Dear Coach Belichick: Please Make These Personnel Moves
I trust Belichick, but at the same time he does things that do not always make sense.
In the following slides, I will be going over some of the things that he does that, more often than not, leave me scratching my head and wondering how he could have thought that it was a good idea—being the genius that he is.
I will be covering everything from players that should be playing at different spots on the field, not necessarily different positions, but a different spot on the field that suits their abilities better.
Also, I included some slides where I thought one player should either start over another player, or at least see more playing time, and I also included one player that I thought should be let go from the team.
I've covered everything from offense, defense and special teams.
Taylor Price has everything you could ask for in a wide receiver—he is tough, has blazing speed, runs crisp routes and probably has the softest hands next to Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker. Price is also not afraid to throw his body around when a run play is called.
I remember when Price was drafted by the Patriots, I had never heard of him before so I looked up his highlight tape on YouTube. The one highlight I will never forget was a run play where Price took out a defensive lineman and a linebacker on one run play; he put them to the ground with authority.
Price has done very well for the Patriots in the preseason the past two years, but was held back in his rookie year by injuries. That seems to be the trend this year, but hopefully that will not continue.
The 6' 1", 212 pound wide receiver is one of the biggest receivers on the team, and needs to see a lot more playing time. Bill Parcells went out of his way to talk about how much he likes Price as a player, and Parcells has not gone out of his way to talk about a Patriots player since he left the team.
Parcells also said that Price was a "Parcells' type of player", and if you are a "Parcells' type of player" you are a talented and tough player, i.e. Bruschi, McGinnest and Law.
Parcells rarely goes out and speaks about how much he likes a player from another team, so for him to give so much praise to Price really says something.
Albert Haynesworth has been playing mostly at defensive end, for whatever reason, but in the 4-3 front Haynesworth should be positioned next to Vince Wilfork in the middle.
Those two together would be a 650 plus pounds offensive line you would have to move around, and that would simply not happen—because you can only double one of them.
Kyle Love has been seeing most of the snaps next to Wilfork in the 4-3 front, but with Haynesworth next to Wilfork it would make it near impossible to run against the Patriots, and it would cause a lot more pressure on QB's in passing situations.
Shaun Ellis is a good veteran player but, in my opinion, Ellis should be on the other side of the defensive line.
Currently, Ellis is positioned as the team's left defensive end, opposite the offenses right tackle. I think he would be better suited as a right defensive end, going against the offenses left tackle, which is predominantly the team's best/strongest offensive tackle.
Doing this would put offensive strength against defensive strength, as Ellis is one of the Patriots' strongest defensive ends when it comes to bull rushing. This would allow the Patriots best pass rushing defensive ends to line up against the offenses weaker tackle in the right tackle to gain an advantage.
Andre Carter is another one of those good veteran players the Patriots always pick up, and he also has strong character—which is a plus for the Patriots locker room. Just take a look at how Carter has maintained his body over his career, this guy is made of pure muscle and looks like a chiseled rookie.
Carter has been lining up as the Patriots right defensive end in the 4-3 front, playing opposite the opposing team's left tackle—which is predominantly the team's best pass blocker, so this has never made sense to me.
Why is Carter, who is one of the Patriots best pass rushers, lining up against a team's best pass protector?
Like I said in the previous slide, Shaun Ellis should be lining up against the offenses left tackle because he is the Patriots strongest defensive end, and is also the biggest defensive end on the team.
Carter should be lining up at left defensive end because he is the best pass rushing defensive end next to Mark Anderson, who has more sacks.
But if Carter was lined up at defensive end he could be a lot more productive than Anderson, in my opinion.
The right tackle is generally worse than the offenses left tackle, which is why, in my opinion, Carter would be best suited as a left defensive end in the 4-3 front. He would be a better match up against the right tackle.
Carter showed a lot of explosiveness in the preseason, but has done little since because he is not playing at the right position, in my opinion.
The New York Giants use the term "Lightning in a Bottle" to describe their running back Ahmad Bradshaw. To describe the Patriots running back Stevan Ridley I would use the term "Lightning in a Tank", because this 5'11", 225 pound back is both bruising and fast.
Not to take anything away from the "Lawfirm", but Ridley needs to see a lot more playing time. He always makes the most of his playing time by hitting the hole with authority as soon as it opens, and is a tough back to bring down.
Also, Ridley is more of a "homerun-hitter" type of back, being able to run the distance—instead of some short gains which BJGE usually gets. That's not to say short gains are bad or anything, but Ridley extends the play a lot more, and has very good speed for a back his size.
BJGE is in a contract year, and should he choose to leave, Ridley would be the top candidate to take his leading role.
If Belichick is willing to start two undrafted safeties, then he might as well throw Ihedigbo into the mix—because what is it going to hurt?
The Patriots secondary is already ranked dead last in the league, so it couldn't hurt to try.
Ihedigbo is a veteran player with decent speed and he can tackle, which is a plus because Sergio Brown is not much of a tackler and, save for his one interception of Phillip Rivers, he has been horrible to say the least—and that goes for Josh Barret as well.
"OchoCinco" has been very disappointing so far to say the least, and has not seen the field that much either. When "OchoCinco" has seen the field, he has been counter-productive and caught maybe one or two passes a game for a maximum of maybe 30 or 40 yards per game—if he even gets that lucky.
The Patriots do not need another version of Reche Caldwell—if you do not know who this is then you're probably a bandwagon fan, so don't worry.
Caldwell was a Patriots receiver in 2006, and was famously known for dropping catches when he was wide open.
This included the occasion when he could have single-handedly won that playoff game in 2006, had he caught the ball for once in his life.
So, CUT OCHOCINCO POINT BLANK AND PERIOD, NUFF SAID ABOUT THIS SLIDE!
Dane Fletcher has been a welcomed physical presence to the Patriots defense in his limited time on the field, but with Mayo sidelined with a knee injury for the next six weeks we should be seeing a lot more of Fletcher out there on the field—unless Belichick goes a different route.
In the 4-3 front, Fletcher would be a more suitable option at outside linebacker than the incumbent Rob Ninkovich, who is not much to speak of in the pass or run defense, and is consistently beaten by whoever he is covering.
Fletcher is faster, better in coverage, and more of a physical presence than Ninkovich.
Jermaine Cunningham saw plenty of playing time as a rookie last year, but as of late it has been rare to see Cunningham on the field.
With the Patriots defense ranking in the bottom of the league, it wouldn't hurt to try Cunningham at outside linebacker in the 4-3 front instead of Rob Ninkovich—who has not been productive to say the least.
Shane Vereen was drafted mainly for special team duties, but I have not seen him on the field except for the preseason.
Vereen would be welcomed as a returner because of his speed and shifty moves. Julian Edelman is not doing much in the return game anyway, so it wouldn't hurt to try.