Patriots Mailbag: Kevin Faulk Headlines Handful of Pats Who Could Have Future in Coaching
FOXBORO, Mass. — At this point in this sort of a big week, it looks like every storyline for Sunday’s AFC Championship has been covered, uncovered and recovered once again.
It must be an wonderful game amongst two teams with this kind of contrasting types, and it will be an exercise in old school versus new school.
Let’s open up the mailbag and run via some other matters.
Out of all the gamers at present on the Patriots roster, which one particular could you see most probably going into coaching? Kevin Faulk? Tom Brady?
Properly, I’d rule out Brady simply because he’s got a great point going on the house front. Plus, you do not actually see excellent quarterbacks try out to function their way by means of the coaching ranks after they retire as players. Could the front workplace, or maybe an ownership stake be in his future? Perhaps. I just never see him as a guy who would be interested in roaming the sidelines.
I could absolutely see Faulk getting into the profession right after seeing how he handled his leadership function in the last season and a half. Other people I’d put on that list: linebacker Jerod Mayo, wide receiver Deion Branch, wide receiver Matthew Slater, center Dan Koppen and correct guard Brian Waters. I indicate completely no disrespect to everyone I did not incorporate, but those are the names that right away jumped out at me. I could be way off, but they strike me as guys who would be successful in that line of perform.
If the Pats were to have a losing season, would they be cleansing home like the Colts?
–Garry (Seabrook, N.H.)
It would depend on the situations, and it’s actually challenging to evaluate the two organizations right now. Jim Caldwell never appeared to be much more than a cease-gap head coach who just supplied the easiest transition for Peyton Manning soon after Tony Dungy departed. And Manning’s injury is so uncertain that it really is difficult to inform what course they’d like to go with him. Lastly, quarterback Andrew Luck is viewed as a when-a-generation kind of draft prospect, which produces a excellent storm with the dynamic among him and Manning.
Unless things take a drastic turn for the worse for the Patriots in the subsequent number of a long time, Bill Belichick will be leaving on his terms, and I’d guess those terms will coincide with Brady’s. It really is an fascinating query, but once again, it’s challenging to examine the two organizations since they’re at really different factors.
Do you think the Pats’ defense is at all enhancing as we come down the stretch? As lengthy as we get by Baltimore, I think our defense can hold up against 49ers’ offense. We also match up rather properly with the Giants. As you stated in one particular of your articles: The Patriots could win the Super Bowl beating Tim Tebow, Joe Flacco and Alex Smith, and it would really count!
–The Guy Who Got Gronked
Very first, I hope you are Ok. 2nd, I do not want to take credit for the article you’re referring to simply because it was actually written by Mike Hurley.
At any rate, I believe the defense is improving, but it really is challenging to say by how significantly. They did a great work against the Broncos, and they attacked the offensive backfield more with a 1-gap strategy in the middle, as well as far more pressure off the two edges as they’ve had in any other game this season. The game strategy will be distinct Sunday against a much more standard offense.
Plus, the defense started out to change in Week 10 against the Jets, and they tried even more looks in Week 11 against the Chiefs, which continued by means of the remainder of the typical season. Due to their injury scenario, with linebacker Brandon Spikes, security Patrick Chung and cornerback Devin McCourty missing games, Belichick did a great deal of mixing and matching. I also feel the soft routine in November and December gave the Patriots more freedom to experiment on the defensive side of the ball, taking into consideration how a lot they struggled to start the year.
So, has the experimentation paid off? Does Belichick eventually know what he’s got now that everybody is healthy? Nicely, it clearly worked the 2nd time around against Denver. And the adjustments in Weeks 16 and 17 had been great, also, following falling behind by 17 and 21 factors, respectively. I think it will be truly telling if they commence stronger and are capable to stick with that game strategy during.
That’s the long way of saying, I believe they are improving, but I am even now not entirely positive.
Obviously, we can only know so considerably about our defense based mostly on their functionality against an outmatched Denver offense, but you can’t take away 14 negative plays from anybody. With that in mind, aside from how effectively New England played the option, it appeared like we had been collapsing the pocket on passing downs more than usual. Was that my imagination? I keep in mind 1 sequence wherever there were two sacks in a row (a single was the Gerard Warren sack), and virtually no 1 would have had any time prior to the defense got to them. My question is, was some thing various/obtaining better, or was it matchup-based mostly, or was the Denver offensive line banged up? Thanks.
–Gabriel Cruz (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
It is a related question to the last one, but I want to take it in a distinct course. You were right that the Patriots collapsed the pocket significantly more effectively, but I want to hit on the matchup matter.
This season’s Broncos had one particular of the most special offenses in the NFL over the final decade, so it is difficult to inform how significantly of the game program will carry over to this week. I believe the most crucial factor for the Patriots is to assault running back Ray Rice at the line — obviously, that holds true in the run game, but I particularly suggest in pass defense. I broke down Rice’s influence earlier in the week, so you can go through that for more detail.
What I’m getting at is I think the Patriots are considerably far more useful when they’re aggressive on defense, particularly above the middle of the field. They will be ready to perform that way with Spikes and Jerod Mayo in the fold, and some man coverage over the middle would be a great strategy of attack in my opinion.
Nonetheless, I wonder if Belichick would desire to lay back and force quarterback Flacco to beat him consistently and just bank on Flacco producing a error somebody along the way. That’s how the Patriots played the Steelers — to no avail, obviously — and it was also done with the deep ball in thoughts, which the Ravens can also hit properly. How the Patriots select to attack the Ravens’ offense is absolutely one thing that’s got my focus this weekend.
Hi Jeff, are you far more surprised at the Packers’ (15-1) one-and-accomplished this year or the Patriots (14-2) last year?
–Griff (Somerville, Mass.)
Difficult query simply because both were weighty Super Bowl favorites. On one particular hand, I don’t want to say the Patriots since something can take place in a rivalry game. On the other hand, I never want to say the Packers simply because we noticed how closely the Giants played them in the normal season.
There probably isn’t a incorrect answer to this question, but I will say the Patriots had a a lot more surprising loss. Heading into that game, I believed they’d very easily get by means of the Jets, and the only query was by how much. And even however I picked the Packers to beat the Giants, I mentioned all week I wouldn’t be the least bit amazed if the Giants pulled off the victory.
Not to be a homer, but “Lewis might of been 1 of the two or three ideal gamers” from the 1996 draft? The guy is possibly the best to ever play the place, and you act like that is up for debate. Odd way of placing it.
1st of all, you misquoted me. In Thursday’s story about Ray Lewis and the Patriots, I explained, “Lewis must have been one of the leading two or 3 picks in the draft,” which has a different that means.
The draft also had, as Ravens followers really should know, left tackle Jonathan Ogden, who should be a Hall of Famer. Depending on a team’s preference at the top of the board, it is not exactly unfathomable to see a group take Ogden more than Lewis. And for these who value offensive playmakers, wide receivers Keyshawn Johnson, Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens had been in the draft class. I wouldn’t have taken any of them more than Lewis or Ogden, but again, things like that occurs.
To be clear, I’d rank Lewis at the top of that draft class, and if I had the fortune of foresight, I’d have taken him with the leading select, 1 spot ahead of Ogden.
Do you see the Patriots and Wes Welker possessing mutual trust in every other that they know a deal will get done with out making use of the franchise tag? Is there anyone else really worth making use of the tag on?
–Wade (Portland, Ore.)
I’d really be stunned if the two sides did not reach an agreement, and the Patriots could still use the franchise tag as a tactic to handle the energy even though negotiating with him, just like they did with Vince Wilfork two a long time ago. Welker wants to continue to be in New England, and I never believe the Patriots would make themselves vulnerable by letting him hit the open marketplace. Something will get carried out in 1 way or yet another.
The notable free of charge agents this offseason incorporate defensive end Mark Anderson, wide receiver Deion Branch, defensive end Andre Carter, offensive lineman Dan Connolly, defensive end Shaun Ellis, operating back Kevin Faulk, operating back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, linebacker Gary Guyton, quarterback Brian Hoyer (restricted), security James Ihedigbo, center Dan Koppen, defensive tackle Kyle Love (restricted), wide receiver Matthew Slater, defensive lineman Gerard Warren and offensive lineman Ryan Wendell.
There are some essential gamers on that checklist, but none of them are genuinely worthy of the franchise tag. In a sense of desperation, I can see it happening with Koppen, but that’s an really prolonged shot.
What is much better: “Shake and Quake,” or “The Boston T.E. Party” or do you have a suggestion? Also, did you watch the new episode of The Huge Bang Theory?
Conan, big fan, but I detest The Massive Bang Theory, so I have not seen it. I like “Shake and Quake” a great deal much better due to the fact it’s easier to say, although I like the originality of “The Boston T.E. Party” a little far more.
Have a question for Jeff Howe? Send it to him by means of at @jeffphowe or send it here. He will choose a handful of queries to answer each week for his mailbag.