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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Pats offseason needs...

Micheal Felger had a nice article in the Herald laying out The Pats offseason needs. Rather than re-iterate Felger's article, I'll just lay out some of my thoughts on the Pats off-season needs.

Front office:
Please. Kraft, Belichick, Pioli. We are golden.

The Defensive Coordinator job was filled by Pats linebacker coach Dean Pees almost immediately after Eric Mangini took the Jets job. Problem solved. I'm sure The Pats knew this was coming and they were obviously well prepared to replace Mangini. Pees was named as the DC literally hours after Mangini took the job. Next...

Last season, The Pats did not have a formal Offensive coordinator. QB Coach Josh McDaniels called in the plays with input from Belichick. I have a suspicion that last season was on the job training for Josh and won't be surprised if he is officially elevated to the position of Offensive Coordinator this year. I would not be surprised if he retains his responsibilities as QB coach as well.

QB - Flutie will be gone. Cassel takes the #2 spot. The Pats just need find a solid veteran to compete with Cassel and fill the #3 spot.

Tight ends -  I think we're set there. Might need to pick up a 3rd Tight End in case Fauria is not back. I like Fauria so I hope he comes back. He did not have as good a year this past year as he did in previous seasons, but he's still a solid 3rd Tight End.

Running back -  Dillon and Faulk will be here next year but I would love to see the Pats try and draft a running back. Although plugging in free agent running backs has worked well over the last several years, it would be nice if the Pats could get a young 'franchise' running back to come in and be part of building a young foundation for the future.

Receivers - Felger thinks Givens may be gone next year and I hate to say it but he's probably right. I love Givens but let's face it, he is going to get a big offer from somebody and The Pats will most likely decline to match it. Bethel Johnson is gone. Andre Davis came back from his injury and was a solid contributor. He will probably be back. I hope Troy Brown comes back for one more year but I won't be surprised if he retires. Tim Dwight was ok on returns this past season but did not break any for TD's. The Pats had zero returns, on punts or kick-offs, run back for TD's last year, so that could make The Pats look for another specialist in that area... I expect The Pats will do their usual bit of finding receivers through the draft and free-agency.

O-Line: Solid. I expect few changes there. This is now a deep and experienced group. That's about the only positive thing that came out of all the damn injuries last year.

Linemen - If the Pats can just make Seymour happy, this is an area that is set. If the Pats cannot make Seymour happy, we have a problem. Hopefully the team will come up with a deal that is favorable to both parties. The run defense was terrible when Seymour was out of the lineup last year. Richard deserves the big bucks. The question is, will the Pats pay him what he thinks he deserves? This situation is going to stress me out all off-season. I hope the Pats and Seymour work this out.

Linebackers - This remains a solid group, but these guys are starting to age a bit as well. I expect to see the Pats bring in another LB either through the draft, free-agency or both. I will be curious to see what happens with Biesel and Brown. Could one or both be gone next year?

Cornerback / Safeties - As I mentioned above, if there was one good thing about the ridiculous amount of injuries last year, it's that our defensive backfield got a ton of valuable game experience. Gay will be back. Hobbs hopefully continues to make strides and Samuel will be back as well. Wilson will be back but the safety position is a concern. It's uncertain wether Harrison will be back from his leg injury or not. I will be praying to The Football Gods for his return to the field next year. The defensive backfield will be another area that the Pats will continue to draft players in. There is a chance that Ty Law could return to The Pats as well.

Kicking - We've got Adam. I would not mind seeing the Pats just sign him long term and end this franchise tag dance they do with him every year. Josh Miller should be back for punting duty.

Did I miss anything?


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