Patriots' Priorities for the 2023 Season

Saints Rest

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I appreciate changing the subject to push the discussion more towards on-field needs.

I think everyone is in agreement that the Pats need help on the offensive (where both meanings of the word apply) line, potentially needing new starters at both tackles, and maybe even at center (I'm not sure where the Andrews retiring speculation is coming from). At the very least, they will likely need to find a backup center to replace Ferentz. This likely means a lot of draft capital, but possibly a free agent move.

A WR1 seems to be a want that is pretty high on many people's wish list (but maybe not everyone's). What's better here: a vet (Hopkins anyone? Schuster?) or another spin of the (Russian?) roulette wheel with a high draft pick?

Similar split opinion on the need for a CB1. My sense is they roll with what they have, ideally with a re-signed Jon Jones.

How about TE? A lot of dead money to dump either guy, but a lot of cap savings potentially as well. But how are they replaced?

DMC seems almost certainly to be retiring, so a new safety to roam centerfield will likely be needed. Maybe that person is already on the roster with another CB who moves to safety (Jon Jones? Mills?) but the rest of the very deep safety core seem to be all SS types.

Punter and kicker will likely need to be addressed. Can Bailey return to BB's good graces and his previous all-star level? Does Folk have another year in him if he doesn't have to kick off?

I'd like to see a mid-round flier on a DT who can provide some depth behind Guy and Godchaux, both of whom could be cap fodder, I think.
 

Mooch

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I mentioned him earlier this season on another thread. He’d be a strong get.
 

BigJimEd

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Not opposed to Robinson but not seeing much to get excited about either. At least for OC.
Always tough to tell effect with assistants but he doesn't have a ton of experience and not seeing much difference in Goff or Stafford's numbers to suggest anything. Obviously down year for Rams' passing game but had Mayfield, Wolford, etc. starting half the games so can't really fault coaching there.
Possibility to be Rams OC if McVay does stay.
 

j44thor

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Not to change the subject, but I am looking forward to Matt Groh's second draft. His first one was certainly sensational.
Sensational? I'd say the grade on the 22 is incomplete at best, 2021 even if Mac fails is still likely to be a much better draft.
1st. Strange seems like a slight reach but showed enough to barely warrant a late 1st rd pick.
2nd Thornton was a significant trade up and massive reach. I don't buy for a second the smoke that PIT was going to take him, perhaps KC would have but regardless he was widely considered a reach and I think the pundits are right on this one. Pickens and Pierce would have been better picks.
3rd Marcus Jones - potential elite ST returner, serviceable CB with obvious limitations, perfectly fine 3rd rd pick with some upside.
4th - Jack Jones - fell for obvious reasons, elite when on the field but is he long for the team? Probably the make or break selection from this draft. If he hits and contributes for 3+yrs this draft looks a lot better than if he "flunks" out.
4th Zappe fine, a cheap back up QB is always good to have for cap reasons. Doubt he is a long term answer but serviceable back up.
4th Pierre Strong - another reach at arguably their deepest position and inarguably the easiest position to plug in. I would have much rather seen them take another OL here or perhaps a TE, while I admit to knowing nothing about Likely or Chig Okonkwo at the time both look like they will be significant NFL contributors and both went shortly after Strong.
No 5th due to Thornton trade up
High 6th Kevin Harris - again using capital at a position of little need.

edit - I did forget that they traded a late 3rd for a 4th and 23 3rd with CAR which will be 74th which might be their best "pick" of the draft.

I think the draft only becomes "sensational" if Jack Jones hits his potential and either the CAR 3rd becomes an important pick/trade asset or Thornton somehow becomes a legit #2 WR.
 

Bowhemian

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Sensational? I'd say the grade on the 22 is incomplete at best, 2021 even if Mac fails is still likely to be a much better draft.
1st. Strange seems like a slight reach but showed enough to barely warrant a late 1st rd pick.
2nd Thornton was a significant trade up and massive reach. I don't buy for a second the smoke that PIT was going to take him, perhaps KC would have but regardless he was widely considered a reach and I think the pundits are right on this one. Pickens and Pierce would have been better picks.
3rd Marcus Jones - potential elite ST returner, serviceable CB with obvious limitations, perfectly fine 3rd rd pick with some upside.
4th - Jack Jones - fell for obvious reasons, elite when on the field but is he long for the team? Probably the make or break selection from this draft. If he hits and contributes for 3+yrs this draft looks a lot better than if he "flunks" out.
4th Zappe fine, a cheap back up QB is always good to have for cap reasons. Doubt he is a long term answer but serviceable back up.
4th Pierre Strong - another reach at arguably their deepest position and inarguably the easiest position to plug in. I would have much rather seen them take another OL here or perhaps a TE, while I admit to knowing nothing about Likely or Chig Okonkwo at the time both look like they will be significant NFL contributors and both went shortly after Strong.
No 5th due to Thornton trade up
High 6th Kevin Harris - again using capital at a position of little need.

edit - I did forget that they traded a late 3rd for a 4th and 23 3rd with CAR which will be 74th which might be their best "pick" of the draft.

I think the draft only becomes "sensational" if Jack Jones hits his potential and either the CAR 3rd becomes an important pick/trade asset or Thornton somehow becomes a legit #2 WR.
I think you are underselling the 2022 draftees. First of all, at the time it may have seemed that RB was a deep position but that was certainly not the case throughout the season. They lost multiple RBs to injury, and at one point Rham was the only RB on the sidelines. I would also argue against your statement that RB is the easiest position to plug in. I just don't think that is accurate. It may seem like a position that is "get ball, run ball" but there are a ton of nuances that make it more difficult.
I would also argue that Marcus Jones was more than a serviceable CB with upside-he has a ton of upside. He was a HUGE part of this season.
 

lexrageorge

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It's obviously premature to make any final conclusions on the 2023 draft. In the past we've seen promising rookies regress and other players make a substantial leap from their rookie seasons. The draft looks really good because of the Marcus and Jack Jones selections in the middle rounds, as hitting on those 3/4 picks can really pay off.

But we still need to see how the Jack Jones situation plays out long term. Strange is a candidate to make a leap in year 2. Thornton's untimely injury certainly set him back, but the jury is definitely out if he can make an impact at a position of real need for this team.
 

Red Averages

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I think you are underselling the 2022 draftees. First of all, at the time it may have seemed that RB was a deep position but that was certainly not the case throughout the season. They lost multiple RBs to injury, and at one point Rham was the only RB on the sidelines. I would also argue against your statement that RB is the easiest position to plug in. I just don't think that is accurate. It may seem like a position that is "get ball, run ball" but there are a ton of nuances that make it more difficult.
I would also argue that Marcus Jones was more than a serviceable CB with upside-he has a ton of upside. He was a HUGE part of this season.
I also think we need to factor in the salary cap. There is a potential the Patriots RBs in 2023 are Stevenson, Strong, Harris. Maybe they add a dedicated pass catcher if they don't think this group can handle that, but that is a VERY cheap position allotment. For example, Chase Edmonds is a fairly pedestrian back, but was brought in as a starter for Miami to start the year, since traded. But his cap hit was $6mm. Moestart was another $2mm, for a total of 8, add in aother minimum guy for $1mm and you get to 9mm. The 3 Patriots I mentioned are a total of about 2.7mm. That's an extra 5.3mm to be used elsewhere and I'd argue a more talented RB corp at NE. That stuff adds up a ton, and can be the difference between a Kendrick Bourne and a D Hopkins from a salary cap perspective.

So you can argue this is needlessly adding to a RB position. Or, with, a longer term outlook you might say the team thinks they can have a quality depth chart with massive savings at this position.
 
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Saints Rest

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I also think we need to factor in the salary cap. There is a potential the Patriots RBs in 2023 are Stevenson, Strong, Harris. Maybe they add a dedicated pass catcher if they don't think this group can handle that, but that is a VERY cheap position allotment. For example, Chase Edmonds is a fairly pedestrian back, but was brought in as a starter for Miami to start the year, since traded. But his cap hit was $6mm. Moestart was another $2mm, for a total of 8, add in aother minimum guy for $1mm and you get to 9mm. The 3 Patriots I mentioned are a total of about 2.7mm. That's an extra 5.3mm to be used elsewhere and I'd argue a more talented RB corp at NE. That stuff adds up a ton, and can be the difference between a Kendrick Bourne and a D Hopkins from a salary cap perspective.

So you can argue this is needlessly adding to a RB position. Or, with, a longer term outlook you might say the team thinks they can have a quality depth chart with massive savings at this position.
Don't forget Ty Montgomery. He's signed at a $1.9M cap hit (if he plays the season) for 2023, but only $150k in dead money if cut.
 

Shelterdog

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Given the plethora of draft picks a low key area to improve the team could be punter/place kicker. Not sure about the Bailey situation and if he's back to his old self, great, and Folk is reliable on short kicks, but we should be able to get faily cheap a field goal kicker who can consistently kick touchbacks and a better punter than we had last year
 

Red Averages

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Don't forget Ty Montgomery. He's signed at a $1.9M cap hit (if he plays the season) for 2023, but only $150k in dead money if cut.
Yes, fair. But also kind of the point. If the team thinks they can replace a $2mm player with one for $800k and get relatively similar output that's an excellent use of a mid/late round pick. Cheap depth/specialty roles can open up for more spending on areas harder to fill. Now unfortunately the Patriots tried that and flopped with spending so much on a TE group that massively underperformed their salary allotment, but it's a good strategy and should be factored in.
 

lexrageorge

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Given the plethora of draft picks a low key area to improve the team could be punter/place kicker. Not sure about the Bailey situation and if he's back to his old self, great, and Folk is reliable on short kicks, but we should be able to get faily cheap a field goal kicker who can consistently kick touchbacks and a better punter than we had last year
I fully expect that the Pats will at least bring in credible training camp competition at both positions. Hopefully they can get Bailey on an offseason program to fix whatever ailed him this season, but who really knows how broken the relationship between the team and Bailey is right now. I wouldn't be completely surprised to see the Pats draft a placekicker in one of the later rounds (5th or later).
 

j44thor

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I also think we need to factor in the salary cap. There is a potential the Patriots RBs in 2023 are Stevenson, Strong, Harris. Maybe they add a dedicated pass catcher if they don't think this group can handle that, but that is a VERY cheap position allotment. For example, Chase Edmonds is a fairly pedestrian back, but was brought in as a starter for Miami to start the year, since traded. But his cap hit was $6mm. Moestart was another $2mm, for a total of 8, add in aother minimum guy for $1mm and you get to 9mm. The 3 Patriots I mentioned are a total of about 2.7mm. That's an extra 5.3mm to be used elsewhere and I'd argue a more talented RB corp at NE. That stuff adds up a ton, and can be the difference between a Kendrick Bourne and a D Hopkins from a salary cap perspective.

So you can argue this is needlessly adding to a RB position. Or, with, a longer term outlook you might say the team thinks they can have a quality depth chart with massive savings at this position.
I agree with keeping the RB cap expenditure low, I just don't think last year was the year to invest 2 picks in the position given the relative depth they had vs. other positions, especially OL. Now they did draft some OL depth very late in the draft but they got the expected results. I would have much rather seen them gone another direction in the 4th round in a historically bad, though perhaps not as bad as most experts graded it, RB class and instead used a 3rd or 4th in this years RB class which is loaded with day 2/3 prospects. They could have used JJ Taylor in the in case of emergency break glass role last year, they just signed him to another futures contract, and restocked the RB position this season.
 

Jinhocho

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Sensational? I'd say the grade on the 22 is incomplete at best, 2021 even if Mac fails is still likely to be a much better draft.
1st. Strange seems like a slight reach but showed enough to barely warrant a late 1st rd pick.
2nd Thornton was a significant trade up and massive reach. I don't buy for a second the smoke that PIT was going to take him, perhaps KC would have but regardless he was widely considered a reach and I think the pundits are right on this one. Pickens and Pierce would have been better picks.
3rd Marcus Jones - potential elite ST returner, serviceable CB with obvious limitations, perfectly fine 3rd rd pick with some upside.
4th - Jack Jones - fell for obvious reasons, elite when on the field but is he long for the team? Probably the make or break selection from this draft. If he hits and contributes for 3+yrs this draft looks a lot better than if he "flunks" out.
4th Zappe fine, a cheap back up QB is always good to have for cap reasons. Doubt he is a long term answer but serviceable back up.
4th Pierre Strong - another reach at arguably their deepest position and inarguably the easiest position to plug in. I would have much rather seen them take another OL here or perhaps a TE, while I admit to knowing nothing about Likely or Chig Okonkwo at the time both look like they will be significant NFL contributors and both went shortly after Strong.
No 5th due to Thornton trade up
High 6th Kevin Harris - again using capital at a position of little need.

edit - I did forget that they traded a late 3rd for a 4th and 23 3rd with CAR which will be 74th which might be their best "pick" of the draft.

I think the draft only becomes "sensational" if Jack Jones hits his potential and either the CAR 3rd becomes an important pick/trade asset or Thornton somehow becomes a legit #2 WR.
How do you say little need for rb? Damien Harris is gone most likely and they just drafted rb 2 and 3 on the roster heading into next year. Either Montgomery or another pass catching back will round out the room.
 

Patsfan1983

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Sensational? I'd say the grade on the 22 is incomplete at best, 2021 even if Mac fails is still likely to be a much better draft.
1st. Strange seems like a slight reach but showed enough to barely warrant a late 1st rd pick.
2nd Thornton was a significant trade up and massive reach. I don't buy for a second the smoke that PIT was going to take him, perhaps KC would have but regardless he was widely considered a reach and I think the pundits are right on this one. Pickens and Pierce would have been better picks.
3rd Marcus Jones - potential elite ST returner, serviceable CB with obvious limitations, perfectly fine 3rd rd pick with some upside.
4th - Jack Jones - fell for obvious reasons, elite when on the field but is he long for the team? Probably the make or break selection from this draft. If he hits and contributes for 3+yrs this draft looks a lot better than if he "flunks" out.
4th Zappe fine, a cheap back up QB is always good to have for cap reasons. Doubt he is a long term answer but serviceable back up.
4th Pierre Strong - another reach at arguably their deepest position and inarguably the easiest position to plug in. I would have much rather seen them take another OL here or perhaps a TE, while I admit to knowing nothing about Likely or Chig Okonkwo at the time both look like they will be significant NFL contributors and both went shortly after Strong.
No 5th due to Thornton trade up
High 6th Kevin Harris - again using capital at a position of little need.

edit - I did forget that they traded a late 3rd for a 4th and 23 3rd with CAR which will be 74th which might be their best "pick" of the draft.

I think the draft only becomes "sensational" if Jack Jones hits his potential and either the CAR 3rd becomes an important pick/trade asset or Thornton somehow becomes a legit #2 WR.
This might be the most pessimistic review of the draft i have seen. Several draft pundits claimed Strong was a steal in the 4th with elite speed. Because he played a limited role in year one, how many backs completely redshirted their first year here? Damien Harris, James White, Shane Vereen.
 

HomeRunBaker

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What I saw from the TV set were below average receivers and tight ends unable to get open, below average offensive linemen getting beat by their defensive counterparts, and a young QB struggling with consistency in multiple areas. Maybe it was coaching; maybe it was talent; probably was a little bit of both.
This first part is where I’ve been all season and it’s been insufferable reading casuals (not here, I mean idiot casuals) blaming Patricia and/or Mac week in and week out without recognizing that neither has had options down the field. At no point during the year did Mac have a reliable go-to guy who he could rely on to get separation. Not only did this make both the OC and QB look bad but the OL as well. So what did Patricia do? He got the ball out of Mac’s hands on screens and swing passes…..then he’s criticized for not turning Mac loose when turning him loose would likely get him killed with his lack of mobility (which is certainly an issue with his skillset).
 

Shelterdog

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I fully expect that the Pats will at least bring in credible training camp competition at both positions. Hopefully they can get Bailey on an offseason program to fix whatever ailed him this season, but who really knows how broken the relationship between the team and Bailey is right now. I wouldn't be completely surprised to see the Pats draft a placekicker in one of the later rounds (5th or later).
I'm not too worried about the relationship -- either he can kick like he used to in which case the relationship will be fine (there are 32 job openings in the world for what Bailey does so he ultimately can't be that picky), or he can't kick like that any more in which case he needs to be replaced or you don't know in which case you have to take a judgment call on whether it's worth moving on or not. What none of us really know is whether he sucked because of an injury or because he got the yips or because of something else.

Can't find any highly touted left footed punters but one top prospect is at Rutgers....
 

ShaneTrot

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It's amazing how well BB did with the defensive players he picked up in the 2021 free agent class, Judon enough said, Godchaux solid contributor, Mills has been decent when healthy, only Anderson did not contribute and he was injured early on. The offensive side was mostly a bust, Agholor and Smith were/have been virtually useless, Bourne was great in 2021 and an enigma in 2022, and Henry contributes in the passing game but he cannot block worth a lick. I wonder what will happen this year, they have a lot of cap space.59966
 

bakahump

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We need an elite and a Very good Pass catcher. Or 2 Very Good and a Good Pass catcher. And they need to compliment each other (outside/inside).
Too often a "mediocre" (at best....) line was asked to pass block for 4+ seconds.
Too often Mac Jones had to hold the ball and was sacked.
Too often Jones didnt have anyone open in 2.5 seconds.

We talk about the halcyon days of Brady. He didnt get the Ball out in 2 second (only) because he was a great QB who could read the D. He got the ball out in 2 seconds because Branch, Welker,Amendola,Edelmen etc etc all were able to get open on the first step or 2.

Jones has not had that.

The Line and QB look alot better if we could find a couple guys who could win off the release.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Ok I’ll throw a name out there. Call it a hot take or whatever but….

* This player is a FA & we have the cap space.
* He isn’t likely to return to his current team.
* Belichick had a long pre-draft interview and left calling him very interesting.
* This player fits into the Belichick system of clock control & keeping D off the field.
* Belichick & this player have shown a tremendous amount of respect for each other over the years.
* This player is

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Lamar Jackson
 

RedOctober3829

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Ok I’ll throw a name out there. Call it a hot take or whatever but….

* This player is a FA & we have the cap space.
* He isn’t likely to return to his current team.
* Belichick had a long pre-draft interview and left calling him very interesting.
* This player fits into the Belichick system of clock control & keeping D off the field.
* Belichick & this player have shown a tremendous amount of respect for each other over the years.
* This player is

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Lamar Jackson
You're forgetting the fact that the Ravens can just place the franchise tag on him which they will do if they can't agree to a new deal.
 

Bowhemian

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Ok I’ll throw a name out there. Call it a hot take or whatever but….

* This player is a FA & we have the cap space.
* He isn’t likely to return to his current team.
* Belichick had a long pre-draft interview and left calling him very interesting.
* This player fits into the Belichick system of clock control & keeping D off the field.
* Belichick & this player have shown a tremendous amount of respect for each other over the years.
* This player is

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Lamar Jackson
He is going to command a TON of $$$$$$$$$ and eat up a big chunk of the cap. Pass
 

Justthetippett

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You're forgetting the fact that the Ravens can just place the franchise tag on him which they will do if they can't agree to a new deal.
If they can’t work out a long term deal, they could franchise him and still trade him. If they use the non-exclusive tag, Jackson could shop his services and if Baltimore doesn’t match, they get the two first rounders. Seems really unlikely to me that they won’t find a way to work things out (and also very unlikely that they would trade with the Pats), but stranger things have happened I guess.
 

rodderick

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He is going to command a TON of $$$$$$$$$ and eat up a big chunk of the cap. Pass
Mac Jones commands no money and eats up none of the cap and the team isn't all that talented, as, like Bill alluded to, they haven't really gone all out in spending to build a wrecking ball of a roster with all the cash they're saving at the most expensive position in the sport. I just refuse to believe they couldn't put together a 2022 Patriots level roster with Lamar under contract. I wouldn't go that way solely because of his injury issues, just not a guy I can count on to last a full season, but were it not for that I'd drive the Brinks truck to his house myself.
 

j44thor

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Lamar is a generational talent but the problem with him, as BAL has proven the last two seasons, is you need to run a unique offense to take advantage of his skills and inevitably when he gets hurt there is no one that can replicate 50% of what he does.
 

BaseballJones

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This might be the most pessimistic review of the draft i have seen. Several draft pundits claimed Strong was a steal in the 4th with elite speed. Because he played a limited role in year one, how many backs completely redshirted their first year here? Damien Harris, James White, Shane Vereen.
I'm saying it right now: Pierre Strong is going to get a lot of snaps next year as the #2 running back, and he's going to bust some big plays. He has game-breaking potential.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTV7-vMTbsk


Just one game, and just a few touches, but you see the shiftiness, elusiveness, and the blazing speed this guy has. The main backfield duo will be Rhamondre as the workhorse and Strong as the #2 RB that makes a bunch of big-time plays for them. Kevin Harris probably slots in as the #3 RB, and then they will have Montgomery or another guy as the #4.
 

Shelterdog

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Moreover, his style of play is far more conducive to injury. I want nothing to do with big money thrown his way for huge injury risks.
A reason I'm more sanguine than many on this board about the Pats' future is that running threats at QB (like Jackson and Allen) do not remain running threats at QB forever. Lamar Jackson won't be the same player in three years, Allen won't be leading his team in rushing in three years, Mahomes won't be scrambling as much or for as long, etc. [Allen and Mahomes and Herbert should all be very very good for a long time, just they won't be anywhere near the running threat they currently are].
 

FL4WL3SS

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A reason I'm more sanguine than many on this board about the Pats' future is that running threats at QB (like Jackson and Allen) do not remain running threats at QB forever. Lamar Jackson won't be the same player in three years, Allen won't be leading his team in rushing in three years, Mahomes won't be scrambling as much or for as long, etc. [Allen and Mahomes and Herbert should all be very very good for a long time, just they won't be anywhere near the running threat they currently are].
This is such a great point and is often overlooked. The value of a guy like Lamar is highest right out of college until about 30. If he doesn't learn how to be a pocket passer into his 30s, that'll be it.
 

BaseballJones

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Lamar's last 3 seasons, passing:

63.7%, 7.3 y/a, 59 td, 29 int, 92.5 rating

That's not great, but it's not terrible. He's not a bad passer. The main value he brings is with his legs, obviously. Last 3 seasons, rushing:

404 att, 2,536 yds, 6.3 y/a, 12 td

That's enormous production from a QB running the ball. But as that slows down, will he be able to make up for it in his passing? I'd say no, and furthermore, I'd say that as he slows down in his own rushing, defenses will not need to account for him as much, which means they're less likely to shade to him on the RPOs, which means less running room for the RBs. I still think he'd be good enough at running that he could scramble for yards and occasionally be called on for a running play, and defenses would still have to respect it, but he'd be nowhere near the threat he is now.
 

Saints Rest

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Lamar's last 3 seasons, passing:

63.7%, 7.3 y/a, 59 td, 29 int, 92.5 rating

That's not great, but it's not terrible. He's not a bad passer. The main value he brings is with his legs, obviously. Last 3 seasons, rushing:

404 att, 2,536 yds, 6.3 y/a, 12 td

That's enormous production from a QB running the ball. But as that slows down, will he be able to make up for it in his passing? I'd say no, and furthermore, I'd say that as he slows down in his own rushing, defenses will not need to account for him as much, which means they're less likely to shade to him on the RPOs, which means less running room for the RBs. I still think he'd be good enough at running that he could scramble for yards and occasionally be called on for a running play, and defenses would still have to respect it, but he'd be nowhere near the threat he is now.
I saw that guy in 2020 wearing #1 for the Patriots. No thanks.
 

RedOctober3829

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Tom Curran reporting that Robert and Bill have met and the fallout is below. Not needing persuading for changes to the offensive staff is the key line for me. That, to me, is an acknowledgment that putting Patricia and Judge in the positions he did was a failure. I honestly was not sure if he'd feel that way.

THE MEETING, I am told, has happened. There is no impasse. The Patriots are on to 2023 with Belichick acknowledging 2022 wasn’t ideal and being amenable to changes.
Don’t expect a dog-and-pony show announcing firings or who’s coming in for an interview. Belichick isn’t going to put anyone’s head on a spike for the pleasure of the masses. But my understanding is offensive coaching reassignments are going to happen and several offensive coaches are under consideration for the Patriots' 2023 staff.
One important facet of the meeting: Did Belichick need persuading to change course on offense or did he go in knowing changes were necessary? My understanding is that no persuading on the part of Kraft was necessary.
Who comes in to fix the offense? What’s the title? When does he start? Again, presume that Belichick will slow-play any and all announcements. He’s probably not giving anyone the satisfaction of knowing a change was made.
But unless there’s a change of heart, changes are coming.

https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/patriots/robert-kraft-bill-belichick-meeting-has-taken-place-and-changes-are-expected?cid=sm_npd_rsn_bos_twt_mn[/quote]
 

BaseballJones

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I've always thought (this was way back in the 80s as well) that NFL teams could adopt this model for a QB: The college game was (and still is) littered with guys who are great athletes, who could run like crazy, and who could hit the open guy. They couldn't thread needles like the best pocket passers, but if a guy was fairly open, they'd hit them reliably. Now colleges churned out guys like this all the time, and they could afford to, because they had an endless supply of them, so if one got hurt, they just give the ball to the next recruit coming in. The pros couldn't do that because SO much was invested in their QBs.

BUT....what if NFL teams did NOT invest that much in QBs, and just treated QBs like they treat RBs. Draft a guy who has decent passing ability and crazy running ability. Use him on his rookie deal, while getting ready for the next guy. Don't spend the big bucks on the guy, but have all 3 QBs on your roster be able to do basically this same thing. Those guys used to not be in high demand at all because everyone just wanted a Dan Marino, a Peyton Manning type.

Pay your QB room about $7m total, run the heck out of them, hit the open passes, and have a solid-to-excellent offense at a fraction of the cost (as far as QBs go). You don't care if a guy gets hurt (from an organizational standpoint; obviously you hate it because they're people you come to know and love), because the next guy is basically the same.

I think we are seeing a generation of QBs that are KIND OF like that. They're better passers than what I envisioned back in the day, but it's at least the same kind of idea. Baltimore keeps Jackson (1) during his cheap years, and (2) during his peak running years, and then finds the next guy. They won't all be as athletic as Jackson (who's a freak) but they can find another one kinda sorta like him, I bet.
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
35,504
I've always thought (this was way back in the 80s as well) that NFL teams could adopt this model for a QB: The college game was (and still is) littered with guys who are great athletes, who could run like crazy, and who could hit the open guy. They couldn't thread needles like the best pocket passers, but if a guy was fairly open, they'd hit them reliably. Now colleges churned out guys like this all the time, and they could afford to, because they had an endless supply of them, so if one got hurt, they just give the ball to the next recruit coming in. The pros couldn't do that because SO much was invested in their QBs.

BUT....what if NFL teams did NOT invest that much in QBs, and just treated QBs like they treat RBs. Draft a guy who has decent passing ability and crazy running ability. Use him on his rookie deal, while getting ready for the next guy. Don't spend the big bucks on the guy, but have all 3 QBs on your roster be able to do basically this same thing. Those guys used to not be in high demand at all because everyone just wanted a Dan Marino, a Peyton Manning type.

Pay your QB room about $7m total, run the heck out of them, hit the open passes, and have a solid-to-excellent offense at a fraction of the cost (as far as QBs go). You don't care if a guy gets hurt (from an organizational standpoint; obviously you hate it because they're people you come to know and love), because the next guy is basically the same.

I think we are seeing a generation of QBs that are KIND OF like that. They're better passers than what I envisioned back in the day, but it's at least the same kind of idea. Baltimore keeps Jackson (1) during his cheap years, and (2) during his peak running years, and then finds the next guy. They won't all be as athletic as Jackson (who's a freak) but they can find another one kinda sorta like him, I bet.
Downside is the answer.

In college, you can win without good QB play, you can dominate on D, run the ball way better, because talent discrepancy is huge. GA just straight manhandled a top 5 team on Monday, and it wasn't because of Stetson Bennett, it's because they had huge talent/physical advantages all over the field... maybe 20 of the best 22 starters were on GA.

In the NFL the worst teams in the league have only slightly less talent than the best at most positions, it's all scheme, coaching etc. QB is FAR more important in the NFL, and accordingly, you need better ones. The closest any team has come to your theory is San Francisco. They're loaded with talent, great schemes, so they can make the Nick Mullens and Brock Purdy guys look good..... but they still can't get over the final hump.

Also, the standards for QB play are much higher. Sometimes you get Lamar, sometimes you get Zach Wilson. With RBs the thing is... they aren't as key, and you play 2 or 3 of them per game depending on playcall needs, there is also less downside. Picks are a lot more likely with a bad QB than fumbles by a RB. It's a much simpler position as well.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
25,243
True, but if your franchise sucks, what's really the downside to trying this approach? You go from a 4-win team to a....3-win team? If you do the rest of the organization right and spend all that QB money well elsewhere, you should be able to at least approximate what SF has done, right? Of course, if you're normally a 4-6 win team, you aren't doing the rest of the organization right, most likely, so there's that.....
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
35,504
True, but if your franchise sucks, what's really the downside to trying this approach? You go from a 4-win team to a....3-win team? If you do the rest of the organization right and spend all that QB money well elsewhere, you should be able to at least approximate what SF has done, right? Of course, if you're normally a 4-6 win team, you aren't doing the rest of the organization right, most likely, so there's that.....
Sure, but if you do the rest of the organization right, you can usually get a GOOD QB and contend every year, instead of being a 6 win team with the chance to jump into the playoffs once in a while. If anything the better approach is just take shots at QBs until you get an elite one, because it's by far the most scarce and most impactful position and USUALLY the one that lasts the longest. Look at SF who we used as an example... they really only got close to winning a SB when they paid Jimmy G big money, and he was overpaid. Teams with top QBs are almost always competitive, every year. Teams without one are very rarely competitive, and when they are it's usually for a year or so.
 

Justthetippett

New Member
Aug 9, 2015
2,784
There likely will be some kind of evolution in QBs soon. Too many guys in the league now are either bad or mediocre and it’s hurting the product. A variant on this idea is multiple QBs with different skill sets rotating in and out of the game. (The running guy who barely ever throws; the throwing guy who barely ever runs; or maybe the guy who throws the short to intermediate stuff really well, but doesn’t have the arm for certain throws, vice versa, etc.). Not that this hasn’t happened before (Hill and Brees, or even the wildcat), but it definitely hasn’t been perfected, either from a play or financial viewpoint. We’ll have to wait for the next Mike Leach to crack the code.

Tangentially, this is where leagues like the XFL go wrong, in my view. They should be labs for major changes and innovations to style of play, not just places where less good players try to do the essentially same things as NFL players and broadcast partners play around with sound production.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
54,459
Tom Curran reporting that Robert and Bill have met and the fallout is below. Not needing persuading for changes to the offensive staff is the key line for me. That, to me, is an acknowledgment that putting Patricia and Judge in the positions he did was a failure. I honestly was not sure if he'd feel that way.

https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/patriots/robert-kraft-bill-belichick-meeting-has-taken-place-and-changes-are-expected?cid=sm_npd_rsn_bos_twt_mn
That's a good start.
 

GlucoDoc

New Member
Dec 19, 2005
78
I am not at all surprised by BB's perspective as reflected in Curran's reporting. I am guessing that the most important thing for him is Shula's record. Possibly item 1A is demonstrating that he can win without Brady, which is a lagging issue currently.

What are his chances for doing both of these things now, with only likely a few more years to coach? 1) Going to another excellent team and then winning. Gets the Shula record but doubts remain whether he really won himself without Brady vs. walking in to a really favorable situation. 2) Go to an organization that sucks and building it back? Not likely. Would look great if he was 10 years younger, but now, no time. 3) The best option for accomplishing both of these objectives is to stay with the Pats and do what is clearly obvious to all needs to be done. Passing Shula with this franchise, and winning again with this franchise and without Brady, puts an "!" on his accomplishments and one can guess that he is smart enough to realize that. And he likely loves the challenge. Hopefully, this year that sucked lit a fire under his backside and he is really motivated to prove he can do this and set his legacy in stone.
 

Shelterdog

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Feb 19, 2002
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Tom Curran reporting that Robert and Bill have met and the fallout is below. Not needing persuading for changes to the offensive staff is the key line for me. That, to me, is an acknowledgment that putting Patricia and Judge in the positions he did was a failure. I honestly was not sure if he'd feel that way.
I wouldn't read that he acknowledged Patricia and Judge are failures yet or even that they'll be replaced. (He also might _never_ acknowledge that it was a failure to anyone but himself because he's kind of a dick) And you could make a lot of changes on the offensive side without touching Judge or Patricia.

All that said I do think he'll make a reasonable big change and put a seasoned OC in charge, with perhaps, Gase or O'Brien becomes OC, Judge stays at QB coach because he doesn't want to just be special teams guy, Patricia does help with game planning etc but is listed as OL coach/special assistant and isn't calling plays (although potentially is getting groomed to take over at OC down the road), you get a new WR coach and a new special teams coach.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,243
Re: Hopkins

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/deandre-hopkins-trade-rumors-packers-ravens-headline-seven-logical-landing-spots-for-cardinals-receiver/

3 team logo Patriots
Besides being notorious for gambling on big-name castoffs, Bill Belichick has gone on record praising Hopkins for his career achievements, and now he's got close to $55M in cap space to restock a disappointing offense. Unless that money is designated for a massive swing at a QB upgrade, it figures to go toward a WR group ripe for a reset. Few possession targets would likely do more for Mac Jones, whose game relies on quick-strike throws.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
25,243
I wouldn't read that he acknowledged Patricia and Judge are failures yet or even that they'll be replaced. (He also might _never_ acknowledge that it was a failure to anyone but himself because he's kind of a dick)
Where do you get that idea? Why do you think this?
 

Shelterdog

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Yes. From his press conferences?
Yes but not just those; he may be kind to children and small animals and has untold generosity but in professional contexts, major league a-hole. (What was the Kraft quote when he was leaving an owners meeting, have to go deal with the biggest a-hole in the world, BB?)
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
25,243
Yes but not just those; he may be kind to children and small animals and has untold generosity but in professional contexts, major league a-hole. (What was the Kraft quote when he was leaving an owners meeting, have to go deal with the biggest a-hole in the world, BB?)
Ok I guess. I mean, I know some guys associated with the Pats - one is a player you'd know very well - and they think he's great. They say his public (press conference/interview) persona is just a thing, and that isn't how he is in real life at all.

But either way, do you think him being an a-hole, as you put it, means he isn't likely to admit to making a mistake? Those seem like very different things.