Level of Confidence in Direction of the Patriots Franchise

How confident are you that the Patriots are on their way to being legitimate contenders?

  • Very confident in where things are headed. In BB I trust!

    Votes: 24 7.0%
  • Confident that they'll figure it out but there is much work to be done.

    Votes: 94 27.2%
  • Cautiously optimistic but admittedly not too sure anymore.

    Votes: 81 23.5%
  • A little pessimistic given the QB situation and other factors.

    Votes: 73 21.2%
  • This team is going to suck for a while but will eventually pull through.

    Votes: 43 12.5%
  • This team will not contend again this decade. Abort ship!

    Votes: 18 5.2%
  • Ha - I'm not a Patriots fan and am enjoying every bit of this season!

    Votes: 12 3.5%

  • Total voters
    345

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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Yes but when it comes to the Patriots, the poster who went with that idea has an axe to grind. That poster may well be correct - these ideas can indeed co-exist as well - but in their cold, dark NFC-East front-runing heart, they are seriously enjoying all the feels the Patriots fans are feeling now.

Also, don't share any information about your mother here. Not a good idea.
He.....literally has not won a playoff game since Brady left. He has won one single playoff game in 9 years of coaching without Brady on his roster. This IS a Patriots forum and you do claim to be a guy who follows the team still....right?

And stop cock-blocking, yo.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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They were both fine. They were both really similar too, good route runners, OK but not amazing catchers of the ball....they both made a bunch of Pro Bowls, but it always felt more like marketing than true jaw-dropping talent. Neither of them - at least to my memory - ever took a game by the scruff of the neck and just won it the way that you would expect of an elite receiver. They kind of just caught the balls that the greatest QB of his era threw to them. Maybe I am overstating it, but generally....,meh.
Duper was better known but Clayton was the better player. I think you’re underselling him by a bit, at the very least.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Even if she's dead
Given the predilections of the individual in question, I would advise against it. Death probably isn't a deal-breaker.

Back to the Patriots, they are currently sporting a winning record with one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. Furthermore, we have multiple posters here effectively shouting "hey, are you all seeing what I'm seeing - Mac Jones is the worst. Give us Zappe, give us anything but Mac".

In addition, there are people here who have been absolutely miserable after the last two Patriot victories mostly because of the QB. It kind of feels like if Patriots went 7-10 with one of the best statistical QBs in the game some of those people may be happier than a 10-7 record and Mac.

In short, if Mac and the OL is as bad as they look, how can you lose faith in the direction of the franchise? They are above .500 with their most important position either a question mark or disaster. I get that BB bought these groceries but he isn't exactly steering a Patrick Mahomes led team into the rocks or anything.

I know I am a blinded IBIT person but if anything, the Patriots winning despite all their problems feels like a positive more than anything else.


Edit: You are entitled to enjoy this Mom-bag. You, Berry and a few others definitely didn't do yourself any favors over the years by engendering the grief you got but you earned the right to celebrate our misery.
 
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Smiling Joe Hesketh

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He.....literally has not won a playoff game since Brady left. He has won one single playoff game in 9 years of coaching without Brady on his roster. This IS a Patriots forum and you do claim to be a guy who follows the team still....right?

And stop cock-blocking, yo.
I think he was referring to the playoff game he won as the HC of the Browns…against the Pats.

I read last year that merely making the playoffs with a rookie QB, like he did last year, is much less common than I thought. I’ll have to dig up the stat, it’s surprisingly rare.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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I honestly consider the question “could Belichick win a playoff game without Brady” (in the abstract, not speaking of this year in particular) a bit absurd. No offense meant. Many weak, even poor, coaches have won playoff games without the great Brady: surely BB is capable of pulling off such a feat?

Consider this pair of fantasy scenarios. Does anyone believe that if, say Aaron Rodgers, had chosen to walk away from Green Bay and come to leafstrewn New England (for the Cape’s warmth and chowder, if nothing else, and to get away from brats), that he and BB and McDaniels and company could not have won a playoff game together? Or, alternatively, if a team like Buffalo, or Kansas City, or Cincinnati, had swapped coaches with the Patriots in the last season or two, that Belichick would have bungled the opportunity? Everyone who has met him thinks he is a football savant; even his harshest detractors would admit he was at least a decent coach…and many decent coaches with very good and great quarterbacks and offensive systems have won many playoff games.

I think that a better question would be “Can (or more importantly for me, will) Belichick win a playoff game, preferably more than one, without a very good quarterback and a good offensive system in place?”

Or even better: “Can BB nurture and coach up and succeed with an ailing QB? Can he be, as it were, a quarterback whisperer, as Andy Reid and Brian Daboll and other offense-focused coaches have been?”

And I’m not sure about those answers at all. I hate to doubt him, but that’s a question very much open for doubting. So far this year, he has not been, or he seems not to have been. Not saying he doesn’t know offensive football, but I think that the above is a special skill… just my .02.
You are looking at Bill Belichick HC in isolation, which is not reasonable. Bill Belichick the GM works hand in hand with Bill Belichick the HC who work together to design the coaching staff structure for the organization. That multiverse of Belichicks then proceed to compete for championships and glory.

One of those Belichicks has gone in heavy with Mac Jones. To be blunt, I think this was a poor idea for a few different reasons, but let's table that. If Jones ends up being able to make the playoffs in an increasingly tough division and then win, then the multiverse of Belichicks are geniuses. But I am skeptical. We will see. There are some very good QBs who are going to be available in this upcoming draft.
 

snowmanny

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He.....literally has not won a playoff game since Brady left. He has won one single playoff game in 9 years of coaching without Brady on his roster. This IS a Patriots forum and you do claim to be a guy who follows the team still....right?

And stop cock-blocking, yo.
This is like saying Paul McCartney >>> John Lennon because McCartney could make a bunch of number ones by himself -or with just Linda - but John Lennon couldn’t make a number one song without McCartney or Elton John or being shot to death.

At least I think it is. Probably not, but I enjoyed it.

edit also zero (0) top 40 hits from
his skiffle band.
 
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Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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Duper was better known but Clayton was the better player. I think you’re underselling him by a bit, at the very least.
You may be right. I truly don’t remember watching a game where either of them just stood out, and I remember Largent, Rice (obviously), Irving Fryar, and a bunch of others having those “don’t even think about not throwing to me” games.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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This is like saying Paul McCartney >>> John Lennon because McCartney could make a bunch of number ones by himself -or with just Linda - but John Lennon couldn’t make a number one song without McCartney or Elton John or being shot to death.

At least I think it is. Probably not, but I enjoyed it.

edit also zero (0) top 40 hits from
his skiffle band.
I like where you were going here.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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You may be right. I truly don’t remember watching a game where either of them just stood out, and I remember Largent, Rice (obviously), Irving Fryar, and a bunch of others having those “don’t even think about not throwing to me” games.
I think that's because the focus was always on Marino when they were active, due to his ridiculous release and ability to play a game 20 years advanced from the rest of the league.
 

astrozombie

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Just getting to this board now and I am sure it has been brought up, but BB the GM has wildly and totally failed BB the coach. I used to think the relationship with Pioli worked well, where BB seemed to say "I need [whatever]" and Pioli would go out and find it. I have no faith whatsoever in the ability of the current Pats brain trust to draft at all and other than Judon and occasionally Henry, free agents of late have been busts - in large part because BB signs them and then inexplicably ignores them. I've soured on Jones pretty fast since he is turning into someone who looks great when surrounded by a good team and pretty bad when he doesn't have that support. Even the coaching staff is made up of family and friends, with a lot of the long term successful guys (Fears and Scar) retiring.
At this point, I think BB just wants to stick around long enough to get the all time wins title. Any kind of post-season contention is icing on the cake, but ironically, the ultimate "team first" coach is in it for himself. I don't blame him necessarily, but I think the Pats are looking at a hard reset in the coming years and Kraft, who loves continuity, is going to have to go out and get a new team. I honestly have no idea how that goes, but I have little faith it is going to go well.
 

Silverdude2167

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Just getting to this board now and I am sure it has been brought up, but BB the GM has wildly and totally failed BB the coach. I used to think the relationship with Pioli worked well, where BB seemed to say "I need [whatever]" and Pioli would go out and find it. I have no faith whatsoever in the ability of the current Pats brain trust to draft at all and other than Judon and occasionally Henry, free agents of late have been busts - in large part because BB signs them and then inexplicably ignores them. I've soured on Jones pretty fast since he is turning into someone who looks great when surrounded by a good team and pretty bad when he doesn't have that support. Even the coaching staff is made up of family and friends, with a lot of the long term successful guys (Fears and Scar) retiring.
At this point, I think BB just wants to stick around long enough to get the all time wins title. Any kind of post-season contention is icing on the cake, but ironically, the ultimate "team first" coach is in it for himself. I don't blame him necessarily, but I think the Pats are looking at a hard reset in the coming years and Kraft, who loves continuity, is going to have to go out and get a new team. I honestly have no idea how that goes, but I have little faith it is going to go well.
His last 3 drafts have been pretty good, why do you think he can't draft?
 

astrozombie

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His last 3 drafts have been pretty good, why do you think he can't draft?
Let's look at the last 3:
2022: Strange (a reach for a consensus third rounder and just benched, a GREAT sign /s), Thornton (I like him, was injured, but I think he'll be good) Jones and Jones (both good), Strong (not impressed), Zappe (likely not a future QB1, but a good backup I guess if that's who you want to draft in the fourth), Harris (not sure he has played) Roberts (okay), Hines/Steuber (injured, I think).
2021: Jones (looks pretty awful to me without the Alabama talent behind him, but did make the Pro Bowl and lead the Pats to the playoffs so YMMV), Barmore (I like him, though he is looking like the second coming of Malcolm Brown), Perkins (people raved about him in preseason but has never actually played meaningful snaps for the Pats, so 2 years of 0 production), Stevenson (Great), McGrone (practice squad), Bledsoe (fine), Sherman (dont even know him), Nixon (practice squad)
2020: Dugger (Great), Uche (2 years now waiting to turn the corner), Jennings (ditto), Asiasi (haha), Keene (HAHA), Rohrwasser (cut and problematic besides), Onwenu (solid), Herron (not good, traded as a dump), Maluia (cut), Woodard (cut)

That's not even counting the 2019 disaster draft, which would have made this look even worse. Out of 3 drafts, there has been two great players (Stevenson and Dugger), a handful of solid players and a lot of shrugs, even accounting for the fact that I am not expecting much from round 5 on. I like Barmore and Thornton, I will give them some time. And the jury is out on Jones, but he looks like he is terrified out there.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Lol yeah terrible pick at 15
I don't know that its what is informing that post but again the Patriots have now won two in a row and this thread is simmering.

Why? I can't say exactly but given the tone around here and amongst Pats fans overall, I would argue its because our QB1 doesn't look like the ones all the cool kids are wearing. Maybe that's wrong.

Again, I wonder how this place feels if Jones continues to struggle while the Patriots somehow make the playoffs. And if they manage to make any noise at all, how do we feel about the direction of the franchise?
 

E5 Yaz

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Again, I wonder how this place feels if Jones continues to struggle while the Patriots somehow make the playoffs. And if they manage to make any noise at all, how do we feel about the direction of the franchise?
It won't be because of Mac ... the rest of the offense simply got well enough to carry him
 

Silverdude2167

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I don't know that its what is informing that post but again the Patriots have now won two in a row and this thread is simmering.

Why? I can't say exactly but given the tone around here and amongst Pats fans overall, I would argue its because our QB1 doesn't look like the ones all the cool kids are wearing. Maybe that's wrong.

Again, I wonder how this place feels if Jones continues to struggle while the Patriots somehow make the playoffs. And if they manage to make any noise at all, how do we feel about the direction of the franchise?
I don't really think calling Mac Jones a bad pick is an informing post honestly.

But let's say he was a bad pick and the Pats did not select him. So now either you really like David Mills and the Pats take him and are in a better place or they are in year 4 of a rebuild without a QB and probably on there way to a 4th straight losing season.

The idea that Mac Jones was a bad pick at 15 is crazy talk (and I don't even like Mac).
 

lexrageorge

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He is supposed to be your franchise QB....it doesn't matter where you pick him. I get revved up because Jalen Hurts looks like a legit, top 5-10 QB for the long term, not because Howie Roseman took him in the second round.
How did Jalen Hurts look last year?

And, to be complete, there were rumors that Hurts was on the Pats radar in the 2020 living room/basement draft.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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How did Jalen Hurts look last year?

And, to be complete, there were rumors that Hurts was on the Pats radar in the 2020 living room/basement draft.
In his first year as a starter working with a first year HC and Coaching Staff? Really good, actually. It's easy to say in hindsight, but I said it at the time: every flaw in his game was eminently fixable. He still has flaws in his game, but he is winning them football games right now. Last year I don't think he lost them many games, but at the same time he wasn't really winning them games (he was very, very good for a 5 or 6-game stretch in the middle of the year, so YMMV, but you get my point).
 

lexrageorge

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In his first year as a starter working with a first year HC and Coaching Staff? Really good, actually. It's easy to say in hindsight, but I said it at the time: every flaw in his game was eminently fixable. He still has flaws in his game, but he is winning them football games right now. Last year I don't think he lost them many games, but at the same time he wasn't really winning them games (he was very, very good for a 5 or 6-game stretch in the middle of the year, so YMMV, but you get my point).
So, basically, same as Mac last year.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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And, to be complete, there were rumors that Hurts was on the Pats radar in the 2020 living room/basement draft.
And no one cares about him being on the radar. Everyone is on everyone's radar. The Pats had the same opportunity to pick Hurts as everyone else did. He was the 53rd pick for goodness sake.
 

lexrageorge

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You are aware that Bill Belichick has been the coach of the Pats for a while now....right? Last year wasn't his rookie year as a HC. Look it up. It's a big deal.
My post was about Mac. Which was blaringly obvious. And, to Mac, Belichick was his very first NFL coach, so no real difference.
 

lexrageorge

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And no one cares about him being on the radar. Everyone is on everyone's radar. The Pats had the same opportunity to pick Hurts as everyone else did. He was the 53rd pick for goodness sake.
I was trying to find a way to get the Chargers a quarter of a Lombardi for having Tom Brady on their radar at one point in the 2000 draft. Guess not....
 

SMU_Sox

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He is supposed to be your franchise QB....it doesn't matter where you pick him. I get revved up because Jalen Hurts looks like a legit, top 5-10 QB for the long term, not because Howie Roseman took him in the second round.
I am also an Eagles fan (not that you care but I can't wait to move back to the Philly burbs in May 2023). I agree with you here. Once they start performing where you took them is completely irrelevant. Not that you or anyone else here cares, again, but I do a 7 round mock with them every year (we have people picking for all 32 teams - I did the Rams and the 49ers as well) and this year I got 2 of their picks right, Cam Jurgens and Jordan Davis. Pretty proud of my imaginary haul for them: Jordan Davis, Lewis Cine, Arnold Ebiketie, Brian Asamoah, Kenneth Walker, Abe Lucas, Cam Jurgens, Tariq Castro-Fields. Howie might not have gone safety early but a lot of these guys matched his profile. Howie definitely has types and proclivities for certain positions. He likes, as I did, going heavy with picks in the trenches. Honestly, Yam, I am fucking stoked with his actual draft and with how he is running the team. The AJ Brown trade was highway fucking robbery. :)

How did Jalen Hurts look last year?

And, to be complete, there were rumors that Hurts was on the Pats radar in the 2020 living room/basement draft.
In his first year as a starter working with a first year HC and Coaching Staff? Really good, actually. It's easy to say in hindsight, but I said it at the time: every flaw in his game was eminently fixable. He still has flaws in his game, but he is winning them football games right now. Last year I don't think he lost them many games, but at the same time he wasn't really winning them games (he was very, very good for a 5 or 6-game stretch in the middle of the year, so YMMV, but you get my point).
Got to disagree here and I am not sure you'd find a lot of people who would have predicted Hurts would grow this much. In particular his ability to read defenses post snap and process quickly, his habit for staring down routes, and his lack of throwing to the middle of the field were all considered questionable. He basically was an exclusively outside the numbers or short passes thrower last year. He hardly utilized the middle of the field and sometimes guys NEVER grow there like Russell Wilson. His throwing heat map looked kind of like a smiley face.

One of the main criticisms Robert Mays had of the AJ Brown trade was that Hurts doesn't throw to the middle of the field and that's where Brown does his damage. Digs, crossers, overs, etc. It is like @Super Nomario says the best guys will improve in those skills over time but not everyone will and most guys don't. When you look at where he was at Alabama and then Oklahoma and then his first 2 years in Philly to this year it's shocking honestly. Most guys absolutely do not progress the way he has. It is a testament to his hard work. He's incredible to watch and a true joy.

And no one cares about him being on the radar. Everyone is on everyone's radar. The Pats had the same opportunity to pick Hurts as everyone else did. He was the 53rd pick for goodness sake.
This is a little unfair to a degree. He was not considered a top 60 pick. Most analysts had predicted he would be taken in the 3rd or 4th round. He was considered a reach. The Patriots don't care about draft position if they like a guy but they do care about where a guy might go so they know they have to take him now vs can get him later. Like for example with Cole Strange - they thought he wouldn't be there in the 2nd round because they heard other teams would have taken him high so they pulled the trigger at 29. That's one example of many. Tavon Wilson is another example that the fans around here can remember oh so fondly ;).

Belichick said that year that they got everyone they wanted but one guy. I know Super Nomario and I have a short list of guys we think it could be and Hurts is near the top.

They only had 1 top 50 pick and they took Dugger who was an athletic freak and has been a game-changer for them on defense.

No. Not at all. Mac is nowhere near as talented, with nowhere near the same upside.
Mac is (was?) talented in different ways, at least in theory but this year he's a total and complete mess. Mac still has some mental upside, I guess. Mac has had his own unique set of challenges. He's not like a Hurts or Fields who can spin out of a sack. He's a traditional pocket passer with a limited arm. He knows the answers to the test pre-snap but he hasn't shown he can adjust when the coverage changes. Like he won't realize cover 2 went to cover 6 and throws it deep when there is a safety covering that quarter of the field while he thinks he is hitting a turkey hole. He's locking onto his first read too much which wouldn't be a bad thing if his first read was open but when the coverage changed or the guy didn't win his route... well see the previous example.

I was talking to one of the Pats Pulpit guys about it, Matt St. Jean, and the issues Mac is having vs zone coverage and with locking onto first reads. This was on his tape at Alabama too. I believe of the big 4 Mac locked onto his reads the most, 84% of the time IIRC. Matt Waldman talked and wrote about that too - his post-snap processing has to improve in the NFL. At Bama he could get away playing behind a great line and throwing to fantastic WRs. And if the coverage isn't going to be exotic or rotate much then if you know the answers pre-snap they will likely be right post-snap which won't be the case in the NFL but is often in college. He was also schematically winning against defenses that weren't anywhere near as complex as in the pros. The way they attacked UGA that year for example and their coverage schemes knowing that UGA couldn't just dramatically adjust what they are doing because that's how college football goes is what I mean. If you know you're going to run a ton of zone beaters against a team you know is running zone primarily you're going to look great especially when you are throwing to Waddle, the Skinny Reaper, and Metchie, no slouch himself. The question for Mac was if he could evolve into a guy who knew the answers to the test both pre and post snap especially if the question changed post-snap and right now it doesn't look like that's the case. But he's also in year 1 of a new offense on a coaching staff that isn't doing a very good job right now. And I mean that in the macro and in the micro - they have had a bunch of dud gameplans (macro), and their situational play-calling has been really spotty.

There is a world where Mac can be like a Matt Ryan type and Hurts plateaus and they both end up being around the same top 10-15 range but right now it certainly looks like Hurts is going to be a force and Mac a potential bust.

Is this just a 3 week lull for Matty P and Joe Judge? I am not sure. I am not as confident about the team as I had been to start the season. There is a lot to fix offensively and I don't know if they can reset after the bye and fix their ailments especially going against the defenses they are. It could happen of course but it doesn't look like it is trending that way.
 

tims4wins

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Do any Pats (or maybe, SoSH Pats) fans truly feel that Mac was a BAD pick? Even if you weren't high on the player, taking him at 15 without having to give up any other assets in the form of a trade, for a guy that draft buzz had potentially going to the Niners at 3, seemed like at worst an ok pick. The Niners and Bears both made huge trades to move up to pick their QBs, and the Jets also made a .. questionable .. pick at #2. I'd argue that all three of those moves were worse. At the very worst, the Pats will get 4 or 5 years of ok play* out of the QB position at a pretty low salary, which in and of itself is pretty awesome value for the pick, even if he doesn't earn a second contract in New England.

* This is obviously now up for debate
 

astrozombie

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Do any Pats (or maybe, SoSH Pats) fans truly feel that Mac was a BAD pick?
At the time, I was devastated because the Bears swooped in to get Fields, who was the QB I really wanted. Mahomes, Jackson, Allen, etc. are all mobile QBs and I thought that finally getting someone like that would be a huge boon. At the time, Mac felt like a consolation prize. As for whether it was a BAD pick... there is something about taking the 5th guy at that position at 15 that shows the draft is incredibly deep (maybe, or at least that was the perception) or the Pats were incredibly desperate (definitely true).
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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I am also an Eagles fan (not that you care but I can't wait to move back to the Philly burbs in May 2023). I agree with you here. Once they start performing where you took them is completely irrelevant. Not that you or anyone else here cares, again, but I do a 7 round mock with them every year (we have people picking for all 32 teams - I did the Rams and the 49ers as well) and this year I got 2 of their picks right, Cam Jurgens and Jordan Davis. Pretty proud of my imaginary haul for them: Jordan Davis, Lewis Cine, Arnold Ebiketie, Brian Asamoah, Kenneth Walker, Abe Lucas, Cam Jurgens, Tariq Castro-Fields. Howie might not have gone safety early but a lot of these guys matched his profile. Howie definitely has types and proclivities for certain positions. He likes, as I did, going heavy with picks in the trenches. Honestly, Yam, I am fucking stoked with his actual draft and with how he is running the team. The AJ Brown trade was highway fucking robbery. :)
I honestly thought that Jurgens would be long gone by the time we picked and was thrilled we got him. I am in NO hurry to see Kelce go, but Jurgens sure has looked like a guy who can step in and do well. His performance when he has come in (including preseason, admittedly) has been phenomenal on all fronts. Sound technique, great reads and surprisingly good speed on pulls. If it wasn't a HoF center in front of him playing his head off, I would be getting antsy to work Jurgens in more.

Jordan Davis is - and I am not using hyperbole - 1,000x better than I thought he would be. Great prediction by you.

Moving back to Philly is always a great moment.

Got to disagree here and I am not sure you'd find a lot of people who would have predicted Hurts would grow this much. In particular his ability to read defenses post snap and process quickly, his habit for staring down routes, and his lack of throwing to the middle of the field were all considered questionable. He basically was an exclusively outside the numbers or short passes thrower last year. He hardly utilized the middle of the field and sometimes guys NEVER grow there like Russell Wilson. His throwing heat map looked kind of like a smiley face.
I definitely agree that the general feeling was that Hurts was an enormous question mark. However, there are few rebuttals to your points:

- Last year Sirianni struggled to install a good offense and execute that offense on gameday. This manifested itself in a number of ways, and you saw him hand over play calling to Steichen, which was a tremendous job of checking ego at the door. I felt that with another year in the offense and with Sirianni having another year to get the offensive play calling process locked down you would see Hurts greatly improve his ability to read defenses pre and post snap and move away from the problems you raise above.
- I liked his footwork. While he is famous for "spinning and taking off", his movement in the pocket is sound, which gave him a great foundation to get better. And he has.
- He was handed a weird group of skill players. On the one hand, you had a world-class o-line, but he also had Smith's rookie year, Reagor (oof), Goedert's first year without Ertz, a probably-injured Sanders, Quez and a bunch of OK guys. There weren't many guys out there who could make his small mistakes look invisible.
- As you noted in your post, he is an incredibly mature, very hardworking guy. I still can't believe our QB can squat 600 lbs.

I was very optimistic coming into this season for Hurts, I really was.

This is a little unfair to a degree. He was not considered a top 60 pick. Most analysts had predicted he would be taken in the 3rd or 4th round. He was considered a reach. The Patriots don't care about draft position if they like a guy but they do care about where a guy might go so they know they have to take him now vs can get him later. Like for example with Cole Strange - they thought he wouldn't be there in the 2nd round because they heard other teams would have taken him high so they pulled the trigger at 29. That's one example of many. Tavon Wilson is another example that the fans around here can remember oh so fondly ;).

Belichick said that year that they got everyone they wanted but one guy. I know Super Nomario and I have a short list of guys we think it could be and Hurts is near the top.

They only had 1 top 50 pick and they took Dugger who was an athletic freak and has been a game-changer for them on defense.
You can always trade up.

Mac was a bad pick in my opinion because he is going to be the most important player on the field (in an increasingly pass-focused league) and I don't see his upside being higher than "first round playoff exit" unless he is surrounded by the 2007 Patriot Defense, o-Line and Randy Moss). Whether you want to say that BB should have waited another year, traded up, traded back or brought in Michael Vick, there were just many better options, IMO.

I was very optimistic coming into this season for Hurts, I really was.

Mac is (was?) talented in different ways, at least in theory but this year he's a total and complete mess. Mac still has some mental upside, I guess. Mac has had his own unique set of challenges. He's not like a Hurts or Fields who can spin out of a sack. He's a traditional pocket passer with a limited arm. He knows the answers to the test pre-snap but he hasn't shown he can adjust when the coverage changes. Like he won't realize cover 2 went to cover 6 and throws it deep when there is a safety covering that quarter of the field while he thinks he is hitting a turkey hole. He's locking onto his first read too much which wouldn't be a bad thing if his first read was open but when the coverage changed or the guy didn't win his route... well see the previous example.

I was talking to one of the Pats Pulpit guys about it, Matt St. Jean, and the issues Mac is having vs zone coverage and with locking onto first reads. This was on his tape at Alabama too. I believe of the big 4 Mac locked onto his reads the most, 84% of the time IIRC. Matt Waldman talked and wrote about that too - his post-snap processing has to improve in the NFL. At Bama he could get away playing behind a great line and throwing to fantastic WRs. And if the coverage isn't going to be exotic or rotate much then if you know the answers pre-snap they will likely be right post-snap which won't be the case in the NFL but is often in college. He was also schematically winning against defenses that weren't anywhere near as complex as in the pros. The way they attacked UGA that year for example and their coverage schemes knowing that UGA couldn't just dramatically adjust what they are doing because that's how college football goes is what I mean. If you know you're going to run a ton of zone beaters against a team you know is running zone primarily you're going to look great especially when you are throwing to Waddle, the Skinny Reaper, and Metchie, no slouch himself. The question for Mac was if he could evolve into a guy who knew the answers to the test both pre and post snap especially if the question changed post-snap and right now it doesn't look like that's the case. But he's also in year 1 of a new offense on a coaching staff that isn't doing a very good job right now. And I mean that in the macro and in the micro - they have had a bunch of dud gameplans (macro), and their situational play-calling has been really spotty.

There is a world where Mac can be like a Matt Ryan type and Hurts plateaus and they both end up being around the same top 10-15 range but right now it certainly looks like Hurts is going to be a force and Mac a potential bust.
First off, it's "The Slim Reaper", come on now.

I agree that Mac has been hurt by the new coaching staff more than helped from what I have seen, and Belichick pulling him and putting Zappe in was.....weird. If he is really your QB1 then give him time to shake the rust off. Give him a full half, then tell the lady who interviews you as you are walking off the field that you are going to make some changes in the second half that were in the gameplan. But at the same time, I also think that Mac is not a good QB, and his ceiling is not that high.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Right????
I watched a lot of Dolphins games back in that time and Clayton was a legit star receiver. Duper was not. Clayton had better hands and was a better route runner. Duper was more athletic but burned out a lot quicker and was less disciplined overall. Clayton would have made pro bowls no matter his team, Duper would not have.
 

BaseballJones

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It's funny because I know people here think that Marino would have lit it up in today's NFL.

But I thought that today's NFL was all about mobile, athletic quarterback play? Marino was the opposite of that. He shifted well in the pocket but that's it. 301 career rushes for a grand total of 87 career rushing yards.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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As for Mac, I think he is facing a crisis of confidence right now. His OL has been trash and he's trying to do the right thing and get rid of the ball quickly, but if the 1st read is covered he doesn't have the confidence to move through his progressions to find the open man. I tend to think that with better OL play he can do that, as we saw that in the first half of last year, but between a new offensive system and a poor OL and his injury his development has been stunted. It was obvious on Sunday that they were back to very simple gameplans on offense in large part due to those factors plus the fact that Indy's offense was garbage and they weren't going to have to score a ton of points to win the game. Which...I'm fine with for that game day. The question remains if he can lead them to a win if they get behind 14-0.

Having his first INT of the year down in Miami take place on a 50/50 ball in the end zone where Parker was blatantly held and interfered with seemed to ruin his confidence going downfield.

He is a very smart guy. Intellectually I think he can make the right decisions. But the question remains if he can process the NFL game fast enough.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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It's funny because I know people here think that Marino would have lit it up in today's NFL.

But I thought that today's NFL was all about mobile, athletic quarterback play? Marino was the opposite of that. He shifted well in the pocket but that's it. 301 career rushes for a grand total of 87 career rushing yards.
Marino wasn't a runner, but he presaged what we've seen from Brady over the last 22 years: insane ability to slide around in the pocket, combined with a lighting fast release. It wasn't that Marino was a runner (and after his heel injury he NEVER scrambled), it's more about his pocket awareness and the way he moved around just enough. QBs back then simply didn't do that.

Fouts was similar, just not quite as good as Marino, which is certainly no knock.

He was a very modern QB in a time where the Brian Sipes of the world took incredibly long 7 step drops and had glockenspiel release times and threw water balloons.
 

lexrageorge

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Dan Marino was the one QB who was able to light up the truly generational 1985 Bears defense. He was simply the best of his time at getting rid of the ball and avoiding the blitz, and those Bears loved to blitz. However, it was the Patriots defense that was able to give him fits, and the Dolphins run defense that season was really bad.
 

sonofgodcf

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He is supposed to be your franchise QB....it doesn't matter where you pick him. I get revved up because Jalen Hurts looks like a legit, top 5-10 QB for the long term, not because Howie Roseman took him in the second round.
Is he "supposed" to be, or is he just the Pats' (cost-effective) starting QB while they continue to rebuild post-Brady? Aside from the first-rounder, it's not like they used a ton of assets to get him or committed to a long-term contract that will affect their ability to compete. If he sucks, the Pats will move on and be fine. If he figures it out, great.

You say that they had so many better options, but I don't think that's true. They've gotten a playoff berth and have an opportunity to sneak in again with Mac at the helm. I'm not sure they find enough production in that spot if they went out and spent money on a QB or traded assets for one (Matt Ryan and Wilson don't look like good investments), or kicked the can and stuck with Stidham.

I think Belichick will move on from Mac the second he has a better option to win, just like he would with any other player. I'm not a fan of Jones', but I don't see anything wrong with the pick or approach.
 
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Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I think it's clear the was picked with the idea that he would be the franchise QB. If they didn't think he could become that there's not chance they would spend pick 15 on him.

And to be clear, he could still become that. He's got a very long way to go.
 

sonofgodcf

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I think it's clear the was picked with the idea that he would be the franchise QB. If they didn't think he could become that there's not chance they would spend pick 15 on him.

And to be clear, he could still become that. He's got a very long way to go.
Of course they have high expectations for Mac, but that's the same for any high-round pick, and they've missed on plenty of those too and found a way to perservere. Belichick doesn't usually fall in love with a player and understands sunk-costs. If/when he decides they need to move on from Mac, he will. And while the 15th pick certainly has value, it's not like they mortgaged multiple drafts to get "their guy" or broke their salary cap to sign him.

But looking at it as he needs to succeed and be the franchise guy or it was a failure isn't the way I think the org looks at the pick. They had to use it somehow, and Mac fell to them. It was a value pick, all the better if it works out.
 

Ralphwiggum

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He was a guy with a first round grade at the most important position in the sport who fell to them at 15. The Pats had Cam Newton's corpse and Jarret Stidham on the roster at that position at the time. They sort of had to draft him. I think he played better than most thought as a rookie, but has clearly regressed in year 2 for whatever reason, and it's certainly not looking (at this point anyway) that he's going to develop into a franchise QB. But who knows? I mean, sure, any time you draft a QB that high you are hoping he ends up being the guy, but what we are seeing out of Mac right now shouldn't surprise anyone and was well within the range of possible outcomes when they drafted him.
 

tims4wins

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Of course they have high expectations for Mac, but that's the same for any high-round pick, and they've missed on plenty of those too and found a way to perservere. Belichick doesn't usually fall in love with a player and understands sunk-costs. If/when he decides they need to move on from Mac, he will. And while the 15th pick certainly has value, it's not like they mortgaged multiple drafts to get "their guy" or broke their salary cap to sign him.

But looking at it as he needs to succeed and be the franchise guy or it was a failure isn't the way I think the org looks at the pick. They had to use it somehow, and Mac fell to them. It was a value pick, all the better if it works out.
This. Just like they moved on from Malcom Brown, Merriweather, Easley, Sony, Harry, etc.
 

BaseballJones

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Of course they have high expectations for Mac, but that's the same for any high-round pick, and they've missed on plenty of those too and found a way to perservere. Belichick doesn't usually fall in love with a player and understands sunk-costs. If/when he decides they need to move on from Mac, he will. And while the 15th pick certainly has value, it's not like they mortgaged multiple drafts to get "their guy" or broke their salary cap to sign him.

But looking at it as he needs to succeed and be the franchise guy or it was a failure isn't the way I think the org looks at the pick. They had to use it somehow, and Mac fell to them. It was a value pick, all the better if it works out.
This is actually a really helpful post. Thank you.
 

ShaneTrot

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The one thing you can say about Bill is he can still rock on defense. This team is 5th in defense by DVOA, 7th in points allowed, and second in the league in TO forced behind Philly with 17. They have had trouble with mobile QBs but every team does. Fields and Lamar are deadly running the ball. This team gets after the quarterback, they are second in the league in sacks, they did have 9 against Indy but they have been after the passer all year. They are doing this with a pretty mediocre set of LBs for a Pats team. It's debatable that Judon is a LB in this scheme. They are also clearly better when Dugger is on the field.

They are playing a lot of good QBs in the second half. Hopefully, they maintain this level of play.
 

BaseballJones

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The one thing you can say about Bill is he can still rock on defense. This team is 5th in defense by DVOA, 7th in points allowed, and second in the league in TO forced behind Philly with 17. They have had trouble with mobile QBs but every team does. Fields and Lamar are deadly running the ball. This team gets after the quarterback, they are second in the league in sacks, they did have 9 against Indy but they have been after the passer all year. They are doing this with a pretty mediocre set of LBs for a Pats team. It's debatable that Judon is a LB in this scheme. They are also clearly better when Dugger is on the field.

They are playing a lot of good QBs in the second half. Hopefully, they maintain this level of play.
Well, they may maintain this level of play but they'll almost certainly give up more points to better teams with better QBs. So it will FEEL like they're playing worse, even if they play at the same level, you know?
 

Jimbodandy

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He was a guy with a first round grade at the most important position in the sport who fell to them at 15.
Yeah there was talk that Mac was in the mix at #3 for San Francisco at the time. If the Pats hadn't taken him at 15, there would have been a Green Room Watch party on him like when Aaron Rodgers dropped to 24. I hope that nobody is trying to retcon Mac as a reach.
 

SMU_Sox

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He was the 24th ranked player overall on the consensus big board and taking that position when they did can’t be a reach. He might be a bust (he might not be) but he wasn’t a reach at 15.
 

Cousin Walter

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I would still like to know what the plan was at QB for 2020 after Brady left.

Hoyer and Stidham were the only QBs on the roster (other than, I think, some undrafted FA for a bit). They didn't sign Newton until June, so that was certainly not somebody they knew in April they could sign for cheap. Maybe they would have made a trade for a veteran during preseason or something?

But that chain of events seemed questionable the whole while.
 

Jungleland

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I remember the level of mockery the Pats got from every corner for taking Duggar.

He's as important to the defense as Hightower used to be. What a fantastic player.
The 2020 misses are among the more embarrassing of the BB era, but I’m glad that draft is overall looking decent. Dugger and Onwenu were great picks. It was an okay draft, I’d argue a good one if Uche has actually turned a corner.