Patriots

Bean: I still hate the Jacoby Brissett trade

Bean: I still hate the Jacoby Brissett trade

You don’t like the trade. I don’t either. Who knows if the guy will be a long-term starter, but he’s at least proven worthy of that shot. The Patriots didn’t get enough. 

This isn’t about Jimmy Garoppolo. I am, of course, still dwelling on the Jacoby Brissett trade. 

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I didn’t like it at the time. I’ve hated it more and more with each passing second. Brissett for Phillip Dorsett? On paper, it was moving your third quarterback for a former first-round pick* at a position of need. Yet so far the only payoff for the Patriots has been the roster spot created by not keeping a third quarterback. 

*STOP SAYING “FORMER FIRST-ROUND PICK.” I’m going to lose my mind over this one. Really I am. A player does not lose their draft status. I suppose they do when they die, but that’s because they’re pretty much a former everything they were before they died. Anyway, Phillip Dorsett is an alive person. When he was drafted, he *became* a first-round pick. Now he’s still that selection, the 29th overall in the 2015 draft. He *was* drafted. He *is* a first-round pick. That status as a first-round pick has not changed. 

I’ll tell you what has changed, though: the arrow in which that first-round promise was pointing. This isn’t the poo-on-Phillip-Dorsett hour. It’s just a reminder that Dorsett was still finding his way in the league (three receiving touchdowns on 51 receptions through two seasons) when the Pats acquired him. 

Since coming to New England, Dorsett has done very little. He’s got four catches on the season and just once since Week 3. The Patriots haven’t found much use for him, even with the injuries they’ve endured at the receiver position. 

Now, if Chris Hogan’s shoulder (which reportedly won’t need surgery) becomes an ongoing issue, that would probably mean more opportunity for Dorsett. So far, however, he hasn’t been much more than a spare part. 

And maybe a spare part is what the Patriots considered Brissett to be. Yet even if he was, he was a spare part at the most important position of the field. He’s started seven of the Colts’ eight games with Andrew Luck out and has been completely mediocre. Eight touchdowns, four picks, 19th in the league in passing yards. 

Moving Brissett allowed the Pats to keep someone like a Geneo Grissom, Cole Croston or Ted Karras on the roster. Fine. Whatever. But if they liked Brissett, a player on whom they’d spent a third-round pick in 2016 (see how I didn’t call him a “former third-rounder?”), they’d have kept him. 

And right now it’s looking like that should have been the move. Brissett has shown improvement in Indianapolis, which would run contrary to any concerns that he may have plateaued with the Pats. He certainly would have been a better longterm insurance policy behind Tom Brady once Garoppolo departed, which he now has. 

As we question Belichick the GM’s moves since the offseason, Stephon Gilmore and the handling of the tight end position get plenty of attention. The Jacoby Brissett trade doesn’t get as much as it should. 
 

#FridayBag: Don't worry, you can keep your hands to yourself

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#FridayBag: Don't worry, you can keep your hands to yourself

FOXBORO - Every Friday, Phil Perry and Mike Giardi will take your Patriots questions on Twitter and answer them as a joint mailbag -- or Friday Bag, as they call it.

Got questions? Tweet the guys using the hashtag #FridayBag. But for now, give the latest edition of the Bag a read.

MG: Hopefully that’s not needed, Casey, but I will pass it on. 

MG: BIG GAME! Sure. Why the hell not?

MG: Allie, this is a question that’s I’ve been pondering for years, or at least months . . . ok, for about 3 minutes. Tarzan has either a) been duping us all this time and actually has a job, drives an BMW and has a colonial with 2 1/2 baths or b) he’s a baby face who never hit puberty. 

MG: Mikey! Here’s a quite from Todd Wash, Jags DC, when asked about Ramsey possibly covering Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski Sunday: “I think the last thing you can do is to go into a game like this and you try and reinvent the wheel . . . Jalen is a good corner and he plays against wide receivers . . . "

So either he’s telling the truth or he doesn’t want to reveal a wrinkle. My opinion: Why waste Ramsey outside the entire game? Brady’s at his best attacking inside the numbers and even more to the point, inside the hashes. At the very least, I’d deploy Ramsey on Gronk in the red area and make Tommy boy look elsewhere.

MG: Yeah, tough injury. Jon Jones has been terrific on special teams for two years, a likely heir apparent to Matt Slater as that guy who ends up being in the Pro Bowl every year. Love almost every bit of what he brings. Would say Jonathan Bademosi will be active this week and move into that role. 

MG: Sizzle, for sure. We’ve done a lot of X’s and O’s on this one and one area where the Jags have been especially vulnerable is under the linebackers. That means running backs, that means shorter crossing patterns and that means combo platters designed to force these LBs to make a decision. Telvin Smith was targeted 13 times last weekend (according to Pro Football Focus) and surrendered 12 catches. A healthy Brady feasts on this.

MG: Goose making his #FridayBag debut. Welcome. Best matchup is Matt Patricia and his big brains versus Blake Bortles. If that kid thinks he’s going to be looking at the same thing very often, I got a bridge to sell him. Worst matchup is T.J. Yeldon on the linebackers. We’ve spent a ton of time talking about Leonard Fournette and what he brings if he’s healthy but Yeldon is both strong, shifty and can catch. With a skittish QB, Yeldon could be heavily involved.



PP: JP, checking in from the District! I'd say the chances are minimal. I would do it. You might do it. Go out on top and all that. But you and I haven't been saying for years that we're planing to work into our mid-40s. And we don't have post-retirement business plans that kind of hinge on our ability to work into our mid-40s. We also aren't about to be named MVP...of anything. We'll see, but I would be very surprised if this ends up being Brady's last season.



PP: Good question, Michael. Also a scary one for Patriots fans, I'd think. If the unexpected happens and Brady can't take the field, I think you'd have some packages in place for Chris Hogan or Jacob Hollister just in case something happened to Brian Hoyer. Hogan is arguably one of the most versatile athletes on the team, and he threw a pass (left-handed) at MetLife last year. Hollister was a walk-on quarterback at the University of Nevada. When he transferred to Arizona Western Community College, he made the transition to tight end.



PP: To me, all of these questions are related, so let's smash them all together. I do believe the Patriots will show plenty of "21" and "12" personnel in this game. That means either a) two receivers, two backs and one tight end, or b) two receivers, one back and two tight ends. In that scenario, the receivers would be -- in my opinion -- some combination of Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola. I'd use the Cooks-Amendola combination most frequently unless it seems like Hogan has completely shaken the rust from his long regular-season absence. The reason it would be a good idea to use theses heavier formations -- as opposed to "11" personnel with three wideouts -- is that it attacks the Jaguars with their weaker coverage people on the field. If the Patriots deploy, say, James Develin, Dion Lewis and Rob Gronkowski in the same look, Jacksonville would likely have to respond by putting run-stuffing linebacker Paul Posluszny on the field. If the Patriots can manipulate the coverage to get any non-Develin weapon on Posluszny, that's a mismatch they can exploit. We go into further detail on how the Patriots can exploit the Jaguars' base defense -- which has struggled in coverage this season -- here

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