I really don’t like the extra week’s break in between the conference championships and the Super Bowl. It gives you too much time to think (good and bad), it gives the media time to create stories that aren’t there (like Brady’s celebration story that made the front and rear pages of the NY Post), and most importantly it forces me to be creative with the blog so you don’t have two week’s straight of Pats posts.
So for all that I hit you with a couple baseball posts, I got a text message last night saying, “…enough with the baseball blog posts.” So enough it is.
There was a great article in the Herald on Sunday about CHad Ochocinco. I hope you take the time to click the link and read the article. It was a quick read but it showed the difference between Chad and that waste of space Haynesworth.
Remember, the two were brought in pretty much at the same time. The team parted ways with Hayneworth after he got in a fight with Pepper Johnson at the beginning of November. Chad stayed with the team.
Sure Chad didn’t have a 1,000 yard season that he’s used to. But that wasn’t his role. It couldn’t be with Welker, Hernandez, and Gronk on the team. If anything, as a fan, you’d hope he would leapfrog Branch on the depth chart and be the second wide out in the two tight end set. But that didn’t happen.
Instead Chad was pretty much off the grid. Ripped apart by sports radio on a weekly basis for drops. Yet when asked about him both Brady and Belichick said that he’s one of the hardest working guys on the team. Even in his reduced role, he still is putting in the work. That’s the reason he’s still here and the exact reason Hayneworth isn’t. You can tell by the article, he’s bought in.
So sure the Pats didn’t get the brash, thousand yard receiver that other teams need to plan for and fear. But it seems they did get another guy that’s bought into the Patriot Way. I’m really hoping he gets in the game and gets a couple touches. Also hoping he’s here next year too and that off-season workouts etc to help him be more productive in the system.
The Pats are in Tampa Bay tonight for their second preseason game. Of course the last time they played the Bucs was a 35-7 thumping in London back in 2009.
What can we expect tonight? Will we see Chad Ochocinco? Tom Brady? What about Albert Haynesworth?
Me thinking out loud; I think we’ll see more of the same that we saw last week. We’ll see a Patriots defense licking their chops with a young quarterback and offense. In fact the Bucs team as a whole are very young. 73 of the 90 guys they have on their roster right now are under 25.
I think that we’ll see Ochocinco. Again this is based off the one practice that I saw last Saturday where I saw Brady hitting him in the corner of the end zone play after play after play. Like I said earlier, I think they ran the play a dozen times. Which would bring us to…
Tom Brady. I’m pretty sure that we’ll see him play in this game. With the lockout we can’t expect a typical preseason game. We have to expect that without mini camps, no double sessions, and less practices with pads that Brady needs to see game action to make up for things. I don’t think he’ll play a whole game or anything but I would expect to see him on the first few series. Depending on the number of possessions the offense has, Brady could play the entire first half.
Finally with Haynesworth, I don’t think we’ll see him. All indications are that he really is out of shape. But I don’t think that will effect him making the team. I think that Belichick has him in the weight room with the trainer getting him into playing shape. I think at the same time he’s in the film room and working with his coaches learning the playbook so when he does get back on the practice field and more importantly into game action, he will be ready.
The other thing I’m looking for tonight is the safety spot on the defense. Will the team put Meriweather in the starting spot or are they slowly fading him out so they can trade or release him? Will the team keep him all the way through camp before cutting him? We’ll likely see the writing on the wall starting tonight.
Trolling the net looking for training camp photos I came across the above video. Not terrible. I would have used a different song but that’s just me.
Enough of the talk, enough of the training camp drills of 7-on-7 and playing your own guys, now the team gets to go out there and hit another team. The Jaguars are coming to town tomorrow night and we get a glimpse at the new Patriots.
Going off tradition, we likely won’t see many of the Pats starters. But we will get to see some of these many, many bodies the team has signed over the last few weeks. It’s still unclear if Albert Haynesworth will be healthy enough to play but it’s pretty clear that newly acquired Shaun Ellis will not see time as he’s only had two days with the team and is on the PUP list.
The team also brought Gerard Warren back into the mix. Warren filled in pretty well last season after Ty Warren went down with an injury before the season. They also signed Andre Carter who was an end in Washington as well as Mark Anderson who was an end with Chicago before playing in Houston last season.
The bottom line and where I was trying to go with the post here was that football is back. Sure it’s only the preseason, we’re playing Jacksonville, we won’t see most of the starters, etc. but it’s football and I’m excited.
Instead of talking about the Sox losing to the Indians as well as their lead in the AL East, I figured we’d turn our attention back to Foxboro heading into the weekend.
See, Vegas updated their odds shortly after the Pats traded for Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth. The updated odds saw the Pats leap to the forefront and a nice 13:2 favorite to win the Super Bowl. The thing is, they haven’t even played a preseason game yet.
I really like the Pats (obviously). But I don’t know how good they’re going to be until we start seeing them play. Sure you have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick but that hasn’t been enough over the last seven years to win a Super Bowl.
There are reports out of Foxboro that Brady has been throwing erratic and then there’s contradictory reports that the receiving corps of Ochocinco, Edelman, and Hernandez all were dropping passes in practice on “perfectly thrown balls”.
Then there’s the question marks on the defense. Sure Belichick came out and said that the media has blown this 3-4, 4-3 stuff out of proportion. But will they be a 4-3 team? How about they go like Chicago did in 1986 and put eight in the box and play a 4-4 with two corners and a safety. Just a thought.
Personally I like the acquisitions but really would like to see one or two more. They had Shaun Ellis who was just released by the Jets in for a workout. They also had a Matt Roth, Quentin Moses, and Raheem Brock in. Out of that group I’d love to see Roth and Ellis both brought in. On to play on the defensive end and the other to play the OLB position. Again, that’s just me.
So with the Pats being Vegas’s favorite to win the Super Bowl, what’s your take? You think they’ll win it all?
It was literally two days ago that I put this bug in your ear. Chad Ochocinco to the Patriots.
Now it’s a reality.
This was many years in the making. The were reports of how Bill Belichick had a great rapport with Ochocinco at the Pro Bowl and then there was this interaction prior to the 2009 preseason game against the Bengals.
So the Patriots trade a 2013 fifth rounder to the Redskins for former defensive player of the year Albert Haynesworth and follow it up by getting Ochocinco for two low rounders one in 2012 and one in 2013.
These are two of the greatest steals in recent Pats memory. I like the Ochocinco trade even better than the Moss trade. This isn’t revisionist history, I have loved Ochocinco since he was a fantasy stud for me in 2003. I think just based on the small interaction above and the rumors of how the two get along, this should be a very successful union.
In a day, the Patriots addressed the two issues that I was worried about. In a day!
They now have a pass rush (I’d still like a linebacker that could do the same) and their big play wideout. My hope is that in their stable of wide receivers (Tate, Edelman, Price, Branch) they have someone that can lineup opposite Ochocinco while Welker plays the slot. Oh and I haven’t forgotten the fantastic tight ends Gronkowski and Hernandez.
The offense is a juggernaut.
I guess the only question that stands right now is will Hernandez give up the 85 jersey to Ochocinco? You think they’ll be able to work something out and Hernandez will take 86…or he changes his name back to Johnson and takes whatever number the team issues.
I say, we cue the duckboats. I love the way this team is shaping up.