Server Switch Imminent

August 2, 2009

After long months of talking about a server switch, I’m finally making the move.  But with the move, there will be downtime.  If things go according to plan, there will probably only be an hour of downtime.  If things don’t go like they should, there could be up to 24 hours of downtime.

If that is the case, do not worry.  There are two ways you can keep following PatriotsBlog.net.  The first will be by sticking to this blog at its original domain, http://patsblog.wordpress.com.  If there is downtime, this is where I will make all updates.  The other is at the “new” site, rather, the project site, which is at the domain: http://www.thepatsblog.com.

Since this may be the last post on this server, I thought I’d highlight a few of the features that will go into PatriotsBlog.net 2.0.

  • Fully integrated forum
  • Player profiles with scouting profiles
  • Chat Room (work in progress)
  • Fresher, cleaner look and feel
  • Cool sidebar widgets and more

See you soon!


Patriots Finalize Training Camp Roster

July 30, 2009

With the Patriots first training camp practice beginning in just a few minutes, I thought I’d take a look at a couple of roster moves the Patriots made over the last couple of days.

To start, the Patriots released two players; cornerback Jamar Love and offensive lineman Jermail Porter.  They finalized a four year contract with 2nd round pick Patrick Chung, as well as sixth round pick Jake Ingram.

The Pats also worked out one player, outside linebacker Stryker Sulak.  Sulak was a sixth round pick in this years draft, but was unexpectedly released by the Raiders last week.  At 6-5, 265 pounds, Sulak is an ideal fit as a pass rushing outside linebacker, although playing defensive tackle mostly throughout college, he could be solid in run support as well.

The Patriots also placed five players on the active/PUP list.  The players placed on the physically include Ty Warren, Shawn Crable, Rich Ohrnberger, Darryl Richard, and Mark LeVoir.  Rookie wide receiver Brandon Tate was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list.

That pretty much wraps everything up. The Pats’ first practice is beginning as I write this, so tune in tonight with my thoughts on what I saw today.


Willie Mac Update

July 26, 2009

From a recent Associated Press report:

Willie McGinest will consider playing another NFL season if he receives an interesting offer, and he would prefer to get it from the New England Patriots.The 37-year-old McGinest, the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker who won three Super Bowls with New England, acknowledged his interest Saturday during the Hollywood Stars celebrity softball game at Dodger Stadium.

“I do want to play, but only if the situation is right,” said McGinest, a Long Beach native who played at USC. “If not, I’m probably retired.”

McGinest, whose 16 postseason sacks are the most in NFL history, played the past three seasons in Cleveland after 12 years with the Patriots, who are thought to be thin at outside linebacker heading into training camp. McGinest had 56 tackles in 14 games with the Browns last season, his best performance since his final year in New England.

“There is a possibility,” McGinest said. “I’ve talked to (coach Bill) Belichick a few times. I’m not excited just to jump into camp, but we’ll see what happens.”

From the looks of it, it seems that both Willie McGinest and Bill Belichick are taking the wait and see approach to the situation.

I for one want to see how the young guys, Pierre Woods, Shawn Crable, and Vince Redd perform before the Patriots make any decisions on a veteran outside linebacker.  If no one shows up to play at the position by October, then I think the Patriots should look to bring in a veteran, be it a Willie McGinest or a Rosevelt Colvin.

Ultimately, I would be surprised if they brought in Willie.  I’m just not sure what he has left in the tank.  I would be less surprised if they brought back Junior Seau, whose play hasn’t declined much since the Pats signed him in August 2006.  However, as I said previously, I wouldn’t expect any decisions to be made on the vets until as early as September and as late as October, November, or possibly December.


2009 Training Camp Preview: Wide Receiver

July 24, 2009

Overview

I don’t think there’s any question who Tom Brady’s top two targets will be at the wide receiver position in 2009, with Randy Moss and Wes Welker both returning.  But after those two, there are a lot of questions at the wide receiver position, considering the departure of the Patriots’ second outside receiver Jabar Gaffney.  In the offseason, the Patriots acquired veteran Joey Galloway through free agency, Greg Lewis through trade, and rookies Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman through the draft.  Also returning are Sam Aiken, Matt Slater, and Ray Ventrone.  Shun White and Terrence Nunn round out the position.

Projected Depth Chart

1. Randy Moss

2. Joey Galloway

3. Wes Welker (slot)

4. Greg Lewis

5. Brandon Tate

6. (Sam Aiken)

7. (Julian Edelman)

8. (Matt Slater)

9. (Ray Ventrone)

CUTS: Terrence Nunn, Shun White

Burning Questions

1. Who will emerge as the #3 target behind Wes Welker and Randy Moss?  How much tread does Joey Galloway have on the tires?  Is Greg Lewis ready to step up?

2. Can Randy Moss and Wes Welker continue to play at an elite level?

3. Will rookie Brandon Tate be healthy for training camp?  If not, will he go on PUP, or will he be placed on injured reserve?

4. Will the versatility and special teams potential of Ray Ventrone, Matt Slater, Julian Edelman, and Sam Aiken enable them to keep roster spots?

Training Camp Battles

Ray Ventrone vs. Matthew Slater: Both play receiver/safety, both can play receiver, both can return kicks, both can cover punts and kicks extremely well.  But is there room on the roster for both of them?  Maybe, maybe not.  But one thing is for sure, watching these two duel should be good fun.

Joey Galloway vs. Greg Lewis: Both receivers will be in the top four on the Patriots depth chart, but both will be competing to start on the outside opposite Randy Moss.  Greg Lewis may be the underdog, but Joey Galloway, known for his blazing speed, will be 37 years old.

Newcomer Greg Lewis will look to replace Jabar Gaffney

Newcomer Greg Lewis will look to replace Jabar Gaffney


2009 NFL Predictions (Records, Playoffs, Stats, Awards)

July 17, 2009

It’s that time of year; prediction season.  With mini-camps and OTA’s wrapped up, rosters pretty much finalized, and still a couple of weeks until training camp, I thought I’d take a look at what my predictions are for the 2009 NFL season.  The predictions are pretty intense and in-depth, as I included all records, playoff seedings, playoff results, awards, and major stats predictions.  Lets get straight to it.

NFC North

Vikings 10-6

Bears 9-7

Packers 9-7

Lions 4-12

NFC South

Carolina Panthers 11-5

New Orleans Saints 8-8

Atlanta Falcons 8-8

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-10

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys 11-5

New York Giants 10-6

Philadelphia Eagles 10-6

Washington Redskins 9-7

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks 9-7

Arizona Cardinals 8-8

San Fransisco 49ers 6-10

St. Louis Rams 3-13

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5

Baltimore Ravens 10-6

Cincinatti Bengals 7-9

Cleveland Browns 5-11

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts 10-6

Tennessee Titans 10-6

Houston Texans 8-8

Jacksonville Jaguars 8-8

AFC East

New England Patriots 14-2

New York Jets 9-7

Miami Dolphins 7-9

Buffalo Bills 7-9

AFC West

San Diego Chargers 12-4

Oakland Raiders 6-10

Kansas City Chiefs 6-10

Denver Broncos 5-11

NFC

1. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)

2. Carolina Panthers (11-5)

3. Minnesota Vikings (10-6)

4. Seattle Seahawks (9-7)

5. New York Giants (10-6)

6. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)

AFC

1. New England Patriots (14-2)

2. San Diego Chargers (12-4)

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)

4. Indianapolis Colts (10-6)

5. Tennessee Titans (10-6)

6. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)

Wilcard

6. Philadelphia Eagles 24 |  3. Minnesota Vikings 20

6. Baltimore Ravens 13 | 3. Pittsburgh Steelers 16

5. New York Giants 27 | 4. Seattle Seahawks 17

5. Tennesse Titans 10 | 4. Indianapolis Colts 21

Divisional Playoffs

6. Philadelphia Eagles 31 | 1. Dallas Cowboys 27

4. Indianapolis Colts 17 | 1. New England Patriots 30

3.  Pittsburgh Steelers 19 | 2. San Diego Chargers 20

5. New York Giants 14 | 2. Carolina Panthers 17

Conference Championships

6. Philadelphia Eagles 27 | 2. Carolina Panthers 21

2. San Diego Chargers 24 | 1. New England Patriots 27

Super Bowl XLIV

New England Patriots 31 | Philadelphia Eagles 20

SB MVP: Wes Welker, WR, #83

NFL Awards

League MVP: Tom Brady, Quarterback, Patriots

Offensive Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Defensive Player of the Year: DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Dallas Cowboys

Comeback Player of the Year: Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinatti Bengals

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Michael Crabtree, WR, San Fransisco 49ers

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aaron Curry, OLB, Seattle Seahawks

Coach of the Year: Jim Mora, Seattle Seahawks

Passing Leaders

Drew Brees: 4750 yards, 30 touchdowns, 14 interceptions

Tom Brady: 4550 yards, 37 touchdowns, 11 interceptions

Carson Palmer: 4250 yards, 29 touchdowns, 18 interceptions

Jay Cutler: 4200 yards, 24 touchdowns, 17 interceptions

Phillip Rivers: 4100 yards, 31 touchdowns, 13 interceptions

Peyton Manning: 4050 yards, 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions

Rushing Leaders

Adrian Peterson: 1650 yards, 9 touchdowns

DeAngelo Williams: 1550 yards, 13 touchdowns

LaDainian Tomlinson: 1350 yards, 15 touchdowns

Michael Turner: 1300 yards, 12 touchdowns

Clinton Portis: 1300 yards, 8 touchdowns

Receiving Leaders

Larry Fitzgerald: 108 receptions, 16oo yards, 14 touchdowns

Andre Johnson: 110 receptions, 1550 yards, 11 touchdowns

Randy Moss: 90 receptions, 1450 yards, 17 touchdowns

Calvin Johnson: 86 receptions, 1400 yards, 13 touchdowns

Steve Smith: 75 receptions, 1350 yards, 7 touchdowns

Wes Welker: 115 receptions, 1250 yards, 8 touchdowns


Signing Spree: Pats Sign 5 Rookies

July 17, 2009

Over the past 48 hours, the New England Patriots have been really busy completing contracts for their rookies.  They have wrapped up deals with Julian Edelman, Sebastian Vollmer, Brandon Tate, and Darryl Richard.

And now, according to Pro Football Talk, they have signed the 40th overall pick of the draft, nose tackle Ron Brace.

Left unsigned are 2nd round draft choice Patrick Chung, 3rd rounder Tyrone McKenzie, as well as George Bussey and Jake Ingram.


Darius Butler Signs

July 10, 2009

2nd round draft pick Darius Butler has signed a four year contract with the Patriots, his agent Drew Rosenhaus reports on his Twitter page.

The deal will be for four years, and is particularly interesting because it includes no signing bonus.  Instead, it includes a roster bonus of $440,000 and an option bonus for next year greater than $1.6 million.  ProFootballTalk.com has all of the details.

Butler, the 41st overall pick in this year’s draft, is the second Patriots draft pick to sign with the Patriots.  The first was offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger.


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