Patriots vs Bucs: The Aftermath

NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed

With all the injuries the Pats have right now, the main thing you notice is how shallow this team looks for a preseason game. Most of the second string players you’ll see on the 53 man roster are either hurt or playing with the first stringers right now. That makes our third string defense look all the weaker.

OFFENSE:

-Mallett came down to earth a little bit, but he still looked pretty good out there. I’m still not sure who Mallett thought that INT was being thrown to, Yeatman stumbled, but the ball was still 15 yards over his head and Carson Butler was clear on the other side of the field.
-Ridley was the star of the second string. You never like to see a fumble from a young running back, but didn’t he just look better than everyone else out on the field?
-The second string offensive line looked good. Maneri was impressive again, but didn’t stand out as much.
-No pass catcher stood out among the second string. Tate, Edelman and Price need to come back to make these second halves more exciting. I can only take watching Matt Slater play WR for so long. He’s reminiscent of Sam Aiken out there.
-Scary sight out there with Woodhead getting dropped in punt coverage. You’ve got to wonder why he was out there in the fourth quarter.

DEFENSE:

-The team had a lot of trouble against Josh Johnson’s scrambling. Hopefully the first team will show a little more in that regard. Belichick might want to break out Edelman at QB for the scout team.
-Other than McCourty, Bodden and Chung our secondary looks weak. It’s an area we look very shallow at right now with injuries to Sanders, Lockett, Dowling and Malcolm Williams. Sergio Brown was pretty weak out there and Meriweather was out of coverage a couple times. What’ basically amounts to half our starting secondary should look better amongst the Buccaneers scrubs. I’ve also noticed a lot of hesitation in tackling from Wilhite and Brown.
-Not a lot of standouts on defense. Koutouvides, Tracy White and Kyle Arrington made some nice plays, but were inconsistent.
-Allen Bradford of the Bucs was a guy I liked a lot coming out of USC. His combination of size and speed is pretty impressive. If Blount doesn’t get it done this season or if he gets injured, he might be a guy to keep an eye on.

Overall, it was a very impressive first half that more than made up for the struggles in the second half, lots of things to think positively about. Really, the only worries I have are at safety and third CB. If Dowling can come back, he could absolutely shore up one of those positions.

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12 Responses to “Patriots vs Bucs: The Aftermath”

  1. Lan says:

    As far as the kickoffs I agree with many, it sucks. I think a great alternative would be leave the kickoff from the 30yd line however if a kickoff reaches the endzone it cannot be returned. Leave the players 5 yards behind the ball before being kicked off as well, no harm in that.

  2. cash says:

    The more I see Hernandez play the more I think he is gonna be used like a WR. This must put even more strain on Tate, price, slater,edelman, and (i think) branch. Might not need as many WR with Hernandez doing their jobs. Just a thought.

  3. TD says:

    Looks like Butler is fighting to keep Ras-I on PUP or IR. I don’t see any reason for BB to keep Wilhite and his high salary, I think he’s around $2mil.

    The DLine looks awesome the last 2 games and Haynesworth, Wright & Ellis haven’t even seen action.

  4. Billy C. says:

    I agree that safety is still a work in progress, although I felt Sergio wasn’t that bad last night. In addition, I felt Arrigton was more than adequate last night, and off of his performance from last year as our second cornerback I’m very comfortable with him as our third cornerback this year. No way am I anticipating the rookie Dowling to suddenly be ready to overtake Arrington on the depth chart with his lack of camp repetitions, injury history, and unproven NFL track record).

  5. Ryan says:

    Anyone else notice Matt Slater first one down on kickoff, just about every time there was a kick off. Not saying that is crucial, but I’m starting to value his SP teams abilities more and more.

    • Billy C. says:

      His contributions on special teams are undervalued by the masses and BB really understands the value of good special teams play.

  6. Liam says:

    Hey, Darius Butler played pretty well. Who’d of thunk it?

    I know, I know it’s only pre-season. The ’08 Lions went 4-0 in thier preseason, including huge wins over the Bengals and Browns. But still, I can’t help getting excited, especially about state of the defense.

    Last year our biggest debates were about a woeful run defense, hole at OLB and general lack of depth. This year all we have to gripe about are our 5th cornerback, the kick returner and the scout team safeties.

    Be happy Pats fans.

  7. TD says:

    A new scheme for the front 7 and now we have pass rushers all over the place; Carter was unstoppable, Pryor put on consistent pressure, Moore was being held almost every play and Mayo was a blitzing force.

    The DB’s had a rough time, especially Wilhite, but Butler looked better.

    You wouldn’t know Ridley was the 2nd RB drafted, he runs with power and can catch the ball. If Vereen is better than him, this backfield will be awesome.

    We have ton of talent and great depth all over the field, except at safety right now.

  8. Sportsbozo says:

    After watching tonights game I have no doubt about either side of the ball being able to hold their own against any team. The only concern I have is at the backend of the D with the injury to Lockett,either Barrett,Sanders or someone else will be getting some serious reps this week! Other than Sharper and Hill are there any quality Safeties who could be coming in??

  9. Dan says:

    One final comment than I’ll shut up…

    The kickoffs are terrible, and I know this has been said, but the need for kick coverage (specialists) and returners may be obsolete. I’m really interested in who makes this team now because of this. The ability to carry another pass rusher, for example, will be be tempting. Wouldn’t it be funny if Tate & Slater were cut? You could have someone with some talent simply field the kickoffs, and some lesser talent cover. You have to wonder if they’ll even kick off in the future? Why bother???
    This sport is in trouble with concusions…long-term especially. The league has no choice to but to do this…I doubt they wanted to, but the lawsuits will be coming, and the kids won’t be playing, so they have to adapt a violent sport to something more acceptable. Not having those crashes on kickoff coverage was one simple way to remove a big chunk of the head injuries.

  10. Dan says:

    The defense looks so different…amazing to see that system, the talent, Mayo coming from all angles & situations, and the pressure up the middle. We knew the offense was going to big, there are too many weapons, and Brady. But, seeing that defense come together like that (granted it’s pre-season) was pretty cool.
    I agree, the defensive backfield looks like the one problem area, and I’m still waiting for a few signings…they have the cap room, but I’m not sure who’s left, or who could be cut. The good part is they shouldn’t have to cover for long, and the QB’s should be rattled with this pressure, FINALLY!
    This is one solid team though…

  11. Dan says:

    Wilhite probably realizes he’s toast, so staying healthy to make another team, possibly, is his best strategy. He’s looking at a career decision here…another paycheck. His situation is unique like that.

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