UP - Tim Wright: The tight end showed he’s a quick study as he played significant snaps and showed up as a pass-catcher just two days after being acquired.
Tonight was Aaron Dobson’s first game action of the preseason, and he delivered exactly what the Patriots need: a big-bodied, physical receiver who can stretch the defense vertically.


Sorry to ask for something so in-depth, but could you please talk about the possibility of a Big Nickel (3 Safety) configuration as it pertains to the Patriots' defense? It seems like they have their eyes on it with McCourty, Harmon, and Chung, and it makes sense now that they'll have better man coverage. What would this personnel grouping let them do and which players are best suited to which roles within that scheme?

Never apologize for asking an in-depth X and O question about the defense!

Yes, I think this is very possible as many of us have surmised Chung will be the run stopping SS while Harmon will be the pass stopping 2nd FS and they’ll rotate based on the game or down.

So yes, there’s a world where you have Harmon and McCourty both playing the back end, perhaps in a Cover 2 shell to keep it simple. Then there’s certainly a place for putting Chung in the box with them, perhaps along with a slot corner like Arrington, maybe Dennard.

That’s a pretty solid dime package with speed and coverage skills on the perimeter and toughness/tackling on the inside.

What will the Pats do week-to-week? I don’t know and neither does the opposition. They have a lot of tools in the toolbox on both sides of the ball to do whatever BB sees fit to win the game.

But trying to put either squad in a box at this point is useless. Just know they can do almost anything with the guys they have.

Lots of great X-and-O stuff here from Matt Bowen as usual, including a couple Patriots mentions.

Cannon hasn’t played at guard. Not a single snap at guard for four-year veteran Marcus Cannon, who has worked at right guard at times in practice and occasionally in regular-season games. Perhaps that changes in the preseason finale but Cannon seems most comfortable at tackle, which is where he’s lined up for all 15 of his series.

Check out my sister’s account of attending the Patriots premiere this past Monday on behalf of the blog. I’m pretty jealous she got to meet a ton of the Pats and take a lot of pictures with them.

I’ll have an exciting promotional partnership to announce soon that will include a ton of awesome giveaways for my readers this season. This was just the first part of it!

The only thing the Patriots are “all in” on is the sustainability of the program today and tomorrow. And next season. And the one after that.