Re: [patriotzip] player/draft thoughts
- Interesting thoughts.In my pre-March review of the team and with an eye towards your ote:1) I'm not ready for Troy Brown night just yet. While I don't disagree with a single point you raise and look forward to Troy Brown Night in the future, I think he might very well have another year left in him. I really want him to have another year because he is so very close to the all time reception record held by the very well appreciated "Stanley19.8 ypc Morgan." I'd very much like to see Troy take that all time record in tribute to a great work effort and a player whom just overcame what many thought was beyond his ability. Heck I admit it, when he became our number 2 receiver in the start of this millenium I thought he wasn't good enough for that - I thought him the perfect slot receiver. I was half right! I'll never forget many of his catches like the highlight slide against the NY Giants in 1996 nor the yeoman effort of the KC 2002 when he tied the NFL all time receptions per game record (Jerry Rice). How could we forget his role against Pittsburgh on the way to SB 36? -or the fact his absence may have changed SB31 though many things might have that claim. Despite that nostalgic and very brief tour, I am not ready for Troy Brown night just yet if I could maybe have a little more magic - "Bingo, I want Bingo!"2) I love Rodney Harrison and hope very much that he overcomes what some do not believe. I want his success story and comeback and I also think it not unreasoanbel. Despite this the team in my mind needs to address safety and however they may do that, Sanders and neither Scott have yet to convince me. I'll trust the brain-trust but I have that high on my list with the notion that if we overachieve and end up with an extra, we can always entice Gino Wilson to play a little corner.When I reflect upon what position we most needed this last season it was corner and that was in part to a rash of injuries and a limitted quality. Will Gay return? Did the real Samuels stand-up? I'm not sure but it's on my list to evaluate and thus the safety is a part of that evaluation since it might give us Wilson into the mix. Despite their efforts, Potite and Stone are not on my highly desired list for September's roster.Chad Brown is not my answer at MLB. He made some effortrs late but they were as late as his career and I simply don't see sufficient value in him. Beissel let me down on the field and in the locker room and I think that if he apprenticed to the right lb he might get a stay but otherwise I'm again not putting him high on my desired list. Claridge will have another year and I'd trade him, Brown (Chad) and Beissel for Lofa! While Willie, Vrabel, Colvin, Bruschi and McGinest have my high confidence, we do need to find the right middle replacements and I've a small amont of concern about Vrable's contract future as he'll be highly desired around the league and probably not quite as Cap friendly as Tedy and Willie whom will both finish out glorious careers on this team.No doubt that regardless of Dillon's immediate health there is a need for a quality replacement. We let a few good candidates slip last year in favor of our defensive back=field. I understand but think we may have made some hind-sight errors. No chance I'd put Heath abouve Patrick at this point but Patrick did break my heart three times this year with the last one in Denver being just behind the hamstring fumble early in the year. Still Faulk and Pass are fine with me, it is the power back with some threat which I miss and this year the draft has some temptations.The first thing to watch is free agency round 1 which will set up the draft and free agency round 2. I'd love to see Givens, Neal and Vin back at reasonable deals and their loss and our replacements for such will tell us much by Draft day. We are going to be in the mix but the mix will be thick and we've got much to accomplish. Our team was schizophrenic due to injuries and some game day surprises where the team seemed to fold/implode which includes our Playoff exit. I'd like to think that quality moves will keep us contending and that in six months the excitement will again be high around here.Go Pats!Zip----- Original Message -----From: OrgoneSent: Saturday, February 25, 2006 4:41 PMSubject: [patriotzip] player/draft thoughtsI think it might be a good time for Troy Brown night. Maybe even retire his number. He was huge in the first two SB winning seasons while taking the pay cuts and standing out on special teams. The quintessential Belichick era Patriot he played a big part in setting the tone for the Kraft administration. One of the most liked and respected Patriots ever. We like to call him 'first down Brown' over here. Sure would like to see Troy move into coaching if he has a mind to go in that direction.
Even if David Givens moves on I think Andre Davis has shown enough this year to step in and be an adequate replacement. He got here late in TC hence not a lot of playing time all year but picked up more work later in the season. I don't think Davis' hands are quite as good but he does look a tad faster than Givens. Davis could make Bethel Johnson expendable if Givens stays.
Chad Brown seemed to be everywhere making tackles at the end of the season. Looks like he may have gotten a grip on the defensive scheming. Monty Beisel still seems to be a bit lost but he still might snap at some point. Rosie Colvin not only came back he became force.
Gotta say something here about Willie McGinest. He is not going anywhere. He will restructure or take a cut - whatever it takes - I think Willie would play here for free. He loves this team like the breath of life itself and has become a pillar of the veteran community. Since that first SB he transformed into the ultimate team player. Missed all kinds of time early in his career. I don't think he's shown hurt at all since 2001 - 'cept for maybe laying down on the field from time to time. McGinest and Bruschi are cut from the same cloth.
Asante Samuel reminded me of Law once or twice at the end of the season. Could it be that he's about to become a lock-down corner? I doubt if a veteran like Law would have been called on the pass-interference against Denver - Samuel played it perfectly. If he keeps playing like he did at the end of the season he'll start getting the "reputation calls" and QB's are going to stop throwing his way.
Cedric Hobbs made major strides this year and should be as close to a starter as you can get on a BB team next year. He should get a lot of work on returns too.
Artrell Hawkins seems to be enough in the backfield to be quality depth, maybe more when he learns the system better. I sense it's the ability to call plays for the others that is lacking with him. Rodney has to come back or they need to find another way to get his play-calling back on the field. Rodney already gave his blessing to James Sanders but he was hurt much of the year as well. A lot of if's but they might not need anything back there other than an upgrade in quality depth. Injuries have seriously muddied the depth chart. Gay barely played, everyone else was out for long periods. Lot's of ifs.
Corey Dillon didn't have a great year and seems to be past his prime but I don't think Heath Evans can fill enough void to make up for Corey next year. I do think Evans can make Pass expendable. I would call RB a top priority this offseason but I don't know what BB knows about Dillon's issues. Corey could come back with a career year next - I think the tools are there but I keep remembering Brady screaming at him on the sidelines early in the season and wondering about all the attitude concerns. Even if he does come back his best days are most likely behind him so it's time to at least begin grooming a replacement. More ifs.
I think BB/Pioli will likely continue policy and pick up what they can for free agents, try for a major starting upgrade at at least one position and a major depth upgrade at another with their first two picks in the draft and continue trying to upgrade depth everywhere else with the rest of their picks, UDFA's and minor trades. I don't think BB will try to make that first upgrade RB, given what's in the draft it will more likely be on the offensive line. BB's track record is he likes to bring in a veteran at a position like RB rather than a draft pick, same with linebacker - especially inside but BB has an open mind and is not afraid to try new things - much will depend on who's available when pick time comes or what's on the table for trades to move up. I think the most pressing priorities are RB, inside LB and backfield followed by OL and WR.
That could all change radically if it's true that Seymour wants to be the highest paid in the league at his position. I hope Richard will remember Brady's contract and the team when it gets down to brass tacks but if not then I think BB might need to trade him for picks and/or a veteran LB or a veteran RB. If Givens wants to go for the big dough then anything could happen trade wise. Here's hoping both of them continue the fine example Tom Brady has set.
With a first, a second, two thirds, two fourths and the third pick in the fifth round (Raiders) BB/Pioli should be able to find plenty of promising prospects from the draft for training camp. Combine that with 4 extra weeks of planning/evaluation time and the Pats could ace another draft.