NFL Films: 2013 New England Patriots Yearbook

Always a yearly must-watch. You know, if the NFL really wanted to make money, which of course is about all they want to do, they should package these yearbooks in DVD sets.

They’ve gotten it down to science - they can make a 1-15 team seem like they had one of the best years in the NFL, or maybe I’ve just been watching Patriots yearbooks for too long.

What are the chances Boyce and tymes make the roster
Anonymous

I think Tyms is a lock because they can keep him for the first four weeks of the season and it won’t cost them a roster spot due to his suspension. It’s funny how a punishment for a player can be a big advantage for the team.

The only way he gets cut is if they just don’t like him and see no long-term potential which is a possibility no matter how much he’s torn it up this preseason. Given the injury histories of Dobson/Amendola and even Edelman, it makes sense to keep a free receiver on the team and see how things play out early in the season.

As for Boyce, I’ve never really seen it and had him on the bubble heading into camp. His inconsistent performances in the preseason has slid him off of my roster projections. 

With kickoff returns becoming less impactful it’s hard to make the team as just a returner and I’m not even sure Boyce has shown enough there to even really merit consideration.

The NFL wants to score, score, score, eschewing defensive responsibilities in the name of weekly shootouts. Embarrass Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl, will you? Well, the NFL will just threaten to enforce the rules it put in place a decade ago when Manning was rendered useless in the playoffs by the New England Patriots. Make no mistake, this preseason flag-fest is partly aimed at making guys like Manning, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers become record-setting monsters. The NFL insists it’s a safety issue. Please. What’s good for the fantasy roster is good for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. That’s just pathetic.

RIP, NFL - Eric Wilbur’s Sports Blog - Boston.com

This is really getting bad and Wilbur makes a great point, ever since 2004 the NFL has slowly been making it harder and harder to actually play defense. So I guess the Pats are partially to blame?

I still have hope that things will calm down during the regular season and if a DB brushes his hand accidentally on a wide receiver downfield it won’t get a flag. But the NFL is really trying their best to kill the game. This is a football blog, and I love defense, and I don’t care one bit about fantasy, so if things continue down this path I might have to find a new line of blogging.

kickoffcoverage:

-KICKOFF COVERAGE’S: HISTORY OF THE 32 IN 32-

-NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS-

1976

PATRIOTS GO 11-3 & EARN WILD CARD BERTH,LOSE TO THE RAIDERS IN THE WILD CARD ROUND BY A CONTROVERSIAL CALL THAT GAVE MOMENTUM BACK TO THE RAIDERS:

Following the 1975 season, Plunkett was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, and eventually would win two Super Bowls with the Oakland Raiders.

The draft picks acquired in the Plunkett trade were used to select defensive backs Mike Haynes and Tim Fox and set the stage for the team’s first winning seasons in the NFL. Second-year player Steve Grogan - who had played much of the 1975 season with Plunkett injured - became New England’s top quarterback in 1976. The Patriots finished 11-3, their best record in team history to that point, and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 1963.

Their opponent in the first round would be the Oakland Raiders, whose only regular season loss had come at the hands of New England, 48-17. By late in the game, the Patriots were leading the Raiders, 21–17. On a critical 3rd-down play late in the 4th quarter, Patriots defensive tackle Ray “Sugar Bear” Hamilton appeared to get a critical sack on Oakland quarterbackKen Stabler, which would have forced the Raiders into a 4th-down situation and the possible end to their season. However, referee Ben Dreith called a roughing the passer penalty on Hamilton, nullifying the sack and giving the Raiders an automatic 1st down deep in New England territory. Replays would show that there was no illegal contact - a point that Stabler himself would all but concede in interviews years later. The call would ultimately prove fatal to the Patriots, as Stabler would score on a short touchdown run with less than a minute left, and the Raiders held on for a 24–21 win. Partially because of the controversy, the league never assigned Dreith to officiate Patriots games again.

During the browns and redskins I noticed that the Jim haslett brought a lot of pressure against Johnny manziel who obliviously is a mobile quarterback and it made me think about how belichick will more times than not sacrifice the pass rush to keep the quarterback in the pocket, what's your take on keeping mobile quarterbacks in the pocket: more pressure or less
Anonymous

Well you always want more pressure, it’s just a question of how aggressive you want to be and how many guys you’re willing to send. I think BB’s philosophy is generally conservative on defense and against mobile quarterbacks he’s fine only sending four guys and ensuring their main priority is to not lose contain. Ideally the pass rusher who gets blocked 1-on-1 has to win and get some disruption without letting the QB sneak out of the pocket.

I think BB’s methods of defense often boil down to saying an opposing quarterback can’t play sixty minutes of error-free football consistently throwing against seven-plus guys in coverage. Will they make some throws and put together some scoring drives? Sure, but the Pats try to keep everything underneath, be solid with their tackling and just wait to pounce on a bad throw.

For as bad as the Patriots defense has been over the last four seasons (better at some times, worse at others) it usually just boils down to turnovers for them. Even when they give up a ton of yards, it would be the turnovers that made the biggest impact and usually gave the Pats a win.

But you look at every playoff loss since 2010 and they’ve gotten a grand total of zero turnovers.

Josh Kline has been an absolute force in these drills. He’s beat up on everyone, even notching a win over big Vince Wilfork at one point. Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio have been effusive in their praise of Kline this offseason, but those sentiments combined with his performance in these drills still haven’t been enough to earn him many opportunities to run with the first-team offense.
Rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley’s short-area quickness and explosion showed up in one-on-one and 2-on-2 pass-rush drills. He really turned it on, appearing to catch center Ryan Wendell off guard on his first rep. Easley lined up shaded over Wendell’s left shoulder, crossed his face, and surged to the orange cone that would have been the quarterback. It all happened in a flash. The 6-foot-2, 290-pound Easley then teamed with Marcus Forston in 2-on-2 drills and penetrated off the outside shoulder of veteran Dan Connolly with some success. Finally, Easley finished with a flourish, with a dynamic spin move to shake free.

Observations from Patriots camp: Day 22 - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

Those of you who have followed this blog long-term know just how hot and bothered this gets me. I have never been so excited about a defensive draft pick in the last decade of Pats drafts, to the point where I’m contemplating adding some Easley swag to my collection.

You mentioned in your depth cart predictions that josh kline will start at right guard, what makes you think that, haven't really anything about him compared to devey
Anonymous

It’s more of a *somewhat* educated guess at this point. I think Kline just seems like the most-likely starter if Wendell were to get cut and Connolly takes the starting center spot.

As for Devey, I think last game they just wanted to get a true sense of what he’s capable of… how many positions can he really back-up and if he had to go in as a guard, could he hold up.

He’s 6’7”and really more suited to being a tackle, similar to Marcus Cannon, but how else can you find out just how good a player is at a different position if you only ever see him there in practice. Hence, they threw him into the fire in week two and tried him all over the line.

This week I think we’ll see a starting line with Kline at right guard unless Wendell’s in there and Connolly slides back to where he spent the last two years.

[T]he Patriots welcomed first-round pick Dominique Easley to 11-on-11 work in full pads for the first time all summer. It appeared that Easley was working with a reasonable facsimile of the second-team defense. He looked very good — quick, without any issues when it came to bursting and changing direction. On his first rush, he flew past center Ryan Wendell, and beat guard Dan Connolly on his second rush. He also flashed an impressive spin move on the following play. An interesting debut for the youngster, who might be on track to get some live snaps this week against the Panthers.