So much coming at us here in the early days of the offseason it’s hard to keep a handle on it, so I’m going with a Pats Posits Tuesday Edition so I can chime in on all of it. For those of you braving the waters of ESPN and sports radio bless your hearts, I’ve been in mostly a bubble since Sunday night and I’ve really quite enjoyed it. Every now and then I’ll see something stupid they’re talking about and am reminded why I’ve been abstaining.
— Matt Patricia has officially been named the head coach of the Lions and it appears he’s taking Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge with him. So this will be a hard reset on all three coordinator spots and I wonder if Belichick holds back with the actual coordinator titles as he promotes from within. It was how he protected McDaniels and Patricia in their early days and could make sense here for Brian Flores and Chad O’Shea. Still rumors of Greg Schiano joining the staff, which would be another Belichick reclamation project. I think it would be good to get another perspective like Schiano in an assistant head coach role.
— I still can’t get over the game Tom Brady had in the Super Bowl. I’d bet that the Brady Cliff Gang has been mostly quiet these last couple days and if they’re not quiet they’re just doubling down on stupidity once again. All things considered this might’ve been Brady’s best overall Super Bowl game. Yes, the fumble at the end was a crappy button on the end of it, but outside of that what more could you ask from Brady in a game like this? As we hit 2018 there’s no question we’re in the twilight of his career and each game he QBs here on out is a gift. If that was his last Super Bowl I think he put another feather in his Patriot hat despite the loss.
— The defense is certainly worth a full post and I’m kind of sitting on it until I can stomach the All-22 later this week. But in looking at the depth chart it’s sure nice to see all the bodies who are already coming back — Hightower, Derek Rivers, Harvey Langi, maybe Shea McClellin, Take the young pieces who emerged this year — Adam Butler, Dietrich Wise and Marquis Flowers — and at least it feels like the starting point of 2018, before free agency and the draft, has a lot more promise than what we ended the season with.
— A quick glance at the upcoming free agents and the starting places are at left tackle and running back. Those are where the glaring starting holes are on the team and while I think locking up Solder for a couple more years is a no-brainer, I really have no idea what happens with Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead. I’m sure receiver will get plenty of focus but really, with Edelman and Mitchell back, and I’d bet Danny Amendola is an easy re-sign, with Philip Dorsett and Kenny Britt joining Hogan and Cooks and it’s really a good training camp squad already. Would definitely look to add a development Edelman/Amendola quick-open guy via the draft.
— I am befuddled by the Malcolm Butler benching decision as anyone, but the level of bickering without truly knowing what it was about is surprising. While I think Butler could’ve helped (because how badly could he have really hurt) I have trouble pretending he was the missing savior for the defense in this one. Let’s just remember that Butler admitted he had a down year, he got hit with a killer flu that forced him to stay behind in Foxboro and then Ian Rapoport reported he had a terrible week of practice once he did get to Minny, along with a curfew issue. Would I have thrown him out there in the second half to see if he brought a spark with his energy? Yup. But this was a season-long issue and I can’t pound the lectern when I don’t truly know how deep those issues went before getting compounded by all the events of the week leading up to the big game.
— As precipitous as Butler’s fall from grace was, Stephon Gilmore grew into the role of shutdown corner nearly as rapidly. He was the target of many’s ire early this season but as things progressed he clearly grew into the player the Pats paid all that money. In his second year hopefully there won’t be as many early hiccups for him, but clearly he can man-up just about any receiver in the league.
We’re putting something together for Patshow this week, it won’t be then usual studio show but Nick and I will be chatting to wrap up this Super Bowl. Then next week we’re aiming to have our 2017 season finale, maybe even from a bar location. Will keep you all posted.
From a content standpoint I’ll remain on the Super Bowl analysis this week as I dive into the film review and then next week we’ll get into the offseason, which I take step-by-step — internal free agency, external free agency and then draft.
Plenty more to come as the Pats re-build their coaching staff. Hopefully there are no other big surprises lurking on that front.