For a team that likes to ignore the noise, the New England Patriots sure create a lot of it.
It would have been a fairly boring bye week if the Patriots didn’t shock the football world by trading star linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns on Monday. It was the third trade the Patriots made in a week’s span, which gave everyone plenty to talk about while the team disperses for the weekend.
Let’s get into this week’s mailbag.
@DougKyed This mailbag won’t all be about Jamie Collins, will it? #MailDoug
No, it won’t. But it there will be a decent amount of Jamie Collins talk. Something for everyone, I’m a real man of the people.
@NESN @DougKyed – Role of Van Noy & Mingo now that collins is gone ?? #MailDoug
There we go. Right out of the gate with a Collins question, but I’ll be talking about players who aren’t Collins. How’s that for a compromise?
I’m still not sure about Van Noy. They gave up so little for him that I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t play heavily on defense, at least right away. Van Noy was a pass rusher in college and a strong-side linebacker this season with the Lions. Some view him as a coverage player, while others surmise the Patriots will use him to boost their pass rush.
I think Mingo definitely sees more defensive snaps. He’s much slimmer than Collins, but he can play a similar role in the passing game. Mingo can blitz up the A-gap, and he’s shown potential in coverage throughout his NFL career. He’s one of the best athletes on the team, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him covering tight ends and rushing the passer if the Patriots trust him on defense.
Mingo won’t be used as a run-stuffer, because he’s simply too small. But if he is used in the run game, he’d best be used in pursuit.
@DougKyed how’s the vibe in the locker room this year with the Pats, any different than previous years?
From my perspective, it seems like everyone gets along really well. Even after Collins was traded, the mood remained loose Tuesday and Wednesday. I mean, we entered the locker room Tuesday to Chris Long in a Julian Edelman mask, and guys like LeGarrette Blount and James Develin were laughing as hard as any media member over the stunt.
@DougKyed any chance pats extend harmon?
I definitely think that’s possible. I could see Harmon getting a Kyle Arrington-esque deal from the Patriots. Harmon would be smart to see what he can get on the open market, however. He’s a starting-caliber player, and a team might be willing to pay him like one.
@DougKyed how much a a hit is losing Collins for this defense
We’ll find out. Losing Collins definitely changes their versatility, since we could see multiple players replacing him.
Of note: The Patriots allowed .21 fewer yards per carry with Collins out of the defense in the first eight games of the season and .11 fewer yards per pass without him. So, maybe this is a move for the better?
@NESN @DougKyed #MailDoug Are we going to see the ruining of another young receiver by Brady and the Patriots with Mitchell?
It’s slightly concerning Malcolm Mitchell was inactive Sunday. He appeared to give up on a deep pass from Brady in Week 7 then sat out of Week 8. That’s not a great sign.
Mitchell showed great potential all summer, so he should be able to rebound, but young receivers obviously have had a hard time developing with the Patriots.
@DougKyed Which position is Bill’s specialty?
He doesn’t really have one. He came up through the ranks coaching special teams, receivers and linebackers, and he served as an assistant offensive coach and a defensive backs coach between head coaching jobs.
@DougKyed i know is early yet but looking for the free agents, someone interest you?
None of the big names. Probably a veteran who gets released, because the Patriots won’t want to risk losing a compensatory pick. The Patriots mostly should focus on re-signing their own players. Continuity is key in the NFL.
@DougKyed Do the patriots have a plan if one of our tight ends get hurt? No real starting TE behind Gronk and Bennett.
They would likely use Danny Amendola more regularly in three-receiver sets. When the Patriots needed an extra blocker, they’d probably use fullback James Develin and/or offensive tackle Cameron Fleming.
In an emergency, it’s possible Geneo Grissom could play some tight end.
@DougKyed do you see Cyrus Jones getting out of Bill’s doghouse anytime soon? It appears that Coleman has outplayed him so far #MailDoug
Maybe but not anytime soon. Logan Ryan, Eric Rowe and Justin Coleman all have provided the Patriots with solid cornerback play behind Malcolm Butler. Jonthan Jones is valuable on special teams.
@DougKyed does the Collins trade negatively impact the possibility of signing Hightower? They were seemingly close friends
I don’t think it does. He’s a captain, and they can franchise him next year if it comes down to it.
@DougKyed – Best guess for what the plan is for Dion Lewis?
I doubt they’ll rush him back, but it’s tough to predict how the Patriots will handle injuries.
Let’s go rapid fire:
@DougKyed do you sleep better now that the trade deadline passed and Tom Brady wasn’t dealt?
Of course. Already had a post written up in preparation for it and everything. Sike. (I’ll bet you guys didn’t expect to be hit with a sike today.)
@DougKyed #MailDoug Yea or nay:Collins knocks Dak out for the year Sunday, Romo takes over and throws winning the TD pass in the Super Bowl?
@DougKyed #maildoug best positional groups (offense & defense) halfway through The Season?
Quarterbacks and safeties.
@DougKyed who in the current locker room would be the biggest star in the WWE?
The obvious answer is Rob Gronkowski, but I worry about his promo skills. Maybe Martellus Bennett?
@DougKyed #MailDoug Who gets the axe when Lewis is added?
One of the running backs, so either D.J. Foster or Tyler Gaffney. Since the Patriot’s don’t need three third-down backs, maybe Foster?
@DougKyed What annoys you the most about the Patriots as an organization?
The lack of transparency, though I understand it most of the time.
@DougKyed With Cannon’s strong start, and with Scar in his corner, do you see the team offering him a market level extension this offseason?
I could. He’s been great, and Bill Belichick has always loved him.
@DougKyed Ever form tight enough relationships with players to be genuinely bummed when they leave or to keep in touch later? #MailDoug
Not enough to keep in touch later, but there’s definitely some players I’d be bummed about leaving. I was happy for Bishop Sankey to be signed to the Kansas City Chiefs’ 53-man roster, but I’ll miss talking to him about Washington Huskies football.
@DougKyed what’s your top 4 rankings right now for college football playoff
Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Washington. It is CRAZY Texas A&M is ranked ahead of Washington.
A&M lost to Alabama by 19 points — 19!
@DougKyed who are we drafting this year #maildoug
I’ll guess one of the Alabama linebackers: Tim Williams or Ryan Anderson. I fully expect to nail this six months out.
The #Patriots went 3-1 without Brady & 4-0 with him.
Why is everybody from Bill Belichick to the fans so disappointed in this team
That’s a great question. Expectations are just completely out of control, and it gets boring talking about how good the Patriots are year after year. Some Patriots fans don’t even care how their team does in the regular season. They’re already looking to the future.
The Patriots are the best team in the NFL, and I find it funny when people say the Patriots won’t be able to win in the playoffs with their current level of play. It’s always possible a team can lose in the playoffs, but who’s going to beat them at this point? The Patriots absolutely can win in the playoffs as their team currently is constructed, and it’s insane to say otherwise. If that’s boring, so be it.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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