Re: Patriots Should Be Rebuilding, or Reloading?
posted at 4/9/2010 12:08 PM EDT
In Response to Patriots Should Be Rebuilding, or Reloading?
Sorry if this depresses you, but, after an extremely disappointing 2009 season, one has to wonder whether the Patriots have become a team caught between a quest to reload, or a plan to rebuild? When scanning the Patriots' roster, the team looks like a giant piece of swiss cheese, with holes everywhere: I.) Coaching: The Pats still have the best head coach in the game in BB. Yet, few would argue that 2009 was one of his better years. The Pats were repeatedly out-coached in the second half of games, and their play calling, both on offense and defense, seemed to lack imagination, and were predicable. Could it be that BB is overloading himself with responsibilities? Has he ever had a weaker set of assistants? The Patriots took a step to remedy this situation by removing their ineffective DC, Dean Pees. But, this was a case of addition by subtraction. Why wasn't a veteran coordinator brought in? II.) Personnel Department: The teams' losses in this area have been underrated. Though some say that the Patriots have drafted terribly since 2004, that seems to be a bit of a stretch. In 2005 and 2007, I thought that the Patriots drafted very well...when including the trades made using draft choices. But, the 2006, 2008 and 2009 drafts, could have, and should have, been better. Relatively high draft choices such as Chad Jackson, Terrence Wheatley, Shawn Crable, Ron Brace, Patrick Chung, Kevin O'Connell, and David Thomas have, for whatever reason, not panned out. III.) Special Teams: The Pats weekly lost field position battles with opposing teams in 2009. This was particularly damaging on the road. The main culprits? A weak punter, no effective kickoff returner, and, save for Wes Welker, who likely won't be available for most of 2010, no effective punt returner. IV.) Offense: 1.) QB: Tom Brady turns 33. Do you-all feel comfortable with Brian Hoyer being groomed as the Pats' QB of the future? 2.) RB: Laurence Maroney has disappointed...the remaining Pats' RBs of note are 34 years old. 3.) TE: The position is currently vacant. 4.) OL: OTs Matt Light and Nick Kaczur are not dependable protectors of a 33 year old pocket passer. Steve Neal is 33 years old, and rarely healthy. Center Dan Koppen doesn't seem to be the same player since his shoulder injury. Logan Mankins is displeased with his contract situation. 5.) WR : Randy Moss turns 33. Opposite him, there is no one of note. All-World slot receiver Wes Welker will likely miss half of the 2010 season...and may never be the same lightening quick player that he once was. V.) Defense: 1.) DL : Once the strength of this team...but now in tatters. NT Vince Wilfolk is aboard, but DE Ty Warren has been doing a Steven Neal imitation of late. Richard Seymour is long gone...and the Pats will have to wait until 2011 to recoup anything from his absence. Dependable reserve Jarvis Green is gone. The Pats need to find a DE to replace Seymour. 2.) ILB : Though no Patrick Willis or Ray Lewis, Jerod Mayo is a very good player, when healthy. Gary Guyton has made strides, but seems better cast as a quality reserve, or OLB. There is no depth . 3.) OLB : Could have had Clay Mathews...but that's another story. Their best player, and best (sole?) pass-rusher at this position is veteran Tully Banta-Cain. Loads of help needed here . 4.) Secondary: Drafting mistakes at CB, and some poor free agency pick-ups, have forced the Pats to use an inordinate amount of their resources, including cap space and draft picks, on the secondary. The result? Other positions of need, such as OLB, have been neglected. That said, the Patriots appear to be fairly set here. The bottom line is...that the Patriots need to have a monster draft, and hope that players such as Brandon Tate, Tyrone McKenzie, Ron Brace, Patrick Chung, and Shawn Crable, finally step up in 2010. Here are some interesting articles on the Pats reloading/rebuilding process for 2010: http://www.patspulpit.com/2010/2/17/1314241/new-england-patriots-links-2-17-10 , and http://blog.pfwonline.com/?p=2541 . Here is also an excellent article on the Philadelphia Eagles, who appear to be in similar straights as the Patriots: http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20100406_Rich_Hofmann__Why_this_really_isn_t_rebuilding_for_Eagles.html . Thoughts?
Posted by TexasPat3
Exactly correct, texas, it does depress me. But, overall, I'm not nearly as pessimistic as you are. I'm not sure what the difference would be betwen reloading and rebuilding but, yes, the Pats have holes to fill.
What NFL team doesn't?
I think you're underrating our Oline big time. They're not the best but neither are they the worst;http://bleacherreport.com/articles/234176-2009-offensive-line-rankings
That report doesn't include the emergence of volmer. replacing kazur will be a big upgrade in itself. The pats traditionally like the later picks for restocking the Oline. We have plenty of them this year and I'me guessing we'll find a stud or two there this year.
I agree on play calling and assistants. Way below par. Dumping Pees is a start but I keep wondering why BB keeps leaving assistant and co-ordinator jobs either unfilled or filled by rookies. Its nice to promote from within but I was never comfortable having a 20-something kid as OC.
Our drafts could have been better over the past few years but, again, what team can look back at the past 3-4 years' drafts, with the benefit of hindsight, and feel that they made all the right moves? Sure the Pats have room for improvement but it could have been much worse, too.
I completely agree on our RB situation. We need young blood ASAP at the very least. I'd like to see us get a actual feature back in round 1-2, instead or combing the waiver wire for other teams' has-beens. Come ON! You're not going to win anything in the NFL with a stable of 34 YO RBs, most of whom are injured at more often that not all season.
D-line and OLB are our primary weaknesses now, as we all know. IMO opinion, this draft determines whether we regain our position as an elite team or fall back into obscurity.
If we come away with an above average DE, (there are plenty out there) a starting quality OLB/pass rusher (like graham or kindle), a stud TE and a stud RB, we're back in business. If our IR list finally contributes, that's just found money. I believe we'll mine the lower rounds for CB and Oline help.
With our 2 first rounders next year, we're in pretty good shape for the future.