FOXBORO -- Every Friday Tom E. Curran, Mike Giardi and Phil Perry will take your Patriots questions on Twitter and answer them as a joint mailbag -- or a Friday Bag, as they call it.
Got questions? Tweet the guys using the hashtag #FridayBag. But for now, have at the latest edition of the Bag.
TC: Helllloooo, Q! So much depends on opponent and game situation. Look at last week with 33/31 pass/run. Some of that is a by-product of having the lead. Some of it is the fact Arizona is blitz-happy and that creates seams they can run through with some success. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it get pass-heavy on Sunday given the talent of the Dolphins front. I know this, if they could run their way to wins and have 18 pass attempts a game, they’d do it every time.
Will the better run/pass balance carry over when Brady comes back or are they going to revert?#FridayBag— Mr.Quindazzi (@MrQuindazzi) September 15, 2016
Will Bennett be mostly a blocker again this week against a strong Miami front? #FridayBag— Jim Gilhooly (@JimGilhooly1957) September 16, 2016
TC: Good question, James. I would presume so, although like I said to Q up there, this could be a game in which it’s three-steps and gone, three-steps and gone for a majority of the offensive possessions. It’s always interesting to try and project what they’ll do with their offensive game plan then see if it matches up when the game begins and what they adjust to.
TC: I imagine they’re trying, Bruce. You maybe saw where I spoke to him on Thursday. Struck me as a guy who just wants to get on the field and do something to help as opposed to a player who’s nursing something until it’s 100 percent as I initially suggested.
TC: Ya know, Chris, that’s a hard one. And people have puzzled over that for quite a long time. I’ll defer to my BagMates for the answer.
question for #FridayBag - why is Tom E. Curran so awesome?— chris lynch (@ALargeRegular) September 16, 2016
MG: Mike, Bill Belichick has an unhealthy obsession with Ryan Tannehill. From Wednesday, the Patriots coach said, and I quote, “Since he killed us last year? I mean that was pretty good. He’s a good quarterback. He’s smart, he handles the offense well, he certainly takes control of things at the line of scrimmage, as we’ve seen quarterbacks do in Coach Gase’s offense. It obviously runs through the quarterbacks. It tracks adjustments, but he’s a good decision maker, he’s athletic, throws the ball well. He can certainly make plays out of the pocket.” Belichick has a reason to be scared. Tannehill has played some of his better games against the Pats, including last year’s regular season finale and in week 1 of the Super Bowl winning season in 2014-15. The latter game, the obsession reached such heights that Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia had Dont’a Hightower turn his back to the sidelines and line up with his shoulders square to the opposite sidelines. Why? Because the coaching staff was convinced that the Fins would run a bunch of read option stuff. It never, ever happened. But that tells you how far Tannehill has crawled into Belichick’s head.
bb's D plan usually revolves around taken away opp best weapon,who on fins u see as target to take way?— Mike (@ElmerRaymnchamp) September 15, 2016
MG: Karen, we get three more looks at Garoppolo. The Pats already are fairly certain what they have with him, but now he gets to cement or alter their opinions over the next few weeks. So just for the hell of it, let’s say Garoppolo does nothing to change their belief that he’s a starting NFL QB. I’ve heard people say trade him, either right after Brady comes back or in the offseason, especially if you can get a 1st rounder for him. That may be difficult for Belichick to say no to however, the Pats don’t actually have to make a decision about Garoppolo’s future until a year and a half from now. Maybe by then they see some slippage in Brady’s game? Or they decide Brady’s on borrowed time and betting on the 20 something versus the 40 something makes sense? I also wonder how involved ownership will become when/if the subject of moving on from Brady is ever broached. He’s the greatest player in franchise history and it’s not even close. They’ve walked away from other stars prior, but no one is in Brady’s class now, maybe ever.
what's better 5 more years with a Brady who may become mediocre or an unknown Jimmy G?— 🏈Karen Orsini-Sarro (@Kodiva22) September 15, 2016
If you couldn't have wings, what would be the go-to-food for football games?— EL (@ELeBoeuf) September 15, 2016
MG: Elliot, when I’m on my game, I usually bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the actual game. Not a massive fan of press box food, although the Pats do have some solid clam chowder that I will get when the weather begins to turn. If my skinny ass is sitting on the couch at home, I’m probably eschewing food for a cold beverage.
if not for a sure TD drop by MIA and missed FG by ARI, records for this game would be reversed. This week scare you? #fridaybag— Todd Landry (@tjland99) September 15, 2016
MG: T.J….no (kidding. Man are you so damn sensitive). Sure I’d be concerned. Heck, I still am because young, unproven QBs do have a tendency to be a bit of a roller coaster. Matt Cassel was. Tom Brady was (see his start in Miam in 2001) Will Jimmy avoid that? I doubt it. This is a fierce defensive line he faces this week. Thursday, it could be Watt and Clowney coming off the edges. The following week it’s a Jets defensive front 7 that may have had some issues last night but tortured Andy Dalton for the better part of the season opener. Plus, the more tape teams have on Garoppolo, the more wrinkles he’ll see and obviously, he doesn’t have the same experience as Brady has to see and immediately diagnose said wrinkles.
Cannon and Fleming weren't too bad vs the Cardinals. Am I asking for too much when I say I'd like to see that again? #fridaybag— Pete🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@usafss74) September 15, 2016
MG: Pete, there’s nothing deplorable about you, and thank you for your service. You’re a hell of an American. As for the tackles, they were fine in Arizona, although I’m not sure I’m allowed to say that when you consider gave up a pair of sacks. But whatever. I saw what I saw and I continue to think he’s going to be much better this year. That theory will get put to the test Sunday though. Cameron Wake is back and he looked explosive in the opener. On the plus side, Olivier Vernon isn’t there on the opposite side to cause havoc, and Mario Williams - who I can’t stand - suffered a concussion in week 1 and may not be able to go this week.
MG: Sharks and Grant, thanks for checking in. I combine your two questions because I still look at tackle as a place the Pats could try and upgrade, or at least find another body. That said, right now, unless there’s someone available that I don’t know about, it appears the biggest name that could be on the block is former BC lineman Gosder Cherilus, now in Tampa. That shouldn’t excite you. Plenty of weeks ahead for maybe another body or two to find his way onto the market, but for now, hold on tight.
could we see more Mingo with Hightower out and how will the run defense be affected?— PM4523 (@PaulM8712) September 16, 2016
PP: If Hightower misses time -- and it appears as though he will -- expect to see a good amount of Jonathan Freeny. The team trusts him as one of their off-the-ball linebackers and just signed him to an extension. He saw a lot of action last season when Hightower and Collins were out with their respective health issues. Shea McClellin, rookie Elandon Roberts, and perhaps Barkevious Mingo could all be in line to see more time on the defensive side of things as well. Mingo was used primarily as a special-teamer in Week 1 and Roberts was inactive.
do you think we'll see any big extensions in the next few weeks?— Bailarge (@bailarge) September 16, 2016
PP: Always hard to say, and Hightower's injury could throw a bit of a wrench into things on his end. The team did recently clear some cap space, however, and there are plenty of deals to be worked out. Collins, Jabaal Sheard and Malcolm Butler all could be in play for extensions. It wouldn't shock me if Sheard was the next domino to fall. He's the team's top player at a vital position, and they may want to get him locked up long-term before he has a career year. Collins may be willing to play out his rookie deal because he could end up with a top-of-the-market contract, and Butler is a restricted free agent after this season so there's nothing forcing the Patriots to come up with a new deal for him in the short-term.