Some of your points are valid, Mike. Gronk being the best tight end is one. The lack of quality depth at wide receiver is another. The rest are questionable at best.
Again, you may not have noticed, but New England is still putting up considerable points with all their so-called “problems,” as you’ve erroneously enumerated them. The only major problem with the offense, at this point, is the thin receiver roster. There’s only so much that can be done at this point to bolster it (calling up players from the practice squad, like
After 14 games the stats for
Nope. None whatsoever. First of all, let’s discard this fallacy that Ridley is fumble-prone. He’s lost the ball a couple of times lately. Same last season toward the end. He’s human. He’s not the only player on the offense who’s turned the ball over.
Look, Ridley is far more talented than Green-Ellis ever was or will be. Patriots fans got too spoiled by the unlikely good fortune that Green-Ellis had in never fumbling during his career in Foxborough (he’s since made up for that as a Bengal, by the way). Far too much has been made of Ridley’s troubles holding onto the football. Fumbles happen to him once in a while, just like every other player. Obsessing about his one or two miscues is just preposterous.
Patriots coaches agree with me. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t have seen them give Ridley the ball so much this past week against the Jaguars. They have confidence in him, and so do I. Erik Scalavino
It's been a couple of years since I had a question answered so I hope this one goes through. 1) Do you guys think
Let’s go in order. 1) It’s doubtful that Mallett will be Brady’s heir, but it’s also almost impossible to say just how well this young player can develop because he almost never gets a chance to play any meaningful minutes in games. Rarely today, it seems, do teams find starting quarterbacks in the middle or late rounds of the draft. So, if New England wants to get a replacement for TB12, they’ll likely have to get one in rounds one or two.
2) Who knows…
3) I’m not convinced Welker is playing his last games for New England. That said, I’ll reiterate that the Patriots need to get more talent around him or whoever remains at wide receiver for this team next season. Whether that’s in the draft or free agency (or both) remains to be seen. We’ve not begun our draft evaluations, and free agency is still too far down the road to address with any seriousness yet. Erik Scalavino
Many people freak out at the idea of not having a first-round bye. I understand that it must be nice to rest players, but honestly I prefer a 3-seed over a 1 or 2. We'll get a pretty nice warm-up game to prepare us for a better team in either the Bengals or the Colts, then we'll have momentum going up against a Broncos team who has not played in two weeks and whose defense we have torched the past 3 times we've played them. Am I the only one who prefers not to have a bye week? Hunter Brooks
Yes. Erik Scalavino
What has become of the coffin corner? These days all punters go for having their kicks downed inside the 10 yard line. Too many go into the endzone for touchbacks. Are coffin corner kicks that hard to angle? Jeffrey Anderson
Excellent question, Jeffrey, and one I’ll try to ask special teams coach Scott O’Brien when next I get a chance. For now, I’ll give you what I know about the subject.
The coffin-corner punt was the direct ancestor of what’s known today as “plus-50” punting. In the old days, punters used to kick the ball the same way, no matter where they were on the field. Almost every kick was a high, arching spiral. So, when a team punted from near midfield, the punter would be asked to try to angle that kick toward the pylon, to give the return man very little, if any, chance of returning the ball.
Nowadays, most punters handle the ball one way to kick it deep (to get that spiral effect) and a completely different way to “pooch” punt, or to kick the ball when his team is past the 50-yard line (hence the term “plus-50”). The latter case typically sees the punter hold the ball like in rugby, with the nose pointed straight to the ground, to get an end-over-end rotation on the ball. The intent on such kicks is to create backspin so that the ball bounces away from the end zone should it hit the turf.
The kicking game has become such a specialized aspect of football today. Most coaches want their punters just to get the ball inside the 20- or 10-yard lines and let their coverage men get under it, rather than leaving the job all up to the punter to try to pin the other team deep with a coffin corner. Again, I’ll try to get an answer from Scott O’Brien as to why this change in philosophy seems to have taken place across the league. Erik Scalavino
What is the symbolism behind Aaron Hernandez touchdown dance? He lays one hand flat and does like a chipping or a dusting motion with the other. What’s it mean? Thanks. Eugene
What he’s doing is called “making it rain.” The term refers to the distribution of dollar bills to… well, I think I’ve given you enough details to do an advanced internet search for the remainder of the explanation. Erik Scalavino
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