Patriots Preview

Inside Look To New England’s Matchup With The Buffalo Bills

A new year. A new story. A new Tom Brady?  The New England Patriots kickoff their 2009 season with the Buffalo Bills in Foxoborough on Monday night as the Patriots look to shut down the new-look Bills who have some new-faces, most notably Terrell Owens.  The Patriots will honor the 50th anniversary of the National Football League by wearing their Boston Patriots, red-uniforms.  
Tom Brady suits up for the Patriots on Monday night for the first time since treaing his ACL on opening day of last year, forcing him to miss the entire 2008 campaign due to injury.  Brady looks to lead an explosive offense that strikes similar comparisons to their 2007 version.  New England will carry five running backs on its active roster and welcomes Joey Galloway to a revamped receiving core led by Randy Moss and Wes Welker.   
Five veterans are now missing from the New England defense, Richard Seymour, Tedy Bruschi, Larry Izzo, Mike Vrabel, and Rodney Harrison, are all either retired or donning new jerseys, so Bill Belichick and company will rely upon Defensive Rookie of the Year, Jerod Mayo, to step up and take charge for this defensive unit.  The additions of Leigh Bodden and Shawn Springs should help solidify the defensive backfield and shut-down receivers like T.O. in 2009 with Derrick Burgess coming off the edge and pressuring Trent Edwards.  
So the questions that remain are whether or not the defense can hold up to a Bills no huddle offense with no clear-cut leaders.  Also, the main quibble on the mind of all Patriot fans is the health of Tom Brady’s surgically repaired knee.  If Brady can prove that he can maneuver around the pocket and evade oncoming pass-rushers, the Patriots offense should be rolling on all levels.
Keep an eye on the chess match between Dick Jauron and Belichick.  The two head coaches have great respect for each other and the special teams and field-positioning battles should be interesting to watch.  
Final Prediction: Patriots 31-20

Ay Ay Captain

Patriots Announce Captains For 2009 Season

With a revolving door of personal at Foxoborough nowadays, the New England Patriots finally announced their captains for 2009 four days before they kick off their season against the Buffalo Bills.  New England selected two captains from offense and defense and one from special teams.  Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork, and Sam Aiken are the five players chosen to represent the Patriots at the 50-yard-line before games.

Wilfork and Moss head into their second year as captains as Mayo and Aiken begin their fist campaign with C’s on their chest.  Last year, the Patriots captains were Brady, Moss, Matt light, Wilfork, Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, and Larry Izzo.   With four of last year’s eight captains either traded or retired, the Patriots will look to a new group of men to lead the squad this year on and off the field. 

ESPN’s Newest Member Is One Of Our Own

Bruschi Tackles New Position At ESPN

With the birth of ESPNBoston.com set to come the same day the New England Patriots take the field on Monday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills, it would only be fitting that Tedy Bruschi would help kick of the festivities.

Bruschi, who recently just retired from the Patriots, will join ESPN as an NFL analyst and will provide insight on the website, “Sportscenter”, “NFL Live”, and other ESPN networks.  Bruschi retired after 13 seasons in New England.  

Poll Question: Is The Seymour Trade A Good Move?

What Do You Think About the Richard Seymour Trade?

a) I don’t like the move.  It hurts the Pats in 2009 and I liked Big Sey.

b) It doesn’t make any sense to me, but I guess in Bill We Trust. Right?

c) I like this move. We get a guaranteed high pick and Seymour’s best days are behind him.

d) Im not sure what to think, if their defensive line holds up I guess it’s a good move but I will wait until 2011 to see who we actually get in return.

 

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

Greg Lewis Released By Patriots

Patriots Part Ways With Former-Eagle Wideout

The New England Patriots have been busy of late, and that didn’t change on Monday, as the Pats released reciever Greg Lewis.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)  

The Patriots acquired Lewis, who competed for the No. 3 & 4 receiver spot this preseason, in March from the Philadelphia Eagles for a fifth-round draft pick.

They also received a seventh-round draft choice with Lewis.  With the 29-year-old now out of the picture, New England still has Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Joey Galloway, Sam Aiken, and Julian Edelman on their roster.  Lewis was thought to be competing with Galloway for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart and seemed to have an upper edge over the veteran from Tampa Bay, who has had trouble adjusting to the Patriots offensive system.

However, it seems that Bill Belichick decided to go with experience over youth and has definitely let fans see his liking of both special teams specialist Sam Aiken and super utility-man Julian Edelman.  

Shippin’ Seymour

Patriots Deal Seymour To Oakland For 2011 First-Round Pick

In a shocking move just one week before the beginning of the 2009 NFL season, the New England Patriots dealt defensive end Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders for the Raiders 2011 first-round selection.

(Getty Images) (Getty Images)
A first-round draft choice in 2001, Seymour won three super bowls with the Patriots during his tenure with New England.  Heading into the final year of his contract, Seymour was due to make $3.685 million and an extension with the Patriots next year seemed unlikely with the need to resign both Vince Wilfork and Tom Brady, among others.  The likelihood that Bill Belichick would dole out a bundle of cash to resign the 29-year-old was highly improbable which makes the move much more understandable.
Jarvis Green will step in to replace Seymour with Ron Brace, Mike Wright, and Myron Bryor due to receive more playing time.  Green, an eight-year-veteran, will play alongside Ty Warren and Vince Wilfork who are already stalwarts for the New England defensive line.  With Seymour gone, the play of Adalius Thomas and Derrick Burgess becomes much more important if the Patriots want to disrupt opposing quarterbacks in the backfield with their 4-3 and 3-4 defensive schemes.
Patriots fans faith will be tested with this move but don’t be to quick to jump off the, “In Bill We Trust” train just yet.  If New England can resign both Wilfork and Brady for the long-term while keeping a competitive defensive line this year, this move will look brilliant, especially when the Oakland Raiders are due to send a top-ten draft pick in 2011 to the Patriots.

New England Cuts Another QB

Pats Release Andrew Walter 

Maybe Andrew Walter didn’t have what it took to be a New England Patriot after all.  After a 38-27 victory over the Giants on Thursday, a disgruntled Walter was visibly upset when interviewed by reporters.

That’s just not the Bill Belichick way Mr. Walter.  I’m sure the conversation between coach and quarterback went like this.  “Mr. Walter, enjoy your shower and go on your way, we don’t need you anymore.”  Whether or not Walter still had some Oakland Raiders rust to shake off doesn’t matter, the fact remains, Andrew Walter didn’t have what it took to be a Patriot on and off the field.

Without Walter, the Patriots go into the regular season with Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer as their only two quarterbacks.  Entering the preseason, the Patriots had five quarterbacks but after releasing Matt Guiterrez, Kevin O’Connell, and Andrew Walter, Belichick’s bunch only has two. But don’t you worry Pats fans, Hoyer looked impressive last night against New York and Julian Edelmen waits in the wings in case, god forbid, anything happens to Hoyer or Tom Brady.

So stop fretting about our lack of quarterbacks, Belichick always has a plan, and his track record allows us to trust him.  In Bill We Trust.

 

Thank You, Tedy Bruschi.

AP Photo
Legendary Patriots Linebacker Calls It Quits
As you all have probably heard by now, Tedy Bruschi and the New England Patriots are holding a press conference this morning to announce the veteran linebacker’s retirement from the NFL after thirteen seasons.
It goes without saying that his number 54 will someday adorn the rafters at Gillette Stadium. The most renowned, respected and beloved player in franchise history has left a mark on New England untouchable by any player that follows in his path.
It’s hard to pinpoint which moment will define Bruschi’s career. He was victorious in three Super Bowls, a participant in five. He suffered a life-threatening stroke and wreaked havoc on the football field less than a year later. To me, the defining aspect of Bruschi’s career wasn’t a singular moment at all: it was his never-ending, undying passion to do whatever it took to help the New England Patriots win football games. He was a role-player at heart, and he played his role with the greatest of energy and pride.
Did he have the swagger and star-power of Tom Brady? No. The big-play potential of Randy Moss? No. The Sportscenter-highlight-material of Ty Law? No. Tedy Bruschi never needed to. He had heart, determination, and the will to win. Put the Bradys, Bledsoes, Browns, Laws and Vinatieris aside. Tedy Bruschi is the greatest player in New England Patriots history.

Pats Cutting Their Ties

Backup QB O’Connell Cut By Patriots

In a surprising move, the New England Patriots released quarterback Kevin O’Connell on Sunday in the midst of a back-up quarterback competition.  O’Connell was thought to have the inside track on the number two spot in the depth chart but Bill Belichick and company thought otherwise and released the two-year player.

O’Connell impressed the Patriots coaching staff in his two-years in New England after being selected in the third round of the 2008 draft out of San Diego State.  O’Connell was cut tby the Patriots a month after the Pats cut ties with Matt Gutierrez.  The 6-foot-5 quarterback is the third quarterback to leave New England in the past year, joining Gutierrez and Matt Cassel.  

With O’Connell now out of the picture, Andrew Walter looks to be the back-up to Tom Brady. The release of O’Connell must mean that Belichick likes the look of Brian Hoyer, a rookie out of Michigan State, who was recently signed by the Patriots.    

Pats Send Smith To Broncos

New England Trades Le Kevin Smith To Denver

The New England Patriots traded defensive end Le Kevin Smith to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a 2010 fifth-round draft pick.  

Smith was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round out of the University of Nebraska in the 2006 draft and played in 31 games in three seasons with the Patriots.  With a plethorea of defensive ends and outside linebackers, the Patriots send Smith to Denver to a coach, Josh McDaniels, that knows Smith well.

The fifth-round choice that the Patriots acquire will most likely be the pick that New England sends to Oakland in exchange for Derrick Burgess. 

Patriots Acquire Burgess From Raiders

Pats Sack The Opportunity Of Adding Pass-Rusher

The New England Patriots acquired defensive end Derrick Burgess from the Oakland Raiders for a 2010 third-round and fourth-round pick.  

The acquisition of Burgess, a two-time pro bowler, instantly upgrades the Patriots defense and gives them a dynamic pass rush from the defensive end position.  The 6-foot-2-inch Burgess cost the Pats two draft picks in 2010 and $2 million for base salary in 2009.

Burgess has 47 career sacks and is a eight-year veteran of the NFL. Disgruntled in his past few years in Oakland, a change in scenery and management should brighten Burgess’ outlook on playing, much like that of Randy Moss in 2007.

New England tried to acquire Burgess back before the draft but couldn’t come to an agreement with Oakland regarding draft picks.  However, the two teams kept the lines of communication open and pulled the trigger on a deal just one week into training camp.   

Patriots Training Camp Announced

The New England Patriots have announced that their 2009 training camp will open to the public on July 30.  

With Tom Brady back on the field, Patriots fans will be excited to see if Terrific Tom can return to his 2007 form.  Also, with  Joey Galloway and Fred Taylor in camp, fans will get to see some new faces in a familiar uniform.