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Friday, May 29, 2009

Who will return kicks next season?

By: Greg
The Patriots for some reason traded starting corner and best kick return man Ellis Hobbs to the Iggles which leaves a big hole at kick returner. As we know field position is huge in the NFL and having a guy who can break a few tackles give you great field position is key.

Hobbs last season had 45 kick returns for a 28 yard average. The next behind him was Matt Slater with 11 KR and a measly 14 yard average (and a big fumble in a key game), followed by Kevin Faulk (18 avg) and Sammy Morris (18 avg)

So who will return kicks?
First lets strike players from the list:

  • Kevin Faulk from the list, he is mister everything and I do not want to waste him on Kick Returning, he also does not have that explosiveness

  • Same with Straight ahead Sammy Morris, so hes off the list

  • Wes Welker- too much of an injury concern to have the waterbug get smushed and injured on KRs

  • Obsious nos- Fred Taylor, Randy Moss, Joey Galloway

Now lets get into the guys who would be able to take it to the house

  • Matt Slater, he did it last year but only averaged 18 yards per and I dont trust him-

  • Laurence Maroney- he did it well in 2006 and averaged 28 yards per, but if he is the starting RB do we want him returning kicks? (maybe he wont be)

  • Greg Lewis- he has a little experience but has not shown greatness, so no to him too

  • Brandon Tate- he excelled in this at college but right now he is hurt, if healthy I could see him there

  • Julian Eldelman- still a question mark to make the roster but if he does I would love to see him return kicks, hes is a stud athlete and will be great on special teams, and has to if he wants to make the team

  • Darius Butler and Patrick Chung-both of these guys did it in college and were pretty damn good at it. Chung wont start right away so I can see him returning kicks and Butler is like Ellis Hobbs in his speed and athleticism- again I would like to see either one of these guys return kicks

The Verdict? The Rankings.....

1. Darius Butler- guy can burn

2.Patrick Chung- playmaker

3. Julian Edelman- in love with his athleticism, man crush

4. Laurence Maroney- if he doesnt start at RB, have him return kicks


Tony V. passed along this video, it brings back memories of the explosive offense that the Pats had 2 seasons ago. We cant wait for football season!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New England a possibilty for OLB Greg Ellis

By: Greg

The Cowboys are shopping OLB Greg Ellis and they want New England to buy.

"Former Dallas Morning News Cowboys beat writer Calvin Watkins, now with AOL’s Fanhouse, has reported that Dallas has approached New England and Cincinnati about a possible trade for veteran OLB/DE Greg Ellis.

Citing multiple sources, Watkins writes that the Cowboys have approached New England and the Bengals about trading Ellis, but one source told Watkins that the Patriots are not interested in Ellis, who turns 34 in August. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was a Cowboys defensive coach from 1999-2006.
Dallas seems determined to move Ellis. On Thursday he was sent home from the team’s organized team activities."

Another intriguing possibility at outside rush linebacker. The Patriots lost out on Jason Taylor, did not want to pay for Julius Peppers and did not draft an OLB. Now comes Greg Ellis.

Last season Ellis had 8 sacks and the year before he had 12.5, so the guy can get after the QB and would most likely be an upgrade over the inexperience that the Pats have. BUT Ellis is 34 years old and the Pats are trying to get younger on defense not older. That being said if the Pats can get this guy for a one year contract, it would upgrade their pass rushing defense. They would not have to play him on run downs and it gives the young guys a player to learn behind for one more year.

The Cowboys are openly shopping him so the price will not be high. It will be a mid round draft pick and to me, if you are getting the guy for one year, I would do the deal to upgrade the pass rush.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Patriots sign ILB and Lions Leading Tackler Paris Lenon

By: Greg

The Pats have snatched another defender from the winless Lions, this time its inside linebacker Paris Lenon. Last season he lead the Kittens with 121 tackles. Lenon was the top ILB on the market.

Paris was needed after the Pats lost rookie ILB McKenzie and cutting Bo Ruud. In the last three seasons he started every game for the Deeetriot Lions before that he played for the Packers. He will be making the stitch from 4-3 to 3-4.

Whenever you can get a guy who lead his NFL team in tackles and had over 118 tackles in the last two seasons it is a plus. Just based on his stats he looks like a good pick up and will compete for playing time with

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Brady Back and Throwing

By: Greg
I am sure all of you who have turned on a TV or run into a fellow Pats fan has heard the news that the Golden Boy was caught by ESPN camera's throwing at Foxboro before the NCAA Lax Championships. Watch Video here -

Brady looks good and shows no effects from last seasons injury.

"I'm feeling great and just excited to be out there on the field, training with my teammates," Brady said. "It's always fun being back in this competitive environment and working with these guys to try to make 2009 our best season. It's been fun to be back. I think everyone is excited to get back on the field and see what we're capable of."

An unnamed Pats player also said that seeing him out there has energized everyone on the team and makes the team want to start playing right now. Well that goes for me to, it has energized myself to want the season to start right now and watch that amazing offense.
New England Patriots Blog

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Patriots looking into LB Derrick Burgess

By: Greg

Lacking depth at linebacker the Patriots are reportedly looking to trade for Derrick Burgess currently on da Raiiiders roster. Buress is a two time pro bowler who turns 31 this year. He plays defensive end but will most likely convert to OLB with the Pats. In 2005 he collected 16 sacks followed by 11 the next season. Over the past two seasons however he has been slowed by injuries. He only had 3.5 sacks last season in 2008 and 8 in 2007. He only played 10 and 14 games respectively in those seasons.

The Patriots have a plethora of draft picks next season and are looking to unload either a 2nd, 3rd or 4th pick to acquire the 30 year old.

Right now Burgess is in the final year of his contract and is unhappy about his current contract situation with the Raiders and wants out. But who doesn't want out of Oakland.

This addition would be intriguing. Burgess can obviously get after the Quarterback but he is getting up there in age. Why not just keep Vrabel? Giving up a 4th round pick would not be anything so if the Raiders would do it for a 4th I would be es tactic but a 2nd round pick is too much for an aging defensive end. The Pats do need help at both inside and outside linebacker so they need to start wheeling and dealing. Burgess is a great pick up but for what price?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Maroney played with broken shoulder

By: Greg
For all the flack that Pats Fans have given Maroney, maybe it was not deserved. Many fans including myself said that it looks like he was running scared and tentative. But he actually had a solid excuse:

"I had a broken bone and I was trying to play with it," said Maroney. "It's kind of hard to sit here and play and not tell people what is going on. Everybody is going to think one way because they don't really know what's going on. I dare anybody in this crowd to play football with a broken bone in your shoulder and you tell me how long you're going to last out there."

Hell, I do not think I could even type with a broken shoulder never mind run through 300lb lineman. I give Laurence props for trying to play through it. At the same time he has something to prove this season. This season is his last in the current contract and he needs to show that he was not a bust.

Is the shoulder still a problem?

"Doing it the second game and still trying to play, I feel like it still shows my toughness and my dedication to the team and how much I really want to contribute. The shoulder is great. Not good, great."

"I've been gone too long," he said. "The legs are feeling fresher than ever. Going back out there I know that I'm going to have a lot of critics. It's just going out there and proving everybody wrong. I think there are a lot of people that are counting me out and doubting me, but it's just going out there and having fun again."

Maroney has to play well this year to be considered not a bust and to earn money in the off season which might be uncapped. As of right now he is the starter but has plenty of compition from Taylor and Morris.

Also of note is that the NFL is looking into the Patriots if they were hiding this injury from the rest of the NFL. They could give the Pats some kind of penalty but as BB says "It is what it is"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wildcard!: Julian Edelman

By: Greg

The new trend in the NFL seems to be finding an outstanding athlete and putting him on the field in what ever way you can. The redskins have done it with Randel El, the Browns with Cribbs, the Jets with Brad Smith all whom were QBs in college. Bill Belichick might be pulling his WILDCARD in a player named Julian Edelman out of Kent State:

Edelman is an extremely athletic QB who is being groomed to be a WR/playmaker. In his career at Kent State he rushed for over 2300 yards, threw for about 5,000 yards, had over 30 TDs, and even punted 8 times.
He seems to be impressing at training camp hoping to grab a roster spot.

I am hoping this guy catches on and can be another card in which BB can play. You can groom him to be a slot receiver while putting him in Wildcat formations and letting him do work on special teams. Edelman will be a guy to watch during the preseason and a guaranteed Foxboro Favorite.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jason Taylor is a Dolphin

By: Greg
ESPN has just reported that indeed Taylor likes the Phins over the Pats. He just agreed to terms to become a Dolphin. This is very disappointing.

After not drafting a rush linebacker or an outside linebacker of any kind, I was thinking that Taylor was on his way to becoming a Patriot. I was wrong. Taylor preferred to stay home with his family and prefers losing in the first round of the playoffs rather than having a shot at a championship.

Taylor could have been an immediate impact and a huge boost to the Patriots defense. It will be interesting to see what the Patriots do now. Do they bring Colvin back? Do they let thier young inexperienced OLBs put in thier time?

Crable and Pierre Woods both from Michigan will have to step up thier games. Also newly acquired Tully Banta Cain looks like a much more attractive option for the Pats now. If you remember when he played with the Pats, he had 5.5 sacks in 2006.

Some players do NOT care about championships, I guess you can count Taylor in on those players.

Jason Taylor wants to be a Dolphin more than a Pat

By; Greg
There have been many rumors about where Jason Taylor will end up. It comes down to pretty much two teams: the Phins and Pats. Earlier last week there were reports that their was a handshake deal with Taylor and the Patriots that Taylor would become their new OLB. Then come this week ESPN reported that the Phins and Taylor were back in talks with each other.

Now ESPN is writing that Taylor would much rather be a Dolphin than a Patriot.

" the main reason for this is that Taylor's wife and three children live in South Florida, and that he was miserable being away from them last season, when he was a Washington Redskin. The Dolphins, who don't appear to have a pressing need for Taylor, have not generally been enthusiastic about bringing him back, but head coach Tony Sparano did say on the radio Monday morning that team officals had not closed the door on the possibility. "

Just as signs seemed being pointed towards Taylor becoming a Patriot, the news that he rather stay in South Florida and a Dolphin have come to surface....Disappointing. I can not blame him though. His family is there. He has already played with the team, so there is comfort. But I think that Taylor could be a key cog in the Patriots return to the Super Bowl.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Maroney not phoney

By: Greg

Laurence Maroney has not been what everyone in New England thought he would be when he was drafted out of Minnesota in the first round. In his first year he showed flashes of greatness but in the years following he was either injured or playing too soft.
This lead to the Pats taking away more and more of his carries, giving them to Straight Ahead Sammy Morris or Kevin "I Can" Faulk "ing do everything." Now the Pats have brought in Pro Bowler Fred Taylor who will be in line to take away more carries and maybe even the starting position.
People are counting Laurence out, but he is not doing the same........
"I'm working hard and feeling good," he said. "Whenever somebody counts you out, you want to show them they're wrong.”
Being in the last year of his contract Maroney has to show something this year to the Patriots or other teams who might want to sign him next year.

“I feel like this has to be my year. There’s no other way around it,” he said. “I just feel like I have to be better this year. … I was a first-rounder with a lot of expectations. I know how good I can be. I know my worth to the team. … This is the year I really have to prove to the fans, to the coaches, to the world I can be this running back, I can be the guy for (Bill) Belichick and the Patriots.”

Lets hope he is a man of his word. This year he will have a lot of motivation = $$$$$$$$ and push = Taylor, Faulk, Morris. We can only hope that these things make him the running back we all expected when drafted in the first round.
So Maroney please do not make this year phoney.

The Final year as a Pat for Vince?

By: Greg

If the draft was any indication all signs point to Vince Wilfork not being re upped next year when is contract is over. The Patriots first drafted DT Ron Brace out of BC, no big deal, they need some depth on the D line. But it was pretty early in the draft to be drafting depth, when there were much more pressing needs that they could have addressed.

Then in the sixth round they DT Pyror out of Kentucky. A run stuffing big man who is very athletic. Then in the seventh round they draft another DT out of Georgia Tech.

So in all they draft three DT's out of their 12 picks.

They already have Mike Wright and Titus Adams on the roster. This puts them at 6 DT deep in a scheme where only one DT plays at a time. They also have Richard Seymour, Ty Warren and J. Green who all can play the DT in the 3-4 scheme.

Looking at that I think it spells doom for Wilfork being a Patriots next season. They drafted his protege in Brace early then took a shot with two others late hoping one can turn out into something good.

In the 3-4 scheme DTs are extremely important. Vince is an absolute beast. But in being a beast he will ask for beast like money, money that I dont think the Patriots are looking to pay. I am hoping that they can work out a deal with Vince but the signs point to Wilfork taking the other fork in the road.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cops love Tom Brady

By: Greg

Police have improperly tapped into the state's criminal records system to access information on Tom Brady, over 960 times.

"The misuse of law enforcement databases – reported by the state auditor – can have serious consequences for any of us. Unmonitored access gives power to government agencies to misuse information about ordinary people, not just celebrities and well-known public figures," she said.

The Globe reports today that the state auditor, in a scathing review, had found that law enforcement personnel looked up personal information on Tom Brady 968 times.

Seems like a job that Eric Mangini was behind.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Newly Drafted Tyrone McKenzie out for the season

By: Greg

As quickly as it began, it ended. Third round choice and LB Tyrone McKenzie was injured in a non contact drill and tore his ACL. McKenzie was competing for the starting middle linebaker position with Bruschi.
I thought that McKenzie was going to be one of the bigger steals of the draft. He totaled over 350 tackles in his career in college.
Big blow to the Pats linebacking core.

Patriots sign former Bears starting Safety Brandon McGowan

By: Greg

The Patriots have signed Safety Brandon McGowan. McGowan started 9 games in 2007 totaling 68 tackles and 2 interceptions. Last season he was limited to two games because of an injury. He will compete with Sanders, Meriweather and Chung for playing time. He provides depth at the safety position but as of right now it looks like he is the fourth wheel. The Pats also have Tank Williams who they are trying to convert to LB but is safety by trade. So McGowan looks like he will have to fight just to make the roster. But he is an intriguing player because he was a starter on a solid bears defense.

However this probaly spells doom for Rodney Harrison. Harrison still is not signed and with the addition of Chung and McGowan there is not much room for Harrison. I would love to see Harrison back on the squad to mentor the young safetys and playing on running downs but its looking more and more like he wont be returning.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Why we Love BB

By: Greg

In todays press conference Coach Bill Belichick unleashed his comedic side.

Q: Brandon Tate – do you know where he is at?
BB: I think he’s down at lunch right now. Where he’s at as far as? I’m not sure I follow you?

Too funny. He later followed up with this.....

BB: Oh right, yeah. He’s rehabilitating the knee injury. We will just take that as it comes, day by day. When he’s ready, I’m sure he’ll be out there. I know he’s working hard to get back out on the field. Our medical people are working with him this weekend and I’m sure he’ll do everything to be back out there as soon as he possibly can and we’ll do everything we can to help him.

You have to love BB, he not only provides New Englanders super bowls but bowls of laughs too.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Patriots Trade for TE Alex Smith

By: Greg
The Patriots have made a trade for TE Alex Smith from the Buccaneers for an Undisclosed Draft Pick. The pick is most likely a late round pick and the patriots have plenty of them to give next year.
Last season Smith compiled 21 receptions for 250 yards and 3 scores. As a rook Alex had 41 catches for 367 yards and two TDs.
Alex enters what seems to be a tight TE competition. The Pats already brought in Chris Baker (who will make the team) and have Ben Watson and David "Baconater" Thomas on the roster. Watson is also a lock to make the team. So it seems like it will be a battle between Thomas and Smith for the final TE spot.
The one thing that is intriguing is that Smith's contract is up after the year just like the rest of the the Pats TEs.
Overall I like this trade because:

  • They are not giving up much at all

  • He has talent, lead the league in receptions for rookie TEs

  • This aquisition and bringing in Baker could kick Watson in the butt, pushing him to suceed.