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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Matt Cassel is a Chief

By Rocky

Matt Cassel is a Chef

It looks like the deal is the previously reported trade of Vrabel and now Cassel for the now disclosed 34th overall pick.

We think that the $14.65 million was the determining factor in the big move. Many Pats fans—and some on our staff—are crying about not getting much for the stud QB but a move had to be made. Sure, at the end of the season it looked like we could ask the world for the boy wonder, but the market collapsed over the past months. The Vikes went with Sage, the Bears are content with mediocrity at quarterback, the Leos are trying figure out how to work their fax machine, the 9ers didn’t have much to offer and the Bucs looked like they were clearing cap room to make a move but also think Luke McCown might be the answer. Cassel’s stock was up and then down due to the market. And because we don’t know a specific Wall Street simile we’ll pretend that Kraft runs a steakhouse: Essentially we had $14.65 million of prime rib but no room in the fridge for it. If we didn’t take the Chefs’ offer it would have spoiled in our backyard and we wouldn’t have the money to buy creamed spinach or blue cheese for our wedge salads (which if you listen to PFW In Progress, and you should, know that is the only masculine salad period).

We would have liked to get Gonzalez and the 34th overall but that was rendered off the table with the signing of Chris Baker The Touchdown Maker.

The Chiefs also may have offered the third overall pick which in this draft—deep, but not top talent heavy—isn’t as valuable in the long term as the 34th.

Are we psyched about the deal? Not really. Are we happy a deal was made? You betcha. Do we have any other questions that we are asking ourselves? Yes. Without Vrabel who’s going to catch goal line touchdowns?


Update on Vrabel Trade to the Chefs

By Greg

Every Pats fan right now is scratching thier undisclose draft pick?? It can mean only one thing; this is part of a bigger deal which includes Matt Cassel. is speculating that the only thing that is holding the deal up is the contract negiotations between the Chefs and Cassel.
With a trade of Cassel and Vrabel to the Chefs it would take 20 million off the books for the Patriots. Allowing them to sign other free agents or go in house and signing guys like Wilfork to long term deals.
As said before I am really hoping Tony G is part of this deal and the Patriots get at least a first back in this deal. Time will tell. I am expecting to see something by tomorrow.

Oh and you ask why I call the Chiefs the CHEFS? :

Friday, February 27, 2009

NOOOOO! Vrabel traded to the Chefs for?

By: Greg

When I read that Mike Vrabel was in KC for a physical I was thinking what are the Patriots doing! As I write this post I am thinking the same thing. What is the point in trading a versatile, smart linebacker who knows the system, a great leader and still puts up solid numbers across the board.

Vrabel, who was one of my favorite players on the team, lead the Patriots in sacks in 2007 with 12.5 and made the Pro Bowl. He was versatile enough to play inside, outside, D end and even tight end, where all he does is catch touchdowns. He was also a key component of the Foxboro locker room.

This leaves the Patriots linebacking core very thin.

Projected starters:
OLB Adalius Thomas
ILB Jerod Mayo
ILB Tedy Bruschi
OLB Pierre Woods
OLB Shawn Crable
OLB Vince Redd
OLB Darrell Robertson
OLB Angelo Craig
OLB Tully Banta-Cain
ILB Gary Guyton
ILB Bo Ruud
ILB Eric Alexander

Is Piere Woods or Tully for You Banta Cain really a starter in the NFL? I do not think so. The Patriots MUST draft an OLB in the first or second round of the draft.

There are two schools of thought out there about this deal:

1. It is about money

Look Vrabel was only owed over 2 million next year and 4.3 on the cap that is not much at all for a starting Pro Bowl OLB. If this is a move to keep Matt Cassel on the team I think it is extremely dumb. Why pay a back up 14 million and not pay a starter 2 million.

2. Its part of a bigger deal

I hope this one is correct. I am hoping the Pats send Matt Cassel to the Chefs for something good. How about that Tony Gonzalez fella (because we know he doesn't want to play in KC) and a couple draft picks. If this is the case then I will be more accepting of this trade.

I will now sit and wait and hope we land something or someone big. We will miss you Mike Vrabel.

Jabar Gaffney and the Snow Angel sign with the Broncos

Greg Rak

WR Jabar Gaffney and Long Snapper Lonnie Paxton have followed Josh McDaniels to the Broncos.

Lonnie Paxton has been the Patriots long snapper for 8 years and has snaped snaps for numerous famous Adam Vinatieri wining kicks. So without Lonnie there would be no Vinatieri.....just playing. Lonnie was a great snapper because I can never remember a time where I was yelling at the TV that there was a terrible snap which is what makes a good long snapper.
Lonnie was most known for his snow angel after Vinatieri's 2001 winning kick in the snow vs Da Raiiiiders in the tuck game. Lets hope his signing does not bite the Patriots in the ass and they can find another Long Snapper whom we wont know plays on the team. Just like refs if you dont say the long snappers name all game they must be doing something right.

Jabar has been a steady performer for the Patriots over the last few years totaling 74 catches and over 900 yards over the last two years. He has made some big plays (playoffs 2006) and made some big drops (Indy 2008, Super Bowl vs GMen). Playing along side Randy Moss and Wes Waterbug Welker should give constantly give you man to man coverage. In my eyes Jabar did not take advantage of that over the past two years. He is nothing more than a mediocre 3rd WR and I do not think this is a big loss at all.
Although this puts the Patriots thin at wide out and now need a new 3rd WR. Weather it is through the draft or through free agency the Patriots need to find someone who can beat those one on one coverages and give Moss and Welker more room to roam.

Pats get a Baker

The Patriots have signed TE Chris Baker formerly of the NY Jets. Baker caught 31 balls last year and 41 the year before. He is also a solid blocking tight end. The Jets had no need for him after the emergence of rookie Dustin Keller.

On Yahoo Sports list of Top Free Agents Chris Baker tops the list at TE. He will compete for time next to David "Baconater" Thomas and Ben Watson.

I think this is a solid pick up. He can block and catch the ball. He will push Watson and Thomas for playing time which is what they need. Both pick ups today of Fred Taylor and Chris Baker put pressure on Maroney and Watson respectively whom both will be considered busts if they do not perform this year.

The only thing that hurts for me here is that I was hoping to see Tony Gonzalez in a Pats uniform via trade and this signing hurts the chances of that happening. Ouuuu that would be nice.

Taylor Made for New England: Fred signs with the Pats

The Patriots made it offical today signing the the 12th vetern running back formerly of the Jaguars. He has rushed for over 11,000 yards and 62 TDs.

Belichick on Taylor.

"I have tremendous respect for Fred Taylor, both as a person and as a player whose production is outstanding," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement. "I look forward to working with Fred as he joins the rest of our running back group."

I believe he still has some gas left in his tank:

1. He played for Jax last year whose offensive line was terrible

2. Jax had no resemblsence of a passing game to keep from safetys creeping in the box

3. In 2006 and 2007 he ran for over 1,100 yards and averaged over 5.0 yards a carry

4. The Pats do not need him to be the guy whose getting 20 carries a game and he can come in the 4th quater when the Pats need to grind out clock especially in December and Janurary.

5. Hes a much better back than Straight ahead Sammy Morris, and Lamountain Jordan.

6. He provides a good change of pace from Lauren Maroney, if Lauren can stay on the field.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Strike the Viks from the Cassel trade pike

By: Greg Rak
It seems like one of the likly landing spots for Matt Cassel is all but dried up. The Vikings have struck a deal with the Texans for back up QB Sage Rosenfels.

The Texans and Minnesota are close to completing a trade that would send quarterback Sage Rosenfels to the Vikings, possibly for a fourth-round
draft choice.This is the second year in a row in which the Vikings have been interested in
acquiring Rosenfels as their starting quarterback. Rosenfels, who won six games
in the last two seasons when replacing the injured Matt Schaub, is approaching
the last year of his contract. If the trade is completed, the Vikings will want
to extend Rosenfels' contract.- Houston Croncile

In my mind the Vikings were front runners for Matt Cassel and are a QB away from making the Super Bowl with AP. I would say the additon of Sage all but strikes the Viks from the possible destination for Matt. However Sage is not the answer in Minnesota. (He lost me money last year)

The possible destinations now look like: Lions, Cheifs, Bears, Buccs

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Do We Want Fred Taylor?

By: Rocky Rakovic
Heard the news that the Pats are in the hunt for Taylor. Like any lazy blog we first checked out his Wiki page because what we remember most is that he was often injured and it looks like a pseudo-John Hodgman wrote his bio :

Taylor attended The university of Jamacia, and was married 17 times. His hobbies included; Kitten Eating, Soul Stealing, Necromancy, and Taking over Kazakistan. 16 out of 17 wives were found half eaten and torn apart in various places around his residence. After being charged, he was found innocent by a jury of his peers. Him and his last living wife now live in Iowa with his 17.5 children.

If Belichick does decide to fly him in from Iowa, first of all In Belichick We Trust, but we are not so much in love with an oft-hobbled eleven season vet. There are two other bright spots other than our blind faith in BB. The Sporting News is reporting that the Bills are also looking at Mr. Taylor and blocking them would be a smart move if Fred has more in his tank (because Marshawn Lynch went all Tank Williams). And if we do sign the kitten eater we won’t have to worry about him bitching about being added to our magical mix of running back-by-committee, he has spent his best years on the bench.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

TULLY FOR YOU Patriots: Pats sign Banta Cain

By Greg Rak

After failing as a starter in San Fran for two years Tully, whom has one of the greatest names in the NFL, will be coming back to New England. The Patriots have signed the OLB just a few days after he was cut. Tully will compete for playing time at OLB in a crowded race (Vrabel, Thomas, Crable, Redd, Woods, Roberston). He was a pass rushing specialist with the Pats from 2003-2006, recording a career high 5.5 sacks in 2006. He could not cut it in a new Niners system and as a full time player.

I think this is a great move, Tully for you Patriots! He brings a pass rushing specialist who knows the Patriots system and allows for Thomas or Vrabel to be moved inside on 3rd downs, giving the Pats a more athletic front 7 and better ability to cover RBs and TEs in the passing game.

Patritos cut Washington and Yates

By: Greg Rak
The Patriots have cut WR/Special Teamer Kelley Washington and OL Billy Yates.

Yates was a reserve at center and guard. He started 7 games in 08' and was in the final year of his contract which was less than 1 Million.

Washington was a superb special teamer but was rarely used at wide out. When signing from the Bungals, Washington was thought to be in competition for the 3rd/4th WR but his talents never shined through. He was owed a little bit over 1 Million this year. Washingtons speciality was downing punts. My thought is that with other specialists on the team such as Matthew Slater and Sam Aiken. Both of those players have higher upside and are more versatile at other positions so Kelley was moved out.

I will miss him waiving his finger in the air after downing punts inside the 10. Good Riddance Kelley.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How Bout it? McCallister anyone...

By: Greg Rak
Fox Sports reports that Pro Bowler CB Chris Mcallister was waived by the Ravens today. Secondary was the Patriots number one problem this year and by going after Mcallister could shore the corner back position up with Ellis at the other spot and last years rookies fighting for the 3rd and 4th positions.
It would cost the Pats 8 million and it could not happen unless they unload Cassell before. But its worth at least a look at because this years crop of CBs in free agency is extremely thin.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bens got a baby

By: Greg Rak
Earlier in the year after Ben Watson scored a touchdown he gave honor to his pregant wife and recieved a 10,000 dollar fine. Now Ben has recieved something else, a baby girl named Grace.

Ben shared this information with Dale and Holley on WEEI. Also on his interview with WEEI, Watson said he looks forward to this year and will start working out with the team in the next few weeks.

This year is a huge year for Ben, who is a free agent after the season. There are rumors to bring another TE either through the draft, free agency or trade (Tony Gonzalez).

Watson has the talent to be a great TE in the league and shows flashes but is incosistent. This year will be huge, in a contract year if he explodes for big numbers he could cash in but if he plays like he has his first couple years, he will be considered a bust.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kiper: "Cassel over Stafford and Sanchez"

Mel Kiper was quoted in his conference call today saying that if he was the Detriot Kittens or Chefs would take Matty Franchise over the two top draft QBs- Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez.

"If I were Detroit or Kansas City, I would make that move in a heartbeat. If
you’re asking me if I would rather have Matt Cassel or Matthew Stafford or Mark
Sanchez, I’d rather have Matt Cassel, he looked like he should have been
the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. It’s amazing. To watch him play this year,
if he would have been the No. 1 pick in the draft, people would have been very
happy with the way he’s playing right now,he came out the same year the other three quarterbacks did [Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Campbell] and right now he’s better than those other three – and I’m including [Jay] Cutler in that. I would rather have Cassel than Cutler. So, to me, I think Cassel is more than worthy of being a guy that the Kansas City Chiefs or Detroit Lions go after. He’s played to the level of a No. 1 pick overall this year.”- Kiper

This draft class is extremely weak so it comes with perfect timing that this King of the Cassel situation comes up. Stafford and Sanchez both have big time weaknesses. Stafford has all the tools but his overall record does not show great leadership and he often plays quiet at times. Sanchez has only been playing one year as a starter and even his coach did not want him to come out to the Draft.

If I am the Lions or Cheifs I would make the trade in a heart beat and if I am the Pats I would do the same. So lets make this thing happen.

Top Ten Plays of 2008

By Greg Rak

Here are the TOP 10 plays of the Patriots 2008-09 season:

10. Kevin Faulk’s fourth down run out of a direct snap to get a score and seal the win vs Niners

9. Kevin Faulks 16 yard reception from Matt Cassell vs the Rams with 3 minutes left in the game for the victory

8. Tie* Randy Moss’ 76 yard touchdown catch and run and Wes Welkers snow angle vs the Cardinals in a 47-7 blow out

7. Wes Welkers 64 yard catch and run vs the Dolphins in a revenge win to set up a touchdown for a ten point lead going into the fourth quarter

6. Ellis Hobbs 95 yard touchdown kick return to respond to the Raiders kick return for a touchdown on the previous play to contribute to the 49-26 romp by the Pats.

5. Wes Welker’s third down catch gaining 25 yards to the Seattle 6 yard line to set up the winning touchdown with less than 3 minutes to play

4.. Matt Cassel 13 yard touchdown rush to put the Pats up 7-0 over the Bills in the first quarter.

3. Bill Belicheks call on third down and 8 to punt the ball along with Matt Cassels 57 yard punt in the wind.

2. Brandon Meriweather’s strip sack vs Seattle to win the game

1. Cassel Pass to Randy Moss vs the Jets to force OT

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gas prices are down, Mannys Price is Up and the Pats Tickets stay the same

In a bad economy, Bob Kraft and the Patriots are looking out for thier fans by not increasing ticket prices for the 2009 season. The prices are as followed

$169 for Lowel Level Sideline seats.

Lower Level Corner/End Zone and Mezzanine Level Corner/End Zone: $117
Upper Level Sideline and Upper Level Corner (Rows 1-7): $89
Upper Level Corner (Rows 8-26): $65

Standing Room- 49

Kraft about the ticket prices:

"On behalf of the entire New England Patriots organization, we want you to know how much we all appreciate the support you have given this franchise over the years. Our season ticket holders continue to provide our foundation and you should take great pride in all that the team has accomplished in recent years. Without the dedicated support of our fans, we could not have built the championship tradition that we now celebrate in New England. ...
"In 2008, our family enjoyed its 15th season of ownership. While we are proud of the many championships that we have celebrated together, it is most gratifying to know that we have been able to sustain our success since 1994. Since then, we have won more Super Bowl championships, more conference titles and more overall games than any other team in the NFL. In addition, our fans have celebrated 11 consecutive home playoff victories since 1994, a stark contrast from the 0-1 home playoff record in the first 34 years of the franchise. Even though the 2008 season did not end the way we had all hoped, we certainly felt that the team improved each week and was playing its best at the end of the season."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Floyd Reese' top 10 draft picks/moves

Newly Aquired Floyd Reese has been know to draft tremedously. Here are some of the best draft picks/moves that Floyd made with the Oilers/Thumbtacks. He was the GM from 1994-2006

10. The 6th Rounders-
Anthony Dorsett- 1996- played 8 seasons made 290 tackles as a safety. Key component in thier Super Bowl run.
Justin Hartwig- 2002- Center- Started all 16 games for the Steelers this season and has started 79 games in his career including a superbowl run with the Titans

9. Bo Scaife- 2004- 6th- TE- This season has 58 catches and 561 yards. Averages 42 catches per season.

8. Kieth Bullock - 1st Round LB- Has over 900 tackles in 8 seasons and had 98 tackles for a great Titans defense this year.

7. Samari Rolle- CB- 1st Round- Pro Bowler in 2000, has 28 picks in his career.

6. Jon Runyan- OL- 1996- 4th Round-- Has started every game since 1997. Pro Bowler in 2002. Beast of a lineman

5 Javon Kerse- 1999- 1st- The Freak has 73 sacks in 9 seasons and disrupts QBs with his constant pressure.

4. Albert Haynesworth 2002- 1st- One of the Best DT since being draft. An umovable force.

3. Eddie George- RB- 1996- 1st Round- Propelled the Titans to a Super Bowl. Over 10,000 yards rushing and 68 TDs.

2. Derek Mason –1997- 4th round _ Potential Hall of Famer. Over 10,000 yards recieving. Still consistently having 1,000 yard seasons for the Ravens. A steal in the Fourth Round

1. Steve McNair-QB- 1995 -1st Round- Floyd took a chance on small school QB and it paid off with a trip to the Super Bowl. He was the MVP in 2003 and three time pro Bowler.

Pats hire fomer Titans GM and ESPNer Floyd Reese

Written 1.27.09

After losing Scott Pioli to the KC Chefs, the Pats got thinner in the Front Office and much younger. With that being said the Pats went out and hired expirenced and sucessful Floyd Reese. Floyd has been an ESPN anaylst for the last few years and before that he was the GM of the Houston Oilers/ Tennesse Thumbtack for 13 seasons. He has 32 years of expience in the NFL, 17 in player personell and 15 as a coach.

Reese commented on the status of the Patriots: ""This organization doesn’t need a lot of fixing. They are in pretty good shape, so I think my objective is to come in and do whatever I can do to help Mr. Kraft and Bill [Belichick] win another world championship,"

Bob Kraft on Reese: "We consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunity to add someone with Floyd Reese’s NFL experience and expertise to our staff,” Robert Kraft said in a statement. “Floyd will be a tremendous asset serving Coach Belichick in an advisory role.”

BB added: "Floyd and I go back a long way, practically to the beginning for both of us. He has handled as much as one person can possibly handle in this league and to a certain extent, so has Nick. In Nick and Floyd, we have two outstanding men who each bring a wealth of knowledge and flexibility to this organization. I look forward to joining with both of them and working toward the common goal of our team's improvement and success.”

I think this is a tremedous add for the Patriots. He was tremedously sucessful with the Oilers/ Thumbtacks. He drafts extremely well (Steve McNair, Eddie George, Javon Kerse) to name a few. Also during his time at ESPN you could tell he knew his stuff. Great add by the Pats. I hope he is here long term.

Bill O'Brien to take some of the reigns on offense

Written 1.24.09
The Patriots have promoted Bill O'Brien from Receiver coach to Quarterbacks coach. O'Brien was the OC and QBs coach at Duke. He has coached 14 seasons in the College level and has been with the Pats for two seasons. The Patriots have also said that he will have input on the play calling. This seems to be a door that is slightly open. Meaning the Pats are still looking for someone to be the offensive coordinator but if they can not find any one they will go with Obrien with alot of input from Belichick to call 9 routes to Randy Moss. O'Brien is an Andover native and attended Chris Bermans alum in good old Rhode Island. Meanwhile Pete Mangurian who coached the tight ends the last four years and has prior offensive coordinator experience (Falcons 2003) has left the team and is rumored to go to the Bucs.

It is what it is...

Written 1.25.09

Bill Belichick will be at the Super Bowl not coaching but as a comentator. Yes the same Bill Bilchik that says things like "It is what it is", and "No Comment". He will be along side Chirs Collinsworth breaking down plays, strategies and matchups. This will be great to see Bill open up in the National eye and show his true wisdom and love for the game. While I think this game will be very entertaining and I cant wait to hear the Boss at half time, the thing i will be looking forward to the most is Bilchick's breakdown.

A Martz Man?

Written 1.22.09

Rumor has it that and Peter King reports that Bill Belichick might be intersted in bring in recently fired Offensive Cordinator Mike Martz to call the plays for the Patriots. Please be a rumor and that is it. Bringing in Martz would be a nightmare. He is an all pass and no run type of coordinator. He is very stubborn in his play calling and while i know that sacred hoodie has great respect and love of Martz I dont think the two will mesh well together. As Rex Ryan said in his pre conference that playing in the Northeast you must have an all weather offense and Martz is more of a one kind of weather offense (perfect weather). You need to run the ball and run the ball well in December and Janurary. WHile Tom Brady would put up rediculous numbers I do not think that this offense and Mike Martz would be a good fit in New England. So hopefully Mike Martz is not a Marked man.