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Are the Pats putting all their eggs into Dobson's basket?
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derekstanggt


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Are the Pats putting all their eggs into Dobson's basket? Reply with quote

I'm glad Edelman re-signed, but it got me wondering just why I was excited. Just because he was the most productive player last year? He still isn't a "#1" WR, nor is Amendola, Thomkins, Boyce, LaFell. The Pats are lacking a true #1 guy. Now I know BB probably doesn't see his WRs as #1, #2, #3, etc, but that's how many opposing defenses are schemed. And I'm not even saying that a "#1" WR needs to be Moss circa 2007. But I do think the team lacks a true lead guy like the NFL is moving toward nowadays. Just looking around the league, it's hard not to find a big, fast, physical WR on almost every team. So is Dobson our guy? We saw flashes last year, sure, but not enough to make me feel confident in his development. And what if he doesn't develop? Even drafting another WR this year means at least another year or two of development for him. There aren't any appealing FAs left. I liked Nicks, and thought he might be a fit, but now he's a Colt. Could Britt be that guy? It's be a stretch that if he signs, he'd even make the roster, let alone returns to pre-injury form.

I know some are going to say that Gronkowski is the #1 target, which is great, but can we really rely on him to be healthy? He hasn't been available or has been hobbled the past 3 playoff runs, which has been a huge factor. Also, having your TE as the top guy drastically changes the offensive scheme. I think there needs to be a WR that forces the defense to game plan for, and who will draw double coverage away from the middle of the field.

Now we find out that Dobson underwent foot surgery and could miss OTAs, and perhaps even training camp. That's very valuable time for a developing WR. At this point, do you think the team feels that Dobson is the answer? Or are you concerned that they continue to entertain/sign guys like LaFell and Britt?
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Nihc


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What did you expect from a year one WR?
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ConnPatFan


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh no, our offense was only like third in the league in scoring last year.

And it's hard to think injuries will get worse.
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derekstanggt


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nihc wrote:
What did you expect from a year one WR?


I didn't expect much more than what Dobson did last year, but that's not really the point I was trying to bring up. It seems that Belichick is comfortable moving forward with Dobson. What is his plan B if Dobson doesn't meet expectations? Roll with Edelman, Amendola, LaFell, KT? Could Mark Harrison be set to emerge?
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NextBigThing


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dobson was an extremely impressive route runner last season. His chemistry with Brady was what was lacking.

Defenses also showed Aaron Dobson a lot more respect than they have shown any Patriots perimeter receiver since Randy Moss. Take the fake end around bomb vs. Denver in the AFCCG. As soon as Dobson turned up field, the safety bailed, sprinting backwards to prevent the bomb. We haven't seen a receiver get that kind of respect in forever.

Dobson has an excellent size to athleticism combination which makes him an ideal receiver for us.

Dobson posses good top end speed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYkoKgX2Zz0&t=2m23s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYkoKgX2Zz0&t=2m58s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYkoKgX2Zz0&t=4m28s
^Brady underthrow costs Dobson touchdown

Aaron Dobson has "even and leaving" speed.

Great quickness at the LOS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MYu3CUQlMQ&list=UUSy2yfJBTkv-k1NK6toF91Q&t=0m09s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYkoKgX2Zz0&t=2m30s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYkoKgX2Zz0&t=2m14s
^wow terrible no call on DPI

Good explosion in and out of breaks




He plays the ball very well

^the near Mossing

A lot of those are not catches, but it is a great example of how Dobson aggressively attacks the ball & has a knack or positioning himself to make a contested catch. Alshon Jeffrey was similar last year, with a ton of "almost catches". I expect Dobson to take a similar jump next year.

It also must be mentioned...Tom Brady's poor deep throws cost Dobson several long catches and multiple touchdowns last season. But no way around it, talent wise, he is the mot gifted wide receiver Tom Brady has ever made, Randy Moss withstanding.

It is really too bad he had a few drops and saw a few horrible passes in that week 2 Jets game, because he put on a clinic, route running wise.


Last edited by NextBigThing on Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jofos


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Dobson can be a number 1 if healthy. He had 37 catches in 12 games (really 11 as he didn't play much in the Denver game and wasn't targeted). That's not great numbers but he was showing good improvement until he was injured.
As much as I would like a number 1 like you're talking about but I don't think it fits what the Patriots do, spread the ball around make you cover everyone.
Dobson has all the tools to be really good. If he continues to progress and he and Brady develop chemistry I think we'll be fine.
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BigTimePatsFan9


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's very clear, taking a closer look at some of the links that NBT posted, that the lack of chemistry between Brady and Dobson resulted in several missed throws, especially deep balls that could have easily been touchdowns in quite a few instances.

I agree that Dobson could take a Jeffery-esque jump in production next year as he builds more chemistry with Brady and they connect on more of the routes where Dobson has more than a few yards between him and his defender over the top.

I also think that Dobson could benefit from having a real threat across from him. Obviously Amendola, Edelman, and Gronk in the slot are all very real threats, but having someone even like Britt that demands respect based on athleticism alone would definitely help Dobson out.

Without a true threat across from him, I could easily see a 1,000 yard season with 7 or 8 TD's.

With somebody across him that is actually a deep threat (Britt), I would boost that production by at least another hundred yards and an additional TD
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derekstanggt


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NextBigThing wrote:
Dobson was an extremely impressive route runner last season. His chemistry with Brady was what was lacking.


I'm glad you chimed in, NBT. You always make me feel more optimistic about Dobson. You must think that Dobson is the answer then? No need to worry at all? What are your thoughts on Mark Harrison?

jofos wrote:
I think Dobson can be a number 1 if healthy.

Dobson has all the tools to be really good. If he continues to progress and he and Brady develop chemistry I think we'll be fine.


Lots of "ifs" there. Those ifs are what I was focusing on. There doesn't seem to be a plan B if Dobson either doesn't develop, or if he is a victim of the injury bug. I see the tools, and there were flashes, but I don't remember seeing enough times when it was all put together without a blown coverage to help Dobson out. Certainly the Steelers game was huge, but I think there were a lot of other factors that went into that game. Amendola also had a breakout game.
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derekstanggt


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigTimePatsFan9 wrote:

I also think that Dobson could benefit from having a real threat across from him.

Without a true threat across from him, I could easily see a 1,000 yard season with 7 or 8 TD's.

With somebody across him that is actually a deep threat (Britt), I would boost that production by at least another hundred yards and an additional TD


That's kind of my point. Dobson is supposed to be that threat. He's the one that's supposed to make everyone else better around him because he is the deep threat and commands the attention. I'm not saying he isn't good, or won't be a productive WR, I'm wondering if Dobson will develop into the WR that many here hope he'll become. Someone who has the impact of an Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald. I don't think anyone imagines him to be a Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, or AJ Green type player, but maybe in the next tier down. And if he ends up not developing into more than a 900 yd, 5 TD guy (good for other teams' standards, not the Pats), is there a contingency plan?
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CP3MVP


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If healthy the patriots have a good enough overall core of weapons, especially since gronk is essentially a "number one".

But in general the position of WR is perhaps the most overrated in team sports. Who were the pats WR's when they won 3 in 4 years? You probably can't name the receivers on Seattle and their the best team in the league
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derekstanggt


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CP3MVP wrote:

But in general the position of WR is perhaps the most overrated in team sports. Who were the pats WR's when they won 3 in 4 years? You probably can't name the receivers on Seattle and their the best team in the league


That's certainly a point to consider. However, something you didn't mention is that those teams all had elite defenses and very good run games. If the Pats' defense becomes as good, or close to Seattle's, and the run game looks as good as it did the last couple games of last year, then I'll be much less concerned with WR development. Very Happy
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24isthelaw


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Are the Pats putting all their eggs into Dobson's basket Reply with quote

Quote:
The Pats are lacking a true #1 guy. Now I know BB probably doesn't see his WRs as #1, #2, #3, etc, but that's how many opposing defenses are schemed.


So you're saying the Patriots don't have Calvin Johnson? A guy like Jordy Nelson isn't "changing defenses". There's only a couple of players in the NFL who could be described like that.

Quote:
Just looking around the league, it's hard not to find a big, fast, physical WR on almost every team.


Seattle, St. Louis, Tennessee, the New York Jets, the New York Giants, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Minnesota, San Diego, Carolina - those are all teams off the top of my head that do not have such a player. San Francisco and New Orleans are debatable. Its really harder to find such a player than to not find them.

Having one of the best WRs in the NFL on your team is obviously a good thing. Its also not a necessity. And Dobson doesn't have to be that to be a success. He just has to be decent. Which is what Edelman and Amendola already are.
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patsfan25


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He can develop into a very good intermediate/deep threat I believe, but if Brady doesnt make drastic improvement in that area in his 2-3 remaining years, it will hinder him badly.


And this is totally off topic, but Im beginning to think Brady might be the oldest QB to ever play in the NFL one day.
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Deadpulse


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they are putting more eggs in Gronk's basket. They don't feel they need that premier proven talent at WR because a healthy Gronk is still the #1 receiving option. If all stay healthy, Dobson's best case scenario is battling for #3 targets with Dola or more likely #4 targets with KT and LaFell. He is great potential but he won't be better than a healthy Gronk, he wont have the same chemistry with Brady than a healthy Jules, and he won't have the all around skill set of Dola. So again, at best, he is our #3 target, so spending to improve on a #3 target doesnt strike me as wise. The eggs are in Gronk's basket. They would be in Dobs only if Jules left.
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derekstanggt


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Are the Pats putting all their eggs into Dobson's basket Reply with quote

24isthelaw wrote:
Quote:
The Pats are lacking a true #1 guy. Now I know BB probably doesn't see his WRs as #1, #2, #3, etc, but that's how many opposing defenses are schemed.


So you're saying the Patriots don't have Calvin Johnson? A guy like Jordy Nelson isn't "changing defenses". There's only a couple of players in the NFL who could be described like that.

No, I'm not saying the Pats need a Calvin type guy. Those come along every 10 years or so. Like I said previously, they need a guy who can have an impact like Fitz or A Johnson. Someone that commands attention because he's a great player and is a threat at all times.

24isthelaw wrote:
Quote:
Just looking around the league, it's hard not to find a big, fast, physical WR on almost every team.


Seattle, St. Louis, Tennessee, the New York Jets, the New York Giants, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Minnesota, San Diego, Carolina - those are all teams off the top of my head that do not have such a player. San Francisco and New Orleans are debatable. Its really harder to find such a player than to not find them.


What I meant by this is that the NFL has been trending toward having a big target for the team's #1 guy for quite a few years. Some of the guys I was thinking of aren't necessarily the best of the best, but their teams were probably planning on them being their #1 guy. Through last season, SEA had Rice, TEN had Britt, Jets have Hill, Giants had Nicks, Balt has Jones, PHI has Cooper, MIN has Patterson, SD has Floyd/Allen, CAR had LaFell. All are bigger WRs.

24isthelaw wrote:
Quote:
Having one of the best WRs in the NFL on your team is obviously a good thing. Its also not a necessity. And Dobson doesn't have to be that to be a success. He just has to be decent. Which is what Edelman and Amendola already are.


I don't want another decent WR like Amendola and Edelman already are. I think LaFell and Boyce's ceiling is "decent" also. Of course it would be nice to have one of the best in the game, but that isn't probable. I don't think it's unreasonable to want a top 10-15 WR though. Because a WR like that will make all the other decent WRs better.
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