Monday Morning Musings: Are The Patriots Back?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

First off, sorry for the delay in getting new content out. Between work, being sick, and 2 small children, I just have not found the time to sit down and really evaluate these players. I did get to watch the game in peace and quiet last night and boy, was it a nice change. In fact, it was a great weekend all around from a sports perspective. The Cyclones won, putting themselves just one win away from being Bowl eligible, the Yankees lost, and of course, the Patriots won.

I will fully admit, I was less than confident that the Patriots were going to win last night. If we are all honest with ourselves, you can understand my negative outlook on the game. At no point in the season before last nights game has this team played well enough to expect a win. I saw first hand a few weeks back a defense that looked completely lost on the field and made Cam Newton, a guy who could only muster three points against the Bears yesterday, look like an MVP candidate. In the weeks following, we saw the defense play a little better in certain aspects, but then the offense seemed to take a step backwards.  Add to the fact that the Patriots went into last nights game against one of the better offenses (at least on paper) without their #1 and #3 cornerbacks (at least on paper).

So what changed? Maybe less than we think. There is no doubt that the team played better last night than in the previous 6 weeks as a whole, that cannot be disputed. Maybe when Belichick said that the team was a work in progress and that they were improving each week, that was not just coach speak. In this day and age, we have become accustomed to immediate results. It seems that everything these days can be accessed instantly and we as fans assume that success on the field should come just as fast. There could be an argument made that players, both old and new to the team, may have assumed that as well. This is still a game that success can be directly correlated to hard work and fundamentals. Those are two traits that do not come easy. When a team buys into working hard and being fundamentally sound, the other aspects of the game fall into place.

It was an interesting off season that I think bled into the regular season. There is always talk about the losing team in the Super Bowl having a hangover the next season. In my opinion, the way the Patriots won the Super Bowl last February may have created a similar affect. The way the Patriots came back to win that game along with the vindication factor from deflategate seemed to carry through to this season. Everywhere we look, there have been references made to the 28-3 score from the Super Bowl and the subsequent comeback. We have also been flooded with images of Roger “the clown” Goodell. Throughout the summer, we heard Belichick try very hard to get his message across that this was a new team and a new season, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears. I have no idea if the players allowed this to fester in the back of their mind, but I know they are human, and it is hard to not see and hear this stuff and not let it affect you.

The other aspect that I felt affected the team early on was the talk of the Patriots winning the offseason and the potential of the perfect season. Again, this type of rhetoric is not supposed to creep into the minds of the players, but again, I think it would almost be impossible for it not to. On paper, the team brought in more talented players than the team that just won the Super Bowl, but those players may have thought that winning is a right in New England, not something that must be earned. Add to the fact, that the team lost some guys who may not have been big time playmakers for the team, but strong locker room influences that created a strong team dynamic in the locker room. Guys like Ninkovich, Ryan, and even Long were all considered strong leaders. Then you add Gilmore, which shakes the confidence of Butler, and you are left with a defense that lacks a strong sense of leadership and continuity.

Hopefully with last nights performance, the team can now let go of the past and focus on building a championship team for this year. For the first time all year, they seemed to be playing with confidence and players were doing their job. If they can build off of this performance, we may get the gratification we were all wanting and expecting.




86 Responses to “Monday Morning Musings: Are The Patriots Back?”

  1. Big w says:

    You got to be kidding Jimmy for 2nd round we would have the same or bettet record with him in. The new NFL has qb who can get a first down with thier legs . This is a stupid nostalgia attitude that doesn’t work in the NFL. Time waits for no one dammit.

  2. Daniel Sullivan says:

    I would like for Patriots to trade for Jeremiah Attaochu DE he would be an
    additional Pass Rusher that would help a lot.
    Stay aggresive Patriots!

  3. Daniel Sullivan says:

    I wonder if Collin Kapernick will be Brady’s backup. Very talented and Patriots
    system he may buy into.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      Kaep would cost them a compensatory pick, which they didn’t want to give up for Hoyer. Also, Kaep doesn’t have great pocket composure…at least it wasn’t great his last season as a starter.

    • steve earle says:

      Glad they didn’t go that route Kap is just to divisive a commodity.

  4. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Jimmy G to 49ers for a second round pick in 2018 draft. Came on during Celtics game.
    There must be another trade soon to follow.

  5. Russell says:

    If Hogan is going to miss any time, I look for, WR Cody Holister to be moved up from P-Squad. He has the most time in the system from training camp.
    Interesting Waddle got the call at ROT, and not Fleming.
    Wonder if Gilmore is trade material, but for his big contract.

  6. macspak says:

    Just thinking out loud – is Brady slipping a little bit in terms of arm strength and accuracy. He’s moving better than ever in the pocket but my eyes detect slight slippage. Yes, he still throws darts and makes some amazing pin point throws but it is the overall I am seeing and wondering about.

    • Jack Greguoli says:

      Yes, Brady is slipping. He’s 40 years old. There are going to be times he looks his age. That doesn’t explain how he missed a wide open Hogan and threw into double coverage for Cooks in the end zone. that cost the team 7 points. I have to think he will see that on film and fix that mistake going forward. As long as the Oline keeps improving and can keep him upright, this team will get better.

  7. GM-in-Training says:

    Ok, so 2 days before trade deadline.

    Information needed: How bad is Hogan’s shoulder? Is Hightower really out for the whole season? Is Cannon’s ankle going to get better? Are McClellin and Valentine for sure returning?

    At this point, I would place getting a #2 Y TE as the biggest opportunity for improvement…another red zone threat who can support run or pass. I like it as insurance and as a way to lighten Gronk’s workload to give him the best chance of being Gronk when we need him to be. Erik Ebron is a little bit lighter and shorter than I prefer, but he may be available for reasonable.

    I would say the next opportunity for improvement is getting a 6’4″ 270# DE who can set the edge and get the occasional sack…preferably with 35″ arms. To get that DE we’d possibly have to assume a pricey cap # and trade away an RB or picks. I was guessing if Hightower goes to IR, we get some cap relief that might be enough to pay a pro-rated amount for a $8M/year or so DE whose team is willing to move on. Dunno who out there is like that.

    There are rumors the Pat’s are interested in Pittsburgh’s Martavis Bryant as kind of a poor-man’s Randy Moss. The Pat’s normally stear clear of divas, and why would Pit help out the Pat’s, but it might add big-play and red zone help.

    Another possible move for the Pats would be to bring up Will Tye from the PS. He started 17 games for the Giants in the past couple years, and has caught 89 passes and 4 TD. How does that kind of player end up released twice in a couple months and on a PS?

    Interestingly, 8 of 10 PS players for the Pats either catch balls or try to stop people from catching balls. I don’t know what that says about the variety they need for scout teams, or what, but I don’t ever remember them having so few OL/DL/LB on the PS.

  8. Mike Gerken says:

    Good to get the win today, but who would have thought 3 or 4 weeks ago that the offense would be the concern. Hopefully the bye can help get things on track on both sides of the ball.
    I thought Van Noy played really well today. The offense really misses Edelman and I think the team will make sure they bring in someone with a similar skill set to develop and be ready if something like this should happen again. This offense has always looked better when Brady has that type of guy to throw to.

    I thought Solder played his best game in 2 seasons and overall the line did a nice job of keeping Brady upright. The gameplan was clearly to get the ball out quick to the RB’s and it worked between the 20’s, but the redzone was an ugly mess.

    Speaking of mess, I thought the Gostkowski issues were over with, but 2 missed field goals-one left, one right-from the same distance is a concern.

    More thoughts to come once the kids go to bed. If they actually do go to bed that is.

  9. steve earle says:

    Solder had a really nice game today, gave a little push on the back once he got called on but managed the DE’s pass rush darn well against top rushers. Overall def is improved and with the buy week hopefully guys will get well for the 2nd half push.

    • macspak says:

      that was an absolute BS call

      • steve earle says:

        Yea I agree but so many are for and against. Another one was on one of the long Charger completions where our off side outsider rusher was dragged down from behind but it wasn’t called. Stuff happens!

  10. macspak says:

    This poor red zone, and almost red zone, offense is bound to catch up with us if not dramatically and quickly improved.

    • steve earle says:

      Another indication of how much Edelman is missed. Also not crazy about play calling I’d like to see a couple more play action on 1st down when down there. Chargers def also had some to do with it but agree we need to get better

  11. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Pats interested in Martavis Bryant from Pittsburgh. Best described as a poor mans Randy
    Moss. Loads of potential.

  12. Russell says:

    IOWA STATE does it again ! Should move up from #25 to say #15 in the country! I doubt Mike caught the game………:0)
    Saw a few interesting prospects step-up this week.

  13. macspak says:

    Looks like weather may not be a factor until late, if at all. Would be best to have the lead if and when the wind and rain hits.

  14. macspak says:

    Big game today. Huge difference with a win going into the bye and being 6 and 2 v 5 and 3. Also, 3 home losses on the year is unfathomable. Not sure when the rain and wind begins but bad weather, as usual, should favor the Pats. LA doesn’t see much rainy and windy weather. That’s a tough D and pass rush chargers have. Inclement weather or not I expect a big focus on the run game. Would be nice to have an almost even run/pass balance. A good running game and OL push and performance is the best way to negate Ingram and Bosa.

    Still don’t trust the D, or the OL, but Pats should be the better team and playing at home and in bad weather should be the edge needed for victory.

  15. macspak says:

    Trades – I expect nothing major. I think RB is our only position of strength that we might trade from. We’ve already traded quite a few of our later round picks in the next two drafts. Loathe to give up any of our higher picks, which could negatively impact the future.

    The loss of Hightower creates a huge void at LB but probably will be filled by Harris and McClellin. Really, what is out there? It would be nice to replace Allen with a TE who could block and be a viable receiving threat. But, who would want him? I see M Bennett is saying this is his last year. Could BB get him back for peanuts? What would the salary impact be of cutting Allen and trading for Bennett? Would be nice if Dorsett could become more of a contributor.

    I don’t see trading any secondary player. Not enough quality depth. Plus, secondary needs to be stronger and not weaker, especially with the weak pass rush. Don’t see a need for any more pure ST’s.

    BB didn’t see a need to make a roster move with Brown out today so I doubt he trades for back-up interior DL, particularly with Valentine, hopefully, coming back.

    I’d love to see a major DE or LB acquisition but don’t expect it. Not even sure this year a depth or ST trade is in the cards though I’d love dumping Allen and picking up Bennett or a similar TE move.

    • steve earle says:

      We are on the same page here Mac can’t add much only that I doubt Allen is going anywhere if only for his blocking ability. Who knows though? Oh yea, rain started up here before sun was up, lakes region NH. Enjoy the game!

  16. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Trade deadline fast approaching here is my trade for Patriots.

    I would trade with Miami who couldn’t look any worse than they did the other night.

    Patriots receive Charlie Harris DE and Leonte Carroo WR and Miami’s fourth round pick.

    Miami would receive Elandon Roberts ILB and Patriots first round pick for 2018.

    You would strengthen Pass Rush and a solid wide receiver who just needs playing time.

    Patriots keep having injuries they need to have a upgrade to strengthen team.

    • steve earle says:

      Why would Miami ever do that, trade with a team in their own division especially the Pat’s?

      • Daniel Sullivan says:

        Collins ran for 113 yards for Ravens he has been a 3rd string back so Roberts would
        help Miami stop the run right now the guys I mentioned the Patriots receiving hardly play except
        Caroo played a lot the other night and did well. Miami getting a number one pick
        gives them chance to strengthen for future. If you saw Miami the other night they are
        really bad. I think BB makes a move by the deadline on October 31.

        Go Pats!
        Dan S

        • steve earle says:

          Agree Miami really bad but Harris is a guy with high upside but trading him to us, even for a 1st in 18 would kind of be spinning their wheels trying to close the talent gap, let alone adding WR Carroo. Now, if somehow they could be talked into such a deal, to bad for them, good for us. It’s never gonna happen.

  17. Russell says:

    Tampa Bay cut DE Marquavis Lewis 6’3″ 270 lbs. South Carolinia. I watched a lot of tape on him and had him on my Patriot draft board as a 6th-7th round. Worth a Look? Max Tuerk was resigned to the Chargers P-Squad. I think Tuerk would be worth a look as a TE prospect.

    • steve earle says:

      Yup, bring them both in for a look anyway. Any inside on Hollister? We could use that extra TE target out there.

  18. Russell says:

    As far as trades go;; CB Butler makes the most sense. To sign him BB will need to offer $8-10 mil., tagging him would cost $10++ for only one yr.
    Solder is currently getting $ 10 mil .this yr. and likely is done with the Patriots unless a friendly deal could be reached for say 2 yrs. (could happen)
    Garoppolo, may also be in the mix for a friendly deal to stay in town. To tag him would be $15 mil.++ and only one yr. (unlikely) Tagging him to trade him, seems unlikely with a rookie backing up Tom next yr. ??
    Loseing both Garoppolo, & Butler to free agency for TWO 3d round Comp. picks in 2019 seems unlikely for sure.
    Looking at Comp. picks this yr. , looks like maybe a 4th (LB sheard ) & 6th (RB blount & DE Long.)

    • Russell says:

      That 6th Comp. pick is canceled out with, RB Burkett, DL Guy. Sorry……

      • steve earle says:

        On comp picks OTC projects we should get 3 comps, other analysts suggest 2, Lance Zierlein thinks two 4th’s. As always these guesses are all over the place so we won’t know until it happens. I’m going with Lance just because “Gee that would be nice”.

    • steve earle says:

      What are you reading my mind, I no sooner mention getting extra picks and your on top of it already? Okay! I’d still like to see BB sign CB Butler for that 8-10 mil say 3 year deal. He’s a proven CB for the team and heck I just like him. Can anyone think that Bill is just going to let JG just wave buy buy without getting something? I don’t, whether it’s a 2nd & a 3rd or a 1st & 4th or whatever? As far as a backup next year for Tom a FA vet is as good as any rookie QB they may draft late. Should be one or two of those available.

      • Russell says:

        I believe if BB tags Garoppolo ($15 mil. ++) and then trade him the “tag” deal goes with him. Unless the New team made him a higher contract offer.
        I think BB has an idea (or plan) he can sign Garoppolo to a friendly deal to stay a Patriot. (3yrs, $8 mil. per yr. ??????)
        If the Patriots could get QB Mason Rudolph in the draft then trading Garoppolo looks better. (San Francisco ???) Lots of teams in need of a QB, Browns, Jets, S.F. , Arizona,
        NO Ted Washington prospects on my radar as yet. DE Chubb is the best DL prospect, that would fit the Patriots. You would have to trade QB Garoppolo to get a pick high enough to get Chubb.

        • Turbo says:

          If we trade Jimmy G i want Will Grier or Finley as a QB pick.

          With Hightower out again, LB is really basically our biggest need in the off-season.

        • Turbo says:

          Ohhhh, i meant to write Riley Ferguson and Ryan Finley. I don’t know why i wrote Will Grier, my bad.

        • steve earle says:

          Bill may think he can resign Jimmy but the only way I can see that happening is if he guarantees Jimmy the starting job (sooner rather then later) like in 2019.
          Only way we get QB Rudolph (yea I like him too) is make the JG trade first otherwise we have to use a high pick for a QB who doesn’t play and miss out on picking an impact player. Not the way to rebuild either def front or O-line seems to me. Those two areas should be the priority.

  19. Russell says:

    I’m not sold on TE Allen, BUT he has not been targeted at all in the passing game. This could be partly by design, for the second half of the season ??
    Hightower, Gronk, & Amandola are great players, but seem to push their bodies, and are injured a lot. Drafting in those areas seems likely.
    My #1 prospect LB Micah Kiser has a knee issue which likely moves him down draft boards.
    A QB I’m watching is Jeremiah Briscoe Sam Houston state, 6’3″ 225 lbs. great looking arm, nice foot work, makes smart passes, on target, strong leader. (like Carson Wentz ??)
    With Hightower out, I look for more 5 DB on the field, but I’m not sold on Richards. I like David Jones, (P-Squad) 6’3″ 210 lbs, a GREAT tackler at Richmond, before breaking an arm or would have been drafted. I watched a lot of tape on him last year.

    • steve earle says:

      I thought D. Jones was going to make the 53 back at the cut down. Likely will be brought up if Riley doesn’t work out. About the draft my thinking is Bill needs to address both fronts early. What position, where will depend on who is available so we can only guess. I’m thinking Solder will be allowed to test the market and likely be gone so at least one OT will have to be in the top 3 rds even with Garcia returning. Another vet, Branch, needs to have a likely successor added eith by draft or signing. That big run stuffier up front is important. (Any Ted Washington’s out there Russell?) By my count that leaves only one of the top 3 rds not accounted for, unless BB gets us some more picks. Jimmy G. trade?

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I was a big fan of Jones as well. It will be interesting to see if he can make the jump next year. Injuries have been an issue for him and have stunted his growth. I thought he would get drafted with size/athleticism combo.

  20. Philip says:

    I was thinking about the pass-protection issue. How about the idea of trading Solder to the Seahawks for a 3rd + 5th round pick and then trading the 2nd round pick to the 49er for Staley.

    The loss of Hightower can never be covered, but I assume that Harris will now play a bigger role and McCellin gets off IR. So his loss can be a little bit compensated.

    To improve the pass-rush I assume a trade for Tamba Hali or even Peppers. Both play small to no roles (Hali is still on PUP) so they wouldn’t cost more than a late round pick.

    • td says:

      Umm, then who plays LT?

      • td says:

        Gonna take a whole lot more than that to get Staley

      • Philip says:

        the 49ers are a team who is going to change and their season is already lost. Staley is a 33year old veteran.
        Chances are there that they could trade him due to the fact that he is already 33years old and his play, according to PFF, started already to dip over the course of the last two seasons. He is still one of the better LT, he is no elite anymore.
        As I meantioned before, the 49ers are a team that could look to gather another 2nd round (and may a future mid-round) pick in order to have a better next year.

        • steve earle says:

          Perhaps, if, maybe, thing is trading Solder mid stream isn’t a very good idea seems to me. Trading for a 33 yo. doesn’t excite me much either even if SF would which I question. Better to ride out the year, Solder isn’t terrible as some suggest, has some slip ups but better then league average LT.

  21. GM-in-Training says:

    Jake Kumerow added to practice squad, and apparently Mike Purcell didn’t stick.

    Kumerow seems like a scout team dream. Tall, smooth routes and ok top end speed, but not amazing acceleration (1.62 second 10-yard dash is about 0.1 slower than Cooks and Dorsett). He can play the part in practice of the tall-competitor WR of the week.

    So, if Hightower is done for the season, some combination of Van Noy, Harris and McClellin fill in. I think almost $4M of Hightower’s cap number was prorated, roster bonus and play-time incentives.

    So this could free up a couple million in cap this year, bringing it up to maybe $7M available.

    It would still be awesome to have one more stud DE.

  22. GM-in-Training says:

    One other thought about trades and cuts;

    If the Pats trade an expensive player, half his salary goes to the new team’s cap.

    If the Pats cut a player to sign a free agent, that player’s whole year of salary is probably guaranteed, as long as they were on the team the first week of the season.

    The Pats don’t usually get rid of players to create cap space this time of year…but I guess an under-performing, overpaid player who was more valuable to somebody else could get traded?

    • steve earle says:

      In context of discussion regarding TE Allen would that make it more or less desirable to seek a trade such as one Allen for Ebron that has been talked about here? Are there any other trade scenarios that fit this concept?

      • GM-in-Training says:

        Trading D. Allen seems to free up about $1.4M of cap space more than cutting him would. If the team that wants him doesn’t have a player the Pats want, they could try to flip him for a pick then use pick(s) to get a player they like who would likely use up the $1.4M or more. If they got a pricey veteran DE for only 8-9 games, it’s almost like getting them for half off. They’d have about $6.4M of cap space to cover half of a blue-chip DE’s salary. That might be doable.

        The Niners Aaron Lynch is 6’6″ 270 and talented, but he doesn’t have an awesome attitude, and he’s only got 1 sack so far this year. He had 6 sacks as a rookie, and 6.5 sacks his second year in the league. He plays OLB pass rusher mostly, of late but he’s built to be a DE. He’s on the last year of his rookie deal, so he’d be cheap.

        Besides Ebron, I don’t know any other TE that would be available and an upgrade.

        I did hear somebody suggest we could get Martellus Bennet back because Green Bay’s season is probably toast. That’d almost be funny.

        • steve earle says:

          Funny yea, like when Blount left then we got him back. Another stud DE would be good too.

    • td says:

      If you mean this years salary is split by both teams yes.

      The team that first signed a guy is on the hook for any and all guaranteed monies and I believe the full amount would be applied to cap figures at start of next year.

      It seems that both Allen and Dorsett do not have TB12’s trust at this point.

  23. steve earle says:

    LB Riley up from P-sqd. Harvy Langi non football injury.

  24. GM-in-Training says:

    Anybody have any last-minute predictions for trade deadline activity?

    At this point, it would be crazy to trade any RB, WR, CB or DL. Lewis is on fire. Butler is resurging and depth is thin. Dorsett hasn’t really developed chemistry with TB, but there’s nobody on the practice squad who seems ready to step up and is similarly quick. The DL has lost some depth.

    I’ve heard it suggested we could trade Fleming or Waddle…for what exactly? A more expensive OT? We only have $5 Mil in cap space so…dunno.

    It would be great to have another stud DE…but the best we’re likely to get is a potential stud who has been incorrectly utilized by his current team, has an attitude problem, or is #3 on the depth chart behind superstars…see any of those?

    • steve earle says:

      Well looks like you analyzed the situation correctly GM and sorry but I have no great idea how to acquire any major help. At least not without trading away some of our best players, which is a zero sum result exercise.

    • Turbo says:

      I can only think about Aaron Lynch or someone from the Carl Nassib/Nate Orchard duo now that Myles Garrett is healthy.

      Some say that Eric Ebron is on the trade block so i wouldn’t mind grabbing him and getting rid of Allen at the same time. PP has a good article about that and i’m all for it.

      • steve earle says:

        I hear your frustration with the Def but can’t see any of the guys you mention making much difference. They are all journeymen but even so don’t come free, we would have to give up something (player swap or draft pick) which I’m not sure could be worth it. Allan for Ebron, six one half dozen for the other seems to me but I’ll check out that article in PP.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        I think trading away Dwayne Allen is financially painful. The Pats paid him a $2M roster bonus and he’s got about a $2.5M salary, which they’d dump half of if they trade him…basically paying a team to take him away. They’d free up maybe $1.4M in cap space. Then, they’d be on the hook for more than half of an Eric Ebron’s $5M 5th year option, dropping their cap space to about $3.5M. I guess if they really were confident Ebron would come up to speed and stay healthy it might make sense.

        It’s not a perfect fit though. He can catch passes, but he doesn’t do much in the red zone, which is really what they need from TE.

        • steve earle says:

          Right, the money thing is a consideration for sure but as you note there is no way we will know how soon Ebron can get up to speed if at all. As for the red zone that would be a wash only positive I could see is Ebron might catch some passes from snaps.

      • steve earle says:

        Okay Turbo I checked out the article and most of it pretty much is what I was thinking. The part about a trade Allen for Ebron I can’t find any big fault with except why should we throw in a draft pick as both are having down years. A straight player for player (right after Sundays game) giving Ebron two weeks to get ready for Denver is okay and maybe the change would do both good. So now we wait and see what BB and Detroit think I guess.

      • td says:

        I think they’re counting on Hollister to come back and he had TB12’s trust by throwing to him when he was in there.

  25. Russell says:

    Good to hear your feeling better Mike! Highly unlikely BB drafts an OT first, in fact I think trader BB will trade the 1st pick for a 2nd & 3d picks.

    MY OCT. Mock;
    1st. pick; LB Micah Kiser ; Virginia
    2nd. pick; TE Mike Gesicki ; Penn State
    3d .pick; OT/G Braden Smith ; Auburn

    • steve earle says:

      Wouldn’t be surprised one bit if BB trades our #1 for a 2 & 3 but then always surprised by what he does do. Also your Oct mock has three good picks who look like good fits. I’m not ready to put one together just yet but I do think an O-linemen should be taken early (1st or 2nd), our depth is appalling seems to me. Brandon Smith OL reportedly said he is returning (unfinished business) for his Sr. year.

      • Russell says:

        This is Braden Smith’s senior yr. 6’5″ 305 lbs. 5.12 40 yd. Mostly played OG at Auburn, and has very quick feet, also benched 515 lbs. three reps. Smart player with experience (BB like Experience at the position ) Has played OT on the right side, again showing quick feet.

        • steve earle says:

          That’s good! I kept him on my board in case he changed his mind. Must have been an old link I was reading. Wish they put dates on these things.

  26. macspak says:


    Nice to have you back. Hope you are feeling better.

    Yes, great game and victory. Hopefully the ship has been righted.

    Any idea why the prior article stopped accepting comments. We were stuck at 88 comments for a week or so. I think all of us were having withdrawals!

    • steve earle says:

      LOL Mac, Yea withdrawals sounds about right!

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Hmmm, I am not sure why the comments would have stopped. I will check into it and see what I can find. Hopefully that won’t happen again.

      Also, glad to be back. Man, getting sick sucks. As a kid, you could lay in bed and watch cartoons, but now a days, everything still has to get done. I think I am finally caught up. fingers crossed.

  27. steve earle says:

    Glad your back Mike and hope your well. Best to family, two little ones can be a handful.
    Relief to see Pat’s playing well last night. Both Butlers had strong games and DB’s did great job as a unit. Do we make anything of that? Lewis and O-line drove the ball down field with conviction. Can’t leave out D-line coming together at last, things are looking up.

    Now I’m starting to build my draft board and hope you guys are too. I’m hot for drafting a LT early and wan’t your opinions on a couple prospects. Connor Williams, Texas: a top prospect. Will he slide down to us due to his knee injury or will teams look past it and take him before we get a chance? My best option ( at this early date), Martinas Rankin, Miss St.: Best 2nd choice for we can expect to be picking?

    • Turbo says:

      I would be surprised if BB goes OT in round 1. I’m sure he wants to take a look at Antonio Garcia before investing to a tackle in the first. I would extend Solder for 1 year hoping he can pull off one more solid season, Garcia could rotate with him and Cannon to see what he’s capable of at the NFL level.

      Branch is probably gone after the season so a DT should be adressed early, i’m thinking about 3rd round. Our LB corp is one of the worst in the league, so it should be another early pick (Roquan Smith, Josh Allen). I wonder how BB wants to use Rivers next year, i think he could be good in a Jamie Collins role and used as a situational pass rusher on 3rd downs.

      So my priority right now is strengthening the front 7 with the early picks.

      • steve earle says:

        Well yea, it’s unlikely BB goes for an OT with a first but it’s just my thinking that it would be a good way to start out. I have no problem having two good young OT’s on the roster and Connor Williams, if fully healthy, could be really special but what will be, who knows. Don’t see Solder being resigned, to much cap hit and iffy production so far this season though that could change. Also agree Branch needs a successor at his age so might I suggest Vita Vea. Big, strong Quick reminds me of Wolfolk. Would require a 1st I think but worth it IMO. Another intriguing prospect is Maurice Hurst from Mich. Under sized but extremely quick penetrating DT. About LB’s I have a few on my board already, Tremaine Edmunds, Marquis Haynes, Darius Leonard, Josey Jewell and Tegrey Scales. All are worth watching I think? At this stage I’m throwing names out, not predicting, but just for consideration, so what do you think Turbo?

        • Turbo says:

          Well Vita Vea is too incosistent for me and Hurst is probably going to be a 1st rounder and i don’t like him that much. I like Taven Bryan, Tim Settle or even Steven Richardson (sadly he’s not as productive as last year) mainly cause they can generate some pressure from the interior which we haven’t really seen from a long time.

          I like Treamine Edmunds, but he’s probably going to so smash the combine and be a top 15-20 pick.

          As for LB, i really want a smaller guy who can cover WR’s. Also i wonder if Jack Cichy is going to declare or not i like him as well.

      • steve earle says:

        Yea, agree Taven Bryan is right up there too and I’d be really happy to see him in Pat’s uniform. But will he be available for us?
        Tim Settle is a red shirt soph I believe so is he coming out this draft? Richardson I’m not sure of, have to do some research.

      • steve earle says:

        Oh yea, forgot to ask, in what way do you find Vea inconsistant

        • Turbo says:

          Sometimes i watch him and he blows my mind and i think he’s an easy top 20 pick and the next game he’s not showing anything i feel like he’s a 5th or 6th rounder at best.

        • steve earle says:

          Must admit I have only seen him play once and it was one of those “top 20” games I guess. Even given your input I believe given where ( lower 6-7 picks ) in first rd he would be a tremendous value. In BB’s system (rotating players) A big guy like him has a better chance of staying fresh and staying effective. No idea what games he “disappeared in” but would ask, did the other team run over him?

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I too have put my focus on Tackle, DE/Edge rushers, DT’s, and Corners. These are 4 position I think are needs and positions you can’t have enough of.
      With it coming out that Solder’s son has had to start up chemo again, I think we can understandably trace some of his struggles to off field issues. Hopefully some good news on that front will help him on the field.

      • Jeff says:

        I think strong safety and linebacker could be considerations as well, especially if the Pats end up with an extra selection or 2.

        • steve earle says:

          Some thought being that we will get two 4th rd comp picks I’ve read, that could help. I’m looking to watch a couple mid round LB’s, Tegray Scales and Josey Jewell. One of those might be worth a try. If Bill goes for the OLB he should go early or the best ones will not be there. Don’t think saf is an early pick but take a look at Coles Rayes S No. Dak. 6-2 215 4.45 projected with good stats.

        • steve earle says:

          Darn, another Oops! 40 time for Rayes should be 4.54 not 4.45. Sorry about that these darn Oops’s are getting to be a habit.

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