2020 Pats: Cam Can't Cook

RedOctober3829

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deep inside Guido territory

RedOctober3829

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Right. That cap space will shrink in 2021, which is why I thought it would be good for NE to offer some good players big one-year deals for 2020.
With the cap shrinking, they really shouldn't be looking to use up that space. They need to be looking to roll over as much of that money as possible because the opt-out guys will be coming back next year so that will add almost $30 million to the payroll alone.
 

BaseballJones

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With the cap shrinking, they really shouldn't be looking to use up that space. They need to be looking to roll over as much of that money as possible because the opt-out guys will be coming back next year so that will add almost $30 million to the payroll alone.
Yeah, I don't think they'll do what I was suggesting. I think they'll do what you are suggesting here.
 

soxhop411

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View: https://twitter.com/OMFonWEEI/status/1303072872873824256
Bill Belichick on if Cam Newton is the starting QB: "We haven't announced any starting lineup or anything like that so I'll just leave it at that" Is it just a formality? BB: "I'm not announcing a starting lineup at any position so that includes this one and every other one."
View: https://twitter.com/RyanHannable/status/1303077434934386689

One oddsmaker has it more likely Bill Belichick leaves NE in 2021 than he returns. On @OMFonWEEI, Belichick was asked about it: "Yeah, I am just trying to get ready for Miami. I don't know. Long-term for me would be Sunday."
 
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DourDoerr

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My #1 wish with some of that money is to proactively sign Jackson to a deal much like they did with Jones. Getting cost certainty on a stud young cb is incredibly valuable - and potentially gives you flexibility with Gilmore’s contract.
 

joe dokes

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I finally got around to reading some of the new rostering rules and one stuck out as right in the evil genius's wheelhouse. A team can have an 'extra" player on the game day roster, as long as they dress 8 offensive lineman. So, what's an offensive lineman? In other words [extreme example ahead], what prevents a coach who reallty thinks he only needs 7 OL from assigning a TE or other skill player number 64, calling him a guard, and regularly having him report as eligible? Not necessarily to Harbaugh the other team, but just as a way to get another skill player on game day. Maybe a single-skill guy like a kick returner. I know there are rules about having to miss a play if you report as eligible before going back in as ineligible, but I'm unaware of anything beyond that.
 

Saints Rest

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I finally got around to reading some of the new rostering rules and one stuck out as right in the evil genius's wheelhouse. A team can have an 'extra" player on the game day roster, as long as they dress 8 offensive lineman. So, what's an offensive lineman? In other words [extreme example ahead], what prevents a coach who reallty thinks he only needs 7 OL from assigning a TE or other skill player number 64, calling him a guard, and regularly having him report as eligible? Not necessarily to Harbaugh the other team, but just as a way to get another skill player on game day. Maybe a single-skill guy like a kick returner. I know there are rules about having to miss a play if you report as eligible before going back in as ineligible, but I'm unaware of anything beyond that.
The obvious guy to do that for would be Joe Cardona.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Can't shake the suspicion that Peter King's predictions go like this.
(Good source for articles) -- Great season.
(Never helps me write articles) -- Lousy season.
I get your point, but I'm not sure what he said that was out of the box there. They lost pretty much their entire LB corps, they have no WRs/TEs, mediocre RBs, etc. They are more likely than not missing the playoffs. It sucks and it stinks and it sucks, but it was bound to happen. I know we love to give him shit, but every opinion he has isn't completely useless.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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I get your point, but I'm not sure what he said that was out of the box there. They lost pretty much their entire LB corps, they have no WRs/TEs, mediocre RBs, etc. They are more likely than not missing the playoffs. It sucks and it stinks and it sucks, but it was bound to happen. I know we love to give him shit, but every opinion he has isn't completely useless.
Maybe I am nuts, but I still think this winds up being a pretty good team, unless Cam is just no longer capable of being any semblance of his former self. I really see no reason why they cannot win 10 games fairly easily. The schedule is fairly soft. Miami, Raiders, Denver, Bills, Cardinals, Rams and Bills again are all winnable games in the first half. Jets, Texans, Chargers, Dolphins and Jets again are all winnable games the second half. The only games it appears on paper they likely have "no shot" against are KC, Baltimore, probably Seattle on the road, and SF perhaps at home.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Maybe I am nuts, but I still think this winds up being a pretty good team, unless Cam is just no longer capable of being any semblance of his former self. I really see no reason why they cannot win 10 games fairly easily. The schedule is fairly soft. Miami, Raiders, Denver, Bills, Cardinals, Rams and Bills again are all winnable games in the first half. Jets, Texans, Chargers, Dolphins and Jets again are all winnable games the second half. The only games it appears on paper they likely have "no shot" against are KC, Baltimore, probably Seattle on the road, and SF perhaps at home.
Yeah, you're nuts.
Edit: so it's not a fly by

There is no way someone can look at this schedule and say it's "fairly soft". They have a tough slate, a lot of travel and pretty much every team you listed got better (maybe not the Chargers?) while the Pats got worse. And that's not about Brady. That's about the fact the defense was decimated - by FA departures or COVID opt outs - and the guys they're counting on are a year older (Edelman, etc) or coming off significant injury or out (Cannon, Cam, Andrews, Chung, etc.) or just plain aren't good enough to overcome (see: RBs). Add in the gaping hole at WR/TE and 10 games "fairly easily" is a pipe dream.

"Winnable games" is kind of meaningless; there's 16 "winnable" games on a schedule. This is - in all reality - a bottom 10 team, without a "put the playbook in Canton" level performance from BB. If this team wins 10 games, they should name the trophy after him as they present it.

I see them going 3-3 in the division at best; trounced by KC, BAL, SEA and SF...3-7; AFC West, best case 2-2....5-9. Loss to HOU. I'm missing a game, but call it a win. 7-9; upside of 9-7. 10 wins is no nowhere close to fairly easy and sadly, this sin't a "pretty good team". They're in the fat middle class, which any roster ranking -statistical or anecdotal - will prove out.
 
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Papelbon's Poutine

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Well, I did say that was a possibility! To be clear, I was not saying they would win all of the "winnable" games - rather just that I do not think the Pats are worse off than any of those teams.
I edited if you check it again, to explain more. I disagree they aren't worse off than a lot of those teams. YMMV.
 

Seels

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The schedule is hard and this team is noticeably worse than last years team but Belichick could coach the winless Lions to 5-6 wins. I don't think they're really competing for a SB run but would be pretty surprised if they weren't still the favorite until they have to play playoff games.
 

rodderick

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The schedule is hard and this team is noticeably worse than last years team but Belichick could coach the winless Lions to 5-6 wins. I don't think they're really competing for a SB run but would be pretty surprised if they weren't still the favorite until they have to play playoff games.
The Patriots play good playoff teams soon enough in their schedule that we'll have a pretty clear picture on their overall chances of making a run reasonably quickly. If they aren't competitive vs. KC, Seattle and San Francisco, they won't be viewed as favorites by anyone, even if they end up making the playoffs.
 

joe dokes

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The Patriots play good playoff teams soon enough in their schedule that we'll have a pretty clear picture on their overall chances of making a run reasonably quickly. If they aren't competitive vs. KC, Seattle and San Francisco, they won't be viewed as favorites by anyone, even if they end up making the playoffs.
Then again, what happens early in their season is not always a good predictor of what happens later. (although you're right, they wont be favorites).
 

BaseballJones

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HFA isn't going to be what it usually is - you won't have 80,000 insanely loud people at either Sea or KC for weeks 2 and 4, for example. But those will obviously still be very difficult games. So NE should aim (realistically) to be 2-2 after four games, winning the home games against Miami and Vegas. And if they can do that and play Seattle and KC pretty tough, I'd say that's a pretty good start to the year.

Man, how things have changed for this franchise though...
 

Jimbodandy

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HFA isn't going to be what it usually is - you won't have 80,000 insanely loud people at either Sea or KC for weeks 2 and 4, for example. But those will obviously still be very difficult games. So NE should aim (realistically) to be 2-2 after four games, winning the home games against Miami and Vegas. And if they can do that and play Seattle and KC pretty tough, I'd say that's a pretty good start to the year.

Man, how things have changed for this franchise though...
Yeah this is how most teams feel entering every year. It was nice knowing for all but one of the last 18 seasons that our median outcome was 11-5, AFC title game, but that wasn't a forever thing.

We've had a lot of "reloading" years in BFBs tenure but few "rebuilding" ones. This is one of them.
 

SMU_Sox

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What surprised me about Chung was the extension. I love Chung. He is versatile and he can do a lot of tasks and solve a lot of problems. But he's lost a step at 33. That was one of the things I noticed when I was looking at the defense in reviews this off-season. It's also why I wanted them to take a safety or two in the draft.

Next year he is nearly an 8m dead cap hit and if a post June 1st designation he is a 4.4m dead cap hit. In 2022 he's going to be 35 with a 3.6m dead cap hit or a 2.1m post June 1st dead cap hit. I wouldn't be shocked if he was an expensive part-time player next year and then let go the next. Hopefully Dugger continues to impress.
 

joe dokes

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I was impressed that Newton avoided contact early in teh game, until they got closer to scoring and it was important that he run someone over. But as the game wore on, it seemed like he was forgetting to avoid taking on unnecessary hits.
 

DonBuddinE6

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Bill Barnwell had this (excellent, IMO) take:

Both [New England] touchdowns came out of the same empty look, which is almost the polar opposite of how the Patriots used to try to score in the red zone with Brady. I described Newton as a replacement for Rob Gronkowski before the season, in part because Gronkowski gave the Patriots plausible versatility. When the Pats would come out with Gronk and another tight end in the red zone, they could choose to run over teams. More often, they would come out in a heavy package, force teams to match with a linebacker-heavy defense, and then spread the field to get Gronk matched up against one of those linebackers for an easy touchdown pass.

On Sunday, Newton's two rushing touchdowns came with three wide receivers split to the left, which forced the Dolphins to both overload that side of the field and put five defensive backs on the field. New England then used motion to create a further numbers advantage, leaving Newton to run toward the right side of the field with Ryan Izzo and five linemen as blockers against six Dolphins defenders. Guard Shaq Mason actually missed his block on the second touchdown -- had he not, Newton would have had an easier time of scoring.
 

Soxy

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I was impressed that Newton avoided contact early in teh game, until they got closer to scoring and it was important that he run someone over. But as the game wore on, it seemed like he was forgetting to avoid taking on unnecessary hits.
I've seen a lot of similar takes today, with people worried about Cam taking hits. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Before last season, Cam had never missed more than two starts in a season, while carrying it 90+ times every year, and 100+ carries in seven of his eight seasons. He may not carry it 15+ times very often, but if you're not going to let him run, you may as well not even sign him. The best thing that he brings to the table is the way that he exerts pressure on a defense with his running ability. If he's not mobile, that stuff goes out the window.

The biggest issue with Cam is that he was injured the last two years. People tried to say he was getting old and wearing down, but I never really bought that. Somebody rolled up on his ankle in the preseason game against the Pats last year. He tried to play through it, he couldn't, so he had surgery and missed the season. It was an injury that could happen to anybody.

Cam is healthy now so the best thing to do is just let him be himself. You obviously want him to be smart and pick his battles, and he knows that. He mentioned after the game that it's not in his best interests to try and finish runs like a typical ball carrier would. That said, there will absolutely be moments this season where Pats fans have flashbacks to Gronk in the open field, with the combination of excitement and fear that it brings, because Cam can do that when he has to. Cam can actually make people miss too, in addition to being able to run over them.
 

Oppo

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After the frustration of trying to stop dual threat QBs for so many years, it’s nice to have our own. The playbook is wide open, especially on third down and in the red zone. So much harder to scheme against QBs that can make plays on the ground, both by design and when the play breaks down. Much rather face Brees/Ryan/Rivers types than Mahomes/Jackson/Watson/Murray/Allen, especially with the current DBs.
 

54thMA

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After the frustration of trying to stop dual threat QBs for so many years, it’s nice to have our own. The playbook is wide open, especially on third down and in the red zone. So much harder to scheme against QBs that can make plays on the ground, both by design and when the play breaks down. Much rather face Brees/Ryan/Rivers types than Mahomes/Jackson/Watson/Murray/Allen, especially with the current DBs.
Speaking of facing the Mahomes/Jackson/Watson/Murray/Allen types, I wonder if having to face Cam and a similar type offense in practice will benefit the defense, time will tell..................
 

lexrageorge

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Speaking of facing the Mahomes/Jackson/Watson/Murray/Allen types, I wonder if having to face Cam and a similar type offense in practice will benefit the defense, time will tell..................
We'll find out next week with Russell Wilson, who also belongs in the above list.
 

SoxinSeattle

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We'll find out next week with Russell Wilson, who also belongs in the above list.
He belongs at the top of that list. Arguably second only to Mahomes. Next week is a huge test but I think the Pats can win. Seattle struggled against the run last year.
 

Ale Xander

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Highway 11 = Edelman
Doughboy = ? Based on weight, Onwenu?
Dirty Dave = Andrews
Smokin' Joe = Most likely Thuney. Tiny chance it's Cardona
Winnie the Pooh = Isaiah Wynn
Free Mason = Shaq
Buzzo = Izzo
Burky = Burkhead
Twin No. 1 = DMC
Twin No. 2 = JMC
Bo Diddly = ?
Crazy Legs = ? A receiver I'm guessing
Bent Dog = Bentley ?
Stiddy = Stidham
The Hoyster = Hoyer

Who's Diddly, Doughboy, and Crazy legs?
 

Deathofthebambino

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Highway 11 = Edelman
Doughboy = ? Based on weight, Onwenu?
Dirty Dave = Andrews
Smokin' Joe = Most likely Thuney. Tiny chance it's Cardona
Winnie the Pooh = Isaiah Wynn
Free Mason = Shaq
Buzzo = Izzo
Burky = Burkhead
Twin No. 1 = DMC
Twin No. 2 = JMC
Bo Diddly = ?
Crazy Legs = ? A receiver I'm guessing
Bent Dog = Bentley ?
Stiddy = Stidham
The Hoyster = Hoyer

Who's Diddly, Doughboy, and Crazy legs?
No idea what they mean, but I have to imagine at least one, maybe two, of Gilmore, Michel and James White have to be on that nickname list somewhere.