Patriots vs. Eagles Post Game Thoughts and Analysis

Ryan Mallett bounced back and showed he's here to stay.

Ryan Mallett bounced back nicely tonight and showed he’s here to stay.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Tom Brady saw his first action of the pre-season and 155 days after agreeing to terms with the Patriots, Darrelle Revis was on the field playing in a Patriots uniform. After a somewhat sloppy and non-entertaining pre-season game vs. Washington, the Patriots had plenty to improve upon and took the field Friday night looking to do just that.

These are the games where players distinguish themselves and players either continue to build on early camp momentum or fizzle out. Who stood out and who struggled vs. the Eagles?

- The Patriots first team offense came out and looked much crisper than a week ago. Aside from one mis-communication between Tom Brady and fresh-off the street TE Steve Maneri, the offense moved the ball at will. Brady and Edelman looked in mid-season form. The highlight of the night came on a beautiful back-shoulder throw to Kenbrell Thompkins who made a nice adjustment in tight coverage for six points.

- Speaking of the back-shoulder throw, it’s a route that wasn’t used nearly enough over the last season or two. The route when executed correctly is nearly unstoppable and when you have a QB as accurate as Tom Brady, it should be a staple of the offense. Thompkins doesn’t create much separation but his size and “squirreliness” makes him a prime target on those types of throws.

- Jimmy Garoppolo built on the positive momentum he established last week with another impressive performance. He looked comfortable in the pocket, kept his eyes down the field, and completed some difficult throws. His quick release stands out in comparison to other NFL QBs and he can get rid of it quickly when the rush is bearing down. His 25 yard pass to Brandon LaFell with the pass rush in his face was a thing of beauty. It’s still early, but I’m very impressed with everything I’ve seen from Garoppolo in two games. He has some traits that can’t be taught and that bodes well for his future development.

- After listening to talk radio bash him all day, Ryan Mallett had a nice bounce back performance. He played the entire second half and finished 7/11 – 92 yards – 1 Pass TD/1 Rush TD. Mallett showed off nice pocket mobility and was able to complete a number of downfield passes. He always makes the “wow” throw, but tonight I was encouraged by his touch on shorter routes. He took velocity off a number of throws and was much more accurate in the short-intermediate area.

- Brandon LaFell continued his upward trajectory tonight and looks poised to be a key offensive contributor. I’m optimistic he can become the 3rd-4th offensive weapon and provide Tom Brady with much needed size. LaFell caught a TD from Jimmy Garoppolo and had a 25 yard gain earlier in the game. LaFell’s inside-outside versatility when combined with his size adds a dimension that was missing from the passing game last year.

- The Patriots offensive line carved up the Eagles defensive line all week in practices and that trend continued tonight. The dominance started from the very first play of the game when Nate Solder and Logan Mankins got a great surge off the line allowing Stevan Ridley to pick up 9 yards. The Patriots finished with 250 net yards rushing despite rotating offensive linemen in/out on almost every play. From top to bottom the entire offensive line played much better and I look forward to watching this unit closely when I re-watch the game tomorrow. Only 9 roster spots are available for Offensive Linemen and there will be some difficult decision to be made in the coming weeks.

- Strong Safety continues to be a revolving door with no clear leader in the clubhouse. What I touched on earlier in the week showed up again tonight. Each player in the Safety “mix”made positive plays, but were also exploited for some of their shortcomings. Chung brought a physical edge, but was beat in coverage. Harmon had an interception, but missed a few tackles (one led to a TD). Nate Ebner had an interception and a big hit, but also got beat multiple time. From this perspective it looks like a rotation will have to be used once the season begins. Rookie Jemea Thomas got his first action of the pre-season and had a nice pass breakup in the endzone.

- Roy Finch is a dynamic and exciting little player. Every time he touches the ball something good happens. He looks like he’s moving at a different speed and is very tough to bring down in the open field. His ability to stop/go, change direction, and accelerate adds a different skill-set to the backfield. Finch caught the ball really well tonight (one fastball from Ryan Mallett) and created yards after the catch. The fact he can return kicks and split out of the backfield to play receiver bodes well for his chances. At this point he has to be in the mix for a roster spot. If he doesn’t make it he will definitely be on the practice squad.

- Scott O’Brien’s special teams units were a mess all night long. The punting unit had two botched punts and Stephen Gostkowski missed a fairly easy field goal. Neither Allen or Gostkowski have had any competition in camp, maybe that changes this week. Danny Aiken solidified his grasp on the long snapper job tonight after Tyler Ott gave up a punt block. After a night like tonight, the Special Teams units have long, difficult week of practice ahead of them.

- Malcolm Butler continues to make impact defensive plays. He forced two fumbles tonight, recovered one of them, and was a willing tackler on the perimeter. Butler was far from perfect. He looked a little slow to recognize his zone assignments and was beat a couple times, but it’s clear he’s an NFL caliber corner. For the amount of snaps he played it was another impressive night. It looks like the West Alabama product has played his way onto the roster and I’d be surprised if he got released.

- Many of the second-third team defenders had rough nights. It’s difficult to pinpoint any one player without watching the game over, but at first glance Chris White had a tough night. He was exploited in coverage and really offers nothing outside of Special Teams. Once Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich left the field the defensive line failed to generate any pass rush and the defense had difficulty covering the Tight Ends all night long.

- Brian Tyms had another nice night. He made an impressive TD catch elevating over the defender and found a way to get his feet in bounds. Tyms would be a great story, but until he gets reps with Tom Brady and does this vs. top tier talent it’s tough to get too excited.

- Jonas Gray had a sneaky good night. It came vs. the scrubs, but he has some good moves and burst for a big, thick runner.

- The game was almost unwatchable with all the flags thrown. After each positive play I had to pause, look around, and wait for 10 seconds to make sure there wasn’t a penalty on the play. It was difficult to watch and if it continues into the regular season it will water down a great product.

- I’ll watch the film tomorrow and tweet out some breakdowns. Keep an eye out for those tweets tomorrow afternoon.

Tags: Jimmy Garoppolo, Roy Finch, Ryan Mallett

65 Responses to “Patriots vs. Eagles Post Game Thoughts and Analysis”

  1. GM-in-Training says:

    New Topic…sort of.
    Which Patriots positional groups are stronger this year, and which are weaker?

    I score the definitely-stronger groups as:
    WR, CB.

    I score the maybe-stronger groups as:
    DE (depth), DT(if enough of them recover from injury)

    I score the who-knows groups as:
    OL, LB, Safety

    I score the probably-weaker group as:
    RB (gained some 3rd-down depth, but lost only heavy hitter in Blount)
    Kick Returners

    Definitely-weaker:
    TE (injuries everywhere, no depth)

    To me, this suggest the Pats will go lots of 3-wide-receiver sets and short passes to running backs this year. It’s not clear they’ve found a better answer at Center and Right Guard, and absent Blount I’m concerned about their power game.

    • Jack says:

      Hey GM,

      I pretty much agree, except for maybe RB. They do lose Blount, but I think whoever they grab on the back-end plus white (whom I still like) will make it a wash. But, a pretty good assessment overall.

  2. Jack says:

    Working off a Globe projection this morning, here’s a 53-man roster prediction for after 4-games when they bring Tyms and Browner back. Notable cuts are Ryan Mallet, Tavon Wilson, Nate, Ebner, Jonas Gray, Brandon Bolden, Justin Jones, Jon Halapio, Jordan Devey, Chris White and Steve Beauharnais. I hope the numbers add up!

    Quarterback: Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo.

    Running back: Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, James White, Roy Finch, James Develin.

    Wide receiver: Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell, Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, *Tyms.

    *Bring Tyms back after his 4-game suspension.

    Tight end: Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, D.J. Williams.

    Offensive line: Nate Solder, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Marcus Cannon, Sebastian Vollmer, Josh Kline, Bryan Stork, Cameron Fleming.

    Ryan Wendell, Jon Halapio and Devey are out. I don’t see the fascination with Devey, and Halapio may will slip through to the practice squad.

    DEFENSE

    Defensive line: Chandler Jones, Vince Wilfork, Rob Ninkovich, Tommy Kelly, Dominique Easley, Chris Jones, Sealver Siliga, Zach Moore, Michael Buchanan.

    Vellano is out.

    Linebacker: Jerod Mayo, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, James Anderson, Darius Fleming.

    Chris White and Beauharnais are gone, we will find someone to replace the special teams.

    Cornerbacks: Darrelle Revis, Alfonzo Dennard, Brandon Browner*, Logan Ryan, Kyle Arrington, Malcolm Butler.

    *after 4-game suspension

    Safeties: Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Chung, Jemea Thomas

    We’ll survive without the scrappy Ebner and the vastly over-drafted Wilson.

    24 defense

    Specialists: kicker Stephen Gostkowski, punter Ryan Allen, long snapper Danny Aiken, special teams Matthew Slater.

    4 teams

    • Jack says:

      On review, it looks like one more guy needs to go. That will have to be Chris Jones on the interior defensive line, and keep him on speed-dial.

    • steve earle says:

      I submit that perhaps TE, DJ Williams might be the more likely cut then Chris Jones, DT because Jones has proven value while Williams has done very little to attract notice and that Develin looks capable of filling that backup spot as well as at FB and has a higher upside it looks to me.

    • Jack says:

      Hey Steve, good news on Easley – it looks like he impressed in one-on-one and two-on-two drills. It’s just a tiny sample, but initial reports look good.

    • MaineMan says:

      The only problem I see with this (and it’s pretty common among media projections) is that it includes Siliga, Chris Jones and DJ Williams, all currently injured and not even dressing for practice, at the expense of other good candidates. I really don’t think that it’s safe to assume that these guys will be healthy and practicing anytime soon or to assume that the Pats will devote roster spots to them beyond final cuts and then wait for them to get healthy. While the Pats did that for Gronk last season, at least most projections included the possibility that he might go to PUP for the first six weeks and worked their projections around that scenario.

      To be realistic, I think projections ought to include a few “what ifs” to cover this type of thing.

  3. steve earle says:

    So what is the NFL now a flag football league? They keep this up very long and fans will be switching to Hiedi on their own. Aside from that aspect Mike has broken down the game very well. Another good job Mike.

    • Kevan says:

      Basketball with pads on Steve, very frustrating. Db’s use to be able to put a hand on a WR as long as they didn’t impede their route. Now it’s just crazy stuff being called. They say it’s just the preseason, but calls should be consistent if it’s the pre season, regular season, playoffs, Super Bowl. I understand the player safety stuff with the hitting, but this has nothing to do with player safety. Hands to the face for the line guys, that was new too. I mean if someone hits a guy with his hand then by all means throw the flag, but you got these huge dudes in the trenches going at it, sometimes the hands are gonna slip up toward the helmet face area. I just think it’s funny that whenever a Peyton manning team gets beat up they wanna change it up and make it easier for him. Im not the first to make that connection. I don’t know, but again, very frustrating.

      • steve earle says:

        Your right Kevan. This league and the media fall all over themselves when it comes to Payton Manning. Okay I reconize it’s a passing league and defensless players like QB’s, WR’s in the act, should be protected from hits designed to cripple but these rules should be reasonable and apply equally to stars and scrubs. Long ago it was aparent that every play on either side of the ball flags could be thrown on any tech point if an official so desired but it would kill the game if they did. This idea that a hand can’t touch a face mask, a chin is nuts. It should be thrown only if a player maintains contact at the face area to achieve an unfair advantage. Otherwise let them play.

        • Kevan says:

          Exactly my thoughts. In my younger years I remember the old guys saying, the game just ain’t what it used to be. I would be like come on maaan. I didn’t see how the game changed though. Now I realize I’m gonna be one of those old guys, haha. If I’m lucky! I think roger goodell has to blamed atleast partially for this. He is trying to squeeze out the last dollars out of the most successful sport in America. Consequently he is making the product worse, which will cost him in the end.

        • Jack T says:

          No lie. I looked in on the Buffalo Pittsburgh game. Pittsburgh used 6 backs tonight; all together they got ran for 18 yards on 15 carries. Blount had 3 carries for zero yards, lol.

  4. ReneKicker says:

    I hope James Morris gets more playing time the next 2 games, he is a good player.

  5. Kevan says:

    This is gonna be one very interesting roster cut down. I can get get down to about 65 players and then it’s really really tough. Hopefully we will get some clarity on the injury front.

    • Russell says:

      I agree that the cut down will be hard, AND Bill will be watching the Wire for players he likes other teams cut. I’m watching Zac Sudfeld TE if the Jets cut him, Bill may bring him back.

      • steve earle says:

        I’d welcome Sudfeld’s return given the state of the TE position. He spent most of last year on Jet’s bench but was reported to be doing well in this years OTA’s. Not much news since but I think/hope he may make a decent back-up TE in his 2nd year. Anyone have idea if Jets will cut or keep him?

        • Kevan says:

          Yea I’d give Zach another shot. I haven’t heard how the jets feel about him, but I would like to see him cut and have the Pats sign him. Out of all the positions I will be monitoring the TE’s the most during cutdown.

        • Jack says:

          Steve,

          I had read the Jace Amaro had been having issues, so I googled him and Sudfeld and came across this:

          Zach Sudfeld has been more reliable than Jace Amaro so far at camp.
          We’re not writing off Amaro by any stretch, but his struggle to adjust out of Texas Tech’s spread scheme and with drops have been well documented. Jeff Cumberland will be the primary in-line tight end, and Sudfeld appears to have the inside track on the “move” job. Aug 11 – 10:50 AM

          So, unless Amaro suddenly gets it (which I’m not pulling for, either), it looks like Sudfeld may stick.

        • steve earle says:

          Hey Jack after I posted my question I was moved to lookup the question myself and found just what you did. Thanks for the effort and conferming what I also found. Funny about Amaro having such problems I would have thought he would be a good move TE kind of prospect but guessthere is no telling.

        • Jack says:

          Hey Steve, how about that Jace Amaro was supposed to be the #1 pick for the Pats in a lot of the early mocks. OMG, what a disaster that would have been!

        • steve earle says:

          Boy your right there Jack. I was pulling for ASJ after a trade down for a high 2nd and 3rd rd. picks and I still think that would have been the way to go. Never was sold on Amaro but there was so much hype how were we suposed to know? Apparently BB knew at least.

        • Kevan says:

          I liked ASJ as well. In fact when the Pats were on the clock at 29 my friend asked me who the pats were gonna take. I said ASJ, let’s see how his career compares to Easely’s.

        • DMC413 says:

          Kevan,

        • DMC413 says:

          Kevan,

          I to thought we were taking ASJ at 29, heard he’s doing good in camp too!!!

      • Jack says:

        I guess I’m going against the grain here, but I favor the Easley pick over ASJ if we’re looking at an either/or situation.

        It’s just that true disruptive DLs, especially from the interior, can be so impactful in wreaking havoc on the opposing offense. The Pat’s still lack quality interior DLs, especially from a penetration standpoint. Kelly’s probably the best, but he’s how old? Wilfork is coming off the ACL and is old too. Silver Silega is solid against the run, but doesn’t bring much in term of pass rush. Then NE is down to the likes of Jones, Fortson, Worthy, the guy from the Cowboys and whoever else they can pull off the street. Depth is critical at that position, and the Easley pick alleviates that to a certain extent.

        Also, NE has a lot of depth at receiver, and maybe they can leverage their depth there to account for the lack of TEs. I don’t doubt that ASJ is tremendously talented, and would love to have him, but I imagine it would have been pretty tough to trade down that close to the first round without giving up a slew of assets.

        Also, I know it’s just hype, but I read in a couple of different places that were it not for the injuries, Easley could’ve been a top 5 pick, and in the conversation for #1 overall, something with ASJ, despite his skill-set, never saw.

        • Kevan says:

          All good points, but the injuries is what scared me. Does not mean Easely won’t be great just means we have to wait and see.

        • Jack says:

          Kevan,

          No question it’s a major roll of the dice. Obviously, NE felt his upside was worth the risk. Let’s hope they’re right!

        • steve earle says:

          You were not alone Jack, lots of guys were calling for Easley but he comes with an injury history and that’s what scares the heck out of me. Back around draft time, and shortly after, we were hearing how Easley was doing so well in rehab, already running then cutting. So far I haven’t seen him or heard that he’s practicing with the team yet so I don’t know what to think. On the other hand reports are that ASJ is doing well and impressing teamates and coaches. So boiling it down right now we don’t have that impact inside DT nor do we have an impact TE until Gronk starts playing whenever that will be. Reports are he’s still got a limp in that right knee, not a good sign. Still worried !

  6. Oppitz says:

    He played just a few snaps, but Ninkovich sure looks like he’s ready for the season.

    Another good game for Garappolo, but I think his throws are floating more than they should.

    Also Ridley is by far our best RB, he should get the majority of carries even with a couple of fumbles.

  7. Russell says:

    Ridley’s fumbling is continuing, and his sideline actions are sad, I’m not a fan of this guy. I think there is little chance the Patriots resign him next year, so why keep him. RB-White did not have a great game, however he did not fumble, and is better in the passing game than Ridley.
    If it was me I’d cut Ridley. Keeping Vereen, White, Finch, Bolden, and Devlin FB/TE

    • ReneKicker says:

      There is no way Pats will cut Ridley, even is better losing a player in FA because he will count in the compensatory picks

      • Russell says:

        Your point is true, however keeping Ridley means cutting anther player for this year. Finch is set with a 4year deal, if you cut him, or try to get him to the P-Squad you may lose him.

        • Jack says:

          I think New England needs to hang on to Ridley for this year, despite his maddening fumbles. He was a 1200-yard runner a couple of years ago, and the reason for that is he is a very good running back. Regardless, I believe Finch makes the squad as a returner and 3rd-down back. Ridley, Vereen, White, Finch, Devlin. Have to let Bolden and Jonas Gray go, unfortunately. They both looked good last night, too.

      • steve earle says:

        Your point is well taken but another possability would be a trade ( not out of the question) as Ridley would be an attractive addition to many teams. Not predicting, just saying. Only question would be what could we get in exchange?

        • Jack says:

          That’s an idea, Steve. Probably a 3rd or 4th, maybe, but then again RBs are undervalued these days. No worse than a 5th, I would think. Still, I think NE needs to hang on to him.

        • steve earle says:

          Yea I guess a 4th might do though it could be for a player swap which could work out too. As for keeping him, if he’s going to be benched for most of the year there is little advantage because any comp pick would likely be only a 6th or 7th rd.

        • MaineMan says:

          IDK. The market value for “flawed” RBs has never been very high. In week-2 of 2010, the Pats gave up Maroney and a 6th to get a 4th from Denver (Maroney’s contract year, BTW). And they maybe only got THAT much since McDaniels was the HC of the Broncos then, and was severely hurting for healthy RBs.

          RBs in general command much lower values nowadays, so a 6th for Ridley in a straight-up trade might be about the best they’d do. He probably wouldn’t garner any more than that as a comp pick, since a departing player’s comp level is mostly determined by the $$ of his contract with his new team and Ridley isn’t likely to get any more than the $2.5M-$3.0M/year that Blount, BGE and Woodhead got when they left. Moreno’s only getting $3.0M from MIA this season.

        • DMC413 says:

          If Grappolo continues to impress, I wonder if the Pat’s would consider a pgk deal trade of Mallet/Ridley to another team for their TE, just a thought…

        • DMC413 says:

          *Garoppolo

  8. Stephen J says:

    Not sure what to take away from this game in this sense. The Eagles D ranked 32nd against the pass last year. Is that one reason why our passing offense looked unstoppable The Eagles run D was ranked 4th and we seemed to do ok (against starters not so great(especially White) but the others were ok against backups looked good)

  9. Joe E O says:

    Big Vince looked slow and fat. No get-off. Patriots are really going to need Chris Jones and Sealver Siliga this season.

    • Jack says:

      It’s hard to say – he’s actually slimmed down this year, and was taking up a double-team on a replay they showed. Also, he’s never been known as a pass-rusher, more the run-stuffer tup. I don’t think the Eagles did too much against the run while he was in there (along with Kelly, who someone said made at least four impact plays).

      I agree that Silega is key, but I’m not convinced about Jones yet. Silega has his arm in a sling, so who knows how long he’ll be out for.

      If Easley is healthy and can play, and Silega can come back, and if Vince and Kelly stay healthy, I think that’s your top four in the DT rotation. They also have Ben Bass and Worthy to take a look at. They could end up being ok in the DT rotation.

      • MaineMan says:

        Agree with you about Vince, and so do the guys on the Eagles interior OL (and they said as much in interviews).

        If Siliga isn’t going to be able to play for a few more weeks, they could keep him on the 53 till he heals or make him the DfR guy on IR. At this point, though, I don’t think the dropoff from Jones > Vellano is big enough that they’d hold a roster spot for Jones. I think he goes to regular IR if he won’t be ready for a few weeks after the start of the regular season.

        Worthy and Bass were acquired, I think, mostly in an attempt to upgrade the depth behind Vellano (even if only temporarily), since Forston, Tuipulotu and Manumaleuna have been close to useless. OTOH, Worthy and Bass being acquired this late in the process may indicate that the injuries to Jones and Siliga ARE long term things.

        • Jack says:

          That’s good to hear about Wilfork, MaineMan.

          As far a Bass and Worthy, let’s face it, after Wilfork/Kelley/Silega/Easley, there’s a significant dropoff, and all those guys are hurt or coming off big injuries. Both Bass and Worthy do have significant potential upside, so it may simply be a case of trying to improve the position in general.

      • steve earle says:

        Including Easley, who has not practiced, let alone played, among the top DL guys is making an asumption with no evidence to support it. We have no way of knowing if he will be great or a bust yet. BB has never been one to reveal details of injuries so we just don’t know.

        • Jack says:

          You’re right, of course, Steve. I remember there was a lot of negative discussion about Easley when it first came out that NE might draft him, due to injury concerns mostly. I felt the same way. But, of course when they picked him, I took another look and go on board. I guess all any of as can do is hope it all works out.

  10. greg says:

    why dont you comment on how bad White looked? just a few articles you were hyping him to be the next Peterson and gushing over him at practice yet he looked like a scrub in the game. dont care to admit you were wrong?

    • ReneKicker says:

      come on, he is a rookie….. he will get better every game, remember last game Finch and Gray looked bad and this game played better.
      Remember people killing Mallett for just one game?

      • Russell says:

        I agree White just needs more time , Ridleys fumbles are another story he’s had time to clean up his act.

        • Bobthebuilder says:

          Why do you need to mention Ridley? None of the comments in this little reply section mention him at all. Stop trying to push your “hot takes”.

          And as a reply to your other comment saying we should cut Ridley, that is idiotic. Your reasoning is because we won’t keep him after this year. Well,
          1. We may resign him
          2. He is our best runner
          3. He is far, far better than the next guy on the roster if we were to cut him.

        • DMC413 says:

          BTB

          Not sure the difference between him and the next guy makes up for his fumbleitous… You can’t win big games especially in the playoffs coughing up the ball like that!!

    • Mike Loyko says:

      Why don’t you go find that quote where I was calling him the next Peterson. Never ever said anything close to that. You want to make broad characterizations of a rookie based on less than 10 pre-season carries, go ahead.

    • MaineMan says:

      I think that a big part of White’s struggles are due to the fact that, in Wisconsin, he was running behind a power-blocking scheme where the OL works to open specific holes so the RB knows where to go in advance. The Pats have been running a zone-blocking scheme where the RB needs to figure out on the fly where the hole is going to open, so, there’s a learning curve there for him.

      Gray, though, also came from a power-blocking scheme, I think, and appears to have begun to adjust to the Pats zone-blocking scheme a little quicker. Of course, that’s been against 2nd/3rd stringers, and Gray has also had a couple years in the league originally signed by MIA in 2012) to at least observe and get a jump on figuring things out. In practice last Tuesday, he was already showing more patience, vision and confidence than he did against the Skins.

      • Jack says:

        Good points, MaineMan. Also, it didn’t looks to me like White had too many holes to run through. I *did* like how how ran with both arms covering the ball. Ridley needs to do that.

  11. Jack B. says:

    I like the recognition of Finch – he did make some nice plays.

    I was hoping Mallet would have a good game, and he did. His throws were really accurate, he showed good pocket awareness, and for once he didn’t throw a dirt ball. I hope he builds on his success in the next couple of game so the Pats can trade him off for a decent pick (unlikely, but I can dream).

    There are three or four late round or UFDA rookies that I’d like to see make the roster: Finch (of course!), Tyms, Butler and maybe Jamea Thomas.

    • Jack says:

      Also, I forgot to mention Zach Moore. I think I saw him make at least one nice pass rush.

      I have to admit, Brandon Bolden looked pretty good, and certainly Jonas Gray. I just think we’ve seen in the past that Bolden is a standard runner, and Gray the jury is still out because it’s just one game, but let’s give credit where credit is due.

  12. coach says:

    First off, thank God no major injuries, now i’m going to get right to the point on how i feel. Mallet played vs the third stringers, and he was at home. I can’t give him too much credit, as he is due for a decent game. On the other hand, Jimmy G played vs better talent and his game seem to be even better at home. If he keeps it up, we may start focusing on Brady. face it, Jimmy G has some magic in him.

    I so wanted a SS in the draft. I was hoping for Lamarus Jorner (FSU) or that Dixon kid out of Baylor.

    After drafting a bunch of 4-3 guys on defense, BB decides to play a 3-4. I don’t see the reason if your first round guy in Chandler isn’t at his best. Hightower in coverage worries me also, Peyton would single him out, lets pray Mayo never leaves the field.

    Butler has to make the team and i think Tyms as well. I,m not sure why Tyms isn’t getting reps with Brady yet.

    I was watching a flag throwing contest and football game broke out.

    • Dylan.C says:

      While I agree that it seems kind of odd that they appear to be switching back to a 3-4 after spending so much time building a 4-3, I think Hightower will spend LESS time in coverage as a 3-4 OLB than he would as a 4-3 MLB. Yes he will have to play some coverage in both, but at least as a 3-4 OLB he will be operating closer to the line of scrimmage, which will also allow him to rush the QB more often.

      I know he played MLB in the 3-4 tonight but I suspect that is just because he is filling in for Mayo, I think he would play OLB if both Mayo and Collins are healthy.

      • MaineMan says:

        I don’t know that the Pats are actually “switching back” to a 3-4. For the past couple-three seasons, they’ve been using a hybrid of 3-4 and 4-3 with 1-gap and 2-gap principles (often switching up between them during the snap count). BB has said in the past that he views the 3-4 stuff as being a bit more sophisticated and harder to learn the reads/assignments for and prefers to bring guys into it gradually. That they’ve been practicing 3-4 sets and using them in games during this pre-season I think mainly indicates that BB feels the majority of the guys are just ready for more of it being mixed in.

    • Jack says:

      As far as SS, I’m keeping an eye on Jemea Thomas. I haven’t seen much of him, but I believe he had a nice pass breakup last night. He made a nice pick off Garoppolo in Monday’s practice. IIRC he showed the ability to come up and make some hits on his college tape.

      I don’t quite get what’s going on in the 3-4. Who plays what where in the starting defense? In the nickel defense?

    • steve earle says:

      Your right Lamarcus Joyner and Ahmad Dixon were both on my board and I can’t understand how we passed on one of them? I was also high on TE ASJ and we passed and we’re paying for that now. AS about playing a 3-4 in preseason game I can’t get worked up over that. Bill has always thrown different def’s at his players and situations so they can handel changes which may be forced on them duribg the season. It has always payed off. Have to like Butler, no queston, agree tyms needs work with TB and starters, Also liked what Finch showed last night. Things are looking up.

      • MaineMan says:

        I liked Joyner a lot, but he’s a CB/safety much like Jemea Thomas rather that a classic “Strong” safety (a position that is rapidly disappearing anyway, since there’s so much more passing than running and no real “strong-side” in formations anymore).

        The Pats took Easley (for better or worse) at #29. ASJ went at #38 and Joyner at #41, and the Pats didn’t have another pick until #62. So it’s hard to think that the Pats actually “passed” on those guys – unless they’d been willing to sacrifice probably two of the other guys they took later in order to move up.

        They *could* have taken Dixon at #244 (7th) instead of Gallon, I suppose, and come out ahead, the way things have turned out so far. Dixon went to the Boys at #248, and he was their leading tackler (12) against SDG in pre-season week-1 – one of the few bright spots for the Boys in a secondary that they felt the need to amend by trading for the Pats’ Justin Green.

  13. Dan says:

    Great to see Mallett show up and play with some guts; that’s what he needed to do…go out and play football and stop over-thinking or whatever his issues were/are. I still don’t think he is around come final cut…the roster spot is too important and Jimmy G can simply play…he’s a back up now…he’s ready, and his future is bright.
    I agree with pretty much everything you said above, but I’ll add something to the excessive flag throwing: replay! Mix in a night of flags with the typical “replay everything” and it was a recipe for disaster. I do believe replay has its place in the NFL, but they have to get it down to a science. There’s just too much of it and still too long. There’s something about sports that just should allow some plays to simply stand as the referee/umpire calls it, and move on with the game…live with it. I guess I’m showing my age, but growing up playing sports and watching sports you had to live with some tough calls now and again, and they tended to balance out. It’s just too much, and why a league like the NFL can’t perfect this much sooner, like the NHL (and I know they’re trying that now….way overdue!) is just inexcusable and pathetic. But, you’re talking about a league with teams with billions and on top of the world that brought in replacement refs and completely messed up an entire “real” season.
    The greed and stupidity is unbelievable and we fans should never let them off the hook. Pay these people full-time and very well and perfect replay and cut the BS.
    It’s our fault….we allow this to happen when we should be much loader on the subject.
    The last straw for me tonight was another replay on a routine play, so I flicked to the Sox and they were going to a replay as well…it’s just not right.

    • steve earle says:

      Hi Dan, good to hear from you again. Really Like Garoppolo’s progress but not sure we can say he’s ready to be Tom’s back-up yet. Let’s see how he does going forward. BB is probably going to play it safe and keep all three QB’s on the team, jmo. Unless of course some francise offers a deal he can’t refuse like if their starter goes down and on IR before the deadline passes. Something to ponder anyway.






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