke played on moronic fans, if it didn't destroy teams so specifically. So long Jags Coach! You just won the Free Agent Frenzy Bowl, by giving up the preverbal 100-Mil contract, which came out to 90-Mil, to a guy with five sacks last season. Then spent another 100-Mil contract, which worked out to 85-Mil, on a guy who had 7 sacks.
Then luckily lost Olivier
The funny news is that the Giants swooped in and gave Vernon a contract that averaged over 12-mil per Sack from last season. Which allows media types (like
RALPH VACCHIANO) to write stupid things like this: "The Giants blew away the rest of the free agent market on Wednesday by landing the best available defensive end (Olivier Vernon), defensive tackle (Damon Harrison) and corner (Janoris Jenkins), but it cost them $193.75 million in contracts and $105.5 million in guaranteed money." 105.5-Mil in gar-un-teed money, yay. See-ya, wouldn't want to be-ya. The Giant's hierarchy has a chance to last the season, but not much longer.
The worst part is that nether player was a scheme player. When you played the Broncos, you schemed against Miller and Ware.
Malik Jackson was fourth or fifth on list of players teams worried about. He took advantage
of all the attention he didn't get to produce five whole Sacks last season, yay. What is
he going to do now that teams will start scheming against him specifically. Jackson is already stepping out of his role, and into a management role,
like Suh did last
year. He wants to earn all 90-Mil (LOL), but needs help, he said stepping into the
coaches realm, like Suh. Vernon was not a top two player either, Wake and Suh where the guys talked about in
offensive meetings before teams went to Miami. He may have been third, but now he should be one or two, with the financial security to become part of management. Does being schemed against by the offense specifically help or hurt his Sack total next season?
When you give these guys this much money, they become part of management whether you like it or not, and
that never-ever-ever works in football. Football players are asked to sacrifice their body and future, like no other players in no other sports. If they step half an inch out of that role of utter sacrifice for their team than trouble always occurs.
So what does this have to do with the Pats? The Pats know this, apparently, more than most teams. Desperation oozes out of the winners of the Free Agency Frenzy Bowl winners, like racism out of the maniacal Trump's rallies (congratulation Republicans, you just created the greatest threat to our democracy, since Nixon bugged the
DNC headquarters, and stole the '72
election, by creating the fascist-dictator-in-waiting Donald "the dumbass" Trump, AND IF YOU THINK "fascist" is the wrong word, then you need to know that he loves-loves-loves the speeches of Mussolini and Hitler, and studies their speeches as
bedtime reading. He is a clear and present danger to our democracy). As
for who won the Free Agency Frenzy Bowl? Jobs will be lost. Tears will he shed. And the Pats will win again.
It is all the media madness, too many people lose sight of what the Draft and FA are all about. They are about team building. They are all about building a team that can win the Super Bowl. Winning the Free Agent Frenzy Bowl it the exact opposite of that. The Dolphins tanked last season, because they lost control of their team to Suh, and then couldnít afford to pay Lamar Miller and Rishard Mathews, two of the three most important weapons for their struggling QB
Tannehill, because Suh's 28.55-Mil Cap figure was almost 20% of the Cap. Do think Tannehill will be better or worse this season without those two guys. That is not team building.
Calling the Pats cheap is stupid, and I expect more out of Pats fans. That is the nonsense I expect from Jets and Dolphins fans. The Pats use free agency to fill holes in their roster. That is team building. They use free agency to sign their own guys. The top five players the Pats must sign this year? Who are they? They are: Jamie Collins, Malcolm Butler, Chandler
Jones (crap!), Dont'a Hightower, and Rob Ninkovich. That is almost half their defensive starters.
out regularly scheduled programming for this annoying message:
was just traded after I wrote this, "but he could be the player the Pats can't work out an extension with after the Olivier Vernon and Malik Jackson disasters, as it looks like the attempt to sign
son is foreshadowing Mr. Jones leaving in
free agency." So the Pats figured that they couldn't sign Jones after
the insanity involving JPP and Vernon. If Vernon is worth 85-Mil, then
Jones worth Suh money.
NOTE: and of
course before I can put this up the Pats sign Long. So you can look at it
as Long and a 2nd for Jones and his Cap space. I'm not a big proponent of
Cooper making a "HUGE!" impact. I had forgotten Howie was from
Charlestown. "This is an opportunity and I am so thankful!!!"
Chris Long tweeted. "Whatever it takes!!! See you soon Boston. GO
It will be interesting to see how they use him. He might more of an inside
rusher now, like the way they used Chris Jones. It will also be
interesting to see if this moves Sheard over to the Blindside. Also,
Walter had the Pats take Shilique Calhoun DE out of Michigan ST. I don't
really agree with that pick, but it sure made me think. I have been comparing
Calhoun to Jones, only he doesn't try as hard. But in big games, when he
is going all out, he is a force. So if you want to see what it looks like
in the 2nd right about now, take
problem the Pats faced is that they now have three young defensive stars
all with contracts ending this season, and they knew they couldn't sign
all four, and Ninkovich. It looked to me like Jones was the least likely,
though I had him 3rd on my list, for them to be able to sign. And I originally
had him 2nd on my Tweet of top five free agents for the Pats (@PatsDraft),
but changed it here, because if they lose another Pro Bowl CB to free
agency they are completely screwed.
started drafting replacement D-end for Jones last season, and signed Sheard. So there is
only one reason to trade Mr. Jones, and that is because you knew you
wouldn't be able to resign him in the current market. Getting a 2nd Round
pick for one year of Mr. Jones is not a bad trade. I liked Cooper coming
out of UNC. Though I didn't think he was a top ten pick. Nor do I think
they need an interior O-linemen: Jackson, Mason, Kline, Andrews, and Stork
are a full load of very young inside guys who will be better this season.
But, he makes the team for one year, maybe, and then his contract is up.
probably a guy Coach Scarnecchia loved in the Draft. And no matter what
happens the rest of Free Agency and the Draft, you cannot have better news
than Scarnecchia returning. The O-line, with all it's players and
returning veteran O-Tackles is going to be ten times better next season.
And they are going to need the O-line to protect Brady like heck next
season. Which they will with Scarnecchia at the helm.
I'm not going to tear down Mr. Jones now that he is going, which seems to
be happening. Jones was the third most important free agent on their
defense this year, only behind Collins and Butler. To say otherwise is BS.
I'll even give you Hightower with healthy knees, but that's it. His loss
will be felt from Day One. The most important player on the roster
suddenly becomes a healthy Trey
Flowers. Sheard and Ninkovich
will be fine on the strongside, but Jones was the man on the
blindside. Giving up the guy who had 12.5 sacks last season is a big deal.
The idea that his won't affect the defense is nonsense. However, he did
seem to loose something in the field after his flight to Mars, when he
woke up at the police station.
So now the
Pats have picks 60 and 61, which makes the Draft twice as interesting to
me, but I'm not sure how much it helps them next season. Cooper was a
great prospect coming out of UNC, who seem to fail because of injuries
more than anything else. The Pats are hoping that the talent that he
flashed at UNC can be pulled out of him by Scarnecchia. And if it doesn't
work they still have the Five young guys who proved it on the field more
than he did the past two seasons.
back to our regular scheduled programming:
When you look at team building, last years Draft for the Pats was as much about free agency as team
building. Drafting two D-Ends, Flowers and Grissom, was direct insurance for the contracts of Jones and Ninkovich. Plus, the
Roberts pick in the 7th was direct insurance for Butler. They look so similar
on tape sometimes that it is eerie. That is how the smart teams operate. Get young players at key times to develop, hopefully, into starters for free agents who are coming
up. Not after they are gone, but before they are due for big money. Then if it doesn't work out they can pick up a second tier, or some 3rd tier, free agents.
Ninkovich is the second most likely gone (after Jones), because of his age. Sheard will take over more of the role as starter, and Flowers is a force waiting in the shadows. Sheard played his best in Rob's strongside linebacker role, and Flowers played mostly on the strongside at Arkansas before his senior season.
The real problem that the Pats face in free agency this season is that Butler and Collins have developed into legit NFL stars, and Dont'a Hightower is not far behind.
They have to sign them to extensions during the season. They cannot afford
for them to the streets next March.
Hightower is the type of pure team first guy that could sign for a little less to help the team. Which is not a shot at Collins and Butler. Both are small school guys who worked their unique athleticism into stardom. They are going to demand big time Cap cash, and they deserve it. The question is can they sacrifice a few Mil to help the team. The only chance the Pats have of signing those five guys
(now four) is if they all sacrifice a few Mil to each other to make a few more runs at the Super Bowl. Which is asking an awful lot when you put it terms of millions of dollars. But I think each is capable of leaving a few Mil on the table if they really want to stay with the Pats.
So while it is unrealistic think they could do it, there is a chance. But in the ironic news of the day, and I love my irony,
the Ass-Monkey might have helped the Pats. Not having to pay a first round pick 2-4 Mil in 2017 means more money for our
four big guys (who they now should be able to sign). It is one of those wonderful unexpected consequences that happens to bad guys upon occasion. So if the Pats are able to resign
their top four free agents this season to extensions, you should all write a kindly and sarcastic thank you to the Ass-Monkey at your convenience.
Also If you thought, wrote, or think the Pats will get any picks back from the Ass-Monkey than you are as stupid as a Trump supporter. The Ass-Monkey is
a maniacal manic whose ego is all that matters to him, and he lies, cheats, and steals to protect it at all
cost, just like Donald "dumbass" Trump. He will never relent in his insane, incomplete, and maniacal attack on Brady. Even if it cost the NFL 100-Mil to go to the Supreme
Court to try and prove his lies are the truth again, so he can prove he has the biggest dick in the world, and beyondÖ By the way, here's a little lesson in basic psychology for all Pats fans: the more you say, yell, or talk about how "huge" you
are at everything, the smaller you are in the pants. 'Nuff said.
The loss to Denver was brutal. The only reason I could
find for them to lose was that wacky things happen to the Pats in Denver,
like losing because of a missed extra point.
Wacky things like an epic fail for the best coaching staff in the League.
When you motto is, "Just do your job", and then the coaches just
don't do their job it is tough to win. When you do things a certain way
all year, and then chose to change it, that is not doing your job.
When you do
things a certain way all season long, like deferring to the 2nd Half which really
defined you as a team nationally for some reason, and then you change
doing what you do. That was the wrong message to send the players to start
the game. It told the players that this game was different. That maybe
they were a little ah-scared. That maybe just doing your job wasn't enough
to beat this team. "First of all, I want to congratulate Denver on an AFC
Championship," BB said. "They have a good football team. They're well-coached. They have a lot of good players. They played a bit better than we did today. I'm proud of our guys. They fought right to the very end, like they always do. We just couldn't quite make enough plays, obviously. It's disappointing. It was a disappointing result. There were a lot of big plays in the game. Any one of them probably could have made a bit of a difference. I just think we all feel, as coaches,
players, it's such a fine line today between winning and losing that we all could have just done a little bit more and it might have had a different result, but it wasn't. It's a crash landing to the end of the season like there usually is in the National Football League."
To me that "little bit more" started with changing the way you
have started the game, every game over the past two or three seasons, for
no apparent reason at all. That clearly said to the players, "just
doing your job" was not good enough (I might still be overreacting to
But in the
end it just wasn't enough. Even though they had another dramatic,
heart-wrenching, and impossible comeback as time was expiring. That just
wasn't good enough in Denver, again. "I would say it was a combination of
things," BB said. "Again, I thought Denver did a good job
defensively. It's all interconnected between the receivers, the quarterback, the offensive line, the timing, the execution, the balance in the running game, longer yardage situations. I mean, it's all part of it, and in the end it just wasn't as good as what it needed to be yesterday, period, in any area. I wouldn't put in on any one guy or any one situation or one position or anything like that. It was just, in the end, we came up short."
They played with the heart of a Champion all season long, and were done in by two two
wacky and improbable loses in Denver. Where they have been cursed since
team was so tough and resilient, and deserved better. "Yeah, we evaluate that every year, and that's always part of
it," BB said. "We go back and look at the previous year, look at historically the information that we
have: what the nature of the injuries were, where they happened, what the circumstances were, practice,
game. Whatever it is, and try to find trends or try to find ways based on the testing of the athletes prior to their
injuries. Whether there was any type of indication that there might be a vulnerability in some particular body part or imbalance or whatever it happens to be. So we're always working on that. Continue to do that as much as we can. Try to stay ahead of it."
In the end they couldn't overcome the loses of Nate Solder and Dion Lewis.
They led the
NFL in games missed by starters, and still should have won the AFC Champ
Game and gotten to the Super Bowl. Remember, they essentially had to throw
away the last two games of the Regular Season due to injuries. They made
the strategic decision that it was better to get their superstars healthy
than beat the Jets and Dolphins on the road. It was a decision that I agreed with, and
still think could have worked. You have to remember that Denver was
falling apart at the seams. They had lost 4 of their last 7 games, and had
just lost two straight as the Pats were heading to New Jersey in week 16.
It was a calculated risk that they won at first. They were finally healthy
in the First round of the Playoffs against KC. But, Denver somehow won
their last two games. And of course the League finally succeeded in
screwing the Pats in the end. Setting up the Schedule so Denver's last two
games are at Home. While the Pats last two games were on the Road against
their two fiercest Division rivals.
The game is
over, and we're one of two teams to come up just a hair short of the Super
Bowl. "I'd say after going through the game this morning, I feel pretty much the same as I did last
night," BB said. "I have a lot of respect for the way our team competed. I'm proud of it. [We] had guys battling right to the very last play with a chance to tie or win, however you want to look at it. I think each of us that competed in the game, players, coaches, all feel the same way:
probably a couple plays, couple calls, couple whatever, that we'd all like to have back. In a close game like that, I think you always feel that way. This is no different. Denver is a good football team. We had some opportunities, but in the end just came up a little bit short and that's obviously a disappointing feeling at this time of the year. [Weíll] turn the page here and move on, and start the process all over again. That's where we're at."
If that game was anywhere else than in Denver they win. In Foxboro it is a
blow out, and on a neutral field it isn't close.
But now the
season is over, and we have to get past the wreckage. "No. No, it's the same basic feeling 31 teams,"
BB said. "30 other teams have [that sick puky feeling their
guts], and another team is going to have it next week. We've been in those situations. We've been on all sides of it. We've been on the good side of it. We've been where we are today, so that's life, we move on."
Time to move on.
So the gears
have shifted into the off season. "Well, we'll take care of that game
first," BB said. "I've already done that. Although there is more to do, but I'll do that first and then move ahead. But we have a lot of things to do today with the players coming in. [Itís] the last time we'll see some of them for a period of time here, so there are definitely some things to take care of with the team."
Like deciding if the rookie CB who never was, the dread pirate Darryl Roberts, will be healthy enough
to take over the third CB job this season.
So they have
to study everything they did from top to bottom all season long. "We look at
everything," BB said. "We look at everything. We look at various points in the year and look back on training camp, the draft,
OTAs, each and every game, end of the season. We do all that. And we critique ourselves. We critique all the things. We do it all. We try to find areas we can improve in, and we try to address those."
According to my Team Needs from last years Draft, the areas they still
need to improve on are at: CB, WR, and RB.
time to start preparing for the Draft and the 2016 season. "We'll do the same thing we do every
year," BB said. "We'll look at everything that we did, try to analyze that. We'll look at whatever the opportunities are going forward and whatever areas those fall in, make the decisions that we feel are best for the team to improve.
Same thing we do every year. There's no change." Senior Bowl,
Combine, Free agency, Pro Days, bringing players in, and the Draft.
Playoff teams they are behind in Draft preparations. "Well there are a lot of
steps," BB said. "There are a lot of different areas here to talk about. We're entered into the whole draft process, which we haven't, I personally haven't touched. We have other people in our organization. There's the team building. There's the schematics. There are other things that come up, some of which I don't even know what we're talking about yet, that will happen over the next whatever time frame."
They have a lot of work to do.
me if you'd like a question blogged:
dogs on Main St howl Because they understand.