New England loves their system, and rightfully so, it is a good one. They make the playoffs every year with Tom Brady at the helm and Belichick as the head coach. The offense doesn’t change, no matter the coordinator, and the defense looks the same every year. New England’s offense thrives in the regular season, bogs out in at least one playoff game every season. 2010, it was first rd against the Jets, 2011, the AFC Championship Game versus the Ravens and then again in a painful Superbowl loss to the Giants. 2012, no different, it was against the Ravens, once again, in the AFC Championship Game. The common factor is the physicality of the teams the Patriots are facing off against. In 2010 the Jets defense was very good, and very physical. The Giants defense in the Superbowl was a power house on the front line, very physical, and the Ravens, of course, are always physical. The Patriots wide outs seem to never be open in these games, or drop passes, and Tom Brady seems to be on his back for the better part of the game. So, New England needs to move on from the short players they tend to get just because they may be familiar with the system because that doesn’t mean they offer much value to it.
Edelman for instant, short guy, but we have plenty of slot wide outs, and I’m not picking him over Welker, since Edelman is always hurt. Let’s move on from Edelman, he is a guy New England keeps coming back with and I don’t even get why at this point. Deion Branch, familiar to New England, he is like able by the Patriots nation, but again, system player who adds nothing to the offense anymore. I appreciate what he did with New England back in his hay day, but now, there is no room. This should be a “I want to win a Superbowl” desicion and not a lets be nice and offer him a roster spot. I don’t have a problem with him being a back up guy if injuries were to take place.
Wes Welker, that is the question. I will admit, I have never been a fan of paying Welker, for the past three seasons, I have thought New England should move on from him, but what New England really needs to do is get more help at the wide out spot. I don’t want New England blowing all their money on him or paying him like a number one receiver, when he is a slot receiver. The ideal thing though is New England to go to the draft to fill their wide out needs, because that is the best way to keep Welker. If they take to free agency for a Greg Jennings, how can they afford to pay Welker then, or any player they really need? The draft has talented wide outs coming out this year and thanks to the rookie contracts that are now in place, New England can afford a first rd wide out with Welker. If Welker wants too much money, I’d kindly point out to him how he dropped the pass in the Superbowl that would have closed the game out, and the drop pass that change the momentum in the third against the Ravens last Sunday. If Welker doesn’t come back, I would then move Brandon Lloyd to the slot position, since New England, mostly played him that way this year anyways, and would be cheaper to keep over Welker. Welker, however, I would choose to keep because he is a solid chain mover, an ideal slot guy, who yes, has an annoying habit of dropping passes, but moves chains no doubt, he just needs help by the other receivers on the team, which New England doesn’t have right now. Welker is a guy to keep at the right price. Again I will say this, I would keep Welker, if New England can without paying him a fortunate, and if they will go get deep threats to help him out.
Brandon Lloyd. I’m in limbo on whether New England should choose between him or Welker. Brandon Lloyd caught every pass that was catchable his way against the Ravens in the AFC Title Game. Lloyd was the only player on offense who was playing like a veteran, while the rest of the team was playing like a bunch of clueless rookies. Lloyd has good hands, smooth route running, and I don’t blame him for the way McDaniels used him. Lloyd was brought in to be a deep threat, or that is what people thought at least. New England had Welker, Branch, and Hernandez running deep routes more then Lloyd was, which I’ll never understand because Welker and Branch doesn’t have the size to be doing that. I really like Brandon Lloyd, and would love to see the Patriots keep him and Welker, then hit the draft up for two more wide outs. That is the ideal thing to do but will New England choose between the two? If I had to choose, I would take Lloyd over Welker, and I know I’m in the minority on this one, but still, the drops by Welker really bug the heck out of me.
The Patriots need one more slot wide out and a deep threat. The Patriots need a slot wide out that can go deep with speed though and at 6’0 with blazing speed, Russell Shepard from LSU can do just that. Used a lot like Randall Cobb was used at Kentucky, Shepard shows signs he can be just like Cobb. Cobb has been great for the Packers this past season, and he only stands at 5’10 but is open and more so then not, open deep, because of his speed. Shepard would be the perfect compliment to a Welker, because Shepard’s speed would force attention, or take advantage of the lack of attention that would be giving to him. New England needs to ditch the other slots wideouts like Branch and Edelman and get one who produces big plays. Shepard can be a play maker at the wide out that New England has been missing.
The Patriots also need to get Keenan Allen from Cal Bears. He is a 6’3 stud, who would be a big time deep threat for the New England Patriots. He is so good, I actually think New England should move up in the draft and take this guy with their first round draft pick. If they don’t then pray he falls to them. He is an ideal fit for the Patriots, if you have seen his highlights then you know he fits New England’s system