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The Patriots Forum Free Press: Issue II
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hollywood14


Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 13672
Location: LSU
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:49 pm    Post subject: The Patriots Forum Free Press: Issue II Reply with quote


Welcome to the New England Patriots Forum second published issue of the Patriots Forums Free Press. Our objective is to bring you the comings and goings on the New England Patriots organization. We'll cover everything from rumors pertaining the Patriots, to the NFL Draft, to fun and games when your head is crammed with too much information. However, in this issue we would like to show our appreciation to fellow footballs future member crakburn.

We have a smaller staff but mind you that it is very difficult to find a large sum of committed members to take in part in something like this.

While you will get the privilege to read articles from some of footballs futures most knowledgeable members I would like to take the time to recognize the members who work behind the scenes.

PatsDynasty21 was in charge of editing the defensive and editorial column; rabbisson's duties included being the NFL draft column editor; And finally, icecoldbruschi edited the articles from our offensive team writers.

Also, TexanPatriot took every Patriots picture shown in this installment. As you look over these pictures remember that this, footballs future, is the only place you will see this. Also, take in account they have been resized so they could fit the format. If you wish to view the pictures at normal size, or would like to see anymore pictures, please talk with TexanPatriot


What will you find and where?
Page One: Appreciation for crakburn and footballs future
Arrow The Patriots forum shows how they truly feel about crakburn
Arrow "An Unknown Community" by hollywood14

Page Two: Offensive and defensive columns
Arrow "A Running Misconception" by PatsDynasty21
Arrow xmike609x explores the Pats run defense
Arrow Spreading of the Mayo

Page Three: NFL Draft and Opinion columns
Arrow "Look out Matthew Stafford" by Patsfan01
Arrow Why not Troy Brown?

Page Four: Fantasy Football mailbag and Fun and Games columns
Arrow Keys to bringing home the hardware
Arrow Solve the Problem; Pats style!
Arrow Pats fans reveal their true loves

Enjoy.
_________________

Jgoldiscool on the sig


Last edited by hollywood14 on Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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hollywood14


Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 13672
Location: LSU
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAGE ONE




By: The Patriots Forum




An Unknown Community

By: hollywood14


A simulation of the footballs future community

On August 28th, 2007, fellow footballs future member and moderator crakburn documented that he has been diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic cancer. Roughly ever year 37,680 people across the United States of America receive traumatizing news that they have pancreatic cancer. Out of those 37,680 people diagnosed 34,290 have died; yearly.

So what makes a guy on a forum, named crakburn garner the interest of over thousands who can be seen supporting him every day? Hell, most never seen him post, never talked to him outside of footballs future, or even knows he exists. However, in a time of need people from all across the world have been right by his side. Finn54, a poster who is a mainstay in the New England Patriots forum, is from Wales. I couldn’t tell you one thing about Wales, heck, I don’t even know if I’m spelling it right. But, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the unity that this one man can bring to everyone across the country.

When has one man stopped the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns debates that help make some members go? When has one man put all this stuff about Brett Farve on the back burner because of the interest in him? When has one man made another cry; on a forum? When has one man turned internet discussion into, “Hey mom come look at this?” Never. However Joe did. Joe single handily made fat kids with acne who are 14 to fathers who are 35 hold hands and come together.

It wasn’t Joe attracting attention to himself; It was one man telling his sad story, a sad story that one online forum can all connect to.

Whether you’ve had experience with cancer in your family or had a family dog die, illness is serious. Being totally different then one another we all could have ignored it, but that’s not who we, footballs futures are. We aren’t a forum, we are a family. Joe made us realize that, well, we need each other.

So, after Joe’s wife Tracy, made a post on July 8th informing us that he has been placed into hospice this forum did not blink in trying to help Joe. 20 plus pages of tearful gratitude later, it was what a couple of Joe’s fellow members did that will forever be engraved in all 35,000 of us.

TexanPatriot, threw out a crazy idea that would never happen. Never. He said something along the lines of emailing the Browns organization while explaining this situation and having the Browns send a player to meet with Joe. While it was nice gesture on the part of TexanPatriot this little idea of his was more a less a dream rather then something of reality. Ryknowssd, who’s an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan, started a thread about TexanPatriot’s idea as many members loved the idea. During the process you never once heard this phrase from any footballs future member. Never once did this come into the heads of those who believed.

“But, guys com’on. Let’s be serious.”

Instead, they kept pushing the idea and eventually, something short of a miracle happened.

At 15 years old, what is to do during the summer? Play basketball, go to the gym, and hang out at the mall? All seem like a normal day in a 15 year olds life, right? Well, one 15 year old kid, who goes by the name of Chiefsxfanx88 took two days out of his summer to help Joe. Has Chiefsxfanx88 ever met Joe? No. But, being the kid that he is, he took it upon himself to help make the day for a family in struggle.

Chiefsxfanx88 emailed many in the Browns organization throughout his two days of nonstop work and eventually pulled a little something together.

That little something was from someone by the name of Joe. Ironic? This Joe is Joe Thomas, the left tackle for the Cleveland Browns. So, you may be wondering, what’s Thomas have to do with footballs future Joe? Thomas is an NFL athlete while Joe is one of 38 thousand people diagnosed with cancer.

But, at one moment in their lives could they share a moment together? Still confused? Well, an unrealistic idea that was farfetched to say that least came true.

Joe Thomas met with our Joe. A memory that will forever be in Joe’s heart.

This goes deeper than one man meeting another. This is one miracle that took place, when another couldn't.

The only thing I know about Joe, is that his name is, well, Joe. I can’t tell you how old he is, where he lived, or what type of lifestyle he lived. But, I can tell you one thing; Joe is a man that will forever be apart of my family.

Rest in Peace. Stay strong.
_________________

Jgoldiscool on the sig


Last edited by hollywood14 on Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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hollywood14


Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 13672
Location: LSU
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAGE TWO





Randy Moss - The best has yet to come?
By: tomski_29


Patriots receiver Randy Moss at training camp [2008]. TP

Throughout his career, Randy Moss has been somewhat of an enigma. He was quite possibly the greatest prospect to come out of college for pure athleticism in NFL history. He backed up these statements with one of the best rookie seasons in history, pairing with Chris Carter and leading the Vikings to the NFC championship game and a 15-1 record.

He had 69 receptions for 1313 yards that season. Even more remarkably was that he had a 19 yard per reception average and caught 17 TD passes, a new rookie record.

Randy Moss has been a great receiver for a long time, but that is not at question here. The debate is whether he can continue to produce with New England.

Despite his athletic prowess and natural ability Randy Moss is on occasion looked down upon due to his perceived attitude problems and his questionable comments and actions.

In 1997 he referred to the 1970 plane crash tragedy of his alma mater Marshall University as "a tragedy, but it really wasn't nothing big." Not only this but in a game segment on CBS where players named their schools, Moss named "Rand University" instead of Marshall University upsetting a number of people from the school.

Other notable incidents include the infamous mooning incident in Green Bay and bumping a traffic officer in his car, subsequently being charged with a misdemeanor traffic violation after pleading guilty to a potential felony charge.

The biggest criticism of him though has been his quitter's attitude. He once walked off the field with two seconds to go against the Redskins and his two years in Oakland were known to be uncomfortable for both sides. Moss had this to say about his time in Oakland, "Losing sometimes can get contagious... and I think that's one of the things that bothered me."

His trade to New England was seen as a make or break move for him, being a 30 year old WR built on his phenomenal speed meant any bad play/attitude could have meant the end of his career. But the ever wise Patriots had planned for his arrival, they placed his locker next to the face of the organization, Tom Brady. It was hoped the influence of Brady would tame Moss and by golly did it ever work; how's this for a stat line:

98 Rec, 1493 yards, 23 TD, 93.3 YPG, 15.2 Yards per Reception.

He helped the Patriots on the way to a 16-0 regular season, in the process setting a new record for TD receptions and setting NFL team records for scoring, Touchdowns and wins in a row.

We all know how the season ended so we will move on to the upcoming season. An overlooked fact of last season is that Moss missed most of Training Camp with a hamstring injury and had only had a few OTAs to connect with Brady. After having had a year in the system with little drop off of speed or attitude, and added motivation it seems Moss may be poised to perform at just as high of a level as the previous season.

One of the key factors in this will be Chad Jackson's play as a healthy WR with a full preseason under his belt. If he performs to his potential and Ben Watson stays healthy it will be nigh on impossible to double cover Moss and his numbers should be fantastic once again.



A Running Misconception
By: PatsDynasty21


Patriots running back Laurence Maroney at training camp [2008]. TP

While Brady and his dynamic receiving corps were breaking all kinds of records last year, there was a common misconception shared by casual fans outside of New England: the Patriots could not run the ball efficiently. Many thought this would doom them come January when the wintry climate was expected to take away the edge of the Patriots' passing game. It's understandable, considering the Patriots did get pretty one-dimensional at some points, due to the fact that the HB depth was short at times due to injury. The over-the-top passes to Randy Moss and the underneath routes to Wes Welker were unstoppable, and one can understand why offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels chose to sway away from 'pounding the rock.'

However, the New England Patriots quietly ranked 13th in the NFL in rushing yards per game, as well as 11th in average yards per carry. They were also fifth in the NFL in the category of rushing touchdowns, with 17. Laurence Maroney remained one of the most underrated threats on the offense entering the month of December. He then ripped off his second 100-yard rushing game of the season against the Jets in week 15. The weather was chilly and the ground caked in snow following a large storm that week, so his valiant efforts were much needed.

The next four weeks, stretching all the way to the super bowl, Maroney tallied 446 yards, including back-to-back 122-yard performances in the playoffs. Maroney quickly silenced critics who doubted his ability to carry a team and be the franchise back the Patriots desperately needed. This increase in his play was partly due to the fact that he cut down on the dancing in the backfield that Patriot fans were so used to seeing. He would just pick a hole, trust his blockers, and run through it. This greatly improved his production.

Rewind all the way back to the beginning of the season. Moss and Welker were off to heated starts, while less-celebrated newcomer Sammy Morris was turning quite a few heads, as well. He tallied 370 yards in the first five weeks, despite splitting carries with Maroney. In week six, however, Morris suffered a freak chest injury and was soon added to the injured reserve list. Also ignored was the production, although not mind-boggling, of fullbacks Heath Evans and Kyle Eckel. The two combined for five touchdowns. Kevin Faulk remains one of the best receiving HB's in the game, and provided a solid, reliable target for Brady in the playoffs. He's always good for a few third down carries as well.

This season, that rushing game looks to be even stronger. Laurence Maroney is the healthiest he's ever been while entering a season in the NFL. Sammy Morris, Maroney's ground partner, is also at 100% after fully recovering from that rare clavicle/sternum separation. Although not huge, the Patriots added UDFA Benjarvus Green-Ellis, a versatile, young back. He has an outside shot of making the final roster, though.

The potentially strong rushing attack of the Patriots looks to be utilized more by McDaniels, too. Last post season, teams worked on completely taking Moss away. Luckily, Welker still provided Brady with an unstoppable target in the slot. But, it is only inevitable that teams will work on taking him away next season, too. This will force McDaniels to utilize the running game more, to keep defenses honest.

Big things are expected out Laurence Maroney next season. Can he finally become an elite back and provide a consistent effort on the ground? It looks like that could very well happen, but we'll see.



The LaMont Jordan Effect
By: hollywood14


Newly acquired running back LaMont Jordan at training camp [2008]. TP

On Saturday the Patriots signed recently disgruntled running back LaMont Jordan. At one point in his career with the New York Jets he rushed for 1,000 yards and he would eventually get the contract he wanted in Oakland, however, like many others fell deep in the black hole. Now, Jordan will look to turn his Oakland frown into a New England smile. While he won't have an impact like other winning savy signings; Corey Dillon and Randy Moss, Jordan should provide to be a nice compliment to Laurence Maroney.

With the signing, the Patriots now have four running backs and two full backs on their roster. Something has to give right?

Laurence Maroney: Obvisouly Maroney will start every game this season as he has over the past year. The signing of Jordan could limit his carries a little bit but in the end it will offset due to the fact that the Patriots will look to run the ball more then last season. If Jordan has any type of success it could lead Maroney to a career year in terms of rushing yards.

Sammy Morris: Coming off an injury that put him on the shelf for most of last season, Morris has looked very quick and elusive in training camp. However, the Patriots could decide to put Morris on the physically unable to perform list as he would be inactive for the first six games of the season. If the Patriots decide not to go down that route Morris could ultimately find himself on the outside looking in.

Kevin Faulk: Jordan is actually a lot like Faulk minus the speed part of the game. Jordan massed 60+ catches one season so look for him to potentially take over Faulk's role when Faulk retires which should be a year or two from now.

Heath Evans: Evans shouldn't be effected at all by the signing as he will be the one paving the way for Jordan and company.

Kyle Eckel: Eckel looks like he's on his way out. Thus far in training camp he has looked very suspect and has gotten absued by Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton on numerous ocassions in the one on one blocking drills. He's a good story from the Navy but every good story must come to and end.







The Deceptive Defense: A Closer Look
By: xmike609x


Patriots defensive end Le Kevin Smith at training camp [2008]. TP

There has been a lot of talk this off-season concerning the Patriots run defense from last season. Most seem to think that the Patriots actually surrendered one of the worst yards per carry averages of any defense in the league last year. While the stats may seem to back that up, we all know stats don't always tell the whole story. Since New England sported one of the most explosive offenses in league history last year, they were often ahead by many points late in games. Those large leads often allowed the Patriots defense to play some more prevent-style coverages to protect the lead. Those coverages, in turn, allowed opposing offenses to run the ball with relative ease, for the most part. To support this claim, lets take a look at some statistics from last season.

Quote:

Week 1: NYJ
1st QTR rush avg--1.4 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg--3.6 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg--4.2 YPC
4th QTR rush avg--NO RUSH ATTEMPTS

Week 2: SD
1st QTR rush avg--3.0 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg--3.6 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg--2.2 YPC
4th QTR rush avg--NO RUSH ATTEMPTS

Week 3: BUF
1st QTR rush avg--4.8 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg--0.0 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg--2.8 YPC
4th QTR rush avg--6.5 YPC

Week 4: CIN
1st QTR rush avq: 3.0 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 3.6 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 5.6 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: NO RUSH ATTEMPTS

Week 5: CLE
1st QTR rush avg: 5.3 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 4.5 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 2.5 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 11.0 YPC

Week 6: DAL
1st QTR rush avg: 4.4 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 5.0 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 10.5 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 7.0 YPC

Week 7: MIA
1st QTR rush avg: 5.5 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 4.5 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 3.8 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 10.2 YPC

Week 8: WAS
1st QTR rush avg: 3.0 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 4.0 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 2.0 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 0.5 YPC

Week 9: IND
1st QTR rush avg: 5.8 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 2.3 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 2.8 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 2.8 YPC

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: BUF
1st QTR rush avg: 1.0 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 3.6 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 3.6 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 5.4 YPC

Week 12: PHI
1st QTR rush avg: 1.7 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 5.6
3rd QTR rush avg: 1.0 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 2.0 YPC

Week 13: BAL
1st QTR rush avg: 3.6 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 3.4 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 8.2 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 0.6 YPC

Week 14: PIT
1st QTR rush avg: 2.1 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 7.5 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 6.2 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 6.7 YPC

Week 15: NYJ
1st QTR rush avg: 17.0 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 4.0 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 3.3 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 2.2 YPC

Week 16: MIA
1st QTR rush avg: 3.2 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 1.4 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 9.8 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 4.7 YPC

Week 17: NYG
1st QTR rush avg: 0.8 YPC
2nd QTR rush avg: 4.6 YPC
3rd QTR rush avg: 7.2 YPC
4th QTR rush avg: 5.3 YPC



Those are the Yard Per Carry averages for every quarter from every game the Patriots played last season. Next, I will show you the average yards per carry gained by opponents in each quarter through out the season.



Quote:
Total YPC avg 1st QTR: 4.1
Total YPC avg 2nd QTR: 3.8
Total YPC avg 3rd QTR: 4.7
Total YPC avg 4th QTR: 4.9



As you can see, the Patriots gave up an average of 4.1 YPC in firsts quarters last season. That average is bumped up a bit due to one 49 yard option pitch by Leon Washington in the first QTR of our Week 15 match-up against the Jets last season. In that first quarter the Jets ran the ball three times. One run for one yard, another run for 49 yards, and another run for one yard. Three rushes for 51 yards total. If you take out that first quarter against the Jets, the Patriots YPC surrendered in first quarters last season plummets all the way down to 3.2 YPC. Moving on, you can see that the Patriots surrendered 3.8 YPC in second quarters last season. That number, depending on whether or not you wish to count the 49 yarder against the Jets, either shows improvement from the 4.1 YPC, or regression from the 3.2 YPC. Then, if you look further, you can see that New England surrendered 4.7 YPC in third quarters last season. That does seem to be rather high, but when you take into consideration that the Patriots were leading by an average of 12 points at the start of third quarters last season, one would assume that the Patriots were in all likelihood starting to play more prevent than run stop formations.

Finally, you can see from those statistics, that New England surrendered an average of 4.9 YPC in fourth quarters last season. The highest of all quarters. Coincidence ? I think not. By the start of fourth quarters last season, the Patriots were leading by an average of 15 points and playing almost exclusively prevent-type defenses to protect the lead. By that time, most teams had decided to just run the clock out and get the game over with since the deficit was too large to overcome with such little time remaining. If you want an example, look no further than the Buffalo game in week 3. The Bills final six plays of the game? All runs. With their back-up running back, while down 31 points. The Bills went on to average 6.5 YPC in that quarter. However, New England, like I said earlier, held a 31 point lead for the entire quarter and were not concerned with stopping the run. Which was the case in many fourth quarters last season. Not to mention, that in some games last season, the Patriots starting defensive lineman were not even in the game late in the fourth quarter. Which brings me to my next point.

Many people outside of New England seem to think that the high YPC average that the Patriots gave up last season had to do with NT Vince Wilfork's supposed ineffectiveness. So in response to those claims, I decided to attempt some research. Here is what I found- Last season, Patriot opponents attempted 95 runs up the gut and gained a total of 381 yards on those runs. When you do the math, that comes out to 4.0 YPC surrendered up the gut last season. Now, that does seem a bit much. However, when you subtract two certain runs from that total, the number drops some. Those two runs include an 11 yard scamper up the middle by Joseph Addai last season on third and very long. Now, it's safe to say that Wilfork was not in the line-up on that play. So it's only fair to remove that run from the equation. The other run I'm talking about is a 30 yard dash up the middle by Jesse Chatman against Miami in week 16 last season. The run cam late in the fourth quarter with a little over a minute left in the game. At that point, Wilfork was already on the bench. So we should exclude that run from the equation as well. Those are the only two long runs up the middle that we can be sure that Wilfork was not in the line-up. There could, however, be more that we aren't sure about.

Now that we have take out those two specific runs from the equation, we are left with 93 attempts up the middle for 340 yards. That comes out to a 3.6 YPC average for opponents rushing up the gut. While not mind blowing, it's still better than what people are making it out to be. You also have to take into consideration the ILB's who were playing behind Wilfork for the most part last season. They were 39 year old Junior Seau and 35 year old Tedy Bruschi. Wilfork relied on those two, a combined 74 years old, to hurry to the gap and make the tackle. Another thing to take note of is that of the 34 "big runs" the Patriots gave up last season (runs of 10 yards or more), only four of them came from runs up the middle. Yes, just four of the Patriots thirty-four big runs given up came from runs up the middle last season. Think about that. Against Cincinnati in week three, the Bengals didn't even attempt a single run up the gut. That's saying something.



Jerod Mayo in TC on time, promises a multitude of options
By: finn54


Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo

A pleasing sight to see - Jerod Mayo donning the Patriots uniform, on time for training camp, signed, sealed and delivered. The 10th overall draft pick signed a contract of five years and worth $18.9m which, according to Mayo, was basically agreed the night before training camp started. With a secure future, fans can begin salivating over all the possibilities Mayo brings to the table.

A strong leader at Tennessee, Mayo played both OLB and ILB, with more success at ILB. Once converted to ILB, Mayo became a tackling machine (recorded 140 tackles in '07) and shone on the Vols defense which eventually propelled him to top 10 status in the 2008 NFL Draft. Head coach Bill Belichick was enamored with Mayo, as evident in his bold move to draft Mayo with the 10th overall pick. Rumors on draft day indicated heavily that Belichick tried to trade up with KC to select Vernon Gholston, but nothing came to fruition. Was it a case of settling for second best? I doubt we'll ever find out, but one things for sure - Mayo has a great opportunity to rise to stardom with the Patriots.

His main competitors this year appear to be Tedy Bruschi, Victor Hobson and Tank Williams. Bruschi has a starting spot locked down, but because of unquestionable aging, he will need to be rotated frequently to take full advantage of his experience. Victor Hobson has made little noise in training camp so far (even though it's very early on), but is nevertheless projected to be starting on day one. Tank Williams is a surprise candidate for the ILB job, but has drawn high praise from Belichick and has been lining up alongside Bruschi as the first team ILB starters in training camp. There's no denying Belichick's disdain for starting rookies, especially at a position such as ILB. When recently asked about rookies, Belichick commented that they "don't even start at the bottom", so it looks unlikely that Mayo is starting from day one. But with so many questions at ILB (how long can Bruschi last? How well will Hobson transition to ILB? Is Tank Williams big enough?), he definitely has a chance to make an impact this year. He brings athleticism to the table rivaled only by superstar OLB Adalius Thomas. Mayo needs to learn all of his assignments (which range beyond basic plays, he also needs to learn adjustments and gameplans) and stay healthy. If he does that, then he should have a starting job by January.

So what is the full picture for ILB? There are many questions to be answered over training camp and pre-season, and it proves to be a very exciting time. I for one will enjoy every second of the roller coaster that is training camp. For most, week one and a visit from Kansas City cannot come quick enough. But training camp always guarantees highs and lows, shocks and twists, and none more than ILB. How effective will Bruschi be? Will the Tank Williams experiment be a success? How well will Hobson perform? How early on can Mayo break the starting lineup? Will Seau be back? Get ready for the ride.


Middle Linebacker Overview
By: coachconrad


Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi at training camp [2008]. TP

Here is an overview of the New England Patriots MLB corps:

Tedy Bruschi
The aging veteran was and still will always be a legend and a hero in New England. Tedy will be entering his 13th season and once again will be the man in the middle of the defense. It is very noticeable and evident that Tedy has slowed down significantly, but I believe his value goes much past his skill set. Tedy is still one of the team's largest role models as well as one of the smartest defenders in the game. Even if his play has diminished, I don’t see how he brings any negative effect to the team. I look for Tedy to be a mentor to first round pick Jerod Mayo as he plays out the final year or two of his career.
Statline prediction: 92 tackles, 2 sacks, FF, 1 INT

Victor Hobson
Here is a player that I have large expectations for. Victor Hobson came in this off-season as a typical low-profile, free-agent signing that provides good, if not great, starting material. One of the Patriots' problems at the MLB position, aside from depth and age, was speed. Hobson will provide great speed while on the field, and will battle with Mayo for the starting spot opposite Bruschi, in which he looks to have the edge. Hobson is playing on a one-year, small money contract and if he produces well, could end up taking a large deal over staying with the Patriots next offseason.
Statline prediction: 76 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 FF, 1 INT

Jerod Mayo
The Patriots' prize first round draft pick has much hype surrounding him. In college, Mayo led arguably the best division, the SEC, in tackles with 140. Mayo has huge upside. He is a sure-tackling, fast playmaker paired with great instincts, and could very well become one of the game’s greats in a few years to come. There is no doubt that Mayo will see time on the field this season. The question is: How much playing time will he get? There have been many different opinions on this topic. I look at the situation and see that he is a rookie in a very complex system, that will undoubtedly go through some growing pains and, in that sense, I wouldn’t start him until late season if any starts at all. On the other hand, I look at the AFC Champs' starting schedule and I see four poor offenses in the Chiefs, Jets, Dolphins, and 49ers in which Mayo can do some growing up in. If Belichick believes that the rookie has proven enough to let him start through training camp, I believe Mayo over Hobson is the right way to go.

Larry Izzo, Bo Ruud, Gary Guyton, Eric Alexander
All predominantly special teams players, I only expect one or two of these guys to make the final roster. Alexander, who had his chance to prove he was worth it in the 06’ AFC Championship game, really blew it and is on the outside looking in heading into training camp. Guyton, an undrafted rookie free agent, hasn’t made that much noise and he, too, finds himself in the same spot as Alexander. Izzo, who has amassed 144 tackles over his seven seasons as a Patriot, is now heading into his 14th season and the long-time captain and cornerstone of Brad Seely’s elite special teams most likely has anywhere from one to three years left. Ruud is a toss-up. There has been enough hype surrounding the seventh round pick out of Nebraska, and I think it could mainly come from his bloodlines, as his brother is a Pro Bowl-caliber linebacker from Tampa Bay and his father, Tom Ruud, played for the Bills in the mid 70’s. From what I’ve heard, Ruud has shown great character and although Izzo is a lockdown for his spot on special teams, I believe that Ruud could very well find his way onto the ST unit and, if not, is a definite practice squad player.




Before They Were Patriots
By: redsoxsrule1437


Patriots safety Rodney Harrison

Rodney Harrison is known for his hard nose playing style. We all know about his hard hitting, and his passion for the game. He was recently voted as the leagues “dirtiest player”.

Harrison was born on December 15, 1972 in Markham Illinois. Rodney attended Marian Catholic High school. He starred in football, basketball, and track; Rodney was all conference in all three of these sports. Rodney’s high school career when he graduated in 1991, and planned on attending Western Illinois University. At college, Rodney racked up all sorts of school records. He holds the school record for most tackles in a single game with 28. During his three year college career, Harrison had school record of 345 tackles. Rodney spent three years at Western Illinois University, and majored in General Studies.

Rodney became a San Diego Charger in 1994 when he was drafted in the fifth round, 145 overall. Rodney made an instant impact playing in fifteen games, and recording twenty special team tackles. In his rookie season, Rodney and the Chargers made it to the Super Bowl. The Chargers were unsuccessful, and lost to the San Fransisco 49ers. He started to break out in 1995 when he had a team high five interceptions. The next two seasons Rodney was named San Diego Charger’s Defensive Player of The Year, by his teammates. Rodney Harrison was a pro bowler with the Chargers in 1998, and 2001.

Outside of the NFL, Rodney has done some great things. One of the first things he did with his money was buying a brand new house for his mother. He also donated 20 tickets to every Charger’s home game Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAGE THREE





Look out Matthew Stafford!
By: Patsfan01


University of Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford

As the 2008-2009 College Football season approaches, the question as to who will be the next best QB to enter the NFL always is brought up. This year, many names can be thrown into the mix including the aforementioned Matthew Stafford, Heisman winner Tim Tebow, Mizzou QB Chase Daniel, the young gunner from Oklahoma, Sam Bradford, the surprise QB wearing the orange in Cullen Harper, Mr. Versatility known as Josh Freeman, or TD machine, Graham Harrell. All of these QB's have one thing in common, they all can become the number one QB in next year's draft. So why then does only Matthew Stafford have to look out? Well it is simple. Stafford is the consensus number one QB right now in the 2009 NFL Draft. If you ask Mel Kiper, any other draft analyst, or most people on footballsfuture.com, they can all agree that the most common pick for number one QB right now in the 2009 NFL Draft is indeed Matthew Stafford. While Stafford is your prototypical NFL QB who possesses great size, the ability to put the ball anywhere he wants to, sound mechanics, and great pocket presence, being the preseason number one QB for the NFL Draft is almost a bad thing. Let me throw out a few names for everyone; Brian Brohm, Brady Quinn, Matt Leinart, Philip Rivers, and Joey Harrington. Everyone of these QB's were consensus number one QB's on preseason draft boards and by the end of the college football season and at the beginning of major draft events, all of these QB's found themselves falling out of that top spot. Before last college season, everyone was raving about Brian Brohm especially in that Louisville offense and especially with all the bloodlines as an NFL QB. He truly was the perfect QB and a sure top five pick in the NFL Draft. As the year went on, Brohm struggled and guys like Matt Ryan slowly came on the scene. As the year went on, Brohm fell off the face of the earth and as a result, Brohm was the 56th pick in last year's draft. The year before that, it was all about Brady Quinn. After Charlie Weis entered the scene at Notre Dame, scouts were buzzing about the possibilities of Brady Quinn becoming a top prospect and sure top 10 pick. Again, the sure number one draft preseason QB was surpassed during the year by Jamarcus Russell and as a result, this happened:

Quinn fell all the way to 22 to the Cleveland Browns. We can go all the way back to the days of Joey Harrington, but the fact is being the NFL Draft preseason number one QB is not always a good thing. Brohm was passed by Ryan, Quinn was passed by Russell, Leinart was passed by Young, Rivers was passed by Manning, and Harrington was passed by Carr. With all the talent in next year's draft at the QB position, it certainly doesn't look good for the consensus number one QB in Matthew Stafford. Come next year's draft, don't expect Stafford to be number one on anybody's list as the top NFL Draft QB prospect.



Breakdown of Belichick's drafting
By: Mission27


Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at training camp [2008]. TP

We are many months away from the 2009 NFL draft but that doesn’t mean we cant talk about it, right? In the time leading up to the NFL I will be going over Bill Belichick’s drafting history, position by position, to find out where he best identifies talent and where he might go in 09.

Quarterback

Starter: Tom Brady,
Total Picks: 4
First Three Rounds: 1
Last Four Rounds:
Best pick: Tom Brady (Round 6, 199 OVR, 2000)

It is quality, not quantity, which defines Belichick’s selections of the most important position in football. Three of those quarterbacks are currently on the Patriots roster (Brady, Matt Cassel, and Kevin O’Connell) with the other two playing in other pro football leagues (Rohan Davey, AFL; Kiff Kingsburry, CFL). Not one of those QBs, all but one drafted after the third round, is out of pro football, but that’s not the reason this position is so good. Two words: Tom Brady.

Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback ever to grace the field, is possibly the greatest steal in professional sports draft history. Taken with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft, Brady was the first QB Belichick and his new regime selected. With three super bowl rings and a 50 TD season under his belt, Brady has anchored this position since his second year in the league when he took over for injured star Drew Bledsoe. Many were surprised when Belichick went with a QB (O'Connell) so early in the 08 draft but with his success at this position, coupled with the need for a good backup, the pick made tons of since. This is one position that will not be considered at next years draft, mostly because of Belichick’s success drafting here so far.







Return of a Legend

By: coachconrad


The Patriots receiver corp takes a breather at training camp [2008]. TP

Recently, I started thinking about each position’s depth on the team and how safe each one is. I came across what is a debatable thought that New England’s record-setting WR corps, if unlucky, could be one of the thinnest positions on the team. If you look at it like this, Randy Moss was the best WR in the league last year and, barring injury, he will be in the top five WR’s this year as well. Meanwhile, Wes Welker has earned the right of being named the best slot-receiver in the league. After those two studs, the flanker WR position is going to be battled by Jabar Gaffney, a sure handed WR, and third-year, unproven Chad Jackson. Now a lot of the shakiness in this unit are all 'ifs'. If Gaffney were to be hurt or playing poor and Jackson continues his lack of presence on the team, or if special teams WR’s Kelley Washington and Sam Aiken stay special team WR’s, or if rookie Matthew Slater doesn’t become a miracle, then this team will very much lack a receiver opposite Moss. Teams will be able to pay more attention to Welker and Moss due to this. I know there are a lot of 'ifs'. All of them are possibilities that aren’t too farfetched. This is where the title comes into play. Assume Jackson or Gaffney come out of training camp with an injury, Aiken is dropped due to Washington having that ST spot locked, and Slater is nothing special yet. That leaves the team with 5 receivers with two, Slater and Washington, both mostly playing special teams. Then we are left with three receivers, with space for one more. Now there is a legend who is out of a job, on the waivers, and can add versatility in areas of WR, CB, and QB. Sounds like the type of player Belichick would like to add. It also sounds like former-Patriot Troy Brown. I’m not saying, by any means, that this is going to happen as Belichick has already let him know that he isn’t in the team’s '08 plans. But, a problem at the WR spot probably isn’t in the teams plans for '08, either. Just something to think about.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAGE FOUR






Patsfan01's Five Keys to A Championship Year
By: Patsfan01


Colts quarterback, Peyton Manning


1.) Getting a "Franchise" QB is extremely important

-In Fantasy Football, having a stud QB is SO important. Last year over 50% of the teams that had Tom Brady went on to at least participate in the Championship game. This season in Fantasy Football, I see 6 QB's who you must try and grab if you want to have a shot at getting to the Championship game. They are Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger, and Derek Anderson. Some people may wonder where in the world is Carson Palmer on this list. Well to throw out the numbers for you, if you take away Palmer's 6 TD performance in week 2 against the Browns, Palmer only had 20 TD passes in the other 15 games. He also had 7 games with at least 2 INT's. I still consider Palmer a good fantasy QB, but, elite? Not this year. The Bengals have had to many offseason problems and in the past three years, Palmer's numbers have just gone way downhill. Brady and Manning are obvious choices, but every other QB on the list, except for Brees who had 29 TD's, had at least 30 TD's. We all know TD's are the key in Fantasy and these 6 QB's can all put up TD's. Expect the additions of Limas Sweed and Donte Stallworth for the Steelers and Browns to put Roethlisberger and Anderson back into the category of "elite" QB's.

2.) Draft starters and don't take to many chances on rookies

-Once in a while people will get lucky with an Adrian Peterson or a Marques Colston, but why is there a new trend in fantasy towards drafting rookies high? It is going to be a mistake when you get down the stretch. I do agree when you get past rounds six and seven and you have a choice for a guy like a DeAngelo Williams or a Chestor Taylor or a guy like a Matt Forte or a Kevin Smith, you should probably take the rookie, but I have now had two drafts so far and I find myself coming away with some great late round picks because people are taking potential over production. For instance, I'll throw out two names at the RB position; Edgerrin James and Rudi Johnson. James was 10th in points for RB's last year yet in both of my drafts I have had, he has fallen to rounds six and seven respectively. The Cardinals get back Matt Leinart who should help their passing game and because of that, the running game will become a lot better as well. They also passed on the opportunities in the draft to take a RB (Mendenhall in round one) so we know the Cardinals staff is fine with Edge as a RB. But why are people taking the likes of Darren McFadden and Matt Forte over a guy like Edge? The main reason is people want the next Adrian Peterson in Fantasy rather then the consistent top 10 producer and while Fantasy is a game based on luck, if your luck doesn't work out, you are screwed. Also, where in the world is Rudi Johnson in these drafts. Do we quickly forget that this was a guy with 3 straight 1300 yard and 12 TD years before getting injured last season? Yet again, Rudi isn't coming off the board until the late rounds (eight-10). Don't make the mistake of drafting an unproven rookie over a guy who has produced in the past.

3.) Don't draft a kicker until the last two rounds

-Every year people try and pass up back-ups for a top three kicker and they end up drafting the kicker in the 10th and 11th rounds. Last year was a prime example. The consensus number one kicker last season was Adam Vinatieri and the average draft position for Vinatieri was in round 10. After this past season, Vinatieri finished 10th among kickers for Fantasy points. The first and second ranked kickers were Mason Crosby and Nick Folk, two kickers who at the beginning of last season were both owned in less then 30% of leagues. The fact is the difference in points amongst kickers is very small so don't take one until the last two rounds and certainly don't pass on a backup QB, RB, or WR in order to draft the consensus number one kicker. With so many good offenses in this league, there are at least 10-15 kickers who could all end up being the top Kicker in Fantasy this season.

4.) Give the Wide Receiver position some love!

-Year after year, come draft day, more and more people are passing on stud WR's to take their ever-so-important number two RB. Don't make that mistake this year! This season in fantasy, there are a bunch of possible studs at the WR position so if you can grab one or two of them, you should be set. What I have learned over the past six years of playing fantasy football is that WR is easily the most streakiest position of all. One week a WR could get you 15 points and the next two weeks, that same WR only gets you a combined three points. With that said, if you do try and stack up on the WR position, you more then likely won't have to worry to much about that inconsistency. For example, in my friends league that has been going on for five years now, one of my friends had Randy Moss, Braylon Edwards, and Roy Williams as his three WR's. Week in and week out, he dominated opponents at the WR position and as a result, he got to the Championship game quite easily. While others in your league are trying to load up on RB's early, try and load up on WR's because Runningback is a position that can be filled a lot more easily then trying to find consistency at the Wide Receiver position.

5.) Don't draft with an empty stomach

-Make sure to eat a good meal before drafting. If you draft on an empty stomach, you might find yourself struggling to pay attention or you might find yourself making picks that you regret later on. Fill up, drink a few cold ones, and sit back and relax as you make others in your league look like fools.






We know, you never liked math problems in school. But, how about sports problems?

By: xmike609x






Patriots Forum Man Crushes


The sexiest man in America

rabbisson: Matt Slater and Lonie Paxton
chauboy: Tom Brady
hollywood14: Chad Jackson
Wilsonhurtsu: Eugene Wilson
Billy Spikes: Rodney Harrison
jing: David Thomas and Matt Slater
patriotprospect: Kevin O'Connell
finn54: Brandon Meriweather
PatsDynasty21: Jerod Mayo
redsoxsrule1437: C.J Jones and Ben Watson
tomski_29: Brandon Meriweather and Jonathan Wilhite
Patsfan01: Ellis Hobbs
The Third Rider: Jerod Mayo and Tom Brady
GoldenboyGB: Wes Welker
Canadian Patriot: Terrence Wheatley
PatriotsWin!: Randy Moss
patsfreak007: Vince Wilfork
HOTDOGDAY#12: Dante Scarnecchia
xmike609x: Kevin Faulk
IrishJay91: Mike Vrabel
PatsPwn: Brandon Meriweather
SatireSphere: Randy Moss and Corey Dillon
Troy Brown: James Sanders
icecoldbruschi: Tedy Bruschi and Pierre Woods
X: Tom Brady
Donut: Chad Jackson
TexanPatriot: Wes Welker and Laurence Maroney
mmksoxpats: Logan Mankins

Previous Issues
Issue I (June 30th, 2008)
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hollywood14


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All set.

Comment away!

Good job Pats forum..
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UofMfan909


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I was going to get a PM? Sad

Oh wait, it just came out... Laughing

I'll read then comment.
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hollywood14


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UofMfan909 wrote:
I thought I was going to get a PM? Sad

Oh wait, it just came out... Laughing

I'll read then comment.

Haha. You were the first one I was going to PM but I saw you browsing the forum and then suddenly exited out of the PM.
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icecoldbruschi


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good job on all the articles guys. Mike, I'm trying to figure out those riddles as we speak...
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UofMfan909


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and I think that I know the answer to some of the Fun Stuff.

1. The taxi is parked... why is there a driver? I suppose that there could be, but I'm stumped.

2. He went to Michigan... and he just took a right turn?... stumped again.

3. 0. Wild guess. Maybe they weren't cigarette butts, but just hot chicks? Stumped again.

4. No.


Okay, so I didn't get any right. Kill me. Laughing
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Blaze King


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not going to lie that Crackburn story and repot got to me a little...

Another great issue, not going to lie. A little peeved I didn't get a PM like last time. Laughing

Seriously though, the staff on this paper is tremendous great job guys!
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jing


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahahaha the Nick Kaczur problem solving questionnaire is hilarious. I also enjoyed the article you wrote hollywood14. Terrific job all around. Sign me up for Issue III. Cool
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PatsDynasty21


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job to all everybody else who participated. Still trying to figure out Mike's riddles.....
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UofMfan909


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys; here is the obituary for crakburn.

http://www.legacy.com/Cleveland/DeathNotices.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=113879938

There is a guestbook, feel free to post in it, but please DO NOT have every member bombard it. I don't think that the family would be happy with every entry from someone that Joe didn't really even know.

I'll ask for the families sake that only some guys that were key to the crakburn story and Browns family take part, but others should likely refrain. I am not posting.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jing wrote:
Sign me up for Issue III.

If there's anymore room.



Thanks for the words, it's wasn't to long or even my best writing but it got to the point. And the LaMont Jordan article I did 24 minutes ago.
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