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: July 13, 2012 11:47 am

Ins and Outs 2012-13 NFL Season

La Confora, who is pretty solid on this site...gives us his "6 in" "6 out" theory, which a lot of people have done over the years, it's a pretty consistent metric for the NFL under the modern rules. MY division and wild-card winners for the upcoming season:

AFC East: New England (13-3 last year, even easier schedule this year, Tom Brady, good draft, added help on D)

AFC North: Baltimore (one last hurrah for Reed/Lewis, Flacco improves, offense just does enough)

AFC South: Houston (offense and health make up for absence of Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans)

AFC West: Kansas City (last few drafts finally add up for a solid season, hold off Peyton in Denver and a fading Chargers)

Wild Card 1:Pittsburgh (can't ever count out the Black 'N Gold, this team would win the West, but Balt. is better up North)

Wild Card 2: Cincinnati (no soph. slump for Dalton, A.J. Green, Gresham, etc. step up, D is solid, go 2-2 vs. Pitt/Balt.)

NFC East: Philadelphia (Vick plays at least 14 games, no distractions with a quiet training camp)

NFC North: Green Bay (A. Rodgers and Co. simply too talented)

NFC South: Atlanta (everyone else is hating on the Falcons, I think Matt Ryan takes a big step this year)

NFC West: San Francisco (they win the worst division in NFL, but not as strong as last year, what does Moss have left?)

Wild Card 1: Detroit (up and coming, still, secondary still has concerns, similiarly built to N.E.)

Wild Card 2: Dallas (beats out NYG for final spot)
Posted on: March 2, 2010 2:09 pm

Stand Pat

With the action going on at the NFL Combine the last couple days, I can't help but look forward to the Patriots new additions at the draft. We all know Bill Belichick likes to move around the draft board, trade down, acquire picks, whatever. The big "V" world (value, get your mind out of the gutter people) rules the New England war room. As a fan, I would say the Patriots drafting under Belichick has been solid, but not as good in the last 2-3 years as the first 4-5. 
As is stands now, the Patriots own the 22nd pick in the first round, and also the 44th, 47th and 53rd picks, all three second rounders. The Patriots have no third rounder, have the 120th overall (4th round), 140th and 148th in the 5th round, 193 and 208 in the 6th and finally 235 and 255 in the seventh round.The Patriots guaranteed will not use all these picks at their current level, some will be traded. Just once, I would like to see the Patriots stand pat, to pardon the pun, and use the first four they have at exactly where they are. This is a deep defensive draft and the Patriots need to restock on that side of the ball.
Overall, the Patriots need are like this, in my opinion: two OLB's, then CB, RB and WR. The Patriots tend not to dip into free agency too often or too richly, and with this uncapped year coming up, finances are even more in question. The Kraft family will resist the urge and temptation to spend wildly (unlike Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder, predictably). Guys like Derrick Morgan, Jason Pierre-Paul, Carlos Dunlap and Everson Griffin will probably be off the board by the 22nd pick. Maybe not all four, so the Pats may have a shot at one of that quartete. The OLB's and DE's we've all been seeing mocked to the Pats are amongst the group of Ricky Sapp from Clemson, Jared Odrick from Penn State, Brandon Grahm from Michigan, and Jerry Hughes from TCU, and more.
 The Patriots need to use at least 2 of their first 4 picks on pass-rush help. To alleviate the secondary and pressure the other great QB's in the AFC. Another weak spot is at RB. Maroney is a bum, and Morris and Taylor are old. BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn't a starter, and my boy Kevin Faulk is a 3rd down back. A Jonathan Dwyer/Ryan Matthews-type would be a great pickup. The other spot, with Welker hurt, is reciever. This nonsense with Moss makes me nervous, hopefully the guy will show up and play next year. I trust Edelman to play well but don't want to have to have him be our go-to guy. This receiver class isn't mind blowing, but some solid talent can be found in the middle and back end of round two. 
For once, let's not trade down, stay where we are and get some kids that can play ball. We need to be younger, faster and more athletic. Our window exists only as long as Brady is here, so let's get another ring huh?
Category: NFL Draft
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