Friday, September 9, 2011

The Patriots give up the services of cornerback Butler

New England Patriots decided they do not need the services of cornerback Darius Butler for the next season, while the player is unaware of the reasons why it was not considered to be part of the team.

Butler said "I'm not really sure about the reason why I was left out the team, "but with the decision taken by the Patriots acknowledged that" it is better to go separate ways. " He added: "I cannot honestly give the reasons why I'm out, because I do not know."

He said "I recognize that last year was difficult for me, so I guess the team thought it might be better off with people who have."
Butler said "I do not know exactly why things didn't turn out well. But that is the past. "

Butler was elected in the second round of the 2009 draft as a rookie he started five games and started in 2010 as a starter, but he could stay in that place for only the first three weeks.
"This is a business and the fact that I have not been within the team, is not the end of anything. " With this move, the Patriots have five cornerbacks, and Butler became one of the three owners that the Patriots did not consider, after they also gave up the deep hire James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rough Night for the Belichick Defense

Whoa, that attacking 4-3 everyone's been screaming sure didn’t look good against the upstart Lions.

We now know that when the season comes around, they will be in a 3-4, its Belichick’s defensive philosophy. We think a smart guy like Belichick doesn’t just switch up mid stream with a defense that has won him championships. One that half the league has gone to and gives Bill the flexibility he covets.

Let's take a look at the Lions game and break down what went wrong. We'll start with run defense. The Lions threw a reverse screen that went for a large gain. Using that 4-3 ‘look’ going upstream and pursuing left the defense way out of position. That’s one reason you won’t see them use it as a base defense. Belichick believes in gap principles and reading plays.

Sure everyone loves blitzes, until they don’t work (See everyone who was screaming for an attacking defense). Chasing the fake threw the entire defense off balance and they won’t be doing that all season.

Secondly, The defensive linemen were being sealed because of their aggressiveness coming off the ball and not ‘2 Gapping', as they will be when the season starts. The personnel the Patriots have are tailor made for a 3-4 base. Andre Carter is a linebacker posing as a defensive end and he will be standing up come regular season.

It really doesn’t matter if they are standing up or down, it's about the defense they trying to play. It's not that big of a deal, like Bill Parcells once said "You're telling me a guy can play or not play cause his hand is touching the ground?". With Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher not playing, it was the line who was supposed to cover the linebackers, and they didn’t. Detroit had 33 carries for 114 yards with an average of 3.5 per carry. Not bad until you factor in that their top backs didn’t play and they couldn’t stop the 3rd and 4th stringers.

This includes Drew Stanton’s two runs of 18 yards (on one, Mark Anderson had him wrapped up and he somehow got away). When they get Shaun Ellis and Albert Haynesworth into the lineup along with Vince Wilfork, that will be your starting defensive line. Everyone else will be used in sub packages using 3 and 4 man fronts.

Here's a thought - what are you going to do with Dane Fletcher, Gary Guyton and Brandon Spikes?

Are two of them going to have minimal playing time? Have you seen Dane Fletcher this preseason? He's been a beast and Guyton is their most athletic LB with speed. The 4-3 takes them out of any first down situation.

The Pass defense was horrific. Darius Butler is a goner because the dude just can’t cover. To bolster the 3-4 point is that you get an extra defender in the passing game and if the four man rush plays like it did against Detroit, might as well go with three and help the defensive backs out.

Devin McCourty had a rough night guarding Nate Burleson and Calvin Johnson, getting lost and not being able to track the ball. Even the break up he had against Burleson in the endzone; he didn’t know where the ball was. Our guy Kyle Arrington gave up a TD in the endzone, but had help or the lack of it with James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather. Matthew Stafford went 12-14 for 200 yard and 2 TD’s in a little than a half of work.

The safeties didn’t fare much better as Brandon Meriweather and Patrick Chung had tough nights in coverage. Chung’s tackling was very good, but there were too may WR’s and TE’s running free. As mentioned, Sanders and Meriweather couldn’t get help to Arrington on a bullet thrown by Matthew Stafford to Nate Burleson.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Top Five Patriots Games to Look Forward To in 2011

With the Patriots playing some great preseason football on all strings, it’s making me extremely impatient because I just want the season to start already!

With all the transactions that have gone on in the past month or so, we’re expecting a pretty intense season all around the league. Looking at the Patriots’ schedule, I wanted to break down my top five most anticipated games this season. Now, I’m excited for all of the games, with our recent major pick ups on defense, and adding Ocho to our offense, it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of brain powered playmaking recipes Bill will cook up for our offense this year.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: November 21st, 2011

I’m excited for this game because it’s the first game that Matt Cassel comes back to New England after his successful 2008 season with the Patriots.

He’s been making a big name for himself, as he led the Chiefs to playoffs last season. It’s a shame cause 2008 could have been a big year for the Patriots. Imagine if the Pats went to the playoffs with a backup quarterback and won? That could have changed the history of the New England Patriots. Would Tom Brady be playing for another team? Doubt it, but it will be good to see Cassel come back to where he started.

2. @ Philadelphia Eagles: November 27th, 2011

This is gonna be an exciting game. I can’t wait to watch the number one defense (on paper) that the Eagles are going to bring against what could very well be the number one offense by the Patriots. We’ve had some success against Andy Reid’s defenses in the past especially in Super Bowl 39 against what I remember being a pretty stacked defense with Dawkins and Trotter. This is surely one game I can’t wait to watch.

3. @ Pittsburgh Steelers: October 30th, 2011

There are a few reasons I’m looking forward to this game. First off, it’s always a good game when the Pats and the Steelers face off. The Steelers were the AFC Champions last year and they’re the only team with multiple Super Bowl championships besides New England in the past 12 years. Also, if any Patriots fans can remember back in 2004, we played the Steelers on Halloween in which we were destroyed by rookie Big Ben and Plaxico Burress as we ended our 21-game winning streak.

This game is on all hollows eve. Will it be another horror story for us against the Steelers? Doubt it, but you can rest assure that this will be a 12 round bout.

4. New York Giants: November 6th, 2011

Everyone knows the significance of the Pats/Giants regular season game this year. Now it’s hard to call this game a revenge game—tt’s not the Super Bowl, it’s not the same Giants football team, and the Giants are more than likely not going to be playing for anything this time of year. I personally think the Eagles and Cowboys will be running the division, but you can’t count the Giants out.

The great part about this game is that it’s in New England and after Super Bowl 42, the crowd is definitely going to be in full rage. I’m expecting this game to be similar to last year’s game against the Jets in New England. All we need is a Bruschi night and some snow to make this a magical night for New England fans. Oh and I did I mention? I’m driving up to Boston to see this game in what will be my first ever Patriots game in Foxboro. For once I will not be at Giants Stadium seeing them kick the crap out of the Jets!

5. @ New York Jets: November 13th, 2011

Sunday football game in New York; I’m attending and there will be nothing better than shutting up Rex Ryan twice in one season. I love the sound of dead air during the Jets game as I cheer along the very few Pats fans as we’re winning.

We’ve lost the last two seasons in NY against the Jets and it’s time for that little streak to end. This is war. In the words of one of the biggest POS’s on the Jets, Bart Scott, “CAN’T WAIT!”

Other notable games that I didn’t add to my top five are against the Colts, Chargers, and the Cowboys. Every year the Pats and the Colts put on a great show. This year I think it’s gonna be different. I don’t think the Colts will be the dominating team in their division. I think the Texans are going to top AFC South this year.

Nothing crazy about the Pats/Chargers.

As for the Pats/Cowboys game, it’s gonna be a good one to watch, but it’s not making my top five.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Do the Patriots really need more receivers?

The Patriots traded for wide receiver Chad Ochocinco to pair with Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Aaron Hernandez and the rest of the jumbled group of people the Patriots call the Wide Receiver depth chart. There are now talks that the Patriots could be adding another member to that group.

Mike Reiss over at ESPN Boston is reporting that the Patriots are set to meet with former Bengals and Ravens receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh, a player that is coming off one of his worst seasons as a professional last year. It seems to be a strange meeting for the Patriots as they already have 11 receivers in camp, and that’s not even including the receiving tight-ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. There seems to be no reason for the Patriots to even entertain the option of bringing in Housh.

The only thing I could see the Patriots trying to do is get him into camp to learn the system. Players like Julian Eddleman and Brandon Tate have missed a couple days of practice which could be a worry for the Patriots. By bringing in Housh, they can simply put another name on the list of players on the speed dial list “In case of injury”.

True, Housh hasn’t had a productive season since 2008, but he wouldn’t be asked to be Brady’s number one option here like he was in Seattle or to some extent in Baltimore. At 33 years old, he would simply be another large possession target for Brady to throw to. When he’s on and healthy, he’s basically a bigger version on Deion Branch. He has a knack for getting open in the middle of the field and on the outsides with his route running. He could be a good target for Brady, it’s just not a need for the Patriots.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New England Patriots continue to add veterans

The New England Patriots are continuing to add veteran players to their roster. After acquiring WR Chad Ochocinco and DT Albert Hayneswoth, the Patriots have added two veterans to the defensive side of the ball over the weekend, DE Shaun Ellis and DE Andre Carter. The Patriots have been known for bringing in aging players and getting good production from them under the leadership of head coach Bill Belichick.

Ellis, who played for the rival New York Jets last season, agreed to a one-year deal with New England over the weekend. The move to join the Patriots irked Jets head coach Rex Ryan who told reporters, “The fact that he chose them and all that, like I said before, there’s no way I’m going to wish him well”. Ellis recorded 4.5 sacks and 36 total tackles last season, and has 72.5 sacks in his 10-year career, all 11 seasons being spent with the Jets.

Andre Carter is entering his 11th season in the NFL. Carter has spent time with both the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins. In five seasons with the Redskins, he recorded double digit sacks twice but struggled with Washington last season as the club switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme. Carter announced his signing on his Twitter account Sunday night.

The move to sign Carter, who plays much better in a 4-3 scheme, is interesting. After the franchise acquired Albert Haynesworth, another player better suited for a 4-3, speculation arose about the Patriots switching to a 4-3 defense. Amid speculation, New England’s head coach Bill Belichick has deflected questions about the team’s defense. Addressing questions about the team’s possible philosophical defensive switch, Belichick told reporters, “I think honestly that’s something of a media fabrication”. Then again, what would you expect from the master of saying nothing at all when he speaks?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Will the Patriots Be Switching to a 4-3 Defensive Alignment?

It is unclear of what changes are about to come to New England’s 3-4 defensive system, but it appears that changes will be made in Bill Belichick’s scheme.

Tom E. Curran of CSN New England indicated that the Patriots could have some defensive changes coming their way, following the recent release of players this Friday. Former defensive end, Ty Warren, who was cut by the Pats this Friday, spoke with Curran and discussed the possibility of their scheme shifting a bit.

“I think the team was looking to do some things differently on defense and I wasn’t in the plan.”

Erik Frenz, at Bleacher Report wrote up a terrific piece today speculating the possibility of change in New England’s near future.

Early indications from training camp sessions over the past two days point to a change in defensive philosophy for the New England Patriots. The Patriots have done this before, practicing in a 4-3 front early and switching back to their standard 3-4 later on.

With the recent acquisition of Albert Haynesworth, it may seem like Belichick could be changing his scheme a bit, as Haynesworth is more fit for the 4-3 alignment rather than New England’s current 3-4—but that does not mean he can’t succeed as a Patriot.

New England ran a sub-package 55.7 percent of the time according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston. The sub-packages can variate from a two-man front to a four-man front—allowing the massive presences of Vince Wilfork and Haynesworth to shift around freely.

New England may have only ran a 4-3 defensive front four times as Frenz reported, but Belichick has rolled out many different looks out of the 3-4 alignment with roots of a 4-3 front—notice the picture posted to the left.

The Pats line up with three down linemen, however they have four linebackers. It appears that Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes are the two inside linebackers while the other linebackers, Jermaine Cunningham and Tully Banta-Cain, are lined up in a standing defensive end stance.

In my opinion, New England will stay true to it’s colors of being a base 3-4 defensive team, despite folding in multiple variations of different fronts. As New England’s defense gains more experience, the more wrinkles Belichick can add, and with the recent addition of Haynesworth, it appears that Belichick can now roll freely with multiple defensive fronts.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tom Brady is to a have a rating of 99

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is one of just four players to be tabbed with a 99 rating in the Madden 12 video game, set for release on Aug. 30. He’s joined by Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu and Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.

This is the first time in several editions that Peyton Manning doesn’t begin with a 99 rating, which he lost last year during a roster update, during which players may have their scores adjusted in-season.