now that the apocalyptic over-response to Tebow is over, it is time to get
serious. It was a shocking signing that nobody expected. ďDefinitely
was a surprise for most of us,Ē Aaron Hernandez said at OTAs on Tuesday.
ďOnce I heard the information I was a little shocked, and I was happy
because we had a long relationship in college, and itís good to play with
a college teammate again.Ē Or should I say no one expected after the
hating story they planted in the paper.
Of course BB
was shocked and chagrined that such a thing could ever have been said in
his name (yeah right;-). "I wouldn't get into the probability of us
pursuing any free agent," BB said dramatically
in an interview with ESPN (with a slight tear, and the back of his hand
resting sadly on his forehead;-). "Every single player has strengths
and weaknesses but regardless of that, for anyone to have represented that
is the way I feel about Tim Tebow is completely untrue, baseless and
irresponsible. It is unfortunate that something so inaccurate was
reported." So how do you love TT; Then hate TT; And then always have
loved him again?
problem is that he is in the eye of a fanatical religious hurricane that
swirls around him, and doesn't really do anything to prevent it. It is not all his fault. The media pounces on the
controversy like "a pack of wild dogs" (oops, that's LT not TT;-). The
new news media slurps up controversy like Seinfeld's soup nazi creates
controversy ("no soup for you. Comeback, one-year";-). When was
the last time an impromptu media swarm was held at an OTA for a 3rd string
QB. What kept TT off rosters was the fear of this exact reaction
I also like
how they didn't sign him until all the assistant coaches were forced to be
interviewed by the NFL. The timing of this charade was not coincidental.
BB's ability to use and control the media was masterful the past few
weeks. "He's a talented player," BB said nearly yawning.
"Who's smart, and who works hard." Maybe BB can control the
media slurping, and the soup nazis that follow TT everywhere. "No
media for you," I'm sure BB has said behind the scenes.
know this is not controversial, exciting, or tasty soup slurping, but this
was the most irrelevant signing of the off season. Tebow will have ZERO
impact on this team winning next few years. ďSo itís going to be a lot
of fun," TT said. "Iím looking forward to working hard every
single day, and getting a lot better, and learning under some great
people. Thatís all Iíve got, but thank you all so much and God
bless," TT said. "Iím sure weíll be talking more soon."
No, no you won't. You still haven't learned it is not your role to talk to
the media and swirl up the winds that helped destroy the New Jersey Jets
this year. You will be sitting and learning for a long time, not
slurping-up the media (you media whore;-).
only impact this signing would actually have on the roster is if BB felt
comfortable enough with Tebow to trade Mallett for a song and a dance.
Otherwise the shock and controversy outweighs the value by about a billion
to one. If the 3rd string QB gets on the field, that means the season is
over. He will not be activated on the actual playing roster unless
it is for mind games or trickeration. His biggest impact is likely to be
when he gets half naked on the field for all his media fellahs. Otherwise he is irrelevant.
one thing I keep wondering is what BB is thinking about him. He has a
vision of talents in his head that he thinks he can put on the field in
appropriate situations. ďThereís a reason why he is here,"
Hernandez said, "and I actually donít know the reason yet?" I couldn't
have said it better. I don't think he is here to be a jack-of-all-trades.
I think BB and Josh think they can develop him into a legit, if
unconventional, NFL QB. Another Hostetler. ďHeís a football player and he knows how to
make plays,Ē Hernandez said. ďIím lucky to have him on my team
again.Ē One thing about Tebow is that he does make plays on the football
field. Unfortunately it is usually with his legs not his arm.
said when he was drafted that he needed three years before he would be a
legit challenge as an NFL QB. He is now in year three, and in my silly
opinion is now a 2nd year developmental running QB. He has not done the work I had hoped. He
pretended to straightened out his triple-hitch throwing mechanics at his
Proday (he move back to throw, then moves the ball out, down, and back in,
and finally throws
the Triple-Hitch;-). Then in games he reverts back to the
he can run the read-option. I keeping thinking of Jeff Hostetler. Who was
not a thrower when he came into the League, though he turned into a,
excellent underrated QB. He was called a running QB by
everyone when he first arrived on the Giants, and he was still a much
better thrower then than Tebow is now. I think you could say Tebow is a
much better runner now. Which is how I see him. I see Tebow as a 2nd year
running QB trying to earn/learn a role in the NFL as a 3rd string running QB. He
has been in NFL QB camp for the two years, last year was more of a
detriment to his development (it is never to late to take a cheapshot at
the Jets;-). Now he has to show he has
learned something other than he is a football savior.
a 2nd year (on my three-year schedule) he might be close to Hostetler as a thrower when
he was a rookie. We really don't know for sure. Hostetler was as tough as
anyone in the NFL, and he worked himself into a starting QB role on a
Super Bowl winning team. Something I don't think Tebow is capable of doing
(yet? I'm not a homer;-). Hostetler did it with humility, grit, and mental toughness. I don't
think Tebow possess an ounce of humility.
course, I don't really know. If he could find the humility of Hostetler he
could develop into the legit NFL backup QB, which is a step away from
being a starter! Especially when (gulp) your starting QB is approaching
forty. There are two schools of thought on backup QBs. One, you want a
carbon copy of the starter to take over so the offense doesn't suffer a hiccup
if the starter goes down. I don't buy that philosophy at all. Hostetler
was not a carbon copy of Simms. If Mallet or
Hoyer were as skilled throwers as Brady they would be starting today in
the NFL. No backup since, well, Hostetler has been able to match the
talent of the starting QB.
other philosophy is you put in a completely different type of QB who does different
things. So for three or four games the D-Coordinators don't have enough
film of the backup to stop him. Sort of like what Tebow did in Denver when
he took over. "He's a talented player, who's smart and who works
hard," BB said of TT. The offense changed completely, because he
can't read defenses or make quick enough decisions to throw decisively. But he can run. He can take a hit, and he can help the RBs
get some free yards.
must admit he does have the toughness, grit, and (gulp) intangibles that
seems to inspire teammates. ďI was happy for him,Ē Spikes said.
ďHe got his job back. Or whatever. And he comes out here [to] compete.
Thatís good to see him smile. That big smile Iím used to seeing the
last few years down in Florida.Ē We can criticize him all day, but his
teammates definitely don't. They stick up for him. ďHe handled it
well,Ē Spikes said. ďI think heís a
great guy. Heís a winner. Thatís all I pay attention to. The outside
distraction stuff is not for me to decide.Ē I can hear the hurricane
winds slurping already.
rookie QBs can't think quickly enough to be decisive. So he was not
completely at fault for his inability to read defense quickly enough in
Denver. However, he really didn't show much better when he wore a green
shirt. He has always had nice touch on deep throws, but other than that
his throwing talent is about the NFL minimum you need.
maybe, just maybe, BB can wrangle some Hostetler magic out of him in the
next few years. God save us all, but if he needs to play QB for the
Patriots (gulp) in an actual game. ďFirst and foremost, I just want to thank
the Patriots for giving me an opportunity,Ē said Tebow. ďIím very
thankful. Itís such an honor to be a Patriot and play for coach
Belichick, for coach McDaniels, to learn under Tom and be a part of this
great franchise, a part of a very successful franchise. I found that out
firsthand. I lost to them several times." They could change the
offense completely. Obviously he cannot run a precision passing game. But
maybe he could run a run first read option just long enough for the
football gods to shine their brilliance back on the Foxboro once more.
still shows no signs of being able to step into a precision passing game.
We will see come preseason. So might not the Pats be better off just
changing everything the offense stands for if the most horrid of horrors
happens. "Look, I've said it three times," BB says with all do
irritation to the media hurricane trying to foster the winds of
controversy. "He's a talented player, who's smart and who works
hard," Otherwise the truth of this signing is that he is the new true
real problem with the signing is that it will cause me to root for TT. I
enjoy ragging on all the moronic Tebowites too much to give that up. But
what am I going to do? If I were a homer I would be rooting for him
already, and envisioning ways he will be successful on the field once
Brady is done. Oh crap!
is media gold, and football foolishness. Tebow's
talents on this team are less than a backup kickers relevance to the roster.
So when the dust settles, and it is not the End of Days, no announcer is
going to put these two syllables together, tea and bow, once during the
regular season. Even if Mr. Irrelevant feels lonely and decides to get
naked on the field again for some pathetic need for attention reason. I will say
no more about this foolishness (okay, probably not;-).
Wore A Green Shirt. Or,
Don't Know If This Is Brilliance or Blasphemy.
that an oxymoron? When you jam Tebow and QB together? Even when you add a
3rd to the equation, those are two words that should never be put together.
It's like butt and tackle, those are two words the Tebow Jets brought
together last year that should never be brought together. Someone needs to
wake me up from this all too real delusion.
I changed the channel from CSN to NESN, and the story was the same. The QB
killer has descended on Foxboro. I think as a recovering catholic I can
say that Jesus has gone too far this time. Using his messengers to send
this message, via Cable TV is just too much for me.
must say the future does not look bright, as we shift closer and closer to
the 5-TE offense (with the tight end Tebow under Center, Hernandez in the
backfield, and three TEs to be named later on the outside;-). Is this a
sign that Brady has lost his way. That his golden arm and his faithful
right hand has finally repented. This is shocking news on an apocalyptic
very great tribulations that shakes my very soul at this news, is beheld
in both worry and wonderment. Can the spear arm of Brady overcome this
trial, like the blessed arm of Manning. Who vanquished him on his Bronco.
Let me hear what the messengers say. They have kept the word in New
Jersey, just north of Philadelphia. They say he closed the door on
quarterbacking north of Philadelphia. The Eagles said no. The Lions said
ugliness of his release is enough to cause angels to quake in the earth.
His desires for sheer naked attention has disrupted everything he pretends
to preach. He opens the play book and read the words of offense: the OC wept,
Sanchez was slain, and the Tebowites said, "amen."
Broncos were free. The riders of green Jets had done their worst. Pale and
red he will ride into Foxboro, for us to draw near and watch on
two-a-days. And football oblivion followed with him. It didn't make any
sense, like the moon was Miami orange or the sun was jet. Tebow is a 3rd
string QB in the Patriot land. I hope I don't sound vindictive. But the
stars are falling to earth. Logic has given way to pestilence. I have
faith. I have truly holy hope. I give great thanks to him. In Bill we
is wisdom. In know we will here Bill's big voice crying out what must be
done. That he wears green, nor rides pale Bronco, nevermore. I trust his judgment;
his mad scientist way to find a place for this fallen football player. But
his labors and works have not been enough. Can he transform himself into
an offensive jack-of-all-trades. Maybe he has matured and no longer seeks
to reap the harvest of the QB fields.
also worry about the words of those who worship this false legend. He was
a great college player who has no NFL skills. I don't care if seven angels
descend onto the stands of Gillette to say he will pour out the cans of
whoop-ass onto the earth in Foxboro. He will not. My assessment of his
skills are true, faithful, and just. He has no NFL skills in his
don't know if this is the beginning or the end. Or a final prayer for the
spirit of our faithful city of Foxboro, having held the glory of the
Lombardi Trophy, and the light of the three trophies that glow like
precious stones. We march towards the judged forth golden glory with the
passions of the sons of Israel.
have the gates just been closed. Is the throne of a champion no longer illuminated
by him. Does the great media shadow, and foolish false idol worshipping,
the false QB Tebow brings behind him too much for the Foxboro faithful.
Behold, he is approaching quickly. Too many fell to his feet and should be
reprimanded for such foolishness. He is not a prophet of football. He does
not seal the words of the play book onto his arm. He is far from the
first, nor will he be the last, to kneel and pray on the field. To
"Tebow", should mean to confuse those who worship in the church
of the NFL. So draw near to your screens and witness this prophecy,
because it is gong to be a hell of a ride watching this football
revelation (it can also mean surprise;-) unfold.
Well it really has been a whirlwind of a week. First we have a WR, then we
don't have a WR. I see D-End as their top need, then D-End is no longer
their top need. First, I'm working on the 3rd Round. Then I'm not. Now I
am, I guess. If I am going to keep covering BB's Draft manipulations I am
going to need a prescription for Adderall.
However, if this A-D-D Draft
continues as scheduled? I see three main needs that I can't seem to shake.
Even though they seemed to have added depth at each position:: DB, OLB,
and WR. They will have their fill of choices. So many that drifting down
to the 2nd Round to acquire some picks in the middle is inevitable. The
only question can the find a sucker to give up a 3rd to trade up in this Draft packed with
middle of the road starting talent stretching into the 4th Round.
Looking at picks 29 and 59. They could
be deciding between Robert Woods, and Eric Reid here, and either could
fall to 59. They Could be deciding between Justin Hunter and Alex Okafor
here. Now neither is likely to be available at 59, but what if Okafor is available
at 40? And DeAndre Hopkins (before you freak out about Hopkins, he ran a
4.59, WR who run 4.59 slips into the early 3rd Round) or Kenny Stills slips to the
3rd, or Chris Harper in the 4th (if they trade down and acquire a 4th). Suppose they like the
CB that I like Jamar Taylor. He could easily be there at 41. When they are
on the clock, likely to be on the board: Hayden, Taylor, Wren-Wilson,
Slay, Banks, Amerson, Alford, and Gantz; Plus, don't forget Safeties
likely on the board: Reid, Elam, Cyprien, Phillip Thomas, Swearinger, and
Shamarko Thomas. So they could trade down 14 spots to 42, and still be guaranteed
a top DB, even if every single team after picks a DB from 29-42 (not gonna
happen;-). Most likely, one of those 14 DBs is going to be sitting on the
board when if they get a pick early in the 3rd Round.
This Draft is such an odd Draft.
You could see over half of the 2nd Round be DBs or WRs. You could see 10
to 12 of the 14 DBs I just listed go in the 2nd, and Patterson
(personality is causing him to drop like a stone. He is no longer a top 20
pick), Hunter (not likely), Woods, Hopkins, Keenan Allen (speed and injury
could pop him out of the 1st Round), Terrence Williams, Wheaton, Patton,
Stills (not likely), and Dea'Rick Rogers (has the talent, but not the character).
So then you have passrushers. They
could be sitting here looking at DE and OLBs: Hunt (DE in a 3-4),
Carradine (DE/OLB in a 3-4), Okafor, Jamie Collins, Moore, Montgomery, and
Datone Jones (DE in a 3-4). I don't see any of them be available at 59.
Collins, Moore, and Montgomery are likely to be on the board at 42. So if
they go for those three moves, they will likely have to go OLB, DE,
Passrusher first. The quality drops off fast. Hunt, Carradine, Okafor, and
Jones are the top guys, and they will go quick.
So they will have to decide if they
want one of the athletic freaks here, like Hunter, Hunt, Carradine,
Okafor, Elam, or Reid. Because those guys aren't going to last long. Is
getting a 4th Round pick worth losing one of these six guys? I say no.
However, acquiring a 3rd is worth losing out on one of those six guys. The
could turn an early 3rd into: Thomas or Thomas at Safety, Alford or Gantz
at CB, Wheaton or Stills at WR, and Lemonier or Gholston at OLB or
Okay (LOL), here is my wacky trade
that will never happen for the week. I thought it was funny how BB was
interviewing Dion Jordan. I mean, there is no way they can trade up for
Jordan, right? Or is there? Everybody and there brother believes that Cleveland
is sitting pretty on the perfect trade down perch. If one of the big three
or Milliner has to be on the board when they pick. There are a couple of
teams who have to get an OLT (Chargers) and/or a starting CB (Miami), or
their season could be ruined before they start. However, Cleveland is not
afraid to make radical trade downs for wild compensation. So what if the
Pats package their 1st and 2nd, and Ryan Mallet. Whatever you and I think of
Mallet is irrelevant. What Lombardi and BB think of Mallet is what
matters. If Mike wants Mallet enough he has the ammo to get him. BB has
said his value to the team, as Brady insurance, starts at a 1st or 2nd. This could work
out. I also thought of this when they had their 3rd hanging in the wind in
Pittsburgh. Because I though it would be funny if BB traded all his picks
before the 7th Round. Completely distaining the Draft and the draft
process this year. But, the Steelers match and ruined by whimsical whims.
Tommy Kelly- "2010 to 2011 (46 hurries, 17 hits and 15 sacks, got
pressure on 12.4 percent of rush attempts), he definitely has a spot on
Also, this looks like a nice spot
for a team to trade for a QB, like Barkley.
Barkley is a
terrific talent. He has the traits that QB's who succeed in the NFL have.
He has the accuracy. He has that computer mind that knows what everyone is
doing on the field. He has the leadership qualities that QBs need. But
most importantly, he is constantly working to improve his game. The one
trait that all successful QBs have is that they are obsessed with getting
better. Barkley improved statistically each season, and during his senior
season, until his O-Line fell apart. His Junior seaosn was his beast
season, where he garnered 3,528 yards and 39 TDs, with a 69% completion
percentage. I just keep
picturing him playing left D-End for the Pats. Strongside baby! BB like to
switch in and out of Odd and Even fronts. Hunt could D-End in either front
for the Pats. When when they go into their two man front, which they went
into a ton in the Playoffs, he could be a terrific inside rusher next to
Wilfork. Having the Mighty Margus with Ninkovich outside of him on one
side, and Jones with Hightower lined up outside of him could give the Pats
some of the best edge defense in the game. Plus, I don't think he is an
OLB. However, his agility and balance are so stunning. He is not a
3-4 OLB, but I have never seen a guy his size with the feet of
Mercury before. his feet are truly amazing. Their is just no way a 6-8 guy
can play on the edge in a 3-4. Unless? He is the Mighty Margus! I will be
doing his Tape against Fresno very soon. Hopefully being snowbound over
the next few days will help (now that this wretched Mock is finally
I might be crazy, but I still think the Pats go WR here. I thought they
needed another WR when they still had Wes and Lloyd. I don't think either
of the three pick ups are better than Wes or Lloyd. You could argue that
Amendola is a better player than Lloyd, but he certainly hasn't been the
past two seasons.
So did they fill their glaring need
at WR, and more importantly an outside WR who can get open deep. I say no.
I think Donald Jones has a chance to be that guy. However, when a team doesn't
even make an offer to a young player that will Restrict him, you have to
be weary of letting your imagination turn him into anything other than a
I liked Jenkins coming out of Ohio
ST, but he is not a deep threat. He might be a good 3rd WR, but you really
can't expect more than that. So that leaves again without a number one WR,
or rather a Slot Receiver as our Number One. If you combine out two TE
offense without a deep guy, you have Gronk left as the guy trying to take
the top off the defense.
However, there are some guys
available who can take the top off the defense. Right here. Right now. Terrence
Williams ran a disappointing time at the Combine, but he was the best deep
threat in college football last season. He is an X-WR, on Brady's right.
Justin Hunter has that knack for getting open deep, and he has similar
size to Williams, but his hands are not the best in the world. Marcus
Wheaton might be the best WR at getting open deep in the NFL. The problem
is that he is smaller, and not as well thought of. You can get him in the
2nd. Maybe at 59.
I think the WR who fits the Pats
offense the best is Woods. He should be available at 59. However, with
4.44 speed, I'm sure he is the deep outside guy who can really open things
up inside for everyone else. He certainly wasn't that in college. What he
is, is a great precision timing WR, who will have the best chance to
develop a rapport with Brady like he did with Barkley.
I'm not a Homer-3/22:
Okay, I've climbed back in off the ledge. I've made a sacrifice (read
this;-) to the football gods. I've made my peace with my Wes Welker
withdrawal. It is what is it. Just don't tell me you guys wanted him back.
They decided in the preseason last year that they were not going to
welcome him back. Even with all the obvious Owner tampering keeping the
prices down, they low balled him with obvious insulting intent.
I say they were wrong. They believe
they were right. Neither really matters now. The Pats are Wes-less, and
lamenting over the lives millionaires is a waste of space in my soul. What
matters now is can they pick up Brady's poor broken heart, and find the
path back to the Super Bowl?
say no, with an obvious homer caveat. Defense. If losing Wes (and this is
another homer stretch;-), allowed them to sign Talib and Wilson, then I
can relax a little. I won't include Amendola in that equations, because despite
the sad pathetic attempt at obvious propaganda, if they wanted Wes
he would have been signed before he came close to FA, two years for 16 Mil
is not a franchise heartbreaker (it wasn't the attempt I objected
to, it was the quality of the lie, or lack there of, that offended
me. Okay so that is my pathetic attempt at propaganda, as nothing
offends me except the NRA;-). Amendola was their first and only choice, or
Wes would have gotten 31 Mil. He was seen as the key to keeping the
offense going smoothly at record pace. Whether we agree or not the deed is
only question left is, does the loss of Wes allow them to sign one of the
big three veteran passrushers (and yes not giving Wes 8 Mil a year will
allow them to sign 20 Mil in defenders, and I am not a homer;-). I
like Abraham the most of the big three.
have been his biggest critic since he left the Jets. He was so talented
that he was overused. So he kept getting injured. He can't stand up to the
run without getting injured. I don't know if he is predisposed to injury
or injury prone (that is a PFW joke;-). However, I know he can't be a full
time player because he can't take the beating in run defense that the big
slow O-Linemen love to give to the speedy little rushers. However, as a
designated rusher, he is still a force on the edge. The Falcons figured
that out three years ago, and used him as little as possible. The less you
use him the more you need him. With Ninkovich and Jones starting on the
outside, with a little Hightower thrown in for fun, their is not need for
him to ever be on the field in obvious running downs. In fact, there is no
need for him to be on the field in other than obvious passing down, as the
obvious pure designated passer (I seem to writing obvious at an obviously
annoying rate in this rant;-) .
is now pretty much in the same category as Abraham. Though I think he has
less left. He also didn't seem to adjust well to standing up in the 3-4
last year. However, if that is who they can get, it will be fun watching
him rush the passer for us rather than against us for a change.
is the youngest and likely best of the three. However, he is likely to get
the biggest bucks, and he hasn't been the same since he hurt his knee.
Will he ever get to 17 Sacks again? I don't think so. However, he is the
most likely to have multiple double digit Sack seasons of the big
the signing of the three DBs makes me much more comfortable with our
chances to get back to get the elusive 4th for Brady. If they can get one
veteran passrusher, you have to favor them again to take the AFC. Their
defense is set to take another big step forward this year, just with the experience
all the young defenders got last year. The Pats offense is not going to
lead them to the Promised land. It is going to be their defense that gets them
over the jinx.
once a QB loses a Super Bowl, he never wins a Super Bowl after that. The
only time it has been done is by Elway, and that was because of defense
and the best running game in the NFL for two seasons. Elway was not the catalyst
that propelled them to victory. He was the veteran leader who road the
wave, and held them together. They certainly wouldn't have won it without
him, but it was the Salary Cap shenanigans that allowed them to keep
Terrell Davis and Elway on the Roster that was the real reason (Okay that
might have been too much of a cheapshot, even for me;-).
the plan stands. Brady is in old Elway territory now. He cannot win it by
himself, as his skills and ability to take hits are now diminishing each
year. BB needs to find a way of taking some if not most of the offensive responsibilities
off of Brady's back. In the age of the fear flight in football, he has to
go old school. Defense and running game are the Pats all out priorities
now. They have to study the Shanahan blueprint he created so artfully in
Denver that give old Elway two rings. Old QB's have to be protected with
an all out commitment to run, backed by a stout defense. If either fails
the old QB will have to drop back in coverage too much.
case you missed it, BB's philosophy has changed. Last years off season,
and even the one before, was a clear change in philosophy. He no longer is
concerned with five years from now. He has to win now. They have a three
season window to snag the elusive 4th. So they need to win now. It started
a couple of Drafts ago when he used two Day Two picks on RBs. It wasn't a
huge change and certainly not obvious, but it was the first sign of the
new win now philosophy. Last years Draft was an easy opportunity to
keep the trade down philosophy going, because the 2017 season was as
important as the 2012 season. Only an odd thing happened on the way to the
2017 season. BB traded up. He scarified future help for immediate impact
defenders (And yes, that includes Tavon Wilson! And no, I am not a Homer;-).
also started trading away picks to help the 2017 season to acquire impact
veterans to help win now. Granted, Haynesworth, Ellis, and Ocho did not
produce the optimal results we envisioned. However, the obvious intent was
there. We do not have a 4th, 5th, and 6th Round picks in this Draft
because of the trades for impact veterans (okay, so only Talib has worked
out so far, so what;-). I'm not praising the results, I'm revealing the
here right now, BB knows he has three years, even if Brady and Krafty
don't. Though he should clearly trade down in this Draft and take a couple
of shots at a young outside WR, he will stick at 29 and take the top
impact defender he can find. Or, take a RB. Is it just me or is the hit
Ridley took in the Raven's game a career changer? That is the kind of hit
the RBs never really recover from. I would not argue with Lacy at 29.
Anything that propels us towards the Old Elway Blueprint to win the Super
jump for joy with an O-Linemen (Fluker, if they can't sign Vollmer, and of
course Barrett Jones, whose Tape just needs to be edited), Lacy, or any
impact defender at 29. Remember also, Cleveland used their 2nd Round pick
on the Supplemental Draft, and New Orleans lost theirs for cheating (how
come when all other teams lose Draft Picks for breaking the rules: San
Fran, Denver, Saints; it's just one of those things? But when
it happens to the Pats is it immoral cheating of epic proportion? I'm
not a homer;-). So, the Pats 2nd Round pick went from 61 to 59, so a
WR here is a stronger possibility than in the 1st.
59th pick is the prime example of why I think the Pats should trade down.
I saw a lot of Justin Hunter (which will never happen), Terrence Williams,
and DeAndre Hopkins going to the Pats in the 1st Round. Why would they do
that when one of those guys is likely to be available at 59. Plus,
Wheaton, Woods, and Chris Harper are almost guaranteed to be on the board
at 59. Sitting at 29 players likely to still be on the board who could
help with the Old Elway Blueprint are: Hunt, Collins, Reid, Lacy, Fluker,
Barrett Jones, Elam, Jesse Williams, Tank Carradine, Datone Jones, Okafor,
and Montgomery (though I think Alex and Sam are more 4-3 DEs). Plus, the
six WRs I just showed. If ever there was an opportunity to trade down with
a team that wants to lock up one of the QBs to a five year contract this
is the year. If ever there was a year where teams would be desperate for
that extra year to decided if they want to give their young QB billions,
it is this year. Especially, when you consider you can trade down 12 spots
and still be guaranteed a shot at one of the 11 players, and one of the
six WRs at 59.
with the obvious switch in philosophy, I'm not sure BB will do that. If he
sees an impact defender on the board, he will just take him. He won't risk
losing him two picks later. Even though I have over a dozens guys rated
about even at 29 who can help win next year, doesn't mean he does. So hold
onto you hats Pat's Fans, this is going to be a crazy couple of
4/14: I hate
this Draft. My computer crashed last Friday, and I'm finally things on
back on board. We sent the kids to my Mother's house this past weekend, so
the damn wife said I couldn't do any football stuff on Saturday and Sunday,
because it was date night. I went to basketball Sunday morning anyway.
However, the massive reconstruction didn't really start until Monday. I
redid three Tapes. Found most of the missing files. The biggest problem
I'm have is reconnecting to the web server. I had forgotten how I had done
it on my old computer. I don't have the nifty system I had installed yet
(their server has decided is doesn't like my new computer;-). However, I
can load one file at time with a bit of backdoor BS program. So not much
else to say, other than I called the Tavon not possibly going to New
England. Is there not anyway the Vikings pass on him at 25? I just don't
The Pats have
been busy. Just as I was 100% certain they grab a D-End to pair with
Wilfork and Deaderick or Love, they sign Tommy Kelly. So I reassess and
see the giant hole at WR as the most dire situation. I focus in on Justin
Hunter. He reminds me a little of Demaryius Thomas. Not an exact match,
but both are/were more freak athlete with the most vast untapped potential
in their respective Drafts. Both could have a mystery fan called
Josh. So they go out and make two signing that seem to solve the
The first, is
Edelman, who solves nothing. The second is Sanders, who is not technically
on the team yet. He is an interesting signing that could go a long way to
help this team, but one year at 2.5? Why go there? The trap seems a little
wanting to say the least. Waste of time comes to mind instantly.
Well, that is the
subtlety of trap in the signing. Pittsburgh gave him an offer of 1.3,
which goes on their Cap. They have Cap issues and have to clear room off
their Cap to use their Draft Picks. It used to be 110 thousand for each
pick, but I don't know what it is now. If they match, 1.2 gets added to
their Cap. If they don't match 1.3 comes off their Cap, and they can use
their Draft picks without further losses. So the offer is not as silly as
it seems at first glance. It actually has an interesting Cap incentive for
Pittsburgh not to match, as well as a Cap disincentive if they do
The NFL took out
the "poison pill" option in contracts. So a new one was found.
You can't give free agents outrageous bonuses that they are assured to
meet if they stay with the team you are trying to steal them from, and
assured not to meet if they go with the new team. However, BB found a way
around it by offering a less than acceptable option, rather than more. The
poison pill is the "one-year" of the contract. Pittsburgh will
have trouble agreeing to give Sanders another 1.2 million dollars off
their Cap this year, with no grantee of future service. He has
demonstrated that he is ready to leave the team. Plus, after next season, because
of the poison pill, he will be an unrestricted free agent. He will be
So Pitt has to
decide if they want him to have Sanders for one season, with more Cap
trouble than it seems worth for one season without any long term security.
Or, Take the 1.3 Mil off their Cap for their Draft picks. They will acquire
the Pats 3rd. Which will become a cheap four-year contract, and could
easily Draft a similarly talented WR with different traits to develop that
they don't have with their current crew (Stills-speed, Chris Harper-power,
Aaron Dobson-length). Sanders has a lot of similar traits as Antonio
Brown. Both are more Slot receivers than outside speed guys. Suddenly,
signing Sanders doesn't seem like such a slam dunk.
The advantage it
gives the Pats is that you know their is some wink-wink nod-nod plan for a
future contract with the Pats. They may not be able to guarantee he will
back with a new contract after next season. But I can guarantee that they
are ten times more secure in resigning Sanders after next season. This is
the wink-wink nod-nod clause of BB's new and improved "poison
is such a frustrating Draft. All the top players in this Draft have
obvious talents that could make them stars. They also have obvious
question that could cause them to bolt to bust city: Jordan has the
shoulder, Lotulelei has the heart, Jones has the neck, Ansah the complete
lack of production, Mingo matched Ansah with 4.5 Sacks last season,
Warmack is a tragically terrible athlete, and Geno Smith can look as good
as Luck and worse than JaMarcus Russell all on the same Tape. Except,
the three Tackles and Dee Milliner.
argue the four best prospects, certainly the prospects with the least
amount of warts, are the three OLTs and Milliner. Joeckel is looks the
best moving backwards and is the best pass blocker right now. Fisher is
much more physical, and a better run blocker. Johnson is the best athlete
of the three, and has the most upside. You could easily see the top three
picks in this Draft be OLT. Yet you could also see none of the three OLT
go in the first three picks. The problem is that the top three teams have
solid OLT already on their teams. All three team also have massive gaps at
ORT. I have trouble believing that you take an ORT with a top three pick.
I know the NFL has changed radically over the past five years, but I can't
believe that two or three teams will take a Right Tackle with the top two
or three picks in the Draft.
could be for KC that they have Albert on a Franchise tag for one year.
They could play Joeckel or Fisher at ORT for one year, and then move him
over to OLT. But again, the Number One Pick in the draft is a huge asset.
To use it to reinforce a position you are already set at seems a waste. Especially
when you used your 2nd and 3rd Round picks on O-Tackles in last years
The same for
the Jags. They could take OLT sloppy seconds from KC, and move Monroe over
to ORT. Monroe is a bigger guy. Traditionally the ORT has to be more of a
road grader. He has to play a little tougher and stronger on the
strongside. It could be justified because, as I said in my Mock a few
years ago, Gabbert's feet panic when he gets pressure. If they are going
to continue to place the Franchise on his panicky feet, then having two
terrific Tackles is a must. Also changing the system to more shorter
patterns, with West Coast Principles wouldn't hurt either. When you have a
QB who isn't comfortable in the pocket, maybe you should scrap the deep
throwing vertical offense?
is that both picks are not an upgrade to OLT, even if both rookies start
at ORT this season or next. Taking Fisher or Joeckel first and/or second
is an upgrade to the Right Tackle position. The same holds true for the
Raiders. They have an exciting you OLT Veldheer. So taking an OLT here
would be an upgrade to the ORT position. With two of the top ORT to come
around in a while in Fluker and Menelik Watson likely to be around at the
top of Round Two, and Aboushi, Bakhtiari, Nixon likely available to start
the 3rd, taking Fisher or Joeckel to upgrade the ORT position seems a
waste of such a valuable asset to me. Plus, Day Three should start with
Emmet Cleary, Brennan Williams, and Rick Wagner still on the board as
decent ORT prospects.
most adamant Joeckel guys have to admit that he is an awkward fit for KC.
I would have no trouble with a team that has a hole at OLT, like KC has a
hole at ORT, taking Joeckel Number One overall in this Draft. But that is
not the case here. Albert's gave up one Sack last season. The hope of
Joeckel is that he develops into an OLT that gives up one Sack a year.
They already have that. I keep coming back to the idea that you
have to use the Top Pick in the draft to upgrade a top value position.
Right Tackle is not seen as a top value position.
Okay, so the
flaw in my logic is that Albert's has a bad back, and missed games at the
end of the year last year. Albert is not the type of O-Tackle Reid usually
likes. But, it looks like they will be stick to the Zone Blocking scheme.
So the two O-Tackles they took last year should still have a spot on the
line. My problem is that KC doesn't need an O-Linemen. They have
Albert at OLT, with Allen and Stephenson battling it out for Swing Tackle
and ORT (Fisher would surely be an upgrade to one of those two players).
At OG they just signed Geoff
Schwartz, and already have Asamoah, and Lilja. They Drafted Hudson a few
years ago out of Florida St, and he won the starting OC position before
getting injured. When he was out Lilja stepped in at Center, and played
well. That is a nice young developing O-Line.
Joeckel be an upgrade at ORT, or even OLT, most likely. Is that worth the
top pick in the Draft, no. However, they have a lot of trouble on the
D-Line getting any kind of pressure on the QB.
The Chiefs are just a cursed Franchise.
It is just unbelievable. All the injuries they have suffered. Then comes Draft
time and it just seems to get worse. They have the top pick, but who do
they take? Geno Smith is the best QB, but just because a guy is the top
rated QB in the Draft doesn't mean he is the Number One overall pick. Is
it little wonder they are trying to trade for Alex Smith. The top rated
player in this Draft Jarvis Jones has stenosis in his neck, and you just can't
take him with the first pick. They need help on the D-Line and the
top D-Tackle in the Draft Lotulelei shows up at the Combine with a heart
problem. So you can't take him. That leaves Joeckel as the default pick,
but he did not look any thing at all like the top overall pick at the
Combine. Try to think back to what Matt Kallil looked like last year.
Kalil looked athletically like the top non-QB in the Draft. Joeckel looked
athletically like a mid-1st Round pick at best. I think both Fisher and
Lane Johnson will end up being better OLT. Plus, Brandon Albert has
finally turned into the player they thought he would be, allowing only one
Sack last year. You can't use the Number One Pick in the Draft to down-ground that position. They need to resign Albert. Of course, Albert
isn't the prototype for a Reid O-Linemen. But KC has to keep what little
talent they have acquired. Letting Bowe, Albert and/or Dorsey go would be another disaster
for this Franchise. They need to add a viable option at Quarterback, not
lose talent. KC bad
luck just starlets me every year. Ironically, they gave up the first
pick in the second round for Alex Smith, just like they did for Matt Cassel.
This Draft is going to be impossible to forecast. I can't even get by the
first pick. When you there are ten options for the first pick, it is going
to be a long March.
Chiefs had a total breakdown last season. They need a reboot, and their
is no QB worth the top pick in the Draft. The closest is Matt Barkley, who
throws amazingly like Drew Brees. Brees dropped from top five pick to the
first pick in the 2nd Round. Their offense fell apart because of injury,
and their defense looked terrible. With Glenn Dorsey a FA, Tyson Jackson
looking like the next to be put on the unemployment line, and their
inability to stop the run, I just don't see Star falling. They hired Andy
Reid to run things, and he likes to take the big uglies first. ďWe have
been blessed with the No. 1 pick in the draft,Ē New HC in charge Andy
Reid said. ďAnd you want to make sure you do the right thing and pick
the right guy, not necessarily a quarterback, it has to be the right
thing.Ē If there is one guy in the NFL who will take a big O-Tackle with
the first pick in the Draft it is Parcells. I mean, Andy Reid.
believe that Jarvis Jones struggled to run under a 5.0. He is one of those
guys that flashes all over the field with speed and quickness. He will
drop precipitously because of his forty. The forty time is often
controversial, and misunderstood. It is not just
a measurement of speed. It is a measurement of understanding. It is not
about football. It is about money.
matters in the NFL. People are already talking about a 174 pound WR in the
top ten. In a game of giants you cannot take a gnome in the top ten! So
why? Speed. pure, simple, and unstoppable speed. Also, the dirty little
secret of the forty time? It is a stat that all Owners can
two things the GMs want more than anything else in the world. First, to
improve the talent on their team so they can win a Super Bowl. Second,
they want to keep their jobs. If you take a PR with 4.5 speed and he
busts, you won't get the owner to start thinking about firing you. If you
pick up a passrusher in the top ten with 4.9 speed, and he busts? The
seeds of firing will be planted.
Look at what
is happening down in Jet's-ville. Two simple questions: Is Sexy Rexy the
best choice for coach this year? No. Why are the Jets considering trading
the best player they've had on their team for the past few decades, for
Draft picks in 2014? The GM doesn't want to add talent this year. The
reason is the same, job security.
have destroyed their Salary Cap. The purge of their roster is designed
specifically to ensure they have some flexibility back in 2014 and 2015.
However, in order to do that they have sacrifice the 2013 season to the
Salary Cap Gods. The Jets are set to be in the Bridgewater sweepstakes.
The top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is not going to be Clowney, it is going to
be the QB from Louisville who was the best QB prospect in college football
last year. The Jets GM know this.
is that he has to survive the Salary Cap renovation without a blemish on
his job performance. He has to find a way that the disastrous season he
has set them up for the team, does not reflect on him at all. How does he do that?
Sexy Rexy of course. He will sacrifice Sexy Rexy at the Owner's alter at
the end of next seaosn. Whispers in the Owner's ear about all the mistakes
Rexy makes. Whisper to a reporter or two how incompetent Rexy has been. Then
last season's failings fall on Tannenbaum, and next season's failings fall
squarely on Rexy. And if things go as planned, he then has the Pick to
pick up Bridgewater, and another 1st and two 2nds from the Reeves trade to
parlay into sudden talent input.
you feel bad for Rexy, this is not news. Rexy knows that unless he wins it
all the sacrifice has begun, and winning will be impossible with their
dearth of talent, and the GM working against him. He knows he gets to play
his dream job for one more year and then "off with his head".
The reporters who leak the backstabbing stories know they are sticking in
the first knife in the blood sacrifice, but they also the new GM will owe
them other whispers that will advance their careers. Heck, the Owners likely
knows as well. This well worn strategy has been portrayed as fooling the
Owner for years, though he is more likely complicit. And Rexy knows that
all the other GMs and HCs know what is happening, and by taking the hit
and playing the good solder will ensure him a DC job in 2014.
So the Jets
will keep GM, QB, and HC killing Tebow for one more season (who was the
cause of the demise of Tannenbaum, Sanchez, and Rexy, and not so much
Tebow as the Tebowites, who can't stop sticking daggers into anyone who
pretends Tebow is anything less then Jesus;-). Then the new
GM won't be able to get rid of his ass fast enough. Armed with two 1st and
two 2nds in 2014, he won't be able to blame that horrible team destroying
ogre Sexy Rexy fast enough, while secretly thanking him for doing a super
job covering his ass. If he is lucky they will have the 1st or 2nd pick in
the Draft (obviously I'm routing against that;-) to
snag Bridgewater (because in the unlikelihood that a team with no QB
issues has the 1st pick, they will gleefully snag Clowney). Then all will
be good in Jet's-ville.
So how far
does Jones fall? I don't know. But will not be a top ten pick. He is the
best passrusher in this Draft, but a GM with absolute job security, like
BB, is the only guy who could take him with 4.9 speed in the top 20. My Draftnic
instincts are telling me it will be the Steelers at 17.
You have to
think that Jones' agent has him on a track this morning with a track
coach to teach him how to run track. The good news is that he looked
absolutely terrible running that forty. I don't know if you saw him run
it, but he was a mess. He usually runs so low with such explosion. But he
ran so high and without that explosion on the track. He usually runs with
such intense focus on the ball. But he looked lost and almost confused running
on the track. He had virtually no track form at all when he ran.
Remember, we are only talking about two
or three tenths of a second. He gets to 4.7 or under and he is a lock as
the first passrusher taken. A little more focus, better technique on the
starting block, getting a great blast off the starting block (like a QB
was in front of him rather than a tape;-), staying low for longer, keeping
his upper body tighter, and pumping his arms. I know it seems silly, but
all those little techniques really work. I see the best sprinters do the
same techniques ever year at the Combine.
If he has a decent agent he will have another
chance. Mayock interviewed him after the forty, and he seemed to have no
idea the importance of the forty time he just ran. Jobs are on the line.
His agent has to make him understand he importance of what just happened,
and get him to focus on the forty before the Draft. Get him on a fast
track, with a guy who can teach him how to run a forty. Because every week
that time stands costs him hundreds of thousands of dollars. His agent has
to make him understand, what too many football fans and alleged annalist
don't understand: that a forty time is not about football. It's about
Is Not Coming to the Pats.
know much, but I do know that BB will never take the guy everybody thinks
he should draft. I don't know what the date is, but I do know BB will not
take Austin here now that everybody and his brother has Austin going here.
I can't sing to save my life, but I can tell you this is the mighty
Magnus's floor. He will not fall past the Pats. Now that the Welker
contract looks like it is close and they still haven't cut Lloyd, it looks
like the need to take a WR here is lessoning a little. We all know how
much BB loves value, especially in the Draft. The clear value in this
Draft is going to be WRs in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Rounds. There is more
than enough interesting talent to go around. However, there is not enough freakish
athletes to go around. I think the mighty Margus is a top ten pick. I kept
trying to fit him into teams before this pick and couldn't. He is not a
D-Tackle, so you have to take the 4-3 teams out of the equation. I think
he was born to play the 5-technique. Plus, did you see his feet in the bag
drills at the Combine. I was shocked. He has the feet of an All-Pro 3-4
OLB. He might not get by the Jets at 9. I think he will be their before
April arrives in my Mock. If Jarvis Jones and Dion Jordan are gone when
the Jets are up, they will not pass on the mighty Margus. If sexy Rexy has
any say left in the process. He very well may not however. That being
said, I just don't see him fitting as well in 4-3 teams. I think the same
could be said for Jones and Jordan as well. It is scary to think what
twisted defensive minds like BB and Rex could do with this super
the Crash Part I.
From before the Crash Part I:
I really hate this Draft. It is just for to
convoluted to forecast. I just finish my first March Mock, and naively
think it isnít too bad. I felt I finally figured out who KC was going to
take: Sharrif Floyd, because they have two legit starting tackles. Then I
go online to read the last Free Agent news, and they had just released
Eric Winston. If you canít figure out the first pick in the draft, how
do you do a mock draft?
The two players in this Draft are easily
Jarvis Jones and Star Lotulelei. However, nothing scares NFL types more
than neck injuries. One bad snap and it is over. However, at the Combine
we discovered one type of physical problem that is more troublesome than a
neck problem, a heart problem. So you canít take Jarvis Jones number one
overall, and you might not be able to take Star at all. When was the last
time you saw a Draft where top two players in the Draft were being taken
Then I take Tavon Austin off the Pats pick,
and stick in the slipping super star waiting to happen Margus Hunt. Then
like clockwork the latest news is a disaster to my analysis. Now Wes wants
to test the market. You canít blame him. Because he knows as well as
every one else that the Pats are facing the Lloyd bonus deadline. Which
makes him more valuable each day. As the nebulous deadline approaches Wes
looks better and better in Foxboro. Is it March 16th? Is it March 18th? Is
it March 31st? We donít know, because, all three dates have been
reported by credible reporters. The Pats will be desperately watching the
deadline as Wes is wined and dined by our top rivals. All to try save a
This value savings chart is doubly dangerous
this time. Because you cannot release Lloyd until Wes is signed sealed and
delivered. If Wes leaves, you then cannot release Lloyd over a nebulous
1.9 Mil. Again we donít know what the Cap savings will be if they
release him. The reports of the demise of his Cap hit has been greatly
exaggerated. The true Cap saving is less than two Mil this year. They
cannot even contemplate releasing him if Wes isnít signed.
It startles me that people are so eager to
release him. Upon further review, they are bereft of WRs. If they release
Lloyd and Wes doesnít sign, then they have no viable option at WR. That
would end Bradyís attempt for the all-important Forth. They have roster
fillers at wide receiver on the roster now, and Lloyd. That is a disaster
waiting to happened. Cutting Lloyd under these conditions the
I know Pats fanís delusions of glory are
overwhelming reason right now. I know weíre going to sign Dwayne Bowe,
even though he just signed with KC. I know weíre going to sign Donald
Driver, even though he officially retired. I know weíre going to sign
Greg Jennings, even though everyone knows he is going to Miami. I know
that when we sign Brain Hartline all our troubles will be over, even
though he had only one TD reception last year.
Sometimes you have to take the Romney out of
the equation and deal with facts. The fact is that we have a dangerous
dearth of WRs on the roster. And BB better get on the ball and sign Welker
for a few years at least. Now I know we have a unique situation here with
our unique Tight Ends. But you have to have at least two or three viable
options at WR
Or maybe thatís BB plan. I can see it now.
Opening Day. Brady in the Shotgun. They go into the 5-TE set. Hernandez in
the backfield. Gronk will go out wide on the right, and Hoos-ur-mama-nui
out wide on the left. With Ballard in the slot, and Fells on the Line. We
can all it the Big TEat Offense. So just as I take WR off the shelf for
the Pats 1st Round pick, WRs starts to overwhelm all other needs again. I
hate this Draft. I am forecasting right now, that my forecasting of this
Draft will be my worst ever. Itís gotten so bad that Iím
already forecasting a 5-TE offense for the Pats;-)
Hate This Draft Part II.
before the Crash Part II: I
hate this Draft. Have said the yet? There is not top pick in this Draft.
As all Draftnics know, once you miss a pick the Mock falls to pieces. When
there are a dozen players who you say are relatively rated even at the top
of the Draft, how do you choose? So the talent tends to even out after
that. If the top of the crop is too troublesome to take, then the next
tier steps up. Only the next tier is really eight players: Sharrif,
Milliner, Fisher, Joeckel, Jordan, Geno, Lane, and you have to include
Jarvis. Then you have the problem of Lotulelei, Ansah, Patterson, and
Hunt. Then there are three players who are as talented as the top seven,
but have issues that has to drag them down further. Star is either going
to be a top five pick, or out of the 1st Round. He has a problem with his
left ventricle that if not cleared up, makes him undraftable. Ansah hasnít
put it all together yet. Patterson is the most dynamic offensive player in
the Draft (so you have to include him in the conversation, even though he shouldn't
be a top ten pick). However, he has not come close to anything resembling
consistency. Which makes him a buyer beware player, and a one year wonder.
Hunt looks like he has put is all together. But he is over 6-8, which has
become a cut off for linemen. Old school GMs donít want guys over 6-8.
Plus, he is such an unusual talent that I donít think most people know
what to do with him. Most have Joeckel as the top pick. I disagree. That
is the very heart of the problem with this Draft. There is no top pick.
Only a convoluted top dozen players. There are a dozen guys who could or
should be the top pick in the Draft. I have studied the Draft for a long
time and one of the things I have learned is that when there is such an
equality of talent, team needs become even more important. This Draft is
more extreme than Iíve ever seen, but such equality of talent has been
seen before. So when a team comes up to pick they will see five to ten
players who rated about the same on their board. So they will tend to try
and fill a hole more than normal. With the need for top player on the
board verse top need. Talent can overwhelm need. That will happen less in
this years Draft. Players will catch a coachís or GMís eye and they
will be picking all over the board. Look later on in the Draft. After the
top dozen, how many players are rated about even after that? Twenty?
Twenty-five? The equality of players after the top group is staggering.
Look at the D-Tackles. Is there a real talent difference between: Hankins,
Richardson, Sylvester Williams, Jenkins, Short, and Jesse Williams. They
do different things and will be more attractive to different teams. But
the team that takes Hankins or Richardson early isnít going to get a
more talented prospect then the D-Tackles in the late twenties and maybe
early thirties. The third tier is even worst. The third tier will go
through the 2nd Round and into the 3rd. I have 9.5 flowing into the 50s,
and still have about twenty players I need to add that could go in the 2nd
Hate This Draft Part I.
Rant alert: I HATE THIS DRAFT. No matter what I do or what I
say it is all wrong. I pick this guy it doesn't fit. I pick that guy that
cut a veteran who needs desperately to be replaced. Then, just for fun, my
computer crashes. I mean, it was an old piece of crap. I bought a shell a
while ago, and an OS, and was planning on piecing it together as cheaply
as I can. I just had it set up to an old monitor, and boom on Friday the
old piece of crap dies an ugly death. But no need to fear faithful
followers, I have my 20-year old Frontpage disk in hand and loaded. So
changes will come soon. I have somehow figured out who to upload files
again, even though I lost every single file on my old piece of crap. Lucky
I have been mostly working on my laptop, and have been scuttling files
back and forth with my little thumb (They don't call thumb-drive
thumb-drives any more do they;-). So the only file I really lost so far
has was the damn file that had the Hunt, Austin, and Patterson Tapes on
it. I had down the video break downs for those three players, and most of
Collins tape. That was what I was working on when the damn piece of crap
dies on him finger tips. I HATE THIS DRAFT. I also had to two little
articles on the Pats, which I might get up today, on that file; But I had
notes and was able to recreate them well enough. Magnus, Austin, and most
of Patterson have been recreated, but I haven't started the little article
I like to write before the Tape work. Collins is long gone, and it may
take me a while to calm down enough to get his done. I HATE THIS DRAFT!
Now I'm thinking about hitting three or four WRs that are likely to be
around when the Pats pick in the 2nd and 3rd Round. So we will see about Collins,
and I also did some extensive film study of Cornelius Washington. He is a
hard guy to spot as he didn't play a lot. he was primarily the designated
rusher at the 5-Technique for Georgia. I think he would be very hard for
BB to apses in the 2nd Round. Okay, I have too much crap to do to finish
Lotulelei should be the pick here. I purposely left him out of my February
Draft, because if he has a heart condition he is out of the 1st Round.
However, the news seems to be good so far for him. He is a top five pick,
or out of the 1st Round. He makes this Draft even harder to forecast. He fits the 3-4 system the best. He can
play the Nose, especially in passing situations. Plus, he could be a
Richard Seymour like right D-End. They are desperately waiting for the heart evaluation in early
April. Until then, I'm not sure you can even put him in the 1st Round. I
think I have this straight now. His left ventricle was working at 45%,
when the normal rate is 55-65%. However, that can be cause by several temporary
minor things, like a virus. So if his, I don't know, rate in his left
ventricle is at 55% or better he should go here with ease. So it comes
down to Sharrif and Geno. They just Franchised Albert, and took two
O-Tackles on Day Two in last years Draft. And, they have Eric Winston manning
ORT. Could someone please tell me where the hell Joeckel is going to play
if they take him with the First Pick in the Draft.
We aren't talking about a mid round pick here, this is the First Pick
in the Draft. I would still seriously consider Geno Smith here. Their QB
situation has been so god awful for so long, that doubling up on QBs
couldn't hurt. Alex Smith is not going to the Pro Bowl any time soon. Geno
at least has a chance in four or five years. However, the D-line needs some
attention. Dorsey is likely gone. Pitoitua is a keeper. As is Poe. Jackson
has been a disappointment since he arrived. Plus, none of them are real
passrusher. Poe might cause the pressure on QBs of them all. That is
not good. Sharrif is not a perfect fit for a two-gap defense, but he can
put pressure on the QB. He plays with great hands, hips, feet, and
leverage in combination. I just re-watched the Georgia-Florida game. He was grabbing
O-Linemen's shoulders, and tossing them aside like they were laundry. He
has the ability too two-gap. However, it is his burst up the gut to hit
the QB that this team really needs. Also, I'm not sure the Chiefs are really going to stick
to a 3-4. Andy Reid is not known for his
3-4 defensive schemes. He has been an attacking 4-3 guy his whole career.
Grabbing the guy who should be the best 3-technique in this Draft could be
a nice start in transitioning to a 4-3. This is easily the most difficult
First Pick in the Draft to forecast I have ever seen. You could easily see
five or more different guys go here.
On A Prayer.
BB better be prayin'. He just
gave up the crux of the offense for a Mil a year, for two lousy years.
"For god sakes! Let us sit upon the ground/ and tell said stories of
Kings." This deal is too reminiscent of the Seymour and Assante deals
to make me comfortable. It will cost the king another Super Bowl or two.
How does any Pats fan get by two years for 12 Mil. How does any Pats fan
get by losing the guy who was Brady's binky for Danny Amen-dough ah
I may be nuts, but how is Wes
Welker not worth 12
Mil, while Amen-dough ah, la is worth 31? I don't
think so. If he stays on the field, he is worth it. ďI think thereís a
certain amount of what Danny does that he drew from Wesí example as a
player, certainly,Ē said
Leach, now the coach at Washington State. ďWes came through there
first, and [Amendola] had the opportunity to watch the example Wes set,
how Wes ran plays, responded to coverages and things like that, so Iím
sure that was beneficial. I think their styles of play are similar.
Theyíre both just tough, gritty people, and everything they do is full
effort.Ē But I just don't see him staying healthy.
They won't give Wes 12 Mil, but
they'll give some guy who has average less than 500 yards a season in his
NFL career 31 Mil. Wes has had more receptions since he joined the Pats
six years ago, than any other WR in the NFL, by far. I know Amendola had 85
catches in one season, and 18 receptions in one game, by those anomalies
do not define the receiver.
Amendola can't stay on
the field. Amendo la ain't no Wes Welker. He's played twelve games in the past two years. Anybody else
scared by that stat. The good news is that his injuries were a little
fluky, and shouldn't hurt his future performance like a bum knee or bad
back. However, we don't know the long term consequences are for a broken
My problem with
Amendola is that he is Julian Edelman. He is not a short squat Slot
receiver. He is a hair under 6-foot, like Edelman. He runs under a 4.5,
like Edelman. He can't stay on the field, like Edelman. He has missed 20 games in the past
Plus, let's not forget the Pats
have a bit of Diva here at QB. If you don't run patterns the way Brady
thinks you should run patterns, he'll snap his fingers in front of his
face. Then snap his hand over his head, and say "uh-ah
boyfriend." Then he'll have a little snit and won't share the ball
Warner said it best, "Wes sees the game the way Brady sees the
game." We have no idea if Amendola sees the game the way
Brady sees the game. We know Lloyd doesn't, but he seems to be learning.
You have to minimally see the coverages like Brady sees the coverages if
you want him to keep throwing the ball to you.
My biggest problem is that Wes does
two things better than anyone in
the NFL. First, he stays on the field. Through bumps and bruises, pain and injury,
he stays on the field. He does everything possible to keep himself on the
field. He runs out of bounds when he has no room left to run. He dives into the
dirt when he has a triangle of defenders in front of him. One things that
Edelman/Amendola don't do is dive into the dirt. so they can play in the
next game. When you turn up field and you have a CB to your left, a Safety
to your right, and Linebacker right in front of you, or any other mix of a
triangle of defenders about to kill you, dive into the dirt. What makes
players like Edelman and Amendola so exciting it that they will lower
their heads and attack the triangle, and sometimes break free for the
spectacular play. However, they are then out the next game. Edelman has
never started through three games in a row. You have to duck out of bounds
when you are a little guy. You have to make guys miss and not take that
big hit. You have to dive into the dirt to avoid getting crush by a
triangle of defenders, and you never lower your helmet, except to dive
into the dirt.
The other thing that Wes does is he gets open at the line quicker than
anyone in the NFL. Brady knows he can throw to him quicker then any WR he
has played with. As the run game gets taken out of the NFL more and more,
D-Coordinators are calling up the blitz more and more. Which means QBs
have less and less time to throw before they get hit. Passrushers are
exploding with Sacks and hits over the past few years, and it is only
getting worse. When D-Ends and OLB don't have to worry about the run, they
are twice as effective blasting off the line and rocketing into the QB. Last
led the NFL in throwing the quickest. He averaged a little more then two
seconds from snap to throw (I heard two different results, but is is
between 2.17 second and 2.5 second). There are reason for that, not
the least of which they run an offense with a lot of West Coast principles,
which is a lot of short crossing and inside patterns. They run a lot of
Screens. Brady will throw to the RB slipping out of the backfield. They don't
have a legit deep threat.
One of the major reasons
is the second thing Wes does better than anyone else. Nobody wins at the LOS quicker
than Wes. His cuts are so quick on short patterns that he burst open
almost as soon as he cuts. They read blitz. Wes cuts off the pattern the
way Brady wants him to. He burst open quicker than anyone on the team.
Brady hits him before he gets hit himself. How many times have we seen
that over the past six years? hundreds? That is now gone.
Now, Brady will have to hold onto the ball longer, just because his
binky is gone. ďYeah. That was definitely probably the hardest part,
leaving Tom,Ē Wes said. ďHeís a great competitor, great player,
great friend across the board. I wish the best for him.Ē Aw, I'll
miss you too Sparky. Brady will also have to hold onto the ball longer because
his binky won at the LOS quicker than anyone in the NFL. That
means Brady will get hit more. So it's not just replacing Welker's
production, it is replacing his blitz pickups as well. It is his ability
to see the defense like Brady sees the defense, and get to where Brady
needs him to be when he is in trouble.
at the age when we need Brady to get hit less, BB rids himself of the WR
who gets open quicker than anyone else in the NFL. So you better be prayin'.
Because Brady will be holding onto the ball a little longer this year.
Which means he will be hit a little more this year. AS the passrusher will
be unleashed a little more this year. He will be getting hit a little more
just because of that. Long live the King. Hello Mr. Mallet.
Austin to Pats.
I thought the idea of Tavon Austin in the
1st was a joke. However, after his combine performance I don't see how
they could pass on him, if they don't sign Wes. He is as dynamic with the ball in his hands as
Harvin. Now we are learning that BB wanted Harvin in the Chung Draft. He
likely traded out of the 1st Round because he thought Harvin was his guy.
Now, we don't know if Austin can take the beating he will have to in the
NFL. At 174 pounds that is a very scary question. We also don't know if he
has that quick thinking mind, like Wes. If he wants to play in the Slot
with Brady, he needs to have that computer like quickness in his head to
process everything he sees, before it happens, like Wes and Brady.
However, when players start seeing 4.2's after their names, 1st Round usually starts appearing before their
is that his game has been misrepresented a bit from what I saw. He is not
a traditional Slot guy like Wes. He is not a deep burner like Patton. He
is a half RB, half Wildcat QB, and half Slot receiver like Percy Harven.
He actually did not start as the outside WR at WVU. That was Bailey's and
JD Wood's jobs, when they were in the 3-Wide sets. So he played in the
Slot, backfield, and lined up next to Geno to run Options. We was a guy
they had to scheme for to get the ball into his hands. He is likely to be
that type of player in the NFL as well. The question is can he develop
into an outside deep threat like David Patton, or is his speed used just
when he has the ball in his hands?
This years draft is
seriously bereft of star
talent. However, speed and stars usually go hand in hand. The speed we saw
at the Combine has changed the complexion of this Draft immeasurably. The
Pats need some speed on the outside whether Wes is back or not. If Wes is
gone, they need to replace his inhuman quickness in the Slot, and his
ability to win at the LOS quicker than anyone else in the NFL. Tavon
Austin looks like the only guy who can provide both and deep outside
speed. He won't last to
their second pick.
forty is a remarkable stat. I think
a lot of people are missing how impressive that stat was. I was shocked at
his forty time. When I watched him he was an all-quickness guy at UWV. I
saw him as
a pure make you miss with quickness guy. You add that speed to his
quickness and you have something special. If he can stay healthy, because
you have to factor in that 174 stat as well.
He was more of the jack
of all trades guy at UWV. He wasn't the guy outside flying down the
sideline. He didn't even start UWV Bowl game at the Flanker or the Split
End. He started in Wes' Slot role in that game. So we will see what
happens. March 31st will go a long way towards decided this pick. Are both
Wes and Lloyd on the team? Maybe neither? But that worry keeps bringing me
back to Wide Receivers for the Pats. Then of course comes the odd what so
we do with Ryan Mallett question?
can't believe that the Pats could get a 2nd
Round pick for Mallett. I think the worth
of Mallet has been greatly exaggerated in Patriot's land. Like me, Mike
Lombardi was a big Mallet guy. He also ragged on Weeden a lot. He thought
Mallett was twice the prospect Weeden was, like me. So there is a GM who doesn't
want to stake his career on the starting QB he inherited, and when he was
a TV with nothing really invested, he said he would stake his career on
that Mallett guy. If he wasn't just shilling for BB, he should call BB and
talk to him right this second. BB would say yes to the Browns 2nd as quick
as Wes wins at the LOS. The Pats could take Elam here, and grab two WR in
the 2nd who can fly. They could easily grab Austin, Goodwin (4.27), or
Justin Hunter (4.44) with Cleveland's pick. Then take Woods (4.44
unofficial), Stills (4.38), or Terrence Williams (4.46 unofficial), or Ryan
Swope (4.34) with the second 2nd. BB would even have to think about a 3rd.
That won't be an automatic yes. However, with Brain Hoyer a free agent? If
the Pats sign Hoyer, it might be a yes.
I made a
couple of mistakes. First, Cleveland does not have a 2nd Round pick. They
used it in the Supplemental Draft last year to pick up their starting WR
Josh Gordan, who has an excellent season last year. But
the premise still stands. Especially since the Pats have a giant hole in
the middle of their draft. If it takes a 3rd, 4th, and 5th, then BB would
have to think about it. He would have to decide if filling the middle of
his draft is worth the risk of Brady, gulp, you know. It would make for
some interesting moves in the 3rd and 4th.The depth for this Draft is so
perfect for the Pats. The way things are going you know some 3rd WRs or
DBs are going to drop into the 4th. Cleveland's pick in the 4th would be
very early. Maybe Stills drops into the 3rd or even 4th. With the extra
picks maybe you can take a shot at a small speed guy like Austin or
Goodwin, and grab a bigger WR at the end of the 3rd or beginning of the
4th, like: Tavarres King (Who I really like. He is a smart WR, and run
great patterns. Which are musts for Pats), Chris Harper (Who is David
Givens on steroids), Kenny Still (Slot WR whose 4.3 probably put him in
the 3rd Round), or, Aaron Mallette (small school wunderkind who can
play). The other interesting news is the New Orleans 2nd pick was forfeited.
So the Pats pick at 61, has moved up to 59.
hate to give depressing Dan any pub, but this whole
sucks controversy bothered me. It wasnít his negative spin, that goes
without saying. It was his completely incompetent analysis. There was not
a rational thought in the whole article. His whole analysis was that we
won the last time we meet. Therefore, they suck and the game will go the
exact same way as the last time. Which everybody knows games are like
snowflakes, no two are ever alike. I donít mind bad analysis, but I
canít stand this new trend of having a complete lack of respect for your
give the last game the minimum analysis.
was on the road for three straight games in the first game. NFL teams
never win the last road game when they are on a brutal three game road
trip. The NFL should take out the three straight road option, because it
is an automatic loss on the schedule. The other thing about depressing Dan
diatribe was it showed such a lack of respect for the Patís opponents.
Their opponents are good too. They have players who can make plays too.
Foster is the best RB in the NFL. When he is healthy he is going to make
plays. Andre Johnson is an All-Pro WR, and if he were on the Pats weíd
be crying if anyone implied he wasnít the best WR in the NFL. When Andre
Johnson makes plays, it is not a sign that our defense sucks. Jonathon
Joseph shutdown AJ Green on Wildcard Weekend, does that mean he sucks?
Shaun Cody was the starting Nose Tackle on
ís Championship team. So he must suck. Kareem Jackson also
started on that team, so we know for sure that he sucks. Connor Barwin and
Brooks Reed are two passrusher I was all but begging BB to take in the
Draft in the 2nd Round. So obviously I think they suck.
I know this is going to make me sound like a Patriot apologist suck-up,
but we now know that Danieal Manning can make plays in special
teams. Now I know he still sucks on defense, but if you ignore him on Kick
Returns, he can run past you. Also,
has some guy called J.J.. He just happens to be the best defensive player
in the NFL. When he makes plays, does that mean the Pats Suck? Call me
Captain Suck-Up, but players of J.J. Watts immense talent are going to
make play no matter what you do.
complete lack of respect of your teams opponent is the clearest way to
losing. You have to respect your opponent is you want to win. I was
listening to a post game show driving home form the game last night. I
know commenting on the dumbest talk show callers is as dumb as Depressing
Danís analysis. In case you didn't know it, talk shows give more minutes
to the dumb-asses than anyone making a coregent point for a reason. So
normal rational fan will get so upset that they will call in. Well, I have
had two throat surgeries and have the worst phone personality in the
world, so I can't call in. However, this dumbass said he was not impressed
with the Patriots in this game, or some dumb crap. If you were not
impressed with that win then you should stop watching football. Any
Playoff win is an impressive win. I... can't... rant... that dumbass.
week we got the Ravens. They clearly suck, because we beat them in the
Championship Game last year. They choked last year. Therefore, they are a
bunch of chokers who donít deserve to be on the field with our
problem? They are a very team on mission to defeated their most hated
Patriots. It is going to be a slugfest. If the Pats donít respect the
Ravens like Depressing Dan didnít respect the talent of the
team, the Pats will lose.
Things For Sunday Night.
still am unsure of going into
in January and walking off with a victory.
There were so many factors form this game that went the Pats way. First,
will be at home, and not playing in their third
straight road game. They will get the Bye, and then have played one game
the two turnovers the Pats almost had, might not bounce their way. Both
fumbles took long odd bounces that allowed an offensive player to grab
them. Normally, those go to the defense. Third, their defense is very beat
up. A lot of football guys have been dismissing the
offense; because Brady tore it up they must
really suck. Well, the
defense does not suck, Brady was just that
good. It was just another sign of how spoiled we Pat fans have it with
Brady and BB.
brings us to the San Fran.
ís defense is every bit as good as San Fran's
Defense. Only San Franís defense is healthy. Here are five things that
will be different this week:
offense is much better than San Franís
offense. However, San Franís offense is a power running team that
specialize in punching defenses in the mouth. The
offense is a lot more finesse. They have an
offense like the Pats, if you blink you can be down three touchdowns. The
49ers offense just keeps assaulting you play after play. Their offense
line might be the toughest, nastiest, and meanest run blocking team in the
NFL. The will pound and pound, and Frank Gore will average near five YPC,
and everyone will talk about how good Gore is. Gore is good, but the
O-lines ability to make defense submit is great.
The Houston Linebacker were beat up pretty bad. The 49ers Linebackers are
a lean mean killing machine. Plus, they have some versatility that gives
them a better advantage of sticking with the Patís multiple offense.
What the Patís do better than anyone in the NFL, is their ability to run
and pass from any formation and speed. A lot of teams can fastbreak
up to the line, but not a lot of teams can run repeated in their fastbreak
offense. The advantage the 49ers have over every defense weíve faced
this season is that they have three starting Linebackers who do not come
off the field in passing situation: Willis, Bowman, and some guy named
Aldon Smith. They will be on the field the whole game. They can stop the
run, and play in the passing game. So the defense doesnít have to
scramble players in and out of the game when the Pats fastbreak up to the
line. Those three guys give them a lot of versatility in regard to
defending the Pats specific defense.
The 49ers didnít just spend three quarters of a month on the road.
was obviously tired and out of sorts from the
beginning to the end of the game. The offense looked uncoordinated, and
the defense slow. Both units will not play as bad as they did last game if
we meet them again, and I can guarantee you that neither of the 49ers
units will play as bad tonight.
Weather was not an issue at all with
. However, weather will be a factor tonight. I
think the Pats have the advantage at home. However, if there was a team
that was built to win on the road in the bad weather better than this
team, I havenít seen it. Defense and running game is what you need to
win on the road. This is a top five defense in the NFL, and a top five
Their defense can punch you in the mouth jus as hard as their offensive
line. Harbaugh obvious wants the most physical team in the NFL. He just
might have achieved that with this defense. The defensive line is terrific
against the run, and Justin Smith has that knack for hitting the
quarterback. This is going to be a slugfest from first whistle to last. So
buckle up your superstitions and your lucky charms, because San Fran is
month ago I could foresee no reasonable way they could beat San Fran,
especially once Kaepernick was inserted into the starting lineup (Iím
just not an Alex Smith guy). However, the way the defense has been playing
lately gives me hope. The defense has finally been whipped into shape
again. Ever since Dennard and Talib have been pushed into the starting
lineup, the defense has played itís best football since the playoffs
terrifying news is that Dennard, Arrington, and Talib were injured against
, just as the defense finally
came together. To me, the four moves in the secondary is what brought this
defense together: moving McCourty to Safety, Arrington into the Slot, and
have Dennard and Talib go straight up man on the two outside receivers.
The ability of Dennard and Talib to go most of the game straight up on the
outside receivers without help makes this defense ten times more deadly.
This allows the other nine defenders to work on stuffing the run, or more
importantly confusing the quarterback. In the old NFL, if you consistently
stuffed the run you won most of the time. In the new NFL, if you can
consistently confuse the quarterback you win most of the time.
also allowed Arrington to play Nickel, which he seems to have really taken
to. Plus, having McCourty, who can play centerfield sideline to sideline,
allows even more freedom for the other safety to come up and play in the
box. Which helps to stuff the run, unleash different blitzes, and covering
the tight end. McCourtyís range at Safety has been a big help. Which is
also cause for more concern. If, gulp, both Dennard and Talib canít
play, then McCourty has to move back to Corner. This really hurts the
coverage ability of the secondary. Not just at Corner but at the Safety
position as well, as McCourty is the best cover safety on the team.
McCourty is terrific manning up on the outside receiver. But as we have
all seen, he struggles when he has no help over the top.
good news is that both Dennard and Talib were at the walkthrough.
When I hear hamstring with a DB or WR I worry. They are facing maybe their
biggest challenge on the season, and maybe foreshadowing the Super Bowl
match up. They need Talib and Dennard against this team. The good news is
that San Fran is more offensively challenged than
. They run a great scheme, but
they donít have near the weapons as
at the perfect time, and the
defense played a near perfect game. The problem is that the 49ers have
spent the past three weeks on the road, and you never play your best game
two weeks in a row. But what worries me the most is the decimation of the
secondary. And we wonít know how bad it is until game time. Right now it
looks like Talib and Dennard will play. If they donít, that leaves
McCourty and a small car full of clowns at the other Corner: Marquice
Cole, Steve Gregory, or some guy named Derrick Martin. Although, I though
Cole was very impressive in the preseason. That is not really a strong
not the biggest fan of San Franís receivers. It might be the weak link
in their team, but they do have some scary speed outside. They have three
speed guys who can do damage deep down the field: AJ Jenkins, Ted Ginn
Jr., and Mario Manning ham.
good news is that it likes like both Dennard and Talib will play, but play
but likely as well as they played against
. The 49ers have to travel
across the country, which is always an advantage for the home team. Plus,
they are playing at night. Now I know the coldest winter Mark Twain ever
spent was a summer in San Fran. However, San Fran is not really a cold
weather climate, and it is not summer. And as all New Englanders know,
there is a huge difference between a sunny afternoon in December, and a
cold snowy night in December. Even though San Fran in based on a strong
defense and a strong run game, which is the best defense for a road game
and bad weather, you have to favor Brady and the Pats in those elements.
Things For Sunday.
Am I the only one who was petrified watching the statue of Joe Flacco
standing in the pocket with a mocking target on his back. Fitzpatrick is
not the best QB in the NFL, but if you donít hit him, and give him
minutes instead of seconds to throw, he can sure look like the best QB in
the NFL. Early last season he looked like he was on his way to the Pro
Bowl. However, as he got more and more beat up the worse he played. The
Patís defense needs to beat him up a little to slow him down. If he can
do an imitation on the Flacco statue in the pocket, it is going to be a
The time to worry about carries is over, for right now. Not is the time to
get him back on track. 20 carries for 100 yards would be a perfect 5.0
YPC. Until Hernandez gets back, they may have to over-run Ridley. At this
point there is nothing that can be done about it. It's 1 and 2 and what
else are you going to do. However, there is no need to panic Patís fans,
because in the first three seasons where the Pats went to the Super Bowl,
they started off not so well. In 1985, they started off 2 and 1, then 2
and 3, and went 11 and 5. In 1996, they were 1 and 2, then 3 and 2, and
finished at 11 and 5. In 2001, they were 1-2, then 2 and 3, and finished
11 and 5. So starting off 1 and 2, or even (yikes!) 1 and 3 is no reason
to panic, and place the Pats in Pigskin Purgatory for all eternity (I like
it so much I wrote it twice;-). The Symmetry is interesting, and if it continues
they will be 2 and 3, end up 11 and 5, and go to the Super Bowl and win.
It has been reported that Mankins
did not travel to Buffalo. That could very well be the game right
there. They are trying to get some cohesion on the O-Line. Now it is even
worse. Mankins hasn't been at his best himself, but his replacement is not
going to be near as good. Facing D-Tackles Marcell Dareus and Kyle
Williams is a daunting task, even with a healthy O-line. I just don't see
good things happening tomorrow. The Pat's defense had better have a good
day, or this could get real ugly real fast.
He killed us in
last year. He is a
bit of a wingnut, but he can play. If they let him look like, gulp, Torrey
Smith from last week, we could be in a world of hurt. They have to slow
him down, by any means necessary. They canít let him bust open deep all
over the field. He is a Patriots killer looking to do some business.
Another Patriotís killer looking to do some business. He might not be
all the way ready, but when he is on he can kill the Pats quickly. The
Pats run defense was terrific in the preseason and the first two games.
They fell apart last week, against the Ravenís big line and great RB.
They have to have a comeback this week. The Pats get might
get lucky with the super dynamic Spiller, who is averaging almost 10
yards per carry likely out. But the
after they declared Spiller out. So hereís hoping my silly conspiracy is
me if you have any questions or comments:
For Thursday: LSU Vs. Auburn.
call me obsessed, but am I the only one who thinks the Pats have a giant
hole opposite Mr. Jones in the passrush? Last weeks game against the
Ravens was an insult to Passrushers everywhere. They couldnít have hit
Flacco if they had a crossbow and a pike. The loss of Mr. Car-ter could
come back to haunt them. This is exactly what I feared when I heard they
and werenít going to resign Carter.
has been a huge find as an inside rusher. However, as he develops as an
inside rusher, I donít think they should what heís so far with a move
outside. If they just had someone on the other edge to get any kind of
pressure. Ninkovich has been a disaster in the passrush so far. Getting
Jake Bequette, Trevor Scott, or Justin Frances going on the other side on
passing downs is a must. The good news is that they have time to develop
another rusher before the Playoffs.
better news is that they will have opportunities to take another
passrusher in the first round next year. On Sunday there was a great game
and LSU. That included three
guys who BB could not pass on when they pick. Of Course, they are all
likely to be gone come pick 32.
twin rushers on LSU are both Patriots type players. They are both smart
kids who seem to get it on the field. They take run responsibilities
seriously. The can Set the edge, and rush the QB with passion. I have
a little better. However, Mingo
looks like he might be a little more explosive, and more of a quick twitch
pure passrusher, which is usually what teams want in the 1st (read: Bruce
Irvin;-). So Mingo will like go first, and I canít really argue with
that even though I might take
was my first real look at Lemonier. I thought he was a little troubling at
first. He got blown off the line a few time, gets turned on run plays too
easily, and missed a few tackles. But as the game wore on, he seemed to
get better. He made a few plays in the run game, and showed that he could
be a pure Passrushing OLB. When he was unleashed to just go after the QB,
I thought he showed a great blast off the line. He also seemed to make the
big plays at the big times, which is a common trait of big time rushers.
are some notes form the game:
Lemonier #55 DE/OLB 6-4, 240-
Looks a little bigger than listed, but can get pushed back. Needs to play
aggressively and attack constantly. The second he starts thinking he gets
in trouble. Does a good job on the run when he gets his hands on the
O-Tackle first. He can beat in space. Terrific inside burst. He will burst
himself out of the run play sometimes. He can get blown off the line when
they run at him. He might be better off outside a little. Needs to use his
hands better. Very QB aware, but needs to read other keys better. Gets
Sealed on the edge too easily. To willing to go and be shoved out wide.
But he makes big plays, One mistake by the OLT and he is at the QB quick.
He uses his speed nicely to get the Corner, and has a nice Dip an Rip
around the Corner. Terrific athleticism. He has that knack for getting to
the Quarterback in big places. Not real good when Stunting inside. Seems
to play better as the game goes on. Played the run better in the 2nd half
Mingo #49 DE/OLB 6-4, 240-
I like ho when bulls into the ORT, and then gives a little extra shove and
gains the shoulder. He is better at using speed to power to gain a
Tacklesí inside shoulder. Explosive blast off the snap. His first three
yards off the snap is as quick as there is in college. Smart, holds
backside contain and doesnít try to over pursue or burst to QB on every
single play. He is so quick up field, that when he stops and cuts back.
Even when he is doubled by RBs, they donít have the quickness to react.
Does a nice job protecting the Edge. He sure looks like an OLB to me. He
is so good at shoving the ORT past the QB, and then cutting inside of him
to the QB. He likes to use his speed to get blockers off balance, and then
shove him back. Smart player who knows enough to go for the ball when the
RB is caught up by a teammate.
Montgomery #99 DE/OLB 6-4, 250-
He uses his long arms so well in the Bull-Rush. He has excellent size and
burst off the snap, but he has to get a little slippier. Sometimes lines
up a yard off the LOS. Reads the play well. Both him and Mingo play like
smart guys. When he reads it quick, he can get into the backfield in a
flash. He does get suckered by Screens a little too easily. However,
Iíll take that over-aggressiveness every game. He can blast past the OLT
on run plays in a flash. When he sees the handoff he can into the
backfield and make the tackle.
me if you have any questions or comments:
My biggest question with the game was where was Ridley. I though
they would pound him into the Ravens feathers at will in the 2nd Half. To
me, the biggest thing the Pats coaches had to do was to figure out how to
limit the beating Ridley has been taking in the first two game. I thought
they played it perfect in the 1st Half, giving Woody all those carries.
That would allow them to give Ridley a ton of carries the 2nd Half.
Upon further review, I like what they did with Ridley last week.
They have to figure out a way to win without giving Ridley the ball 20
times or more every week. It is much more important to get him 20 or more
carries a game in every Playoff game, then any regular season game. The
question is how do you do it without taking away his impressive 5-yard per
carry average, which is what makes him special. If he averages under
4-yards per carry, it doesnít matter how good he looks, they will have
to find another Runningback.
I was going crazy when they kept running Woodhead on Draws in the
Spread. Upon further review it was a wise decision. BB runs a scheme team.
He studies opponentsí strength and weaknesses, and acts accordingly. The
fact is you donít want to power run at the Ravens huge D-Line, and Ray
Lewis. They have been terrible in pass defense so far this year. So they
used the brain of Brady to fastbreak the Ravenís defense into near
Plus as I wrote earlier, a large part of this game plan was the
result of the loss of Hernandez. This offense has been designed to use the
unmatchable versatility of Hernandez and Gronk. No other team in the NFL
has the scheme versatility to match what the Pats can do with Gronk and
Hernandez on the field. This almost pure Spread offense is what we were
left with when Hernandez went down. And not just because of Hernandez:
Fells has been disappointing. Visanthe Shiancoe canít get on the field.
Winslow is not ready for Primetime yet. Hoomanawanui is still more blocker
than H-Back. The final 9-minutes of that Raven game were the result of the
devastation of the Tight End position they planned to be their kryptonite
for NFL defenses. So their offense looked like it was cut in half last
week. Plus, the plan was worked.
Yes, I know they lost the game. The game plan gave them a 9-point
lead halfway through the 4th Quarter, after a huge momentum stealing stop
on 4th and 1, while resting Ridleyís valuable knees. They win that game
99 times out of 100. Iíll take that, everyday of the week and
twice on Sunday. It was just one of those things. Sometimes you play your
best and lose, and sometimes you play your worst and win. And sometime you
do everything right for 80-90% of the game, and then canít seem to do
anything right after that, but that doesnít mean they should be cast
into Pigskin Purgatory for all eternity.
It just sports. Crazy things happen every week. Ironically you
could argue that their failings in the 4-minute drill where a result on
not using the power running game through out the game to soften up the
defense. It was the Spread game plan that they created that got them to
the 9-Minute mark with a 9-point lead, and the failings of the Spread
offence that didnít allow them to pound the Raves into submission at the
This week, against the Bills you are going to see Ridley get more
carries against the improving Bills defense. They are going to need him,
especially with Bradyís shoulder acting up again. Last week the Bills
run defense had what was likely their best game of the season. They
wonít be as effective this week. You should see Winslow on the field in
more Hernandez like circumstances this week. That should help add some of
the versatility that they were missing last week. Plus, Fells and
Hoomanawanui should be improving as well.
So think of last weeks loss as saving a few Ridley carries for
the Playoffs, and the loss falls into the shit happens category.
Upon further review, I
can live with a tough loss in the first half of the season, especially if
it rests Ridley's valuable tread for a few extra carries in the
me if you have any questions or comments:
Versatility In Losing.
Iíd like to see a
little more power running. Is this going to be the tragic consequence of
the Hernandez injury? With Welker stepping into the Hernandez role, they
have to pass more. Welker is still a better receiver then Hernandez, who
was playing WR and FB and H-Back and Tight End. Which is something Welker
just canít do. He canít step out of the Slot, and put a hand on the
ground and line up next to a Tackle as a Tight End. While Hernandez is not
the most important player on the Patriots, he is the player that allows
the Patís offence to do things that no other team in the NFL can do.
Hernandez is the rarest of players whose versatility allows him do things
that no other player in the NFL can do.
Welker adds a steady
dimension in the receiving game for Brady. But Hernandezís unusual
versatility was easy for every fan to see. Sometimes BBís infamous
versatility is not so easy to see. Sometimes being able to be a dominate
blocker on the edge in three different Special Teams units is hard for us
fans to really see and appreciate. Do we really care how many special
teams units Edelman, Tavon Wilson, and Eugene Chung can play on?
Hernandez it is right there in your face. One play he is like up outside
as a Split End. The next play he lines up in the Slot and Motions across
the field like an H-Back. Then Brady is in the shotgun, and Hernandez is
lined up like a FB ready to pick up the blitz or sneak out into the Flat.
You donít have to be Bill Belichick to see the herculean advantages
Hernandez gave McDaniel.
He has also been
running the ball, returning kicks, and blocking well. He was not a good
blocker when he arrived at the Razor. He has really worked effortless on
that aspect of his game, and it is that aspect of his game that was so
obviously missing this week. I donít think there is another player in
the NFL who can line up wide one play, in the Slot on the next play, then
take a hand off on a Power Dive, and then line up inline and block down on
the D-End like a Tight End on the next. That gives the Pats such an
advantage scheme wise to be able to go from a Power Two-TE formation to
4-Wide without a change in personnel.
The biggest problem
they had with the Ravens was that they could go Power to Spread at will in
the 2nd Half. They were able to put the defense on their heels in the 1st
Half, by using the Fastbreak offense. But like BB said, you can only do
that for so many snaps as it puts as much pressure on the offensive
players as it does the defensive players.
Welker is still a
better player than Hernandez. However, Hernandez gives the Pats offense
something that no other team has. When Gronk and Hernandez are on the
field together (I think you have to include Gronk in this equation),
D-Coordinators canít anticipate their calls based on personnel, which is
the primary way the have to base their calls. Sure there are a hundred
other reasons for each call, but if you donít know if they are going to
go Power, Spread, or anywhere in-between, it makes things near impossible
for opponents to scheme against.
The good news is that
they have a guy on the roster now who may be able to take short stint in
that role. Winslow used to have the athleticism to take over the Hernandez
role, at least part time anyway. The question is how much rubber does he
still have in those knees, and does he have the mental acumen to step into
that role as well. If he could do it for a few weeks, that might give
Hernandez a little extra time to heal that bad ankle that has been
bothering him since August. Welker can step into the Slot role, and maybe
Winslow can step into the second TE/H-B/Slot-Receiver role that Hernandez
does so seamlessly.
me if you have any questions or comments:
Things for Sunday Night.
for Brady to have a bust out game. He has been below average this season,
and now with injuries forcing Hernandez off the field, the Pats coaching
staff will be forced to stick Welker back into the game plan. He has been
Brady's booby for too long. The Raven shave been giving up over 275
passing yard per game. Plus, the Ravens have been giving up three yards
more than the Pats average of 126 yards rushing per game. Those are some
extremely favorable numbers for the Pats. Plus, Brady always at his best
games after his worst games.
number were not as big last week as in week one for Ridley. Look for
Ridley to go over 20 carries in this game. Maybe the plan is to go every
other game with an overload of carries for Ridley. He had 18 carries last
week and 21 in week One. Look for him to have over a hundred yards rushing
again this week, and over 20 carries.
Ravens have actually been the Pats biggest non-division rival since 2007.
The games have turned into vicious grudge matches. However, it is starting
to look like the Pats will finally have the advantage on defense. The
Ravens defense has been beating up the Pats offense for a while. It will
be nice to see the Patís defense beat up on the Raven for a while. Their
run defense has been one of the best in the league, if not the best.
Allowing only 62 yard rushing per game is a big number even if it is for
only two games. Plus, I was really worried about the defense that seemed
to come together in the Playoffs last year. Losing Carter and Anderson is
20 Sacks they couldnít afford to lose. I like how they have overcome
those tough numbers. I look for Cunningham to have a good game hitting
Flacco from the inside. As he gets more and more comfortable rushing
inside in the Dime and Nickel, he should cause more and more problems.
one fly in the ointment is of course the Patís O-Line. I cannot say if
they will be good or bad. If they can open some holes for Ridley, and give
Brady some time to hit his receivers, this game could be a blow out. I
donít think you can plan on that happening in this game. They need this
O-line to jell, and jell real soon. The Ravens interior D-line and of
Course Lewis can do a lot of damage if not properly blocked.
Monday morning, one of these teams will be 1 and 2. With both teams
playing so physically in the
Championship game, I donít think any rational mind could have predicted
that. If it is the Pats it will be a tough hole to dig out of. However if
you watched the Dolphins hand the game over to the Disorganized Jets, you
have to say it would still be hard for another team take the
East crown away from the Pats this year. However in
, that is a much different story. If they lose tonight things could get
desperate real fast. They might have to beat
twice to take the Division, and that is not a goal that I would want for
my team. So in the end, allís I can say, is the two best team from the
last year are both in desperation mode. This should be one hell of a
fight. Go Pats! And I must say not a bad article considering I started it
Vs Ohio ST.
If your a Pat's fan
another interesting team to watch is Ohio St. They
have two 3-4 beasts on their hands. Simon looks like he could be an
effective versatile player in a 3-4/4-3. He is an outside guy, a DE/OLB,
who rushes like a D-Tackle. Reminds me a little of Fanene in the Tape I
did of him. He blast off the line so low and quick that I have trouble not
seeing him as a good NFL passrusher.
However, he does not rush in the normal way. Or
should I say he does not look like a normal top Passrushing prospect. He's
a little squat looking. He doesn't look pretty getting to the QB. He's
more of a scrapper than a speed rusher. But he sure has some interesting
Another interesting guy the Pats have to be looking
at is Keenan Allen. He is considered the top WR by some in the Draft. I'd
like to see a forty time before I say that. However, he is an extremely
skilled WR, and ran a lot of similar patterns as Wes Welker. He was
running all the underneath Slot stuff, as he had two little speedy guys attacking
Deep. I don't think he went down field once against Ohio ST.
However, that doesn't mean he wasn't effective. He
had hands down the best catch of the season so far. He consistently caught
the ball at the biggest times. He punished the DBs who tried to tackle him
short. He's big, strong, and quick. The only thing left for me to see to
call him a First Round talent is his deep speed.
Here are some of my notes from the Cal-Ohio St game.
Keenan Allen- #21, WR, 6-3 200-
Coming into the game against Ohio Keenan Allen, had a TD on a punt return,
a run, and a catch. Plus, when it counted the most, the hapless Cal QB
went to him on 3rd down almost every time.
He is a very willing blocker. He can hold the CB out
on the Boundary, and line up inside as well. He uses his size and
quickness to get in the way nicely. He doesnít sustain blocks well, but
he doesnít give up. He had two successive blocks on the edge to give the
Bigelow a lane down the sideline for his 80-yard TD run. He hit the CB covering
him, and was tossed aside. However, that gave the RB just enough time to
scoot past him. Then Allen regained his balance and smashed into the
safety, which allow the RB to cut outside that block and use his 4.3 speed
to gallop down the sideline.
He is so big on the line that he canít get out
muscled on the Jam.
However, if you donít Jam him at the LOS, he is just too deadly on a
free release. He is a beast on short patterns. He can catch the 5 yard
pass, and turn it into a deadly punt return. Reminds me of Dez Bryant. He
is such a tall WR, but does the quick things that usually only the little
guys can do.
Give me the big Receivers who have the little man
skills. And I keep thinking about what position the Pats are going to be
looking at in next years Draft? I keep coming back to WR. Does that sound
crazy? O-Guard? Definitely another Passrusher to put opposite Mr. Jones.
How much would a big WR/Punt-Returner help the Pats next year? Because
right now it sure looks like Wes Welker is not coming back. I still think
taking a Passrusher to put opposite Mr. Jones would be a nice choice, but
man would Keenan Allen look good lined up outside opposite Lloyd.
Smart guy, who knows where he is on the field, and
has that knack for finding the First Down marker. Iíd like to see him go
deep a time or two. So far it is all underneath patterns, which means he
doesnít have the deep speed, the QB doesnít have the arm, or the coach
doesnít trust the O-line enough to run long patterns.
He has terrific hands. He just caught a first down
pass on 1st and 10. He was tackle by the Facemask and spun around and down
into the ground, as he was catching the ball. He held on to the ball. As
the DB hit from behind right as the ball arrived. The DB took a swipe at
the ball, and grabbed and yanked his facemask instead of the ball. As
Allen caught the ball, his neck was spun around and his body followed in
mid air, by the DB ripping his face mask back from behind. That is as good
a catch as you are going to see. I donít know how he held on. Plus, he
took the additional 15, stayed in the game, and made a nice block out on
the edge on the ensuing running play.
He catches so many balls right in the middle of the
field in front of the Linebackers. They do have two WRs who seem to have
better speed and run the deeper patterns. It looks like he is forced to
run the underneath stuff, because it is best for the team. However, I sure
would like to see him catch some deep stuff before I call him a First
Round pick. He has shown it all so far this season, except the deep speed
you like in a WR. And Iím not saying he doesnít have the deep speed,
Iím just saying I havenít seen it yet.
However, he continues to help his teammates,
Just ran for an 81-yard TD, and it was a result of speed and Allen
blocking on the edge.
Allen made two blocks out on the edge. He can really
punish DBs who come up and try and hit him. He continues to make the big
plays. On 3rd and 4 in the forth, he makes the big catch that give Cal
a 1st down inside the 15-yard line. Then he makes the throw back to the
QB, after a lateral pass to him, that almost is a TD. But it gives them
the ball inside the Five, and allows Cal to run the ball in to take the lead.
John Simon #54
DE/OLB 6-2, 260- He can come off the line low like he is
bursting out of a cannon. Granted, Calís O-line is as bad as Iíve seen in a while. But I was shocked at
he comes off the snap, and his blast off the line.
Not the stoutest against the run. He gets put on
skates too easily. His best position as a Pro might be as a situational
passrusher. Because he just got knocked about seven yards down field by at
Cal's O-Line that had looked terrible up to that point. Now maybe it was his
worst play of the game, but maybe not.
He will also burst himself out of the play sometimes
on run downs. Which is probably better than going nose to nose with a
Tackle or guard. He does a nice job gaining the O-Linemanís shoulder,
and that is when he wins. When he allows the O-Lineman to square up on
him, he is done.
He shows some nice hustle and ability to read the
play. He will also Zone-Drop in coverage, and looks like a Ninkovich-type
D-End/OLB. Not bad setting the edge. He can stand up to the ORT when he is
on the move. He is very adept at keeping moving, because the second he
stops the bigger guys will get him. He is a bit of a pinball rusher. He can
smash into the ORT, bounce off, and hit the QB. Relentlessness is part of
The further out from the middle of the line he lines
up the better he looks. Making him a
Natural in a Wide-9, or OLB in a 3-4. Although, he doesnít look like
a thinker. He looks like a guy who is at his best just charging up
field without having to think about responsibilities.
3rd and 10 in the 3rd Quarter, with all the
Calís way, and he just Blasts off the Line. He stays low, and Dips and Rips
around the OLT to Sack the QB and force the punt. It might be the play
that saved the game for Ohio ST, now up only six.
DE/DT #92, 6-4, 345- He continues to show more freakish ability than
production. In one play he lined up at D-End, in an Odd Front. He lined up
way out wide outside the TE, like he was playing in a 4-3 wide-9. He burst
up field and they ran a Draw right up the gut. He some how stopped, turned
completely around, and charged into the middle of the Cal O-line and
jumped on top of the poor RB right at the LOS. I have never seen any thing
like that from a 345 pound man, that is 20 pounds over Wilforkís listed
and 9, in the 2nd Quarter, he
burst up field and knocked the ORG
back about two yards, and the Center tried to come over and double him,
but he had already burst past him. He knocked the ORG
to the ground and headed towards the QB. The QB naturally panicked (I mean
who wouldnít;-), and took off. He was sacked just before he could reach the
LOS, by a rusher stuck at the LOS. No stat, but that Sack and QB Panic was
caused by Hankins.
He just took on the double team and tackled the QB at
the LOS. Although I am watching this on DVR (and I think the game is
over;-). He keeps lining up more and more at D-End. Ohio ST looks like they are going into a 3-4 more this game than the last. He is
making more of a mark as a D-End than a D-Tackle. There will be a 3-4 team
very in early in next years Draft that just wonít be able to pass on
He is playing with better leverage inside this week.
He is also showing better agility moving sideways. He just followed the
play all the way outside, moving sideways and hand fighting all the way to
the other side of the field, and made the tackle on the small Back. That
would be impressive agility for a 290 pounder, never mind a 245 pounder.
Hankins continue to play better in the 2nd Half than the 1st. He is just
killing the Cal O-line from five different positions on the D-Line.
Pair of Passrushers.
you are interested in the NFL Draft, you might want to watch a Texas game
or two. They have a pair of passrushers that are going to get a lot of
attention in April. I was very impressed with Okafor last season, and have
no recollection of Jeff coat at all. This weeks Texas-Mississippi game was
my first shot to see them play. I could not have been more impressed.
are very different type players. I understand why Draftnics are going
crazy over Jeffcoat. He is the type of explosive athlete with all the
flash and dash that makes him jump out on film. He looks like he could be
a Jared Allen type passrusher. However, he is not there yet. Okafor is a
better player than Jeffcoat, but lacks the explosive potential of Jeffcoat.
This is what make the Draft so interesting. Potential Vs steady
could be great and both could be busts, but their differences are obvious.
Here are some of my notes during that game:
Jeffcoat #44, 6-5, 245, Jr DE/PR-
He has a nice burst off the line. However, he will run himself behind the
QB a little to much. Locks onto the QB as he blast off the line, forgets
about the RB a little too much. Why would a team trying to throw leave him
unblocked? Takes off up field on every snap. Very adept at avoiding
contact. What he does best is not the Big Uglies get and keep their hands
on him. Very slippery. Drops in coverage sometimes. Extremely nice feet
moving backwards. He really shows his exceptional athleticism when he is
dropping. He is built like a long tall OLB, and he clearly can drop. I
donít know if he can make a play on the ball, but he bounces back in
coverage with impressive agility, quickness, and speed. Plus, he chased
the 4.3 Scatback 50-yards down field. He always plays with great heart and
hustle, even in coverage. TMIWTMIL. Doesnít always bend as well as Iíd
like. He can look so smooth, and sometimes just show a little stiffness
(or at least I saw it once, but it might have been an illusion of the
play;-). When the big Tackles get there hands on him, he can be easily
taken out of running plays. Especially when he just tries to get up field
as the RB is going the other way, and he really is taking himself out of
the play. Not a lot of power to move the OLT in the run defense. he can
look a little stiff sometimes TTC.
Okafor- #80, DE/PR- Shows some nice push Stunting inside. Does a
nice job occupying two blockers inside, which helps free up the other
Stunter outside, and still getting some push on the pocket. He has the
quickness to zip around the ORT blocking down on the DT, and hit the RB
behind the LOS on the Dive. It is that kind of quickness, agility, and
bend that he shows in the rush as well. One of those guys who looks better
as the game goes on. A stand up rusher.
plays an odd front with two down DTs, and two stand up DE. It looks he is
being trained to play OLB in an NFL 3-4. Nice inside move on the ORT. He
can flash up field and spot the ball carrier with nice quickness. He can
flash and inside and up field and get to the QB fast. The more I watch him
the more I like him. He doesnít have Jeffcoat's shocking athletic
ability, on field flash, and isnít as pretty, but he is a better
football player. His back to back Sacks in the 2nd Quarter against Old
Miss were so impressive. He burst inside on the first, using his quickness
to go virtually untouched. Then burst outside, used his long arms and
power, and Bulled his way to the QB. Smart rusher can make make a move,
and then a counter move. He is bigger than Jeffcoat and plays with more
power. However, he doesnít have as good a blast off the line. He is
still a force as a rusher however. Likes to use his speed to get the ORT
off balance and then try and Bull him into the QB a little to much. Needs
to get a little more slippery.
WR- Another big WR, 6-3. Needs to show speed to be taken early. He
has some downfield ability. Tough kid. He will go up in the air and take
the ball. Strong guy who can catch the and run through the DBs. He has the
speed when he has the ball in his hands. Should be a better blocker.
Johnson- DE/OLB- Gets overwhelmed at the Point sometimes. He has
to convert to DE because Moss had no one to play there. Played well. In
the first snap against
he got blown off the line by a double team. Then he made three straight
plays on the ball carrier. He has nice speed around the corner. He is so
quick it is tough for big linemen to stay in front of him. He just flies
by TE in the rush. They rotate
him a lot, and he seems to get winded. He is clearly Old Miss best
defensive player, by far. But he plays only about half the snaps. As the
game wore on you could tell when he was on and off the field. This kid
looks undersized, but is a real force on defense. The More I watch him the
more I like him. Not sure if he is eligible for next years draft.
Hard, and Hardly Running.
on Sunday scared the crap out of me. He was so good, it was like waking up
on Christmas morning and finding a Ford Hybrid under the Christmas tree
(like totally not paying for gas anymore;-).
However, the overload
carries are troublesome. His running style is what made him look so
special on Sunday, and what worries me. ďIn my position man, you canít
play the position being scared,Ē Ridley said. ďYouíre gonna take a
lot of contact, but as a runner if you can try and deliver the blow
instead of taking the hit, I think that your career might last a little
bit longer. So thatís kind-ah my philosophy running the ball: I'm trying
to get downhill man, just deliver the punches, instead of taking all the
beatings.Ē BB has to manage his carries much better, and more
importantly manage BBís old school desire to have a RB who can rush
20-25 times a game.
He has such nice size
and power. He has lost about 20 pounds since he played at LSU as a senior,
and that loss of weight has really added to his burst, quickness, and
speed. ďAt LSU it was just a little bit of a different weight
program,Ē Ridley said on WEEI. ďI think, I was weight in at about 237.
Somewhere around there. Knocking on 240. I get here and Bill and the
coaching staff said I had to cut down on some weight. I think thatís
helping meÖ. Iím sitting right know at about 220. So I lost about 20
With Shane Vereen on
the bench, it revealed a troublesome lack of depth on the roster. They had
to put Bolden in to close out the game, because Ridley already had 21
carries. Lucky the game was not in doubt. But Bolden garnered a scary 11
yards on 5 carries for an awful 2.2 YPC. Now Iím not saying he sucks. I
like Bolden, and I think itís safe to say he reminds a lot of Patís
fans of The Law Firm. Iím saying heís a rookie, and he clearly isnít
ready for Primetime. Which left the bench looking not very healthy with
only Woodhead as a veteran to help Ridley.
Ridley canít keep
this pace up. ďI donít think thatís going to change my running style
to much just a little bit of weight difference,Ē Ridley said about going
form 237 to 220. ďIím trying to get downhill and make the positive
yards.Ē There is a lot to like about what Ridley did on Sunday, but he
still has to prove he can keep the pace up. Plus, when backs start to get
worn down is when they start to fumble.
Getting over 300 carries
and gaining over 1,800 yards in the NFL has destroyed a lot of
Runningbacks, from Jamal Anderson (410 carries for 1,846 yard in 1998, 256
carries for 1,273 yards the rest of his career) to Chris Anderson (he has
dropped from 1,300 to 1,000 last season after having 358 rushes in 2009,
and clearly did not have 4.3 speed last Sunday, never mind sub-4.3 like
before he ran for 2,000 yards). 21 times 16 equals 336 carries. 125 times
16 equals 2,000 yards. Now I know this is a specious argument, as last
week might well be his best game of the season. He is hardly likely to
average 21 carries a game the rest of the season. It is always folly to
judge how good or bad a season a player is going to have after Week One.
The problem is what if
Vereen canít stay healthy? What if Woodhead canít regain the form he
had as a rookie? That leaves a developing Bolden to try and keep
Ridleyís career alive. I think that is a bit of a risky plan. If Vereen
can take some of the main rushing load off of Ridleyís knees, it looks
like Ridley is going to be something special. He has averaged almost
exactly five yards a carry so far. His 6 YPC average was spectacular last
week. If he can continue to average 5 YPC for a few more years, Brady
could get his elusive 4th Super Bowl victory. Especially, if they keep
improving the defense like it looks they have so far this season and
In the first game, of
the first week of Ridleyís second season, it looks like we have a rookie
Curtis Martin on our hands. Now I know it is a long way from
to the Hall Of Fame, so calm yourself. Iím not so much comparing style,
but a young RB who looks like he could be special, like in Martinís
rookie season. Ridley has a to prove he has anything close to Martinís
freakish ability to take a beating and keep on ticking. He does however,
have the burst, bounce, and cut back visions that all the great ones have,
and that was what made Martin my favorite Patriot even after he left for
the hated J-E-T-S, sucks-sucks-sucks.
However, it was a
different world back then. Martin was consistently listed at 204 pounds,
while Ridley has been consistent listed at 220 since the Pats drafted him.
He doesnít have Martinís long speed, but he does have a little more of
a physical style. His question will be durability, and does his fumbling
problems come back after he has been beaten up for half a season. I thinks
it's impossible to say right now that he has Martin's freakish Hall of
I worry about him
taking such a beating week in and week out, and it suddenly looks like the
Pats have no depth at RB. However, Vereen was back practicing this week.
Vereen also has a stunningly different style than Ridley. He likes to hop
backwards, which as spectacularly fun as it is to watch, is going to come
back and haunt him. While Ridley likes to fall forward. Vereen has the
speed to get to the house if he gets that long seam, while Ridley has yet
to show that skill in college or the NFL. Vereen is 210 and runs like a
scatback, while Ridley is 220, and punches like a 240 lb fullback. Ridley
stays on the field, Vereen has to learn how to stay on the field. The good
news is that Vereen did practice this week and is listed as questionable
for tomorrow's game against Arizona. They will likely hold him out for the
Ravens next week, but he will be on the field soon
Being a Draft guy I
love to watch to the young guys develop, and I think we have a nice tandem
here. However, Ridley has to learn how to protect himself just a little
better, if that is possible. His averaging 5 YPC is so good, that I hate
to imply he should do anything differently. It is too much a risk to his
great production. So it is up to Josh and BB to limit their temptations to
go old school on opponent's asses. Unless, Vereen can stay healthy for say
ten carries a game or so. Woodhead can sneak in 4 or 5 touches in special
situations. And maybe just maybe, they can keep Ridley under 20 carries a
game. And then maybe just maybe, he can average 5 yard per carry for a
long time around here.
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Jones, The Steal of the Draft.
Chandler Jones is
showing himself to be the guy BB thought he was. Plus, he seems to be who
Madden thought he was, LOL. ďEvery time someone mentions me on twitter I
read it, I read it all the time,Ē Mr. Jones said. ďOne of the fans had
mentioned, Ďyou know Iím playing Madden, and you got a Strip-Sack
Fumble and Hightower picked it up for a touchdown.í That was right
before the game. You know, I was reading it. For it to happen in real
life, that was great. It was like a dream come true, and it was pretty
funny that that guy predicted it.Ē My favorite story of the Draft was
Mike Mayock. Mayock was pretty quiet in regards to Jones. Then all of a
sudden about a week before the Draft he starts saying he thinks Jones will
end up being the best defensive player in this years Draft. That is a big
So who cares? Well,
Pats fans. Mayock, famously, has lunch with BB on a regular basis. So he
walks a thin line come draft time, between retwitting BBís opinions loud
and proud, and betraying his trust. He clearly was walking a thin line the
week of the Draft, when he let those comments fly. He clearly looked
uncomfortable saying them as well. Which allows me to speculate that he
didnít completely agree with BBís assessment of Jones, or he was
nervous of BB taking offense. Either way, they sure look like they were
right on in the preseason and the first game of the season.
Jones has been a force
on the QBís blindside. He has been making OLTs look foolish. He has
shown to be such a smart player and person. ďMy expectations, to be
honest with you, was to get respect of the veterans,Ē Mr. Jones said.
ďYou got Vince Wilfork over here to my right. Just earn his respect. For
him to be out there, and to trust in me to do my job is just my goal. For
me to go out there and to say, ĎI donít want Vince to have to worry
about what Iím doing. I want him to have trust in me that Iím dong my
job.Ē He just gets it. He dominated the first half of Preseason games
with surprising efficiency. Plus, his ability to redirect after running
past the QB is astounding.
The only time he
really struggled was when he went against Dunlap. Dunlap is a huge man, he
is the only guy heís faced that can match Jonesí arm length. Which
shows he over relies on using his arms and strong hands to gain the
advantage on the OLT.
He has to start
working on more counter moves. While watching the game last week, My main
man Keith and I agreed that he had to find a counter move to his
Push-Pull, a Swim, and to just trying to Dip aní Rip around the Corner.
But now I think we were wrong. He has to find more than one counter move,
starting with an Inside Rip.
His long gangly legs
and arms make him look a little awkward rushing the passer, but he has
that knack for hitting the Quarterback. His long stride make the OLT look
slow sometimes. ďMy being a passrusher, you basically take what they
give you,Ē Mr. Jones said about his Strip-Sack. ďWhen you rush the
passer you look at the offensive lineman, and the stature, and what heís
doing. [and] base it on what move your going to do. And thatís what he
gave me, and I took it.Ē Plus, he is so good with his hands, especially
in the run game. He is so adept at holding off blockers and setting the
edge. Last week, before the Strip-Sack, he was more dominant in the run
game then rushing.
Jones is quickly
looking like the steal of the Draft. He looks more and more like a star
every week. The only question is can he hold up for the season. We have
all seen rookies hit the wall. Plus, he was not as effective in the second
half. He didnít play in the second half of any game in the preseason. I
thought that really showed in he second half of the first game of the
regular season. Plus, I worry that as teams get more film of him they will
shutdown his favorite move.
The story of his
rookie season will be how he plays in the Second Half of games, the second
half of the season, and the Playoffs. If he can play in the Second Half of
games the way he has played in the First Half of his first five NFL games,
then he will be deemed the steal of the Draft.
Got Me A Hankins for a Defensive End.
Hankins comes off the
line low, with nice leverage and arms extended. He does have some speed in
the open field, and can get over in front of the runningback when they run
away from him.
He has a terrific
shoulder punch. When he pulls with his inside hand and punches with his
outside hand, he jolts O-linemen in terms of yards. When he comes off
lower then the O-Guard in the rush, he can knock that Guard back 5 yards
in a flash.
He is built like a
Nose Tackle. Oddly, he plays RDE in Even front sometimes. He looks like
Red Bryant out their at D-End in a 4-3. However, he still does his best
business inside at D-Tackle. He will also line up at D-Tackle and Zone
Drop. I havenít seen him make a play on the ball, but he doesnít look
out of place dropping in coverage. He actually shows amazing agility and
hop for a 325 plus pound man.
He has that size,
speed, and agility matrix that every GM wants. However, I donít think he
is a better football player than Lotulelei. He is bigger and fatter, and
plays better out on the edge. It really is shocking how much they line him
up outside. Teams still have to double him when he rushing from the Left
D-End spot. Both Tackle and
pay a lot of attention to him.
Does a nice job
dominating, then he got tired at the end of the first half, which worried
me. When he gets tired he gets too high. When he gets too high he gets
pushed back and twisted terribly, which you wouldnít believe when you
see him play low and mean. However, he had some of his best pressure at
the end of the second half, when he didn't look tired at all.
Started to look in the
second half outside as a power D-End, where he canít get power under him
by squat O-Guards. However, the problem is that teams can run away from
him too easily. He also plays D-End when
goes into an Odd set. There are going to be a lot of 3-4 coaches watching
that tape. There will not be a lot of it, but it looked good to me. He
will also line up on the Nose in odd fronts. But he has trouble taking on
the double team blocks by a squat Center and OGs. He looks more and more
like an NFL D-End to me. However, when he sees it and reads it, he can
burst past the OGís like they are standing still.
I d like how he
consistently gets penetrations on the Tackles when at D-End. Plus, he
plays all over the D-Line for
, which shows his smarts and versatility. Then he Zone-Drops again, and
looks like a MLB in coverage in the Paint. Amazing agility for a man with
his size and power.
A Star Is Born.
Have you ever seen
Star Lotulelei play? I just watched the
game, and this kid is a monster. I know, a lot of Draftnics have him going
in the top ten, but I havenít really watched him before. His size-speed
ratio is only outdone by his leverage-power ratio. I donít know much,
but I know a top five D-Tackle when I see one.
According to one of
the TV announcers, he was the 2nd rated D-Tackle according to Mel
and McShay, well allís I have to say is who is the first, Merlin
Olsen? He might be their 2nd rated DT, but he is already my top 3-4
D-End. Hold onto your hats Patís Fan, this kid is a faster Richard
Seymour. Mel has Jarvis Jones as his top D-Tackle. Well I just watch Jones
play, and he is not as good as Star. McShay actually had Lotulelei as the
top pick in the Draft. I
would agree with that.
||His ability to get into
an O-Linemenís shirt, and then toss him aside is as impressive as
I seen since Suh. He controls the O-Linemen his leverage and hands,
and can shed him to either side with impressive two-gap technique.
Plus, he plays with impressive
smarts and hustle. Utah St
was vigilant attacking the corners and staying away from the middle,
so he didnít have nearly the stats as his play demonstrated. He
lined up primarily at LDT.
also went into an odd front regularly. He lined up at NT and LDE in
When he was singled he
destroyed the blocker.
started doubling and tripling him consistently, which is the ultimate
compliment to a D-Tackle when all three interior O-Linemen give him a
shove, block, or punch on one play.
He has such a great
burst off the line and is known for his disruption. He is a very smart
player who also has that knack for guessing the snap count. He does some
odd things as well. He is also very adept at covering the RB sneaking out
of the backfield on the Screen. Three times in the first half he came off
the rush and covered the RB like he was in the Post. His ability to
instantly diagnose the play is going to endear him to the NFL HC who has
the privilege to coach this kid next year. I thought those plays were so
impressive not just mentally, but physically as well. He is 320 pounds,
and running stride for stride with the sub-200 pound Scatback out of the
He also plays the LOS
spy a lot. The Utah ST QB was a fast kid who scrambled a lot. So whenever
Lotulelei felt like he wasn't going to make it to the QB, he stopped his
rush and got in the QBís passing and running lanes. Another impressive
skill. He also will draw false starts and Holds seemingly two or three
times a game.
It comes from his
great hands and feet. I have not seen all the top D-Tackle in this years
Draft yet, but I have seen Hankins and Jones. I have trouble believing
that any D-Tackle plays better in balance and power with his hands and
feet. Plus, he has a nasty shoulder punch. His signature play is getting
his hands on the O-Linemanís shoulder pads, and being able to shove him
aside at will. He has more right handed power, meaning he likes to toss
the O-Lineman to his left as he goes right. When he makes a mistake
two-gapping he is always bursting into his right-handed gap.
He gets fooled some
times (of course who doesnít;-). Not so much by play-action, but
misdirection. He is so adept at reading the blocks of the O-Linemen, that
he attacks up field in the direction they are blocking with such flash
that misdirection will cause him to burst himself out of the play
sometimes. Which is the only weakness I have seen so far (I wish that was
my only weakness;-). Just in case you havenít figured it out yet, this
guy ainít going outside my top five anytime soon.
He also takes some bad
angles in the backfield. But itís one of those things. He often gets
into the backfield so fast that the little guys can run away from him.
on Saturday. I can't believe the college football season in upon us
already. There were two Juniors on Mich ST I was very interested in
watching: D-End William Gholston, and the RB, who had 19 TDs last year,
Leíveon Bell. I was interested in them for different reasons. Gholston, because
he was dominate at the end of last year, and I wanted to see how he looked
without Worthy lined up next to him. The second was Bell, who I don't
really remember from last year, but heard a lot of good things about him.
He is a big Big Ten Back, and like all big Big Ten backs, his speed at the
Combine will do more to determine were he goes in the Draft more then this
season, as long as he has similar production as last year. He has a nice
quick burst after he changes direction. when he Stunts inside.
At the end of last season William Gholston was as
impressive, if not more so, then Jerel Worthy. He has some buyer beware in
him, but he seemed to clean himself up last season. If he can spend
another year playing hard and without Character Concerns creeping up, he
could be the first D-End taken in next year Draft.
He was killing Boise St early. He switched sides to
rush from the QBís blindside for most of the game. He seemed to run past
ís young OLT on every play in the 1st quarter. He also lined up at D-End
in an odd front when
went into a Nickel. He has the size to maybe play 5-Technique. Heís
listed at over 6-5 and 280 pounds. He has nice strong hands, and has that
knack for shedding blockers. He uses his hands so well in the Push-Pull.
He also shows some nice short area burst for such a big kid. He plays with
great balance. he has some nice speed, but can't sustain for long. he does
a nice job varying his speed to help that out. Runs a little high
sometimes. He is 245 pounds, and shows some nifty feet when cutting back
at the LOS. However, he does not display the long speed I
Excellent athlete out of the backfield. He can adjust
to the tipped ball in the air, which again, for a 245 pound Back is
freakishly impressive. Plus, he is a load to bring down. One of those guys
that runs by falling DBs like they are flies. He also takes the direct
snap in the Wildcat. I cannot be more impressed with everything about this
kid on the field, except the flash. He does not appear to have the break
away speed just yet. When he gets low he does have nice power. Shows
some spark on Power Tosses, but needs to follow his blocker a little
better. Moves the pile on short yardage. He does do a nice job running at
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I just watched two of
the best players in college football play today. Two players who are the best at
their position in college football. However, because they both play less
valuable positions, they are not on any big-time lists. They were the two
best players on the field in the Alabama At Michigan game, and I bet you
canít guess their names. If you don't believe me they are replaying the
game on 286 ESPNU Sunday at 7:PM.
The first is of course
Barrett Jones from Alabama. I first noticed him when he played OLT for the
Tide last season. He was so impressive he won the Outland Trophy last year
as the best o-Linemen in college football. What he does better than any
linemen I saw last year was when he gets his big mitts on a guy it is
done, the movement ends. He defines stalemating an opponent. He doesnít
always get good push, and he rarely gets knocked backwards. Plus he has
started at two different positions in two BS Championship Games. Last year
he started at OLT, and against Texas (two years ago-three years ago) he
started at ORG. Now he is the best Center in college football, and I'm
saying right now I would take him over either Pouncey Brother.
What he does
is strange and remarkable. Once he engages with an D-Linemen, the movement
just stops, itís over. Itís not pretty. Itís not exciting. Itís
not normal. ItÖ is what it is. I wish I could explain it better, other
then he was probably the most efficient O-Linemen I watched last year. He
reminds me of Dwight Stephenson. he might not knock out two guys on every
play, but he dominates every one-on-one assignment you give him.
This year he seemed to
be missing. I couldnít find him on the first series on Bama's O-Line. I
remember him as the OLT, but he usually is listed as an O-guard. Then I
spotted number 75 getting up from the bottom of the pile. He walked back
to the huddle and lineup at Center? I thought, okay best player, most
important position on the O-line. The got two Tackles, so why not line up
the veteran at Center. Then he was better. He played OG, and the OLT last
year, and now Center, and he was better.
In back to back plays
on the second series of the game (Alabamaís first scoring series) he
made the two best blocks of the year. I know, itís only the first week
of the season (so what the hell am I talking about;-). The first was 2nd
and 5 from the 9. He fired off the snap, and turned the DT like he was a
turnstile. The ORG stepped in and grabbed him, but he was done. Jones then
slipped off and popped the MLB. He wasnít able to eliminate him from the
play like he normally does, but he pushed him past the First Down marker.
You can really see his strong hands as he grabs the MLB shirt in an
underhand grip and doesnít let go. The part that is hard to explain
about him is that you usually donít see his hands inside on the
defender. On this play you could.
I donít know how you
could watch that last play and not be impressed. When he hit the DT on the
inside shoulder, the DT jolted sideways like he just hit the 3rd rail.
However, the next play was even more impressive, and I donít say that
lightly. First and goal from the five, and I kept looking at the play to
see if I was seeing what I was seeing. Michigan lines up a NT right in
front of him and a 3-Technique to his right. Jones pops between the two,
and drives a shoulder pads into each D-Tackle. He holds off the guy on his
left with one hand, and pops a hand into the chest of the guy on his
right. The guy on his right falls down, Jones falls down on top of him,
and he drags down the NT with one hand as he falls. I swear he single
handedly took out the two D-Tackles by him on a run of Lacy up the
After watching it
about ten times it looks like the ORG Chance Womack (who was very
impressive as well) might have helped on the 3-Technique, before he slide
off to hit the MLB, but it still was one of the most impressive blocks
Iíve ever seen by a college Lineman. Could be a BB special pick at pick
32 next year? We have seen how terrible this O-Line with Brain Waters
gone. If he plays this year, I donít think you can count on him for next
year. Would BB pull the trigger on an O-Guard in the first round who can
play any position on the O-Line? I canít remember the last five-tool
player on O-Line?
The other guys is D.J
Fluker, and he is no fluke. He popped out on film for me last year, when I
was looking at Brockers from LSU. Brockers didnít always get up field as
much as youíd like, but nobody knocked him backwards. I taped both the
LSU-Alabama games (I mean, who didnít;-). Brockers was so big and strong
for such a young player that I had to jump on his bandwagon. He jolted
guys backwards, and just never got jolted himself. Then I put on the tape
of the first Alabama game, and it was a simple running play where the ORG
engages the LDT, and the R-Tackle blocks down on him. It happens 5 to 10
times a game in most college games, and is particularly effect when you
are facing a disruptive DT. Well, Fluker blocks down on Brockers, and
knocks him 5-yards sideways. He hit this man on his shoulder with such
force I saw him move in the opposite direction further on that one play
then most other against non-Alabama teams all season. He was the hardest
hitting O-Linemen in college last year.
Now, for those who
donít give a crap about college football until Draft time, he plays ORT.
He is not going to be a Left Tackle in the NFL. He is a bit plodding and
doesnít always look like he has the best feet. He is however, huge. And
the best hitter in college football nobody knows about because he is an
O-Linemen, and O-Linemen never get to hit as much as they like.
Then I started
watching him against Michigan, and he looked to me like he was moving
better. He moved backwards nicely in pass protection. Much smoother than I
remembered. He looks like he has finally grown into his size. He had a
tough first series, but he really looked good after that. Because he plays
ORT, he likely wonít go as early as say, Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M)
and Chris Faulk (LSU), two Junior OLTs. However, I think he is a better
prospect than both. Would BB take a chance on an ORT, again, in the 1st
Round? What if Cannon continues to play like he did in the Preseason
rather than last year, and my man Vollmer canít stay healthy again this
year? Fluker looks like he is going to make some Left Defensive Ends cry
Also, Alabama CB Dee
Milliner is the real deal. He has amazing coverage at the beginning of the
route, and a knack for getting his hand on the ball at the end of the
route. As good as anyone saw I last season. He showed great recover
ability on short patterns in the First Quarter. His question is only
speed. Does he have the long speed to stay with NFL WRs. Because he
dominated the Flanker against Michigan. He had also had a nice INT as
well. He shoved the WR out of bounds and down to the ground with one hand,
and then ran the pattern and made the easy INT.
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