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Thread of the Week


Each week a topic is chosen from the Patriots.com bulletin board and highlighted on the site. Here are some excerpts:

Contents of Original Post:

Hey, fans. Welcome to the Thread of the Week. 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 This past week's game (and I use that term lightly) against "Da' Bears" was a complete disaster on many or all fronts. As typical the offense sputtered but at the same time the team's foundation, the defense also had a terrible day. They allowed someone like Shane Matthews to look like Dan Marino at the top of his game. 15 consecutive complete passes!!! I feel we just witnessed the Patriots best performance of the season (vs. K.C.) last week and then the Patriots worst performance this week against "Da' Bears".

A: Tell us what you think caused the team to make such a 180 in such a short time.

B: Although it's very early to talk draft picks, tell us your thoughts.

C: Tell us who you'd pick up or drop off this off-season in free agency.

Go to the Bulletin Board and ask away! So, there it is, fellow Patriot Fans. Let's have some good participation, and get ready for Miami this weekend. Answer all 3 or take your pick. Let's hear from you. Tell others to offer their opinions. Your suggestions just might be seen.


**Title:**RE: THREAD OF THE WEEK!!!!!!
**Author:**micronin127

TOTW:
A: Tell us what you think caused the team to make such a 180 in such a short time.

Inconsistent play is not all that surprising given all the injuries and new players that are being worked into the lineup. Re-building a team isn't always pretty.

On offense, Bledsoe (thumb), Redmond (toe), Andruzzi (leg), Williams (leg), and Brown (hamstring) are all nicked up. Klemm got switched to left guard. Randall got plugged in at right tackle. Jackson and Wiggins got major looks and are new to the team.

On offense I saw a lot of mistakes from inexperience. The Patriots stopped their own drives more than the Bears defense shut them down.

On defense, oh boy..... They also have a few folks injured and are shuffling in new faces. But they couldn't stop the run in the 3rd quarter or pressure the passer all day. Giving up 24 points to that Bears team is like giving up 36 to a good team.

B: Although it's very early to talk draft picks, tell us your thoughts.

A superstar offensive weapon if available should be taken early in the first round, but after that we should take the best player available for either offense or defense. We need offensive help at RB, WR, OL (x2) and we need help for defense at DL (x2), LB (x2), CB.

C: Tell us who you'd pick up or drop off this off-season in free agency.

Resolve any potential QB controversy as follows: re-do Bledsoe's deal, drop Friesz, and trade Bishop for an additional draft pick. There should be no QB controversy on this team. Drew is the quarterback, Brady the backup, and they can draft another guy this year.

They don't have to get rid of anybody else, especially if they don't have anyone better or it would cost more to replace them. Some veterans with big contracts might get targeted like Henry Thomas, Max Lane, and Lee Johnson, but if they came back for less money they are still good enough to make the team and contribute.

**Title:**RE: THREAD OF THE WEEK!!!!!!
**Author:**JoyceL

TOTW: A: Tell us what you think caused the team to make such a 180 in such a short time.

Injuries and inconsistencies. Guys need to catch the ball!!! Also Penalties. PE and off sides killed us. Great plays cannot get called back because of penalties. Penalties nailed the coffin shut on the Bears game.

B: Although it's very early to talk draft picks, tell us your thoughts.

We need to look at replacing or fixing both lines offense and defense. I am beginning to wonder though if we need a separate DC instead of having BB wear two hats. I think we should ask Armstrong to retire and coach the o-line and Henry Thomas to retire and coach the d-line. These are great players but we need a younger line who is more mobile. We need to draft guys who will play every game. I am happy with our TE and WR pickups. Another WR to train would be nice. Also our drafting priorities could rest on whether Edwards is returning. Without a running game it is hard to have a passing game.

C: Tell us who you'd pick up or drop off this off-season in free agency.

I would drop Langham, and see who will want to play for the Patriots. We need guys who will realize that this is a team sport. Re-sign Drew and end the Bishop controversy by trading him. I like the Heisman Trophy winner as an emergency QB. Remember when Tupa was our emergency QB so we had only two on the roster? Is there a player who could be counted on to perform one position and be called in to play in an emergency? This could free up some space on the roster and free up some money. We would be crazy not to keep Drew when he is willing to play for us and give it his all and work on the money issues. Who else would do this?

**Title:**RE: THREAD OF THE WEEK!!!!!!
**Author:**me

TOTW: #1 - I don't think they played well at all in KC, Grbac threw for over 300 and if it wasn't for the Chiefs numerous dropped passes and that stupid pass at the end we would've lost. The Chiefs' receivers were open all game, they just can't catch. The poor play stems from multiple problems. Lack of a pass rush for one, I'd like to see Bruschi used more as a down lineman on obvious passing downs. I only remember us trying it once, in the Super Bowl, and he had two sacks and some pressures on Farve. I don't know why we haven't tried it again. He is the all-time NCAA sack leader (tied), we have to let him rush more than once or twice a game on a blitz. Another problem is our inability to tackle. Only Tebucky seems to tackle well in the open field but he's never in position to make any tackles. Our linebackers are best suited to playing in a 3-4 due to lack of speed and poor tackling but we play a 4-3, which benefits a guy like McGinest who may be too small to play as a lineman in a 3-4. It's like we have a line built for a 4-3 and linebackers meant to only play in a 3-4. Finally, our linebackers and safeties are poor at best in coverage, we haven't been able to cover a average tight end in 4 years. The only luck we had was when Katzenmoyer was healthy, let's hope he can come back and start next year.

2 - We need a big, run stuffing lineman and a pass rusher. It's great that Milloy and Johnson can stuff the run but if your running a 4-3 your linemen should be stopping them, not your safety. If only we could find a Norman Hand type. Eaton is good against the run but that's it. We also need a pass rusher, someone who can truly get after the QB. We don't have one right now.

3 - We first need to clear cap space, which would mean we'd need to get rid of at least one linebacker. There is no sense in having four guys making good money, especially when the cheaper two (Bruschi and Katz) are your best linebackers. We should carefully look at some of our other higher paid defensive players also. Clear some space then spend it on offense. A good bruising fullback, a tight end, and a TALL wide receiver would do wonders for the offense, although I think we need a more imaginative coordinator. We need an O-line too, but since we saw little of Klemm we have to wait another year to find out if he can play. We have to wait and see if they can gel next year.

**Title:**RE: THREAD OF THE WEEK!!!!!!
**Author:**eternal

TOTW: The key to the Patriots success next season will be their success in the offseason. I don't think many will disagree with this statement. Much will be told this offseason about how much the big money players want to win a championship. We have seen this season that paying huge amounts to a few "pro bowl caliber" players (leaving little else for the rest of the roster, which then becomes mostly rookies) does not equate to making the playoffs (Redskins anyone...hmmmm).

The Patriots have about a dozen players on injured reserve this season, and I'm sure many other teams are in the same situation, which makes it obvious the need for quality depth. This is very difficult to do when so few players take up so much of the limited salary cap room. Bledsoe, Ted Johnson, Law, Milloy, and McGinest should all be ASKING for a restructuring of their contracts to create more salary cap room for the next few seasons so this team can seriously get into the free agent game. I am not suggesting that these mentioned players don't deserve to get paid higher than average salaries, but I'm sure Drew can scrape by for the next few years while making "only" 4 or 5 million a year against the cap. If I'm not mistaken, didn't Elway play for the veteran minimum one of the seasons Denver won the Super Bowl? An excellent example of sacrifice and leadership to the goal of winning. The top free agent priority should be to protect Bledsoe in the pocket and create running room for Redmond, and hopefully Edwards, if he can make it back it would be a huge boost for the team. The signing of even one solid, starting offensive lineman (Pete Kendall maybe?) will go a long way in upgrading the line from what it is this season. As far as the draft goes, the team will pick somewhere in the 6 to 8 range. At that spot, a real impact player for one of the team's 3 largest position needs (OL, DL, WR) should be available and that is who should be selected. Either Leonard Davis, Richard Seymour or David Terrell figure to be there when they pick.

**Title:**RE: THREAD OF THE WEEK!!!!!!
**Author:**pats tattoo

TOTW: A. If anyone can figure out why they packed it in against the Bears after perhaps playing their best game against the Chiefs please forward it Coach Belichick c/o the New England Patriots.

B. I say we go with offence, if Terrell comes out and is available, take him. As much as I like Brown he would be more of an asset to this team being the third receiver working the slot. Also Reggie Wayne from Miami but I don't know if I would use a first round pick for him. Please do not draft a running back is all I ask. Go with what we have (hopefully Edwards comes back) and build an o-line that can create holes.

C. These players either take a pay cut or are released:
1. Slade
2. Ted Johnson
3. McGinest
4. Friesz (release outright)

The first player to look at in free agency is Pete Kendall from Seattle. We have to build the offence line and Kendall is the first step. Eric Moulds is a pipe dream that is why I say we go after a wide receiver. One thing the Pats do not do is get rid of Drew, it would be the biggest mistake they can make.

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