Let's say BB stays on until he retires. What does that mean for the franchise?

BaseballJones

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Trevor Lawrence against a bad Lions defense just completed 17-31 (54.8%), for 179 yds (5.8 y/a), and the team scored just 14 points.

Young QBs take time to get consistently good in this league.
 

Toe Nash

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I was going to answer him but this is a good reply. He was starting over with a rookie QB. This stuff takes time. Some Pats fans are this delusion that it should only take 2-3 years to rebuild a team from the foundation up into some sort of championship contender.

He’s improved the roster CONSIDERABLY from the 2020 team. Not in every area of course but on the whole. And now he is dealing with new coaches (well new to their role), which of course is on HIM for selecting them but still, it takes time. I’m grateful BB has a long term view of the rebuilding process, unlike some fans here.
I don't think 2-3 years is unreasonable to expect more improvement than what we have seen.

You turn over the roster almost completely every four years in the NFL since that's when rookie deals end and you only sign really good players to deals longer than 4 years. If you want to you can do it faster. Picking two random years here are the players who were on the Patriots in both 2013 and 2017 (going by the "Final Roster" on wikipedia):
Brady
Brandon Bolden
Edelman
Amendola
Gronk
Hightower
McCourty
Ryan Allen
Gostkowski
Slater

That's it! 6 guys who aren't special teamers. And Amendola would leave soon after. And that was with a team that was consistently competing for super bowls.

It should only take a few years to show improvement because you literally have to make decisions on almost everyone on the roster in that time. And if you are a worse team you should be able to get higher picks / use cap space to add more talent. They do not have the core of "some sort of championship contender" unless guys take huge leaps next year.

From the 2020 team, the offensive line has gone backwards and the offensive skill positions are somewhat better. QB has been discussed to death. Defensive front seven is better now, but the best player there is 30. Certainly they were dealing with bad drafts from 2016-19 but those were BB's too.

The 2021 and 2022 drafts are showing enough promise that I'm willing to wait another year before declaring this rebuild a failure, but it's not looking great. Which means, it will be another 2-3 years before you hopefully build up the next core group of talent. If you do.
 

BaseballJones

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We can say it "should" but when you actually look at teams that have rebuilt, it is always a much, much longer process.

The Eagles took 5 years to rebuild from their SB winning 2017 team to their current NFC best 2022 team. Five years, not 2-3.

Denver has been rebuilding since 2015, with only one winning season in there (2016). Their hope that Wilson is the answer seems to be a bad gamble, and they're going to be in contract hell with him for a long time still.

Seattle was last good in 2020. Last year they went 7-10. This year, in year 2 of the rebuild, they're 7-5, with Geno Smith as their QB, who is not the long-term answer. They seem to have found lightning in a bottle with him. Next year, when he either turns back into the pumpkin he's always been, or they move on, it'll be starting over at the QB position.

The Dolphins won 10 games in 2016, then have been building ever since, with only one good year since then (10-6 in 2020). They are finally really good, but it took them a long time to get there, not 2-3 years.

The Bengals won 12 games in 2015 and had their first good season with Burrow/Chase/Higgins/Mixon in 2021, a stretch of 6 seasons.

The Panthers have been rebuilding since 2017, when they won 11 games. No more than 7 wins in any season since.

The Falcons were last good in 2017 as well, when they won 10 games. Since then, they haven't won more than 7 in any year.

The Steelers won 12 games two seasons ago in 2020, but since then they won 9 and now are 4-7. Their rebuild looks like it will take more than 2-3 years since they're already in year 2 and they suck.

The Jets' last good season was 2015, when they went 10-6. Since then this is what they've done:

2016 - 5-11
2017 - 5-11
2018 - 4-12
2019 - 7-9
2020 - 2-14
2021 - 4-13
2022 - 7-5

Buffalo...went 11-5 in 1999, and between then and 2019, they won 9 games (never more) just 3 times, and won 6 or fewer 9 out of those 20 years.

I mean, rebuilding is really hard, and it usually takes much, much longer than 2-3 years.
 

Toe Nash

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Yeah, semantics. I said "more improvement than we have seen." I know a lot of teams struggle but they don't have the GOAT coach. It's not easy to become a SB contender but it's not unreasonable to be displeased with the results so far; it's not like baseball where you can get locked into 10 year contracts and players take 5 years from drafting to get to the big leagues.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I don't think there really is any such thing as "rebuilding" in the NFL. Careers are too short, and the number of guys on your roster today who will still be playing for you in five years is pretty small. Look at the last Pats Super Bowl team (2018), the only guys from that team still on the roster are Slater, Andrews, Trent Brown, Cannon, Ferentz, Wise, McCourty and Bentley (unless I missed someone else). The idea that you are drafting or signing guys in 2022 who you think will help you win a Super Bowl in 2027 makes no sense.

The Pats broke everyone by sustaining their success as long as they did. You just aren't supposed to do that in the NFL. You hope you hit on a QB who is good enough for you to win with, and then build the best roster around him that you can and hope you strike gold. If you are lucky enough to have a guy like Mahomes you have a chance for a sustained number of seasons contending for a title. If you aren't lucky enough to have one of the top 5 QBs in the game you are more likely to flash and fade depending on the quality of the rest of the roster, injuries, etc.

The biggest problem the Pats have right now is their QB has not shown he's good enough to win. 10 wins in his rookie season was great. Regression in year 2 most likely means the Pats are in purgatory along with all of the other teams whose QB is not good enough.

Edit: Hoyer I guess counts too (but not in a good way).
 

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I don't think there really is any such thing as "rebuilding" in the NFL. Careers are too short, and the number of guys on your roster today who will still be playing for you in five years is pretty small. Look at the last Pats Super Bowl team (2018), the only guys from that team still on the roster are Slater, Andrews, Trent Brown, Cannon, Ferentz, Wise, McCourty and Bentley (unless I missed someone else).
...
Edit: Hoyer I guess counts too (but not in a good way).
Joe Cardona and Lawrence Guy played in LIII
 

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We can say it "should" but when you actually look at teams that have rebuilt, it is always a much, much longer process.

The Eagles took 5 years to rebuild from their SB winning 2017 team to their current NFC best 2022 team. Five years, not 2-3.

Denver has been rebuilding since 2015, with only one winning season in there (2016). Their hope that Wilson is the answer seems to be a bad gamble, and they're going to be in contract hell with him for a long time still.

Seattle was last good in 2020. Last year they went 7-10. This year, in year 2 of the rebuild, they're 7-5, with Geno Smith as their QB, who is not the long-term answer. They seem to have found lightning in a bottle with him. Next year, when he either turns back into the pumpkin he's always been, or they move on, it'll be starting over at the QB position.

The Dolphins won 10 games in 2016, then have been building ever since, with only one good year since then (10-6 in 2020). They are finally really good, but it took them a long time to get there, not 2-3 years.

The Bengals won 12 games in 2015 and had their first good season with Burrow/Chase/Higgins/Mixon in 2021, a stretch of 6 seasons.

The Panthers have been rebuilding since 2017, when they won 11 games. No more than 7 wins in any season since.

The Falcons were last good in 2017 as well, when they won 10 games. Since then, they haven't won more than 7 in any year.

The Steelers won 12 games two seasons ago in 2020, but since then they won 9 and now are 4-7. Their rebuild looks like it will take more than 2-3 years since they're already in year 2 and they suck.

The Jets' last good season was 2015, when they went 10-6. Since then this is what they've done:

2016 - 5-11
2017 - 5-11
2018 - 4-12
2019 - 7-9
2020 - 2-14
2021 - 4-13
2022 - 7-5

Buffalo...went 11-5 in 1999, and between then and 2019, they won 9 games (never more) just 3 times, and won 6 or fewer 9 out of those 20 years.

I mean, rebuilding is really hard, and it usually takes much, much longer than 2-3 years.
I’m not sure “rebuilding” is the correct word. The Broncos aren’t taking a long time to rebuild; they’re failing to improve. Much like the Jets or Lions.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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We can say it "should" but when you actually look at teams that have rebuilt, it is always a much, much longer process.

The Eagles took 5 years to rebuild from their SB winning 2017 team to their current NFC best 2022 team. Five years, not 2-3.

Denver has been rebuilding since 2015, with only one winning season in there (2016). Their hope that Wilson is the answer seems to be a bad gamble, and they're going to be in contract hell with him for a long time still.

Seattle was last good in 2020. Last year they went 7-10. This year, in year 2 of the rebuild, they're 7-5, with Geno Smith as their QB, who is not the long-term answer. They seem to have found lightning in a bottle with him. Next year, when he either turns back into the pumpkin he's always been, or they move on, it'll be starting over at the QB position.

The Dolphins won 10 games in 2016, then have been building ever since, with only one good year since then (10-6 in 2020). They are finally really good, but it took them a long time to get there, not 2-3 years.

The Bengals won 12 games in 2015 and had their first good season with Burrow/Chase/Higgins/Mixon in 2021, a stretch of 6 seasons.

The Panthers have been rebuilding since 2017, when they won 11 games. No more than 7 wins in any season since.

The Falcons were last good in 2017 as well, when they won 10 games. Since then, they haven't won more than 7 in any year.

The Steelers won 12 games two seasons ago in 2020, but since then they won 9 and now are 4-7. Their rebuild looks like it will take more than 2-3 years since they're already in year 2 and they suck.

The Jets' last good season was 2015, when they went 10-6. Since then this is what they've done:

2016 - 5-11
2017 - 5-11
2018 - 4-12
2019 - 7-9
2020 - 2-14
2021 - 4-13
2022 - 7-5

Buffalo...went 11-5 in 1999, and between then and 2019, they won 9 games (never more) just 3 times, and won 6 or fewer 9 out of those 20 years.

I mean, rebuilding is really hard, and it usually takes much, much longer than 2-3 years.
The timeline for rebuilding is wholly dependent on the Quarterback. In the absence of a top 10 QB then rebuilding can take decades, with the occasional surge for one or two years. You say above that the Eagles took 5 years to rebuild but in 2018 they won a playoff game and only lost the second because a ball bounced off the normally-surehanded Alshon Jeffrey's hands in the final drive on 4th and not long. They also went to the playoffs in 2021 but lost in the first round.

The Pats picking Mac Jones - who I don't believe has the potential to be a top 50% QB on a regular basis - added 2-3 years to a rebuild. They won't win in that division until he is playing in Houston/Chicago/Nashville, etc.
 

Toe Nash

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I’m not sure “rebuilding” is the correct word. The Broncos aren’t taking a long time to rebuild; they’re failing to improve. Much like the Jets or Lions.
Right. And the Patriots are not rebuilding in the traditional sense where you don't care about making the playoffs for a couple years and trade off anyone of value for picks. Even in a year with literally no NFL-caliber QB they signed Cam Newton so they could win 7 games instead of 4.

That's the way BB has chosen to do things and it might extend the "rebuilding" timeline (the amount of time until they have a SB contender) out if he's not right about it.
 

lexrageorge

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The timeline for rebuilding is wholly dependent on the Quarterback. In the absence of a top 10 QB then rebuilding can take decades, with the occasional surge for one or two years. You say above that the Eagles took 5 years to rebuild but in 2018 they won a playoff game and only lost the second because a ball bounced off the normally-surehanded Alshon Jeffrey's hands in the final drive on 4th and not long. They also went to the playoffs in 2021 but lost in the first round.

The Pats picking Mac Jones - who I don't believe has the potential to be a top 50% QB on a regular basis - added 2-3 years to a rebuild. They won't win in that division until he is playing in Houston/Chicago/Nashville, etc.
Obligatory reminder that Mac has outperformed the QB's selected below him, and lacked the capital to move up to pick Fields. Unclear at this time that punting a QB selection forward another year or hoping for an answer via free agency would change the rebuild timeline all that much.
 

BaseballJones

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Obligatory reminder that Mac has outperformed the QB's selected below him, and lacked the capital to move up to pick Fields. Unclear at this time that punting a QB selection forward another year or hoping for an answer via free agency would change the rebuild timeline all that much.
Career Performance - QBs drafted in the 2021 draft

1 (1st) Lawrence: 632-1,018 (62.1%), 6,475 yds, 6.4 y/a, 29 td, 23 int, 80.4 rating, 7-22 record, 7 AV
2 (1st) Wilson: 318-572 (55.6%), 3,613 yds, 6.3 y/a, 13 td, 16 int, 70.7 rating, 8-12 record, 5 AV
3 (1st) Lance: 56-102 (54.9%), 797 yds, 7.8 y/a, 5 td, 3 int, 84.5 rating, 2-2 record, 3 AV
11 (1st) Fields: 315-523 (60.2%), 3,766 yds, 7.2 y/a, 20 td, 20 int, 79.1 rating, 200 rushes, 1,325 yds, 7.1 y/a, 8 td, 5-17 record, 6 AV
15 (1st) Jones: 536-791 (67.8%), 5,764 yds, 7.3 y/a, 29 td, 20 int, 90.6 rating, 14-12 record, 14 AV
64 (2nd) Trask: nothing
66 (3rd) Mond: 3-5 passing, 0 AV
67 (3rd) Mills: 466-722 (64.5%), 4,808 yds, 6.7 y/a, 27 td, 21 int, 84.0 rating, 3-17-1 record, 7 AV
133 (4th) Book: 20 pass attempts, 0 AV
218 (6th) Ehlinger: 52 pass attempts, 0 AV

So not only has Mac outperformed everyone drafted after him, he's outperformed everyone else in this draft class so far. Field's trajectory sure looks a lot better than Mac's right now, and we all agree that Lawrence ought to be the better player. But to this point in all their respective careers, Mac Jones has been the best QB in this draft class.

Best passing stats.
Best W-L record.
Best AV (per pro-football-reference).
 

Toe Nash

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Obligatory reminder that Mac has outperformed the QB's selected below him, and lacked the capital to move up to pick Fields. Unclear at this time that punting a QB selection forward another year or hoping for an answer via free agency would change the rebuild timeline all that much.
Obligatory reminder that they had a mid-level pick because they won a bunch of games with Cam Newton running a gimmick offense when that team would never have a prayer in the playoffs if they had snuck in. This is how BB is, he's never going to really tank, but most teams would have looked at that roster, with not much cap space, and just gone with Cody Kessler or someone for a year while you tried to find talented pieces.

They also were actually pretty lucky (in a way) that Mac fell to them. Carolina didn't really have a QB and picked a CB, the Vikings who had pick 14 traded down with the Jets so presumably someone else could have jumped ahead of them and grabbed Mac if they wanted him. Pretty interesting what-if.
 
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Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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Obligatory reminder that Mac has outperformed the QB's selected below him, and lacked the capital to move up to pick Fields. Unclear at this time that punting a QB selection forward another year or hoping for an answer via free agency would change the rebuild timeline all that much.
"Outperforming the Qbs selected below him" is a nonsense stat put together to make people feel good about themselves. Having a QB who is just good enough to get you to the playoffs and not good enough to win there is NFL hell, and that is his ceiling. The Patriots played the QB selection game badly after having Tom Brady fall into their laps in round 6 and then staying for 20 years.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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Career Performance - QBs drafted in the 2021 draft

1 (1st) Lawrence: 632-1,018 (62.1%), 6,475 yds, 6.4 y/a, 29 td, 23 int, 80.4 rating, 7-22 record, 7 AV
2 (1st) Wilson: 318-572 (55.6%), 3,613 yds, 6.3 y/a, 13 td, 16 int, 70.7 rating, 8-12 record, 5 AV
3 (1st) Lance: 56-102 (54.9%), 797 yds, 7.8 y/a, 5 td, 3 int, 84.5 rating, 2-2 record, 3 AV
11 (1st) Fields: 315-523 (60.2%), 3,766 yds, 7.2 y/a, 20 td, 20 int, 79.1 rating, 200 rushes, 1,325 yds, 7.1 y/a, 8 td, 5-17 record, 6 AV
15 (1st) Jones: 536-791 (67.8%), 5,764 yds, 7.3 y/a, 29 td, 20 int, 90.6 rating, 14-12 record, 14 AV
64 (2nd) Trask: nothing
66 (3rd) Mond: 3-5 passing, 0 AV
67 (3rd) Mills: 466-722 (64.5%), 4,808 yds, 6.7 y/a, 27 td, 21 int, 84.0 rating, 3-17-1 record, 7 AV
133 (4th) Book: 20 pass attempts, 0 AV
218 (6th) Ehlinger: 52 pass attempts, 0 AV

So not only has Mac outperformed everyone drafted after him, he's outperformed everyone else in this draft class so far. Field's trajectory sure looks a lot better than Mac's right now, and we all agree that Lawrence ought to be the better player. But to this point in all their respective careers, Mac Jones has been the best QB in this draft class.

Best passing stats.
Best W-L record.
Best AV (per pro-football-reference).
If Bill Belichick were to call Doug Pederson and offer Jones straight up for Lawrence Doug would either try to get Bill some assistance thinking he was having a stroke, or he would put him on speaker and groupchat in Andy Reid, Harbaugh and the rest of the Reid coaching tree for a laugh.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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"Outperforming the Qbs selected below him" is a nonsense stat put together to make people feel good about themselves. Having a QB who is just good enough to get you to the playoffs and not good enough to win there is NFL hell, and that is his ceiling. The Patriots played the QB selection game badly after having Tom Brady fall into their laps in round 6 and then staying for 20 years.
They really didn't have a choice on Mac though. All the other top QBs in that draft were taken before him. I would have preferred Fields but he was long gone at 15.

Mac has regressed badly this year from last. Whether that's him being exposed, the OL being shit, the playcalling being shit, or sunspots is currently what we're arguing about.
 

PedroKsBambino

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It's reasonable to say Pats had a looooong time to develop a successor and didn't get one.

An equally reasonable response is that Brady stayed so long it made things challenging---Jimmy G is a very good successor relative to historical norms, but ended up not fitting the timeline. Imagine there's still a thread asking the question whether Pats should have made that switch with future in mind rather than relitigating that here.

Getting Jones is better than the successor often ends up being for a great QB. But he is also far from Steve Young or Aaron Rodgers and that is why the Pats are where they are right now to a reasonable degree. It's really hard to get a great QB in the nfl.
 

BaseballJones

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If Bill Belichick were to call Doug Pederson and offer Jones straight up for Lawrence Doug would either try to get Bill some assistance thinking he was having a stroke, or he would put him on speaker and groupchat in Andy Reid, Harbaugh and the rest of the Reid coaching tree for a laugh.
Agreed. But my point is still valid. Mac *HAS* outperformed every other QB in his class so far.
 

lexrageorge

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"Outperforming the Qbs selected below him" is a nonsense stat put together to make people feel good about themselves. Having a QB who is just good enough to get you to the playoffs and not good enough to win there is NFL hell, and that is his ceiling. The Patriots played the QB selection game badly after having Tom Brady fall into their laps in round 6 and then staying for 20 years.
Drafting Garoppolo in the middle rounds was a fine succession plan. If the GM's strategy had a fault, it was going all in on the Brady years in 2018 (last I checked it worked out OK) and 2019 (fell short) as opposed to investing resources in a backup. But every single GM and prospective GM in the league would take that trade off 13 months out of the year; flags fly forever. The team also had 2 draft picks stolen from them, which didn't help.

As @Toe Nash points out, unclear if they should have bothered with Cam in the CoVid season. Maybe their rebuild is accelerated a bit if they had a higher pick. Or, maybe not; that 2021 QB class was supposed to be the best ever if the draftniks were to be believed.
 

BaseballJones

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It's reasonable to say Pats had a looooong time to develop a successor and didn't get one.

An equally reasonable response is that Brady stayed so long it made things challenging---Jimmy G is a very good successor relative to historical norms, but ended up not fitting the timeline. Imagine there's still a thread asking the question whether Pats should have made that switch with future in mind rather than relitigating that here.

Getting Jones is better than the successor often ends up being for a great QB. But he is also far from Steve Young or Aaron Rodgers and that is why the Pats are where they are right now to a reasonable degree. It's really hard to get a great QB in the nfl.
What's fascinating about the Pats' situation is the reality of Tom Brady. I mean...

On the one hand, if he aged like even a semi-normal all-time great, then the succession plan was in place with Jimmy G, and it would have been a very good one. Not from one HOFer to another HOFer, but from a HOFer to a really solid NFL quarterback. It was in place, but Brady just kept playing well even at a ridiculously advanced age for an NFL player. Brady killed this succession plan.

On the other hand, this team would still be better off *right now* with Brady at QB than Mac Jones, so they'd STILL not really have a succession plan in place.
 

lexrageorge

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Agreed. But my point is still valid. Mac *HAS* outperformed every other QB in his class so far.
Trevor Lawrence has had a better season this year than Mac. Fields has as well. But neither were available when the Pats drafted, which some here seem to forget.
 

OurF'ingCity

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"Outperforming the Qbs selected below him" is a nonsense stat put together to make people feel good about themselves. Having a QB who is just good enough to get you to the playoffs and not good enough to win there is NFL hell, and that is his ceiling. The Patriots played the QB selection game badly after having Tom Brady fall into their laps in round 6 and then staying for 20 years.
Is the “QB selection game” really anything more than sheer luck (and timing - the Pats did draft at least one good QB, but the timing was such that they would never have been able to keep him until Brady moved on). Maybe I’m forgetting something but I can’t think of a team in the modern NFL that has shown a consistent ability to evaluate QB prospects better than others.

To the extent there is any skill to the QB evaluation process in the NFL at all, it’s in moving on quickly from a QB that might be okay but is not Super Bowl-caliber.

Weirdly, I actually think the Jets’ approach of just continually cycling through QBs is actually the right one - people make fun of their dismal record over the past years, but if they had decided to stick with Darnold or Geno Smith or whoever and they averaged 9 wins instead of 5 the past few years, would that really be that much better?

I guess it comes down to how much one values something like consistent playoff appearances over a legit shot at a title. If you value the former, the Mac Joneses of the world are fine, but if your goal is the latter, the proper strategy might actually be to quickly move on from “good but not great” QBs like that and just keep entering the QB lottery in the hope that eventually your numbers get called.
 

BaseballJones

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Trevor Lawrence has had a better season this year than Mac. Fields has as well. But neither were available when the Pats drafted, which some here seem to forget.
All this is true. I was just pointing out that so far, 12 games into all their second seasons, Mac has had a better career than any other QB in his draft class, including the four that were taken ahead of him. It's just factually true.

Obviously we'd all think that neither Jax nor Chi would even consider trading Lawrence or Fields for Mac right now. Nor should they. But that wasn't my point.
 

BigJimEd

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What is with the thought the Patriots didn't have the capital to move up for Fields? I've seen it mentioned a few times and not sure if I am missing something. Not saying they necessarily should have, but not seeing why the Patriots couldn't have offered the deal Chicago did..

They also passed on Lamar along with most other teams. The Pats did take several mid round QBs during Brady's career though.
 

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What is with the thought the Patriots didn't have the capital to move up for Fields? I've seen it mentioned a few times and not sure if I am missing something. Not saying they necessarily should have, but not seeing why the Patriots couldn't have offered the deal Chicago did..

They also passed on Lamar along with most other teams. The Pats did take several mid round QBs during Brady's career though.
I supposed they could have offered the deal Chicago did. On the other had a 7-9 team that had a bunch of players retire or decline rapidly shouldn't be giving up assets to move up a few spots in the draft IMO. They need all the picks they possibly can to fill those holes.
 

lexrageorge

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They also passed on Lamar along with most other teams. The Pats did take several mid round QBs during Brady's career though.
Passing on Lamar is one of the ways the team decided to go all in on 2018 and 2019. They had 2 first round picks and selected two areas of need (left tackle and running back). Now, Wynn didn't help them that season, but there was no way to predict that he would pop his Achilles. As for Michel, as much as people want to downgrade his performance after the fact, the reality is that he did contribute some important snaps in the team's Super Bowl victory.

Not spending a first round pick on a QB that wasn't going to play was certainly justifiable given the team's desire to take advantage of the Brady window.
 

BaseballJones

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Belichick has drafted and developed (in the time since Brady took over):

2002 Rohan Davey
2003 Kliff Kingsbury
2005 Matt Cassel - Made a pro bowl, started 81 games in the NFL
2008 Kevin O'Connell
2010 Zac Robinson
2011 Ryan Mallett
2014 Jimmy Garoppolo - Led SF to a Super Bowl, has started 57 games in the NFL
2016 Jacoby Brissett - has started 48 games in the NFL
2018 Danny Etling
2019 Jarret Stidham - current backup in the NFL
2021 Mac Jones - current starter for. the Patriots, made the pro bowl his rookie year
2022 Bailey Zappe - current backup for the Patriots

Brissett has had a nice NFL career. Garoppolo has had a better than nice NFL career. Stidham will probably be a backup for a few more years. Cassel had a nice long career and started a bunch - totally successful draft pick. Mac is the current starter.

Belichick has tried to bring in QBs that could serve as good backups for Brady or be their next starting QB. JG would have been that. Mac is that now though we don't know if BB will move on from him.
 

BaseballJones

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Passing on Lamar is one of the ways the team decided to go all in on 2018 and 2019. They had 2 first round picks and selected two areas of need (left tackle and running back). Now, Wynn didn't help them that season, but there was no way to predict that he would pop his Achilles. As for Michel, as much as people want to downgrade his performance after the fact, the reality is that he did contribute some important snaps in the team's Super Bowl victory.

Not spending a first round pick on a QB that wasn't going to play was certainly justifiable given the team's desire to take advantage of the Brady window.
Right. People would have howled had they spent a 1st round pick on a QB when Brady was still playing at an all-pro level for them at that point. Long-term it may have made sense, but in the moment it wouldn't have.
 

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For all the teeth-gnashing about the pick of Mac, he is a product of his surroundings. It could have been much worse, they could have picked Zach Wilson second, or they could have traded a plethora of picks for the corpse of Russell Wilson. I have to believe that BB knows he has fucked this up this year. He skimped on the o-line, tried to simplify the offense (now, it's eminently predictable), went with Patricia and Judge, and let Josh raid his offensive coaching staff. I am guessing he has a plan B for next year, now his only option is to ride this year out.
 

OurF'ingCity

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What is with the thought the Patriots didn't have the capital to move up for Fields? I've seen it mentioned a few times and not sure if I am missing something. Not saying they necessarily should have, but not seeing why the Patriots couldn't have offered the deal Chicago did..

They also passed on Lamar along with most other teams. The Pats did take several mid round QBs during Brady's career though.
If you really want to second-guess, they could have taken Hurts with their second-round pick in 2020 that they took Dugger with. Dugger’s turned into a pretty good player, but Hurts could have basically given them what Cam did in 2020, and we’ve seen how he’s progressed since then. And had they taken Hurts, they then could have used pick 15 (or whatever it ended up being) in 2021 on some other position, perhaps OL.

Again, one can always play this speculation game but I think this one is more valid because it was when they knew Brady was gone, as opposed to prior years when Brady was still there.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Right. People would have howled had they spent a 1st round pick on a QB when Brady was still playing at an all-pro level for them at that point. Long-term it may have made sense, but in the moment it wouldn't have.
Going back to Yammer's point about making in the playoffs and losing, Lamar has been fantastic in the regular season but only 1-3 in the playoffs with terrible numbers.
 

lexrageorge

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Belichick has drafted and developed (in the time since Brady took over):

2002 Rohan Davey
2003 Kliff Kingsbury
2005 Matt Cassel - Made a pro bowl, started 81 games in the NFL
2008 Kevin O'Connell
2010 Zac Robinson
2011 Ryan Mallett
2014 Jimmy Garoppolo - Led SF to a Super Bowl, has started 57 games in the NFL
2016 Jacoby Brissett - has started 48 games in the NFL
2018 Danny Etling
2019 Jarret Stidham - current backup in the NFL
2021 Mac Jones - current starter for. the Patriots, made the pro bowl his rookie year
2022 Bailey Zappe - current backup for the Patriots

Brissett has had a nice NFL career. Garoppolo has had a better than nice NFL career. Stidham will probably be a backup for a few more years. Cassel had a nice long career and started a bunch - totally successful draft pick. Mac is the current starter.

Belichick has tried to bring in QBs that could serve as good backups for Brady or be their next starting QB. JG would have been that. Mac is that now though we don't know if BB will move on from him.
But Bill screwed up: the one QB drafted after Cassel threw for almost twice as many career yards as Matt.

Most of those picks, except for Garoppolo (ass end of the 2nd round) and Jones were mid-to-late round picks, and several become serviceable backups. Which is the expectation of a mid-round pick.
 

Toe Nash

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Taking another step back, they also just didn't draft or develop young players very well overall from 2015-19 such that the team was really not that good outside of QB and veteran grit by the time Tom left. Maybe if they had a player like Chris Godwin (and anyone in the front 7 who could play defense) along with Edelman, Gronk and whoever else he could convince to sign Tom would have stayed.

Maybe that wouldn't have mattered and Tom was always on his way out, we'll never know, but it always comes back to the draft and we should probably be discussing the last 6+ years of draft returns a bit more, not just the last few. Regardless of whatever Tom decided they would be much better-prepared for the last few years if they had young, cheap, good players at any position.
 

BigJimEd

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Not spending a first round pick on a QB that wasn't going to play was certainly justifiable given the team's desire to take advantage of the Brady window.
Yes, absolutely justified. Didn't really mean to suggest otherwise. I should have added more context.
Just pointing out there were other paths they could have taken. Could but not necessarily should have. There were some fans (not necessarily me) that did want Jackson and were disappointed the Pats didn't grab him when he fell
 

Ralphwiggum

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Mac had a first round grade, there were rumors he might not even make it to 15, and the Pats did not have an NFL caliber QB on the roster. They would have been insane not to make that pick. QBs drafted in the first round bust all of the time, some with much better tools than Mac. If Mac is not the answer that's a perfectly reasonable outcome for a guy drafted in the middle of the first round with some question marks. But, I don't think you can second guess the pick. I guess maybe they could have/should have traded up but it isn't clear to me at this point that any of the guys drafted higher who the Pats reasonably could have moved up to get would have been worth the draft capital.

I still think Lawrence ends up being a good NFL QB but the Pats couldn't have had him to begin with. Everyone else drafted ahead of Mac, meh.
 

tims4wins

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Mac had a first round grade, there were rumors he might not even make it to 15, and the Pats did not have an NFL caliber QB on the roster. They would have been insane not to make that pick. QBs drafted in the first round bust all of the time, some with much better tools than Mac. If Mac is not the answer that's a perfectly reasonable outcome for a guy drafted in the middle of the first round with some question marks. But, I don't think you can second guess the pick. I guess maybe they could have/should have traded up but it isn't clear to me at this point that any of the guys drafted higher who the Pats reasonably could have moved up to get would have been worth the draft capital.

I still think Lawrence ends up being a good NFL QB but the Pats couldn't have had him to begin with. Everyone else drafted ahead of Mac, meh.
Absolutely, 100%. The key was that the Pats didn't trade up and have to invest additional draft capital to get him. When you trade up and give up future first rounders, that's when you get screwed if they bust. Worst case outcome here from Mac is they get a few years of meh QB play at small $. Hardly some sort of franchise-crippling move, even if it does mean that they won't compete for a championship during that window.
 

8slim

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I don't think there really is any such thing as "rebuilding" in the NFL. Careers are too short, and the number of guys on your roster today who will still be playing for you in five years is pretty small. Look at the last Pats Super Bowl team (2018), the only guys from that team still on the roster are Slater, Andrews, Trent Brown, Cannon, Ferentz, Wise, McCourty and Bentley (unless I missed someone else). The idea that you are drafting or signing guys in 2022 who you think will help you win a Super Bowl in 2027 makes no sense.

The Pats broke everyone by sustaining their success as long as they did. You just aren't supposed to do that in the NFL. You hope you hit on a QB who is good enough for you to win with, and then build the best roster around him that you can and hope you strike gold. If you are lucky enough to have a guy like Mahomes you have a chance for a sustained number of seasons contending for a title. If you aren't lucky enough to have one of the top 5 QBs in the game you are more likely to flash and fade depending on the quality of the rest of the roster, injuries, etc.

The biggest problem the Pats have right now is their QB has not shown he's good enough to win. 10 wins in his rookie season was great. Regression in year 2 most likely means the Pats are in purgatory along with all of the other teams whose QB is not good enough.

Edit: Hoyer I guess counts too (but not in a good way).
I largely agree with this take on "rebuilding". The NFL ain't college, where a coach typically needs the 3-4 years of a recruiting cycle to really get his program fully in place. I think it's reasonable for a team to bottom out in year 1 of a "rebuild", by design. But from there forward we should see visible progress and some degree of on-field results.

What's frustrating is that I think we did see just that from 2020 to 2021, but this year has seen regression all over the place, from the staff to nearly every offensive unit. The D seems like its coming along much better, IMHO. And I don't expect much from a D in the current NFL aside from the ability to stop good offenses a handful of times each game.

Bill's comments today lead me to think that he's realizing the Patricia/Judge experiment has failed. For the life of me I don't know why he did it to begin with. But hopefully they're both canned, or re-assigned, the day after the regular season ends, and we bring on an actual OC, with real OL and QB coaches as well. Then get to work at overhauling the OL.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Absolutely, 100%. The key was that the Pats didn't trade up and have to invest additional draft capital to get him. When you trade up and give up future first rounders, that's when you get screwed if they bust. Worst case outcome here from Mac is they get a few years of meh QB play at small $. Hardly some sort of franchise-crippling move, even if it does mean that they won't compete for a championship during that window.
Exactly. I think the only scenario where they should not have picked Mac at 15 is if BB was absolutely sure Mac was not going to pan out. And obviously had that been the case they wouldn't have picked him.

I know we are all draft geniuses and everyone knew Mac was going to suck, but BB obviously didn't share that view. I'm sure he knew Mac would have growing pains and need some development, after all he wouldn't have been there at 15 if he was closer to a sure thing, but there's no way BB is using the highest first round pick he has had in a decade on a guy who he is sure can't play.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Mac had a first round grade, there were rumors he might not even make it to 15, and the Pats did not have an NFL caliber QB on the roster. They would have been insane not to make that pick. QBs drafted in the first round bust all of the time, some with much better tools than Mac. If Mac is not the answer that's a perfectly reasonable outcome for a guy drafted in the middle of the first round with some question marks. But, I don't think you can second guess the pick. I guess maybe they could have/should have traded up but it isn't clear to me at this point that any of the guys drafted higher who the Pats reasonably could have moved up to get would have been worth the draft capital.

I still think Lawrence ends up being a good NFL QB but the Pats couldn't have had him to begin with. Everyone else drafted ahead of Mac, meh.
I totally agree with this. I wanted them to trade up for Fields because I thought he'd flourish in a stable system like the Patriots with a great OC. I fully recognize now, though, that trading up probably wasn't the best idea and seeing everything that has happened since in this organization, maybe I was wrong on the "stable system" as well.

I do think that Fields would have had a big year last year with the OL and Josh though.
 

8slim

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I'd still really like to see Mac have a functional OL and an actual OC before we decide that he can't at least be a league-average starter.
 

luckiestman

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What even is a successful rebuild? The Jets, for example, have done a good job since Douglas was hired as GM and they stand one game above the Pats right now. We have some people saying making the playoffs without a chance to win the SB is hell, but I don’t feel like the Ravens/Titans have been in hell.

What’s the last tank job that worked in the NFL? Seems like culture building is too hard. Browns tried it. They got to the divisional round but they fired the guys that tanked and brought in Stefanski. So if that is success, it wasn’t for the guy that tanked.

The Jets were finally somewhat successful because the coach was trying to win last year and GM didn’t give him defensive players to win with. Plus they got lucky with Seattle and Panthers trade. So it still took luck and by the way, this isn’t a done deal with them, they might be a .500 team.

So how can Belichick as GM sabotage himself as coach. That is a lot to ask a man to do on a rebuild. I think he is still an excellent coach, not merely good, excellent. But people think that means the team should somehow be as good as when they had Tom Brady or on a trajectory to get there. That’s not realistic. If that was possible, then how the fuck could Brady be the best player that ever lived at the most important position? That has to matter.
 

sezwho

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We can say it "should" but when you actually look at teams that have rebuilt, it is always a much, much longer process.

The Eagles took 5 years to rebuild from their SB winning 2017 team to their current NFC best 2022 team. Five years, not 2-3.

Denver has been rebuilding since 2015, with only one winning season in there (2016). Their hope that Wilson is the answer seems to be a bad gamble, and they're going to be in contract hell with him for a long time still.
....

I mean, rebuilding is really hard, and it usually takes much, much longer than 2-3 years.
Agree rebuilding is really hard but, like Ralph and Slim stated, it gets at the question of what's actually being rebuilt. I'm not sure the talent is much worse that what BB typically brings to bear, outside Brady of course. The D is ok but could use a CB and LB, like almost every team every every year. On offense, O-line aside, this is what Bill wanted: decent enough talent at every skill position that coaching could theoretically exploit whatever a D's weakness might be.

What Bill is actually rebuilding this season is his coaching. Hopefully that’s what changes (edit-meaning gets better not fired, Bill made these choices for long haul) because they seem ‘average-ly’ coached at best in terms self inflicted wounds like penalties, sacks, wasted timeouts, etc. That shouldn’t need rebuilding. Maybe if Mac can’t survive the transition he wasn’t the right guy anyway?
 
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Helmet Head

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What even is a successful rebuild? The Jets, for example, have done a good job We have some people saying making the playoffs without a chance to win the SB is hell, but I don’t feel like the Ravens/Titans have been in hell.
I wouldn’t say the Ravens / Titans are in hell but also wouldn’t be really be overly excited to be fans of them. They both have 1 outstanding offensive talent and nothing else on that side of the ball. That would frustrating as hell and feel like a complete waste of a great player. Both will probably be 1 and done in playoffs and what’s the future there? Especially with Burrow, Allen and Mahomes over the next decade. The AFC is going to be a tractor pull and feel like it’s going to be very hard to break through in the coming years.
 

ShaneTrot

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What even is a successful rebuild? The Jets, for example, have done a good job since Douglas was hired as GM and they stand one game above the Pats right now. We have some people saying making the playoffs without a chance to win the SB is hell, but I don’t feel like the Ravens/Titans have been in hell.
Do you know what makes a rebuild easier, sucking hard? The Jets had 17 wins from 2018-2021. They have had chances to draft players the Pats can only dream about, and, of course, in Jetsian-fashion they screwed the high QB picks in 2018 and 2021..
 

BaseballJones

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I totally agree with this. I wanted them to trade up for Fields because I thought he'd flourish in a stable system like the Patriots with a great OC. I fully recognize now, though, that trading up probably wasn't the best idea and seeing everything that has happened since in this organization, maybe I was wrong on the "stable system" as well.

I do think that Fields would have had a big year last year with the OL and Josh though.
Just curious for those in the know.... Fields' throwing mechanics looked awful coming out of college. Didn't mean he couldn't pass the ball, but we all saw photos and video of his throwing motion and holy god it was ugly. So what changed?

Ok, so I asked myself this and found this article:

https://www.windycitygridiron.com/2022/5/29/23146592/how-justin-fields-mechanics-have-changed-part-1-elbow-hitch-quarterback-mechanics-nfl-bears-chicago

So he's made some significant mechanical changes that have really helped him out throwing. And, of course, Chicago is really opening up his running game, with so many more designed runs (as opposed to scrambles).

First 6 games: 63-115 (54.8%), 869 yds, 7.6 y/a, 4 td, 5 int, 72.7 rating, 54 rushes, 282 yds, 5.2 y/a, 1 td
Last 6 games: 93-138 (67.4%), 1,027 yds, 7.4 y/a, 9 td, 5 int, 95.9 rating, 74 rushes, 623 yds, 8.4 y/a, 7 td

Like a totally different quarterback these last 6 games.
 

luckiestman

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Do you know what makes a rebuild easier, sucking hard? The Jets had 17 wins from 2018-2021. They have had chances to draft players the Pats can only dream about, and, of course, in Jetsian-fashion they screwed the high QB picks in 2018 and 2021..
What is the evidence for this? Dolphins Bengals?
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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They really didn't have a choice on Mac though. All the other top QBs in that draft were taken before him. I would have preferred Fields but he was long gone at 15.

Mac has regressed badly this year from last. Whether that's him being exposed, the OL being shit, the playcalling being shit, or sunspots is currently what we're arguing about.
I just don’t think that the Patriots needed to draft a QB in 2021 if Mac Jones was the only choice. Drop back, collect more assets and hold off for 2022, or a FA, or whatever.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I'd still really like to see Mac have a functional OL and an actual OC before we decide that he can't at least be a league-average starter.
Yes, for the record, I am not saying Mac is a bust. I have my doubts about him as a player, but I'm not there yet and as you note there are other factors at play. What I was saying was that if he is a bust that's a perfectly reasonable outcome for a guy drafted at 15 and not evidence that the pick was blown or whatever.