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Patriots Hole at WR


RichardSeymour
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I'm copying a post I did for the KFFL Pats board, it should be of interest to Jets fans as it details what is, IMO, the Patriots biggest weakness right now....

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I believe the Patriots are operating from a position of strength. We are retaining all of our key players and only losing players who we are willing to lose, or in the case of Law have expected to lose for a long time. Wishful thinking of opposing fanbases aside, we look to enter 2004 as strong as ever at the moment.

And yet....

I cannot help but look at our roster and what is going on and feel that we are in a delicate position, with a number of deceptively difficult roster problems, but one in particular....

Wide Receiver-- With Patten gone and Brown good for depth at best if we resign him our WR corps is dangerously thin.

WR#1 WR Deion Branch-- Talented but has not successfully endured the full load as a #1 WR over the course of a full season. At 5'9 his durability is a bit questionable. A quality guy, but not a rock solid #1 by any means.

WR #2 WR David Givens-- Physical, efficient. A solid #2 though a UFA after this year.

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Those first two guys I, like most of us, feel pretty good about.... but then we immediately drop off into a danger zone.

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WR#3 KR Bethel Johnson-- Take away his two longest catches and he has 24 catches for 290 yards in 28 career games. Has been in Belichick's doghouse at various points. HIGHLY questionable and should NOT be relied on as a #3 or we could have a repeat of 2001 (two good WRs and nothing).

WR#4 WR PK Sam-- Raw, no game experience, has been reported to be in BB's doghouse. Cannot be relied on for anything at this point.

WR#5 RB Kevin Faulk-- 'Nuff said.

Right now the way I see it we have two WRs and two question marks (BeJohn is a KR specialist at this point until proven otherwise).

We are DANGEROUSLY thin and an injury to Givens or Branch would be CATASTROPHIC.

We have all been unduly sanguine about the WR position. We should not be. We are extremely thin and while I like Givens and Branch as much as most here, we are not particularly talented at the top either.

I'm also concerned about ILB, RB, and CB, all of which have the potential to be major problems for us this year.... but the WR situation is actually critical, and amazingly none of us have really realized this.

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Here's why I wouldn't be worried about The Pats passing attack.

Tom Brady.

Branch and Givens will be fine. Both are coming into their own. Don't forget about Daniel Graham and Ben Watson at TE.

I think that The Pats will draft a WR this year. Someone with size who can go up and get the ball.

P.K.Sam and Bethel Johnson were shocking picks to me by BB and Pioli. Both players are very unbelichick like. Two headcases with very low IQ's.

Bethel Johnson has supreme physical gifts but he's a bush league WR who can't run routes and is not reliable. It's do or die time for him.

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Yeah, I'm VERY comfortable with the TE situation: Graham, Watson, Fauria, Vrabel.... absolutely airtight.

and believe me there's no lack of confidence in Brady, or his ability to make like Brett Favre and do well with a limited set of receivers.

Nonetheless as-is the weakness at WR could be a drag on an otherwise superlative offense--- and if Branch or Givens goes down, or god forbid both it could get ugly as sin.

On a team with few weaknesses, it's a glaring one.

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Here's why I wouldn't be worried about The Pats passing attack.

Tom Brady.

Branch and Givens will be fine. Both are coming into their own. Don't forget about Daniel Graham and Ben Watson at TE.

I think that The Pats will draft a WR this year. Someone with size who can go up and get the ball.

P.K.Sam and Bethel Johnson were shocking picks to me by BB and Pioli. Both players are very unbelichick like. Two headcases with very low IQ's.

Bethel Johnson has supreme physical gifts but he's a bush league WR who can't run routes and is not reliable. It's do or die time for him.

Yeah, I'm not worried about the Pats passing attack either.

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Pats suck! You'll probably have a shot at any number of good wideouts at the bottom of the first round. It wouldn't surprise me if you douchebags ended up with someone like Travis Taylor from the Ravens, whom you guys will coach into an All-Pro. Scumbags.

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Pats suck! You'll probably have a shot at any number of good wideouts at the bottom of the first round. It wouldn't surprise me if you douchebags ended up with someone like Travis Taylor from the Ravens, whom you guys will coach into an All-Pro. Scumbags.

I don't know, they usually don't draft WRs in the 1st round. But I like the way you think.

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Great points YJF.

The thing I think is going to happen is, Graham or more likely Watson, is going to be split out more. The Patriots have two athletic tightends and this will cause a match-up nightmare for oppossing defenses.

Look at the Colts with their 2 TE or 3 wideouts/1 TE offense, it is a biiaaatttccchh to defend.

When the Patriots picked up Dillon, I thought the Patriots would have a great offense. Although, I was not enamored with the Watson pick, he showed enough up until his injury that the Patriots offense was going to be whole different animal to handle.

I agree with RS, that a vet wideout is needed to provide some depth. I hope Troy comes back or hopefully a younger wideout, like a Derrick Blaylock type, that has shown signs, but has not started yet is signed.

Here's why I wouldn't be worried about The Pats passing attack.

Tom Brady.

Branch and Givens will be fine. Both are coming into their own. Don't forget about Daniel Graham and Ben Watson at TE.

I think that The Pats will draft a WR this year. Someone with size who can go up and get the ball.

P.K.Sam and Bethel Johnson were shocking picks to me by BB and Pioli. Both players are very unbelichick like. Two headcases with very low IQ's.

Bethel Johnson has supreme physical gifts but he's a bush league WR who can't run routes and is not reliable. It's do or die time for him.

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Great points YJF.

The thing I think is going to happen is, Graham or more likely Watson, is going to be split out more. The Patriots have two athletic tightends and this will cause a match-up nightmare for oppossing defenses.

Look at the Colts with their 2 TE or 3 wideouts/1 TE offense, it is a biiaaatttccchh to defend.

Watson could possibly be used full time as a wide out next year or as PFSIKH stated, go with the 2 TE set.

Graham will stay at TE.

Branch needs to get his ass on the field for 16 games. Don't care how much talent you have, it doesn't matter if you are stuck in the trainer's room.

Givens is as consistent as they come.

Bethel needs to get his head out of his ass and use all the skills he has. "Yo Bethel, when opposing teams blitz, you cut off your patterns". Dumbass.

PK Sam is the unkown.

Although I think the Pats focus on CB and LB in the draft, I can see them going for WR early if someone they like is still on the board.

I hated losing Patten.

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They would have extended Troy Brown if they wanted to go that route.

It is intriguing though.

I think it is a matter if the greatest WR ever would check his ego. The problem is I doubt he would, he has rings.

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It is intriguing though.

I think it is a matter if the greatest WR ever would check his ego. The problem is I doubt he would, he has rings.

Depends on how bad he wants to keep playing < with the chance of winning, that is >. Rice would get equal time up there with the others - you guys run 3/4/5 WR sets all of the time. It's not like Brady wouldn't throw to him if he was open. I'd hate to see it, but I actually think it could work.

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Depends on how bad he wants to keep playing < with the chance of winning, that is >. Rice would get equal time up there with the others - you guys run 3/4/5 WR sets all of the time. It's not like Brady wouldn't throw to him if he was open. I'd hate to see it, but I actually think it could work.

If he checked the ego at the door, it could work without a doubt. A 20 year vet in Rice is better then Bethel will probably ever be. Your right he would see the field. I would like to see a younger vet and/or rookie because Rice is a 20 year vet.

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Patten was a big part in the Pats offense. It's going to be interesting to see who they get to fill his shoes.

I mean he isn't the greatest WR, I'm saying that he geled with the Pats offense and the chemistry between Brady and him seemed right. That's not to say that Brady won't gel with the WR that replaces Patten.

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If he checked the ego at the door, it could work without a doubt. A 20 year vet in Rice is better then Bethel will probably ever be. Your right he would see the field. I would like to see a younger vet and/or rookie because Rice is a 20 year vet.

It would obviously be a stop-gap measure, but it would buy some time...

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Are you all nuts? Jerry Rice? At ths point, who has more value - a receiver/nickle-back/punt returner or Jerry Rice.....c'mon now. :roll:

In a two TE formation, the running game ought to be killer this year (it was last year with 1 1/2 - Fauria is a beautiful man, but Watson has the potential to be a star)and Watson WILL be a threat to catch the ball 20 yards, 30 yards, 40 yards deep.

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if i were a pats fan i'd be a lot more worried about the OC by committee than the WR corp personnel

the loss of Weiss is going to hurt that team big time - Romeo will be missed but Belly knows defense - who is going to call the plays? who is going to design new plays? these are questions that have to be answered - and frankly i don't see any good answers to that question

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I had always hoped the would lose one coordinator two years in a row. Didn't happen but losing both is going to impact things.

Billy B is great but he will be spread to thin. I think it will manifest itself in poor clock management.

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I had always hoped the would lose one coordinator two years in a row. Didn't happen but losing both is going to impact things.

Billy B is great but he will be spread to thin. I think it will manifest itself in poor clock management.

One thing Belichick has acknowledged he does different from his Browns tenure is delegate. In Clevelend, he had his hands in everything. Now, he is aware of everything, but let's his people do their job.

Another thing that is not recognized outside of New England that often, is Belichick's top lieutenant. Name escapes me of course ](*,) , Belichick utilizes him from scouting to doing research on trends in the NFL.

Obviously, Belichick will have to devote more time to the offense he could spend elsewhere, but I doubt it is that great of an effect. We might win only 13 games.

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