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Can Brady Throw Deep?


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#51 H78

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:07 AM

[offseason]Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Mario Williams[/offseason]

#52 H78

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:08 AM

Wow on that Moss pass. Crazy thing is Brady threw from beyond the line of scrimmage. Line is the 11+, he's on the 12/13 when he lets it go. Would have been fun debating had it been complete.


LOS was the 16. He threw it at the 13. No debate.

#53 soxfan121


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:15 AM

Like, say, the guy who led all WR in YAC this season by 140 yards? The one you've advocated not re-signing?

http://espn.go.com/n...ch/seasontype/2


Yep, I'm advocating that the Pats let go a 31-year old who presumably wants (and can justifiably ask for, based on production) $8M/season for more than 3 years. It's not because I don't "like" Wes Welker.

But by all means, sign Welker for 4/$35M, get another WR like Wallace or Vincent Jackson who will also (justifiably) demand 4/$40M+ and hope we can draft defensive help. That plan has worked out SO WELL for the past three seasons.

I want to allocate resources to defense. To do that means some difficult choices. Welker at ~$8M or Edelman for $500K, another couple "overachieving, tough slot WR" that are always freely available in the late rounds or as UDFA and the $7M they'd "save" allocated to an impact signing or two on the defensive side of the ball.

Is Wes Welker so unique that him and ONLY HIM can fill that role? Are there guys with 75% of Welker's "package" who could compete for and provide production in his stead? Assuming Wes Welker is essential is a mistake of over-valuing your own players. Welker is great but he's also benefited greatly from the offensive game design. There's other guys who could fill that role, cheaper, and the bigger needs are on defense.

Edited by soxfan121, 08 February 2012 - 10:17 AM.


#54 Shelterdog


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:29 AM

But by all means, sign Welker for 4/$35M, get another WR like Wallace or Vincent Jackson who will also (justifiably) demand 4/$40M+ and hope we can draft defensive help. That plan has worked out SO WELL for the past three seasons.


They were 37-11 with three divisional championships, two #1 seeds, and they were four minutes away from a superbowl. The plan hasn't worked out that badly.

Welker is a really good player; I suspect the market will be dissapointing for him so we can keep him at a reasonable price but we'll know pretty soon.

#55 Stitch01


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:31 AM

The past three seasons the Pats went 10-6, 14-2, 13-3, won three division titles, and were four minutes away from winning a Super Bowl. Its not like we're trying to fix a broken team here.

There's definitely an argument to not spend resources on a big name WR (its pretty likely this doesnt happen actually) and resign Welker. There's an argument to not sign Welker because of his age/skill set and put the resources towards a younger receiver like Wallace. I think the argument to let Welker go and not address the position with a top free agent is a really tough one to make. WR is a very hard position to get immediate help with in the draft and its not like we bat 1.000 on those defensive signings.

Im especially surprised you think this given what you think of Brady's deep ball skills. If the offense is never going to get those quick strike scores, they have to be ruthlessly efficient on 3rd downs. In that sort of offense, Welker's role does not seem to me to be the one where you want to take 80% of production to save a few bucks.

Your plan relies on a combination of Ridley/Vareen/the o-line showing dramatic improvement and turning a defense with holes in all three levels into a top defense next year in order to contend. Welker's contract will have risk, but I think that's a very risky path as well.

#56 Section15Box113

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:45 AM

It was an unbelievable play. The only thing that bugged me was that Moss cradled his arms waiting for the ball instead of reaching up for it to grab it with his hands. And that probably cost them the completion.

But yeah, that throw was one of the most amazing throws of all-time. 70+ yards, *perfectly* placed, and it wasn't a hail mary heave...it was a legitimate pass to a streaking receiver right on the button.

But Moss didn't reach up for it and the Giants' defender just got a hand on it. Goes in the book as the exact same as one of Eli's throws in the dirt on Sunday......


I agree it was a great, great throw.

One argument is definitely that Randy could have gone up to fight for that ball.
Another is that he had a step and actually had to slow up letting the defenders close oh so slightly. Another yard on that ball and it's a completion.

Of course, for a 70+ throw, it's fantastic.

If it's 70+ plus one, we likely win SB42.

#57 soxfan121


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:49 AM

They were 37-11 with three divisional championships, two #1 seeds, and they were four minutes away from a superbowl. The plan hasn't worked out that badly.

Welker is a really good player; I suspect the market will be dissapointing for him so we can keep him at a reasonable price but we'll know pretty soon.


Last things first, you keep saying this and I'm still not buying it. Someone out in the marketplace is going to properly value Wes Welker and give him 4/$32M+; I'm praying it's not the Pats but if it is, it's not like we'd be signing a lemon. Welker would be the perfect binkie for your QB and I believe at least one NFL GM is going to agree. I'm not sure what your "reasonable price" is - $5M/season?

First things last - two "one & done" home playoff losses, record-setting futility in the regular season and an formula for winning that requires the QB be otherworldly in every game. Any season that ends with a loss has ended badly.

The Patriots have cap room - they've managed it very well - but they are not Tampa and don't have ~$80M to spend; choices must be made. IMO, a good NFL passing game has two dynamic, reliable threats and some other contributors; a great one has 3 dynamic, reliable threats and some other contributors. The Pats have Gronk and they have Hernandez so we're at the minimum; everything else is allocation of available resources. If Welker was needed as the #2 or #1 guy, you re-sign him or franchise him. But he's not. He is, going forward, the #3 option in the passing game and with diminished importance comes a diminished desire to pay significant $ to that player.

There are three spots on the defense that require a new starter. There is one on offense - slot WR. I cannot understand how people look at the 2011 Patriots or the 2010 Patriots and say "The 2012 Patriots need WR. THAT'S the thing that's keeping this team from winning Super Bowls." Can't fathom it. It makes my head throb and little white spots dance in my field of vision. The 2012 Patriots need to massively upgrade their defense so every fucking game isn't a "if Brady doesn't play like a God, we're screwed". We've been damn lucky that they have had as much "Brady is God" as we have, but he's showing minor signs of decline and the answer is to build up a defense that can steal HIM a game once awhile.

#58 Stitch01


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:58 AM

Welker isnt going to hit the open market because he'll be franchised.

#59 bowiac


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:14 AM

They were 37-11 with three divisional championships, two #1 seeds, and they were four minutes away from a superbowl. The plan hasn't worked out that badly.

Seriously, any plan for the offseason based on the idea that this season was a failure is a bit too much. It was a shitty ending, but 31 teams had a shitty end to their seasons. I'm not ready to accept that every team except the Giants needs a major restructuring. (And that the Giants of all teams don't!)

#60 collings94

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:24 AM

No, it's not retarded. Even a guy like freaking Tate-who wasn't that good-or a Torrey Smith who's a little bit faster and better but not a good receiver yet-cause teams to play you differently (the Jets dedicated Cromartie to him, other teams roll a safety to his side of the field; he'd get a good cushion at the line of scrimmage). Teams really do have to respect non-Moss wideouts because even an average deep ball thrower like Brady can get 6 in a fucking hurry if you let a guy like Tate by.

Most teams are playing New England with their safeties way, way up, their dbs in tight man coverage, and the flexibility to use their best corners on any player they please.



I know, IDK why this guy is angry about Brady's inability to throw deep. Just like in basketball, spacing the floor with shooters opens up holes for others to create. It's really simple, but by throwing in a bunch of Football Outsider stats you complicate everything.

#61 Shelterdog


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:26 AM

There are three spots on the defense that require a new starter. There is one on offense - slot WR. I cannot understand how people look at the 2011 Patriots or the 2010 Patriots and say "The 2012 Patriots need WR. THAT'S the thing that's keeping this team from winning Super Bowls." Can't fathom it. It makes my head throb and little white spots dance in my field of vision. The 2012 Patriots need to massively upgrade their defense so every fucking game isn't a "if Brady doesn't play like a God, we're screwed". We've been damn lucky that they have had as much "Brady is God" as we have, but he's showing minor signs of decline and the answer is to build up a defense that can steal HIM a game once awhile.


Actually there are three open slots on offense-Branch, Welker and Connolly/Koppen are all free agents-and one on defense (whichever of Anderson/Carter you consider the starter). Obviously there are a number of spots on defense where you have guys coming back but you'd really like to ugrade.

The reason you need a WR in the offseason is that if the season started tomorrow your NE Patriots start some combination of Ocho, Underwood and Edelman at wideout. You need to do something (re-sign Welker or add a very good receiver) to maintain last year's offensive production

On Welker, we'll just see if other GMs think he's the $8 million a year player instead of, perhaps, a $5-6 million a year guy, which is what I'd call reasonable for him. That's just my opinion and it will be proven right or wrong pretty damn fast.

EDIT: If Light or Waters retire you end up with even more open spots on offense; you could easily have to replace five starters on offense.

Edited by Shelterdog, 08 February 2012 - 11:28 AM.


#62 soxfan121


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:26 AM

Seriously, any plan for the offseason based on the idea that this season was a failure is a bit too much. It was a shitty ending, but 31 teams had a shitty end to their seasons. I'm not ready to accept that every team except the Giants needs a major restructuring. (And that the Giants of all teams don't!)


You think that because the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl that their defense does not need a major restructuring? Would you feel the same way if Baltimore won the AFC Championship? How about if Denver had won the Divisional Round game?

The Patriots defense needs a major restructuring, regardless of where and how they finished the season; their talent and performance on defense was well below average and required a well-above average offense to compensate. I don't think you can count on otherworldly offensive performances for 19 straight weeks - I think the Patriots defense needs to improve in order to keep winning games, regular and post-season.

#63 Salva135


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

The Pats have played down to the wire in almost all of its recent notorious losses on the big stage. The only real blowout was the Ravens game and there were plenty of reasons for that. I find it hard to believe this team has a fundamental flaw other than figuring out how to fucking play well when it counts. Sure, Brady could benefit from a solid deep threat. But the Pats could use a lot of other upgrades as well. There is no single player that will get us over the top. We have already been at the mountaintop numerous times and lost our footing and fell down the cliff. We need to stop this mindset that we are missing something that will guarantee us a championship.

#64 bowiac


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:28 AM

I'm curious about the Tate comparison. Did Tate really change defensive gameplans? I mean, if you're talking about just having a burner, isn't that Matt Slater?

#65 tims4wins


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:30 AM

You think that because the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl that their defense does not need a major restructuring? Would you feel the same way if Baltimore won the AFC Championship? How about if Denver had won the Divisional Round game?

The Patriots defense needs a major restructuring, regardless of where and how they finished the season; their talent and performance on defense was well below average and required a well-above average offense to compensate. I don't think you can count on otherworldly offensive performances for 19 straight weeks - I think the Patriots defense needs to improve in order to keep winning games, regular and post-season.


Define "major restructuring". Yes, they were bad during the regular season. They then proceeded to give up 49 points in 3 playoff games, and unlike the regular season, it wasn't masked by offensive success - they didn't give up a ton of yards either.

Edit: and, just observationally, they looked a lot better in the postseason too

Edited by tims4wins, 08 February 2012 - 11:31 AM.


#66 CaptainLaddie


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:35 AM

The problem is that unless the Pats decide to go without an RB, they need a burner who can be the #1 WR. Branch isn't that guy, and unless you want Matt Slater to fill that role (which I do not), you aren't taking Gronk or Hernandez off the field to make sure there's 3 WRs out there.

I'd be far more comfortable letting Branch take the #3 WR role (and I mean that, he's still good enough and Brady trusts him) and bringing in a Vincent Jackson or Brandon Lloyd and letting Welker run wild underneath again.

#67 Salva135


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:36 AM

You think that because the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl that their defense does not need a major restructuring? Would you feel the same way if Baltimore won the AFC Championship? How about if Denver had won the Divisional Round game?

The Patriots defense needs a major restructuring, regardless of where and how they finished the season; their talent and performance on defense was well below average and required a well-above average offense to compensate. I don't think you can count on otherworldly offensive performances for 19 straight weeks - I think the Patriots defense needs to improve in order to keep winning games, regular and post-season.



The offense didn't exactly have an otherworldly performance in the AFCCG, and yet they won. I think I'm of the (possibly insane) notion that the defense can't get any worse than it did this year, and the offensive production is unlikely to drop significantly next year. Unlike 2010, this team didn't run insanely well with turnovers, and they have another favorable schedule in 2012, so I don't think there's any reason they won't be back near the top. Maybe it's the fact that we stopped giving up 21 points in a half that I've come to accept the defense and believe it can only improve. To use the worst term possible on this board, they just need to play more "clutch."

This league is pretty close to the point where it's just like MLB - you just need to get in, and get hot. Homefield and the byes are still difference makers. And we have the ability to do it every year.

Edited by Salva135, 08 February 2012 - 11:39 AM.


#68 bowiac


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:36 AM

You think that because the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl that their defense does not need a major restructuring? Would you feel the same way if Baltimore won the AFC Championship? How about if Denver had won the Divisional Round game?

I think this team had the 3rd best point differential in the NFL, was a top 5 team by every advanced metric I can find, and did in point of fact, make the Super Bowl.

No, I don't think this team needs a major restructuring. Could the defense get better? Sure. But in the games they lost, it was the offense that came up small. I'm pretty OK coming into next season with Welker, Vincent Jackson, a first round defensive lineman, a second round cornerback, and a third round safety.

Edited by bowiac, 08 February 2012 - 11:37 AM.


#69 soxfan121


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:40 AM

Actually there are three open slots on offense-Branch, Welker and Connolly/Koppen are all free agents-and one on defense (whichever of Anderson/Carter you consider the starter). Obviously there are a number of spots on defense where you have guys coming back but you'd really like to ugrade.

The reason you need a WR in the offseason is that if the season started tomorrow your NE Patriots start some combination of Ocho, Underwood and Edelman at wideout. You need to do something (re-sign Welker or add a very good receiver) to maintain last year's offensive production

On Welker, we'll just see if other GMs think he's the $8 million a year player instead of, perhaps, a $5-6 million a year guy, which is what I'd call reasonable for him. That's just my opinion and it will be proven right or wrong pretty damn fast.

EDIT: If Light or Waters retire you end up with even more open spots on offense; you could easily have to replace five starters on offense.


1. Since the tag is $9.4M and most media-types keep saying ~$8M, I've been fixated on that number. If Welker is willing to go 3/$18M with $13M of that guaranteed, I'd be all over it. My concern with a long term deal for Welker is the age 33, 34 and 35 seasons, when few WR have been as effective as earlier in their careers. And since the tag = a hard $9.4M, I have zero interest in that at all - it takes too much off the table that could be used for filling holes on the defense.

2. Koppen re-signs for 1 year, Connolly leaves via FA and a young guy is added to the Wendell/McDonald mix. The $ committed to Center in 2012 will be lower than it was in 2011, unless there's a premier talent in the draft that BB falls in love with/thinks can be the next Koppen/Mankins.

3a. I continue to believe that with a full-off season program, Ochocinco will be productive in 2012. I deserve to be mocked for this until he actually does it. Further, since his $ is a bit cloudy, I still think it costs more to replace him than keep him and I HATE the idea of throwing more money down that hole. If he sucks in camp, cut him, but otherwise, since he's due the $ anyway, let's find out if he can perform better with the benefit of the off-season program.

3b. Re-signing Branch as an alternative to signing Welker would be a significant cost savings. Deion didn't look dead to me; slower, yes. But I think he could be an excellent 4th WR on the depth chart and a guy used in 3rd down/key situations like Troy Brown was late in his career.

4. I don't see a need to "maintain last year's offensive production" if the defense is upgraded and equal amount to compensate for fall-off. IOW, get better on defense and need less offense. And before anyone freaks out - the Patriots can be "less effective by 5% on offense" and still be one of the top 5 offenses in the NFL. Give 5 on offense to get 15 on defense and games become easier to win. A league average defense would put SOOOO much less pressure on the offense.

5. If Light retires, Solder starts opposite Vollmer. If Waters retires, Cannon steps in. The Pats OL is among the best managed spots on the team, year after year. There is no need to procure, from outside the organization, a new "starter" at any position and the only spot they need to reinforce if Koppen, Light & Waters return is backup/developmental Center.




I think this team had the 3rd best point differential in the NFL, was a top 5 team by every advanced metric I can find, and did in point of fact, make the Super Bowl.

No, I don't think this team needs a major restructuring. Could the defense get better? Sure. But in the games they lost, it was the offense that came up small. I'm pretty OK coming into next season with Welker, Vincent Jackson, a first round defensive lineman, a second round cornerback, and a third round safety.


They lost the Pittsburgh game because the offense came up small? I seem to recall losses when the other team had the ball last and the offense had been just "very good" as opposed to "best in the league". Buffalo - yeah, there were some picks but picks happen to everyone except TB2010 and the defense couldn't stop them. Giants - twice - took the ball after a Patriots score and scored touchdowns to win the game.

I guess that if you really believe that defense is of far less importance to success than offense is, then we'll just agree to disagree.

Edited by soxfan121, 08 February 2012 - 12:05 PM.


#70 Super Nomario


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:51 AM

Yep, I'm advocating that the Pats let go a 31-year old who presumably wants (and can justifiably ask for, based on production) $8M/season for more than 3 years. It's not because I don't "like" Wes Welker.

But by all means, sign Welker for 4/$35M, get another WR like Wallace or Vincent Jackson who will also (justifiably) demand 4/$40M+ and hope we can draft defensive help. That plan has worked out SO WELL for the past three seasons.

I want to allocate resources to defense. To do that means some difficult choices. Welker at ~$8M or Edelman for $500K, another couple "overachieving, tough slot WR" that are always freely available in the late rounds or as UDFA and the $7M they'd "save" allocated to an impact signing or two on the defensive side of the ball.


I'm not advocating spending ~1/6 of the available cap on WR by re-signing Welker and picking up a #1 guy; I agree with you that's a poor allocation of resources given the defensive struggles.

I do think you're underselling Welker, and probably overrating Edelman. After his rookie year, I would have thought Edelman would be ready to step into a starting role by now ... but the dude had FOUR catches in 2011. He only had 7 in 2010. Even when he got snaps (he had multiple 20+ snap games on offense) he wasn't targeted, and he wasn't able to take snaps from Branch. I imagine he would improve with an increased role, but there's likely a significant dropoff from Welker.

Is Wes Welker so unique that him and ONLY HIM can fill that role? Are there guys with 75% of Welker's "package" who could compete for and provide production in his stead? Assuming Wes Welker is essential is a mistake of over-valuing your own players. Welker is great but he's also benefited greatly from the offensive game design. There's other guys who could fill that role, cheaper, and the bigger needs are on defense.

It can be a mistake to overvalue your own players, but it can also be a mistake to spend big money on a player that might not fit into the system. Welker's next contract might look roughly like the contract the Pats signed Adalius Thomas to; it's pretty clear that Welker is a better value at that price than Thomas was. "Replace Welker with a cheap alternative and go spend the money on defense" is a great plan in theory, but when you start getting into specifics it becomes quite a bit murkier.

#71 Dogman2


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:01 PM

5. If Light retires


Do you have a link for him thinking about retiring? I've read Waters is contemplating it, but Light?

#72 soxfan121


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:08 PM

Do you have a link for him thinking about retiring? I've read Waters is contemplating it, but Light?


Post 61 up thread. Ask him - I was just responding to the post. I don't think it's likely.

#73 Shelterdog


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:09 PM

Do you have a link for him thinking about retiring? I've read Waters is contemplating it, but Light?


Nothing more than media speculation based on his age/contract status/the presence of Solder. I actually figure he comes back but who the hell knows.

http://www.bostonher...position=recent

He takes up roughly $6.5 million of cap space if he's on the team and $3.5 million if he gets cut so there's a definite chance he gets cut.

Edited by Shelterdog, 08 February 2012 - 12:37 PM.


#74 Ed Hillel


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:54 PM

If Light retires I am drafting yet another LT or RT in the first round. I don't trust Vollmer long-term anymore. He's had injury and performance issues that are worrisome.

#75 tims4wins


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:55 PM

If Light retires I am drafting yet another LT or RT in the first round. I don't trust Vollmer long-term anymore. He's had injury and performance issues that are worrisome.


Even if he doesn't retire, wouldn't you still invest in a tackle early in the draft if you don't trust Vollmer? It's unlike Light plays more than another year or two anyway, so if you can find another Solder, then I think you do it.

#76 Shelterdog


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:58 PM

If Light retires I am drafting yet another LT or RT in the first round. I don't trust Vollmer long-term anymore. He's had injury and performance issues that are worrisome.


He was awesome in 2009 and 2010. He was bad in 2011. At that point you just have to trust the medical and training staff's evaluation.

#77 Ed Hillel


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:00 PM

Even if he doesn't retire, wouldn't you still invest in a tackle early in the draft if you don't trust Vollmer? It's unlike Light plays more than another year or two anyway, so if you can find another Solder, then I think you do it.


I may wait a year. I don't have the stats, but LT appear to have one of the shortest learning curves of any position, so it may be worth going somewhere else early.

#78 Ed Hillel


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:02 PM

He was awesome in 2009 and 2010. He was bad in 2011. At that point you just have to trust the medical and training staff's evaluation.


Was he awesome last year? I thought he declined a bit, but could be wrong. I beleive he also had serious back issues before joining the team.

#79 Shelterdog


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:03 PM

Was he awesome last year? I thought he declined a bit, but could be wrong. I beleive he also had serious back issues before joining the team.


He was a second team all pro and he played just about every snap for the season. He certainly played a lot more than he had in 2009(his rookie year). I thought he looked good but opinions on line play can differ.

He had a back injury that forced him to miss the 2006 season then played the entire 2007 and 2008 seasons before going pro, so he was perfectly healthy for four years after that injury. Is the 2006 injury (or that injury combined with whatever injuries he had this year) an issue going forward? Could be, I just don't know--there's no way to intelligently discuss his injury with the information available to us. If there's a high probability his back injury resurfaces then you do need to get another tackle (even if it's only the backup swing tackle) irrespective of Light's retirement; if the back is probably fine then tackle isn't a priority.

EDIT: If Vollmer is cooked the answer might be that you use Cannon as the replacement RT and use your highest pick on the interior line rather than at tackle.

Edited by Shelterdog, 08 February 2012 - 03:25 PM.


#80 PaulinMyrBch


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:14 PM

LOS was the 16. He threw it at the 13. No debate.

Nice..and to think I watched it twice just to be sure before I posted. I. am. an.....(well we know the rest)...

Put me in the "lets get a deep threat anyway just to see what Tom fucking Brady has left as far as the deep ball goes" camp.

#81 Dogman2


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:34 PM

Nothing more than media speculation based on his age/contract status/the presence of Solder. I actually figure he comes back but who the hell knows.

http://www.bostonher...position=recent

He takes up roughly $6.5 million of cap space if he's on the team and $3.5 million if he gets cut so there's a definite chance he gets cut.


Thanks. The savings makes some sense but I think the line is far better with Light.

#82 Salva135


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:03 PM

Can someone at least provide the stats for someone or someones who threw the deep ball with exceptional success recently?

#83 tims4wins


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:08 PM

Ivanvamp did it on page 1. Rodgers and Brees are two examples. 30+ yard throw stats:


Brees: 10-21 (47.6%), 442 yds, 21.0 ypa, 6 td, 1 int
Rodgers: 11-20 (55.0%), 526 yds, 26.3 ypa, 6 td, 0 int

#84 jk333

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:23 PM

I'm for resigning Welker but the Patriots need a defensive playmaker and outside WR too. (IE. Brandon Lloyd, Vjax, etc)

If the money doesn't work, one option might be to not resign Welker and acquire a slot receiver like Amendola or Bess for draft picks. And use the savings on a defensive player and outside WR.

#85 BucketOBalls


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:30 PM

The problem is that unless the Pats decide to go without an RB, they need a burner who can be the #1 WR. Branch isn't that guy, and unless you want Matt Slater to fill that role (which I do not), you aren't taking Gronk or Hernandez off the field to make sure there's 3 WRs out there.

I'd be far more comfortable letting Branch take the #3 WR role (and I mean that, he's still good enough and Brady trusts him) and bringing in a Vincent Jackson or Brandon Lloyd and letting Welker run wild underneath again.


The thing with getting another WR is....between Welker, Gronk and Hernandez and deep guy is gonna be #3/#4. How much is it worth to actually get someone for that? It's not like they need a really great WR either. They just need someone who can run straight down the field and has a decent chance of gettting the ball when single covered by a non-elite guy.

#86 ivanvamp


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:43 PM

The thing with getting another WR is....between Welker, Gronk and Hernandez and deep guy is gonna be #3/#4. How much is it worth to actually get someone for that? It's not like they need a really great WR either. They just need someone who can run straight down the field and has a decent chance of gettting the ball when single covered by a non-elite guy.


Obviously this team can score a ridiculous amount of points without that deep threat. They're consistently one of the highest scoring teams in the league. However, I think a guy like Brandon Lloyd will be available for not a ton of money. He is on the public record as stating that he only wants to be where Josh McDaniels is. From (http://stlouis.sbnat...-josh-mcdaniels):

"I'm tied to McDaniels. He uses me differently than other offensive coordinators used me in my entire career. He uses me as an every-play receiver. The short game, mid-range game, gimmick passes, deep balls. I do everything in this offense as opposed to other coordinators who would just run me off as the deep guy; run me off into double coverage and then say I'm not open. So I really like how Josh uses me within the offense. I'm extremely comfortable in the offense."

He knows the offense, he *wants* to be where McDaniels is. But he's 31 coming off a not-so-great (but not bad) season, and that may diminish his price on the open market. I think given those few factors, there's a really good chance they could add him for not a crazy amount of money.

I think they can re-sign Branch on the cheap too. Is he REALLY going to leave again after essentially admitting that he made a mistake in leaving the first time over money? I doubt it. And the Pats can franchise Welker. Gronk and Hernandez are dirt cheap.

So I think they can easily afford to go with a starting receiver lineup of Lloyd (big, fast, excellent player, tremendously explosive), Welker (dynamite), Gronk, and Hernandez, with one running back. The defense then has to take every conceivable area of space seriously. That will prevent double-teaming and will leave all our receivers, essentially, in one-on-one (or close to it) situations. Then they have Branch in reserve if they just want to go 3-wide.

I think they can do this and still afford to go get a defensive player (or two) in free agency.

#87 PaulinMyrBch


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:24 PM

As crazy as this sounds, this could actually work.

Welker, prototypical slot
Ocho, prototypical hybrid, can run short routes and can run deep routes
Moss, deep threat, but horrible across the middle, huge end zone threat on jumps and backshoulder out routes.

Hernandez
Gronk
Any RB split into the other slot when needed.

I do not have an explanation of why Ocho was not utilized more, but I for one think he has some explosiveness left. His routes at the end of the SB46 were primarily 15-20 yard outs and he was open. Brady doesn't look his way, not sure if he ever will. But a full training camp and who knows.

Having said that, I'd rather have a more dynamic receiver like B. Lloyd.

Edited by PaulinMyrBch, 08 February 2012 - 05:24 PM.


#88 Pandemonium67

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:49 AM

I think BB is going to kick the team into Go For the Whole Fucking Thing Right Fucking Now and Kill Everyone Along the Whole Fucking Way mode. That means getting Brandon Lloyd and signing or franchising Welker (who cares if he sits out until Week whatever -- Edelman will just get more reps), and not trading any of the four picks in the first two rounds. There will be dismemberment and decimation across the NFL landscape.

Edited by Pandemonium67, 09 February 2012 - 03:51 AM.


#89 ivanvamp


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:14 AM

I think BB is going to kick the team into Go For the Whole Fucking Thing Right Fucking Now and Kill Everyone Along the Whole Fucking Way mode. That means getting Brandon Lloyd and signing or franchising Welker (who cares if he sits out until Week whatever -- Edelman will just get more reps), and not trading any of the four picks in the first two rounds. There will be dismemberment and decimation across the NFL landscape.


You could still do this and get an extra pick for next year. Trade the first #1 for a late #2 this year and a #1 next year. Somebody will do that to move up 20-30 spots this year. So then the Pats would have a #1 and three #2s this year. That should still be sufficient to get four very good players, and it gives them that extra pick for 2013.

I really believe that the 2012-13 Patriots are going to have one hell of a regular season. They'll continue to improve on defense, and - barring catastrophic injury - their offense is going to be an absolute wrecking machine as their young OLinemen improve, Ridley and Vereen improve, and they add an explosive playmaker like Lloyd (yes, I think they get him).

They'll finish 14-2 or 15-1 and be the #1 seed again, and, most likely, the playoffs will be what they always are - a bit of a crapshoot. But I think the Pats break the trend of SB losers having poor follow-up seasons and the 2012-13 Pats will make it back to the Super Bowl.

And from there? Who knows. Anything can happen...good or bad.

But it will be one heck of a ride.

#90 JMDurron

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:38 PM

Here's hoping that Lloyd has enough left in the tank that we will get a definitive answer to this question in 2012.

#91 DrewDawg


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Posted 18 March 2012 - 01:39 PM

Here's hoping that Lloyd has enough left in the tank that we will get a definitive answer to this question in 2012.


He's 30. I certainly hope he has enough left.

#92 BoredViewer

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 04:11 PM

Been saying it for years.... it seems that more often than not, Brady throws the ball flat and late, when he goes for deep passes.

#93 soxfan121


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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:29 PM

Jeremy Lundblad:

Did the Patriots finally find the deep threat that's eluded them since Randy Moss was sent packing? That's the hope with Lloyd, the biggest splash New England has made thus far.

Consider that in 2007, Moss caught 13 passes thrown 21 or more yards. That's the same number Brady has completed in each of the past two seasons.


In the Super Bowl, Brady was 0-for-5 on passes thrown over 20 yards. That's a common factor in New England's recent postseason losses. Over their last four playoff losses, Brady is 0-for-19 on passes over 20 yards.
Enter Brandon Lloyd.

Over the past two seasons, Lloyd leads the NFL in targets (73) and receptions (27) on throws over 20 yards. Over that same span, Patriots wide receivers combined for 62 targets and 21 receptions.
That includes six catches on passes thrown over 41 yards. By comparison, Tom Brady has only three such completions over the past four seasons. In 2007, Brady was 7-for-16 for two touchdowns on passes of 41 yards or more. Since then, he's just 3-for-29.




#94 KiltedFool


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:22 AM

Ran into this interesting sidebar while reading an unrelated draft speculation on a steelers blog. The thrust of the post was analyzing a mock draft that recommends the Steelers take Coby Fleener with their first round pick, to pair with Heath Miller and pose some of the problems that Hernandez and Gronkowski pose to defenses.

Then the blog author (who I know little to nothing about) has these comments on Brady:

While Miller and Fleener together wouldn't be on the same level as Hernandez and Gronkowski, their effect on opposing defenses would work the same way.
The Patriots have built their offense to hide Tom Brady's greatest flaws. Brady has two major weaknesses that are rarely exposed. The first, he cannot throw effectively off his back foot at all, is covered by the team's heavy investment in offensive linemen over the years. The second is solved by the team's two tight ends predominantly. Brady often struggles to adjust to defenses after the ball is snapped. He does however do great work prior to the snap in diagnosing where to go with the ball.

Brady is able to do this because the Patriots' offense forces defenses to show their hand schematically prior to the snap. The offense is completely based on matchups with the team's tight ends a major part of that. When both Hernandez and Gronkowski are on the field, opposing defenses are forced to either abandon their base defense or expose one of their linebackers to Hernandez or Gronkowski.

When the Steelers beat the Patriots earlier this season, their ability to cover Gronkowski without doubling him and shut down the running game at the same time with their front six/seven allowed them to win the game. This is something very few defenses are capable of doing when both tight ends are fully healthy.


Thought it worth posting here, see if the natives agree or rage against it.

edit whoops link, this is one of the top 4 or 5 steeler blogs.

Edited by KiltedFool, 05 April 2012 - 11:23 AM.


#95 soxfan121


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:56 PM

Well, it's interesting. I thoroughly disagree with his second point; I've never read it anywhere else and it contradicts things I have read.

The first point is fair, more so since the knee injury. We'll find out if he can throw deep to Lloyd; if he can't, it won't be due to the weapons.

#96 Old Fart Tree


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:44 PM

I really thought the Steelers beat the Patriots because the Pats were down before they could blink, with no sign of being able to cover literally anyone in Black & Gold. Eliminate the running game entirely and it's hard to throw on a good defense like the Steelers. So I guess I'm mostly agreeing with them, but the Steelers offense and its ability to move the ball at will seemed more important than their ability to cover Gronk one-on-one.

#97 DrewDawg


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:46 PM

. Brady often struggles to adjust to defenses after the ball is snapped. He does however do great work prior to the snap in diagnosing where to go with the ball.


He does?

I mean, maybe. But we've heard for years how great he is at moving around in the pocket, making time and completing the pass.

#98 soxfan121


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:49 PM

That doesn't refute the claim. I don't buy it either but the stuff you're talking about doesn't even address that point. He could slide, buy time and still be fixated on a pre-snap read.

Edited by soxfan121, 05 April 2012 - 05:50 PM.


#99 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:15 PM

His claim is specious. What does he base it on? Nothing, it seems, and it's not a risky position because to disprove it requires an appeal to authority or consensus or film study, the latter of which is anything but feasible and former not itself dispositive.

Basically, people should do their work when making claims that seem to run counter to prevailing wisdom. I personally have no idea what he is talking about there, having watched Brady all these years. I'm not even sure if he has remotely enough information to make that conclusion, in theory. And, why does he think it is 'seldom' exploited? Because it is nearly impossible - he is too good at reading defenses pre-snap. And what QBs are effective when the defense confuses them, anyways? I'm not sure this blogger is making a point at all, now that I think about it.

At the very least, I can dismiss the idea he is fooled 'often' out of hand, simply because it is logically inconsistent with his point about Brady's pre-snap prowess and his statistical record. So then the question becomes, is he worse post-snap, i.e., fooled and unable to adjust, more than other QBs? I am not sure, but I'd wish anyone trying to make that argument a lot of luck.

Edited by Mystic Merlin, 05 April 2012 - 06:17 PM.


#100 j44thor

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:08 PM

Perhaps what the blogger intended was that Brady is not good at improvising after a play breaks down. That might be something I'd agree with and if you are used to watching Big Ben who's made a career out of improvising then you might further tend to think that.

Simply saying that he doesn't adjust well post snap doesn't make sense because there is far too much that happens post snap to make that statement valid. Hell most of the Pats routes are decided post snap based on how the coverage rolls and if there are any blitzers.

Edited by j44thor, 05 April 2012 - 08:08 PM.





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