Yesterday, 11:51 PM
I'm tired of watching Texas suck so here are my thoughts on the Pats game. I'll get around to some of the other ones in a bit, saw cutups of most of the GB DET game at this point.
1. I need to make a broader post on this because it's really starting to piss me off, but NE needs to fundamentally re-evaluate how they scout, draft, and develop field-side WRs. As I understand it (could be wrong) they really micro-target at that position. They want a very, very specific skill set to fit neatly within the framework of what NE "does". Which is nice...but you end up passing on really talented kids for whatever reason. Here's the bottom line, NE has failed to develop a WR since Julian Edelman. Dobson has a ton of traits you love, if he doesn't pan out whoever they have vetting the outside guys needs to take a hike.
2. Building off of that point, NE truly lacks a vertical presence to the offense. Julian has an outstanding release and carries the vertical portion better than you'd think, but he's 5.01. KT just not that good, not coordinated enough. Amendola a $3mm decoy. Gronk right now is laboring a bit, he won't be healthy for another month easy. They need to find Tim Wright the ball more. Dobson has to play, period.
3. I'm not a coach but sometimes McDaniels outsmarts himself. NE ALWAYS goes tempo inside-draw concepts when they get a chunk pass play into the red area. Every defense keys on it, see the below from the 32nd rated run D in football. That is 2 frames after the snap, ball is not even in Tom's hands yet and both A gaps are totally sugared.
4. Didn't love the effort from Revis in the first half. He didn't give up anything over 19 yards, and even then it was all comebacks and digs. Regardless, a player of his caliber shouldn't be beaten so handily on those types of routes. I will say this - sometimes Revis coasts a bit. Many, many corners are guilty of this. I guess if 24 is your biggest issue, you are in good shape.
5. Marcel Reese is so damn good. Easily the finest fullback in the game. I could go on for ages about how under-rated he is.
6. Charles Woodson still shows good range from that center field spot. I hadn't watched him much since about 2011 or so, and then it was as a student so I was just watching casually. He absolutely baited Tom on a late crosser, was so close to an INT.
7. Dont'a Hightower is finally being used to his strengths, and no surprise he looks outstanding. NE has an odd habit of dropping their athletes into zones, I think that's just BB being arrogant but who knows. Either way, they're finally letting him play on the end of the line and play upfield. Power hands, sand in his pants to anchor, good bend for a 270+ pound dude, varies his rushes....a lot to like about his development.
8. All this shuffling on the O-line is a serious issue. I mean really, it's the first and foremost issue. I preferred Cannon as a guard from afar, but watching him closely it's clear why most people around the league preferred him on the wing. He lacks awareness and twitch to play inside, tackles consistently cross his face and he can't handle a good swim move. Below is him getting worked by Antonio Smith on a would-be touchdown run.