2023 Pats: Offseason

Cellar-Door

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So, of the 4 championship teams 2 of them had top 10 wide receivers and of the two who didn't one had Patrick Mahomes and the other had the Aiyuk/Deebo duo. And that's supposed to be a counter to the "either elite QB or elite weapons surrounding the QB" argument? Because it seems to me that of the final 8 the only team that didn't conform to that "rule" was the Giants, depending on how you feel about Trevor Lawrence.
I mean, if the point is.. you need to have good players... yes. But that's even before we get into the question of "what makes a guy elite" given most definitions are based on his success.... which is a pretty circular argument. Is Lamb an elite WR because of his talent, or because of the offense he's in and his role of getting 120-160 targets a year. The differences in WR tiers are hard to parse, because total production has a lot to do with the QB, the line, the coordinator, etc.
 

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I mean, it’s an interesting question that's perhaps worth revisiting this offseason:

Does Bill think that you don’t really "need" elite talent to win football games? Does he think you can win with merely competent players who are smart, and “do their jobs” -- ie, who buy in to the system the coach devises?

Belichick has been accused of arrogance for years, mostly based on superficial things like his overall demeanor and relationship with the press. Personally, I’ve never bought it. He seems to love football culture, football history, and football players too much (tho I don't put too much stock in his "all the credit goes to the players" lip service, which I think is mostly press savvy).

But if the game truly has shifted towards rewarding teams with elite playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, is it just taking Bill awhile to get the right pieces in place? Or, is this legendary but defensive-minded coach refusing to acknowledge this shift due to his own (and outdated) way of seeing football as a team game?

Again, I’m not sure I see it. After all, he 100% signed off on loading up on offensive players after the 2006 season. That said, the pre-2007 version of the NFL bears very little resemblance to the game we have today. And maybe, just maybe, the "real" answer to who was responsible for the dynasty is both Bill and Tom -- but not at the same time... that while Bill was the engineer of the 2001-2004 title teams, it was Tom who engineered the 2014-2018 titles. In addition, no player has ever signed a contract with the Patriots with a crazy amount of guaranteed money -- not even Brady--suggesting that Belichick is living the old George Carlin maxim when it comes to building a football roster.

I will say this again and again: I would prefer to find out with Bill as my team's coach than anyone else, even if it turns out this team never turns the corner. Football is just more interesting and seems to matter more when he's coaching than when he's not.
I think the question about needing "elite" players is the wrong framing. The question really is what should a team to do get better over the short and long haul- and I think the answer for BB is if you don't have "elite" players the cost of aggressively acquiring them is too high and you're better off making multiple smaller acquisitions. Tyreke Hill cost in essence Cole Strange, Jack Jones, Thornton (it's actually pretty easy to track because coincidentally the Pats trade the 21st pick for three of the picks KC got from Miami) two future picks, and about 30 million a year in cap space for the next couple years starting next season; that's a lot for one player, particularly if you're the Pats and you have a lot of needs. So it's not that they think you don't need good players, it's that they think you're best bet at winning consistently and over the long term is to try and get more pretty good players than focus to much on a handful of "elite" guys. I mean what are you supposed to do if you don't have an elite QB or top WR--not try?
 
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Shelterdog

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Right. And Hoyer's value as a kind of Crash Davis is presumably non zero in the off season when Zappe/Mac can't access the coaching staff as a much.Not worthy worrying about too much but if we heard a story in three years about Bill saying yeah, 2022 was a shitshow, i put the wrong coaches in but the veteran offensive players were fucking babies about it, I'd believe it.
Following up on our buddy Hoyer Guerigian's story today included this:

Brian Hoyer, who was like a big brother to Jones and reportedly wasn’t shy about letting his feelings be known when Patricia or Judge messed up during practices, got the boot. And so did Jakobi Meyers, Jones’ favorite receiver.

Had that actually been reported before? I kind of inferred it as the backup Qb he was being vocal with the OC and QB coach that's kind of a mess.
 

Deathofthebambino

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The Lazar argument is that in 2023 you either succeed on offense by having a supremely talented quarterback or by surrounding an okay/good quarterback with elite talent (sometimes both), while Bill has done neither even with Mac Jones making no money and providing the ability for them to spend around him.
Also known as the DoTB argument.
 

Cellar-Door

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Definitely could be.....
on the other hand, uh... who is defining "blue-chip" here, because what Evan Lazar thinks is the list of blue chip backs, and what Bill Belichick thinks is the list may not be the same.
For example a quick look through a few major prospect rankings shows that while Robinson is the consensus top back in the draft... Gibbs is not the consensus number 2. He's maybe the plurality leader, but there is some clear dispute as to where he stacks up in the 2-5 range.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Sorry, never meant to imply that you implied as such. It was more in reaction to the general narrative (not by you) that the game has passed Bill by. The reality is that 6 of those 10 WR/TE players were drafted by their current teams, and of those 6, all but Kelce were simply unavailable when Bill drafted, so it's not all that easy to simply "get" those players no matter what Lazar claims.
They were unavailable when the Pats drafted, but it doesn't mean they were unavailable to be drafted.

Jefferson was chosen 1 pick in front of the Pats pick, and then the Pats traded down. Could Bill have put together a package to move up 2 picks? I imagine he could have. But instead, he traded out of 23 and went and got Dugger in the 2nd. A fine move in retrospect, but instead of helping his young QB, he chose to do that, and the guys that were picked between the Pats original pick and Dugger included Aiuyuk, Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. The Pats could have moved up in that draft, I mean they did it twice in the third round in order to go get Asiasi and Keene.

In 2019, Deebo, Metcalf, who aren't even on that list above, were both available, along with AJ Brown, when the Pats took Harry.

Philly knew they had a young QB, and yes, they went out and got AJ Brown, but they also drafted Jalen Reagor in the 1st round in 2020, and then followed that by going after DeVonta Smith 10th overall in the next draft.

It would just be nice to see the Pats hit on someone like an Amon Ra St. Brown in the 4th round once in a while, or take multiple chances, or trade up for a guy they really like or gasp, trade for a stud on the market (although this year is probably toast on that front).
 

lexrageorge

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They were unavailable when the Pats drafted, but it doesn't mean they were unavailable to be drafted.

Jefferson was chosen 1 pick in front of the Pats pick, and then the Pats traded down. Could Bill have put together a package to move up 2 picks? I imagine he could have. But instead, he traded out of 23 and went and got Dugger in the 2nd. A fine move in retrospect, but instead of helping his young QB, he chose to do that, and the guys that were picked between the Pats original pick and Dugger included Aiuyuk, Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. The Pats could have moved up in that draft, I mean they did it twice in the third round in order to go get Asiasi and Keene.

In 2019, Deebo, Metcalf, who aren't even on that list above, were both available, along with AJ Brown, when the Pats took Harry.

Philly knew they had a young QB, and yes, they went out and got AJ Brown, but they also drafted Jalen Reagor in the 1st round in 2020, and then followed that by going after DeVonta Smith 10th overall in the next draft.

It would just be nice to see the Pats hit on someone like an Amon Ra St. Brown in the 4th round once in a while, or take multiple chances, or trade up for a guy they really like or gasp, trade for a stud on the market (although this year is probably toast on that front).
They did not have their young QB when they drafted Dugger.
 

Cellar-Door

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They were unavailable when the Pats drafted, but it doesn't mean they were unavailable to be drafted.

Jefferson was chosen 1 pick in front of the Pats pick, and then the Pats traded down. Could Bill have put together a package to move up 2 picks? I imagine he could have. But instead, he traded out of 23 and went and got Dugger in the 2nd. A fine move in retrospect, but instead of helping his young QB, he chose to do that, and the guys that were picked between the Pats original pick and Dugger included Aiuyuk, Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. The Pats could have moved up in that draft, I mean they did it twice in the third round in order to go get Asiasi and Keene.

In 2019, Deebo, Metcalf, who aren't even on that list above, were both available, along with AJ Brown, when the Pats took Harry.

Philly knew they had a young QB, and yes, they went out and got AJ Brown, but they also drafted Jalen Reagor in the 1st round in 2020, and then followed that by going after DeVonta Smith 10th overall in the next draft.

It would just be nice to see the Pats hit on someone like an Amon Ra St. Brown in the 4th round once in a while, or take multiple chances, or trade up for a guy they really like or gasp, trade for a stud on the market (although this year is probably toast on that front).
That whippersnapper Cam Newton? (actually not even Cam he wasn't rostered yet)
Also... we have no idea if they could have moved up in the 1st (or 2nd) evidence that they moved up in the 3rd doesn't apply, they are wildly different situations.

Technically the Eagles didn't have a young QB when they drafted Reagor, he was drafted before Hurts their starter was 28 year old 5th year Carson Wentz.

But also that combined with the complaint on Harry is hilarious... your issue is... they didn't draft the right WR when they used a 1st, and they should be more like the Eagles who also used a 1st on the wrong WR.

C'mon, if you're going to make this argument at least put the effort in to know who the QBs on the teams were. And have some consistency... is the problem that the Patriots didn't draft WRs (they drafted a 1st and a 2nd)... or that they didn't draft the guys who succeeded with 20/20 hindsight?
 

Shelterdog

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That whippersnapper Cam Newton? (actually not even Cam he wasn't rostered yet)
Also... we have no idea if they could have moved up in the 1st (or 2nd) evidence that they moved up in the 3rd doesn't apply, they are wildly different situations.

Technically the Eagles didn't have a young QB when they drafted Reagor, he was drafted before Hurts their starter was 28 year old 5th year Carson Wentz.

But also that combined with the complaint on Harry is hilarious... your issue is... they didn't draft the right WR when they used a 1st, and they should be more like the Eagles who also used a 1st on the wrong WR.

C'mon, if you're going to make this argument at least put the effort in to know who the QBs on the teams were. And have some consistency... is the problem that the Patriots didn't draft WRs (they drafted a 1st and a 2nd)... or that they didn't draft the guys who succeeded with 20/20 hindsight?
A problem is they didn't use a lot of draft picks on receivers during the Brady era--they used two top three round picks on wideouts and TEs from 2010-2018 and not a lot more in the first decade of the run. Then in Brady's last year and after, 2019-2022, four picks in the first three rounds on receivers/TEs. I wonder if this is because brady was so tough on young receivers.
 

Deathofthebambino

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They did not have their young QB when they drafted Dugger.
If you're trying to tell me that Bill Belichick didn't view Cam Newton as a 1 year placeholder in that position in 2020, and wasn't planning to get another QB in short order, I'd say you're making the argument that Bill has issues with building an offense around anyone not named Tom Brady, for me.

That 2019 wide receiving corps, outside of Edelman was a disaster, which is why he had to go and get the corpse of Josh Gordon and take a flier on AB. Then he brings in Cam Newton on basically a one year deal worth nothing, and proceeded to draft zero receiving help for him. Then he goes and gets Mac and instead of rebuilding the receiving corps through the draft, goes out and spends a fortune in free agency and missed on virtually everything.

Converse that approach with teams like Philly and San Fran and even Cinci. Pittsburgh has taken a wide receiver in the 1st 2 rounds of the draft in 5 of the last 6 years, and the one year they didn't, they took a tight end in round 2. Dallas, IMO, had a better young QB than we do, and they still went and spent the 17th overall on CeeDee Lamb. The Seahawks already had Tyler Lockett, and then spent a 2nd rounder on Metcalf, and then two years later with both of them playing great, they went and spent another 2nd rounder on Eskridge.

This list goes on and on. Teams keep taking shots to find that elite playmaker on offense. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but for the teams who make it work, it leads to success in most cases (unless you have someone like Mahomes, who only one team has). As they say in golf, you make 0% of the putts you don't get to the hole. The Pats really don't do much to give themselves opportunities. They've taken 7 wide receivers in the 1st 3 rounds of the NFL draft since 2003 (that's 20 years now). Those 7 picks have been Bethel Johnson in the 2nd, Chad Jackson in the 2nd, Brandon Tate in the 3rd, Taylor Price in the 3rd, Aaron Dobson in the 2nd, N'Keal Harry in the 1st, and Tyquan in the 2nd).

That's it, that's the entire list, but folks want me to come around on the idea that BB is good at finding or developing receivers? We can debate the Welkers/Edelmans, etc. all day, but we're years and years removed from those guys, and again, Tom Brady.
 
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Deathofthebambino

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That whippersnapper Cam Newton? (actually not even Cam he wasn't rostered yet)
Also... we have no idea if they could have moved up in the 1st (or 2nd) evidence that they moved up in the 3rd doesn't apply, they are wildly different situations.

Technically the Eagles didn't have a young QB when they drafted Reagor, he was drafted before Hurts their starter was 28 year old 5th year Carson Wentz.

But also that combined with the complaint on Harry is hilarious... your issue is... they didn't draft the right WR when they used a 1st, and they should be more like the Eagles who also used a 1st on the wrong WR.

C'mon, if you're going to make this argument at least put the effort in to know who the QBs on the teams were. And have some consistency... is the problem that the Patriots didn't draft WRs (they drafted a 1st and a 2nd)... or that they didn't draft the guys who succeeded with 20/20 hindsight?
I know exactly who the QB's were at the time.

The point about Philly wasn't about the QB at the time of the Reagor pick, it was that they still went and spent a 1st on Smith the following year once Hurts got the job, then they did even more, by going out and trading for Brown. Then they did even more by putting an absolute battering ram of an offensive line around him, and on top of that, they landed a very good tight end in round 5, and have two good backs.

Again regarding Cam, if Bill thought he was anything but a placeholder, then you're making my point that Bill needs some serious fucking help on building an offense in today's game.

My complaint on Harry is that he sucks, and the pick sucked. My complaint on Bill is that he doesn't take enough shots, he certainly takes plenty of them on the other side of the ball though, doesn't he?
 

Shelterdog

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I know exactly who the QB's were at the time.

The point about Philly wasn't about the QB at the time of the Reagor pick, it was that they still went and spent a 1st on Smith the following year once Hurts got the job, then they did even more, by going out and trading for Brown. Then they did even more by putting an absolute battering ram of an offensive line around him, and on top of that, they landed a very good tight end in round 5, and have two good backs.

Again regarding Cam, if Bill thought he was anything but a placeholder, then you're making my point that Bill needs some serious fucking help on building an offense in today's game.

My complaint on Harry is that he sucks, and the pick sucked. My complaint on Bill is that he doesn't take enough shots, he certainly takes plenty of them on the other side of the ball though, doesn't he?
Recently he’s taken a bunch of shots at wr and te, both in the draft and in free agency. But when in a four year spend a first a second two thirds and about 30 million a year and you get basically nothing other than ok production from Henry and flashes from Bourne the problem is that you can’t shoot, not that you’re not shooting enough
 

Bongorific

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They were unavailable when the Pats drafted, but it doesn't mean they were unavailable to be drafted.

Jefferson was chosen 1 pick in front of the Pats pick, and then the Pats traded down. Could Bill have put together a package to move up 2 picks? I imagine he could have. But instead, he traded out of 23 and went and got Dugger in the 2nd. A fine move in retrospect, but instead of helping his young QB, he chose to do that, and the guys that were picked between the Pats original pick and Dugger included Aiuyuk, Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. The Pats could have moved up in that draft, I mean they did it twice in the third round in order to go get Asiasi and Keene.

In 2019, Deebo, Metcalf, who aren't even on that list above, were both available, along with AJ Brown, when the Pats took Harry.

Philly knew they had a young QB, and yes, they went out and got AJ Brown, but they also drafted Jalen Reagor in the 1st round in 2020, and then followed that by going after DeVonta Smith 10th overall in the next draft.

It would just be nice to see the Pats hit on someone like an Amon Ra St. Brown in the 4th round once in a while, or take multiple chances, or trade up for a guy they really like or gasp, trade for a stud on the market (although this year is probably toast on that front).
It’s too bad Malcolm Mitchell had garbage for knees. Not sure he would have been Amon-Ra good, but he looked to have the talent to turn into a productive mid-round WR.
 

Van Everyman

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Recently he’s taken a bunch of shots at wr and te, both in the draft and in free agency. But when in a four year spend a first a second two thirds and about 30 million a year and you get basically nothing other than ok production from Henry and flashes from Bourne the problem is that you can’t shoot, not that you’re not shooting enough
I would just note that this assessment--which is entirely fair--looked pretty different after 2021. Yes, Agholor and Jonnu and disappointing seasons, but Bourne went 55/800/5 that season and Henry 50/603/10 in 2021. Those shots looked like hits until the Matty P Offensive Coaching Train ran them over last season.
 

Shelterdog

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I would just note that this assessment--which is entirely fair--looked pretty different after 2021. Yes, Agholor and Jonnu and disappointing seasons, but Bourne went 55/800/5 that season and Henry 50/603/10 in 2021. Those shots looked like hits until the Matty P Offensive Coaching Train ran them over last season.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Thornton, Parker and Henry all had ok seasons this year. Last year really was a disaster. Not sure if Bourne bounces back with Juju possibly getting a lot of his time
 

Cellar-Door

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I know exactly who the QB's were at the time.

The point about Philly wasn't about the QB at the time of the Reagor pick, it was that they still went and spent a 1st on Smith the following year once Hurts got the job, then they did even more, by going out and trading for Brown. Then they did even more by putting an absolute battering ram of an offensive line around him, and on top of that, they landed a very good tight end in round 5, and have two good backs.

Again regarding Cam, if Bill thought he was anything but a placeholder, then you're making my point that Bill needs some serious fucking help on building an offense in today's game.

My complaint on Harry is that he sucks, and the pick sucked. My complaint on Bill is that he doesn't take enough shots, he certainly takes plenty of them on the other side of the ball though, doesn't he?
3 of their last 4 1st or 2nd round picks were on offense. 6 of the last 10.
They haven't taken a defensive player in the 1st round since 2015.

In the last 5 drafts they have had 19 picks in the 1st 3 rounds...
They used 10 of those on offense, 7 of the 10 on skill position players.

On top of that he took a ton of FA shots on skill position players, and traded a pick in the top 3 rounds for a WR.

The Patriots process has been fine recently, they just missed, and/or other issues (QB play, playcalling, etc. hurt them). It happens. They went with Harry, who was not considered a reach at all, in fact go back and look at the "instant grades" from the draft pundits... 2019 (which ended up Bill's worst draft ever?) was really well received, A grades all around, Harry was generally ranked with or above several of the guys people complain about taking him over (Brown the only one who was pretty consistently above him, but also Brown was seen as a slot vs. outside). This wasn't some case of Bill going off the board and missing, he took a guy right where he was expected to go, was widely praised for it.... and the guys just busted.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I would just note that this assessment--which is entirely fair--looked pretty different after 2021. Yes, Agholor and Jonnu and disappointing seasons, but Bourne went 55/800/5 that season and Henry 50/603/10 in 2021. Those shots looked like hits until the Matty P Offensive Coaching Train ran them over last season.
I'm a Bourne fan, but he was ranked 44th in the NFL in receiving yards in 2021 with 800. It's a 17 game season, so he was averaging 47ypg. He was a pretty good #3 receiver that year, and then Matt or Bill decided he needed to ride the pine at key moments in 2022, because of...reasons. Hunter Henry had 9td's that year, and 35.4ypg. If you're an NFL tight end that can't block, being paid the 4th highest amount among tight ends (tied with fucking Jonnu), I really need you to finish higher than 12th in the NFL in yards, among tight ends.
 

Cellar-Door

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I'm a Bourne fan, but he was ranked 44th in the NFL in receiving yards in 2021 with 800. It's a 17 game season, so he was averaging 47ypg. He was a pretty good #3 receiver that year, and then Matt or Bill decided he needed to ride the pine at key moments in 2022, because of...reasons. Hunter Henry had 9td's that year, and 35.4ypg. If you're an NFL tight end that can't block, being paid the 4th highest amount among tight ends (tied with fucking Jonnu), I really need you to finish higher than 12th in the NFL in yards, among tight ends.
He also ranked 2nd in the league in YPT, he was very valuable for the money. He was basically a more efficient Brandon Aiyuk that year, or a lower volume but more efficient Christian Kirk. No clue what exactly happened last year, but his 2021 was very good, and similar to the types of guys people are shouting for now a year later. We'll see if the new staff brings back more of that production, and perhaps adds some volume.

Edit- also... the 44th best recieving yardage in the league is basically by definition better than a pretty good #3 WR given that there are 32 teams in the league, especially since 7 of the guys ahead of him were TEs. 37th best yardage by a WR.
 
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Deathofthebambino

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3 of their last 4 1st or 2nd round picks were on offense. 6 of the last 10.
They haven't taken a defensive player in the 1st round since 2015.

In the last 5 drafts they have had 19 picks in the 1st 3 rounds...
They used 10 of those on offense, 7 of the 10 on skill position players.

On top of that he took a ton of FA shots on skill position players, and traded a pick in the top 3 rounds for a WR.

The Patriots process has been fine recently, they just missed, and/or other issues (QB play, playcalling, etc. hurt them). It happens. They went with Harry, who was not considered a reach at all, in fact go back and look at the "instant grades" from the draft pundits... 2019 (which ended up Bill's worst draft ever?) was really well received, A grades all around, Harry was generally ranked with or above several of the guys people complain about taking him over (Brown the only one who was pretty consistently above him, but also Brown was seen as a slot vs. outside). This wasn't some case of Bill going off the board and missing, he took a guy right where he was expected to go, was widely praised for it.... and the guys just busted.
Dude, you can cut this bread however thin you want. They have taken 1 first round wide receiver since Bill go here. ONE

They've taken 4 WR's in the 2nd round in 20 years. FOUR

They've taken 3 WR's in the 3rd round in 20 years. THREE

Even Kansas City, with the best QB in the NFL right now and the best tight end, has spent 2 2nd rounders on WR's in the past 4 drafts (one of which was their first overall pick in Hardman because they didn't have a 1st round pick and they already had a top 5 WR at the time in Tyreek) and they used a 1st rounder on a RB in 2020.

Since just 2014, Philly has taken 6 wide receivers in the first 3 rounds alone (including 3 1st rounders, and 2 second rounders), and they still went and got AJ Brown.

San Fran has taken 5 wide receivers in the first 3 rounds in the past 5 drafts total, plus 2 running backs, and they still went and got CMC.

Cinci took Boyd in the 2nd round in 2016, then Ross in the 1st round in 2017, then took Burrow in 2020, followed his pick with Higgins in the 2nd round in that same draft, and then Chase with the 5th overall pick in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Chargers drafted Justin Herbert in that same draft as Burrow, basically got nobody at the skill positions in the draft the 2 years before or the 2 years since then, and the result has been a 25-24 record, and a great young QB that just put up a 25td/10int/93.2QBR in his third season.

I've been making the argument that Bill sucks at building an offense in today's game without someone like Brady, and I'm being met with "But he spends on offense, he just spends wrongly" or "he's actually been good at it, even though the results have sucked," or "The coaching situation sucked." What are we talking about at this point? I don't care how many offensive lineman he drafts like Isaiah Wynn, you can give your QB 3 seconds to throw all day, but if there's nobody to throw it to or when you hand it off, there's nowhere to go.

Meanwhile, we have example after example of the successful teams in the NFL doing a lot more than Bill, but we're just ignoring it? I don't understand.
 
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lexrageorge

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If you're trying to tell me that Bill Belichick didn't view Cam Newton as a 1 year placeholder in that position in 2020, and wasn't planning to get another QB in short order, I'd say you're making the argument that Bill has issues with building an offense around anyone not named Tom Brady, for me.

That 2019 wide receiving corps, outside of Edelman was a disaster, which is why he had to go and get the corpse of Josh Gordon and take a flier on AB. Then he brings in Cam Newton on basically a one year deal worth nothing, and proceeded to draft zero receiving help for him. Then he goes and gets Mac and instead of rebuilding the receiving corps through the draft, goes out and spends a fortune in free agency and missed on virtually everything.

Converse that approach with teams like Philly and San Fran and even Cinci. Pittsburgh has taken a wide receiver in the 1st 2 rounds of the draft in 5 of the last 6 years, and the one year they didn't, they took a tight end in round 2. Dallas, IMO, had a better young QB than we do, and they still went and spent the 17th overall on CeeDee Lamb. The Seahawks already had Tyler Lockett, and then spent a 2nd rounder on Metcalf, and then two years later with both of them playing great, they went and spent another 2nd rounder on Eskridge.

This list goes on and on. Teams keep taking shots to find that elite playmaker on offense. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but for the teams who make it work, it leads to success in most cases (unless you have someone like Mahomes, who only one team has). As they say in golf, you make 0% of the putts you don't get to the hole. The Pats really don't do much to give themselves opportunities. They've taken 7 wide receivers in the 1st 3 rounds of the NFL draft since 2003 (that's 20 years now). Those 7 picks have been Bethel Johnson in the 2nd, Chad Jackson in the 2nd, Brandon Tate in the 3rd, Taylor Price in the 3rd, Aaron Dobson in the 2nd, N'Keal Harry in the 1st, and Tyquan in the 2nd).

That's it, that's the entire list, but folks want me to come around on the idea that BB is good at finding or developing receivers? We can debate the Welkers/Edelmans, etc. all day, but we're years and years removed from those guys, and again, Tom Brady.
Bill also had to rebuild an aging defense. And you could argue that he thought he was drafting TE help for the future QB in the 3rd round. Both busted out despite being consensus great picks at the time as per the reaction of most posters here.
 

Deathofthebambino

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He also ranked 2nd in the league in YPT, he was very valuable for the money. He was basically a more efficient Brandon Aiyuk that year, or a lower volume but more efficient Christian Kirk. No clue what exactly happened last year, but his 2021 was very good, and similar to the types of guys people are shouting for now a year later. We'll see if the new staff brings back more of that production, and perhaps adds some volume.

Edit- also... the 44th best recieving yardage in the league is basically by definition better than a pretty good #3 WR given that there are 32 teams in the league, especially since 7 of the guys ahead of him were TEs. 37th best yardage by a WR.
Well, that's why I gave you yards per game. If you eliminate tight ends, he was 46th in the NFL in yards per game by receiver, and 55th overall (Bourne played all 17 games that year, a lot of guys ahead of him on the counting stats didn't). I think by definition, that makes him a #3, and like I said, a pretty good one. I like the guy, and I hate what they did to him this past season.
 

Shelterdog

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Dude, you can cut this bread however thin you want. They have taken 1 first round wide receiver since Bill go here. ONE

They've taken 4 WR's in the 2nd round in 20 years. FOUR

They've taken 3 WR's in the 3rd round in 20 years. THREE

Even Kansas City, with the best QB in the NFL right now and the best tight end, has spent 2 2nd rounders on WR's in the past 4 drafts (one of which was their first overall pick in Hardman because they didn't have a 1st round pick and they already had a top 5 WR at the time in Tyreek) and they used a 1st rounder on a RB in 2020.

Since just 2014, Philly has taken 6 wide receivers in the first 3 rounds alone (including 3 1st rounders, and 2 second rounders), and they still went and got AJ Brown.

San Fran has taken 5 wide receivers in the first 3 rounds in the past 5 drafts total, plus 2 running backs, and they still went and got CMC.

Cinci took Boyd in the 2nd round in 2016, then Ross in the 1st round in 2017, then took Burrow in 2020, followed his pick with Higgins in the 2nd round in that same draft, and then Chase with the 5th overall pick in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Chargers drafted Justin Herbert in that same draft as Burrow, basically got nobody at the skill positions in the draft the 2 years before or the 2 years since then, and the result has been a 25-24 record, and a great young QB that just put up a 25td/10int/93.2QBR in his third season.

I've been making the argument that Bill sucks at building an offense in today's game without someone like Brady, and I'm being met with "But he spends on offense, he just spends wrongly" or "he's actually been good at it, even though the results have sucked," or "The coaching situation sucked." What are we talking about at this point? I don't care how many offensive lineman he drafts like Isaiah Wynn, you can give your QB 3 seconds to throw all day, but if there's nobody to throw it to or when you hand it off, there's nowhere to go.

Meanwhile, we have example after example of the successful teams in the NFL doing a lot more than Bill, but we're just ignoring it? I don't understand.
So let me get this straight; for twenty years when they had the greatest run in NFL history the pats have spent less draft capital on receivers than other teams? Perhaps the lesson is that most twams overdraft receivers
 

Deathofthebambino

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Bill also had to rebuild an aging defense. And you could argue that he thought he was drafting TE help for the future QB in the 3rd round. Both busted out despite being consensus great picks at the time as per the reaction of most posters here.
I don't really pay attention to what the consensus here or anywhere else was, but I mean:

Most folks had Trautman and the two Bryants (Harrison and Hunter) higher than both of them.

NFL.com was projecting Asiasi in the 4th, and Keene in the 6th:

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/devin-asiasi/32004153-4902-4038-a2e4-cae6370aa967

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/dalton-keene/32004b45-4565-8464-1166-98afe41da3cd

And IIRC, the Pats traded up to get both of them. And they whiffed on both. Meanwhile, Trautman has 60 catches, Harrison Bryant has 72 catches, Okweugbunam has 54 catches...Some dude named Tyler Davis taken in the 6th round, 209th overall has more catches (8) than Asiasi and Keene have combined (7).
 

Deathofthebambino

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So let me get this straight; for twenty years when they had the greatest run in NFL history the pats have spent less draft capital on receivers than other teams? Perhaps the lesson is that most twams overdraft receivers
Or perhaps the lesson is:

Have Tom Brady.
 

BaseballJones

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So let me get this straight; for twenty years when they had the greatest run in NFL history the pats have spent less draft capital on receivers than other teams? Perhaps the lesson is that most twams overdraft receivers
Yes, but they could do that because they had a quarterback who could make lemonade out of lemons, so to speak.

Now that's not really fair. The Pats have had some terrific receivers in Brady's time here. Just not that many true WR1 types. When your QB is a marginal NFL starter, and not an all-time great, he needs more help.
 

BaseballJones

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It appears the Chiefs have magically found the "don't bother investing big money/draft capital on receivers" solution with their own Tom Brady now.
Exactly. They have their Gronk (Kelce), good running backs, decent WRs, and an otherworldly quarterback, combined with great offensive coaching. Pretty good formula.
 

tims4wins

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Exactly. They have their Gronk (Kelce), good running backs, decent WRs, and an otherworldly quarterback, combined with great offensive coaching. Pretty good formula.
And they traded Hill and promptly won a title. I for one thought that removing an elite weapon would bring them back to the pack. Couldn't have been more wrong.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Why is it inconsistent? Shopping guys? I have to imagine they've done that before.
Apologies. I meant shopping players - and especially those of Jones' profile - in a way that it gets out.

In my experience watching this regime, they do everything possible to stay under the radar. That doesn't always work but its their MO. Its why this "report" is so surprising.

FTR, they absolutely should assess Jones' market because they may actually be able to get an upgrade (not via trading him to be clear but via the draft or another transaction).
 

rodderick

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And they traded Hill and promptly won a title. I for one thought that removing an elite weapon would bring them back to the pack. Couldn't have been more wrong.
Yup. Mahomes really is that dude. And I think he's actually the only guy in the league I trust to contend consistently without an array of great offensive weapons around him.
 

rodderick

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Apologies. I meant shopping players - and especially those of Jones' profile - in a way that it gets out.

In my experience watching this regime, they do everything possible to stay under the radar. That doesn't always work but its their MO. Its why this "report" is so surprising.

FTR, they absolutely should assess Jones' market because they may actually be able to get an upgrade.
I think there's a pretty high chance the whole "shopping around" thing is being a little overblown and they just tried to get a gauge for other teams potential interest. But maybe it's Mac's camp that's putting this out there. The fact that the whole "they shopped Mac Jones" report was presented by Florio as "information that trickled in" moments after he put up the "Bill was upset Mac went outside the organization for help" piece makes me believe someone has an interest in making a point in this whole narrative. Florio presented it not as something he pursued, but as information that came his way. And then agendas come into play. Who knows.
 

Cellar-Door

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Dude, you can cut this bread however thin you want. They have taken 1 first round wide receiver since Bill go here. ONE

Even Kansas City, with the best QB in the NFL right now and the best tight end, has spent 2 2nd rounders on WR's in the past 4 drafts (one of which was their first overall pick in Hardman because they didn't have a 1st round pick and they already had a top 5 WR at the time in Tyreek) and they used a 1st rounder on a RB in 2020.

Since just 2014, Philly has taken 6 wide receivers in the first 3 rounds alone (including 3 1st rounders, and 2 second rounders), and they still went and got AJ Brown.

San Fran has taken 5 wide receivers in the first 3 rounds in the past 5 drafts total, plus 2 running backs, and they still went and got CMC.

Cinci took Boyd in the 2nd round in 2016, then Ross in the 1st round in 2017, then took Burrow in 2020, followed his pick with Higgins in the 2nd round in that same draft, and then Chase with the 5th overall pick in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Chargers drafted Justin Herbert in that same draft as Burrow, basically got nobody at the skill positions in the draft the 2 years before or the 2 years since then, and the result has been a 25-24 record, and a great young QB that just put up a 25td/10int/93.2QBR in his third season.

I've been making the argument that Bill sucks at building an offense in today's game without someone like Brady, and I'm being met with "But he spends on offense, he just spends wrongly" or "he's actually been good at it, even though the results have sucked," or "The coaching situation sucked." What are we talking about at this point? I don't care how many offensive lineman he drafts like Isaiah Wynn, you can give your QB 3 seconds to throw all day, but if there's nobody to throw it to or when you hand it off, there's nowhere to go.

Meanwhile, we have example after example of the successful teams in the NFL doing a lot more than Bill, but we're just ignoring it? I don't understand.
Why are we using 20 years as the time period for Bill and shorter ones (all different to try and include the most WRs I assume) for everyone else? Yes Bill took few WRs in much of the Brady era... instead he traded for or signed vets who could step in right away for a SB contender, and used 2nd rounders on TEs. He also looked for RBs who are short term plays, that's how you win superbowls when you have a top QB and a really good offense in place (and you hit on a late round WR).

I mean you are all over the place here, Cinci is getting praised for taking a guy 4 years before Burrow, and another who was I think off the team by the time Burrow got there? they used a 1st and a second after getting Burrow.. the Patriots have used a 2nd in the 1 draft since taking Mac, they also signed a bunch of WRs and TEs and traded for an experienced #1/#2 WR.

The 49ers are getting credit for RBs (hey Bill drafts a ton of those), and we're treating a team coming off a conference finals trading for an aging RB as something that is similar to the Patriots, who were coming off being a borderline playoff team.

The Chargers who have 2 top WRs are getting dinged for only using a 3rd on a WR and instead drafting linemen (hey, you know why Herbert has a bad record most.... he's getting killed behind a terrible O-line).

The Chiefs are getting praised here for.... spending less draft capital on WRs (and far less on passcatchers overall) over the 4 draft period than the Patriots while letting their #1 WR walk and signing a bunch of mid to low market cheap guys?

I mean... the problem with all of this is you staked out your claim, then you started randomly trying to put together reasons that other teams are doing better than Bill and have a better approach, without any regard to whether it actually fits.

The Patriots offense was bad last year... it was pretty good in 2021, very good honestly if you consider it had a rookie QB. We'll see if the changes make it good in 2023. But the idea that other teams have a secret sauce of draft strategy that Bill is just missing because he doesn't understand isn't supported by the evidence.


EDIT- there is one obvious and very good critique of Bill's offensive strategy last year... he totally fucked up the coaching staff decisions and it showed with decreased performance across the board from offensive players, many of whom had quite good 2021 seasons. That much more than his personnel decisions is a very valid spot to critique. That Bill doesn't invest in offense... really isn't, he's invested heavily both in draft capital and free agency starting in 2019 or so as the Brady era was winding down.
 
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Shelterdog

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Yes, but they could do that because they had a quarterback who could make lemonade out of lemons, so to speak.

Now that's not really fair. The Pats have had some terrific receivers in Brady's time here. Just not that many true WR1 types. When your QB is a marginal NFL starter, and not an all-time great, he needs more help.
I agree with all of this and was just being a bad comedian.
I am struck by the fact that starting in Tom’s last season they really have started to spend more money and draft capital on receivers and tight ends. I think they knew they could often get by with less with Tom and they did have the good fortune to have a few guys (gronk Edelman and welker) who were productive for a long time and they also knew that rookies and Tom don’t mix well-and now that they don’t have Brady they are indeed working to get him weapons,even if they’re not willing to spend the capital to get absolute top flight weapons
 

lexrageorge

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I think there's a pretty high chance the whole "shopping around" thing is being a little overblown and they just tried to get a gauge for other teams potential interest. But maybe it's Mac's camp that's putting this out there. The fact that the whole "they shopped Mac Jones" report was presented by Florio as "information that trickled in" moments after he put up the "Bill was upset Mac went outside the organization for help" piece makes me believe someone has an interest in making a point in this whole narrative. Florio presented it not as something he pursued, but as information that came his way. And then agendas come into play. Who knows.
Or maybe Florio or Curran simply received bad or incorrect information. Maybe they got played - it happens.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Why are we using 20 years as the time period for Bill and shorter ones (all different to try and include the most WRs I assume) for everyone else? Yes Bill took few WRs in much of the Brady era... instead he traded for or signed vets who could step in right away for a SB contender, and used 2nd rounders on TEs. He also looked for RBs who are short term plays, that's how you win superbowls when you have a top QB and a really good offense in place (and you hit on a late round WR).

I mean you are all over the place here, Cinci is getting praised for taking a guy 4 years before Burrow, and another who was I think off the team by the time Burrow got there? they used a 1st and a second after getting Burrow.. the Patriots have used a 2nd in the 1 draft since taking Mac, they also signed a bunch of WRs and TEs and traded for an experienced #1/#2 WR.

The 49ers are getting credit for RBs (hey Bill drafts a ton of those), and we're treating a team coming off a conference finals trading for an aging RB as something that is similar to the Patriots, who were coming off being a borderline playoff team.

The Chargers who have 2 top WRs are getting dinged for only using a 3rd on a WR and instead drafting linemen (hey, you know why Herbert has a bad record most.... he's getting killed behind a terrible O-line).

The Chiefs are getting praised here for.... spending less draft capital on WRs (and far less on passcatchers overall) over the 4 draft period than the Patriots while letting their #1 WR walk and signing a bunch of mid to low market cheap guys?

I mean... the problem with all of this is you staked out your claim, then you started randomly trying to put together reasons that other teams are doing better than Bill and have a better approach, without any regard to whether it actually fits.

The Patriots offense was bad last year... it was pretty good in 2021, very good honestly if you consider it had a rookie QB. We'll see if the changes make it good in 2023. But the idea that other teams have a secret sauce of draft strategy that Bill is just missing because he doesn't understand isn't supported by the evidence.


EDIT- there is one obvious and very good critique of Bill's offensive strategy last year... he totally fucked up the coaching staff decisions and it showed with decreased performance across the board from offensive players, many of whom had quite good 2021 seasons. That much more than his personnel decisions is a very valid spot to critique. That Bill doesn't invest in offense... really isn't, he's invested heavily both in draft capital and free agency starting in 2019 or so as the Brady era was winding down.
Again, the original argument I've made is that Bill sucks at creating an offense in today's NFL. Your continual focus on minute details, leads us down these paths.

In 2018, Tom Brady had his worst statistical season in 4 years. Gronk and Edelman were aging and injured, Josh Gordon was here and there, but Brady relying on guys like White and Hogan made it work. Bill even recognized this, which is why he went out and drafted N'Keal Harry in the 1st round in 2019 (a whiff because well, he can't draft high end wide receivers early, I've given you the list going back 20 years). Bills FIRST AND ONLY use of a 1st round pick on a WR.

Brady comes back in 2019, and is even worse, playing with flotsam and jetsam and says "fuck this, I'm outta here." What does Bill do? In the 2020 draft, he takes ZERO wide receivers, he reaches on 2 3rd round tight ends, then takes a kicker in the 5th and 3 offensive lineman in rounds 6 and 7. He then brings in Cam Newton, who everyone saw from the first day in camp had no arm, and no receivers to throw to. If Bill doesn't recognize early on that Cam isn't the future, that's also on Bill.

So he goes and gets Mac in 2021. In that draft, besides Mac, he took Rham in round 4 and some offensive lineman named William Sherman in round 6, who I think played one snap ever. He then whiffs in free agency on Agholor, Jonnu and IMO, Henry and then shoves Bourne in the doghouse after he has an ok season. Jakobi Meyers gets picked up off the street, and somebody has to see the targets so he produces a bit, but while folks here were singing his praises, Bill didn't think he was worth what we gave Agholor and he let him walk for the same money.

Then in 2022, Bill goes back to the draft and takes an offensive lineman at guard, in the 1st round, projected to go in the 2nd, then Tyquan in the 2nd which was also a reach even with his 40 time, passing on the much higher ranked George Pickens who went 2 picks later.

Bill hasn't shown he can identify high end NFL talent at wide receiver out of college, he hasn't shown that he can fill out an offense around a QB not named Tom Brady. I can give you examples from over 20 year period, I can use teams that are successful now and show what they've done to get there, I can also show you teams like the Bears who have ignored skill position players at the top of the draft like the Pats have and whose skill position players suck as a result, like the Pats.

I can show you young QB's who sucked until their GM's went and put talent around them.

What do you want me to show you? You can point to Gronk, and Edelman and Welker, all of whom did nothing in their careers without Tom Brady too. Or Randy Moss, but it's now 2023, not 2013, or 2003. What worked then isn't working now, what's working now is what these other teams and offenses that are succeeding are doing. Giving Josh Allen a guy like Diggs, giving Tua guys like Waddle and Hill, giving Hurts AJ Brown and Smith, giving Brock Purdy Deebo/Aiuyuk/Kittle/CMC, giving Geno Smith, giving Lockett/Metcalf, giving Burrow Higgins and Chase...

Here's what doesn't work, what the Chargers are doing, what the Packers did last year to Rodgers....What Chicago is doing, what Jacksonville was doing in Lawrence's rookie year, and what the Pats are doing,
 

lexrageorge

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Again, the original argument I've made is that Bill sucks at creating an offense in today's NFL. Your continual focus on minute details, leads us down these paths.

In 2018, Tom Brady had his worst statistical season in 4 years. Gronk and Edelman were aging and injured, Josh Gordon was here and there, but Brady relying on guys like White and Hogan made it work. Bill even recognized this, which is why he went out and drafted N'Keal Harry in the 1st round in 2019 (a whiff because well, he can't draft high end wide receivers early, I've given you the list going back 20 years). Bills FIRST AND ONLY use of a 1st round pick on a WR.

Brady comes back in 2019, and is even worse, playing with flotsam and jetsam and says "fuck this, I'm outta here." What does Bill do? In the 2020 draft, he takes ZERO wide receivers, he reaches on 2 3rd round tight ends, then takes a kicker in the 5th and 3 offensive lineman in rounds 6 and 7. He then brings in Cam Newton, who everyone saw from the first day in camp had no arm, and no receivers to throw to. If Bill doesn't recognize early on that Cam isn't the future, that's also on Bill.

So he goes and gets Mac in 2021. In that draft, besides Mac, he took Rham in round 4 and some offensive lineman named William Sherman in round 6, who I think played one snap ever. He then whiffs in free agency on Agholor, Jonnu and IMO, Henry and then shoves Bourne in the doghouse after he has an ok season. Jakobi Meyers gets picked up off the street, and somebody has to see the targets so he produces a bit, but while folks here were singing his praises, Bill didn't think he was worth what we gave Agholor and he let him walk for the same money.

Then in 2022, Bill goes back to the draft and takes an offensive lineman at guard, in the 1st round, projected to go in the 2nd, then Tyquan in the 2nd which was also a reach even with his 40 time, passing on the much higher ranked George Pickens who went 2 picks later.

Bill hasn't shown he can identify high end NFL talent at wide receiver out of college, he hasn't shown that he can fill out an offense around a QB not named Tom Brady. I can give you examples from over 20 year period, I can use teams that are successful now and show what they've done to get there, I can also show you teams like the Bears who have ignored skill position players at the top of the draft like the Pats have and whose skill position players suck as a result, like the Pats.

I can show you young QB's who sucked until their GM's went and put talent around them.

What do you want me to show you? You can point to Gronk, and Edelman and Welker, all of whom did nothing in their careers without Tom Brady too. Or Randy Moss, but it's now 2023, not 2013, or 2003. What worked then isn't working now, what's working now is what these other teams and offenses that are succeeding are doing. Giving Josh Allen a guy like Diggs, giving Tua guys like Waddle and Hill, giving Hurts AJ Brown and Smith, giving Brock Purdy Deebo/Aiuyuk/Kittle/CMC, giving Geno Smith, giving Lockett/Metcalf, giving Burrow Higgins and Chase...

Here's what doesn't work, what the Chargers are doing, what the Packers did last year to Rodgers....What Chicago is doing, what Jacksonville was doing in Lawrence's rookie year, and what the Pats are doing,
That proves he made some questionable drafting decisions. It does not follow that he has no idea how to build an offense in today's NFL. But one of us will need to accept being an outlier on our beliefs on that question.
 

Cellar-Door

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Again, the original argument I've made is that Bill sucks at creating an offense in today's NFL. Your continual focus on minute details, leads us down these paths.
Except your argument keeps shifting in the details is the point. You argue Bill sucks at creating a modern offense, and your argument is to bring up his drafting from 8 or 10 or 15 years ago.
You argue you need to take shots on adding WR and TE talent, pointing to other teams that do.... and people note that in the "modern" years (last 5) that's exactly what he has done. He's taken as many shots in the draft as most of these teams, he's taken MORE shots in FA than these teams.

And your evidence that the Patriots suck on offense is basically... 2 non-consecutive years?
I mean,.... worst Brady offense years (as he hit his 40s) isn't exactly a big knock considering they were a consistent top 5-8 offense.
I look at this team, I see a bad offense last year (17th in PF, 26th in EXP)
In 2021... that was a good offense (6th in PF, 10th in EXP) and with a rookie QB.
2020.... bad (27th in PF, 23rd in EXP)
2019.... weird year, great production (7th in PF) but underlying was worrying (17th in EXP)
2018.... the one you note as Tom's worst statistical season... excellent offense (4th in PF, 4th in EXP)
2017.... great 2nd in PF, 1st in EXP.

And this is the problem. You're so caught up in a bad year last year and this fantasy you have that the NFL has passed Bill by, that you don't recognize that we have had really good offenses in 4 of the last 6 years, and 1 of the 2 Mac Jones years. So instead of saying... "hmm I wonder if the reason the offense dropped off from top 10 in 2021 to bad in 2022 was because they replaced an excellent offensive coordinator with a guy who had no idea what he was doing" you leap to "Bill sucks at creating an offense in today's NFL, as proven by his draft record from 2003 to 2018!"

Edit- and this is why the argument is circular, you say "my argument is this unsupported statement" people ask for support... you give it.... people note that the details are fundamentally inaccurate and don't support the argument, you come back to "forget the details, my argument is this unsupported statement with no facts to back it up"
 
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BaseballJones

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Here's what doesn't work, what the Chargers are doing, what the Packers did last year to Rodgers....What Chicago is doing, what Jacksonville was doing in Lawrence's rookie year, and what the Pats are doing,
What are the Chargers doing that’s in any way analogous to what BB is doing with the Pats? They’ve got a star QB and have two terrific WRs, and an elite RB.
 

pappymojo

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What are the Chargers doing that’s in any way analogous to what BB is doing with the Pats? They’ve got a star QB and have two terrific WRs, and an elite RB.

barely making the playoffs & then losing in their first playoff game.