Like I told you guys on Thursday, I was taking a little vacation. Headed up to Maine for a couple days on Lake Sebago and recharged my batteries…a little.
So after an exhausting (sarcastic) day on the boat we had some burgers and dogs right in time for me to be in a chair as the Pats were kicking off their preseason.
Instead of giving you a full recap of the game four days after its completion I’m going with a few notes/observations from the game as well as my trip to Foxborough on Saturday afternoon watching practice at CBS Scene at Patriot Place.
• Stevan Ridley looked pretty good
You have to consider the fact that he was the second of the two running backs the Pats took in the draft. He seems to have jumped ahead of Shane Vereen who’s been injured and slowed this training camp. If his preseason continues as well as it did on Thursday night (16 carries for 64 yards and 2 TD) I think it spells the end of Sammy Morris who I really thought was a long shot to make the team anyways.
• Mallett looked good as well
Listening to sports radio over the weekend you’d think the Pats drafted Joe Montana, the second coming of Tom Brady, etc. Let’s temper the excitement. He completed 12 of 19 for 164 and looked like he could be a solid backup. This of course would present a problem for the Pats as they like to only carry two quarterbacks on the roster. If they tried to get him to their practice squad roster another team would have to sign him to their 53 man roster. Again, basing it on one game but he could be the backup and Hoyer could be dealt for a low level draft pick.
• The defense was dominant
Whether they’re a 3-4 or 4-3 whatever they want to call the alignment, they held Jacksonville to a whopping 12 points. They were able to stop the Jags on third down a couple of different times which is something the team struggled with almost all of last season. The emergence of Dane Fletcher had Belichick comment that “…Dane has come a long way in terms of his understanding of the defense, calling signals, making adjustments and those kinds of things.”
I’m not going to become of the these sports radio yahoos that thinks after one preseason game that the Pats are going 18-0 and straight to Indy for the Super Bowl win to cap off that 19-0 season. But I liked what I saw Thursday and liked the stuff I saw at practice on Saturday which included Brady throwing to Ochocinco a dozen times in the corner of the end zone.
What I’m interested in seeing from here is how the roster will shape up with the team needing to get from 90 to 53 between now and week one against Miami on Monday night football. For now, let’s bask in the crushing of the Jags 47-12, hope that the team will continue to dominate on the defensive side, and put up a ton of points on the offensive side.