Posted on: January 7, 2013 9:47 am

Looking Ahead to New Orleans

If the Patriots somehow win the Super Bowl next month, I think virtually all conversation will be ended as to who the greatest QB of all-time is. If Brady wins a 4th ring, 8 seasons after winning his last one, in the era of free agency, parity, etc., I personally think that is a greater accomplishment than Bradshaw or Montana's 4 titles or anything pre-merger (Graham, Luckman, Tittle, Unitas) or early modern (Lombardi's Packers).

Along with that, Belichick (who already has a HOF resume) has to go down as one of the greatest not only coaches, but personnel guys as well.
Belichick took over in 2000, which was also his first draft. He ended up with the following drafts:

2000- Brady
2001- Richard Seymour, Matt Light
2002- Daniel Graham, Deion Branch, Jarvis Green, David Givens
2003- Ty Warren, Eugene Wilson, Asante Samuel, Dan Koppen, Tully Banta-Cain
2004- Vince Wilfork, Ben Watson
2005- Logan Mankins, Ellis Hobbs, Nick Kaczur, James Sanders, Matt Cassel

2006- Stephen Gostowski, Ryan O'Callaghan (this was the Maroney-Chad Jackson year, bad draft)
2007- Brandon Meriweather (nothing else came from this, worst draft of Bill's NE era)
2008- Jerod Mayo, Matthew Slater (this was the "fix the secondary draft, Wilhite, Wheatley) Crable never got healthy

2009- Pat Chung, Ron Brace, Darius Butler, Sebastian Vollmer, Brandon Tate, Myron Pryor, Julian Edelman
2010- Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez, Zoltan Mesko, Brandon Deaderick
2011- Nate Solder, Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Ryan Mallett, Marcus Cannon
2012- Chandler Jones, Donta Hightower, Tavon Wilson, Jake Bequette, Nate Ebner, Alfonzo Dennard

That first chunk (along with what Bill inherited) won this team 3 Super Bowls. The middle chunk were lean years. Those guys helped the Pats reach another Super Bowl. And this last chunk appeared in another Super Bowl last year, with a chance to get back and win another one this year. Overall, Belichick has drafted very well and lots of teams now copy the Pats model of not paying older guys, stockpiling picks, staying out of free agency for the most part, and trading down in drafts to build depth. If Belichick & Brady win another ring this year, they are the best coach-Qb combo in history beyond a doubt, they are already in the discussion but that would clinch it I think.

Posted on: September 15, 2009 4:06 pm

Week 1 Wistful, Witnessed Wackiness

Been away from the blog for a while, but back in action with the start of the NFL season and MLB playoff chases hot hot hot.

First off, to any Bills fan passing through that happens to read this, that was a great game last night. Really had the Pats on the ropes, one or two different plays from cementing what would have been a great win for Dick Jauron and Buffalo.

For fellow Pats fans, its only week one people. Tom Terrific will be fine, just need to shake of the rust. Welker, Moss, will be fine. Galloway didn't get used at all (actually, he was almost cut coming out of camp). It was good to see the ground game take off against what is a fairly good defense historically; although not last year. Maroney and Taylor both played well. The offensive line did a much better job of opening up the running lanes and getting push of the line on running plays than they did protecting Brady. That area needs to improve drastically (talking to you, Matt Light, or Todd Light as Jon Gruden kept calling him).  The tight ends factored into the game more than the Patriots have done usually. Whether its Watson, Baker or David Thomas, I would love to see the Pats incorporate the TE a little more than just 2-end sets or heavy-line for sweeps, etc. Reports coming out of Patriot Place in Foxboro are that the Patriots are going to grind a little more on offense this year, more runs/tight end, vs. the strictly vertical attack of 2007. The balance should help Brady ease back into form.

The defense didn't play well against a very sub-par offensive club that was without Marshawn Lynch. There was virtually no pash rush until the last 3 minutes, and Fred Jackson exploited the front 7. Lee Evans and T.O. were doubled much of the game and weren't a factor, albeit, that paved the way for Buffalo to run. Next week against the Jets in the Meadowlands should be a stiffer test. I expect the Patriots to play MUCH better in Week 2 than in Week 1. Belichick's record the first time facing rookie quarterbacks in ridiculous.

Category: NFL
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