Patriots vs. Redskins: Thoughts and Analysis

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

After 200 days of waiting the Patriots were finally back on the field and playing tackle football. For Patriots fans that hoped to see Darrelle Revis in game action for the first time, we’ll have to wait a little bit longer.

Revis, Tom Brady and the majority of starters sat out the entire game, but there was still plenty to learn from the season’s first preseason game. Who stood out, who disappointed, and who surprised? Here are my takeaways from tonight’s game.




Ryan Mallett still inconsistent: Mallett was his normal self tonight; highly inconsistent on short, touch throws and then flashes as he rips off an impressive downfield completion to convert a 3rd and long. Some of his struggles can be attributed to a shaky offensive line, some can be attributive to the lack of true game reps, but the bottom line is he needs to be more consistent. Mallett is a weird fit in the Patriots short passing offense and I don’t see that changing.

In order for him to be successful the offense needs to be built around him and his ability to drive the ball down the field. If he is asked to make short, touch passes he’s going to struggle. Even though he hasn’t played many game reps, I think at this point Ryan Mallett “is what he is”.

Jimmy Garoppolo “Pops”: While Ryan Mallett came into the game with high expectations, Garoppolo entered with barely any after struggling through most of camp. He quickly changed the narrative showing a command of the offense, the ability to move the ball, and good touch on this passes. Forget the stats (9/13 – 157 -1), I thought Garoppolo did a lot of things well that I look for in a rookie QB. He showed poise and mobility in the pocket, got the ball out of his hand on time, great accuracy, and his ball placement was on point. Garoppolo will come into next week with higher expectations and he will have to build on this positive performance.

Malcolm Butler looks like he belongs: If there was one standout performer that improved their chances of making the roster it was Buttler. He was tested all night long and he always looked to be in tight coverage. Butler showed off strong ball skills and didn’t back down in his first NFL contest. He looked natural in coverage, recognizing routes and anticipating throws. His best attribute in college was his ball skills and that is something that can transfer to the next level. Both he and Travis Hawkins have put together solid training camps and tonight Butler moved ahead. He’s put his name in the mix for the #5 CB position.

Offensive Line Struggles: From the first play to the last play, the Offensive Line struggled to adequately do their jobs. Guards Jordan Devey and Josh Kline both gave up pressures and got blown up on run plays, which lead to a lot of 2nd, 3rd and longs. Nate Solder who is firmly entrenched as the Left Tackle had a poor night giving up multiple pressures to Brian Orakpo, as well as a QB hit. At first glance there are no positives to be taken away from this group.

Chris Jones injury is worrisome: Escaping from preseason games uninjured is the number one priority and the Patriots were unable to come away unscathed. Two days after DT Sealver Siliga was lost with a hand injury, back-up DT Chris Jones went down with an apparent Left Knee injury. The play happened when he got rolled up on my teammate Marcus Forston in the 2nd Quarter and had to be helped off the field. The injury looked pretty bad at first glance and right now we have to hope it’s just a sprain.

If the Patriots were to lose both Siliga and Jones for long stretches of time, they’d have to go outside the organization to add depth. As we saw tonight the back of the roster isn’t exactly loaded with NFL caliber run stuffers.

Defensive Front Seven Depth is a Question: With the Patriots starters sitting out the second unit played the majority of the game. One takeaway from this group is the depth leaves a lot to be desired. The OLB/DE really struggled to set the edge against the run and the Linebackers were terrible in pass coverage. Steve Beauharnais had a number of breakdowns and James Anderson missed key tackles. If injuries were to strike this group the Patriots would struggle to adequate replace any of their key front seven pieces.

Rookie Tight Ends fail to capitalize: When it was learned that Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, and DJ Williams wouldn’t play I made the comment that “If Justin Jones doesn’t take advantage of this opportunity, he doesn’t deserve to be on this team”. Jones had one chance to make a someone difficult catch and dropped it. He looked stiff and slow to react on the pass. Besides that he was invisible and clearly didn’t do anything to show he deserved to make the team as the 3rd TE.

Stock Up: Jimmy Garappolo, Malcolm Butler, Brian Tyms, Darius Fleming

Stock Down: Ryan Mallett, Stephen Houston/Roy Finch/Jonas Gray, Rookie TEs, Steve Beauharnais, Jordan Devey, Josh Kline

Tags: Jimmy Garoppolo, Preseason, Ryan Mallett

113 Responses to “Patriots vs. Redskins: Thoughts and Analysis”

  1. steve earle says:

    Just read that Brian Tyms is facing a 4 game suspension for PED. Tyms is reported to have said he has been taking Adderall at times sense he was 9yo. How this effects his chances is a question ?

    • acm says:

      For a fringe player like Tyms, that may actually work in his favor. That way the Pats may keep him without him counting towards the 53 men roster, while being able to train with the team. This would give them time to see what shakes out of the WR competition during the first 4 games (people may get injured or cut).

      • steve earle says:

        Very good point, hadn’t thought of that. Could we slip a little Adderall to a few other rookies? Joke!

  2. Jack says:

    There’s a nice montage of Garoppolo’s plays at this url:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xMGl3KKmak

    At about 1:40, he makes a terrific scramble, sheds a would-be tackler at the line of scrimmage, and throws a near-TD to Josh Boyce. Later on, near his own goal line, he makes another nifty scramble. It’s hard not to get excited about him. He has a terrific feel for the pocket to go along with all his other attributes.

    At the 3:20 mark, Finch makes a nice catch 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage, scoots inside to avoid a a couple tacklers who had penetrated, slightly stumbles near the line of scrimmage as a blocker gets underfoot, then allows another blocker (#69) to take out the defender in front of him as he regains his balance, and dashes into the new hole for another 6 or 7 yards. It’s a very nifty little piece of running on a screen play that had been sniffed out by the defense, and he turned a potential five yard loss into a 7-yard gain.

    Unfortunately, Finch had a couple of fumbles. Ugh. But, on the opening kickoff (which I haven’t seen) he apparently “made a couple of guys miss.” I would love to see a replay of this, as apparently it was a decent runback. Other than, of course, the fumble. How far did he run it out, anyway? To the 40 or so?

    • steve earle says:

      The run back your talking about he did indeed make some nifty moves and showed his quickness but he held the ball out away from his body. Now if he can overcome that bad habit he has a chance of sticking. Over many years I’ve seen this often enough to think it’s a difficult habit to correct by many. I would expect he is being coached up on that very thing right now. Here’s hoping the coaching sticks.

  3. MaineMan says:

    RB Stephen Houston and TEs Jones and Watson waived.

    Street free-agent blocking TEs Ben Hartsock and Steve Maneri signed, along with TE/FB Terrence Miller (Arizona), originally signed as a UDFA by the Jets in May and waived by them on June 20.

    I suspect that the “undisclosed” injuries to Hooman and DJ Williams may have turned out to be relatively serious, forcing the Pats to quit trying to develop Jones/Watson and move on with veterans.

    • Kevan says:

      Just saw that MaineMan. Pats have some familiarity with Maneri so maybe he can stick. At this point BB has to make a trade for a solid Tight End. Maybe Joseph Fauria from Detroit, even Brandon Pettigrew. I don’t know I would have to look at all the nfl rosters to see, I just don’t think it would be wise to go into the season without another solid player at that position. If Gronk didn’t have injury issues it would be different but that’s not the case. Keller and Finely have injury problems as well so I don’t like that option either. Pats need to make a move here. In my opinion.

      • MaineMan says:

        Well, the Pats had a chance to signed Pettigrew in free agency and passed – likely because his asking price was too high, so I doubt that they’d want to now assume the contract he just received from the Lions (they don’t have the cap space at the moment, anyway). In any case, I doubt that the Lions would want to part with either him or Fauria yet, since Ebron doesn’t appear quite ready for primetime. I’m not sure that *any* of the other teams out there have so much depth at TE that they’d be willing to let go of an accomplished one, and there are a lot of teams that are about as short-handed as the Pats are, which would tend to push up the asking price in any trade.

        Looking at the whole situation, though….. Watson and Jones sucked at blocking (as well as receiving). Hooman, the Pats’ primary blocking TE has been out since 7/29 and for who knows how much longer. And the Pats signed two accomplished veteran blocking-type TEs, so I think the blocking aspect is their primary concern and focus in this (with the Terrence Williams signing just kind of a sidebar/tryout to potentially cover for DJ Williams’ absence in the short term).

        The Pats have a lot of potentially very good passing targets on the roster, both at WR and RB, so I’m not at all sure that they feel the need to mortgage the farm just for the sake of adding a TE who can catch a little. The better response from a passing attack standpoint would be to keep an extra one of the promising young WRs and tweak the offensive scheme to de-emphasize TE usage in the passing game.

        Finally, it wouldn’t be any huge surprise if one or two of these new signees is cut next weekend and one or more of Jones, Watson or Houston re-signed (if they’re still available).

        • Kevan says:

          Oh ok I didn’t know that about Pettigrew. Your probably right about Fauria too. I didn’t say we should sell the farm or whatever, just my opinion that a trade needs to happen. Depth is a good thing at every position, especially when your starting TE is really injury prone. Not to mention the two back ups are hurt as well. While I agree the Pats should run more 3 WR sets this year, I just don’t wanna go through another year where Gronk gets hurt again and the Pats are relying on Hooman and Devlin. Those guys could improve, but I’d like to have another viable option and think it would be worth it, for the Pats to start scanning the league for a descent back up at a descent price, that’s all. Maybe when teams get down to 53 a player will emerge.

        • MaineMan says:

          Kevan –

          Yeah, sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that I thought YOU were suggesting the Pats sell the farm. I was just making the point that that is what it would likely take to wrestle ANY decent TE away from his current team now. Anyway, while a trade sounds good as a general idea out of context, kinda like buying a “good used car”, once you start looking at what might actually be available, regardless of price (try ourlads.com for depth charts), you come to realize that it won’t be that easy, if it’s possible at all. And I’m 100% sure that the Pats have been looking at the potential opportunities, up-down-and-sideways, for quite awhile now.

          While the Pats could pick up another TE during final cutdowns, with no OTAs or Camp in the Pats system, it might be awhile into the regular season before he could contribute much of anything.

          Anyway, what’s the ultimate value in a “backup for Gronk”? You can probably count on one hand the number of guys who might be capable of making up for a significant fraction of his receiving production, AND be able to block, too. So, why leave a guy like Tyms or Butler (or any of a few others at different positions), just for the sake of having “another TE” who’s highly unlikely to be able to cover for Gronk anyway? I think the Pats would be just as well off with Develin and Hooman (or, say, Hartsock replacing Hooman) than “reaching”.

        • Kevan says:

          I was just looking at TE depot charts across the league it 100 % possible to get a descent one at a descent price. If it was after roster cut downs and it took awhile for the player to adjust that would be ok, Pats won’t ask him to take the league by storm. I think there gonna keep 3 TEs reguardless of what they do at the WR position or any other. And the value would be to have descent back up TE that can catch the ball and run some routes if the injury prone TE goes down again. Maybe give him a break from time to time to keep him fresh for the playoffs. The idea is to be able to attack defenses where there weak at. BB is a gameplan coach, so if gronk goes down and pats are playing a team weak at defending TEs he won’t be able to attack that weakness. Defenses won’t even have to gameplan against them really. That’s not good. It’s good to have depth everywhere.

        • MaineMan says:

          Kevan –

          Well, that’s the thing. If they keep 3 TEs (plus Develin), it’s not “regardless what they do at WR or other positions” because that 3rd TE is taking a roster spot away from someplace else. So, my question is, what’s the difference between a TE who can catch a little and run *some* routes, and Hooman/Hartsock, or Develin for that matter? And, if the guy can’t block as well as those guys, what value does he present over a WR who can run ALL the routes and catch a lot? Is there some reason that having a “decent TE” (assuming that they can actually get one) is inherently superior to using a tall, good-blocking, physical WR like LaFell to play a receiving TE type role to attack the same defensive weaknesses?

          To me, a TE is first and foremost an extra blocker, especially for the ground game. That’s why they’re “bigger” guys – not as big as an OL, but more mobile; heftier than a WR, but not as fast or agile. The “receiving TE” is a very recent innovation. Most of those with gaudy college receiving stats don’t block any better than a WR at the start of their NFL careers and many don’t improve very much (In three seasons, Hernandez never became a good blocker and LaFell is probably more effective, despite the 25lb weight difference). In this regard, Gronk is almost literally one in a million.

          So, for me, keeping a bigger but slower and route-limited guy who doesn’t block particularly well over a good WR simply for the sake of having “another TE” seems self-defeating for the overall success of the offense. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

        • Kevan says:

          How many times has BB kept just two tight ends on the roster? If Gronk can stay healthy it will work but Devlin is a fullback. So if he goes down your gonna have Hooman, Devlin these guys are below average at running routes and catching the football. that’s the difference. I’m saying that it would be wise to have a guy that was ok at both in case gronk goes down. Lafell is good at blocking DBs I doubt he will do as well against Lbs and DEs. You assumed i meant a move tight end I guess, but that not what I meant. And I know the move tight is a recent development as well. You went on this Lafell playing tight end kick a lil while back and interjected into completely different issue. Yes gronk is one of a kind but the pats can find someone who is ok at both blocking and running and catching. Pretty simple concept. How well did the offense do without gronk last year? We had Wr’s that could catch and run right? The defense didn’t have to worry about our tight ends though. More than one way to skin a cat is just saying you wanna be able to attack the defense in multiple ways. Which is basically what I said already. BB has almost always kept 3 TEs on the roster. With GRONKS injury woes, it is my opinion one of them should be able to run and catch. That’s my point.

        • MaineMan says:

          Kevan -

          Well, BB almost always had at least two FBs on the roster – until he didn’t keep any for a couple-three seasons. What BB has done in the recent past doesn’t always carryover into the near future

          Anyway, this isn’t about what BB has done in the past, it’s about the real options that exist at the moment.

          You contend that the Pats “can” find a TE who’s good at running routes and catching AND blocking. Who is this guy, and why isn’t he already here? I mean, if there were decent options available, why would BB not have already grabbed one of them? I’ve been looking at the other 31 rosters and the FA lists pretty regularly since the draft and I’ve seen a few TEs who might be able to catch a little, but they’re known as poor blockers. And I’ve seen a lot of guys who are good blockers but who have never caught as well as even Hooman. So, saying that the Pats “can” get the guy you think they should have seems a bit like wishful thinking. I mean, I also wish they could come up with a guy like that for 2014, but sometimes the warehouse is just plain out of stock.

          Now, I’ll admit that there *might* be an obscure UDFA out there (maybe this newly-signed Terrence Williams?) who might come out of left-field to fill all the requirements, but the odds are that BB and his scouts already know almost all of those guys pretty well, so it might not be very realistic to hope for that, either.

          Anyway, my point is that, if you get a TE who can run a few routes and catch a little, but who can’t block, then you essentially have a big, slow WR (and are just calling him a TE) – AND you’re probably giving up a WR who’s faster, can run more routes and catch a lot better and who can maybe block just as well (I brought up LaFell only as an example of this, which doesn’t seem to me like an arbitrary “interjection”, BTW). At the moment, those appear to me to be the facts on the ground. If nothing changes between now and the end of Camp, I’d much prefer to keep a decent extra WR (of which the Pats seem to have plenty already in hand) than to let one of them go for the sake of signing a new, extra TE who’s likely to be mediocre.

        • Kevan says:

          BB never almost always carried 2 fullbacks. Not in New England anyway. He stopped carrying A fullback then went back to using them. Your more than welcome to prove me wrong on that. There are 31 other teams in the NFL, and the Pats could 100 % I say again 100% find a legitimate tight end that could catch and wouldn’t be a bad blocker. There is an upgrade to be had. Were talking about Hooman, Devlin, Harstock. Yes the Pats could just go with more Wr’s but there’s not the threat of running the ball as much. The offense becomes predictable. For the most part corners and safeteys play against Wr’s, and LBs cover TEs so it’s completely different schematically. If Gronk stays healthy then this all a moot point. I think the Pats can and should make an upgrade at the TE position, I think this could be done at a reasonable price. Were gonna have to agree to disagree because I’m not comfortable going into the season with the injury prone freak and a couple below average guys, and you clearly are so it is what it is. I’m confused with your premise though. Now Wr’s are smaller, faster I get that, but now probably better blockers too? Just because a WR is good at blocking a corner or safety does not mean there gonna do well against Lbs and De’s. The most surprising though is how you think it would be so incredibly impossible to make an upgrade. It’s just weird man.

        • Kevan says:

          And what are these facts on the ground, and how do they appear? You most certainly interjected your previous, Lafell playing tight end, into a post that was about making an upgrade at TE.

        • MaineMan says:

          Kevan –

          If you’re 100% certain that the Pats can acquire an upgrade over Hooman, Develin, Hartsock, Maneri, and the Williamses, name some guys and how the Pats could get them. It’s YUOR hypothesis – test it against real world information and prove it.

          Meanwhile, here are the TEs other teams have signed (out of desperation) over just the past week:

          Vikes – signed Kory Sperry,an older blocking TE, just yesterday – to replace rookie receiving TE, AC Leonard, who they cut last week

          Titans – Chase Coffman (OMG)
          Browns – Kyle Auffray and Martell Webb
          Giants – Jerome Cunningham

          This is pretty much the bottom of the barrel.

          I never said or even implied that I’m “comfortable” going into 2014 with just Hooman/Hartsock and Develin as “TEs” behind Gronk. My only point is that, given the lay of the land as illustrated above, the odds are strongly against the Pats doing much better than what they already have and I’m exploring their alternatives in the event that they can’t.

          MY “interjection” of LaFell into a *previous post* (a couple weeks ago), was intended to address this exact same point. I wasn’t proposing LaFell as a substitute for a full time inline TE like Gronk/Hooman/Hartsock. I only cited LaFell as a very strong blocking WR who could (as he did for Carolina in the past) be used by the Pats (along with Develin) to cover *part of* the move/H-back/receiving-TE role to keep parts of the offensive playbook alive – as *an alternative* to bringing in a mediocre TE just for the sake of having a “TE” and having to cut a good and useful WR who’s already on the roster in order to make room for such a guy. So, bringing up LaFell back then wasn’t in any way arbitrary, as you seem to be implying.

          BTW – the reason that I bring up LaFell in particular is that he’s well-known as a very effective blocker, and not just “for a WR”. He doesn’t just “take on” DBs, he blows them up – as he did for Carolina against the Pats at least twice that I saw in the game last season. He also “takes on” LBs very successfully. As far as rush-DEs go, well of course he’s not going to be stopping them in their tracks one-on-one, and he doesn’t have to. All he has to do is chip them or otherwise obstruct them long enough so that they can’t get to the QB or RB on time – IOW, exactly what most non-blocking, receiving TEs (and RBs and FBs) are tasked with. And LaFell as shown that he can do that, too. The fact is that 60% of LaFell’s receptions for Carolina over the past couple seasons were made when he was lined up in a move-TE/H-back position. So, it’s not as if my suggestion about how the Pats could use him is something I made up out of thin air, y’know?

          ALSO…

          Pats FBs/TEs under BB:
          2000 – Tony Carter, Patrick Pass (+3 TEs)
          2001 – Pass, Marc Edwards (+2 TEs)
          2002 – Pass, Edwards (+3 TEs)
          2003 – Pass, Larry Centers, Fred McCrary (+2 TEs)
          2004 – Pass, Cedric Cobbs (+3 TEs)
          2005 – Pass, Heath Evans (+3 TEs)
          2006 – Pass, Evans (+ 3 TEs)
          2007 – Evans, Kyle Eckel (+3 TEs)
          2008 – Evans (+3 TEs)
          2009 – 0 FBs, 2 TEs
          2010 – 0 FB, 3 TEs
          2011 – 0 FB, 2 TEs
          2012 – 0 FB, 5 TEs (including Winslow’s very brief stay. FBs Develin and Lex Hilliard were also on the active roster, but didn’t register any stats)
          2013 – 1 FB, 3 TEs

          This is only listing guys who showed up on the rushing/receiving stat sheet, so there may have been a blocking-only TE or FB here and there who didn’t get included in the counts above. I also didn’t include guys like Sammy Morris and a few other RBs who often functioned in a FB role but who weren’t listed as such.

        • Kevan says:

          Just woke up man, give me a few and I will give a breakdown of the tight end position. I did say trade or after roster cutdowns, that’s a lot different then sighting one of those tight ends u listed. It’s funny you say it’s a fact that Lafell caught 60% of his passes from the move tight end spot, when it was just the slot man. It’s word magic to try to prove your point. Lafell is versatile and lines up as WR outside and inside. You said yourself the move tight end is a recent innovation. So did Wes Welker catch 90% of his passes from the move TE spot? No he was a slot WR, where Lafell lines up sometime. The only true fullbacks that you mentioned were Heath Evans, mark evans. Patrick pass was in Sammy Morris mold just as much a Rb. Larry centers was a receiving guy, fullbacks don’t catch 90 passes in a season. I don’t think it it would be accurate in my opinion, to go look at stats and say 2 guys at technically the FB position logged stats. Your not accounting for injuries or anything else. How the rosters started and who was activated from the Psquad occasionally. Give me a few I’ll go through the TEs for you.

        • MaineMan says:

          Kevan –

          You keep making statement in a form like “fullbacks don’t” and “WRs do this and don’t do that” as if that’s the way it’s always been and always will be and nothing ever changes or evolves. FBs, actually, once DID catch a lot of passes – and TEs did not.

          Whatever. Twist the “definitions” however you want to make your point that I’m completely in the drak and that you know absolutely everything there is to know about football.

          I yield. You’re a genius and I’m an idiot who just makes claims without doing a lick of research.

          Anyway, I’m out.

        • Kevan says:

          MaineMan I’m gonna have to give you the win and accept defeat in the fullback discussion. Technically it’s a fact Pass and Centers played at that spot. I just never considered them fullbacks, being about 220-225, Cobbs as well being that size. And if u can say Lafell is a move TE, or it’s a fact that he caught 60 % of his passes from that role when it was just the slot,well, I should be able to call those guys HBs then. Technically you got me there though. Tight ends I wouldn’t mind giving a look into would be John Carlson, Robert Housler, C.Gilmore, D.Rasario, Z.Miller, J.Gresham, O. Charles, J.Hanna, J.Tamme, J.Fauria, B.Celek, J.Cook, L.kendricks, B.Myers. That’s just lookin real quick. Or I know about Tony G comes outa retirement ala J.Seau and signs with the Pats for a season to get the ring! That’s possible right?

        • Kevan says:

          Yea I’m out too, my girls is about to leave me cuz of football. Your not an idiot and I’m not a genius, that’s for sure. Average intelligence at best. In fact I think you won this little debate it was fun though. Next time just let me dream Ya prick! I’m an ideas man I run on ideas and your god dam negativity is bringin me down! Haha just kidding later man Go Pats let’s agree on that

        • DMC413 says:

          Is Gronkowski really injury prone!?!?!?! Yes he had back issues while in college but we never saw that keep him out of any NFL games unless you want to count the maintenance surgery he had done last year when he was going to be out anyway for his forearm.

          I agree his forearm issue is one to talk about especially seeing he broke it during and extra point… But is that his fault when he re-injured it, we rushed him back to early and then asked him to make plays as if he was a #1 WR( If I recall correctly we was going up for a bomb down the field as if he was Randy Moss). If anything he should have been a decoy and that’s it, all water under the bridge now.

          His position as a TE often calls for him to take hits from LB’s or DB’s who have built up momentum by the time they get to him. So with the high percentage of plays that he sees only increases the chance of him getting hurt. Any other player seeing the same high volume of plays and taking hits from the previous mentioned LB/DB’s would have similar fate or worst!!!

          You both where right in pointing out that BB changes the make-up of his team as time goes on…. And for that reason I feel the offense will be tapered when it comes to Gronk in hopes of keeping lessening his chance of injury and making the offense less predictable. Players like LaFell will play a major role in keeping defense’s guessing on pass or run. He doesn’t have to pancake to be effective; if he’s in the slot the D will have to determine do we put a DB on LB on him then TB will call the play based on that and other tangible things. The effect is the same use whatever title you want(SLOT/Y/ JOKER…).

          Hooman/ Develin are no Gronk but will play due diligence to the offense. Put it this way any formation with Gronk, he will get some extra attention. Any play with out him evens the playing field but that is where brady makes his butter by hitting the open guy even if it is by an “eyelash” with his precision passing putting the ball only where his guy can get it. Even better lets say you have a formation with Gronk/Dev or Hoo and LeFell, as mentioned before Gronk gets extra attention this leaves the D vulnerable to run with LaFell and D/H to the other side. Many options

          The thing that you can’t be over looked is the fact you just don’t go out and get a backup to Gronk, if that was the case we would have done that by now. Unless we find a “diamond in the ruff” and who knows mybe that guy is on our roster as we speak but as I see it our current situation is the reality of a low percentage of quality TE’s who offer the ability to BLK and CATCH at the NFL level!!!

        • Kevan says:

          Really DMC? Your gonna show up when the debate is over to claim Gronk is not injury prone? This is the NFL teams sign back up tight ends all the time. I’ve even seen teams trade for them. Will the Pats do this? I don’t know but I still hope they will, or wait till roster cutdowns. I am allowed to have the opinion Pats could and should, you don’t have to agree.

        • DMC413 says:

          I am military so I work odd hours… Just hopped on this mourning and saw you’ll scrimmage back and forth.

          Your right about being entitled to having your own opinion and so am I which is why I posted my mine!

          You have to admit at times Brady can at times go to the Well to often and this has led to some wear and tear on Gronkowski. In general the more you do something the higher the percentage of something is going to happen. When Gronk is healthy he is 70-80% of the offense. Not to many other players in the league contribute that much between the numbers without eventually getting hurt, true story!

          Take WW for instance when he made up a great deal of the offense he to got hurt… not to mention the # of undisclosed concussions he has had (Which is why I feel BB let him go, a few more of those and his career is a rap, buts that’s a whole other topic).

          Any how I am not taking your opinion and saying your wrong, what I am saying is you make it seem as if it so simple to get a valid back up for Gronk. If you survey the canvas of the league in regards to TE’s your options are as follows:

          1. Because of the lack of all around TE’s in the league any trade with another team for their starting TE or their back up who is descent would require too much “Mullah” and you should know as a N.E. fan we don’t do that.

          2. UDFA: if their that good why haven’t they signed yet? Or as you suggested why would we be able to pick them up as roster get cut if their that good or halfway descent? But like I said in my previous post maybe there is that “diamond in the ruff” and maybe he’s already on our team but my friend that is “Wishful-thinking” at its best!!!

        • Kevan says:

          Am I on friggin planet Mars? What is this attack Kevan day? Obviously I’m the only the one here that thinks a Tight End could be picked up in a trade. I just wanna know why it’s so hard to believe it could happen. I’ve been following football for a long time, and I can assure everyone here it’s quite possible, I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes. More than once! Now I’m officially done with this negative horse crap. When the Pats make a small time trade or snag someone after rosters get cutdown I will be victorious. I won’t have to say I told you so cause I already have. Scroo all of you

        • DMC413 says:

          Kevan we on the same TEAM man… I don’t write on these posts to get into arguments with people, just to share ideas and thoughts.

          In the end I hope you are right and that we trade for a descent TE who can bring something to the table or maybe Finley and Keller check out medically and come down on their asking price!! Even better maybe Tony Gonzales comes in after camp ends, Patriot nation would erupt if that happened but if I was a betting man I think who we have now is who are stuck with. The last TE position on the roster may change a few times before the season starts but probably practice squad material.

          But if you do turn out to be right with what we have on offense already coupled with what I anticipate from this D this year I’ll be to busy getting ready for a Super-Bowl party!!!

        • Kevan says:

          Alright alright My bad. All I had to hear was Super Bowl Party and I’m cool!!! Sorry for being a terd everyone GO PATS

      • steve earle says:

        I kind of think it would be better not to rush out and try to make a trade at this point, much to early for that. Besides as MaineMan points out TE is not a deep position throughout the NFL. Few teams with quality at the position would be willing to trade and those with even decent talent would want top dollar value. Imo even if it came down to putting an OT or LB at TE in some pkg’s they could pick up any slack with WR’s and RB’s. With no sure knowledge as to injuries hard to say when guys will return but not a time to panic.

        • Kevan says:

          Jamie Collins at TE sounds pretty awesome. Let’s see if he can catch.

        • steve earle says:

          That’s what I was thinking too. He did alright with a couple int’s last year.

        • MaineMan says:

          Vrabel.

          Nink caught a couple TD passes from Orton and Painter as a DE/goal line TE in college.

          Since the Pats have used that trick so often in the past, it may only work as a decoy, but still. OTOH, Collins (6034/250+) is bigger than many receiving TEs and has a 41″+ vertical, so ….

      • steve earle says:

        Now with Hooman hurt and Gronk still doing rehab it makes sense to bring in some guys. can’t tell whether there camp bodies or competition at this point so I’m not getting very excited about them yet.

    • Jack says:

      Chalk up another one for Mike Lokyo. He predicted Jones would not be on the final roster several day ago. Meanwhile, the Globe predicted Jones would be on the final roster this morning.

      • steve earle says:

        Right you are Jack. I think reporters at Globe and other fans fell in love with the idea of Jones’s measurments and disregarded his lack of skills.

    • Kevan says:

      Hey MaineMan are you familiar with the Portland area?

  4. Russell says:

    The more time Dobson misses the more likely he does not make the 53 man roster. Browner and Tyms offer interesting options, for Bill to keep two players, not on the 53 man roster for 4 games, then make some roster moves, watching for injuries, and player developement. Malcolm Butler, could be a big winner in those 4 games.

  5. acm says:

    Well, for those still hoping on a Mallett trade, the good news is that the Texans’ QB situation is so desperate that even if Mallett were to suck even worse in his next showing, he’d likely still be seen as a great option.

    • Russell says:

      The Raiders may be a dumping place for Mallett as well as Houston. I might sign Quinn, and let Mallett go. Bill could watch the wire for another young QB he could carry on the P-Squad, and cut Mallett, opening a slot on the 53 man roster.

    • steve earle says:

      It’s really a big question for me. I can’t see Mallett having another outing like Thurs night and still be viewed by any GM as an NFL QB. Who knows though? Garappolo can’t be viewed as Brady’s back up, at least at this point, so that would mean BB would have to bring in a vet QB at least for the short term. So that’s a different can of worms. I kind of think Bill has painted himself into a corner backup wise. Mallett has the knowledge of the system even if he doesn’t make it work. If Brady should be injured I could see where it could be argued that better to throw Mallett out there then the rookie Garappolo and destroy his confidence going forward. Many questions, no answers.

      • Jack T says:

        BB was evaluating the mix and match chemistry of the new players (and coaches) while under pressure. Winning the game was the furthest thing on BB’s mind, IMO. Winning a series of downs was the only goal. Unless everyone on the coaching staff had brainlock, I got the impression the coaches were throwing stuff up against the wall to see what would stick and who could adjust in purely fundamental terms. The plain vanilla playcalling didn’t make sense at times. I think they already had an idea who they were going to keep around for the final cuts based on what they had seen in the full roster practices with the Redskins. There was no dominance in any aspect of Thursday’s game on display. When Jimmy discovered Tyms, however, it was like striking gold. Butler likely earned a spot on the team. Everyone else failed, but they were supposed to fail. I’m guessing Bill’s already mentally culled the team down to sixty-five or seventy players.

        • steve earle says:

          Can’t argue with that reasoning Jack T. Some saying Mallett was being showcased but if so it was a failed exercise. I did say before though that this being his 4th year even under your premus I expected more. He just looked lost.

    • steve earle says:

      Just another thought, why would the addition of Mallett make the Houston QB situation any better? Wouldn’t it just add another question mark to the mix? Fitzpatrick has starting game experance, he’s no big time player but still has had some success something Mallett can’t claim.

      • Kevan says:

        Mallet would be a better QB in Houston that’s why. Just because he has not got his chance to play with and against starters, and Fitzpatrick has, does not mean Fitz is better. In this game of inches that we love, there are so may variables you can’t just look at what is and say, you see there it is. If that was the case Matt Cassell would have been cut in 08′ preseason and the Pats would have probably gone 5-11 that year instead of 11-5. What happened was after a terrible preseason Cassell got a couple games under his belt with and against real competition. Then BB started to tailor his game plans around what Cassell did well. You have to look at all the potentials and variables and say ok this could be better. Personally I would take Mallet over Fitz, Matt Shaub, Alex Smith, Carson Palmer, Matt Cassell, and Brian Hoyer. Some of those guys have experience and have done well in this league at times. They all will be starters this year, and it might sound crazy from a black and white perspective. But that’s not what football is about. Give Mallet a vertical offense some big bodied receivers, intermediate to deep routes all day and watch him throw for 4000 plus yds and 25 + Tds. It’s gonna happen. Eventually, it’s just a matter of time.

        • steve earle says:

          Yes Mallett has had few oppertunitys but those he has had he has not taken advantage of. None of us have been at every pratice over the past three plus years so if Mallett is special it’s the best kept secret ever. Just asking, but by what we do know how do you decide he’s better then those QB’s you speak of? With all due respect it seems more wishful thinking then anything based on sound judgement or have I missed something.

        • Kevan says:

          Were just gonna have to wait and see. Not wishful thinking though cuz it’s not gonna help the pats anyway.

  6. Joe Blake says:

    If the Pats were, indeed, showcasing Mallett, they would have called plays that focused on his strengths: a Bledsole type arm. Mallett has no touch on timing passes and he has happy feet. let’s see what happens in future pre-season games to be fair….but…my guess is that we are stuck with him for one more year.Stay healthy TB.

  7. ReneKicker says:

    I remember 1st Ryan Mallet´s preseason game against Jaguars in 2011 (you can see the highlights on yt) and the people loved him…. LOL
    I think Mallett is not the “great” QB some people was trying to present us prior to the draft and almost saying he worth a 2nd round, but, come on,,,,, is an overreaction kill him just after a preseason game.
    Will be interesting to see what happen with the receiving core, after the preseason i was rooting for Jeremy Gallon but will be hard for him because he is not in practice and if he is released wont pass waivers, and now Brian Tyms looks like a good football player, there is 3 more games, i hope he isnt another Sudfeld LOL.
    Players i want to see in the next preseason games:
    James Morris (all the hype he received by the media)
    Brian Tyms playing against 1st team defense

    • Bobthebuilder says:

      Well Mallett has also sucked every other time we’ve seen him, so that would be the reason people thinks he sucks.

      • ReneKicker says:

        My first comment was more in Garappolo´s direction, its too early for buy a QB, we say what happened with Mallette.

  8. Jack says:

    Did anyone see a huge post I made this morning about Mallet / Tyms? I was sure I posted, I was even reading it afterwards on the site. I spent about an hour on it. Anybody? They don’t delete posts here, right? Anyway, I didn’t say anything offensive. The only thing I did was post a link to another article at the very end of post. Is that a no-no here? I also added “B” as my middle initial (“Jack B”) to distinguish from Jack T, maybe that the problem? This same question with the “Jack B” as the name is “awaiting moderation”, but my huge post nowhere to be found. Normally I wouldn’t care, but I put a some time into it, checking it, checking facts and everything. I’ve never had this happen before on this site. Maybe I screwed up, but I guarantee I was reading on the site after I posted it.

    • Jack says:

      Since my last message went up, it must have gone to “moderation” and been rejected. I’d like to know why, if that’s the case. I spend about an hour on it, and thought it was a pretty good post. Would it have been the link? I linked it to an article on espn.boston. Maybe they didn’t like that?

      • steve earle says:

        Hi Jack, Never noted this sight to pull a post but I don’t honestly know. Once or twice I used the word dam- and it went to moderation but never pulled. Strange as you’ve never been inapproate. My wife suggeste it may have been to long for their liking? Wouldn’t think refering to other site(s) would be a problem I’ve seen lots of guy do that. Maybe Mike Loyko can shed some light on the matter? Mike?

        • Jack says:

          Thanks, Steve. It wasn’t gigantic as in page after page. I could be read through in probably 30 seconds, maybe a minute at most. In the first part I talked about Mallet/Garoppolo, I think, and in the second part I went into a bit of description ablut Brian Tyms’ past, and how he came to the Patriots. He has an interesting story, and I figured others might find it interesting as well.

          Of course, I saw after I had done it that some reporters had noticed and made some posts of their own, such as the link I posted to. I think the first problem was it went to moderation because I used a slightly different name. I’m not sure why it would have been flushed, though. If it’s a question of length, then maybe there should be some type of warning or something when you go over the limit. It’s a little bit frustrating – maybe it was just a glitch?

        • steve earle says:

          Yea, I reall don’t think length was the problem as what you describe. Some kind of glitch is my thought, I doubt it was a change of name, can’t see how adding a middle letter would do anything though I know darn little about computers. Too bad sounds like an interesting post.

      • Jack T says:

        Same thing happened to me on multiple occasions. There are at least three different Jacks posting here. I wrote the mods the 1st time and they put mine up immediately. The second time I said nothing and waited; it took a couple of days for them to approve. Lately my posts are sailing straight thru unmoderated. They must think you’re me. They’ll get it squared away. We are all pretty respectful here of each other regardless if we agree in principle or not.

      • acm says:

        When you change nicks and/or corresponding emails, it takes some time for a post to pass moderation. Similarly with a curse word here and there :).
        It’s probably just a matter of time before it pops-up.

        • steve earle says:

          You and Jack T sound as though you two have the better explanation. I hope it does come up, sounds interesting.

        • Jack says:

          Ah, that makes sense. With the change of name, it went to moderation. What confused me is a subsequent post also made with the new name was readable with the “awaiting moderation” message, so I figured the first one had gotten deleted. But now I see the second one has disappeared as well. So they probably display those types of messages just to you for a while, then it disappears until it gets approved.

          Thanks for the help, guys. I just didn’t want to see an hour’s worth of work go down the drain.

  9. Russell says:

    Hard to take to much from game one, Malcolm Butler looks like a player to good to release. The real question is what to do with DT Easley, WR Dobson. My feeling is both go on season ending IR, so Bill can keep the one spot on short term IR. I also look for Bill to keep a guy, while Browner is out, who he can get to the P-Squd, when Browner returns. WR Tyms made a case to replace Dobson (to IR??)on the roster, BUT lets seen what he does here on out. I still like WR Van Hooser. DT Vellano is to good to cut.

    • Dylan.C says:

      If anything I could see Dobson/Easley starting on the PUP list but I think they are optimistic that they will be able to practice soon. Putting both on IR seems pretty dramatic considering they are both out at practice with trainers.

    • MaineMan says:

      Dobson has been on PUP and Easley on the NFI List (same difference for our purposes) and neither has practiced during Camp, so both are eligible for regular season PUP/NFI. No reason to send them to IR yet (same for Gallon, BTW).

      In April, the league suspended Tyms for the first four games of 2014 (no reason given, but Adderall suspected by some), so he’ll only be available for the last two games that Dobson would be on PUP (Tyms would return for week-5, just like Browner).

      With Tyms suspended, if Dobson goes on PUP, perhaps TWO of Boyce, Van Hooser and Derrick Johnson make the initial 53-man, unless BB wants the extra WR spot for someone like Hawkins (Butler takes Browner’s spot during his suspension, I think at this point).

  10. Jack B. says:

    Did anyone see a huge post I made this morning about Mallet / Tyms? I was sure I posted, I was even reading it afterwards on the site. I spent about an hour on it. Anybody? They don’t delete posts here, right? Anyway, I didn’t say anything offensive. The only thing I did was post a link to another article at the very end of post. Is that a no-no here?

  11. MaineMan says:

    Apart from differences in technical skills and “scheme fit”, maybe the biggest divide between Mallett and JimmyG is that Jimmy – who had never even *attended* an NFL game before, much less played in one – showed from the very first snap that he has “command presence.” That’s something Mallett just doesn’t have and never will.

    Orakpo appeared to beat Solder mostly to the inside. Solder’s weak point, even before the draft, has always been to his right. Devey simply couldn’t help with covering that weakness the way Mankins does.

    With special-teamer Chris White looking like maybe the best all around LB against the ‘Skins, yeah, the LB corps seems pretty thin. OTOH, we didn’t see much of Deonte Skinner, who just started practicing Monday after coming off PUP Sunday, and we didn’t see any of Morris (just re-signed), Ja’Gared Davis or Cam Gordon (both sidelined with unspecified injuries). I thought Anderson and Beauharnais were more “meh” than consistently bad, and Fleming seemed pretty decent against the run, though he bit hard on play-action way too often – taking a page from Chung (a page that Fleming should burn immediately).

    Watson and Justin Jones were as useless blocking as they were receiving. I thought BB might have tried Tyler Ott in there, because, well, he couldn’t be much worse.

    RBs – Though Houston’s fumble was the result of a very good strip by a defender, he couldn’t make any headway anyway. Gray had a couple nice runs, then, after getting stuffed a couple times, turned into Maroney. Finch carries the ball even less securely than Ridley, so it was no surprise when it popped out from a slight wind gust. He muffed the punt because he took his eyes off it. His one catch on four targets came with a minute-something left in the game. He had the chance to run OB and stop the clock, but he turned inside instead and gained maybe another yard or two. He’s a “me” player looking to make a grand personal impact instead of doing what’s best for the team.

    BTW, Hawkins showed up okay on defense and ST and his KR looked every bit as good as Finch’s. And he didn’t even come close to fumbling.

    It seemed to me that Buchanan was working almost as much as a stand-up OLB as he was with his hand in the dirt, which kinda complicates any analysis of his performance since that’s way more than what he was used for last season (a sign of progress in itself). Though he made a lot of mistakes, I thought he showed better technique overall and much better awareness than he did as a rookie.

    • Jack says:

      I agree with a lot of what you say, but as Finch guy I would respectfully point out that 3 of his 4 targets were uncatchable. Also, he made a nifty move on the catch to turn a short gain into a 7-yard gain with plenty of time left.

    • Jack T says:

      Just got to watch a replay of the game today.

      1st thing I noticed – how lethargic the whole team was. Later the announcers said BB had run them hard the day before in the heat. It was a recurring theme for the offensive line, which allowed the pocket to collapse around Mallet almost instantly with every snap.

      I thought Mallet had a good game. One of his low throws I think was because he felt he had to get rid of the ball to prevent a sack. On another he was hit by one of his own linemen who couldn’t hold back his defensive assignment and got steamrollered. Three separate times Mallet made excellent throws only to see someone penalized away from the play. It disrupted his rhythm, and yet still he persisted. IMO the announcers were responsible for fomenting all the negativity I’m hearing here. He had a few bad plays but he had a right to expect better protection than he got.

      Boyce was terrible – ran the wrong routes, dropped one pass and never looked up for another. When Jimmy came in in the second half the line was still blocking like Alice. Watson ran past his blocking assignment on one running play and the Redskin player actually beat Houston to the line from behind him.

      By the end of the third quarter the game started to slow down, the line held, and Jimmy had more time to throw. I give him credit for some great passes and Tyms for the catches but I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in them. I liked what we saw of Tyms but I’m wondering why Miami never activated him from the practice squad, and whoever it was he played for last year kept him on the roster for 7 games with only two catches to his credit.

      I went back and looked at Goglialmo’s coaching history with the Giants – five years. His 1st year the team did nothing; the next four they made the playoffs. Okay. Can’t put it on him. Bill says he’s looking forward to the next game. No shyte Sherlock. Can’t be any worse.

      • Jack B. says:

        Jack,

        Nice insights, esp. about the team have been run hard – good point, I read about that myself. That gives me a little hope that maybe we have better backups than they appeared to be.

        I would still be hard-pressed to say Mallet had a good game, although you’re probably correct in your assessment that he didn’t have much time to get rid of the ball. I’m not sure how much time Gorappolo had, either, because half the time the drunk cameraman would focus on the offensive line with no view of the QB in the pocket. But I did notice that he has good escapability, something he likely has an advantage in over Mallet.

        In at least one of the throws into he dirt by Mallet, the one to LaFell, he appeared to have time to throw. A good QB can still get off a good throw in the clutter – that’s his job – and LaFell wasn’t very far away. The problem is that we’ve seen this before, in previous pre-seasons, time and again, the inaccuracy on lack of touch on the short and intermediate throws. And of course there was the five yard overthrow to Finch on the screen, as well as the lack of patience to wait for the route to develop on the throw to Finch on the wheel route. The announcer said he should have had patience, or normally I would have attributed the fault to Finch.

        But the point is, in three pre-seasons and one game, he still hasn’t demonstrated he can move the chains in any consistent way. If he hasn’t done it by now, he probably isn’t going to. Even Cassel didn’t suck like that – he had really nothing to work with in those preseason games where he was considered a cut, and never did have a chance to really prove himself.

        Of course, Garoppolo then comes in and does exactly the opposite of Mallet. He moves the chains, multiple times, with one drive cut short by a fumble. It’s like night and day between him and Mallet – a tale of two halves. It think it was that, far more than the announcers, which drove the invective toward Mallet.

        Hopefully, Mallet miraculously turns things around in the next game or two. I’ll be shocked if he does, but happy to be wrong.

        I would disagree on not putting a lot of stock into Garoppolo’s accuracy. That didn’t appear to be dumb luck. He consistently laid the ball perfectly on the receiver on multiple occasions, even on long throws. It was uncanny, actually.

        It is interesting about Tyms. I too was curious and did some googling on him. Like Kenbrell Thompkins, he comes from an extremely tough background. He finally found some stability in high school, where he excelled in baseball and basketball. But he had anger issues and was kicked out of his best foster family’s house at 17 and lived out of his car for a couple of months. He hit bottom and decided to turn things around. He signed up at a junior college, and though he was ineligible to play sports due to academics (I think), he worked hard and got impressive grades. His junior year, he walked on to the Florida A&M campus and impressed them enough to earn a scholarship, which was the only way to pay his way through school. He had 10 catches his junior year, and 38 (?) catches and over 500 yards his senior year. So, he was trending in the right direction, but his late start and modest productivity limited him to becoming a UFDA.

        What did catch scout’s eyes were his eye-popping numbers at Florida A&M’s pro-day. He has a 38 or 39 inch vertical, runs a 4.4 40, benched 19, had a 6.8x 3 second cone time IIRC. At his height, 6′ 3′, those are ridiculous numbers, and were enough to get SF to take a flyer on him. Another pre-draft article I saw about him raved about those numbers, as well as his soft hands. The workout numbers plus soft hands are enough to make me take this guy very, very seriously.

        In San Francisco, an article I read said that while he had potential, SF was deep and he had a 1% chance of making the team, and in fact he was a late cut. He was picked up by Dolphins, and they saw enough in him to keep him around for a year. I didn’t find any info on why he was cut there.

        Cleveland was the next team to give him a try, in 2013. Unfortunately, he received a 4-came suspension in the off-season, likely for PEDs or pot, and was cut. But in all cases he had the problem of being a UFDA with modest production in college.

        Unfortunately, he has the same problem with the Patriots. Ahead of him he has drafted guys like Boyce and Dobson, as well as Lafell, Thomkins, Edelman and Amendola. To make the team he has to beat out one or two of those guys. Edelman,Amendola, LaFell and Dobson are locks, and likely Thompkins will make the team. Boyce isn’t a certainty, but I guess it depends on how many receivers they keep.

        Also, let’s keep in mind that Silega bounced around at least two teams before he stuck with the Pats, and at this point I consider him a key component of the Pat’s defensive line. A lot of the times these UFDAs are caught up in numbers games, and coaches feel due to established pecking orders that they can’t hang on to a guy.

        Also, we should keep in mind that Tyms has been producing throughout training camp. I’ve read several good reports on him, and Ben Volin was emphasizing that point after the game in an interview with Zuri Beri.

        So, if you look at things on an objective basis – size, speed, agility, hands – it’s possible he is the best receiver on the Patriots in terms of raw talent and size (not including the tight ends). What he needs to do is continue demonstrating those skills in practice and in the next 3 games. If so, he’s going to be a hard, hard guy to cut. Maybe they carry seven receivers (including Slater) and give up on Boyce? Or six and give up on Thomkins, who doesn’t exactly suck and suffers from the same UFDA prejudice as Tyms. I don’t think you can or should cut Dobson or LaFell.

        There are a few articles out about him this morning. Here’s one: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4765940/who-is-patriots-wr-brian-tyms

        • Jack T says:

          Thanks Jack. That explains a lot about Tyms. Well, he’s def in the right place as far as his personal life goes. Bob Kraft will see to it he gets whatever he needs there for both him and his family to help them adjust to the emotional rollercoaster called the NFL. One thing I believe about Bob Kraft – he sincerely cares about his players as people, and the well-being of their families is paramount to the Kraft family. This guy has no idea how much he lucked out, and I’m not talking about his career.

      • MaineMan says:

        WRT Tyms, are you trying to make a case that – because the “always brilliant” Dolphins didn’t promote him from the PS during his rookie season and because “elite QBs” like Weeden and Campbell couldn’t find him on the field for the Browns – somehow Tyms performance against the ‘Skins was a fluke? IDK, but young players DO sometimes develop over a couple years, and sometimes even make dramatic leaps when they finally start getting good coaching and have decent QBs throwing to them.

        My point about Finch was that he’d have gotten that same seven yards on that catch had he gone left and OB and stopped the clock. His “nifty moves” are fun to watch, but lack of situational awareness loses games.

        • Jack T says:

          I didn’t think I was but I have been accused of being a cynic at heart, MM… busted. I do hope the best for him, but I admit Parcells and his don’t anoint [plug in Garappolo, Tyms, Butler] just yet to Canton speech did come to mind, lol.

      • steve earle says:

        Not having taped the game I can’t go back and review Mallett”s performance again. Yes the pocket was crashing in on him constantly, yes in the few instances he could step up he threw nice spirels with lots of heat but this is his 4th year. Good grief he’s been practicing with the team even if not getting into games so for one I would expect more awareness, more …. something. Okay I’m unfair but I still didn’t see what looked like an NFL QB out there Thurs night. Let him prove we critics wrong next game or game after. Until then I feel the way I feel about him.

        • Jack T says:

          I liked Tyms. Liked him alot… and Finch too. I can see both have potential. Just sayin’ we shouldn’t expect too much from them too soon. I’m still a Stephen Houston fan but he hasn’t been getting the love the other backs have. The fumble certainly didn’t help his cause. Mallet I don’t see sicking around. Both he and the team would benefit from a change.

        • Jack T says:

          Sicking around? LOL. Faux Pas, mes ami.

        • steve earle says:

          Jack T, I too liked what I saw of Tyms though to littlt to late. (not his fault) Jury at my house still out. Note I am not rooting against any of these guys and hope all will pop and become impact players but that of course won’t happen for most. Three more games to go so there is still time to pop just can they? Sticking around, you bet !

  12. Daniel R. Martin says:

    Someone more knowledgeable of Washington’s roster please tell me that was their first string team on the field the whole game last night. I know it was the first game of the preseason, but that was Washington’s first game also. Not a lot to like in the whole first half. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the second half yet.

    On a more positive note, I was clearly wrong to have been so harshly critical of the draft selections this year. I mean, Easely was an absolute terror in the backfield last night, and Garoppolo is quite obviously the heir apparent to Tom Brady. Hell, he might even step in during the second half of the AFC conference game and help us get over that hump this year.

    • steve earle says:

      LOL!!! Good one Dan. Alot of us took heat for being critical of the draft but so far no one has proved us wrong.

      • Kevan says:

        It usually takes more than one pre season game. Don’t worry you guys will be wrong in the end on this one.

        • steve earle says:

          I wouldn’t mind being wrong Kevan but wasn’t it you who was assuring us that Easley was running and cutting before the draft? If not you someone did and though it may work out in the end from my prospective it was a big and unecessary gamble.

        • Kevan says:

          No that wasn’t me Steve. I was actually wrong because I said we shouldn’t draft a DT. Your right though it’s a risk and a gamble with Easely. Hope it pays off.

  13. Kevan says:

    I’m gonna get a lot of slack for this, but Mallet is not as bad as all of you think. He is just a terrible fit in this offense. He needs to play in a vertical down the field offense like Chicago or Atlanta. I remember like yesterday, the year Brady went down. Matt Cassell had a terrible preseason, most of the football “experts” said he was done in FOXBorough, but BB kept him. That season he went 11-5. I don’t know why BB does not just let the kid sling it down the field. If he goes somewhere like Tampa with those big WRs and gets into a vertical style offense, he will do well in this league. He just sucks throwing the short timing routes, he has to try to take heat off the football and it scroos with his accuracy. He had a couple completions called back and the Oline was subpar, so it is what is. One more time, this kid needs a vertical offense like a fat kid needs cake. Mark my words. By now I’m sure all of you wanna find out where I live and throw me off a bridge for being blind and stupid, just remember me saying 2 years from now. It was good to see WR Tyms show up, he has really good size and Measurables, glad to see it translated on to the field. Butler showed up. Finch and Houston looked like practice squad guys, Justin Jones and Asa Watson did too. Hawkins looked good on that return, which pats need. I’d have to say Jimmy G is a perfect fit for this offense. He might have the quickest release I’ve ever seen. Throwing the ball he reminds me of Dan Marino, seriously. Mentally and technically a lot like Brady. Let’s hope the intangibles are Brady like too. The kid can move around to, that’s good.

    • Tosh says:

      I actually agree here with the Mallett talk. I think he obviously has some talent but its a terrible system fit, and even if they for some reason wanted to try and change the offense to a downfield passing offense, I don’t really think they have the personnel to do it….. Better Hope Jimmy G turns out to be a stud because Mallett isnt doing much in a Patriot’s uni…..

    • acm says:

      LOL. I agree on Mallett being a poor fit in this O but don’t think a potential improvement in a vertical O would be enough to make him worth their while. My problem with Mallett is lack of pocket presence and “eyes on the back”, so to speak. Little more than another journeyman of a back-up QB, as far as I am concerned.

      Agree Jimmy G is a much better fit in this type of O but let’s see how he develops in time. I am still troubled by his small hands and having to throw the pigskin in the elements come December/January.

      Agree on the other points too regarding the new talent at RB and TE – didn’t strike me as anything more than practice squad guys. This is especially true for Finch and Houston, imo, who’d need nothing short of monster displays in the next 3 games to make the 53-men roster.
      I hope they just sign Michael Bush while he is still out there and call it a day with tinkering with the backfield – Bush, Ridley, White, Vereen, Devlin sounds alright to me.

    • steve earle says:

      I’m not convinced Mallett would do any better in a down field offense. Comparison to Marino …. no way. He does not have the mental aspect you seem to think he does. He gets flustered by pressure, throws dirt balls and maybe I missed it but he doesn’t appear to read def very well. Most QB’s in the nfl can throw passes when there is no pressure and yes last night the line was terrable but come on this is his 4th year and he still looks like a rookie without a clue.

      • Tosh says:

        I think he was talking about Garropolo not Mallett there with the Marino Comparison….

        • Kevan says:

          Yea I was just comparing Garoppolos quick release and throwing motion to that of Marino. Really impressive. Mallet would most certainly do better in a vertical offense. Some Qb’s can play in any system some can’t. Jay cutler could not run the pats offense, he might look as bad as Mallet did last night, well maybe not that bad, but still. Just an example.

        • steve earle says:

          OK that sounds better and yes Garappolo does have a nice release. Sorry I misunderstood Kevan.

    • Jack says:

      Yes, it’s true he’s a poor system fit for NE’s offense, and would be far better suited to a more downfield-oriented offense. But, that begs the question of which is a more effective offense to run? Consider that a three-step-drop/ball-out-quick offense considerably lessens the possibility of a sack. Also, it means you don’t have to invest all your draft-capital in putting together an offensive line to hold the ship while those long routes develop. Even given a downfield oriented offense, the lack of touch on short to medium passes is a significant, perhaps fatal weakness for an NFL QB.

  14. PSW says:

    So much love for Jimmy G, so different from draft week.

    • acm says:

      One would think it would take a lot more to justify a high pick than a good display vs the 3rd string D for the ‘Skins.
      Take it for what it is, one step at a time, before sounding off the alarm for the arrival of the new Brady.

      • steve earle says:

        Right AMC. Good to see your back. It was an encouraging performance by the young QB but as you say it was the Skin’s 3rd string and just a step in the right direction. After Mallett stunk up the game for three quartes (with help from the cobled together O-line) Garappolo at least made fans feel a little better/ Very little yet. Hope he continues to improve against stronger comp.

    • jack says:

      True. A little patience is probably called for. Still, it was absolutely 180 degrees from what he’s been doing in practice. He appears to be the non-Mallet.

  15. acm says:

    They announced C. Jones’ injury as an “ankle” one, not knee. It looked pretty bad on the replays but he did manage to walk on his own to the dressing room, so at least that part looked encouraging. Hope it’s nothing serious as he is an important depth player.

    Jimmy G and Butler were the only ones who “popped” for me, with Tyms doing well too at times. Not sure I’d put Fleming in that group after so many missed tackles.
    Hard to evaluate RBs considering the abysmal play by the OL.
    Mallet sucked. Forget about the stats – he just doesn’t look like he belongs on an NFL field. No pocket presence, little to no command of the O, pretty much nothing other than seeing ghosts. Mike Mayock needs to shut up.

    All in all, team needs a lot of work in just about all areas of the field. As for the D, I hope to finally see a game where I am not thinking how much better the Pats could be with a proper Defensive Coordinator in place of the astronaut guy.

    • jack says:

      Let’s not be to harsh on the him – I didn’t know he was “Astronaut Guy”, where’s that from, btw? Anyway, consider the personnel he wasn’t allowed to use or who were hurt. Revis, Dennard, McCourty, Chandler Jones, Ninkovich, Silega, all 3 starting linebackers, with Wilfork and Kelly and Browner only 1st quarter, then C. Jones goes out with an injury.

      We all know the Pats lack depth at linebacker, and apparently Anderson didn’t do much. The D-line backups pretty much got mauled all night, as did the linebackers. Logan Ryan didn’t impress. Nobody impressed at safety, with the exception of a few got hits by Chung.

      We need Silega to get healthy, and Jones, and Easley.

      • acm says:

        He has a degree in aeronautics/aerospace engineering or something along those lines, hence what I said. Constantly being hyped up for being super smart but all I can see on the sidelines is a guy who looks lost and confused.
        I understand that a lot of starters were missing (or player very few snaps) but what bothers me is the general philosophy on D. It looks yet another season coming with the same song playing – miserable tackling, clueless LB and DL play, soft and confused secondary, etc, etc.
        Pats aren’t very deep in quality on D, so if any of the starters gets injured (or needs a breather), next in line is the mess we saw last night. I sure hope they are just really, really good at hiding their cards … it’s either that or space cowboys don’t make very good DCs.

  16. J H TARBORO says:

    Ryan Mallett sucked!
    Jimmy G. Played well.
    Devlin could be a secret weapon.
    WR Brian Tyms may be a keeper.
    CB Malcolm Butler is a stud.
    Still want to see more of Justin Jones, Roy Finch, and Stephen Houston.
    2nd and 3rd defense needs work
    And did I say Mallett sucked!

    • steve earle says:

      Pretty much my thoughts too JH. What I saw of Garappolo was encouraging but Mallett pu ! I’m thinking Bill would be well served to keep an eye out for a vet backup and dump Mallett.

    • jim r says:

      I agree on Butler, I really like his skills, could be a gem

  17. Dan says:

    Agree 100% on Butler…he did look like a player, and he competed in a big way…intense. Great to see a young kid that can actually cover someone. I wish he had some length, but he showed skills and toughness for sure.

  18. jack says:

    This was an outstanding article, and it’s the type of post that makes nepatriotsdraft.com the goto site when it comes to player evaluation.

    I would point out that Finch did make a nice play on the final touchdown drive. I wish they showed a replay of that. I’m hoping the fumbles aren’t a consistent thing. But the other two running backs didn’t show much.

    We knew about lack of depth at linebacker, but now DT is an issue. That’s one of the reasons the retirement of Armstead was such a drag. But, we still have Kelley and Vince, and Easley looming in the background. Silega is key, he needs to get healthy. We need him in the rotation.

    I don’t think you can blame the protection on Mallet’s problems. Garoppolo had to scramble a few times, too. Btw, what the h*ll was the matter with the camera guys? Half the time they didn’t even show the QB – they focused on the offensive line, letting the QB drift out of the picture.

    Garoppolo was incredible. He has tremendous accuracy – including on the long ball. He has vision and escapability. He has the quick release.

    I’m done with Mallet. I’ve never seen him move the chains in 4 years. Then Garoppolo walks in and in his first game throw goes 8-12 with a TD (and it was really 2). He reminds me of Flutie.

    • steve earle says:

      Flutie !!! Yea I kind of see what you mean, nice Jack. Time to dump Mallett I think couldn’t give the guy away after tonight. Blame the camera guy on the pre-game party?
      Mikes Stock up/down pretty much tells the story. Glad Tom wasn’t out there behind that line. Jones injury looked serious to me, more then a sprain, hope I’m wrong.

      • jack says:

        Right, Steve? Like Flutie, he’s smaller in stature, mobile, sort of under-estimated (mostly based on practice though, and not nearly as much as Flutie was), but gets out there and has great awareness, moves the chains, is accurate, can scramble – his scrambling really surprised me – and he’s just a natural. There was a slight overthrow to an open Finch, but he’s all of 5′ 7″ anyway. A couple of others, maybe. But you’re not going to see the dirt-balls, overthrows, lack of touch on the short passes, the miscommunications and premature scrambles that you see from the robotic Mallet.

        The only thing I disagree with on the up/down list is Finch, although it’s hard to keep him off that with two fumbles. I’m favorable toward him based on the nice evasiveness he showed on the TD drive.

        • steve earle says:

          Finch is a big question mark in my mind right now. He can really scoot, he’s elusive but loosing the ball twice? Geeze !!!! Hope it was first pro game jitters and he comes back next week with a strong showing. Guy I’m down on ( aside from Mallett) is TE Jones. Showed me nothing except he’s big, slow and awkward.

  19. Dan says:

    Not much to talk about with this game…not many starters played, so it was just coaches trying to figure out who can play and who can’t. I think Buchanon looks awful…just not showing enough, and he was out there most of the game. Maybe he makes the team for depth, but I’m not seeing it. I was hoping to focus more on Moore, the rookie, but I couldn’t key on him enough. I’m hoping he steps up with some athleticism, size etc…

    I never thought BB would want to carry 3 QB’s going into this very important season (Revis…going for it all, but with, hopefully a much better D…) so I would say Mallett is gone. I can’t imagine a team giving anything for this kid now; I’d say the Pats would jump at a 5th rounder at this time. Any talk over the past year of a 2nd-rounder was absurd to start with…he’s shown nothing. Tonight was just confirmation that he is just missing what it takes and is a longshot to ever be a starter in this league. I’d say he’s a candidate to be cut just to get that extra player on the roster….he’s not worth carrying at any price, not after what JG displayed tonight. Night & day….one guy can play, the other can’t. That was fun to see….not some preseason false hype, but command, athleticism, amazing release, amazing delivery, near perfect accuracy on all routes, and even a great deep ball; oh, and he can move his feet when needed. I don’t care who he was playing against…that was just too good not to translate and easily push him into the lone backup role.
    Let him sit a few years and really grow, and if he’s needed to come in for few games he should be able to do some things with the starters, especially as time goes by and he gets more work.

    • jack says:

      Dan – I agree totally on Mallet. He just can’t play.

    • steve earle says:

      Me too Dan, can’t waste a perfectly good locker on Mallett anymore.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      Maybe they can set Mallet up to succeed for the rest of the preseason to puff up his trade value.

      They could design a dozen plays around his long-ball strengths, mostly run the ball the first series, wait until the opponent’s first string defense is out of the game, then pass a bunch of long balls. Maybe he throws enough pretty ones to be worth a draft pick to a team that becomes desperate later in the month.

      • steve earle says:

        I don’t know GM that plan depends on hoping there is really at least one dumb GM out there. Still it’s worth a chance I guess. The other idea being floated is keep him on board and hope for a comp pick next year. Please God don’t let Tom get injured !!!

  20. Tosh says:

    Not going to lie, I missed a pretty good portion of the game but the announcers were saying Beauharnais looked good and the stats said 9 tackles… Was he simply lost in coverage a couple of times or did he just look lost and happen to be in the right place at the right time on those tackles?

    • Phil says:

      Dude he just looked bad…real bad.

      • Dan says:

        Funny! I was listening to those clowns talking up his game because he had some stats….he was being pushed around and run over. Put him out of your mind, he’s either making this team as a special-teamer or he’s being cut….at most a low end JAG. Those guys should stick to their fantasy football….they wouldn’t know a player if they tripped over one; always about stats with them.

    • steve earle says:

      Tosh, listening to anouncers desperate to give a terrable team performance a spin …. well…… Mike has it right with Beauh in the dog house.

      • Tosh says:

        well then its a good thing that theres……. oh wait there aren’t really any good backup linebackers on this team are there :p

        • steve earle says:

          Right but that doesn’t mean we white wash bad performances. If next week these same guys step up and have good games I’ll give them credit for that, I hope they do. But it is what it is.






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