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After a lengthy hiatus, we are proud to return the "Thread of the Week" to the forum. As it is now the offseason, PFW is only printed monthly, and the TOTW will follow the printing schedule. Comment on any and all that you wish. Just remember to abide by normal BBS conduct rules.
* Please keep in mind, this thread will be seen by the players, coaches, and Patriot's staff members. Please keep your responses proper, thoughtful and specific. Crude remarks within a post will cause that post to be deleted.*
TOTW What do you feel the teams' most pressing needs are? Rank them according to priority. Discuss how you feel those needs could/should best be met.
Go to the Bulletin Board and ask away! So, there it is, fellow Patriot Fans. Let's have some good participation this week. Thanks again, and enjoy. We look forward to your responses.
|**Title:**||RE: THREAD OF THE WEEK!!!!!!|
1. DL~ This is a conditional selection. This assumes Eaton doesn't resign, and Thomas is cut. If Eaton is signed, and Thomas is cut, I would move this down 2 spots. Two starters(and the only proven DL) run the risk of not being with the Pats next year. Too much of a risk not to address this position soon. Free agency is an option here; not all DL command big $$$. Of course, Sam Adams played for short money, but he got a ring out of the deal. I don't see too many S.Adams' in free agency this year. Unlike most people, I am not too inclined to look at Ferguson. I would be more inclined to go after M.Smith, J.Peter, or S.Colinet. I think all three could be added without breaking the bank, and have an immediate impact for the Pats. Would prefer to keep Eaton and add the others to replace Thomas, or build the DL depth.
2. CB~ Based on need, this is a major concern. Outside of the lack of pass rush, coverage on the opposite side of Law forced the secondary into schemes they were not used to. I saw Milloy trying to help compensate for the weak side coverage, only to place Law on Man-2-Man. Which worked fine, as long as a playaction pass wasn't called. We need to get the secondary into a position where every player is pulling their own weight. I think if we can address the weak side, than players like Law, Milloy, and Jones can start playing up to their full potential(and their $$$). I do not see free agency as an option, since the Pats proved last year that they get what they pay for. Time to address this long term, via the draft.
3. DE/OLB~ To continue with the defensive woes…the lack of a pass rush killed the Pats, especially on third downs. A quick pass on 3rd down would be a conversion more than 50% of the time. You have got to be able to get to the QB, and this is not happening. This has been an issue for the past 3 years. The defense will pull together if the Pats can meet this need. Another skill position that will most likely not be addressed in free agency. Too much money, and too high of a risk. Best bet is to use the draft.
4. G~ The guards on this team have never been "great". I might go so far as to say "good", but only when they were trying for the fat contract they got after the '96 run. The Pats need a guard that can run block, pulling and trapping. It doesn't get any easier than that. Seriously, the Pats need to establish credibility on the ground game again. The rushing attack was respected with Martin. Prior to that, and afterwards, the Pats have fallen back into mediocrity. Without an established RB, the introduction of a mean/tough guard will go a long way to establishing a dominant running game. I think a tough Guard should be gotten through free agency. This new OL of the Pats need a leader to pull them all together. Experience in this case is worth the hefty price tag. Best shot is with Kendall this year. Verba\Hartings after that.
5. FB~ Same as #4. Without an established RB the introduction of a mean/tough FB will go a long way to establishing a dominant running game. One that can run and catch would also be nice. Turner could catch but couldn't run and was ok at blocking. Gash was (and still is) a premier run blocker. He has proven he can catch the ball. Not a great runner but can get a couple tough yards when called on. Carter is not even close to either of these two. I see him block and I start yelling at the TV when I see him fall into his own guy instead of the guy just to the right/left that has managed to sack Faulk for a 4 yard loss. You should see me when he fails to pick up the blitz. Pats picked up Bowie. I would be ok with watching how Bowie and Paulk do this year. Possibly address this in the draft next year if these guys do not work out. Floyd from Carolina might shake free. It might not be a bad idea to see if he can be gotten for short $$$.
6. WR/TE~ Tough pick here. There is a clear need for a legit #2 WR. I'm not a big fan of using the TE as a WR. Coates proved that he has great hands for a big guy. I see similar traits with Wiggins. Wiggins has the hands but not the blocking. Rutledge has the blocking but not the hands. This rotation should be able to meet the needs of the TE spot. I would be more inclined to go with a pure WR type to fill this need. A true game breaker would fill in any short comings from the TE spot. Every WR the Pats have struggles with being jammed at the line. Glenn is the best out of all of them. When Brown is not jammed he has his best games. The Pats NEED to stretch the opposing defense out. They have to get credibility back in the offense. They need to make defenses pay for not respecting the run or the long pass. I know most fans like to see the 80 yard TD receptions. I'm not sure the Pats need to live or die by that but they need to make the other team aware that they better play off the line or they will get burned. I would be happy keeping Wiggins/Rutledge at TE but if depth is needed I would pursue a cheap veteran through free agency. The legit WR should be addressed through the draft. This is a long term decision. The Pats need to make up for Simmons being a bust.
7. G~ See #4. Twin towers on either side of Woody. Nuff said. I would address the other Guard via the draft.
8. RB~ I think we can all agree that the Pats need a RB. History will show that there have been four picks on RBs in the most recent drafts. I am inclined to wait one more year at the RB position. I think the combination of Redmond/Faulk can make a pretty good tandem. Redmond has good power and insight while Faulk has a quick burst to the outside. Both have their own problems as well. Redmond has questions on durability and Faulk can't hold onto the football when it counts. Faulk has shown progress/improvement every year he has been with the Pats and this is what swayed me down this path. I think the RB position needs and demands to be watched but this should probably be addressed next year.
|**Title:**||RE: THREAD OF THE WEEK!!!!!!|
TOTW: These Pats have weaknesses at every turn. When this happens to a ream, the best place to start is the interior on both sides of the ball.
First need depends on the signing of Eaton. If he's resigned, we pick offensive line first. If Chad walks, the defensive front is in deep trouble. That would be the most pressind need for 2001.
If Eaton is signed, choose "Big" Leonard Davis of Texas. He'll impact on the first play and for the next 14-15 years.
If he's not there, a solid look should be taken at Steve Hutchinson of Michigan. What, a tackle taken 6th overall??? No. A trade down to the mid-round would snatch him, and a few more later picks, up. Remember the last guard to dominate? Yes, he reminds me of the next John Hannah.
If Eaton goes, we need to fill his shoes first. The poor management of player personnel the past 5 years has shown us all a viable back-up in the wings is necessary for survival. The Pats don't have that luxury with the loss of Eaton.
So, we pick Damione Lewis of Miami. A disruptive force who played with a broken toe last season. Toughness we love to see.
Richard Seymore is another to look at. This guy could challange Lewis for our top pick in April He can also play DE at times, a trait Bill Belicheck loves in his players.
Those are our most pressing needs this spring. WR is deep, so one could be had in the third round. The RB tandem should improve this year, as long as Faulk stops his fumblitis. TE improved with the cutting of Bjornson, and Rutledge looks ready to be an every down TE. Bledsoe is one of the better QBs in the league. We all saw early in his career he can get the job done when given time. Besides Glenn, who else was part of the 96 Super Bowl team recieving corps? See my point. This alone is reason to go after a top notch offensive lineman in the draft. On defense, our secondary improves dramatically with the addition of a pass rush. At CB, Serwanga may be ready to step in. The LB corps is solid, but mid round pick should be used for the future on this thin group.
|**Title:**||RE: THREAD OF THE WEEK!!!!!!|
TOTW: 1. Defense. We need to increase our sack and interception total. Add a top notch DL and a CB to the team.
- OL. Improve the OL to give Drew more time. PLEASE. (Remember the time Steve Grogan had?).
- Running Back. If Robert Edwards can't make it back this year then we need to find another impact player.