2020 Pats: General/Non-QB Off-Season Discussion

riboflav

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 20, 2006
7,704
NOVA
I'd be shocked if we ever saw Brady in a Patriots uniform again. Bellichick has always been cutthroat and there is no logic to spending big on a 43-year old QB coming off what was arguably his worst season. At the very least, and if they can't find anyone in free agency, Stidham isn't likely to be worse than Brady was in 2019.
Guessing Brady signs elsewhere and, after another mediocre year, retires at the end of next season...
This is wow bad. No appreciation for the lack of the OL and WR and TE corps. And Brady willing to sacrifice his stats and part of his legacy by refusing to take sack after sack to just throw the ball away for the benefit of the team. I mean is this a serious post in any way? What has Stidham ever done to deserve a post like this besides be the Andelman shiny Michael Bishop object who has barely ever played a down in the NFL?
 

riboflav

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 20, 2006
7,704
NOVA
This was truly one of the worst, least effective draft classes ever for the pats going back.

For a guy who was supposed to be a physical, dynamic pressence, Harry played like shit. Continually.

He wasn't good at blocking. Had poor burst. That play where he was lit up at the end of the line during the Miami game kills me.

Give Metcalf. Please.

This whole draft class was a massive whiff by BB.
Can we just not game thread this or is it hopeless? Harry plays what? 6? 7? games after being injured.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
5,602
I'd be shocked if we ever saw Brady in a Patriots uniform again. Bellichick has always been cutthroat and there is no logic to spending big on a 43-year old QB coming off what was arguably his worst season. At the very least, and if they can't find anyone in free agency, Stidham isn't likely to be worse than Brady was in 2019.
Guessing Brady signs elsewhere and, after another mediocre year, retires at the end of next season...
If you take out drops and throwaways 2018 and 2019 Brady were pretty similar, and 2018 Brady won a super bowl. That's not even factoring in losing his main red zone threat without a suitable replacement. I'd be absolutely shocked if Stidham were better than Brady right now.
 

kazuneko

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
1,982
Honolulu HI
This is wow bad. No appreciation for the lack of the OL and WR and TE corps. And Brady willing to sacrifice his stats and part of his legacy by refusing to take sack after sack to just throw the ball away for the benefit of the team.
Brady will be 43 years old at the beginning of next season. I almost think there is no need to say anything else in response....

In the history of the NFL there has never been a quarterback 43 or older who started more than 6* games. Never....
In fact, there has only been one 42+ year old quarterback to start more than 10 games. His name is Tom Brady..
Listen, I love Tom Brady and what he is doing at age 42 has never been done before, but that doesn't even mean he had a good season. That's because all he had to do to become the greatest 42-year old QB in NFL history was play more than 10 games and put up a passer rating over 76.6.
What will he have to do to be the best 43+ year old QB ever? Well If he starts more than 6 games and isn't the worst QB in football that title is his. While I'm sure he can pull that off, I don't think anyone should be confident that, at 43, he'll actually be a player you'd want as a starter.
My point is that 43 isn't just old for an NFL QB, it's ridiculously old. When Brady was showing no signs of decline it was possible to ride along with his fantasy that he could defy father time and actually be a good NFL player until age 45 (something the NFL record book would suggest is absurd). After this season it's become a bit harder to maintain that fantasy. Father time always wins - even against the GOAT.

*That 6-start quarterback had 6 interceptions and 5 TDs and QB rating of 65...
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
25,117
Melrose, MA
Brady is good enough for one or two more years. Unless you plan a major overhaul of the entire offense, bring him back and get him some toys and oline health.
I'm not sure that the offense can compete next year without a major overhaul. The offensive line was pretty bad for most of the year, and Joe Thuney, clearly their best OL by a wide margin, is a free agent who will command huge money. If they are lucky they get Andrews back, progression from Wynn, and a rebound year from Mason, but that still leaves them with questions marks and no OL depth.

The one established productive WR on the team is old and injury prone.

The offense needs more than adding a key piece or two, and there are enough defensive free agents (Van Noy, McCourty) and guys who may be done (Chung) that some money will need to be spent on that side of the ball.

They wasted a second round pick in the disastrous Sanu deal.

I think there's a case to be made that they don't have the talent and cap room to run it back as anything other than a one-year older version of this awful team.

It might really be the end of the line and time to blow it up.
 

jsinger121

@jsinger121
SoSH Member
Here’s where I am at and this was said on the NBC Sports Boston Post Game show. They shouldn’t keep this team together to win just the AFC East. Makes no sense to do that. It would be like the Celtics trying to keep it together from 1988-1992 with washed up Bird, McHale and Parish. Yes those teams won a few division titles but never came close to sniffing the finals again. This Patriots roster needs a serious turnover now. They had been to 8 straight AFC championship games including 5 Super Bowls in that time frame when this run kinda started back with the really good but immature 2010 team that went 14-2. They have limited cap space and can’t pay Brady what he wants and have a competitive super bowl winning team with the holes they have. It will be worth it in the long run to clean up the Salary Cap space now and move on from older players and start this rebuild ASAP.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
12,706
Mansfield MA
Here’s where I am at and this was said on the NBC Sports Boston Post Game show. They shouldn’t keep this team together to win just the AFC East. Makes no sense to do that. It would be like the Celtics trying to keep it together from 1988-1992 with washed up Bird, McHale and Parish. Yes those teams won a few division titles but never came close to sniffing the finals again. This Patriots roster needs a serious turnover now. They had been to 8 straight AFC championship games including 5 Super Bowls in that time frame when this run kinda started back with the really good but immature 2010 team that went 14-2. They have limited cap space and can’t pay Brady what he wants and have a competitive super bowl winning team with the holes they have. It will be worth it in the long run to clean up the Salary Cap space now and move on from older players and start this rebuild ASAP.
What does this mean in practical terms? Let Brady and McCourty walk? Trade Edelman and Hightower? Try to have the worst team in the league in 2020 (which is what you'd have if the answer to the above questions are yes)?

This team needs to start hitting on draft picks. Way too many terrible drafts in the past four or five years. But they need to do that whether they run it back or blow it up.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
25,117
Melrose, MA
This team needs to start hitting on draft picks. Way too many terrible drafts in the past four or five years. But they need to do that whether they run it back or blow it up.
I guess the question is... do they have the cap room to put a significantly better team on the field around Brady, assuming they do hit on their draft picks? I see a lot of places where the current team is either already not that good or is likely to slip as core players decline or walk via free agency. If the best they can reasonably expect to do is to put a team that is comparable to this one on the field, I think you have to consider blowing it up just because this isn;t a team that can win a SB.

Let's say they run it back. What pieces do they need to add, at minimum, to be legitimately better than what they are today?
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
23,899
Hingham, MA
Going into 2018, no one thought the 2018 team could be as good as the 2017 team. On paper, they weren't, and in the regular season, they probably weren't, but they won it all.

2020 feels the same. Stay the course, do what you always do, put the best team possible on the field without mortgaging the future.
 

jsinger121

@jsinger121
SoSH Member
I guess the question is... do they have the cap room to put a significantly better team on the field around Brady, assuming they do hit on their draft picks? I see a lot of places where the current team is either already not that good or is likely to slip as core players decline or walk via free agency. If the best they can reasonably expect to do is to put a team that is comparable to this one on the field, I think you have to consider blowing it up just because this isn;t a team that can win a SB.

Let's say they run it back. What pieces do they need to add, at minimum, to be legitimately better than what they are today?
WR, TE, OL, DL, LB and safety
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
12,706
Mansfield MA
I guess the question is... do they have the cap room to put a significantly better team on the field around Brady, assuming they do hit on their draft picks? I see a lot of places where the current team is either already not that good or is likely to slip as core players decline or walk via free agency. If the best they can reasonably expect to do is to put a team that is comparable to this one on the field, I think you have to consider blowing it up just because this isn;t a team that can win a SB.

Let's say they run it back. What pieces do they need to add, at minimum, to be legitimately better than what they are today?
I agree with you that there are a lot of holes. The offense wasn't good enough this year, either running the ball or passing. They can't afford to re-sign or replace more than one or two of Brady, McCourty, Thuney, and Van Noy/Collins, and they're losing major depth at IOL, DL, LB, and WR. Some of the solutions can be internal - maybe Froholdt / Cajuste step on the OL, Harry improves, Bentley steps into a big role at LB, etc. But there's a lot to do for Belichick the GM.

Where we differ is I question the whole idea of blowing it up for an NFL team. Yeah, tank in the NBA, sure, you've only got five starters and a superstar makes a huge impact. But football, with 22 starters and a bunch more contributors, you need a lot more pieces. Getting rid of effective players just means there are more holes to fill.

To be clear: I'm not on board with mortgaging the future to load up for a last run, either. Just make smart decisions, develop the young guys, hit on some picks, and make some smart budget FA signings (where they've quietly had a ton of failures of late). It's not high-percentage, but neither is winning the Super Bowl.
 

ObstructedView

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
1,343
Maine
Really seems like the hole at TE is among the biggest issues, both in the passing game (especially red zone) and in run-blocking. Not that anyone's going to throw any sympathy our way, but it's torture after all those years of Gronk to watch Kittles and some of these other guys who are basically Gronk-lites terrorize the league. And while there does seem to have been a trend toward cultivating and targeting that type of player, they obviously don't grow on trees.
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
7,271
To be clear: I'm not on board with mortgaging the future to load up for a last run, either. Just make smart decisions, develop the young guys, hit on some picks, and make some smart budget FA signings (where they've quietly had a ton of failures of late). It's not high-percentage, but neither is winning the Super Bowl.
The key question is, is that plan going to be enough to entice Tom to return?
 

8slim

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
13,647
Unreal America
The team is not in good shape to contend for a SB for a while. They have a ton of holes on offense, limited cap space and draft capital, and a number of key free agents. The drafting the past few years has been bad, unfortunately.

I wonder if Bill has it in him to go through another 3-5 year roster overhaul, or if he’ll go another direction. Brady’s probably gone, but not likely to anywhere he’ll win another title.
NFL teams don’t require 3-5 years to do anything. This isn’t college.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
28,269
I refuse to yield to anger or impatience. My anger broke after after the Bengals stupidity. I was never impatient because I figured the transition, esp the Brady transition, would be impossibly difficult regardless of 20 years of high accomplishment and good will. Even had they broken up a year early, that would get left a title on the table.

That said, this will be a very challenging sequence that could take up to three years back to the top top of the AFCE. And the thing is, it is not clear to me that BB would be the man in charge. I would probably vote Harbaugh and maybe Carroll, recognizing they are probably unattainable.

This is a season for deep thoughts and great courage..
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
23,020
Cap reality is that if Brady is back it has to be largely same team, with some FA losses necessary and some draft picks and low end FAs to fill in. Agree with SN that too high a miss % on both of those is a big problem last few years. A TE upgrade would be first on my list, but there’s a lot of gaps to fill.

If Brady isn’t around, I wonder if you experiment more offensively—do you go much more explicitly to power running (suspect not)? Do you go more spread and focus back on super quick receivers? I think part of offensive change can be philosophical but likely only if there’s a QB change.

I am higher on McD than many here, but I do wonder about the need for change and new ideas offensively, in either of the above scenarios. I’d love to see an “external” offensive person in the picture as an advisor.
 
Feb 19, 2015
3,167
I got a weird sense watching the Brady presser last night that he wants to finish his career with the Pats and it's going to be up to BB if he gets the chance. I think Brady is going to have to play for very short dollars if he wants to be a Patriot next year.
 

jsinger121

@jsinger121
SoSH Member
Cap reality is that if Brady is back it has to be largely same team, with some FA losses necessary and some draft picks and low end FAs to fill in. Agree with SN that too high a miss % on both of those is a big problem last few years. A TE upgrade would be first on my list, but there’s a lot of gaps to fill.

If Brady isn’t around, I wonder if you experiment more offensively—do you go much more explicitly to power running (suspect not)? Do you go more spread and focus back on super quick receivers? I think part of offensive change can be philosophical but likely only if there’s a QB change.

I am higher on McD than many here, but I do wonder about the need for change and new ideas offensively, in either of the above scenarios. I’d love to see an “external” offensive person in the picture as an advisor.
If McDaniels goes and Brady as well and maybe Joe Judge (Mississippi State?) does Belichick go get young offensive guru Joe Brady of LSU whose spread offensive was dominant especially if they will run Jarrett Stidham out there?
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,308
WR, TE, OL, DL, LB and safety
WR - Harry developing with more experience could be an enormous boost and upgrading here shouldn’t be too hard.

TE - biggest problem that they’ll have to invest a lot of effort in fixing...not sure how they do it.

OL - a full season of Wynn, and the return of Andrews will do wonders for the line; other than not getting push in short yardage situations, the line played very well the last part of the season, which gives me hope.

DL - Need a guy like... Michael Bennett. Ugh I didn’t like that trade when they made it and I think it came back to bite them. They’re ok at DL but could use one more quality body.

LB - Van Noy and Collins will be gone. I think Bentley may be ready to take on a larger role but I think they can get another quality player.

S - I think they just need better health from Chung. I think this group will be good next year if they all stay. They do need to get younger. Maybe one of the young corners gets converted to a safety. They have a lot of options there.

I honestly think that every year teams have needs to fill. This Pats team sure does but most of them should be pretty doable. They’ve got a great foundation upon which to build. Would anyone be shocked if they win 11-12 games again next year and are right back in the thick of things? I sure wouldn’t.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
43,672
deep inside Guido territory
List of FA at positions of need

WR
AJ Green, Larry Fitzgerald, Emmanuel Sanders, Devin Funchess, Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Danny Amendola, Robby Anderson

TE
Austin Hooper, Hunter Henry, Tyler Eifery, Eric Ebron, Vernon Davis, Darren Fells

G
Joe Thuney, Brandon Schreff, Mike Iupati, Android Peat, Michael Schofield

DL
Michael Brockers, Mike Daniels, Jordan Phillips, A’Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reid

DE
Clowney, Derek Wolfe, Ezekiel Ansah, Leonard Williams, Vic Beasley, Yannick Ngakoue

LB
Dante Fowler, Bud Dupree, Shaq Barrett, Markus Golden, KVN, Collins

Safety
DMac, Justin Simmons, Jimmie Ward, Damarious Randall, Kurt Coleman, Rodney McLeod,
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,308
Would love Robbie Anderson but he will be too expensive. Maybe add Hooper and Vernon Davis as his backup. Don’t think either will be terribly expensive (Hooper more than Davis of course).
 

8slim

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
13,647
Unreal America
WR - Harry developing with more experience could be an enormous boost and upgrading here shouldn’t be too hard.

TE - biggest problem that they’ll have to invest a lot of effort in fixing...not sure how they do it.

OL - a full season of Wynn, and the return of Andrews will do wonders for the line; other than not getting push in short yardage situations, the line played very well the last part of the season, which gives me hope.

DL - Need a guy like... Michael Bennett. Ugh I didn’t like that trade when they made it and I think it came back to bite them. They’re ok at DL but could use one more quality body.

LB - Van Noy and Collins will be gone. I think Bentley may be ready to take on a larger role but I think they can get another quality player.

S - I think they just need better health from Chung. I think this group will be good next year if they all stay. They do need to get younger. Maybe one of the young corners gets converted to a safety. They have a lot of options there.

I honestly think that every year teams have needs to fill. This Pats team sure does but most of them should be pretty doable. They’ve got a great foundation upon which to build. Would anyone be shocked if they win 11-12 games again next year and are right back in the thick of things? I sure wouldn’t.
Totally agree with your last paragraph. The nature of the NFL means turning over a decent chunk of your roster every offseason. The Pats have a better foundation heading into 2020 than 90% of franchises.

Some units need improvement but I have faith in Bill to add the right pieces (OL and DL in particular). Bring Brady Back and give the guy a legit deep threat at WR, and a reliable pass catching TE.
 

dano7594

lurker
Jul 15, 2005
87
Belichick's philosophy of getting rid of someone a year early rather than a year too late will really be tested here with Brady. I want him back.

Reality of this offense was starting the year, Andrews out for the year. Demaryius Thomas will play, now Antonio Brown is coming in, Thomas is gone, Develin is hurt, Wynn is hurt, Newhouse in, then Ben Watson back in week 4, then he is cut, now he is back. Harry coming back in week 11, Brown gone, Gordon gone. Sanu in. It was a revolving door on offense. Call it excuses but they had so many personnel changes on offense, it would have been difficult to find consistency.

My last question will, Kraft have any influence on the Brady decision?
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
7,271
WR - Harry developing with more experience could be an enormous boost and upgrading here shouldn’t be too hard.

TE - biggest problem that they’ll have to invest a lot of effort in fixing...not sure how they do it.

OL - a full season of Wynn, and the return of Andrews will do wonders for the line; other than not getting push in short yardage situations, the line played very well the last part of the season, which gives me hope.

DL - Need a guy like... Michael Bennett. Ugh I didn’t like that trade when they made it and I think it came back to bite them. They’re ok at DL but could use one more quality body.

LB - Van Noy and Collins will be gone. I think Bentley may be ready to take on a larger role but I think they can get another quality player.

S - I think they just need better health from Chung. I think this group will be good next year if they all stay. They do need to get younger. Maybe one of the young corners gets converted to a safety. They have a lot of options there.

I honestly think that every year teams have needs to fill. This Pats team sure does but most of them should be pretty doable. They’ve got a great foundation upon which to build. Would anyone be shocked if they win 11-12 games again next year and are right back in the thick of things? I sure wouldn’t.
Maybe it's the sour taste from how this season ended that's got me down right now, but I just feel like these solutions are so much easier said than done. Just looking at the OL, what is the likelihood of Wynn staying healthy and Andrews returning to his former level while replacing Thuney with no dropoff? At WR, what can we expect from Edelman next season? And I find it difficult to use 'shouldn't be too hard' with any positional upgrades given the disappointing drafts in recent years. I hope it's the frustration talking and I'm totally wrong, but I just have a hard time summoning up any optimism this morning.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,308
Well people have said this was the worst group of receivers in the NFL. If that’s true, how hard can it realistically be to upgrade from the absolute bottom of the pile? Nowhere to go but up, right?
 

Mugsy's Jock

Eli apologist
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 28, 2000
11,479
Bi-Coastal, for the time being
@Eddie Jurak mentioned it, but otherwise I think the likely loss of Joe Thuney is going to really leave a mark, exceeding even the potential return of David Andrews. Wonder if Scar is willing to stick out another year, especially if Josh, whom he admires greatly and works closely with, takes off.

The Pats will never be a “Lose for Lawrence” possibility, both because whatever returns next year will still be too talented to truly truly suck, and because BB would never stand for it.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 2, 2006
17,493
Philadelphia
A big problem is that you have to account for old players likely getting worse. Almost all our key players on defense are in the 29-32 age bracket. Unsurprisingly, a lot of those guys got banged up or wore down over the course of the season, such that they weren’t very effective by the end. Next year they’re just one year older.

The point is that you cant just look at the roster and ask where the holes are. You also have to assume that a lot of our best players will show declining effectiveness.

I focused on the defense but this is just as true of Edelman, who wasn’t the same player this year and is at an age where WRs typically fall apart quickly. Counting on him to be a major asset in the passing game next year is very risky.
 

nattysez

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2010
4,344
It's probably the most critical offseason in terms of personnel since the run began, and it all begins with Brady. Is one more shot with the current setup worth setting themselves back 2-3 years down the road. Tough call.
100% this. But they may also be losing Caserio this off-season, which makes this particularly scary. Could be a totally different team all around if they lose McD, Brady and Caserio. Hopefully those decisions get made quickly so the off-season plans don't suffer too much.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
9,825
I refuse to yield to anger or impatience. My anger broke after after the Bengals stupidity. I was never impatient because I figured the transition, esp the Brady transition, would be impossibly difficult regardless of 20 years of high accomplishment and good will. Even had they broken up a year early, that would get left a title on the table.

That said, this will be a very challenging sequence that could take up to three years back to the top top of the AFCE. And the thing is, it is not clear to me that BB would be the man in charge. I would probably vote Harbaugh and maybe Carroll, recognizing they are probably unattainable.

This is a season for deep thoughts and great courage..
Belichick is going nowhere. He wants to go for Shula's record. I have far more confidence in him than I would in Pete Carroll, who is never coming back here anyway. Plus there is the fact that his sons are moving up the team's coaching and scouting ranks.

Plus, if there was a chance that Belichick would be leaving, McDaniels would not be out interviewing for his next gig.

WR - Harry developing with more experience could be an enormous boost and upgrading here shouldn’t be too hard.
I'm very much worried about Edelman. He may be forced into retirement; the injuries are starting to mount. Dorsett will be gone; Sanu is likely gone, which would be addition by subtraction anyway. I have less confidence in Harry, but I lump him more into the "wait and see" category.

TE - biggest problem that they’ll have to invest a lot of effort in fixing...not sure how they do it.
Absolutely have to fix this position.

OL - a full season of Wynn, and the return of Andrews will do wonders for the line; other than not getting push in short yardage situations, the line played very well the last part of the season, which gives me hope.
I'm less optimistic about an Andrews return. At the very least, the Pats shouldn't count on it. Wynn's injuries were both fluky, so I am more hopeful he is past them. And they do have a couple of rookies that spent the year on IR that could help next year. Probably the easiest squad to upgrade.

DL - Need a guy like... Michael Bennett. Ugh I didn’t like that trade when they made it and I think it came back to bite them. They’re ok at DL but could use one more quality body.
Bennett wasn't going to work out here. Unfortunate, but it happens. He had a couple of good games with Dallas, but I think he's being overrated here a bit.

LB - Van Noy and Collins will be gone. I think Bentley may be ready to take on a larger role but I think they can get another quality player.

S - I think they just need better health from Chung. I think this group will be good next year if they all stay. They do need to get younger. Maybe one of the young corners gets converted to a safety. They have a lot of options there.
Bentley has been on the injury report a fair amount over his first 2 seasons. Chung is going to be 33, and so not sure they can count on better health. The McCourty's (also 33) could retire together now that Devin is slated for free agency and Jason struggled with injuries the second half of the season.

I honestly think that every year teams have needs to fill. This Pats team sure does but most of them should be pretty doable. They’ve got a great foundation upon which to build. Would anyone be shocked if they win 11-12 games again next year and are right back in the thick of things? I sure wouldn’t.
Of the playoff teams New England faced this season, the Pats beat two of them: the Bills, who were eliminated before the Pats even played; and the 9-7 frauds from Philly. KC, Houston, Baltimore and now Tennessee won, and each of them pretty much controlled the tempo of the game during their wins. I think the range of outcomes for next season is pretty wide, with the downside being a much more real possibility than in recent memory.
 

CoffeeNerdness

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2012
4,326
Joe Thuney, clearly their best OL by a wide margin, is a free agent who will command huge money.
They've been getting their best o-line players poached for two decades. I don't see why they can't retool the line on the fly with a couple of picks and better health on the right side of the line, which is what really killed them- even more than Newhouse.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
25,117
Melrose, MA
They've been getting their best o-line players poached for two decades. I don't see why they can't retool the line on the fly with a couple of picks and better health on the right side of the line, which is what really killed them- even more than Newhouse.
Well, they failed to do it this year.
 
Feb 19, 2015
3,167
Belichick is going nowhere. He wants to go for Shula's record. I have far more confidence in him than I would in Pete Carroll, who is never coming back here anyway. Plus there is the fact that his sons are moving up the team's coaching and scouting ranks.

Plus, if there was a chance that Belichick would be leaving, McDaniels would not be out interviewing for his next gig.


I'm very much worried about Edelman. He may be forced into retirement; the injuries are starting to mount. Dorsett will be gone; Sanu is likely gone, which would be addition by subtraction anyway. I have less confidence in Harry, but I lump him more into the "wait and see" category.


Absolutely have to fix this position.


I'm less optimistic about an Andrews return. At the very least, the Pats shouldn't count on it. Wynn's injuries were both fluky, so I am more hopeful he is past them. And they do have a couple of rookies that spent the year on IR that could help next year. Probably the easiest squad to upgrade.


Bennett wasn't going to work out here. Unfortunate, but it happens. He had a couple of good games with Dallas, but I think he's being overrated here a bit.


Bentley has been on the injury report a fair amount over his first 2 seasons. Chung is going to be 33, and so not sure they can count on better health. The McCourty's (also 33) could retire together now that Devin is slated for free agency and Jason struggled with injuries the second half of the season.



Of the playoff teams New England faced this season, the Pats beat two of them: the Bills, who were eliminated before the Pats even played; and the 9-7 frauds from Philly. KC, Houston, Baltimore and now Tennessee won, and each of them pretty much controlled the tempo of the game during their wins. I think the range of outcomes for next season is pretty wide, with the downside being a much more real possibility than in recent memory.
Devin seemed pretty certain in his postgame interview that he wants to play next year.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
9,937
Santa Monica, CA
The disaster scenario that concerns me is Belichick deciding he doesn't want to pay for 43 year old Brady next year, Kraft stepping in and making it happen, Belichick taking his ball and leaving, either right away or after next year.

I hate that of Brady, Belichick, and Kraft, the only one really married to the franchise is the one who means the least.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,308
A big problem is that you have to account for old players likely getting worse. Almost all our key players on defense are in the 29-32 age bracket. Unsurprisingly, a lot of those guys got banged up or wore down over the course of the season, such that they weren’t very effective by the end. Next year they’re just one year older.

The point is that you cant just look at the roster and ask where the holes are. You also have to assume that a lot of our best players will show declining effectiveness.

I focused on the defense but this is just as true of Edelman, who wasn’t the same player this year and is at an age where WRs typically fall apart quickly. Counting on him to be a major asset in the passing game next year is very risky.
Edelman, 2015-2018, average season: 12 g, 118 targets, 78 rec (65.6% catch rate), 883 yds, 11.4 ypc, 5 td
Edelman, 2019 season: 16 g, 153 targets, 100 rec (65.4% catch rate), 1117 yds, 11.2 ypc, 6 td

I see no difference between Edelman of 2019 and Edelman the three seasons prior to that (he didn't play in 2017 due to injury). His numbers are virtually identical.

This year he was playing really banged up the latter portion of the season. Which may be more likely due to age, but at 34 next year I think he still has good football left in him.

And yes, older players may decline, but younger players develop. Guys like Winovich, Bentley, Butler, Cowart, Harris, Meyers, Harry, Michel, Wynn, Wise, and Williams likely will be better next year.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,308
Well, they failed to do it this year.
Again, other than the OL not getting push on the goal line that one sequence (they *really* should have used some play-action there as Tennessee was completely selling out for the run...ugh), the last four games of the year (including playoffs), the OL has performed very well.

at Cin: 32 rushes, 175 yds (5.5 ypc), Cin with 2 sacks, 6 QB hits in 29 pass att
vs Buf: 35 rushes, 143 yds (4.1 ypc), Buf with 0 sacks, 4 QB hits in 33 pass att
vs Mia: 27 rushes, 135 yds (5.0 ypc), Mia with 1 sack, 3 QB hits in 29 pass att
vs Ten: 22 rushes, 98 yds (4.5 ypc), Ten with 0 sacks, 4 QB hits in 37 pass att
TOT: 116 rushes, 551 yds (4.8 ypc), App with 3 sacks, 17 QB hits in 128 pass att

That's really good offensive line play. Whatever issues they had earlier in the season, they pretty much cleaned up by season's end. The OL wasn't really the issue with them bowing out early this year. They run blocked pretty well (again, a few notable exceptions but that's gonna happen) and pass protected very well.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
9,825
The disaster scenario that concerns me is Belichick deciding he doesn't want to pay for 43 year old Brady next year, Kraft stepping in and making it happen, Belichick taking his ball and leaving, either right away or after next year.

I hate that of Brady, Belichick, and Kraft, the only one really married to the franchise is the one who means the least.
Well, if it wasn't for Kraft, we would all be living in the Giants' media market now while watching Brady hoist them for the St. Louis Patriots.
 

j44thor

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
9,437
100% this. But they may also be losing Caserio this off-season, which makes this particularly scary. Could be a totally different team all around if they lose McD, Brady and Caserio. Hopefully those decisions get made quickly so the off-season plans don't suffer too much.
How heavily is Caserio involved in the draft? It might be a net positive to get some new perspectives on drafting because weak drafts the last few years are really core to the issues this team is facing. Pats are old and slow at skill positions.
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
64,018
Oregon
How heavily is Caserio involved in the draft? It might be a net positive to get some new perspectives on drafting because weak drafts the last few years are really core to the issues this team is facing.
You think Belichick is going to bring in someone with a "new perspective"? You know who's out there? ... Scott Pioli

Pats are old and SLOW at skill positions.
That's the key word right there. Outside of defensive back, they really look slow when compared to opposing teams
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
64,018
Oregon
Ben Volin is the absolute worst. Anyone hear that BB presser?

Reiss: Bill Belichick calls Tom Brady an “iconic figure in this organization.” He says this isn’t the time, 12 hours after the game ended, to talk about the future.
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
26,895
Again, other than the OL not getting push on the goal line that one sequence (they *really* should have used some play-action there as Tennessee was completely selling out for the run...ugh), the last four games of the year (including playoffs), the OL has performed very well.

at Cin: 32 rushes, 175 yds (5.5 ypc), Cin with 2 sacks, 6 QB hits in 29 pass att
vs Buf: 35 rushes, 143 yds (4.1 ypc), Buf with 0 sacks, 4 QB hits in 33 pass att
vs Mia: 27 rushes, 135 yds (5.0 ypc), Mia with 1 sack, 3 QB hits in 29 pass att
vs Ten: 22 rushes, 98 yds (4.5 ypc), Ten with 0 sacks, 4 QB hits in 37 pass att
TOT: 116 rushes, 551 yds (4.8 ypc), App with 3 sacks, 17 QB hits in 128 pass att

That's really good offensive line play. Whatever issues they had earlier in the season, they pretty much cleaned up by season's end. The OL wasn't really the issue with them bowing out early this year. They run blocked pretty well (again, a few notable exceptions but that's gonna happen) and pass protected very well.
Did the OL improve a bit? Yes. However, Miami and Tennessee didn't put a lot of pressure on the OL, going with a lot of 3-man rushes and minimal blitzing. They realized the Pats receivers couldn't get open enough with 7-8 defenders in pass coverage, and the running game wasn't good enough to make the defense pay.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,308
Did the OL improve a bit? Yes. However, Miami and Tennessee didn't put a lot of pressure on the OL, going with a lot of 3-man rushes and minimal blitzing. They realized the Pats receivers couldn't get open enough with 7-8 defenders in pass coverage, and the running game wasn't good enough to make the defense pay.
The OL definitely improved in the latter stages of the season. No question about it. If they re-sign Thuney (or replace him with a quality player) and Andrews comes back healthy, it will be one of the strengths of the team and you'll see a big difference next year. Now that's two big "ifs", but both are reasonable.
 

Mollyspop

lurker
Sep 21, 2019
21
Ben Volin is the absolute worst. Anyone hear that BB presser?
No - I watched NBCSN after the game for a bit and all I saw was Vrabel's conference. I switched over to the NFL Network and caugh the last question of BB's presser (asking why they didn't have a punt return set up at the end of the game and B gave the guy the death stare).

It's funny - I'm too old to be doing this, but I tossed and turned all night like I did after the Steve Grogan Pats lost to the Dan Pastorini Oilers in the playoffs in the 70's.

Very sad now, but, in the light of day, I am really hopeful about the next couple of years. Confident that BB figures out how to fashion a graceful transition of Brady into into a Bill Russell type of leader - a QB/OC that helps grow younger players and transforms the team into a new winning paradigm. Whether TB12 can be part of a team that has to transform into a more mobile, strategic answer to the KC and Baltimore models will be interesting to watch for.
 

Buck Showalter

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2002
6,140
704 Houser Street Queens, NY
The disaster scenario that concerns me is Belichick deciding he doesn't want to pay for 43 year old Brady next year, Kraft stepping in and making it happen, Belichick taking his ball and leaving, either right away or after next year.

I hate that of Brady, Belichick, and Kraft, the only one really married to the franchise is the one who means the least.
This 100%.

In my opinion....Belichick tells Kraft "it's him or me".

If Kraft jams Brady down his throat for a second time in a handful of years - BB is going to leave NE.

I'm guessing BB has that conversation "very" soon with Kraft --- because the job opening at MetLife Stadium would be an attractive one for Coach Hoodie.
 

Mollyspop

lurker
Sep 21, 2019
21
The OL definitely improved in the latter stages of the season. No question about it. If they re-sign Thuney (or replace him with a quality player) and Andrews comes back healthy, it will be one of the strengths of the team and you'll see a big difference next year. Now that's two big "ifs", but both are reasonable.
I bumped into Andrews at a charity event last month and talked with him for a second. Nice, smart guy - when I mentioned how random his condition appeared to be, he just shook his head and said "We thought I had pneumonia." He was still spooked.

He's lucky this didn't turn out to be some kind of cancer, but he won't be coming back. I'm not a doctor, but throwing blood clots is really, really serious, folks.