Tag Archives: Darius Butler

Artificial Turf: Patriots Possum Dolphin’s Wildcat

There’s one thing about the Patriot’s preparation that you can pretty much bank on: The Patriots D will screw up your gameplan.

A well protected Brady lets one fly in Sunday's Dolphin hunt.

The Miami Dolphins went into Sunday’s game ranked in the top 5 of the NFL’s best rushing teams. Ronnie Brown has figured out how to run in the extra blocker formation and he’s even learned how to toss wounded ducks over the heads of unsuspecting defensive backs, ala when he dropped one in for a Six in the first half of Sunday’s affair… But for the most part, the Patriots contained each of the primary rushing threats, holding Ricky Williams to 33 yards on 7 carries and Brown to 48 on 15. The big rushing gash came in the form of former 2nd round draft pick Pat White who kept an option play for 33 yards.

So the game was forced into the incapable hands of Chad Henne, who isn’t very good, though he did find 219 passing yards on 19 of 34 attempts. (And Porter, of course, said nothing.)

Vontae Davis: Does this kind of thing.

The Pat’s offense was sufficient. Brady was iffy but serviceable (to Brady standards), throwing a pick and a Six over 332 yards. 147 of them went to Randy Moss including one absurdly awesome one-handed stab down the sideline over Miami’s standout rookie Dback Vontae Davis who took one away from Randy in the first quarter of play.

Lawrence Tip-Toes Maroney had a deceptively good stat line as well. 82 yards, 20 carries, one score. He just doesn’t hit the holes like a guy that wants yards. He had a couple good gains in the first half, got all pumped up for contact, and then as the game went on, he become more and more passive, and with the loss of Fred Taylor and the availability of the gay-bashing, wife-beating Larry Johnson, I start to wonder if there isn’t another rehab signing in the works.

Randy Moss: Does this kind of thing.

The game was won by the Patriots D. Safety Brandon McGowan lead the team with 8 tackles and a FF, a fully healthy Jerod Mayo had 7 tackles and rookie Dback Darius Butler contributed 6 tackles in his 3rd straight standout game. Even Adalius Thomas got in on the Sacktion (get it? get it?!?).

The Patriot’s began their November stretch with a big divisional win. The hardest month of the season will continue next week at the 8-0 Colts, then comes home for the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS and then travels to the 8-0 Saints. 1 down, 3 to go.

(And I had HUGE fantasy week.)

StartMattCassel

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Artificial Turf: Big Pads to Fill as Rodney Hangs Up Spikes

Thanks for the hardware, Mr. Harrison. You will be missed.

Thanks for the hardware, Mr. Harrison. You will be missed.

The NFL charitable partners, the beneficiaries of NFL fine monies, have all lowered their projected campaigns this year as Rodney Harrison, the most fined player in NFL history, calls it a career. Well, his playing days are done, and now Rodney embarks on a broadcast career. And he’s gonna be good, less hitting though.

Harrison, at least when he was on your team, never seemed like a dirty guy -don’t let the fines fool you-. He was an enforcer in the defensive backfield and a stand up guy to fans and media. Rodney’s 15 year career saw nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers and six with our New England Patriots. He retires as the NFL All Time leader in sacks by a d-back with 30 and a half and the only player in NFL history to record 30 or more sacks (30.5) and 30 or more INTs (34) in a career.

Taken from the Patriot’s announcement: “Since entering the league in 1994, press box statisticians have credited Harrison with 906 solo tackles, leading all NFL defensive backs during that span.”

A concerned Teddy Bruschi looks on after Rodney Harrisons rinal blow in 2008.

A concerned Teddy Bruschi looks on after Rodney Harrison's Final blow in 2008.

“Rodney Harrison is one of the best players I have ever coached,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in the statement. “In the biggest games, in any situation and on a weekly basis, his production was phenomenal.”

Harrison was a guy that Did His Job.

Like with every new season, the Patriots always stress that ‘It’s a whole new team out there.’ Which has been Bruschi’s sentiment, “Its different, its different for me especially when you have a couple good friends that are missing.” He says, “Its changed, its changed and you get used to it and you move on.”
She's a Pats fan too, apparently.

She's a Pats fan too, apparently.

The focus now will be on filling the mammoth hole now left at Strong Safety. Not that the Patriot’s aren’t used to shuffling the d-backs, but finding a permanent replacement for a guy that was such an emotional leader on the field is never an easy task. 3rd year player Brandon Mariweather seems most likely the next in line. He went from a 27 tackle 2007 rookie season to establishing himself as a true force in 2008 with 83 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 INTs and 2 forced fumbles.

There’s no doubt we’ll be looking at a young, fast and athletic secondary, but with limited leadership given the consecutive seasonal departure of our last 2 starting cornerbacks. 13 year veteran, and newcomer to the New England Patriots, Shawn Springs, will have an early opportunity to solidify a key role in the defensive backfield. Rookie CB Darius Butler, formerly of Uconn, has been coming along well in preseason OTAs and Terrence Wheatley & Jonathan Wilhite, both returning from injury, will have a chance to make names for themselves as well.

The team is starting to shape up from all angles now. Brady in form, the offense clicking, the defense shuffling and the rookies being rookies. An action packed NFL season is right around the corner.
With more to come,
StartMattCassel

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Artificial Turf: More on the Kids

Just so we’re clear, SMC’s Patriots Draft Grade: B+. Nut Riding Mel Kiper’s Patriots Draft Grade: B+. Thank you for reading Mel.

Here are links to all of our draft picks’ scouting reports:

Pick 34: P. Chung, S – Born in Jamaica

Pick 40: R. Brace, DT – Went to Boston College, very well spoken according to Pro-Day interviews

Pick 41: D. Butler, CB – 2 Year Capt. at UConn

Pick 53: S. Volmer, OT – Spoke almost no English when he arrived at Houston, Majored in Communications

Pick 83: B. Tate, WR – Smokes pot

Pick 97: T. McKenzie, OLB – All heart, great motor

Pick 123: R. Ohrnberger, G – Starter-like-talent two seasons down the road

Pick 170: G. Bussey, OT – Initial walk on who earned a scholarship

Pick 198: J. Ingram, LS – Best Long Snapper in the Draft

Pick 207: M. Pryor, DT – 2nd team All-SEC in 2008

Pick 232: J. Edelman, QB – Fast QB

Pick 234: D. Richard, DT – All Academic Honors

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Artificial Turf: The NFL Draft, Reviewed, for Those of Us With ADD

"You really doubted me?"

"You really doubted me?"

Remember that head-slapping “Oh ya” moment I was looking for when we unloaded Cassel and Vrabel for a second rounder? Well it happend when we wound up with 13 picks in a 7 round draft full of late going value picks. The Patriots ended the weekend with 8 new faces and have already set themselves up with 3 second round draft picks in 2010, including the Jaguars’ and Titans’ selections. (Of the 44 draft-day trades trades including picks for next year made in the entire NFL since Bill took over in New England, The patriots have made 25% of them.) Bill unloaded Ellis Pussy Fu%&bag Hobbs the Third, who I just didn’t hate as a player, but in real life too, and has now given Philly both of our corners to hate. Bill took a couple gambles on players that we have to assume will work out, given the sources. Here’s a look at the players who matter.

Patrick Chung preparing to introduce himself to a defenseless reciever.

Patrick Chung preparing to introduce himself to a defenseless reciever.

Day One: (23rd pick traded for 26th & a 5th rounder. Matt Cassel was a 7th rounder, and Brady was a 6th rounder. Cassel turned into a 2nd round pick and Brady is the best QB ever. So yes, that matters. Then, We traded the 26th pick for three more picks. Suck on that, every other team.)

Pick 34: With the Patriot’s first utilized pick in 2009, we took Safety, Patrick Chung from Oregon. I know nothing about him. I thought we were going O Line, I was caught completely off guard. What I’ve ascertained is that Chung is an enforcer, which is exciting, because Harrison is probably out. Chung has some coverage problems, but he’s built like a Bob Sanders at 5’11, 215lbs and runs a 4.5 40. (Unfortunately you can’t do steroids anymore).

Pick 40: RUN STUFFER. Ron Brace, a defensive tackle from BC is going to fit in nicely and will play in games right away to spell Wilfork in the middle of the 3-4. Brace is a mere 6’3”, 330lbs.

Has there ever been a guy named Darius who couldn't play? Nope.

Has there ever been a guy named Darius who couldn't play? Nope.

Pick 41: Cornerback. One Bill has been tracking for a while. Two year team captian, UCONN’s Darius Butler. We now have a zillion number 2/3 cornerbacks; Wilhite, Wheatley, Springs, and now Butler. I’m looking forward to see who steps it up. And they’re all under 5’11”.

Pick 58: Sebastian Vollmer. A big MO FO. 6’7”, 315ish. He started as a TE and moved to tackle. Doesn’t have what it takes to play the left side in the pros, but the scouts say he’s a good developmental pick for the right side of the line. Will add some good size and depth.

DAY ONE DRAFT GRADE: B+ / BEST DAY ONE SELECTION: Darius Butler

Day Two: The always exciting 3rd round.

Pick 83: Pot Smoking, ACL Tearing, Round One Talent, with Round 5 Problems. UNC WR Brandon Tate, who tested positive for Marijuana at the Combine, is said to be the best return man in draft and can fly from the wide-out spot. The 6 foot, 180 pounder needs to get bigger and healthier, but could be a future impact player given the system.

"My cock is this big."

"My cock is this big."

Pick 97: Tyrone McKenzie. OLB from South Florida, Iowa State and Michigan State. Tyrone has the kind of story that makes good players. During his college career, he put his game on hold to move home and aid his ailing mother by working the overnight shift at a motel and training during the day. He’s smart, articulate, and loves football. Above anything else, he is loyal. Bill loves this guy.

Pick 123: Rich Ohrnberger. Guard from Penn State. I like this kid. I think he’ll be a starter in a few years and the scouts agree. His technique is great, he’s smart, and he can block.

Pick 170: Doesn’t Matter.

Pick 198: Jake Ingrim. Our new Long Snapper from Hawaii.

Pick 207: Doesn’t matter.

My New Favorite Meathead.

My New Favorite Meathead.

Pick 232: Remember this pick. The 7th Rounder we got from the Jaguars. The Pats took this kid named Julian Edelman. The former Kent State QB is 6’0”, 200lbs and runs a 4.5 40. He’s a legitimate possibility to be taken onto the team and run 25-50 wildcat formation plays this season.

Pick 234: Doesn’t Matter.

DAY TWO DRAFT GRADE: B+ / BEST DAY TWO SELECTIONS: McKenzie and Ohrnberger

(gotta wait 3 years to judge the day 2 selections)

StartMattCassel

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