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.
result of all your great support, the start of the Patriots season, and
the release of my third book And One (or should I say second
novella on kindle), I will be offering Manfred's Argument (my first
novella) for free on Amazon.com from September 10th to September 14th.
all my faithful followers. Thank You.
13-3- I know, I'm not going out on a ledge here, but I just keep
getting the feeling that the Pats end up 13 and 3. I of course think
they will be 14 and 2. I suppose I have to take a 50-50 shot at which game
I think they loose (if my feeling is right). I
suppose I have to say it's this one. Though they could clearly tank the
Dolphins game if they win this one. It's just that they can't sit Brady
for two weeks. Brady has to play against the Dolphins in Week 17, or his creaky
old bones will be a little rusty in the Divisional Round.
in the Joker's lair, the Jets got everything on the line here. "We
know they're a great team," Fitzpatrick said. "Obviously, Super
Bowl Champs and have won the division however many years, but each year is
different and they've had a great year again. We've played them once and
they beat us. We've got to try to get better and do some things better
than we did last time. Winning
last week makes this one more important. This is everything for us this
week trying to get a win in this game." The Jets are at Home, and the
Pats just want to get home healthy.
just don't like how this offense matches up against the Jets defense with
Edelman out. "He's been one of our best players," TB12 said
about Edelman. "[One of our] most dependable and consistent players,
for as long as he's had the opportunity to be in there and play that role.
So the more of those guys you can have out there, the better you're going
to be. He's obviously a very versatile player, so it'll be great to have
him back whenever that happens. I know he's working pretty hard to get
back. The more good players you can have out there on a consistent,
dependable basis, the more dependable and consistent your offense can be.
So he's certainly one of those guys who's been very dependable for us over
the years." But what happens when you run out of those dependable
Amendola out, Chris Harper in, and Hankerson cut? "It was a little
bit of a scramble, probably hard to evaluate a player off of that game
with hardly any practice time at all," BB said about Hankerson just
before he cut him. "Most of it was on the scout team and stuff like
that, so hopefully with a few extra days here over the weekend and then
kind of being able to build off of last week instead of starting at the
very bottom, we can get a little more done this week and move it forward,
so we'll see how it goes. I thought he went in there and did the best he
could, but like I said it's a tough situation. It's hard to really get a
good evaluation of that." Yet he got the boot anyway.
if Gronk is out? How do they match up with this defense? "People are
always dealing with some stuff," Brady said about all the injuries.
"It's a long season, so I think over the course of the season, you're
always dealing with some type of adversities I would say. I think mental
toughness is important in this sport to try to put whatever is going on,
on the side when you go out and play football for those three hours a week
because you only have three hours to kind of put your performance out
there and do the best you can do. So all the guys are pretty mentally
tough, but I'd say to be 12-2 is a good record. I know it's not perfect.
There are certainly a lot of things we could do better, but it's good to
be 12-2." When it’s 3rd and 7, and Brady drops and looks right and
sees Martin being covered by Revis? Aaah-no. He looks left and sees LaFell
being covered by Cromartie and/or Skrine. Then Brady looks up the middle
and sees the rest of the entire back seven on Gronk! Where does he go
I'm a LaFell guy, but he has struggled all season to get his continuity
back since returning from injury. And I thought Cromartie was a bad match
up for him, though he did burn him last time we played the Jets. If you
remember he had six drops in that game, but he was wide open for those
throws. The reason it was so painful is that he beat whatever DB they put
in front of him badly, got wide open, and then dropped the ball. Brady
threw to him eight times and hit him in the hands eight times, with six
terrible drops. If he does that again, and LaFell holds on, he could have
8 catches for over a 100-yards and a TD.
they will probably put Revis on LaFell? "It was great having him as a
teammate," TB12 said. "He brings a lot, I think, to the defense
that he plays on. We’ve played him a bunch of times when he played for
the [Jersey] Jets and then Tampa Bay, and we played him here, [then] back
to the Jets. So basically [we] played against him every year in some form
or fashion. He’s just a great player. I think he does a lot of things
really well. It’s fun to watch him play. I think he has a very unique
style but he certainly locks his guy down. I think that’s pretty
impressive to do it for as many years as he has. It’s not a simple
scheme for a guy like that because it puts a lot of pressure on those
corners. It’s like having two offensive tackles that you don’t ever
give any help to and whoever they go up against, they go up against.
It’s pretty impressive to see what he’s accomplished this year. What
he’s accomplished every year. He’s a great player." That doesn't
make me happy.
isn't the old erratic Jets Organization we have grown to know and love so
much. "It's great that we're at our peak and we've won four in a
row," Buster Skrine said. "We know New England is a tough team.
They've been a tough challenge for everybody. No extra pressure. We just
know it's an important game. We're just going to do what we've been
doing." That doesn't sound like the old screwed up Jets at all.
one match up I like is White. The Jets don't have anyone who can cover
him, especially if they plan on quintupling Gronk like I would do if I
were them. We might need White to get 10 catch for a 100-yards and 17 TDs
to take this game.
any team looses their top two players at any position it gets very tough
for the team, but their back ups have to come in and produce.
"Again," BB said about Brandon Bolden, "some of that is
more of a product of everybody else than it is him because he can do all
special teams, all third down, all first and second down. He can do all
the running back stuff. I don't know. But who else do you have? Who else
is part of that and what can they do? The way James White is playing and
what he's done, he's done a great job for us on third down, so maybe
that's something that Brandon, he has to be ready to do it but maybe it's
not a role that's not as big for him and it's more of something else, or
maybe James White's role shifts a little bit now. There are some options
there, but some of that is a function of what else you have because it's
not like we're sitting there saying here are the things Bolden can't do.
That's a pretty short list. What he can do is pretty much everything. It's
a question of where you want to use him, but he gives you flexibility that
some other players don't, who can only do one thing or maybe two
things." Bolden has to run tough inside in this game, and it still
might not matter against their front seven.
does Brady go to win this game? We know they ain't gonna run the ball, but
they will be relying on Bolden a ton in this game. "I
can't even tell you how many games we've gone into with three backs and
him being the third back as really being able to play on first, second,
third and fourth down and play well and be one of our best fourth down
players,". That's a lot, and you start talking about third-down backs
and all they have to do in terms of blitz pickups, formations, coverages
and all that, and then same thing on early downs being able to run the
ball, handle the running game and blitz pickup on play action passes,
which is a different set of protections and defensive looks. Then you get
into fourth down and a core special teams player that's involved in four
phases of the game – kickoff, kickoff return, punt, punt return and all
the things that go on there and all the situational plays that happen in
those units – the volume there, that's a lot. That would be a lot for a
guy to do one of those things – third down or special teams or first and
second down. For a guy to be able to be as competent as he is in all those
areas physically and mentally, there aren't many guys in the league that
can do that now." It is not a good sign that Bolden is one of
their most important players in this game, though he might be the most versatile
player on the team. Plus, if he reminds me of anybody it is Chris Ivory.
It takes more than one guy to take him down, and that can hurt defense
more than anything. Especially when he can give some nice pops to the
pretty passrushers like Ivory does.
Jets have been a roll the past month or so. "Looking at the Jets
here, this is obviously a team that we know very well and they're playing
very well," BB said. "I think Coach Bowles has done a great job
with this team. They went through a little bit of a down period there in
the middle of the season but they've really bounced back from that, won
their last four games. They really do everything well as a team. They're a
very good, physical team, run the ball, stop the run, play good defense,
balanced on offense, throw the ball well, good in the kicking game, good
situational team, very good in the red area, just play good situational
football in general, not penalized much, don't make a lot of mistakes,
turn the ball over a lot on defense, plus turnover ratio, so that has
served them well this year. Again, well balanced, have a lot of guys
contributing. A lot of guys on defense are playmakers, a lot of playmakers
on offense. Fitzpatrick is having a great year along with all his
receivers and backs. It's a good football team that's playing well. We'll
be going into a hostile environment down there so it will be a big
challenge for us this week to be ready to go."
I just don't see how the Pats can pull this one out in New Jersey, unless
their defense is elite this week.
13-3 Part II- Meanwhile, the Pats are walking on a massive strategic
tightrope. The next three weeks are all about getting ready for the
Playoffs. The Pats prime priority is to get Brady, Gronk, Amendola,
Hightower, and Edelman on the field and healthy for the Divisional Round.
That's all that matters. It you give them too much time off they will get
rusty, lose their continuity, and then lose. If you play them too much
they won't be healthy when it matters the most. They have to play guys
both this week and next week, who are still recovering from injuries, to
scratch the rust off a little.
week is about squeaking out a win with minimum risk, which simply isn't
going to work with the Jets at Home. They have been on a roll that has
them at their highest confidence point of the season. It would be nice to
clinch the first place Bye with a win this week, but do you really want to
get into a knock down drag out junkyard dog fight with the Jets this week?
Because that's what the Jets will be looking for. That is what this game
is going to be. And once the players are on the field that is what they
will want it to be. That is the line BB is going to be trying to walk the
next couple of weeks.
you think we hate the Jets, just think how much the Jets hate the Pats. We
hate them, and beat them over and over again. They hate us, and we beat
them over an over again. They want to crush, kill, and destroy the Pats.
As much as we hate the Jets, they hate us worse. Plus, they are desperate
for a win, at Home, to stay in the Wildcard race. "It
was good to pull out some close wins when we'd lost some," Bowles
said. "We hadn't had any close wins this year. We won some games by
double digits or we just lost, we hadn't had any nail-biters that we won.
So, it was good from a character standpoint, from our standpoint, to win a
couple of those." To get this win against the hated Pats would
be the highlight of their season, and one of the biggest building block in
Bowles rebuilding the team for next year.
in the Bat Cave, the Pats just want to get healthy. "That's a good
question," BB said when asked about the balance between resting and
rusting his starters the next two weeks. "I think we just probably do
the best we can to manage all those things that you talked about. They are
all somewhat of a consideration and we've just got to try to balance it
out. I think each part of your question requires some thought and every
decision impacts other things as well, so you just can't act independently
when one thing happens when there is a residual effect to it one way or
another as part of the conversation. We'll just have to do the best that
we can to balance all those things out. That's something we'll have to
give some thought to and get as much information as possible because there
are some guys that are in various states of physical health. We'll have to
work our way through all that. It's definitely a challenging situation. I
wish I had a cleaner answer on it, but really we're just going to have to
work it out." How BB handles the next three weeks will go more to
determine their Playoff chances than anything else he has done this season
(except picking up Coleman and Johnson, to save their tragic depth at CB).
want to win the Divisional game and get to the Champ game at Home. This
game is about third or forth on their current priority list. That is never
a good thing coming into any game. Never mind against a Division opponent
on the road. To win this game they have to go all out. It is going to be
one of their toughest games this season. Which is another problem. This is
a must win for the Jets, but it is not a must win for the Pats.
when you consider the Broncos and Bengals. I don't think either one of
those teams wins out (although looking at the schedule it is a lot harder
to say that with Denver playing the Sucking Chargers, and the Bengals
playing the Sucking Worse Ravens in week 17). But they play each other
this week. So one team is all but guaranteed to be knocked out of the Bye
this week (What? They could tie).
play each other tomorrow night. Denver is at Home the last two games, but
they are not good. They have lost four of their last seven games and two
straight. Granted, their last game is against the Chargers, but I think
even the Chargers could beat them now. They are not the team that won
seven straight to start the season.
the one thing that can really scare Pats fans is going into Denver for the
Champ Game. But just don't tell me your ah-scared to go there now. I'm
not. If we have Edelman, Amendola, and Hightower healthy Denver can't beat
us. Maybe Denver wins out, but who really thinks Denver wins a play off
game against a top Playoff team in the Divisional Round. It just ain't
happening. The best thing you can say about Denver is that the schedule is
clearly in their favor. But the Bengals are just as desperate. And the
Chargers game is a division game, and anything can happen in those games.
the other hand the Pats need one more win to lock it up (or two loses).
They don't want that to be a priority going into next week against the
Dolphins. Like Denver in Week 17, matchups matter less in Division games.
So they will go all out to win this game, in New Jersey. I just don't like
the matchup, the feel, and the priorities of the teams in this game. The
Jets defense is playing phenomenal football right now, and the Pats O-line
is still not quite in top form yet. At Home, I'd bet on the Pats to win
this game. In Jersey, I'm not very happy about the match ups on offense. I
don't like the idea of Brady holding onto the ball for too long against
this Front Three.
like in most of these game it still comes down to Brady and Belichick
hating to lose worst than being thrown up on by a drunken Jets fan. If
anybody can pull this game out it is BB and TB12. "I
think they do a great job with their guys," Bowles said. "When
they have people that make their 53 man roster. They can plug and play
guys and they pick the right guys for their system, which is a credit to
their coach and scouting staff. They just plug and play guys and they
understand how to win, they've been doing it for a long time and they have
a high success ratio. Right now they're the Super Bowl Champs and they set
the standard for the league, so everybody else has to catch up." This
is clearly a plug and play game for the Pats.
However…- This is going to be a good olde timey football game.
If the Pats have one advantage it is defense. I know I'm biased, but I
think the Pats have the best defense in the NFL. They are tied with the
vaulted Denver defense with Sacks at 47. I have really liked what I have
seen from the Cardinals defense, but we don't really have to worry about
them (until maybe the Super Bowl).
I thought the Panthers defense is terrific. "Yeah, absolutely,"
TB12 said about the Panthers. "They’re playing great. He’s
[Newton] having an incredible season. They’ve got a great football team.
It’s hard to get to 14-0. You have some games where you just don’t
play your best and they’ve still figured out a way to win those games. I
think that’s the mark of any great football team. Whether you have no
losses, or one loss, or two losses, those are very hard seasons to have
because injuries always play a part and they’ve won without certain
guys. I think that’s also the mark of a great football team." But
the Panther have faced the worst array of QBs of any team in the NFL this
Pats have one of the top fronts sevens in the NFL. Plus, they have the
best Safeties, one through eight, in the history of the NFL. They also
have one of the top pair of starting Corners in the NFL. "They were
good then," Bowles said about Ryan and Butler. "Malcolm is
probably one of the best in the league. He shows up. He takes the best
cover guy. They can play zone. They can play man. They're both big.
They're physical. They can tackle. The defense has been playing
outstanding and those two corners are a big reason, a big part of
it." Their one weakness on defense is depth at Corner, but not their
Jets might have a better front three. "They’re playing really
well," TB12 said. "They were pretty good when we played them the
first time. We were playing a little bit different at that time, also.
They’re pretty hot right now. They’ve always had a good defense. I
think it starts with having really good defensive players like Pace, and
Wilkerson, and Richardson, and David Harris, Davis is phenomenal,
Cromartie and Revis, Skrine’s a great player. Gilchrist has had a great
year. Pryor is having a great year so they’ve got a lot of guys.
Harrison, their nose tackle's been great. So I think it hasn’t ever
really been that this defense is kind of a walk in the park for our
offense. It’s always been a big challenge but it starts with having
really good players, they do. Now they’re really obviously been well
coached, or really well coached this year. There are a lot of scheme
things that they do that are challenging to prepare for. It’s tough.
It’s tough but we’re grinding through it, trying to get everyone on
the same page, and I’m sure we’ll feel pretty good about our game plan
once we get to the game." But the Pats have a better front seven by
one in the NFL would trade the Pats edgerushers for the Jets. Jones,
Ninkovich, and Sheard are all having great seasons. Plus, the Pats ILB
Collins and Hightower when healthy are the best in the NFL. The Jets got
nothing to compare to those two guys.
getting Hightower healthy for the playoff is more important than winning
this game for the Pats. "One, just strictly what's the player's
medical condition, and so that can define it right there," BB said
about Hightower. "If he's out, he's out. Then it's can play but less
than 100 percent and then that depends on or that conversation continues
into how it goes in practice. How it looked in practice, how the player
feels, possibly what you're going to be asking him to do in the game if
you can determine that, but sometimes depending on what position it is,
you can possibly narrow down sort of what the role would be or what you'd
ask them to do. How long is another question. How many and how long? So
could the player go out there and play two or three plays? Yeah, probably.
Could he play 60 plays? No, you wouldn't want him to do that. So what's
the right number in there? Maybe you could talk about that during the game
or maybe it's something you try to define before the game and work the
player's role into that. But again at the same time you have to play the
game and there are circumstances and events that happen within the game
that you can't plan for. You don't know how it's going to go, so once you
get into the game you have to be able to utilize the players that are
available in a competitive way during the game. It's again a long kind of
complicated discussion, but again once the player is cleared to play and
he's able to play and he feels confident that he can play and so forth,
then some of these other things come into play. Until that point, then
there's nothing really to talk about." With Collins and Hightower
healthy they have the best defense in the NFL.
this is going to be a low scoring, ugly as Sexy Rexy's butt type game.
Hopefully it will be the type of ugly game the Pats just pull out at the
end. The defense will dominate both teams. So the Jets have a bit more of
a defensive advantage at Home. But the Pats defense is better this year.
And very underrated, as everyone always focuses on the Pats offense.
Jets Offense- This is not your old Jets offense. They have been
killing it the past four weeks. "Yes,
we've gotten better," Bowles said. "We've learned from past
things, the middle of the season especially. We had lost four out of five,
so we had some growing pains and that's typical of a new team. We've got
some good wins lately, we've got some hard fought wins. So, we're building
some character, we're moving in the right direction and we're just going
to try to keep working." This offense can win a game now.
Fitzpatrick. He has turned from a stats QB into a winning QB amazing
before our eyes this season. It takes different amounts of time for every
QB, but if a QB can hang around long enough they usually can turn from a
young stats-QB into a veteran winning-QB. Sometimes it only takes two
years, like Brady. And sometimes it takes ten seasons like it did for
it doesn't hurt that Fitz has some nasty weapons. "They're good, big
receivers," BB said. "I mean look every receiver in this league
has got skill or they wouldn't be out there. Some guys have size, some
guys have speed, some guys have quickness, some guys have great route
running technique, some guys have great hands or combinations of those
things. And it's the same thing with defensive backs – some are big,
some are fast, some are quick, some have great ball skills, some have
great instincts, so each guy matches up differently against different
guys. That's why you have different receivers in training camp. That's why
when you practice against a team like New Orleans or as we have in the
past Tampa or Philly or whoever it happened to be, you get exposure to
other guys in training camp, you get exposure to other types of players in
preseason games. That's part of your preparation for the season. Somewhere
along the line, if you don't have a guy like that on your team, eventually
you'll see guys like that on other teams. Whatever your individual
skillset is, you have to figure out how you match up against another guy's
skillset, whether he's a fast, quick guy or a big, strong guy – whatever
it is. That's the way it is across the board. It's no different than
offensive and defensive lineman. Offensive lineman, you're going to be
blocking some 350-pound guy and then you're going to be blocking some
235-pound linebacker that has great quickness coming through there. You're
going to have to block both of them, so sooner or later you're going to
have to figure out how to do it." Those two guys have been the most
underrated Number one and two WRs this season.
also have two other nice weapons for Fitz. "They've kind of gotten
those skill players you mentioned more time on the playing field," BB
said about Kenbrell Thompkins and Quincy Enunwa. "The tight ends are
getting less play time. There are a lot of times you don't see any tight
ends on the field and you rarely see two, so they've kind of moved away
from that a little bit to more three- and four-receiver sets. And [Bilal]
Powell has done a real good job for them as a receiver as well. Enunwa,
I'd say he's probably taken some of the plays from the tight ends in terms
of the passing game, or he's on the field instead of the tight end when
they go to four receivers. They've got a lot of guys to throw to, again a
very experienced quarterback who is playing well, playing with a lot of
confidence, veteran guys on the offensive line and their passing attack is
challenging, especially when you've got to deal with a good back and a
quarterback who can run enough on third down and in those kinds of
situations to keep drives alive and move the chains. You've got to be
aware of that." They will test the Pats depth at Corner in this game.
also can run the ball. Ivory has been very underrated this season. "For
the most part he's been pretty healthy. He takes good care of himself and
there hasn't been a strain on him, so we give him the ball," Bowles
said. "I don't want to say all season, he hasn't had all great games
like that, but he runs hard and he gives us a chance. You always have to
bring him down with more than one player. He gives us a good run-pass
option by running the football inside to open things up if you crowd the
box too much, so he's been effective that way. I'm not going to say he's
been effective every game from a yardage standpoint." He is
also a Patriots killer.
they have a good solid offense. But I think the Pats front seven can
dominate their O-line. And they have too if the Pats want to win this
game. This is going to have to be a defensive win for the Pats this week.
They Have a Good Defense As Well-
Mohammed Wilkerson is the man inside. "Obviously
he's real important to the defensive line," Bowles said. "He's
one of our vocal leaders on defense. Guys flock behind Mo and he does a
good job off the field. He does a lot more leading us off the field so
guys gravitate towards him on the field." He can single handed blow
up an offense. "Same as in the past: big, fast,
athletic," BB said. "He's got power. He's got quickness, hard to
block, good motor. Everybody on the defensive line is good." Plus, he
gets smarter every year.
front Three is the best in the NFL. "They just basically run over the
guy in front of them," BB said. "The guy that gets there first
hits the quarterback and the other guys jump on the pile. They're hard to
block. They're all good. They're all productive. You can't just gear it
towards one guy. There are too many guys. They're big. They're physical,
very strong." They are going to need everything they've got from the
interior guys, like Shaq, are going to have to play their asses off.
"He's probably one of the most athletic players, one of the most
athletic offensive linemen I've coached," BB said about Shaq Mason.
"He would certainly be in that upper category and upper part of that
conversation. He runs well. He's got very good balance and short-space
quickness and is light on his feet. Fundamentally and technique-wise there
are a lot of things that he still needs to work on and Shaq has improved a
lot, but there are still things for him to work on, things he can do
better and do more consistently, but just in terms of athleticism,
balance, speed, quickness, he's very good, very, very talented, and he's
got good power and playing strength and explosion, too. Those are all
positives with him. Shaq works hard, he's continued to get better all
year, but he still has a ways to go with his techniques and overall kind
of understanding of the game and how he can … Each play is different,
but just in total how he can work with the center – the two guys next to
him, the center and the tackle – on different combination blocks and
footwork and things like that so that the entire line can perform to a
maximum efficiency." The interior guys are going to have work
perfectly together to win this game.
Jets have maybe the top Nose tackle in this game. "I mean, he might
be the best of all of them against the run," BB said about Damon
Harrison. "He's got great leverage, reads blocks well, hard to block,
penetrates. He's not just a stay on the line of scrimmage guy. He makes
plays in the backfield or knocks the blockers back into the backfield so
the runner has to either give ground or cut back into unblocked guys and
then they clean them up. He's had a lot of production – 60 tackles or
whatever it is. He's made a lot of plays for that position. You see some
guys playing that position that don't make many tackles. I'm not saying
they're not good players, but he's not only disruptive but he's also been
very productive. He's a major force." This is a game that is going to
be decided by which teams O-line plays the best.
the Pats O-line minimize the damage their front seven can do, we win.
"I think everything is pretty good," BB said. "I think
Coach Bowles and the defensive staff has done a great job with the
defense. They are strong against the run. They're strong against the pass.
They turn the ball over. They pressure the quarterback. They cover well.
They tackle well. They're well coached. They disguise well. Really they've
done a good job in a lot of areas. Some of the passing yardage they've
given up in recent weeks is kind of circumstantial. They're ahead in the
game. But they're playing very good defense. They do a good job of, like I
said, number one, is they play well in the red area so it's hard to score
and it's hard to get big plays. The quarterback gets hit. They do a good
job on third down. They're hard to run against. So all those things help
each other. Whatever one good positive thing you want to say is, that
helps in other aspects of their defense. So in the end, they're well
coached, and they have good players, and they're playing well. And they're
very experienced. They have a lot of experience on the defensive side of
the ball in every area: defensive line, linebackers, DBs. They have a lot
of guys who have a lot of years in the NFL and really know what they're
doing. It's a very good and veteran group." This game is in the hands
of the Pats O-line.
Pats Defense- The Jets want to run behind their O-line, as they
don't play their tight ends very much. "Well I mean you pretty much
turn on any college game on Saturday and that's what you're going to
see," BB said. "There are dozens of college teams that don't
even have a tight end on their roster, don't even recruit tight ends. You
spread them out, if they bring a lot of people in then you throw the ball.
If you walk out there on them then it's fewer guys to block and more space
for the runner. Ivory gets good blocking, but he doesn't need a lot of
blocking. The run he had against Miami, he must have run through like
seven different guys. It could have been me and you out there blocking for
him on that play. He didn't need any blocking. So that's part of it. But
Powell does a good job, too. He's quick. He hits the crease in there, so
they're different styles. Powell is more of a space runner, and Ivory, he
can run in space obviously, but he's a power back. He runs through tackles
and has got great balance. But they do it from more of a spread set –
one to no tight ends on the field. There is not usually more than that, so
one at the most. Enunwa is not a tight end, but he's a bigger guy, so when
you look at Enunwa blocking a defensive back, that's a mismatch. He's
bigger than most of those guys, whereas if you put a tight end in a game,
usually the guy he's blocking is comparable. In Enunwa's case, if you put
a corner on him then he gains an advantage on that. So I'd say there is a
little bit of that, too." They have been spreading it out in more and
more three and four WR sets.
have picked up a couple of WRs who have changed their offense.
"Enunwa, he's a receiver; he's not a tight end," BB said.
"He's strong. He's physical. He's a big, physical receiver. So it's a
little different than a tight end. I don't think I would ever use those
words to characterize Tim [Wright]'s game. I'd say their offense is quite
a bit different from our offense anyways. But Enunwa, there are a lot of
four wide receivers [sets]. So there is speed on the field with those guys
and they throw to all of them. And then when you put Powell in there it's
really a fifth receiver and then with Fitzpatrick scrambling you have to
treat him like a sixth receiver. It kind of opens things up a little bit.
But at the same time, this is one of the best power running teams in the
league. They can move the line of scrimmage, backs get downhill. Ivory is
a really tremendous back, runs hard, breaks tackles, great balance, very
hard to get on the ground, and he's made plays for them on check-downs and
screens in the passing game, too. As a runner, he's as hard and physical a
runner as we've seen this year or probably in the past couple years. They
have nice balance offensively. They can attack you with speed and a
variety of issues in the passing game, but at the same time they can hand
the ball off and get downhill and run in between the tackles and control
the game that way, too. They're on the better teams in time of possession,
they're a good red area team, they can make tough yards when they need
them, and that's always a good thing to have offensively. Good offense,
well balanced offense, and I agree probably a more dangerous and harder to
defend group than we saw in the first game." They are going to spread
the Pats out and test their depth at Corner. Which is so much more
effective balanced with a power run game. The Pats defense, with the
depleted offense, has to be elite this week. Giving up 14-points might be
Hey Malcolm, You really Don't Want To Go To The Pro Bowl- Yay,
Butler made the Pro Bowl, yay. While it is truly a great story. From a
spring football signee, who had to sign away his injury protection just to
get a chance to practice with the team, Practice? To Super
now a Pro Bowler. "Malcolm has come a long way on and off the field,
as a professional, as a professional football player," BB said.
"He's worked really hard at it, and I think everybody respects him
for it. He didn't come from some big Division I program, big Heisman
Trophy winner or anything like that. But I'd say it's been like that all
year. He's humble, works hard, tries to get better, makes mistakes. There
are a lot of things he can do better, but he works hard to get them better
and he corrects them and I think everybody that's on our team or around
our team respects that. He doesn't have all the answers, tries hard, plays
with a good level of confidence, which is good for his position. I don't
think that's a bad thing at all, and he's gotten better. So we all respect
that." The problem?
let's be clear here. Malcolm was more pure luck than an act of scouting
genius. "It's a pretty long list," BB said about evaluating
small school players like Butler. "It starts with I would say just
the overall program. The commitment in a Division I program is pretty much
12 months a year in terms of offseason training, offseason summer program,
class schedule, practice. It's every day. It's like being a professional
player. Not quite the same, but between your class commitments, your
academic commitments, your football commitments, your offseason training
and all that, you're always going. You have to do a lot of things just to
be able to be compliant – your grades have to be up, you can't be
missing stuff. Like the NFL, you have to be here every day, you have to be
accountable, you've got to be dependable, so in other programs, that just
isn't required or not anywhere near to the same degree. Level of
competition is obviously a big gap. You see a lot of talented players at a
lower level of competition, but then when the competition changes and it's
a little more equal, are they really able to compete at that next level?
Do they have the competitiveness, the drive, the whatever it is to go out
there and outwork and out-compete and out-tough the guy that has just as
much talent as they do versus just being better than everybody else and
going out there and just being themselves but they're just better than
everybody else. That doesn't really last. Schematically the same thing,
teams that don't have as much time, don't have the same kind of resources,
the game is narrower, fewer coverages, you're defending less, you're
playing with less defense, a couple of coverages, that kind of thing, and
now you come into a more expansive system and you've got the volume of
we've got more, there is more on the other side of the ball. When you
start putting all those together, it becomes really exponential the number
of variables – playing one position versus both sides, inside, outside,
factoring the kicking game into it, all that. So there is the on the
field, there is the talent, and I'd say there is the overall program and
being a professional. Being a solid, dependable consistent player, which
is what all great players are, they're consistent. They're not just making
one play. Those guys aren't the great players. They might have highlight
plays, but the great players are the ones who can sustain it over a game,
over several games, over seasons. Those are the guys who stand out. It's
hard to measure until you put a guy in that situation." He was sign
as a body to play in OTAs, and was not wanted to stick on the team. That's
why they had him sign a waiver saving they could still cut him if he got
injured during the one week (that's one week) he was signed to play for.
he came him in and flashed some of those great instincts that made him one
of the top Corners at the end of patterns in the NFL. And, he has done
nothing but get better every week. "He
studies the game. He's not just a man corner. He's a zone corner too. He's
feisty. He has very good technique, which is rare. He's got great hand-eye
coordination. He reads the ball. He accepts all challenges and you can
tell he works at it. I enjoy watching him play," Bowles said
about Brown, and then added. "There's
a lot of guys that go undrafted it's hard with the draft process, but
there's a lot of guys, I mean, Sherman was late and he's a great player as
well. So, some of those guys just go through the system unnoticed and you
get some guys in who show some promise in camp and give you something to
work with and they blossom and he's truly blossomed. That was a great pick
for them." So I don't mean to diminish what he has accomplished in
the past 18 months or so.
mean, the Pats had seven guys elected to the Pro Bowl. "It's great
for the players who are recognized," BB said. "Certainly felt
like all the players that were recognized were deserving, all had good
years. There are other guys on the team that had good years, too, but
that's kind of the way it always is. I'm proud of the fact that all seven
of those players are homegrown – they all came in as Patriots, spent
their whole career as Patriots, developed as Patriots one way or another,
but that's what they all are. I think there is something to be said for
that. Slater, five Pro Bowls, father had five Pro Bowls. That's pretty
special. Nobody else had done that. The Matthews clan is still going, I
had Clay, but that's as an aside kind of a special thing. I think the
representation speaks a little bit to the balance of the team with Slater
and Gostkowski in the kicking game, Rob and Tom on offense, and Chandler
and Jamie and Malcolm [Butler] on defense. That's good" And all of
them are praying they never play in that game.
the magnificent seven that got voted into the Pro Bowl actually go, then
the Pats are not in the Super Bowl. In another example of the League's
infinite stupidity, they decide to have the Pro Bowl before the Super
Bowl. So the two best teams in the NFL never send a single player that
helped them get to the Super Bowl to the Pro Bowl. The best players on the
NFL's two best teams! So while it is an amazing honor for the player with
the best rags to riches story in the NFL (remember, he did already
single-handed win a Super Bowl this year), it is the one honor he clearly
doesn't want to cash in on. Every player in the NFL plays to get to the
Super Bowl, not in the Pro Bowl, or as it should be called now- The Stupid
Bowl. Great job your doing Ass-Monkey!
gotta go. We got a birthday party, and were taking the kids to Star Wars.
FINALLY! So I'm not sure I will be doing a review this week. Not with Bowl
week about to run me over. I cannot give you the best coverage by
far of the NFL Draft from a Patriots perspective without watching every single
damn Bowl game.
me if you'd like a question blogged:
dogs on Main St howl Because they understand.