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The Offseason Thread


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#1 Phragle


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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

Put that shit here.

#2 JJ17

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:51 PM

DBs. And it'd be nice to take another shot at a WR. We gotta hit once a decade, right?

#3 Jettisoned

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:52 PM

Does anyone still think Talib is worth throwing a bunch of money at? Between injuries and off the field stupidity it seems unlikely that he'll see the field much.

#4 Sille Skrub

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

Not sure why this was locked. Opening it up.

#5 gtmtnbiker

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

What's the off season like for players? Do they just go home and work out on their own? When do they need to report back to the team facilities?

#6 Youkilis vs Wild

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:02 PM

Talib or someone like him. A coverage LB (maybe that's just Fletcher getting healthy). Woodhead only if the money's right. And upgrade on Gregory.

My bold and unlikely prediction: Welker walks, Hernandez assumes Welker's role, Tony Gonzalez becomes Hernandez.

#7 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:36 PM

Glutton for punishment, I am already psyched about the FA period and the draft, and of course the upcoming 2013-14 season.

It's a strange mixture of hope and contentment, like living off a pension fund while going out to strike more gold.

I'm looking forward to the following:
  • What will the WR roster look like coming into camp?
  • Will BB shore up the secondary with not only Talib, but with another starter via FA/draft?
  • Will Ballard be ready for camp? (Gronk, Herb, and Ballard 3-TE set is going to be a nightmare.)
  • Can Jeff Demps be a dependable returner?
  • Will Chandler Jones make a jump or regress in sophomore year?
  • After selection 2 TEs, 2 RBs, and 2 front-seven players in consecutive draft, will BB go for a pair of CBs? WRs?
  • Who will be the aging former-stars that'll look to win a ring / revive career in NE?
  • Will Vollmer return? Is Waters finally going to retire? Can Cannon bounce back?
  • Who is this Armstead, and can he finally provide some 1-on-1 wins in interior rush?
  • Will Vereen supplant Ridley as the feature back in 2013?
  • Will Romeo come back to the Patriots?
So many off-season questions, with so many scenarios. One thing for sure - it's been a blessing to be a Patriots fan. Following the Pats have really become a 12-month gig.

Edited by SeoulSoxFan, 22 January 2013 - 11:37 PM.


#8 Phragle


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:03 AM

Glutton for punishment, I am already psyched about the FA period and the draft, and of course the upcoming 2013-14 season.


Armstead was a nice early Christmas present that put me fully into offseason mode.

Can Cannon bounce back?


What do you mean?

Will Romeo come back to the Patriots?


I hope so. Patricia doesn't suck, but Romeo is as good as it gets.

#9 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:20 AM

Armstead was a nice early Christmas present that put me fully into offseason mode.


Indeed. A pleasant surprise and intrigue/hope in a weak roster area is just the kick needed.

What do you mean?


Cannon's progress was a bit stunted I thought, but perhaps the better question would have been: "can Cannon step up if Vollmer is let go?"

I hope so. Patricia doesn't suck, but Romeo is as good as it gets.


As Daboll re-joins McD, who is staying at least one more year, it'd be a superb move to get Romeo back. When he was the DC for the Chiefs, the defensive DVOA improved from 20th in the league 2010 to 13th in 2011 (NE was 30th in 2011). You'd think Patricia could only learn and get better with Romeo* on board.

* Apparently Rams are interested in signing Crennel as the DC

#10 Phragle


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:58 AM

Cannon's progress was a bit stunted I thought, but perhaps the better question would have been: "can Cannon step up if Vollmer is let go?"


I think he can, but if Vollmer goes I'd expect a tackle to be drafted in the top 100 to at least add depth or more likely create a competition. Preferably one that can play both sides.

As Daboll re-joins McD, who is staying at least one more year, it'd be a superb move to get Romeo back. When he was the DC for the Chiefs, the defensive DVOA improved from 20th in the league 2010 to 13th in 2011 (NE was 30th in 2011). You'd think Patricia could only learn and get better with Romeo* on board.

* Apparently Rams are interested in signing Crennel as the DC


The only thing I worry about is demoting Patricia. Has BB ever demoted anyone? I wouldn't want to fire him.

#11 mwonow

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

What I want for a late Christmas present is a bit of nasty at the back end of the defense, and a 'tweener who can cover tight ends/backs on third downs.

And a commitment from the coaches to not punt from inside the opposition's 40

#12 Otis Foster


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:24 AM

Bring back Talib. I know, he had a couple of injuries, but he's a known quantity and provided skills we haven't seen in a while. Where else are you going to find a younger db like this with a proven record?

Give Gregory and Chung gold watches and send them on their way. Keep McCourty back there and bring in 1-2 new safeties, a mix of veteran and rookie talent.

I'm torn on Welker. He's contributed greatly over the years, but my impression is that critical drops have spiked in the last 2-3 years. I doubt his price has gone down, and there are potential cap concerns, depending on w/n you bring back Vollmer, Edelman, et al. Looking at it objectively, is it possible that Edelman is Welker's replacement? His talent has begun to emerge over the last year or so.

Some deep receiver talent. Please. I like Lloyd more as a replacement for what Branch was back in the day, but I don't think you can win in a pass-first league if you don't at least force opposing safeties to protect against the deep pass. I'm intrigued by Wallace's speed but doubt that he's disciplined enough to keep TB and BB happy, and his likely price will aggravate cap concerns, unless you use some of Welker's money to bring him aboard.

I also would like to see a meaner streak on defense. I detest Pollard and Suggs, but recognize what their attitude contributes to post season play.

That said, the NEPs had a season that Jets fans would sell their souls for, if in fact they had any.

#13 Shelterdog


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:53 AM

Bring back Talib. I know, he had a couple of injuries, but he's a known quantity and provided skills we haven't seen in a while. Where else are you going to find a younger db like this with a proven record?

Give Gregory and Chung gold watches and send them on their way. Keep McCourty back there and bring in 1-2 new safeties, a mix of veteran and rookie talent.

I'm torn on Welker. He's contributed greatly over the years, but my impression is that critical drops have spiked in the last 2-3 years. I doubt his price has gone down, and there are potential cap concerns, depending on w/n you bring back Vollmer, Edelman, et al. Looking at it objectively, is it possible that Edelman is Welker's replacement? His talent has begun to emerge over the last year or so.

Some deep receiver talent. Please. I like Lloyd more as a replacement for what Branch was back in the day, but I don't think you can win in a pass-first league if you don't at least force opposing safeties to protect against the deep pass. I'm intrigued by Wallace's speed but doubt that he's disciplined enough to keep TB and BB happy, and his likely price will aggravate cap concerns, unless you use some of Welker's money to bring him aboard.

I also would like to see a meaner streak on defense. I detest Pollard and Suggs, but recognize what their attitude contributes to post season play.

That said, the NEPs had a season that Jets fans would sell their souls for, if in fact they had any.


I don't want to dampen anyone's enthusiasm, but unless the Pats blow up a big chunk of the team or have a huge amount of luck late in the draft and with cheapo free agents I think you'll find that it's exceedingly hard to add (1) a true deep threat, (2) a couple of safeties who are better than Gregory, (3) Talib (or another good corner) and (4) some bad mofo defensive players with attitude. That's a ton of talent you're trying to add and the Pats don't have many draft picks, don't have high draft picks, and don't have a ton of dough in free agency.

#14 Stitch01


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:08 PM

That's a very good point. Some of those holes are going to have to come through internal improvements.  Im most hopeful of Tavon Wilson stepping up at safety, I thought he showed flashes and played decent for a rookie and I think his strengths/weaknesses could mesh well with McCourty.

 

I actually disagree with the premise that the defense needs a meaner attitude or more physicality.  I think the linebacking core in particular has that in spades.  They need to cover tight-ends and running backs and get a better interior pass rush.

 

I dont think next year's defense is going to make anyone forget the '00 Ravens or anything, but the pieces are there to have a solid, above-average defense without a salary cap busting addition IMHO.



#15 Wilco's Last Fan

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:22 PM


I don't want to dampen anyone's enthusiasm, but unless the Pats blow up a big chunk of the team or have a huge amount of luck late in the draft and with cheapo free agents I think you'll find that it's exceedingly hard to add (1) a true deep threat, (2) a couple of safeties who are better than Gregory, (3) Talib (or another good corner) and (4) some bad mofo defensive players with attitude. That's a ton of talent you're trying to add and the Pats don't have many draft picks, don't have high draft picks, and don't have a ton of dough in free agency.

You're right.  Investing in playmakers on defense likely means letting Vollmer and/or Welker go.  At this point, I think it's worth it.  Try to find cheaper alternatives at those positions (recognizing you'd be tremendously lucky to get 70% production from replacements at RT and slot WR) and invest heavily on playmakers in the secondary.

 

To take a pipe-dream example, I think I'd prefer letting Welker AND Vollmer go if it meant we could, for example, sign Talib and Jairus Byrd, while replacing Welker with Tavon Austin and drafting a high-upside DT like Kawann Short in the second round.  And yes, that might sound like I'm underrating Welker, but I think that leaves you with plenty of toys for Brady and a much-improved defense.


Edited by Wilco's Last Fan, 23 January 2013 - 01:22 PM.


#16 Myt1


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

Welker does one thing as well or better than probably any other receiver in the game (running option routes).  This thing is probably more important to the Patriots' offense than any other team's.  That confluence of factors, combined with the injury history of Brady's other top 2 targets makes me think a deal is going to get done.

 

Welker frustrates me sometimes because his failings are of the obvious and self-defeating variety.  That is, the other team doesn't make him drop the ball.  But I think it's probably folly to believe that many other receivers can bring what he does to the table, especially when you also factor in a learning curve.


Edited by Myt1, 23 January 2013 - 01:38 PM.


#17 Shelterdog


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:40 PM

You're right.  Investing in playmakers on defense likely means letting Vollmer and/or Welker go.  At this point, I think it's worth it.  Try to find cheaper alternatives at those positions (recognizing you'd be tremendously lucky to get 70% production from replacements at RT and slot WR) and invest heavily on playmakers in the secondary.

 

To take a pipe-dream example, I think I'd prefer letting Welker AND Vollmer go if it meant we could, for example, sign Talib and Jairus Byrd, while replacing Welker with Tavon Austin and drafting a high-upside DT like Kawann Short in the second round.  And yes, that might sound like I'm underrating Welker, but I think that leaves you with plenty of toys for Brady and a much-improved defense.

 

 

I find Welker's role a little perplexing.  He's obviously reliable and very effective but I find it odd that the BB defensive philosophy is ostensibly "don't give up a big play and make them go down the field bit by bit" but that our key offensive weapons (Welker in particular but Hernandez and Gronk as well) are guys who aren't really big play types unless there's a defensive backfield but rather guys who excel in going down the field bit by bit. 



#18 Otis Foster


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:07 PM


I don't want to dampen anyone's enthusiasm, but unless the Pats blow up a big chunk of the team or have a huge amount of luck late in the draft and with cheapo free agents I think you'll find that it's exceedingly hard to add (1) a true deep threat, (2) a couple of safeties who are better than Gregory, (3) Talib (or another good corner) and (4) some bad mofo defensive players with attitude. That's a ton of talent you're trying to add and the Pats don't have many draft picks, don't have high draft picks, and don't have a ton of dough in free agency.

 

Actually, I agree. This isn't fantasy football. I was suggesting Edelman as a substitute for Welker, although he's due for a raise. Talib is available, it's simply a question of money again and cap management. I think safety is more pressing than a deep receiver, and there seem to be candidates out there. If you have to give up anything, forget finding another deep threat and resign Stallworth, who still has (had) wheels, or sift through what's stashed on the practice squad/futures list.



#19 dcmissle


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:38 PM


I find Welker's role a little perplexing. He's obviously reliable and very effective but I find it odd that the BB defensive philosophy is ostensibly "don't give up a big play and make them go down the field bit by bit" but that our key offensive weapons (Welker in particular but Hernandez and Gronk as well) are guys who aren't really big play types unless there's a defensive backfield but rather guys who excel in going down the field bit by bit.


Yes. You're hitting 3-run homers today. Although obviously not a factor in 07, I think it has loomed large in the post-season losses in 2010, 11, and 12.

At a minimum, it makes little sense unless you indulge the conceit that the Pats can play this style of defense better than everyone else. But Sunday night under Dean Pees -- reviled here for a year -- with limitations in pass rush every bit as serious as the Pats', the Ravens did the better job.

#20 Super Nomario


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

Welker does one thing as well or better than probably any other receiver in the game (running option routes).  This thing is probably more important to the Patriots' offense than any other team's.  That confluence of factors, combined with the injury history of Brady's other top 2 targets makes me think a deal is going to get done.

 

Welker frustrates me sometimes because his failings are of the obvious and self-defeating variety.  That is, the other team doesn't make him drop the ball.  But I think it's probably folly to believe that many other receivers can bring what he does to the table, especially when you also factor in a learning curve.

I agree with all this, but I wonder at the same time whether Welker is the right complement to the other personnel. He often draws a safety, but he draws the safety to the underneath areas where Gronk and (especially) Hernandez also roam. Replacing Welker with a guy like Edelman, who has some similar skills but is bigger, faster, more of a deep threat, and more suited to playing on the outside, would result in less production out of that position but might open things up more for the TEs and RBs underneath.

 

 

 

 

I find Welker's role a little perplexing.  He's obviously reliable and very effective but I find it odd that the BB defensive philosophy is ostensibly "don't give up a big play and make them go down the field bit by bit" but that our key offensive weapons (Welker in particular but Hernandez and Gronk as well) are guys who aren't really big play types unless there's a defensive backfield but rather guys who excel in going down the field bit by bit. 

I've wondered about this for a couple seasons now. The offense and defensive units have been built with diametrically opposite philosophies.

 

There have been a lot of complaints here that Brady takes too many risks, but I wonder if ultimately the Patriots' offense takes too few risks. When you're completing 5-6-7-8 yard passes, you have to hit a really high percentage of them or you get in 3rd downs where anything can happen. A drop here, a miscommunication there, a late throw here, a holding penalty there, and you get Sunday's game, a game where the Patriots moved the ball consistently, amassed 420 yards of total offense, and scored 13 points. If you're throwing 10-15-20- yard passes, you can screw up here and there because when you hit you get a first down.



#21 mwonow

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

I agree with all this, but I wonder at the same time whether Welker is the right complement to the other personnel. He often draws a safety, but he draws the safety to the underneath areas where Gronk and (especially) Hernandez also roam. Replacing Welker with a guy like Edelman, who has some similar skills but is bigger, faster, more of a deep threat, and more suited to playing on the outside, would result in less production out of that position but might open things up more for the TEs and RBs underneath.

 

 

 

 

I've wondered about this for a couple seasons now. The offense and defensive units have been built with diametrically opposite philosophies.

 

There have been a lot of complaints here that Brady takes too many risks, but I wonder if ultimately the Patriots' offense takes too few risks. When you're completing 5-6-7-8 yard passes, you have to hit a really high percentage of them or you get in 3rd downs where anything can happen. A drop here, a miscommunication there, a late throw here, a holding penalty there, and you get Sunday's game, a game where the Patriots moved the ball consistently, amassed 420 yards of total offense, and scored 13 points. If you're throwing 10-15-20- yard passes, you can screw up here and there because when you hit you get a first down.

Reading this, I wonder - is the Pats' game built too heavily on YAC? Meaning, "we get lots during the season, when we see a bunch of average-tackling Ds, but don't get a lot in the post-season, when the Ds tackle better - leaving us more exposed to drops/etc. because third downs are more frequent and longer?"



#22 dcmissle


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:01 PM

Shelter has hit the essential problem, and Stitch has offered up one of the answers.

More than a few issues on the field; less than the usual resources with a flat salary cap and fewer draft picks then we have ordinarily seen. And, by the way, the QB has 3 good years left if we're lucky. Triage time.

So with all we've said about Welker, investing much in WR seems high risk given that every well they have sunk has turned up dry since Welker/Moss 6 years ago.

At some point, you have to make more with what you have. Coaching. BB did it with a pathetic secondary last season. Haslett and Pees did phenomenal jobs with very flawed defenses this season

Edited by dcmissle, 23 January 2013 - 03:02 PM.


#23 Stitch01


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

I agree with all this, but I wonder at the same time whether Welker is the right complement to the other personnel. He often draws a safety, but he draws the safety to the underneath areas where Gronk and (especially) Hernandez also roam. Replacing Welker with a guy like Edelman, who has some similar skills but is bigger, faster, more of a deep threat, and more suited to playing on the outside, would result in less production out of that position but might open things up more for the TEs and RBs underneath.

 

 

 

 

I've wondered about this for a couple seasons now. The offense and defensive units have been built with diametrically opposite philosophies.

 

There have been a lot of complaints here that Brady takes too many risks, but I wonder if ultimately the Patriots' offense takes too few risks. When you're completing 5-6-7-8 yard passes, you have to hit a really high percentage of them or you get in 3rd downs where anything can happen. A drop here, a miscommunication there, a late throw here, a holding penalty there, and you get Sunday's game, a game where the Patriots moved the ball consistently, amassed 420 yards of total offense, and scored 13 points. If you're throwing 10-15-20- yard passes, you can screw up here and there because when you hit you get a first down.

Intuitively, he seems like a better compliment for the Moss/Stallworth/Gaffney/Watson receiver corps than for Lloyd/Gronk/Hernandez/Edelman



#24 Reggie's Racquet

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

Welker does one thing as well or better than probably any other receiver in the game (running option routes).  This thing is probably more important to the Patriots' offense than any other team's.  That confluence of factors, combined with the injury history of Brady's other top 2 targets makes me think a deal is going to get done.

 

Welker frustrates me sometimes because his failings are of the obvious and self-defeating variety.  That is, the other team doesn't make him drop the ball.  But I think it's probably folly to believe that many other receivers can bring what he does to the table, especially when you also factor in a learning curve.

I think if Brady wants his Welker binkie...and that's okay by me...he should restructure his contract and make it possible.


Edited by Reggie's Racquet, 23 January 2013 - 03:05 PM.


#25 Corsi


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

FOXBORO — There has been mutual interest between Kyle Arrington and the Patriots in keeping the cornerback with the team, and contract negotiations won’t be a sure thing.

Arrington is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career, and his top priority involves remaining with the Pats.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have displayed a desire to keep Arrington around, but the two sides have yet to enter formal contract negotiations. The Pats can exclusively negotiate with Arrington until free agency begins March 12.

http://bostonherald....n_likes_it_here



#26 Otis Foster


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:24 AM

I think if Brady wants his Welker binkie...and that's okay by me...he should restructure his contract and make it possible.

He's already restructured and I don't know if there's any more give in his package. Anyway, while I'm not for pushing Welker out the door at all, his demands may distort the salary structure and make it impossible to keep some other essential parts (Talib comes to mind). I'm interested in Edelman's potential to step into that role at a lower cost.



#27 Myt1


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

Intuitively, he seems like a better compliment for the Moss/Stallworth/Gaffney/Watson receiver corps than for Lloyd/Gronk/Hernandez/Edelman

 

The issue is that Welker drawing a safety is often what opens up the seam for Gronk heading down field.  That's an area the Pats like to attack with their TEs.

 

He's an incredible player in the Patriots' offense and he almost never misses time.  Removing a key cog like that in the closing Brady window doesn't make a lot of sense to me unless his contract would be crippling.  I really, really like how the defense played with Talib in, but the guy has played 11, 13, and 10 games the last three years and has off field issues.  If the decision is between one or the other, I think it's obvious.



#28 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

The issue is that Welker drawing a safety is often what opens up the seam for Gronk heading down field.  That's an area the Pats like to attack with their TEs.

 

He's an incredible player in the Patriots' offense and he almost never misses time.  Removing a key cog like that in the closing Brady window doesn't make a lot of sense to me unless his contract would be crippling.  I really, really like how the defense played with Talib in, but the guy has played 11, 13, and 10 games the last three years and has off field issues.  If the decision is between one or the other, I think it's obvious.

 

I agree with this - people are, IMO, undervaluing Welker because of a tendency to see the weaknesses in his game rather than the considerable strengths, and I think it's likely because we've gotten used to his level of production.

 

I really want Talib to remain a Patriot, but he is anything but a consistently productive asset, and - even if he was - he isn't as valuable to this team as Welker.

 

I would let Vollmer go (chronic back issues, Pats have demonstrated great ability in spotting and developing OL talent, and perhaps Cannon will be ready to take over) before either of them. 



#29 Super Nomario


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

The issue is that Welker drawing a safety is often what opens up the seam for Gronk heading down field.  That's an area the Pats like to attack with their TEs.

When Welker draws the safety to help open up the seam from Gronk, it's usually in a case where he's in the slot on the opposite side and he's attacking the seam on that side. In that particular situation, I'm not sure he's a better bet to draw the safety than Edelman or Hernandez would be, and he's arguably less of a threat to make a play on that route than those players would be.



#30 Myt1


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:29 AM

What's the argument?  Hernandez is probably a bigger athletic threat in space, but Welker's routes are better and he catches the ball at pace more.  He's also probably less likely to miss time with injury. 

 

I don't think anyone really knows what Edelman is yet.


Edited by Myt1, 24 January 2013 - 11:31 AM.


#31 Shelterdog


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:53 AM

What's the argument?  Hernandez is probably a bigger athletic threat in space, but Welker's routes are better and he catches the ball at pace more.  He's also probably less likely to miss time with injury. 

 

I don't think anyone really knows what Edelman is yet.

 

I know what Edelman is--an oft injured free agent.

 

Anyhow I think the argument is that if this were Madden you'd like to swap one of Hernandez/Welker for an equally talented outside receiver because Hernandez and Welker have somewhat redundant skill sets (or to be more precise have different skill sets that are useful in the same part of the field).  The problem is that this is real life so you can't really make that move because it screws up offensive continuity, might hurt the team from a chemistry standpoint, and it's going to be hard to find the outside receiver who will, in fact, get the job done.



#32 Jungleland

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

Without Talib across from Dennard, we saw the Pats D turn to a sieve as recently as five days ago and more consistently in the two months of the season before he arrived. While we haven't seen a Welker-less offense in quite some time, I have trouble imagining that the falloff on that side of the ball would be anywhere near as severe, especially if one assumes Julian Edelman can be resigned cheaper and give you even 50% of the production Welker does. Health is the only reason I can see for valuing Welker over a good to great corner.

 

At the risk of getting one-linery, I'm not sure there's a player on offense short of Gronk and Brady that I wouldn't trade or let walk for a great addition to the secondary. This team has an incredible quarterback and a mediocre defense, and Sunday aside put up ridiculous offensive numbers while missing one of either Hernandez or Gronk almost every game. While that illustrates the value of Welker's durability and role in the offense, it also suggests to me that Brady is going to score points with whoever he has out there. If the choice is mutually exclusive between spending money on Welker or spending money on the defense, I'm letting Welker walk and taking my chances with the chemistry.



#33 Super Nomario


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:01 PM

What's the argument?  Hernandez is probably a bigger athletic threat in space, but Welker's routes are better and he catches the ball at pace more.  He's also probably less likely to miss time with injury. 

 

I don't think anyone really knows what Edelman is yet.

The argument is that a Welker / Hernandez / Gronkowski offense is less than the sum of its parts because they all operate primarily underneath, primarily in the middle of the field. Man coverage, float extra defenders in an underneath zone, take away the easy throws, make them go outside the numbers and downfield. The Pats are like a basketball team with a bunch of efficient players from 10-feet in but not enough jump shooters; after a while defenses sag off, the lane gets clogged, and no one can go to the hoop anymore.

 

This is no knock on Welker; it's just that he's the one who's a free agent, he's the oldest, and he is (or will be) about the most expensive. Obviously he's a great player, and he's a great player in the Pats' system. 



#34 Myt1


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

The argument is that a Welker / Hernandez / Gronkowski offense is less than the sum of its parts because they all operate primarily underneath, primarily in the middle of the field. Man coverage, float extra defenders in an underneath zone, take away the easy throws, make them go outside the numbers and downfield. The Pats are like a basketball team with a bunch of efficient players from 10-feet in but not enough jump shooters; after a while defenses sag off, the lane gets clogged, and no one can go to the hoop anymore.

 

This is no knock on Welker; it's just that he's the one who's a free agent, he's the oldest, and he is (or will be) about the most expensive. Obviously he's a great player, and he's a great player in the Pats' system. 

 

The sum of its parts is the offense that led the league in offense and points.  The Pats are the furthest thing in the world from a basketball team that has trouble scoring or whose offense can simply be schemed away.


Edited by Myt1, 24 January 2013 - 12:53 PM.


#35 Shelterdog


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

The sum of its parts is the offense that led the league in offense and points.  The Pats are the furthest thing in the world from a basketball team that has trouble scoring or whose offense can simply be schemed away.

 

 

Particularly when all three of Welker, Gronk and Hernandez are close to full speed.  The handful of losses that come to mind where they didn't play well offensively (the superbowl, the Arizona game, last week's game) largely involve occasions when they were missing one of the three. 



#36 Stitch01


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:26 PM

The issue is that Welker drawing a safety is often what opens up the seam for Gronk heading down field.  That's an area the Pats like to attack with their TEs.

 

He's an incredible player in the Patriots' offense and he almost never misses time.  Removing a key cog like that in the closing Brady window doesn't make a lot of sense to me unless his contract would be crippling.  I really, really like how the defense played with Talib in, but the guy has played 11, 13, and 10 games the last three years and has off field issues.  If the decision is between one or the other, I think it's obvious.

I didnt mean to suggest he wasn't a hugely valuable player, he clearly is. 



#37 Myt1


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

I didnt mean to suggest he wasn't a hugely valuable player, he clearly is. 

 

No, I know you weren't suggesting that.  I was more using your post as a jumping of place to point out that the Patriots' offense is ahead of a curve and atypical in the way they exploit space.  Because of that, drawing a safety is exploited a bit differently than in a more stereotypical, "single coverage on the outside" way. 

 

I think relying more on a YAC based offense does a lot of ancillary good things like cut down on turnovers and sacks and keep more options (and more readily seen options) involved on every play.  I think the Pats' offense is actually far more than the sum of its parts.


Edited by Myt1, 24 January 2013 - 01:33 PM.


#38 Stitch01


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

I see. That gives me a couple of thoughts, I'll look for some data when I have some more time.



#39 Myt1


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:34 PM

Uh oh.  :)



#40 Super Nomario


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

The sum of its parts is the offense that led the league in offense and points.  The Pats are the furthest thing in the world from a basketball team that has trouble scoring or whose offense can simply be schemed away.

It's a matter of degrees, and obviously teams need pretty rare personnel (not only corners but also safeties and linebackers who can cover, a four-man rush that can generate pressure) to deploy the kind of scheme that can slow down the Patriots' offense. I guess I would summarize the argument as follows:

1) The Patriots have an excellent offense with excellent personnel

2) A lot of that personnel operates in overlapping regions of the field

3) Welker is a free agent and expected to command a lot of money

4) The Patriots have other holes (particularly on the defensive end) that need filling and will also cost money

 

If it wasn't a salary cap league, you'd certainly re-sign Welker, and you'd also get a guy (Edelman, a draft pick, or someone else) who can stretch the field a bit more as your third receiver. And you'd fill your defensive holes, too. But given that there are financially restraints, you might be able to replace Welker for pennies on the dollar with someone who's not as good but forces defenses to defend a region of the field that they don't have to now, see a relatively minor dropoff in overall offensive production, and use the savings to shore up the defense.

 

No, I know you weren't suggesting that.  I was more using your post as a jumping of place to point out that the Patriots' offense is ahead of a curve and atypical in the way they exploit space.  Because of that, drawing a safety is exploited a bit differently than in a more stereotypical, "single coverage on the outside" way. 

 

I think relying more on a YAC based offense does a lot of ancillary good things like cut down on turnovers and sacks and keep more options (and more readily seen options) involved on every play.  I think the Pats' offense is actually far more than the sum of its parts.

You make a good point about how throwing short and getting YAC has benefits. I'm not advocating moving away from that; Hernandez and Gronkowski aren't going anywhere, and if you do replace Welker it would ideally be with an Edelman- or Tavon Austin- type who can do some of the same things. I wouldn't suggest a Mike Wallace-type who's a pure deep threat and not much of a concern underneath. Ironically, I think adding a player who stretches the field deep lets you make it more of a YAC-based offense. What we see against good defenses with the offense as it is today is they take away the middle underneath and dare the Patriots to beat them long and outside the numbers. Sometimes they Patriots can do that - the comeback against the 49ers was keyed by long passes to Hoomanawanui and Lloyd; they built a lead against Seattle with a long bomb to Welker - but it's a lower-percentage play, particularly with the personnel they have now, and it weakens the benefits you mention. A deep threat a) could make the defenses adjust and open up underneath routes more and b) makes the deep ball a higher-percentage play in the even defenses do not adjust.



#41 Otis Foster


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

If it wasn't a salary cap league, you'd certainly re-sign Welker, and you'd also get a guy (Edelman, a draft pick, or someone else) who can stretch the field a bit more as your third receiver. And you'd fill your defensive holes, too. But given that there are financially restraints, you might be able to replace Welker for pennies on the dollar with someone who's not as good but forces defenses to defend a region of the field that they don't have to now, see a relatively minor dropoff in overall offensive production, and use the savings to shore up the defense.
That really is the issue. I have great respect for what Welker brings to the table, and losing him creates other issues, not the least of which (IMO) is the time it takes for Brady to get comfortable with a new offensive piece. But the question isn't hypothetical. It may be that the 18.6 MM in available cap space won't accommodate both Welker and Talib (or the two of them plus Vollmer). So what is the priority?
 
I see a possible replacement for Welker in whom Brady already has confidence. Maybe 50% of what Welker offers, but respectable. I see nothing to replace Talib except the kind of dreck we've been throwing out there for years.

 


 


 


#42 Myt1


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

Do you not think that the dreck we've been throwing out there for years provides 50% of what Talib does?

 

I mean, I really like the guy, and have high hopes, but he's young at a premium position and has indicated that he intends to test the free agent market and he has injury issues and substance issues.

 

I do suck at math, so there's that.  ;)

 

Basically, you're willing to weaken what has been the Patriots bread and butter on the hope that a guy who played, like 3 full games for the club is the defensive answer.



#43 j44thor

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:22 PM

Given the off-field baggage and injury history I don't think teams are going to be giving Talib huge offers.  Granted it only takes one but I really don't see him getting close to Welker $$. 

 

Welker on the other hand will probably find some takers.  One team I would be very concerned about giving him a huge offer would be CIN.  They have a ton of cap space and a glaring hole opposite AJ Green.  Welker would be the perfect complement working the slot with Green on the outside.

 

If Welker does leave I would like to see Bill call MN to see just how invested they are in Harvin.  

 

This blurb from a couple weeks ago is interesting.

 

The Vikings habitually address expiring contracts a year early for top players. Judd Zulgad of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities believes Harvin has played his last game in Minnesota after adopting Randy Moss' world view over the past couple of years. Zulgad fully expects the Patriots to go after Harvin if he hits the trade market. Bill Belichick "loves Percy," adds Zulgad

 



#44 ragnarok725

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:26 PM

We've got to remember that Edelman is a FA as well, and was having himself quite a breakout year before the injury knocked him out. That injury will certainly have an impact on what kinds of offers he sees. But his skills (returner, underneath receiver) overlap significantly with Welker's. If re-signing Welker is imperative, can you still commit resources to Edelman knowing he's mostly a back-up plan? In the brief few games this season where Edelman, Welker, Hernandez, Gronk, and Lloyd were all healthy one of them was sitting. It was Welker at the start (although not sure that would have continued, and became moot very early in the Arizona game with Hernandez going down).

 

I guess you've got to plan for injuries in the NFL anyway, but it would seem an interesting approach to go after both Welker and Edelman.

 

One other thing to note when comparing Edelman and Welker's games is that Edelman is a much, much better blocker on screens and run plays. On Ben Muth's FO column he broke down a huge play where Welker completely blew his assignment on Corey Graham which blew up that 3rd and 2 with Ridley in the first quarter, a big play in the game.

 

I'm coming around to the idea of sprinkling the Welker money around (keep Vollmer, Talib, Thomas, and Edleman), going hard at the FA market for a safety or interior DL, and drafting another WR.



#45 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:38 PM

Do you not think that the dreck we've been throwing out there for years provides 50% of what Talib does?
 
I mean, I really like the guy, and have high hopes, but he's young at a premium position and has indicated that he intends to test the free agent market and he has injury issues and substance issues.
 
I do suck at math, so there's that.  ;)
 
Basically, you're willing to weaken what has been the Patriots bread and butter on the hope that a guy who played, like 3 full games for the club is the defensive answer.

Well this is also the same mindset that allowed the secondary to suffer when Samuel wanted to get paid. I would pay Talib 200 million a year if it meant never ever seeing Kyle Arrington start for the Patriots again.

I would franchise Talib and let Welker walk, Give Talib one more year to gauge if he's really grown up, can't hurt at all. Resign Edelman and pursue a trade for Harvin

Edited by Tyrone Biggums, 24 January 2013 - 08:43 PM.


#46 ZP1

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

I think the odds are high that Welker is with another team next season unless he leaves a significant amount of money on the table.  I just don't see the Patriots shelling out major money for an aging receiver at this point. More than that, I think the Pats FO might agree with all of the sentiment above that the overall quality of the team would be higher with Welker money being spent on the defense.  



#47 Wilco's Last Fan

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

Indeed....






* Apparently Rams are interested in signing Crennel as the DC

 

Rams went with Rob Ryan.  http://espn.go.com/n...rdinator-source



#48 nighthob

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:58 PM

The Patriots have signed Kafka, which means that next season will be either a trial or a metamorphosis. (Sorry, someone had to do it.)



#49 Corsi


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

Sources say one of the teams highly interested is the New England Patriots, but not even the Jets, who have made some screwy decisions over the years, would trade Revis to the division-rival Patriots and, in the process, hand them a Super Bowl.

http://www.cbssports...ble-revis-trade



#50 Otis Foster


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

http://www.cbssports...ble-revis-trade

 

Never thought about it, but could BB convince someone in the NFC (say) to act as a hidden straw, with an udnerstanding that they could flip Revis for a package of draft choices? Probably not permitted, but worth a mention anyhow.






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