New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Taylor Price steals the show in Patriots win, and other game notes.

Price showed speed in and out of his cuts last night.

That play when Mallett threw the short hitch to Taylor Price was the working man’s play of the game. Incredible, first, to see that kind of timing from Mallett. He looked poised all game–was very impressive. When they said he was 6’7”, they meant it. He’s huge. Stands so tall over the line, sees everything, and you can tell he understands what’s going on. So many times he went to the check-down guy that was open, rather than going for the bomb, which seems like a simple idea, but most rookie quarterbacks really struggle with that.

Second, Price ran the perfect sideline route–reminiscent of the David Givens, Deion Branch and Troy Brown era. This guy would have fit in perfectly with them. But it was the quickness and acceleration he showed that was really impressive. He turned immediately and burned the cornerback down the sideline for a big (50 yd) gain. A five yard pass turns into a 50 yard gain. Did anyone realize how fast this guy is? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtOHbJjTVoQ)

Price also had the fancy man’s play of the game. At the beginning of the second quarter he caught a TD in the back of the end-zone, barely grabbing it with the tips of his fingers–since the ball was thrown behind him–and barely getting his toes down. It was a good throw, threaded between two defenders, and a better catch.

This play inspired the awful announcing team (I’m looking at you Scott Zolak) to saw the NFL would be reviewing every TD this year. Thankfully they meant every close call. Not every TD. But that’s kind of a big difference.

Even Belichick was happy with Price’s play.

He said, “Taylor had some good plays, made a couple good catches. I thought that was a tough catch he made in the end zone for a touchdown. He had a couple run-after-catch plays down the sideline there on the hitch pattern when he broke a tackle there by the corner. But again, he’s done some of those things in practice the last couple weeks, but it was good to see it happen in the game. I think he’s been very competitive in practice in training camp this year. The year has made a big difference for him.”

This year has made a big difference for him? Either Belichick is getting far more effusive with his praise (see
http://www.patriotsgab.com/2011/04/30/1807/) or he’s a big fan of Taylor Price’s work.
 
 The absurd man’s play of the game belongs to Ridley. In the third quarter (at the end of the same drive Price had the 50 yard gain), on 1st and goal he rain a HB blast to the left. Roughly three yards from the goal line he jumped Priest Holmes style for the end zone. He didn’t make it, landing on top of the Jaguars, before getting driven back, and tackled. If you haven’t seen this, you need to. Never seen anything like it. No idea where to find it though. 
Other notes:
 
Gotta love any preseason game where the field goal holder (All Hail Zoltan!) has to kick the ball on an extra point. The bad news bear-sy plays of the preseason are arguably the best part. Especially because you know Belichick is just freaking out about this stuff. And if he’s not, you know Brad Seely is, since he’s allegedly a screaming lunatic. Pretty sure he must have reamed out Jonathan Wilhite too when he got Madden-juked by Deji Karim on kickoff–the very next special teams play. (No way in hell Wilhite makes this team. In his only memorable plays last night he got juked, run over, and ruined Taylor Price’s return with a block in the back.)
 
Patrick Chung looks bigger, faster, confident, more aggressive–ready to be the type of player that sets the tone. He reminds me a lot of Brian Dawkins. He can play the deep zone, be the eighth man in the box, cover TEs, cover RBs, play the slot and rush the passer. Too bad he still isn’t coordinated enough to catch the football.
 
When people critique Nate Solder, they usually gravitate to his width. He looks really skinny for an offensive lineman. According to Gavinpedia, he switched from TE to tackle in college. He might be skinny, but when he pulled to the left on a sweep, he got out to the sideline faster than any tackle I’ve ever seen.
 
Watching the NFL draft in April, Michelle Reilly (Patriots Gab writer) wouldn’t shut up about how good-looking Blaine Gabbert is. I respectfully disagreed then. But now? I don’t know if it was his roll-out skills, or the eye-black, but he looked pretty good. He might ride the bench for a year while the Jaguars let him season, observing the guru David Garrard, but he might already surpass his mentor. Still would rather have Ryan Mallet though.
?
When humans have IPod earbuds in, that’s usually code for, don’t talk to me, or please stop talking to me. Pretty sure Tom Brady had those in all game. Guess who was standing next to him… Yeah. It was Chad Johnson.

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2 Responses to “Taylor Price steals the show in Patriots win, and other game notes.”

  1. Sports-Glory says:

    Price had a great game.

  2. Michelle R says:

    Price is a stud – I really hope we keep him. I think he’s making a solid case but he has to get back to practice.

    I’m a little sick of hearing how awesome Mallet was and how some people are comparing him to Kolb. The kid played one game against a terrible defense and mostly scrubs. He’s been average at best in practice, and after seeing him in person I might even say he’s below average. He telegraphs his passes with the best of them consistently on the practice field and doesn’t get too much done again our D. Anyway, not saying he won’t be good, but I’m really glad we have Hoyer. Actually this could work out, if we get a ton for Mallet next off-season or something and get to keep Hoyer god forbid something happens to Brady – we’ll be better off.

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