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Old 03-28-2013, 11:10 PM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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Why is that? Anyone have a good explanation for our consistent failure in drafting DBs (and WRs for that matter): Scouting, coaching, slavish devotion to measurable's, simple bad luck?

It's why I'm disappointed we opted not to sign any of the affordable starting caliber corners. I fear the same ol, same ol in the back end again this year (go back to the beginning of this thread, the pass defense problems emerged back in 08 and have never really been corrected.) Maybe I'm just a half empty kind of guy though.
I would probably say all of the above. I think New England may have improperly gauged Brandon Meriweather's character/coachability, Patrick Chung seemed to have been something of a misevaluation, players like Ras-I Dowling and Terence Wheatley suffered recurring injuries (that could have been a scouting error as well, as both players had a collegiate injury history.) No players have seemed to develop significantly, so it could be a coaching concern as well, possibly in terms of what New England's secondary is asked to do.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:17 AM    (permalink
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The injury thing is a worry because it appears the Pats are more lenient in their evals than other teams.

The big problem for me with the DBs is they never seem to take the next step in their development. The Pats have been able to get serviceable to good players in the mid to later rounds, but when they take a guy high he rarely pans out (McCourty excluded).

I think it's the requirements they put on guys. It's similar to the pass rush situation where BB wants 6'5 260lbs players at the end of the line. At DB he puts a premium on change of direction and fluidity but not so much on awareness, physicality and ball skills
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:59 PM    (permalink
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With Dennard and Talib both being better press corners, does that change either or both our draft philosophy and scheme? Defense played much better with a healthy Talib (I'm also surprised that Dennard played so well, didn't think he had the speed to play outside.) Of course, more pass rush would help the secondary too.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:35 PM    (permalink
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How would you guys rate our offseason/FA to this point?

Personally, I think we have done a great job. Bringing back Vollmer and Talib were the two top priorities and we succeeded there, both with reasonable deals. Vollmer's deal is a slam dunk.

I like Welker and he has done a lot here, but I did not expect him to come back. Losing him is tough especially for the connection he had with Brady, but bringing in Amendola is great as long as he can stay healthy. What are your guys thoughts on Edelman? I personally would like to bring him back but with the Leon Washington addition I don't see it happening. Michael Jenkins is a very meh signing, I don't know what we see there, but it could work out. At least we have a receiver with some size. Donald Jones could be a nice pickup. He is young and has some nice tools, there is some upside there.

I think an underrated signing is Will Svitek. Nice depth tackle, obviously the big move here is bringing back Vollmer but with Seabass' durability problems it is nice having a quality backup. I am loving our OT situation for next year. Cannon should get a shot to play inside.

The Arrington signing is the mystery of the offseason. His struggles in coverage are well versed, we all know the deal there. He is a nice depth guy and he is a tough player, but he got a pretty good contract considering what he brings to the table. Bringing back Talib takes the sting out a little, but with Dennard's status questionable we could be seeing a lot of Arrington on the outside and we know how that story goes. Adrian Wilson is long in the tooth, but I could see him being a good pickup. He plays a smart game and is tough, he won't offer a ton in coverage anymore but neither have any of our safeties in the past 5 years. Now that we have a good cover safety (McCourty) and a young guy who has that potential (Tavon), it is worth taking a risk on a guy like Adrian Wilson. He could be a nice addition, especially if Tavon develops into a guy who can come in on third down.

We have all but written him off, but there is the chance that Ras-I Dowling (remember him?) comes back and becomes the player we think he could be. If he could come back and bring something to the table, our secondary doesn't look as bleak as it has in the past. I am expecting something out of Dowling (again) this year.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:50 PM    (permalink
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They overpaid Amendola and overall are a worse team than they were last year at this point.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:24 PM    (permalink
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I think we are a better team going into this year than we were last year. The Amendola contract might not have been a bargain, but he is here and I think he will be a good fit.

Position by position, this year opposed to last year (at this time pre-draft) in my eyes:

QB (=) I expect to see the same production out of Brady this year, and Mallet should be improved.

RB (+) Vereen will make a huge jump. I liked Woodhead, but I think Vereen will break out and we still have Ridley. Bolden showed flashes and will be improved as the third back, he will get carries. Leon Washington is a very good return man.

WR (-) We didn't have much at receiver last year and I don't think we have lost much there. I think we will add someone in the draft but as of right now you can't discount the production Welker gave us, and we don't know exactly how that will be replaced.

TE (=) All comes down to health

OL (=) Could be plus because I think Solder will emerge as one of the top LT's in the game, but the key was bringing back Vollmer. Interior OL is a question mark, but it was last year too.

DL (=) Vince is elite and Chandler Jones is another guy who could take a big leap. Love is OK, Cunningham showed flashes, and Deaderick is a decent role player. Justin Francis surprised some people and Jake Bequette didn't do anything. Nink is a DE/LB and he had a great year. Another spot where we could use help in the draft.

LB (+) We know what kind of player Mayo is now, he isn't Patrick Willis but he is a steady presence. Spikes has a role and he is great at it, but he can be exposed in coverage. If Hightower can be the player we envision, that is a enormous boost to this team.

DB (+) McCourty is established as a safety now and he looked great, and Talib changed this team when he arrived. Dennard's status is pending but he looked good as a rookie. Tavon Wilson is someone we have high hopes for. We added Adrian Wilson, he isn't the all pro he was before but we will see what he has left. Ras-I Dowling could give us something, anything, maybe? I am not giving up. We brought back Arrington and overpaid, but if Dennard is back he is our third corner. Gregory is probably not a full time starter anymore but is a decent depth guy. I think this unit looks way better than last year.

ST (=) Edelman was a good returner and could come back, but Leon Washington will be fine. Gostkoswki is who he is and the same goes for Mesko. Nate Ebner is a demon.

We lost Welker which stings for the chemistry of the offense, but other than him I don't think anyone will be really missed. I'd say the team we have this year looks better than the team we had this time last year. If we could add another impact player or two in the draft then all the better. WR is our big need right now and maybe another DL/interior OL.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:57 PM    (permalink
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I'm extremely neutral on this offseason. They haven't really done anything to get worse or to get better. The Wilson, Vollmer, and Talib contracts turned out about as well as I could have hoped for, and Amendola's is pretty solid considering the bulk of it is tied up in base salary the last 2 years.

But god damn does that Arrington contract suck.

I still would have liked to have picked up someone who can run a freaking vertical route, but hopefully we still have time to do so.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:12 PM    (permalink
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I don't think you can say they are better at RB or LB than they were last year. Especially not when they lost Woodhead.

I don't count on anyone developing because so very few players on this team that were drafted by the Pats are better now than they were in their rookie year.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:23 AM    (permalink
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I don't think you can say they are better at RB or LB than they were last year. Especially not when they lost Woodhead.

I don't count on anyone developing because so very few players on this team that were drafted by the Pats are better now than they were in their rookie year.
I said RB because this time last year we just lost BJGE and didn't know what we had. Ridley had a good year while both Vereen and Bolden showed promise. I think we are better there this year at this point but that is just my opinion.

As for LB, Ninks year last year factored into the plus as well. If Fletcher comes back that would be nice too.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:39 AM    (permalink
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Solid write up and I completely agree with you, DonVito. The WR spot could, arguably, be a triple-minus on the +/- scale but I think Amendola has the skill set to step right into the slot role and do very well. I'm a big Lloyd supporter (still) and think his vacant spot is a bigger hole than people want to see. He is a talented guy who can get open and make great catches, and that is important to the team when we'll absolutely see Gronk/Hern getting all the attention this year.

WR is nice and deep this year in the draft and I think that should absolutely be the round 1 target.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:41 AM    (permalink
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See I just disagree with that. Lloyd couldnt get open or separation last year, hence why the majority of his targets were on back shoulder throws. Other than that I pray to god we go WR in the first.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:42 AM    (permalink
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Although I don't want to be a negative nelly, I'm disappointed we didn't sign one of the starting caliber corners. It was a buyers market and the one area in FA that had some real choices (compared to say WR/pass rush.) In my mind we still have major questions in the secondary, e.g. Talib's durablity (or lack thereof), Dennard's situation et al. That means probably drafting another CB, but given the draft capital we've already expanded there it feels like we're just spinning our wheels.

The Vollmer signing is pretty huge though, and I'm looking forward to seeing what DA can do with Brady. WR is otherwise obviously a big hole, but hoping we hit on whoever we end up drafting

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Old 04-02-2013, 02:50 PM    (permalink
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I mean, we resigned Arrington. Problem SOLVED.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:38 PM    (permalink
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See I just disagree with that. Lloyd couldnt get open or separation last year, hence why the majority of his targets were on back shoulder throws. Other than that I pray to god we go WR in the first.
Yeah I'm not really seeing how Lloyd's contributions were much different from Deion Branch's in 2010 and 2011. He blew up in a couple of games like Deion did, but for the most part he was an inefficient WR, who did less with his targets than the vastly more consistent options of Welker and Gronk while bringing very little big play ability to the table.

Deion Branch averaged more per catch and caught a greater percentage of passes while demanding a significantly lower amount of targets. Lloyd had 200 more yards than the average Branch season while getting about 50 more targets. In all honesty I think Lloyd's stats are favorable compared to his actual contribution because they don't show how many drives that were killed trying to do something stupid like bomb it to him over the top or that stupid back shoulder throw.

900 yards on 130 targets as a primary outside supposed "deep threat" receiver is pretty freaking awful. Almost anybody should be able to replicate that production with TB throwing the ball, and ideally we'd get somebody who can do better than that.

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Old 04-02-2013, 05:13 PM    (permalink
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Who can guess the historical Patriots stud who closest resembles Brandon Lloyd in terms of productivity within the Patriots offense?

Brandon Lloyd:
74/130 911 yards 4TD, 12.3 ypc, 7 ypt, 56% completion percentage, 68% FD

Mystery Receiver
61/103 760 yards 4TD, 12.5 ypc, 7.4 ypt, 59% completion percentage, 67% FD

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Old 04-02-2013, 08:37 PM    (permalink
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Total WAG*: Hart Lee Dykes.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:40 PM    (permalink
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I think if you asked this time last month almost every one of us would have taken this offseason so far.

Resign 2 of the big 3, Tom Brady restructures, bring in a ready made and productive replacement for the one of the big 3 we lost, sign a proven and explosive kick returner etc.

I think hindsight is great but that's what we have and I don't think it can be described as anything less than pretty good.

There weren't any vertical threats at WR other than Wallace and we all knew BB wouldn't pay him that money.

The only issue I have is they didn't bring in another CB. With guys like Grimes etc going for approx $5m we could have taken the chance, although I think they will look to carry cap forward for guys like Spikes and McCourty
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:03 PM    (permalink
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I think if you asked this time last month almost every one of us would have taken this offseason so far.

Resign 2 of the big 3, Tom Brady restructures, bring in a ready made and productive replacement for the one of the big 3 we lost, sign a proven and explosive kick returner etc.

I think hindsight is great but that's what we have and I don't think it can be described as anything less than pretty good.

There weren't any vertical threats at WR other than Wallace and we all knew BB wouldn't pay him that money.

The only issue I have is they didn't bring in another CB. With guys like Grimes etc going for approx $5m we could have taken the chance, although I think they will look to carry cap forward for guys like Spikes and McCourty
I don't think it's good or bad. We resigned who we needed to, but at the same time it was a great buyers market for teams at RT and CB. I think we've let a good amount of solid opportunities pass us by. Whether it was going with Wilson instead of Mikell or Rhodes, not going after Cullen Jenkins, and resigning Arrington at that price instead of one of the other half-dozen or so guys much better than him who went for a similar price.

There are still guys out there who can help us out like Dansby and Abraham, but if we stand pat and make our 3 draft picks/ add more fringe roster guys like Jenkins and Jones then this offseason will have been a poor one.



Also, here is a hint as to who the mystery receiver is...


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Old 04-03-2013, 06:07 PM    (permalink
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Want a laugh? I just looked up my first guess on ESPN and got it right :P

I think the Brandon Lloyd comparison is fairly accurate.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:53 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by cmarq83 View Post
I don't think it's good or bad. We resigned who we needed to, but at the same time it was a great buyers market for teams at RT and CB. I think we've let a good amount of solid opportunities pass us by. Whether it was going with Wilson instead of Mikell or Rhodes, not going after Cullen Jenkins, and resigning Arrington at that price instead of one of the other half-dozen or so guys much better than him who went for a similar price.

There are still guys out there who can help us out like Dansby and Abraham, but if we stand pat and make our 3 draft picks/ add more fringe roster guys like Jenkins and Jones then this offseason will have been a poor one.



Also, here is a hint as to who the mystery receiver is...

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Old 04-04-2013, 01:18 AM    (permalink
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Stevie Johnson is a dumb mofo.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:20 AM    (permalink
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Who can guess the historical Patriots stud who closest resembles Brandon Lloyd in terms of productivity within the Patriots offense?

Brandon Lloyd:
74/130 911 yards 4TD, 12.3 ypc, 7 ypt, 56% completion percentage, 68% FD

Mystery Receiver
61/103 760 yards 4TD, 12.5 ypc, 7.4 ypt, 59% completion percentage, 67% FD
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Also, here is a hint as to who the mystery receiver is...

LOL. I totally misconstrued 'historic' - yet another fun byproduct of growing old
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:34 AM    (permalink
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I like Emmanuel Sanders but if we give up a third rounder for one year I don't now about that. Something tells me we will try to work out a contract if we bring him in.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:40 AM    (permalink
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I like Emmanuel Sanders but if we give up a third rounder for one year I don't now about that. Something tells me we will try to work out a contract if we bring him in.
Steelers are strapped this year so offering him a one year deal over 4M would make it nearly impossible for Pitt to match. Then sign him and restructure. I'm not sure if they can do that or not, as I don't know what kind of rules are in place for the RFA tenders. Still, even for a year I'd be happy with a guy who can do exactly what we need.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:47 AM    (permalink
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its almost more of a **** you to the steelers than anything else lol.

Sanders is a good player, silky smooth route runner and is really passionate...hes not a guy that lets ******* up get him down, he gets fired up and plays better.

That being said, he ***** up quite a bit...fumbles and dropsies. In NEs offense he could legitimately be a torrey holt caliber player though
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