Is it just me, or have we stretched the comments Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey made about New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in June a few months too far?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m very excited to see the first time Gronkowski lines up across from Ramsey on Sunday in the Patriots-Jaguars Week 2 matchup. But much has been made of the Jaguars’ “trash talk” this week, when all it consists of is comments one player on their 53-man roster made three months ago.
Let’s get into this week’s mailbag.
Are people overreacting to the reciever / running back situation? Dorsett looked fantastic, Gronk is Gronk, Kenjon can return kicks/punts, Michel and Edelman are on deck. What’s the big deal
I’ve long thought people are overreacting to the wide receiver situation. The Patriots have enough receiving weapons, including tight ends and running backs, that it doesn’t really matter if they only have three usable wideouts. And I agree Phillip Dorsett looked great in Week 1.
The running back situation is a little scarier. Rex Burkhead is dealing with a concussion, Jeremy Hill is on injured reserve and Sony Michel is still limited with a knee injury. That leaves 205-pound James White and 195-pound Kenjon Barner as the only fully healthy running backs on the 53-man roster.
If both Burkhead and Michel can play this weekend, then the Patriots are probably fine. But if only one of Burkhead and Michel can play, or if neither can go, then I think the Patriots need to sign a running back off the practice squad by Saturday at 4 p.m. You don’t want Burkhead, coming off a concussion and knee injury, or Michel, coming off a knee injury, to be asked to carry a full bell cow workload against the Jaguars. That would be bonkers and irresponsible. White and Barner aren’t ideal players to help shoulder the load due to their size.
I actually think signing Kenneth Farrow off the practice squad makes more sense than bringing up Ralph Webb, a preseason favorite for Patriots fans. Farrow is 5-foot-9, 219 pounds and more of a “big back.” Webb is smaller at 5-foot-10, 200 pounds and probably couldn’t make much of a push between the tackles.
Farrow played 13 games, starting two, as a rookie with the then-San Diego Chargers. He was on injured reserve all of last season with an ankle injury.
Is sony playing this week
That’s the $9.6 million question.
If he’s still limited with the knee injury Friday afternoon, then I personally wouldn’t push it. I think you ideally want him at 100 percent before he plays.
At the same time, he might need to play. Football players play football. And if he’s only hurt, not injured, then it might be time to see what he can do. If there’s no reason to believe playing him will have a long-term detriment, then he should probably play.
But if he’s still limited in practice Friday, then is he ready for a game workload?
I just want the Farrow to become the next Jonas Gray, minus the whole sleeping through his alarm and getting cut part.
How do you see the Patriots oline holding up week 2 down in Jacksonville?
Well, they held up pretty well against the Houston Texans, so you’d think they’d also do well against the Jaguars.
It might not be that simple, though. The Jaguars’ defensive backs are much better than the Texans’ secondary. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady got rid of the ball in an average of just 2.4 seconds in Week 1. He likely won’t be able to get the ball out as fast while facing a better secondary. If Brady starts holding onto the ball longer, then guys like Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and Malik Jackson could start bearing down.
Are you concerned with receivers this week? Hogan was non existent last week and with Jags defense it could be a long afternoon. #maildoug
A little bit. If Jalen Ramsey matches up with Chris Hogan, then he could definitely erase him. And A.J. Bouye is no slouch as a No. 2 cornerback. I think the goal for Tom Brady will be to throw in the middle of the field, whether that’s to a running back, tight end, receiver, fullback, tackle-eligible, waterboy or popcorn vendor.
Obviously, that’s easier said than done, but Brady tends to make difficult things look easy.
Do you think Coleman could be a long term option for the team or is he a short term solution like Fowler seems to be and McCarron, Darboh etc. were? #MailDoug
I’ve seen people say and write that signing Corey Coleman could be a move for the future. The problem with that line of thinking is he’s on a one-year contract.
My expectations aren’t high for Coleman. But he could surprise me. He definitely has talent. We’ll be checking in with him in the Patriots’ locker room Friday. Chad Hansen was around for such a short period of time, we never even got to talk to him. We never even saw Amara Darboh.
Is Barner gonna slide right in as punt returner this week? Why are the hesitant to put Chung out there?
That’s my expectation for now.
I can understand their concern over putting Patrick Chung back there, though he has returned punts before. He’s an extremely important defender who has limited experience in the role.
If Chung is forced into it, then they’ll put him back there. But if Barner looks good in practice, then I would expect him to take on the role. Ideally, the Patriots would find someone who can return punts even after Julian Edelman returns from a four-game suspension. Edelman’s important. You don’t need him risking himself by returning punts.
Of the 3 new Acquisitions, who do you think is most likely to be active Sunday? Barner? All? #maildoug
I wouldn’t be surprised if Barner and wide receiver Bennie Fowler are active. Fowler would be used on special-teams coverage units and as an emergency receiver.
I would be shocked if Coleman is active against the Jaguars. By the way, it’s pronounced Jag-wars. Not Jag-wires. Not Jag-You-Ares. It’s Jag-wars. This isn’t difficult.
@dougkyed is Bentley still considered a liability in pass coverage? #maildoug
No, because he’s smart. He’ll always be in the right place at the right time similar to Dont’a Hightower.
But Bentley isn’t a burner like Jaguars linebackers Myles Jack or Telvin Smith. He’ll never be able to keep up with a faster running back on a deep wheel route.
So, if the Patriots use him smart, then he’ll be fine.
Can Trent Brown be extended now? If so would you take a chance with a team friendly LT contact? He appears to be in the right place for his skills
@DougKyed Do you think the Patriots will resign Trey Flowers to a contract extension during this season and what do you believe the contract extension would look like to make it work for both sides? #MailDoug
I’m sure the Patriots would like to extend both players before they hit free agency. It’s not that easy, though.
If Brown starts all season as the Patriots’ left tackle, then he’ll likely see a huge payday on the open market. Same goes for Flowers if he finally puts up double-digit sacks.
If the Patriots offered Brown and Flowers competitive contracts, like they did with right guard Shaq Mason, then maybe they’d take the safe route and sign. But left tackles and defensive ends cost more than right guards.
The Patriots have options at both positions if Brown and Flowers leave as free agents next offseason. They have rookie Isaiah Wynn, currently nursing a torn Achilles, at offensive tackle, and Derek Rivers, Deatrich Wise, Keionta Davis and Adrian Clayborn at defensive end.
Let’s go rapid fire.
How much would Duke Dawson play given Jonathan Jones?
Not a whole lot early in the season. I think that’s part of the reason why they were willing to put him on injured reserve.
With Ed Reed and Champ Bailey DB’s that are basically locks to make it on the first-ballot, do you think this is another year Ty Law has to wait his turn for HOF induction?
I do. I know this isn’t a popular sentiment, but Law, one of my favorite players growing up, is a fringe Hall of Famer to me.
Your thoughts on Tom Curran’s article Tom Brady playing somewhere else after 2019?
I think it’s certainly possible.
Before the fourth and final preseason game, Brady, Julian Edelman and Odell Beckham were all chatting on the field before the game. I saw one tweet from a Patriots fan saying he wished he could see all three play on one team. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that would probably more likely be on the New York Giants than the Patriots, given Beckham’s new contract.
If you could bring back one player from the Super Bowl 49 team, who would it be?
Did you see what Boise State did to UConn
I didn’t. Should I Google it?
Looks like they beat them pretty bad. I won’t mention it to the Boston Herald’s Kevin Duffy and MassLive’s Andrew Callahan. They’re both UConn alums. That would be mean.
#MailDoug @DougKyed I know I have asked this before, so I am sorry if you have already answered it. What player on the other three major sport teams would pick to play for the patriots, and what position?
Jackie Bradley Jr.: punt returner
Kyrie Irving: cornerback
Brad Marchand: slot receiver
Do you foresee Marcus Cannon continuing to be on a “pitch count,” or was that simply a Week 1 decision? #MailDoug
I think that was probably just a Week 1 decision after Cannon missed the entire preseason.
Would you like dez on the pats
I think it would be fun. I still think it’s unlikely, though.
Pepsi or Coke ? #MailDoug
Diet Coke. Diet Pepsi is not good.
Any chance Blount comes back looked like he didn’t fit in Detroit and we need a short yardage back
Hey, after LeGarrette Blount came back in 2014, anything is possible.
Who is the secret weapon for this upcoming game
Jacob Hollister, if he plays.
What would Jalen Ramsey have to say about you? #maildoug
I hope I fall into the “doesn’t suck” category.
Watch this week’s full mailbag video below.
Thumbnail photo via Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports Images