Re: My thoughts on the offseason/draft
posted at 2/7/2011 11:05 PM EST
In Response to My thoughts on the offseason/draft
[QUOTE]Now that I've finally had some time to digest the loss and get the emotion of the way, I wanted to share my thoughts on the loss to the Jets and how we can improve going forward. Offense: I think our passing game is solid but we have too many guys that run horizontally versus vertically. That's what the Jets took advantage of by flooding the middle of the field and making Brady hold onto the ball just a bit longer. I'm not saying we need a Fitzgerald (although it wouldn't hurt) but we just need a guy that can stretch the field vertically. Perhaps we have that in Tate but I'm not quite sold on him just yet. I saw way too many instances this year where he was open but Brady still threw elsewhere because at least from the outside, it looks like he doesn't have much trust in Tate. I know last year was basically his rookie year but it'd be nice to have another guy back there via draft or free agency. We really don't even need a big name. I am intrigued by the Randy Moss option again. It just might be a good time to buy low again because he's had a good taste for losing and he's being written off again by the media. I just don't think it hurts having him back. I don't see how it hurts. Taylor Price seems to have some potential based on what I've seen on video and based on the glimpse we got against the Dolphins. Of course, it's not enough to make any sort of final judgement but I like his size, he has great hands, and his intangibles must be there to a point because of where he was drafted by Belichick. He could be half the presence Hines Ward is for Pittsburgh, we won't have to look at this part of our roster for a while. It'd be nice to see more of Edelman because he's always been a spark when he's come into the game. He's had some critical drops but I've never seen blatant drops: they seem to a combination of Brady and Edelman versus just Edelman dropping the ball. Jordie Nelson's drops last night were blatant drops, to me, and that's not the same stuff I saw from Edelman. Welker will be at 100% (or close as he can get given his age and the injury he's coming off of) so that'll be a plus. Hopefully, he's psychologically over it too because he seemed to drop a few too many passes last year. At the tight end position, I think we're set. I can't even imagine how Gronk/Hernandez grow in year two. Our offense lit up the entire league all year so there's clearly a great foundation there. We don't need to blow it all up and start from scratch. I think Morris will stay as a good specials teams player that knows the Patriot way so he'll serve as a good role model. He can also fill in at RB should we need it. From what I've read, Ricky Williams is done in Miami so that's a good veteran option. I've also read that the Panthers are not likely to franchise DeAngelo Williams so that's another possibility. I see some mock drafts that have the Patriots picking Ingram in the first round; that'd be a waste of a pick in my eyes, especially considering the position and the return you can get on your investment --- RBs have smaller shelf lives these days. I'm leaning against signing Mankins for more than $7 million a year. I think that's egregious money for a guard. I know Evans got something in that range but he's been average at best after that deal. Mankins, and the line as a whole, has come up short in the biggest games so to me, that plays a part in this. How come the line plays above average during the regular season and then crumbles in the playoffs --- that's something Bill will have to figure out and address. Personally, I think Koppen/center is the weakest link. We could draft another guard to replace Mankins if he doesn't budge on his demands but center is definitely something I'd like to see addressed early in the draft. Koppen is losing way too much ground to where Brady can't even step up in his throws anymore, which is something he excelled at previously. Defense: I think we're set at corner with Bodden coming back; he said recently that he's already lifting and doing light running. A lot of people here think Bodden's going to be a weak link and that's laughable to me. The guy has been solid, not spectactular, but solid, which is all we can ask for opposite of McCourty. I think Butler's days are numbered. I see us hanging onto Wilhite and Arrington --- they both also have great special teams value. If an elite talent is there in the first round, I wouldn't be shocked if Belichick went in that direction again. In today's NFL, you can never have enough good DBs. If Bodden becomes quality depth, that's a hell of a problem to have. McCourty will be solid and we all expect that now. At safety, I love Page, Sanders, and Chung. I'm not completely thrilled with Meriweather at times but overall, he's not THAT bad. I know he makes some really boneheaded play sometimes but hopefully, Belichick hasn't thrown in the towel with the guy. Cunningham and Spikes both showed way more than any of us expected so that's a plus. I think Bill, contrary to the fans beliefs, sees a lot there already so to him, the linebacker situation isn't as dire as we're making it out to be. I'd love to get Hali because he seems to be a good fit within our system. I don't think Woodley would do as well here unless he brings Harrison with him. Mayo, again, is solid. He doesn't blow people up but he makes the solid play and is rarely making mental mistakes out there. I can't complain with Mayo. I'm intrigured by the Ray Edwards angle because he seems like a solid player that could translate well into our system. I really don't like how fans point to the Adalius Thomas deal when it comes to future signings; it was a bad deal, you move on, and it can't hinder future deals because that would harm the other 52 guys on your team. I think Bill's smart enough to get past those things. Defensive line. I think overall we'll be ok with Warren coming back. He's been playing with this bad hip for a few years now and finally got it taken care of. He's not the future at the position but he'll be serviceable. I hope Mike Wright can make a full recovery but last I heard, the guy couldn't even watch TV yet which is really sad. If he comes back, he'll be a great sub rusher too. I'd like to see this position addressed in the first three rounds of the draft. I hear there's some great value picks still there for the Patriots. I think Eric Moore will be HUGE next year; just a gut feeling. If nothing else, he'll be a great sub rusher at a great value, which you really can't beat. We forced the most turnovers in the NFL this year based on scheme and out-executing the opponents. If we could just force more turnovers by forcing the QB to do things he's not comfortable doing, we can even afford some mental mistakes and still give the ball right back to our offense. I really don't want to agonize over 3rd and 17's all year: I swear to God, those were the scariest moments in each game, all year. It'd be nice to have a defense that would give Brady the ball right back even after he throws a pick or after we fumble. We honestly can't count on going 55-60% of your season without a freaking turnover. That's historic stuff and won't ever happen again. The great defenses that contended for the title this year could afford a mistake because they had a defense that could immediately force a 3 and out. Overall, I think we're 85% of the way there. Of course, we don't have to be perfect to win the Super Bowl. It's all about the team that best masked it's imperfections and played through their injuries (which is an indicator of personnel evaluation and who better than Belichick/Kraft/Caserio/Reese).
Posted by apdynasty23[/QUOTE]
I agree about the Mark Ingram projection. Don't want to waste a first round pick on a running back, period. I know BJGE is not a big play running back but I think he did a good job this yr. He holds onto the ball and gains positive yds. I think the Pats could use a good veteran that can stay healthy as a back up.
I like to see a D lineman taken in the first or second round that can pressure the qb. This draft is deep in DL's. One's that fit the Pats scheme is the question.
I am also on board about not paying Mankins big dollars. Sorry, not for a guard. A good center is critical. Koppen is not that big or that great of of an athlete. If a good center is available, they should jump on him. Pittsburgh may have won that game yesterday if Pouncey were playing. Ofcourse, that's a big IF.