Belichick’s boys came up empty again against the New York Giants when it
mattered most and must now address some of their concerns to keep them
contending for a World Championship. Join my blog for all the latest news on The Pats.
Kraft's Cheesy Video
By: Craig Tattan
owner Bob Kraft has always been the consummate class act and his respect around
the league is unparalleled by both the fans of New England and his fellow
owners. So, when a video leaked of
him doing a little dance in front of a scantily clad actress that he's been
palling around with recently, it was more than just a little embarrassing.
But I say
cut the guy some slack. His wife of many
years, Myra Kraft, passed away last year and what is a guy with a billion
dollar asset supposed to do, see if any of her 70-something widowed friends are
looking for a little company, Bob Kraft style?
Hello no, it's time to chase a few foxes and get stupid as the rappers
like to say.
Mr. Kraft issued the obligatory apology...for
what I'm not sure. He felt ridiculous
because the media covered it and the fans didn't know what to make of it. He was caught having some fun but in an
industry where images are cultivated very carefully, it caused some snide
remarks which resulted in a bit of discomfort for the normally reserved
Patriots' owner. Personally, for what
this man has done for this franchise, he can chase as many skirts as he wants
and act the fool whenever he pleases.
Just make sure the Pats keep winning and the fans will love you all the
The Mr. Bill Show
By: Craig Tattan
The Tom and
Bill show opens up for another season on the road against the Titans. Brady now has more weapons at his disposal - as if he needed more - with the addition of prized free agent Brandon
Lloyd. The Patriots are hoping that
their two first round picks, Chandler Jones and Don’t’a Hightower, will bolster
a defense that was average at best in sacking the passer and inept at defending against the pass.
Titans are more inclined to keep the ball on the ground as Chris Johnson will have
a full training camp under his belt, barring injury, and New England’s run stop
unit will be tested. The irony is that
the Titans were ranked a dismal 31st in rushing but a surprising 12th
in passing. If their rushing attack is
improved, which it most certainly should be assuming Johnson is in vintage form,
then the Pats could be in for a long day.
we believe the Patriots’ offense is explosive enough to put plenty of points on
the board against a Titans’ team defense that was mediocre at best last
season. Watch Brady and the boys
exorcise the demons from last year’s Super Bowl and roll in Tennessee;.
-6 ½ is the pick.
Andre Carter To Return?
By: Craig Tattan
Andre Carter, the 33-year-old
defensive end, wants back in Boston, or more accurately Foxboro. Carter was a big contributor to the Patriots defense until he tore a quad muscle in
Denver in Week 15. According to those in
the know, he is ahead of schedule medically and looks to take the field in time
for the start of the regular season. He
made $2.75 million last year and, after registering 10 sacks and getting a
Pro-Bowl invitation, is now looking for a long term deal at a higher salary.
the Patriots are not eager to give a multi-year pact to a guy in his mid-30's
and coming off of injury. It's a
stalemate, but both sides agree on one thing, they would like to do business
together again this season. Whether or
not a compromise can be reached is still not clear, but the Patriots certainly
need as much help as they can get to bolster a pass rush that was lacking at
times last season and forced the secondary into chasing opposing receivers
around the field. Hopefully, both sides
can reach a resolution quickly because the Patriots could use a veteran who is
respected both on the field and in the locker room like Carter.
By: Craig Tattan
Bill Belichick has always been comfortable with players he knows. He
may release them but is never reluctant to call them back if the need arises. It
is all about what's best for the team and I cannot recall a time when a former
Patriot, under Belichick's reign, has not warmed to the idea of rejoining the
And so the story goes that former Patriots running back Sammy
Morris, released by Belichick during training camp last season, may be back for
another stint as a New England Patriot.
When asked for a reaction Morris had this to say, "It’s definitely reciprocal. I’m
still here. My family is here. My kids still go to school here, so it’s
definitely reciprocal. I’ve been around a while, so I kind of just know the
deal. Words are one thing, but all I can do is take care of my part. If
something materializes, then I know I’ll be ready."
Patriots may be looking for a veteran presence due to last season's starter
BenJarvus Green-Ellis moving on to
greener pastures (operative word being greener) as a Cincinnati Bengal. The
Pats plan on starting a pair of 2011 draft picks in Shane Vereen and Stevan
Ridley to lead their rushing attack this season but an experienced player like
Morris would be a welcome addition in the event the pair sputter.
By: Craig Tattan>
key pieces of the Patriots offense are recovering from injuries, but both got
medical clearance to play in a charity golf tournament over the weekend. The recently signed tight end extraordinaire
Rob Gronkowski and his fellow Pro Bowl teammate left guard Logan Mankins must
be making serious progress if they were allowed to engage in a round of
golf. NFL teams take offseason
activities very seriously, particularly when it concerns to crucial players
like Gronkowski and Mankins. Both are expected to miss portions of training
camp but will most likely be in uniform and ready to play for their season
opener against Tennessee on September 9th.
Tight Ends All The Rave
By: Craig Tattan
Bob Kraft is
accustomed to players taking a home team discount for the opportunity to play
on team that has contended every year for the past decade. Not every player has
fallen in line and some like Logan Mankins have even made it personal. But such
was not the case when the Patriots got proactive in signing superstar Rob
Gronkowski to a record breaking $54 million, six year pact making this the
richest contract for a tight end in history.
If Tom Brady is the face of the Patriots then
Gronkowski is its heart. He’s a big rough, tough kid who levels linebackers
when he catches the short flares but has enough speed and plenty of height to
make covering him a nightmare for opposing secondaries.
Although his contract
wasn’t up, it was a wise move, dare I say the only move that the Patriots could
make because allowing him to venture into free agency a few years hence would
be a huge gamble. The Gronk is now firmly ensconced as a New England Patriot
but will they pull the trigger on the other talented tight end Aaron Hernandez?
Pats fans will have to wait and see.
The Legend Of Gronkowski
By: Craig Tattan
History making tight end Rob Gronkowski destroyed the
record books last season with over 1300 receiving yards, 18 touchdowns and
seven games in which he scored more than one. However, he has not always exercised the most discretion when off the
field as evidenced by his romps with ladies of questionable pedigree. I’m not sure Mr. Kraft was thrilled to see
one of his star players posing shirtless with a porn star, garbed in his
Patriots jersey, and captured on Twitter for all his fans to see. The NFL is supremely guarded of their
reputation and Robert Kraft is no exception.
But in the days before Twitter, texting, sexting and
email, this would have been the kind of tale that would be perfectly palatable
as undocumented legend. It would be the
kind of story men tell to each other in barrooms as the story gets bigger and
more outrageous. Folklore is a wonderful
thing but today nothing is left to the imagination. That’s why it is refreshing to see Gronkowski
is undaunted and vowing to improve upon last season’s heroics. With a new stable of “stretch the field”
receivers and subtle hints that a new and improved ground game is in the
offing, it will be a tall task for Gronkowski to duplicate those numbers. But when you are 23 years and loaded with
talent, nothing’s impossible.
Addai to the Pats
By: Craig Tattan
Colts arrives in Foxboro and another is shown the gate. Joseph Addai, the first round pick of the
Indianapolis Colts in 2006, has signed a reported $1.3 million contract to
compete in the Patriots backfield this season. He recorded a thousand plus yards rushing in his first two seasons but
his last two campaigns have been injury plagued and unproductive. The Patriots are convinced Addai can at the
very least fill the void by the apparent vacancy left by Kevin Faulk, who has
served as a change of pace back, receiver coming out of the backfield and a was
also a solid blocker. Addai is being
called upon as a younger replacement to his LSU alumni Kevin Faulk on the field
but it is doubtful he can fill Faulk’s leadership role off the field.
knew you Tony Gonzalez. The former Colt
receiver was shown the door after only three months as a Patriot. There is a logjam at wideout to be sure but
it raised a few eyebrows when Gonzalez was deemed disposable by the Patriots
Perhaps even more of a surprise was the ticket
out of town that Alfonzo Dennard received after being labeled the “steal of the
draft” by some as the 7th
round selection of the Patriots. Character and legal issues have plagued the
once highly touted defensive back and he will have to for a job as soon as his
legal entanglements are over.
How To Fix Perfection
By: Craig Tattan
We all know
the Patriots won't be using their 1st rounder to draft a
quarterback, after all they have Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. Oh yeah, that kid Brady too. But the Patriots will be looking to do what
their offensively gifted contemporaries (i.e. Saints, Packers, Giants) need to
do as well and that is shore up their pass rushing. The Patriots will reap the rewards from last
year's trade with the Saints and get two picks in this year's 1st
round as they acquire the Saints spot at 27 and their own at 31.
defensive end or an outside linebacker who can play the edge appears to be the
number one priority for Bill Belichick's crew. Names like Shea McClellin of Boise State, Nick Perry of USC, Chandler
Jones (UFC Light Heavyweight king Jon Bones Jones' little brother) of Syracuse
or even Andre Branch of Clemson are all possibilities at this spot.
position they choose to fill, outside linebacker or defensive end, they may
very well draft the other position four picks later when they select the 31st
player in the draft. While some may
argue that would be a bit of overkill, Bill Belichick is known for having an
unconventional game plan both on and off the field. If the Patriots insist on pressuring the
quarterback, I say why not draft an outside linebacker and a defensive end with
your two first round picks?
But here is
something to consider. The Patriots may
need a big time cornerback even more than a pass rusher. Perhaps, now just hear me out, they trade up
to take the best cornerback in the draft which would be Morris Claiborne of
LSU, who is a virtual lock to go in the top ten of this year's draft. Just something to think about Pats fans.
Who Remembers the Runner Up?
By: Craig tattan
those who diminish Tom Terrific’s passing stats by claiming he only throws
quick darts and that his yardage is ballooned by six yard passes which resemble
thirty yard strikes on the stat sheet because Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski
have the field awareness to make it so. Certainly it is a legitimate argument until you hearken back to 2007
when Brady launched bombs to Randy Moss and he in turn set the touchdown
reception mark for a single season with twenty three.
the Patriots boasted no such deep threat as Chad Ochocinco looked dazed and
confused throughout the season, clearly overwhelmed by an offensive scheme that
eluded him. Surprisingly, he did not
blame his lack of productivity on what are normally the usual suspects,
quarterback, offensive coordinator, head coach but instead went about his
business twittering away and seemingly enjoying his new surroundings. He was actually an affable sort and not the
primetime diva most thought he would be if things didn’t go his way. Therefore, it’s not altogether shocking that
the Pats are going to give him a shot at redemption at a fraction of the
will be back at a bargain basement price and part of a team of reclamation
projects that Belichick is so fond of at wide receiver. He will join the oft-injured Anthony Gonzalez
from Indianapolis, Dante Stallworth who spent 2007 with the team and was
suspended from the NFL in ’09 after a vehicular manslaughter plea, Deion Branch
who is clearly not the player he was in his previous incarnation with the Pats
and finally their prized free agent catch, Brandon Lloyd.
will of course be back as he was slapped with the franchise tag and All-World
tight end Rob Gronkowski and his erstwhile understudy Aaron Hernandez will be
catching plenty of passes as well. If
any of the newcomers can stretch the field, then deep strikes can once again
become part of Brady’s impressive arsenal.
that the Patriots may be trolling for versatile running back Matt Forte for
something along the lines of a 2nd and 4th round draft
pick to the Bears. Forte was not a happy
camper when Michael Bush signed a four year $14 million payday with the Bears. However, it would seem a bit desperate for
Belichick to do something that he is generally unwilling to do and that is
trade draft picks.
Law Firm has taken his talents to Cincinnati the Patriots still have two high
draft picks from last season's draft who are hopefully ready to handle the
load. Shane Vereen (2nd round)
and Stevan Ridley (3rd round) will definitely be joined by a veteran
in case they stumble but Belichick will most likely opt for his typical low
risk high reward kind of player. The
Pats routinely salvage spare parts off the NFL scrap heap who somehow magically
experience a career renaissance under the watchful eye of Bill Belichick and
We can talk
all we want about the offensive side of the ball but unless the Patriots shore
up their defense then they may be in for another deep run only to fall short
again. The secondary was abysmal as Eli
Manning exploited them on 3rd down throughout the Super Bowl. The defensive front can be propped up and the
linebacking corps is a mixed bag with Jerod Mayo as the only standout but the
secondary is woeful. Ras-I Dowling was
plucked from the 2011 draft as the first pick in the 2nd round but
an early season hip injury sidelined him from action. Maybe he can help but there is no overstating
how much of an overhaul this New England secondary needs.
total is currently 11.5 at the best sportsbooks and the NFL odds to win the Super Bowl in 2013 are
approximately 7-1. It appears the
offense is going to be of the high octane variety yet again but the defense is
the big key. If they can improve
markedly in that area, twelve wins may not be difficult. We will monitor the Patriots progress
throughout the offseason and into the regular season.
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