NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed
Ahh, the final preseason game of 2011.You know what that means… real football soon! But before real football, the roster will need to be cut to 53 and that is precisely what we’ll be looking at tonight.
Before the Lions game, I would have put the chances that we’d see Tom Brady around .005%, now? Maybe 10%? The first team looked so good in the first two preseason games I would have no problem at all benching Tom today. I’d say Hoyer is pretty locked into the 2nd string spot and Mallett is locked into QB3. As it should be.
Will be see Shane Vereen? I’d really really like to. I was excited about the pick in April and it’s disappointing that we haven’t seen either of our prized 2nd round picks in action. Beyond Vereen? I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of Richard Medlin meddling around the field.
It’s the biggest question in New England, how many WRs will the Pats carry this year? My guess? Six. I expect Tate to be the cut. I really like Edelman and Price as players and I hope to see them excel against a depleted Giants secondary tonight. I also really like Tiquan Underwood’s hair. So, that’s something to look out for tonight as well.
Lots of Carson Butler, Lee Smith and Will Yeatman tonight. If I had to make a prediction right now, I’d say Yeatman makes it over Smith. If Brady doesn’t play, I wouldn’t expect Gronkowski to play and Hernandez might play a drive or two.
The Patriots interior line is getting pretty shallow, which means we might get to see Nate Solder even start at RG tonight. With Connolly and Wendell likely to be inactive tonight, we’ll probably see a lot of Thomas Austin, Rich Ohrnberger and Jonathan Compas. Lets hope I’m not saying that at any point in the regular or post season.
With so many DL on the roster and only so many spots, this might be a position that we’ll see a lot of veterans in tonight. Players like Gerard Warren, Mark Anderson, Landon Cohen, Markell Carter and Darryl Richard are potentially on the cut or trade block, so I’m looking for any one of those players to step up and stand out. With Mike Wright recently back from injury, it will be very interesting if he suits up.
I hope we see Brandon Spikes tonight, but I’m dubious. Belichick knows what he’s getting out of his starter from last season and I’m just not sure it’s worth the injury risk. The same can go for Dane Fletcher. Granted, it’s only a thumb, but he was a stud in his preseason action and would be more than effective as the starting MLB.
Will we see Ras-I??? I really really hope so. The Patriots NEED Ras-I. I need Ras-I. You need Ras-I even if you don’t know it yet. If we could clone Ras-I, put one Ras-I at CB3 and one Ras-I at backup safety, that would be even better! As long as they’re both not hurt at the same time that is. Other than the possible appearance of one Ras-I Dowling I am excited about the battle between Josh Barrett and James Ihedigbo (I prefer Barrett) and I’m excited to see Antwaun Molden. With how bad Butler, Arrington and Wilhite (we hardly knew ye… oh wait, we knew you far too well) have been, we really need a CB to step up. It probably won’t be Antwaun Molden, but I can dream, right? I’m also psyched to see Buddy Farnham play safety, because that’s just Belichick-fun.
James Dearth! That’s all.
Unfortunately, due to a certain national cable company, I won’t be watching the game in the apartment I stayed up until 4:30am moving into, but closer to the game action a town away from Foxboro at my parents house.