Patriots

There's a rush on Should-They-Trade-Jimmy-G? questions

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There's a rush on Should-They-Trade-Jimmy-G? questions

FOXBORO -- Every Friday we 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. 

What’s up, Jim …

I’d have to peg that possibility as low for three reasons. One, the reasons the Patriots kept Garoppolo in the first place – he’s real good, he’s tremendous insurance, the team keeps its future options open at the position. Two, it would be selling really, really, really low on an asset that they were offered more for previously and (if they franchise him in March) may be again. Three, while the pocket pressure isn’t there, they keep dealing with slippery people like Alex Smith, Deshaun Watson, Cam Newton and (to a lesser degree) Jameis Winston that they don’t usually sellout to get on the ground. In other words, I’m not sure they’d agree their pass rush sucks.

SHHHHHHHHHHIMMMMMMONNNNNN. What’s up? No. No. A thousand times no.

Hey Vyas,

Three prime candidates are Malcolm Mitchell, Shea McClellin and Vincent Valentine. We discussed on the pod Thursday night
 https://twitter.com/jeduron/status/918665340158128128

Interesting questions, Jorge. Alan Branch is a prime candidate. Garoppolo if the trade partner agrees to send back 25 percent ownership stake in the franchise and a new golf cart for the Family Kraft. Malcolm Butler. I would peg the latter two as unlikely in the extreme.
 

Ohhh, Andy.

Absolutely. The same five guys won a gottdamm Super Bowl in February. The parts around that group, the playcalling, the week-to-week matchups and challenges are all a bit different and you hope they get it fixed before Brady breaks but they will improve. They always do.

IRONHEAD!

I’m totally and completely flummoxed by his inability to contribute anywhere. Or for the Patriots to not look to him for contributions. Clearly, with the signing of Will Tye to the practice squad, the clock’s ticking on Allen now. He’s not even Scott Chandler-level. Chandler was kind of hurt and he at least got targets that he then screwed up. Allen’s not even getting that.

https://twitter.com/Rotsen1230/status/918826990869925888

Hey, Pat. Tye is on the practice squad for now so he's not changing anyone's role on the 53-man roster. And I don't think his addition to the roster has much to do with what the Jets are doing. They have five games and four preseason games with new offensive coordinator John Morton under their belts. Morton comes from New Orleans, an offense the Patriots are very familiar with working closely with Sean Payton so frequently in training camps in recent years. So Tye isn't going to provide game-changing intel, I don't think. I do believe that the Patriots could use an extra body at the position with Rob Gronkowski banged up and Dwayne Allen scuffling. Tye is experienced and could realistically contribute in game action if he's able to pick up the offense. That's not always the case with practice-squad additions. 

Kevin. Interesting question. I hadn’t even thought of that. No.

Doc! The only person they have who opens up quickly and with regularity between the hashes is Amendola. White is a solid secondary outlet. But with no Edelman, and Cooks and Hogan to a lesser degree being more vertical receivers than horizontal, some of what you’ve seen you’ll keep seeing. Pats didn’t hesitate to use Gronk as a pass blocker earlier in the year and I’m sure we’ll see more until the tackles stabilize. 

 

I read things this week reflecting both views. In my unlearned opinion, he seems like a guy who was doing business as business was done back in 1492. Now, 550 years later, the things he’s blamed and credited for are seen in a context Chris, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella didn’t contemplate. If they had better foresight, they would have understood the hell they’d catch in the 21st century.
https://twitter.com/powhitekid1/status/918678099960782848
Either. But both must be frozen.

Hey, Bob. The draft capital lost because of Deflategate was significant, obviously. In theory, they're without at least two roster-quality players, and potentially more based on whether or not the Patriots would have been able to turn those two picks into multiple selections. We did this at the time of the 2016 and 2017 drafts, but just as a reminder, here are the players who went in the range of the No. 28 overall pick in 2016 and the No.118 overall pick in 2017. (It looked like the Patriots would initially lose No. 132 in 2017, but they picked up a higher fourth-rounder in the Brandin Cooks trade and were docked that pick instead.) Had the Patriots held onto the No. 28 pick last year, they would have had the opportunity to add any number of talented players to their defensive front seven. Defensive tackle Chris Jones (No. 37 to the Chiefs), linebacker Myles Jack (No. 36 to the Jaguars) would have been particularly intriguing fits because of their NFL-ready athletic ability. Later in that year's draft the Patriots took tackle Vincent Valentine and linebacker Elandon Roberts so those were positions they were interested in. If they decided to go with a corner, offensive lineman or quarterback -- the three positions the Patriots spent their first three picks on in 2016 -- what's interesting is that there weren't many impact players taken at those spots between picks No. 28 and No. 60, where they drafted Cyrus Jones. Christian Hackenberg was the only quarterback taken in that range. Xavien Howard, Mackensie Alexander and TJ Green were the corners to go in that area. Nick Martin and Cody Whitehair were the interior offensive linemen. As for what they might've missed out on at No. 188 this year? That's where the Eagles took receiver and special-teamer Mack Hollins. Bears running back Tarik Cohen went one pick later. The Patriots scooped up Deatrich Wise later in the round. 

Thanks for checking in, Tucker! It feels like we're wondering every week if THIS WILL BE THE WEEK THEY UNLEASH THE LEWIS. I wouldn't expect a drastic change in his role for a few reasons. It's been pretty apparent that he's one of their most dynamic backs. He's able to make something out of nothing better than any other player they have at the position. Yet for all the production he's had in 64 snaps (six missed tackles forced on 19 attempts), his workload hasn't changed all that much. His snap counts over five games look like this: 6, 14, 12, 14, 18. He had a season-high seven carries in Tampa, but I'm not sure if that number will rise soon. Rex Burkhead could be back, which could sap a portion of Lewis' workload, and it seems as though the Patriots want to try to manage Lewis to be as healthy as possible for the stretch run. His injury history is what it is, and if he could be a full-go in December and January, he could be a game-changer. The other thing to remember is the offense has been very efficient even with Lewis playing less than a full-time role. Their hand isn't exactly being forced at the moment.  

Want to thank the JPR for this contribution. I put some thought into this. I'm a hard "h" guy when I say the word "historian." (As opposed to "isstorian.") So I'd go with the radio host there. "A historian." Think if you're going "an isstorian" you're trying too hard. Know your concern level might now be through the roof, but you've kind of brought this upon yourself. Stop trying so hard. 

Mr. Q! They've spent a good deal on defensive personnel, depending on where you look. Stephon Gilmore is an obvious example. Devin McCourty was the highest-paid player at his position when he re-signed. Jerod Mayo got paid. Darrelle Revis got paid for one year. They've spent a good number of their first-round picks (who don't make as much as they used to but still get paid) recently on defensive players like Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Dominique Easley and Malcom Brown. I think they try to be smart with where they spend at every position. Don't think there's a specific budget for the defensive side versus the offensive side. As far as the bend-don't-break idea goes, I think that's more strategic than anything else. I think no matter the price of the personnel they have, if they can force offenses to sustain drives and come away with field goals instead of touchdowns, that's a plan they'd be OK with.

What do mean, Nick? On Twitter? Pshh. Never seen anything too . . . 

. . . Oh. 

Fast Eddy, I think we sniffed out the limitations Harris during that telling week of joint practices with the Texans. Didn’t matter which player got isolated on Harris in space, the veteran linebacker couldn’t keep up. Now he seems like a “break in case of emergency” type player. I’m not sure I see the value there, but they did pay him a million and a quarter in guaranteed dollars and maybe Belichick is seeing value in his leadership. Will be interesting to see who loses spots when two of the injured three (McClellin, Valentine, Mitchell) are able (if able?) to return. I’d put him at the head of the chopping block list.

Michael, this idea has been kicked around a lot and Lewis would certainly like more carries. He’s got some incentives in this, the final year of his contract that he’s now unlikely to reach. But with the injury to Burkhead, and even back to this summer with Edelman, the Pats are loathe to surrender a playmaker, even if this one doesn’t play all that much. Additionally, I don’t think you’re getting anything of value back for him. He’s more valuable here, doing what he’s doing, than a pick or back end of the roster guy.

Mix Master Marx (I just made that up), they couldn’t cover running backs when Collins was here either. I mean, he was athletic enough to do it and certainly flashed at times, but consistency was never his thing. With the speed of some of these so-called pass catching backs, the better matchup is a defensive back and we’ve certainly seen the Pats deploy six and sometimes seven DBs to protect themselves in that regard.

Not an unreasonable ask and something the Pats have done before, including versus the Texans on the game-winning drive (well on at least one of those plays. He also aided Cannon). But he’s still one of best receivers and a trusted guy for Brady. Can’t keep him in there forever. Pick your spots and move on, hoping Solder can get past his early season struggles.

https://twitter.com/MikeGiardi

Dwayne Allen is not getting cut, IMO. It hasn’t been great, but prior to Tampa, I didn’t think he was completely lost as a blocker. Anyway, it hasn’t been the greatest stretch of dealing for or signing NFL vets - Kony Ealy, Allen, Gilmore, Hit or Miss Marsh. As for Dorsett, one Pats wideout told me “he gets it” and there’s “ a lot of talent there we just haven’t gotten to see just yet.” I’ll take that man at his word. 9 Tailors can save almost anyone, even Tanguay. 

Patriots sitting fourth on latest Super Bowl 53 odds

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Patriots sitting fourth on latest Super Bowl 53 odds

The New England Patriots (7-3) are attempting to make their third straight Super Bowl appearance this season and win their third Vince Lombardi Trophy in five years. However, their betting futures have dropped a bit since losing to the Tennessee Titans 34-10 last week.

That rout on the road at Nashville gave oddsmakers a lot to think about, as New England fell to 2-3 away from home, with all three losses decided by double digits. The Patriots are now sitting at +650 (wager $100 to win $650) on the Super Bowl 53 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, behind the favored Los Angeles Rams (+325), New Orleans Saints (+400) and Kansas City Chiefs (+500).

When assessing the chances of the top contenders on the betting board to win the Super Bowl this season, home-field advantage is obviously a key factor. In the AFC, home field seems to be more important than in the NFC, where playing in warm weather or a dome likely will not affect the teams as much. But for Kansas City or New England, serving as a playoff host could be critical to each team's chances of advancing to the AFC Championship Game.

The Patriots trail the Chiefs (9-1) by two games right now for the conference's No. 1 seed and home field throughout the postseason heading into their bye week, but they do hold a tiebreaker based on their head-to-head victory in Week 6.

New England also has a large road showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1) looming in Week 15, which could knock the defending AFC champions out of the top two seeds altogether with a loss.

The Steelers have become even stronger as a team without disgruntled running back Le'Veon Bell, who will not be playing at all this year after failing to report on Tuesday. Bell will get even more rest before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the offseason while his former team hopes to finally get past the Patriots and back to the Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh already holds the NFL record for Super Bowl wins with six and is listed at +1000 to earn a seventh in February. The Steelers are 6-point road favorites on the NFL Week 11 odds against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. Kansas City is a 3.5-point road underdog against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night.

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Devin and Jason McCourty amused by latest rush to bury Tom Brady

Devin and Jason McCourty amused by latest rush to bury Tom Brady

Jason McCourty sees some in the media attempting this week to stick a fork between the shoulders of Tom Brady.

He wonders where the “Brady’s done!” crew was after Sunday Night Football wins over the Packers and Chiefs.

“Last week, we beat the Packers and put up 30-some points and no one questions him,” McCourty said earlier this week on Quick Slants. “We play the Kansas City Chiefs and as a defense, we suck and we give up a lot of points and Tom just keeps answering. He has the last drive to go down and put us up and the game’s over and it’s just, ‘There’s Tom Brady being Tom Brady.’

“Then as soon as there’s a bad game, it’s like, ‘Well, I guess Tom’s on a downward spiral . . . ’ – wait, two weeks ago, he was still the greatest?

“For me, that just comes with the territory of reaching that level of greatness,” McCourty added. “As soon as there’s a tad bit off everybody goes down in the dumps.”

Caveats are attached to Brady’s good games -- “Sure, he went 24-for-35 for 340 against the Chiefs and dropped a pearl into Gronk’s hands from deep to set up the win, but the Chiefs defense sucks!” -- while the fine print like injuries or protection is ignored when he plays average.

Why’s that? Devin McCourty thinks it’s the rush to be the first to have planted the “Brady’s Done” flag.

“Everyone wants to call that out,” said Devin. “Everyone wants to be the smart person who said ‘I knew it was the end.’ In ’14, how many people said that?”

Coming off Sunday’s 34-10 loss in Tennessee that dropped the Patriots to 7-3, both McCourty’s said there’s no need for overreaction.

“It doesn’t help,” said Devin.

“For us as players, what is our overreaction?” Jason asked. “What are we gonna do, go to management and say, ‘Get me out of here and replace me with somebody better?’ For us to overreact is pointless.

“We’ll focus on what we messed up and what we can improve on,” Jason added. “Once you form that brotherhood and that family mentality you want to fix things with the guys that are in your locker room. So you try to fix it so that the team and management doesn’t feel like it has to go outside to fix any problems.”

Devin understands the outside reaction that comes after a bad performance.

“When you watch, you can say, ‘They have this problem, that problem,’ but you’re not a part of fixing that,” he said. “You just sit back and if they don’t fix it you boo, if they do fix it, you cheer. We’re all like that. When I watch basketball, I’ll have strong opinions and say what they need to do and it’s the same way.
“What I’ve learned in this league is you have to keep that sense of urgency,” said Devin. “There’s no time to panic but there is a time to have a sense of urgency to get better and that’s how you have good seasons. We’re at a crucial point. But with the sense of urgency you allow yourself a chance. In

’15 we went 10-0 and everything was great, we were the best team and then we (go 2-4 down the stretch) and you’re like, ‘I don’t know what happened, I thought we were great.’ It’s all about keeping a sense of urgency.”

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