Tag Archives: Lawrence Maroney

Artificial Turf: 2010 NFL DRAFT EDITION; “Dolphins keeping up with the Jets,” Patriots in Deep Purgatoric Catatonisism.

This Fat Bitch has made his team a lot better.

As our divisional foes south and southerer of us continue acquiring pieces to their generally bettering puzzles, the Patriots remain mum in the free agent market. In New York, aging HOF fixtures Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson have been RexBeaten into Manhattan (their an effing team from New Jersey, why is nobody else offended by their ‘NY’ headline) and Miami has added Brandon Marshall in a deal with Denver (Marshall is like… crazy good.)

Shoulda. Coulda. Woulda. Just don't f#$%ing trade down.

But alas… the rust continues to build on the once prolific 2007 Patriots offense and the skills of the defensive additions continue to ebb and flow… lots wells, not enough swells. We did add Torry Holt to the receiving corps… The now 33 year old pulled in 51 balls in Jacksonville last year for 722 yards.

Tonight, finally, is the NFL Draft, the most exciting and most entertaining Professional draft. I love the new format and as we look ahead to tonight and tomorrow night in particular, I’ll be paying excruciating attention to Patriots picks… because we really need some Blue Chippers.

Belichick loves this guy. No Homo.

The Pats have the most picks in the AFC; enough to bring in an entire side of the ball, plus a kicker. (Twelve picks.) The 22nd overall and then three more in the 2nd round. No 3rd rounders but we have another surge of picks, seven, in the 6th & 7th round. Generally this wouldn’t mean squat, but even with the suck bags the Patriots have blown high picks on during the Belichickian Era, they are SNIPERS with their late round picks, Alla Julian Edelman… and Tom Baby Making Brady.

The Patriots last 5 First Rounders have been (off the top of my head… so in no particular order): Mankins, Maroney, Marriweather… Watson… and… Mayo. Mayo, Mankins and Merriweather are pretty freakin good, not to mention Big Vince Wilfork in 2004.

We need lots of those. And keep in perspective, as you watch tonight’s draft: This draft is waaaaaay deep. Almost every prospect slated to go in this year’s second round would have been solid late First Rounders last year. And we have 3 picks tomorrow night. So pay attention.

StartMattCassel

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Artificial Preview: Jingle Jangle in The Big Easy

To

For the

Very Simple game plan:

The Patriots will win by one point tonight if they can play Patriot football. Brady will need to extend the field with Moss so that Wes Welker, Kevin Faulk and Lawrence Maroney can be more effective underneath. Given the Saints’ flexible run defense, I think Faulk is going to be a big X factor as the Pats attempt to beat the unbeaten.

The major key to the game is to not let Darren Sharper score a defensive touchdown.

Accomplish that, and we’re looking at a win for the Good Guys.

StartMattCassel

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Artificial Turf: Almost the end of the beggining; Patriots 2-1.

Patience sucks. And in New England we’re waaaay bad at it. But in Sports, there are designated projection periods that you can’t get too worked up during. The first 4 games of the NFL season is one of those periods. (Unless you start 0-3… then week 4 is a must win and if you lose, you can start thinking about getting that 3 year old draft-pick backup some reps.)

Matt Light (background) is getting back to form little by little.

Matt Light (background) is getting back to form little by little.

The Patriots are enjoying a 2-1 platform even while enduring the loss of 3 out of 4 of starting linebackers from last year and our leading reception getter (No idea what’s up with Welker’s knee). Additionally, Tom Brady is only operating at about 85%, Matt Light is playing left tackle like a pair of crotchless panties and no one really knows what’s up with Wilfork either.

First things first, we can all take it easy about Brady until week 7, because that is how many weeks it will take him to be back to Brady-Esqu form, any worry before then is premature freakage. Judging from last Sunday’s decisive but unsatisfying win over the Falcons, Brady’s deep balls are only about 8 inches away from perfect, in the NFL that’s the size of one cornerback hand, and that has been the difference. The Randy Moss drops are 8 inches away from perfect… and we all know it can be done.

The forced but pleasant emergence of Julian Edelman as a slot receiver has done wonders considering the baffling blunder that is Joey Galloway. You can go ahead and look for Joey soon at your local McDonald’s drive through commenting on the quantity of fries you have ordered. It was recently pointed out to me that we probably could have Marvin Harrison for the same money… Just a thought.

The best thing they can do is keep calling those “shot” plays and know that all will be adjusted by the second half of the season.

The very good Fred Taylor.

The very good Fred Taylor.

The running game is shaping up too. Even with Lawrence continuing to be plagued by nagging leg injuries (sissy pants), Fred Taylor is doing his best Fred Taylor impersonation, last week going for a big boy’s 125 and a Six. He is so much more explosive than I had thought he would be, and is a great medium gainer. As soon as he can get his shoulders squared up to the line of scrimmage and take one full stride through a gap, he’s good for 7 yards. Great veteran acquisition.

If the big uglies on D can keep holding it together for us, which they’ve done despite lack of depth at almost every position, The Patriots will head into their 8th week bye at 4-3 with a healthy Vince Wilfork and a healthy Jerod Mayo. They will then beat the Dolphins at home in week 9 and go 6-2 in the second half; 11-5, playoff bound.

Put it on the board.

The 3-0 Fantasy Football Standout: StartMattCassel

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Artificial Turf: Brady sucked, Then he didn’t anymore; Pats win 25-24.

Virtual Bad Ass: Stephen Gostowski comes up big with the fumble that would lead to a Patriots comeback.

Virtual Bad Ass: Stephen Gostowski comes up big with the fumble that would lead to a Patriots' comeback.

Last night was as good as a bad game gets. A VERY rusty Tom Brady, who started the game by missing Moss, Faulk and a wide open Lawrence Maroney -all for inevitable 1st downs-, pulled it together at the end to go 12 for 16 with two TD scores (on the same exact play on the same exact defense) in 126 seconds… which was a little more like it.

In the end, the previously noted “Really Crappy Defense” kept the Pats in play. The dbacks held the other #81 to 2 catches. They only gave up 17 points (Bills scored a combined 24 with a great defensive score by Aaron Schoebel) and it was Brandon Marriweather and Pierre Woods on special teams who combined on a remarkably heads up play to stand up the Bills’ veteran return man long enough to strip the ball and for the little guy Stephen Gostowski to recover it. He’s on my fantasy team. And then it was newly reacquired Tully Banta-Cain who iced it with a sack. We said he would make an impact. He did. Given that the Patriots should be expected to score a minimum of 24 points per game, the D did good enough.

Jerod Mayo left the game early with a knee something. We’re told it isn’t serious. Based on past Patriots practice, that means anything from “Probable” to “Career Ending.” It didn’t look that bad.

The backfield combined for over 100 yards and a score; Maroney & Taylor soaked up 19 carries for 57 yards and a Taylor TD, The Always Improving Kevin Faulk added 51 yards off 6 receptions and even Brady scrambled ahead for 9 late in the game. Morris was a complete non factor and Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis didn’t get a touch.

UTAH! GIMME TWO!

"UTAH! GITME TWO!"

Though Brady did start shaky, as mentioned, he did lead Moss to 141 yards on 12 catches, Welker to 93 yards on the same amount and he equaled Ben Watson’s 2008 Season TD total with a twofer. Keep in mind by the way the Watson was fighting for his job at the end of the pre season. Brady finished with a mere 378 yards, two scores and one INT. How blase.

So that’s the game wrap. Pats win, 25 – 24. No big deal.

Another notable is that it’s Patriots QB coach Bill O’Brien who has taken over offensive play calling after the departure of Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels. (McDaniels called the old dback tip to Stokely for his first win as a head coach.) We’ll see how the play calling improves from week to week…

Mozel Mozel,

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Artificial Turf: It was only pre-season… so let’s just practice saying:

“Suck on that, New York.”

G-D Damn that felt good.

Tom Brady, playing the role of: The Shit Eating Grin.

Brady, playing the role of: The Shit Eating Grin.

The most compelling pre-season in the last decade concluded for us last night with a terrific second stringer victory over the Giants. This was without a doubt the best and most engaging pre season I can remember, there were four games that I watched: Brady’s return, Vick’s Return, Cutler vs. Denver and last night’s game against the Giants. It was easy to watch last night cuz you could flip back and forth between the Sox and the Pats… and the Pats game was interesting because they gave up 21 points in the first Q, which is OK to do in preseason, and then we got to see some terrific second string resolve and poise by a bunch of players trying to scrap their way onto the 53 man roster.

There are three topics that stand out to me as the last remaining points of evaluation before the actual season kicks off in Foxboro a couple Mondays from now… Second String QB situation, Running Back situation, how badly our defense looks right now.

(Before I do that I would like to digress for just a moment to address the Oregon/Boise St. punching incident. Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount was on his way off the field when Boise State’s Byron Hout taps him on the shoulder and shouts something to the affect of, and it’s OK to swear because it’s a quote, “Fuck Ya, Baby!” and then taunted Blount by jumping up and down around him. Keep in mind this was after the game… when you should be done with your shit talking. So what happens next? Blount lands a cross on Hoyt’s chin and sends his shit talking ass to the turf. A guy who deserved to get popped on the chin… got popped on the chin. Blount should get suspended for 2 games and Hoyt should get one game for taunting. If you talk shit after a game, the possibility should exist that you will get what’s coming to you… a haymaker.)

By I digest.

Undrafted Rookie Free Agent and new Patriots backup QB, Brian Hoyer takes some first quarter heat before settling in to manage the Patriots comeback.

Undrafted Rookie Free Agent and new Patriots backup QB, Brian Hoyer takes some first quarter heat before settling in to manage the Patriots comeback.

Second String QB: Hoyer. He proved last night, by remaining composed, not turning the ball over and only taking a handful on negative plays, that he’s the number 2 guy. He weathered some early game pressure from the Giant’s front 7 (they played their starters for about 8 minutes… i think just to get the lead… sissies) and then was able to settle in and go about 18 for 25 on 240+ yards and a score. Done texted me this morning to note that he was 2007CasselEsque; I quite agree.

Banjo's NFL career ended amisdts a host of steroid allegations.

Banjo's NFL career ended amidst a host of steroid allegations.

The reason we continue to have young backup QB’s instead of older Vets is because we need empty vessels that Bill can completely mold to our system… ala Matt Cassel. You can’t teach old dogs new tricks… especially when they are quarter backs. I of course realize the irony of this statement because to assume that a dog of any age could be a QB is simply ridiculous. They can’t grip the ball because they have no thumbs, to say nothing of the language barrier.

Running Back: Let me just quell a little debate by stating these facts as a given: Fred Taylor is our #1 back, Lawrence Maroney is our #2 back and The Always Improving Kevin Faulk is our 3rd Down back. This leaves room for one more back on the 53 man

BJGE is a totaly beast.

BJGE is a total beast.

roster… and after watching BenJarvis Green-Ellis last night, a name I know you all remember from last season, Sammy Morris may be the odd man out. BJGE got the most action this preseason and averaged an astonishing 5.1 yards per carry. But that is insignificant when compared to this fact: Guys who play like BJGE make Bill Belichick’s team. He runs down hill, he’s built like a fire hydrant (which is a quote I lifted from WEEI this morning), and he does anything and everything he is asked. Not to mention a tri of TDs and 125 yards on the ground last night. For second and third string players, it isn’t just how well you perform, its more about how well you fill the role assigned to you, and that last bit is all about how well you can be coached. I think Green-Ellis has played his way onto this season’s roster.

50 bucks if you can tell me who this guy is...

$50 if you can tell me who this guy is...

Our Crappy Defense: Our defense is crappy. Man I miss that Vrabel guy. Our secondary is too loose, Chung has shown ZERO signs of life from our first selection in this year’s draft and Shawn Springs has been roughed up and generally unavailable. I can only hope that Marriweather continues his improvement (which he has) and that Darius Butler, the rookie starter from UConn, will be as good as we think he can be today. No matter how you slice it… we lack a tough guy.

Bruschi’s departure puts the heat on Jerod Mayo and Mr. Thomas to lead the complex defense and Gary Guyton to step up and fill that roving Bruschi role. I’m Also personally looking to our old hometown favorite, Tully Banta-Cain to step up as an OLB/DE swinger.

So here we go. Next game is for real. Monday night, under the lights at Foxboro.

Season Predictions:

Moss: 1,050 yards receiving and 17 TD receptions.

Welker: 107 receptions

Taylor: 9 rushing TDs

Brady: 51 TD passes

Super Bowl Champs. No Question. Talk all you want, don’t worry about a jinx, book your rooms in Miami.

StartMattCassel.

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