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Old 01-21-2014, 04:40 PM    (permalink
cmarq83
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Except if you don't think it's Connolly, you're ******* wrong. I don't have anything against replacing Wendell, but most of the time when it looks like Wendell screwed up to the layman, it was actually Connolly, and it was never the other way around.

I like Connolly. I'm sad that he was so bad this year, but almost all of the pressure that came up the middle was Connolly getting beat or just missing his assignment completely. The last game was pretty much his crescendo of being bad this season.

And we know, from the Brandon Gorin experiment, that Scar will stick with a guy that's getting beat until the very end.

Brady can cover up a lot of bad OL play, but not when pressure comes up the middle at a rapid pace. Connolly just isn't strong enough to hold his blocks in the passing game and his athleticism isn't quite enough anymore. The same thing happened to Ryan Lilja in KC a couple years ago. He got one more year out of himself by switching to C when Hudson got hurt, but was dragging the whole OL down when he was at guard.
I don't think that Connolly is a good player, but directing 100% of the offensive line's issue on him is horrendously inaccurate. Mankins allowed 10 sacks this year, Solder was inconsistent, and then there is Wendell.

Let's look at the 2 plays he visibly messed up on Sunday.

1) On the Knighton sack, Wendell had nobody lined over him, the man lined up over Connolly stunted left leaving him far out of the range of Wendell to help, so what does Wendell do? He opens his hips, blocks air, and creates an enormous rushing lane for Knighton to rip under Mankins allowing a sack.

2) On a stretch play to the left, Knighton pushed Wendell 2 yards in the backfield, causing the RB to miss the hole and be tackled for a loss.

These types of plays happened all year, and had nothing to do with Connolly. Blaming him for Wendell's poor play makes no sense. Maybe you can cite a play or two where Connolly made Wendell look bad, but there is absolutely nothing to substantiate your claim.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:33 AM    (permalink
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1) On the Knighton sack, Wendell had nobody lined over him, the man lined up over Connolly stunted left leaving him far out of the range of Wendell to help, so what does Wendell do? He opens his hips, blocks air, and creates an enormous rushing lane for Knighton to rip under Mankins allowing a sack.
I wouldn't blame the Knighton Sack on Wendell, I think that was just Mankins losing one on one. I went back and watched the all 22 and Knighton does a nice move faking right and you can see Mankins foot move that way, because he's facing the opposite direction his foot is now pointing left. Anyways Knighton just went to his left and Mankins was left frozen and had no play.

I don't know if it's fair to put blame on Wendell for that, he might've had an assignment to assist Connolly on that side or to shift to that side.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:02 AM    (permalink
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Yeah Mankins absolutely got beat on that play. I specifically recall watching that and thinking that our best linemen in a critical point of the game just got his ass beat. It was bad.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:03 AM    (permalink
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Mankins got absolutely toasted by Knighton. Maybe there was supposed to help, but Mankins didn't even slightly slow him down. Knighton was a huge difference maker throughout the entire game. I'd say after Peyton, he and Deymarius were the best players on the field.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:07 AM    (permalink
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I wouldn't say it was wendell's fault per say if we're assigning blame, but had Wendell blocked his assignment properly he would have had capacity to help. Instead he turned his hips and blocked air creating an enormous pass rushing lane.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:16 AM    (permalink
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Just saw Pepper Johnson will not be returning next season as he's leaving, wonder what went on between him and BB. Guess he wants to be a DC somewhere else. Him and BB had been together for 25 of the past 27 seasons.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:17 AM    (permalink
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I think he got fired. If that is the case then I don't know WTF happened, as you said he and BB have been together longer than a lot of us have been alive.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:47 AM    (permalink
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Knighton straight up smoked Mankins with a studly jab step swim move. It really was a thing of beauty. It was awful to watch against NE, but it was pretty awesome, even at that.

Wendell and Connolly need upgrading badly. Any argument about one being a reasonable starter is foolish. Either guy could, potentially, be "hidden" if the player next to him was a stud but that doesn't mean either should be starting.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:09 PM    (permalink
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Knighton straight up smoked Mankins with a studly jab step swim move. It really was a thing of beauty. It was awful to watch against NE, but it was pretty awesome, even at that.

Wendell and Connolly need upgrading badly. Any argument about one being a reasonable starter is foolish. Either guy could, potentially, be "hidden" if the player next to him was a stud but that doesn't mean either should be starting.

Exactly. Mankins got destroyed on that play.

Yup. Upgrades please. To at least one, preferably both though. One of them would make a nice back up though, I suppose.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:05 PM    (permalink
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Scarnecchia retiring. Wow. This off season is going to be interesting.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:01 PM    (permalink
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Scarnecchia retiring. Wow. This off season is going to be interesting.
This is the worst news ever. Munchuk just signed with the Steelers too.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:45 PM    (permalink
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This is the worst news ever. Munchuk just signed with the Steelers too.
Obviously it's terrible news that Scarnecchia is retiring, but Munchak probably wasn't the successor. I think Brian Daboll may take over the OL.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:07 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, I just went from one OL coach to another on the news.
Not that I was expecting us to get him or anything.
Dave DeGuglielmo is the new OL coach for us now.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:46 AM    (permalink
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I kind of want Aaron Donald. Stud in the making.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:12 PM    (permalink
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I kind of want Aaron Donald. Stud in the making.
I haven't watched him play, but his size worries me. I don't know if he'd be able to use that speed at the next level. Can't think of many DT in the NFL his size.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:43 PM    (permalink
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George Godsey expected to join O'Brien's staff in Houston. That's three assistant coaches now gone.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:48 PM    (permalink
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I haven't watched him play, but his size worries me. I don't know if he'd be able to use that speed at the next level. Can't think of many DT in the NFL his size.
Plays with a high pad level, blows into the backfield a few times a game but at other times he just stays blocked and seems to give up on the play. Nowhere near a Will Sutton or Dominique Easley IMO. Not even sure we'd draft those other guys.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:29 AM    (permalink
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I'm not sure Belichick looks at a 3 technique early in the draft. A rotation of Jones, Vellano, Armstead and Kelly is more than enough and I don't think he can draft with an expection of one or more of those guys getting hurt.

Easley I could see because he could be good at 1 or 0. Really the only 2 guys I could see them go with early are Nix and Hageman.

I'm starting to think the first rounder will be an interior offensive lineman or a WR.

I really wouldn't be surprised to see a start of the draft similar to

Zach Martin
CJ Fiedoriwicz (??)
Jordan Matthews
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:28 AM    (permalink
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I created a draft thread btw
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:38 PM    (permalink
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Obviously it's terrible news that Scarnecchia is retiring, but Munchak probably wasn't the successor. I think Brian Daboll may take over the OL.
I think Brian Ferentz would have been the guy they would have hired to fill that job. Losing Scar really sucks with Ferentz already in Houston.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:49 AM    (permalink
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http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-e...ided-pats-plan

This kind of logic pisses me off. What did Jerry Angelo (cough hack cough) want Belichick to do in June when he learned Aaron Hernandez was going to jail and that Gronk was made of glass?

Outside of boundary receivers, which this team struggles to find regardless of when they go after them, what did NE lack in April? It had 2 elite TEs, a very strong RB stable, and some quality WRs along with some rookies that had the potential to play significant minutes.

The only thing you could have argued NE lacked was a strong veteran outside presence - but there aren't Calvin Johnson's laying around on the street to just pick up. Randy Moss wasn't going to walk through that door.

This is beyond ignorant. They fielded the best team they could at WR and TE given the circumstances they had in February and April. If they saw the meltdown coming at TE and WR (cough Amendola... cough), then yes, it was a poor building operation by them, but unless you expect Bill Belichick to have a crystal ball - I don't know how you could have seen it coming.

Honestly, the defense lost it for NE more than the offense. If Belichick could have seen the meltdown up the middle (Spikes, Mayo, Wilfork, and Kelly - all lost by Denver's game), then maybe NE wouldn't have lost... but you see how asinine that is to say, right?

Let's be honest, how many teams are honestly better at receiver with Gronk, Hernandez, Edelman, Amendola, Vereen, and a mix of Thompkins and Dobson? Would NE have been better off keeping one of their mediocre (or worse) vets they had signed during the offseason and cut before the end of camp? (Is that even a question? lol...)

Obviously, I'm annoyed by this kind of idiotic reasoning. I guess NE should have called Arizona and asked if they would send over Fitzgerald for next to nothing.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:57 AM    (permalink
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I don't get how Jerry Angelo is in a position to judge Bill Belichick.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:07 AM    (permalink
Cudders
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To be quite honest, from an outside perspective, Angelo makes a fair point. Granted, unpredictable events affected the skill positions over the last twelve months, but if weíre looking at the larger picture, I think his critique is appropriate.

Bill Belichick, the coach, is the best in the business. Bill Belichick, the executive, is not. As a coach, itís hard to question him. He maximizes talent. Heís proven it. Heís dragged some unspectacular teams to spectacular finishes. This season being the most recent example. His record as a coach patches his record as an executive though. Because heís been responsible for assembling some of those same unspectacular teams. (Injuries notwithstanding. He survived some big injuries to impact talents this season.)

To me, the crux of Angeloís point is valid. New England hasnít targeted outside receivers. Just hasnít placed a premium on them. When was the last time the Patriots had a big-time perimeter threat? And, moreover, how hard has New England tried to replace the one that left? Sure, thereís been a second-rounder here, and a third-rounder there, but when was the position last prioritized?

Josh Gordon was available for just a second-round pick. That need couldíve been addressed this season. Gordon is a coverage-changing receiver and an explosive deep threat. It means one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time doesnít have to drop dimes to establish a vertical passing attack. It complements the best tight end in the NFL, the inside receivers, the running game, etc. Not to mention, New England had the relationship with Lombardi and an extra bargaining chip in Mallett to make it happen. I understand the off-field concerns and potential suspension, but the risk justified the reward. Iím not second-guessing either. A special talent on a cost-effective contract at a position of need for a late second-round pick? Perhaps a backup quarterback and a lower pick? And I can get him into the program much earlier than whoever I would choose with that selection? OkÖ

Look at the defense even. How long have the defensive backfield and pass rush been problem areas?

And, for the record, I donít think Belichick is an awful executive. The man has had brilliant visions and made smart selections, too. Quite a number of them. I just think itís fair to find some faults in his approach to team-building.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:38 AM    (permalink
AntoinCD
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I think if people want to criticize Belichick for not attempting to improve the outside WR position that's fine, however I don't know if I believe it. And for criticizing him for how he's built the offense really doesn't make too much sense to me.

Firstly, to look at WR. Since 2007 Belichick has brought in quite a few potential pieces through both trades and FA. What he has never done is spend a high draft pick. I think the highest he has spent is Chad Jackson. But you have Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth, Joey Galloway, Chad Ocho Cinco, Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch etc. Clearly, there is one standout there but it doesn't mean that Belichick hasn't attempted to address the situation.

I get that all of these players were, let's call them experienced, but they were all still capable of producing at a high level, maybe with the exception of Galloway. The difference is the fact that Belichick hasn't gone all in on a WR. He hasn't given up the farm to get a Julio Jones type or go for Josh Gordon.

The reason why I don't think they included Mallett in a package for Gordon is because I think the Patriots value Mallett more than any other team. Add in Gordon's well documented off the field concerns and the fact the Pats were recently bitten by Hernandez and I can understand why the Patriots didn't go for him. It is disappointing but what if Gordon gets suspended again from a transgression this offseason?

But as I mentioned above, if people criticize over not putting enough into the WR position that is fine, I think it is cherry picking but it is what it is. I simply do not agree with bashing him for building from the inside out.

Firstly, Brady is a much better passer inside the numbers than outside. The best thing that Brandon Lloyd did with the Patriots was become an overpriced decoy. This was the issue they had when both Dobson and Thompson went down this year. They missed a clear out guy which allowed defenses to play tight coverage outside and have their safeties stay shallow in the middle.

Secondly, the Patriots have 2 first round picks on their offense in total and one was from 8 years ago. I think a more valid argument is that they haven't added enough difference makers but have added guys who fit the system.

Thirdly, what if Gronk doesn't get his knee blown out, Hernandez doesn't kill people, Vollmer doesn't get hurt etc? It's easy to criticize when you build through your TEs when those TEs are Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan.

How did building from the outside help the Atlanta Falcons this year? Jones got hurt and White was constantly playing through pain. I bet they wish they could have run the ball better or had a better offensive line.

For me, this whole piece is a massive bit of revisionist history. Belichic and the Patriots were lauded for "changing the game" and inventing the 2 TE offense, which is ******** anyway. Belichick didn't invent that. He got 2 highly productive TEs with complimentary skillsets and found a way to get them both involved. If you have a plan going forward to utilize both those guys and within 6 months they are both gone then of course you are going to struggle.

Look, this is where it becomes frustrating for Patriots fans, and I know saying that to a Browns fan seems ridiculous. The Patriots have a QB who will go down as one of the best of all time. They have a defense full of first and second rounders. They have an offense perfectly suited for the skills of the QB. But on both sides of the ball they are missing one piece.

A big, fast WR who can draw coverage away from where Brady is strongest. And if he isn't drawing coverage Brady can look that way. i made a comment last week in regards to the difference between throwing to Moss deep and throwing to Edelman deep. I would guess the margin for error would be somewhere between 5-10 yards when throwing to Moss. When throwing to Edelman it nearly has to be pinpoint accurate.

Finally, another stud DE who can get after the passer. The Patriots do not have a viable defensive end across from Jones which is why Ninkovich, who is better suited to play LB is currently the left end. The Patriots finally have talent in the secondary, but that doesn't mean anything when Peyton Manning isn't moved off his spot all game.
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:18 PM    (permalink
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I hate when people criticize a pick because the fact is you simply DON'T know...He like all others hit and miss. If finding a CB so easy why doesn't evey team have 2 shutdown corners. I remember the Darius Butler draft, I liked him at the bottom of the first and we got him in the second, I was happy. I remember deion sanders saying the Butler had some of the best feet in the draft.

The Gordon for a second round was all media and he is 1 mistake from having a year suspension. If we traded for him and that happen then what? Then all of a sudden you blame BB for making the trade you wanted to begin with.

And with the pass rush I remember people pining for so many end of round 1 pass rushers who have all but washed out but then you will be reminded of how you passed on Clay Matthews. It's a lose/lose
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1. RB - Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin
2. WR - Antwan Goodley - Baylor
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5. DE - Anthony Chickillo - Miami
6. WR - Tyler Lockett - Kansas State
7. TE - Clive Walford - Miami
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