Projecting the Patriots’ 53: Second edition - Patriots - Boston.com
In my second projection of the Patriots’ 53-man roster, there are a few slight changes for the team in key position groups. But what’s more, there is a conscious consideration of injuries and how they are already affecting the team through the first preseason game. See who’s up and who’s down since last week.
Alex Smith says no rust on Randy Moss in first San Francisco 49ers workouts - ESPN
There’s a logjam at wide receiver on the Patriots’ roster. Do you know how many are on the team right now? The correct answer is 11. Paring that down to six, or even seven, at this moment seems like a monumental task given the talent in the group. Most of the wideouts are quite decorated. Some are on their second tenure with the team. Some are looking to make a comeback. And some are just trying to get their careers going. Here’s a look at those 11, where they could possibly play in the Patriots’ plans, and our best guess at what the depth chart may eventually look like.
(via Projecting the Patriots receivers depth chart - Extra Points - Boston.com)
Crazy how people thought Randy Moss was washed up. But then again, that was never really the issue. The issue was that he wasn’t motivated, that his head wasn’t into the task at hand. He got comfortable in New England and then got shipped out. This will be Moss’ last chance to change the lasting memory of his career and his work ethic. And if he doesn’t pull it off, the rumors will become reality. That’s Moss’ new motivation. That’s today’s reality.
There’s no such thing as a dramatic improvement on 13-3. Yet it was right here in New England where that kind of conventional wisdom was turned on its head. After a 12-4 campaign in 2006, the Patriots scorched the Earth going 16-0, creating an illusion of perfection and mind-boggling year-over-year improvement in the regular season. Is it conceivable for the Patriots to improve enough, with the help of the 2012 NFL draft, to venture into that realm of dominance again? Is it possible for the Patriots’ defense to become stingy and opportunistic, rather than beckon for timely stops? Here are a few ideas on how they can get it done and attain the ever elusive Lombardi Trophy. Whether it’s in 2012 or beyond. (via 5 keys for the Patriots draft - Boston.com)
Before considering whether or not the Patriots will trade away either of their two picks (Nos. 27 and 31) in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, which is in the “likely” column, one first has to consider whether or not there is any value in staying put. The key word, as it always is for coach Bill Belichick and company, is value. Do the Patriots envision any more value in multiplying the picks they have in the second round (two, 48 and 62), or the third (93) and fourth rounds (126)? Doing so changes the board for the Pats dramatically. So when considering the Patriots draft prospects, one has to consider the positioning, the projected talent, and then begin throwing darts at a board. Here’s where our darts landed. (via Patriots draft prospectus - Boston.com)
Grading the Patriots' newbies
The Patriots’ last playoff matchup with the Baltimore Ravens was a stinging dose of reality in New England. Despite the team’s success that season (10-6), home field advantage, and the not-so meager hopes behind one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., some cold humble pie was dished out by the more physical and more defensively gifted Ravens. Not this year. The talent inequality that once existed between the Ravens and Patriots no longer exists. And with it, the Patriots’ physicality has progressed. The Patriots are peaking right now. It’s with these thoughts in mind that we lay down our predictions for Sunday’s AFC Championship. (via Predicting the Patriots-Ravens game - Boston.com)
At 5-3, and currently on a two-game skid, the Patriots have plenty of bright spots and blots to concern themselves with before the second half of the season. The same can be said of their hits and misses in free agency and the draft, which is up and down all over the board. Take a look at all the newcomers, and see how we’ve graded their performance at midseason.