Re: 2009 Patriots' Final REPORT CARD
posted at 1/15/2010 4:15 PM EST
TP pretty much spot on as usual. I am total Brady rumpswab, and he really struggled at times. My sincere hope is that it was a combo of OL, play-calling, lack of 3rd WR/TE production, and returning from a truly devastating knee injury. I truly believe he will returne to top 3-5 status next season. RB a concern, but far from the top of the list. I think a good team can get by with serviceable RBs - SD, Indy, Dallas, Arizona to name a few. Need a #3 WR and TE. Think Baker is a solid #2, but need a threat there. The left side w/Volmer and Mankins (if re-signed) looks solid, but right side and even center go from average (Koppen) to oft-injured (Neal) to awful (Kazcur). Interesting to see what they do with Light/Volmer combo. A stud LT in the draft with Volmer shifting to RT could be dynamite.
Defensive side of the ball - sign Wilfork. Guy was fantastic, even playing DE with lack of production there on/off all season. Warren decent, and Wright a solid backup (don't think he can survive as a full-timer). Fingers crossed one of the rookies pans out, and they sign another productive DT. ILB is set with Mayo. He is above average, and imo will improve next season. Guyton is ok, but just might not be talented enough to be the every down guy. OLB as you mentioned is the BIGGEST NEED for 2010. Elite pass rusher would make all the difference in the world. Look what TBC did w/nothing on the other side. Burgess and AD - buh bye!! TBC is a bit player, but w/a Freeney DE/OLB-type, he may even produce more pass rush. The safeties appear to be ok. So much pressure on them to be perfect w/lack of pass rush and not so great CBs. Butler has some upside, Springs aging quickly (still w/2 more yrs), Bodden contract up (he was ok), and Wilhite Canty is AWFUL.
Personnel can be questioned, but good point about this draft class perhaps being the deepest w/o Pioli or Dimitroff as compared the last 3 drafts. Relatively speaking, but FA signings did not pan out. Eerily reminds of 2002 - S.Martin and V.Green or 2005 - M.Biesel and C.Brown. Not one of those guys could play anymore, so I look to see a couple of big splashes this off season. OC will get another year, but will be intersting to see what they do on the DC side - maybe the whiz-kid Patriska (sp?). All told w/expectations sky-high this season was a failure. If consecutive years, then it could a long haul rebuild. Hard to get too fired up about the schedule, as half of those good teams will regress next season, as they usually do.