First of all, a big thank you to all the first-responders, military personnel, and civilian authorities who had a role on 9/11 and continue to serve and protect us today. And to the victims and their loved ones, we will always remember'
On to football.
I think you may be overreacting a bit to Solder's performance against Tennessee. Yes, he was responsible for the sack that damaged
I am more concerned with the depth at o-line than with the way the starters fared, particularly in light of
So which one or two players surprisingly played significantly better than you expected in the first game of the season? And what was it about their game that surprised you? And which one or two players played surprisingly poorly?
I wasn't necessarily surprised by the play of the top rookie draft picks - defensive end
I will say I was a little surprised to see how much playing time tight end
There weren't a whole lot of poor efforts, either.
Hi Guys, Great game against Tennessee. I know this is jumping the gun, but I was really impressed with [Jermaine] Cunningham's performance. Not that he dominated the game or anything, but that he contributed at all. Were you as impressed as me? Should I be excited about his play?
I've been one of Cunningham's strongest detractors, but I must admit, he's had his best summer in this, his third season. Against Tennessee, he was often inserted as a defensive tackle, rather than his usual defensive end - something we'd seen from him during the preseason. It was unfortunate to see one of his best plays against Tennessee be called back due to a penalty, but you're right, he was contributing, and that's more than I expected from him at this point. It's a good sign of his progress. For the team's sake, hopefully he can continue it.
After the strong preseason showing by Cunningham, and a slower transition of [Rob] Ninkovich from OLB to DE, can we expect Cunningham to eventually be more the full time player at DE opposite Chandler Jones?
I haven't really seen this "slower" transition by Ninkovich, as you put it, Ryan. Size-wise, he's more of a fit at OLB than DE, I'll give you that, but he hasn't played any worse at his new spot, in my estimation. Nor has Cunningham yet proved he is any better. Yes, as I mentioned earlier, he is having his best year to date, but Cunningham has yet to prove he deserves a starting role. He might be one of those players ' like Mike Wright or Jarvis Green before him ' who is at his best in a situational sub role.
Looking at how many different tight ends the Pats have brought into camp or signed since, I keep wondering if they are looking to run a three (or four) tight end formation. It would put a lot of bigger guys on the field for run blocking and if the TEs are all able to catch the ball, what would the opposing team do with the size mismatches? Have any teams in the past deployed 3 or 4 TE sets other than on the goal line? What would you consider to be the advantages or disadvantages of these formations? Thanks in advance.
When I went back and looked at the film from Sunday's win over Tennessee (please check out my After Further Review article here on patriots.com), I was pleasantly surprised by how many times the Patriots used all three tight ends who were active that day. Not only were they used in running plays, but in the pass as well. In the locker room Monday, I had a few minutes to talk with
As I see it, the advantage to have three tight ends on the field at once is clear: if they are capable of run blocking and pass catching, you have a distinct edge on the defense. You can line them up in what looks like a run formation and send them out for passes, as we saw against the Titans a number of times. Tennessee almost always bit on the run in those situations, and Brady took advantage of the mismatches.
The biggest disadvantage would be in terms of speed. The fewer receivers and backs on the field, the slower your offense might be.
What are the chances in your opinion of us bringing back one of our receivers we released such as [Deion] Branch? I don't quite understand his release in the first place and think he would be very valuable to the squad.
I could envision a scenario in which Branch would be brought back. Unfortunately, it was mean the loss of one of the receivers already on the 53-man roster (to injury, for instance), and that's not what you're looking for as a fan. It is interesting that you bring up Branch's name, though, as he still does have a locker space in the Patriots locker rom.
If both Patriots QB's were to get injured in the same game, then who would be the next "emergency QB" to take over for that game? How many current Patriot players could become "emergency QB's", should such a situation ever occur?
Interesting question, John, and one for which you better hope we never find an answer. The team does not have to divulge who that player is, of course, so, we're left merely to speculate. I would say
Aside from Edelman, it's anyone's guess who would be capable of filling that role. In all likelihood, you could take your pick of any number of offensive skill position players ' the ones who would be most familiar with the play calls. Defenders might be an option, too, but not very likely ones, in my estimation, based on their relative unfamiliarity with the offense.
Which player on the Patriots' practice squad is most likely to become a core contributor? [Tight end Alex] Silvestro and [linebacker Jeff] Tarpinian head my list, but it generally seems to be an o-lineman (Scar is a master teacher).
With the embarrassment of riches at tight end, it might be difficult for Silvestro to break through. Tarpinian may be more likely at linebacker, given that he was on the 53 last year and the team is somewhat thin at that position currently. But you're onto something with the o-line, I think.
Have a question for the PFW writers? Submit your question now for the next edition of Ask PFW.