Next season, assuming we don't suffer a similar injury situation, the Pats are one of the most dominant teams on paper...
posted at 1/1/2014 5:46 AM EST
Seriously, this team went 12-4 even while losing aome major starters to injury. Next season, we should have Gronk from the start of the season, can anyone find me a hole? I kmow the Pats need to go C, RG in round one and two of the draft, but where else is there a real hole?
QB - Tom Brady: Though another year removed from his prime, he's still Tom Brady. And with an offseason to work with his rookie, then sophomore, WRs he should be in for another magical season. Look what an offseason did for Edelman, imagine what it will do for Boyce, Dobson, Thompkins and maybe even Amendola.
RB - Blount has earned himself a paycheck these last few weeks, I'm sure another team will be drooling to pick him up in FA, but Blount has also made Ridley know his place isn't guaranteed and that the Pats will bench him if he continues to fumble. After Blount's emergence, Ridley has started protecting the ball much better and hasn't seemed to have lost his explosion. Maybe an offseason of practicing this new way of running + a 3rd round RB to keep the fire lit under him.
WR - Assuming the Pats retain Edelman and Amendola works out with Brady again and develops some chemistry, Dobson and Boyce have both shown that they have the talent to play at a high level. They've also stopped running the wrong routes and Dobson has even past Amendola on the roster which could mean that they're doing well in BB's eyes. Give them a summer at Camp Brady to build repore and the Pats have a very talented WR corps.
TE - The G-Man will be back in time for TC by all reports and he should be good to go for the start of the season. The Pats need to draft a move TE (draft gurus, find me a guy in the 4th round, would you?) to alleviate pressure and coverage from the big guy. He'll keep getting hurt if he's thrown the ball a million times because he's the only guy Brady trusts enough to get the job done. It's just probability, the more you do something, the better the chances are of getting a desired outcome.
OL - Vollmer will be back, Solder should be better next season and Connolly wom't go anywhere. Now, we'll need a Center with the first pick and I see a trade bait in Cannon for a 3rd. He's stepped in well in place of Vollmer, we moght as well cash in now. I don't think we have his rights much longer.
DT - Last year, this was the most halowed and thin position going into the season. There was Vince and Kelly and no one. How unlucky was it for the Pats to lose BOTH guys in consecutive weeks? Jesus. we were cursed this season, but losing them made BB have to find some talent. This is probably going to be our deepest position on defense. Imagine it, Wilfork, Kelly, Siliga, CJ94, hell, maybe even a Armstead signing to go with some Vellano! I know Siliga has played his butt off and has earned a good comtract, but he's only had 5 games. No one will outspend to sign a guy who only had 5 good games, hopefully 8 good games when all said and done.
DE - We'll lose a great player in Carter to retirement, but Buchanon should have returned to his pre-injury weight that saw him beast in college. Hopefully Jones gets some weight added to his frame and Ninkovich just stays Ninkovich and keep playing alright.
LB - The Cap is back! Mayo returns, but we might lose Spikes. Collins has been great for a rookie and should make a hige jump in year two, hopefully. Hightower is playing some good ball out there and hopefully Mayo's return ought to see him at MLB where his mobility won't be in focus and he'll be free to just make plays.
CB - At the start of the season, I would've bet my house that Talib gets a big contract and walks. It looked that way through the first four games as well, but Talib won't get a big comtract from another team so I say the Pats are still in the running. If he stays, the CBs are stacked with Dennard getting a full offseason, Talib, Arrington and Logan all getting a who'e offseason to jell and become a dominant shutdown force.
S - McCourty playing for a contract, Harmon with a full offseasom to master the playbook and boot Gregory off the starting spot and possibly Ebner making a leap into a S role should make for one of the best Safety combinations in the NFL.
Anyone else excited?