My Dad’s relationship with football was much different than my own. He tried out for his high school team, got soundly run over in what I can only imagine was an Oklahoma drill, and walked off the field, never to return. This experience colored his view of football, which resulted in him not being anywhere near as passionate a football fan as we was a baseball fan. Sure he’d watch a game if it were on and he mostly understood it conceptually, he just wasn’t invested. It probably didn’t help that the Patriots weren’t any good, didn’t exist until he was 11, and were never on TV due to blackout rules, but I truly think his brief playing experience was the key to how he felt about football.
FINALLY, NFL week 1 is here. It feels like we have been waiting for years! Thursday Night we will see the Super Bowl rematch and we will be off for another 17 weeks of NFL action! As a preview of sorts this week we start with predicting the record for each and every team!
It’s a lot of info, but its a fast read, so let’s get right to it! Continue reading
David Price sure isn’t pitching like we all thought or hoped he would. OK, lets be fair, no one can earn back the value of Price’s 31 million dollars a year unless they make 35 starts and go 35-0, and even then he hasn’t cured cancer, so it’s still not enough value. (To be clear that is no knock on Price, he should sign the best deal for him, and he did. I also have no expectation of him curing cancer.) So what is a reasonable expectation for Price?
I missed a day, oops! But here is the final piece of our training camp preview, the defensive backs.
Now I list them all together and not as strictly cornerbacks and safeties because there is a bit of fluidity between the two for most of these guys. That doesn’t mean we want Patrick Chung covering a deep threat but you know what I mean.
This group is deep and I think there is a lot of flexibility and duplication in players size, skill sets and talent level. That’s going to make for some serious competition across the board. I’ll do my best to sort it out.
There are really only 2 linebackers I care about watching for the Patriots these days, but that isn’t how a team is properly constructed. The guys who play linebacker in this defense are also one of the key cogs on the special teams units. These guys needs to be football smart, strong enough to take on pulling guards trying to get to the second level and fast enough to chase down running backs. Let’s see who fits that mold of the guys they have in camp.
JAMIE COLLINS KNOCK IT OFF pic.twitter.com/RW2urUv3i1
— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) October 19, 2015
Defensive End in Bill Belichick’s defense maybe the most misunderstood position on the field both by players and fans alike. The reason is twofold and both of those answers are pretty easy when you really think about it. Reason 1: The best Defensive End/Outside LineBacker Belichick ever coached was the otherworldly Lawrence Taylor. But Belichick even admits, he didn’t coach Taylor, so much as coach around Taylor to cover whatever his decisions may have left vulnerable. Which leads us to reason 2: I think this really allowed Belichick to develop, in his mind’s eye, a way that the DE/OLB position could function as a read and react position instead of having simply 2 potential responsibilities, rush the passer or set the edge. While the DE/OLB’s in Belichick’s defense do set the edge and rush the passer they also drop into zone coverage and even end up in man coverage in certain packages.
Defensive line is a place emphasized in the Patriots scheme, not for the stats you see in the box score, but for their ability to influence the offensive blocking schemes. When the Patriots defensive lineman are at their best, they are occupying multiple blockers as linebackers and defensive ends run around after the QB and/or ball carrier. That’s a very simplified version, but it’s a very important part of the Patriots scheme, especially with the stable of linebackers currently on the roster. So which defensive lineman will do the best job? We look at them 1 by 1 here!
Welcome to part 5 of our Patriots Training Camp Preview! If you missed parts 1, 2, 3, 4, click the number to check them out! And yes we can still call it a preview even with camp going on, they haven’t DONE anything of consequence yet, like put pads on! Although this morning “Jesus Christ” utterance by BB would certainly be of consequence to some!
First career press conference, “Jesus Christ…” from Belichick. https://t.co/ZzXqdjnJnm
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) July 29, 2016
How do you improve on having the best TE in the league? By adding a guy that had 53 catches and 439 yards in 11 games playing with a mediocre QB and who is the same size as the guy you already have.