Monday, July 28, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

The local sports world is flooded with talk of the ongoing Manny saga right now. Here at Rootbeer & Bacon it's well worn territory. All of our loyal readers know where I stand, and if you missed some posts, just click the links over to the left and educate yourself, because I am not interested in talking about Manny Right now. Why, you ask? Because football training camp is in full swing baby! By now just about every team is in camp and rosters for the upcoming season are starting to take shape, which means we can start talking about the Patriots on the field instead of them just getting arrested.

Tomorrow I am venturing down to training camp for the first time and wanted to point out some of the things I am going to be looking for. Some are obvious, and others not so much. But, look for a full report and some pictures in the coming days. Keep in mind that these are in no real order:

-Do the Pats have a shutdown corner?
I am not sure that I will get an answer to this one tomorrow as I think that the coaching staff are asking themselves the same question. Early reports out of camp say that Fernando Bryant has been able to keep pace with Randy Moss on occasion, but that in no way means that he is the man for the job. In all of years in Detroit he never emerged as a shutdown guy, but come on...he was playing for the lions....Did they draft a WR in the first round this year, because I heard they were thin at that position...

-Will I like Mayo with my Bruschi?
I know, I know it's a terrible pun, but get used to them, I will be dropping them all season. Expecting this guy to be the second coming of Tedy is unfair and unlikely, but he sounds like he could be the real deal. He is the guy I am most interested in seeing tomorrow.

-Will the addition of Dom Capers change the way the defense operates?
This one of the not-so-obvious things that the casual fan might miss. Capers is the former head coach of the Texans, and is now the secondary coach for the Patriots. I was so surprised when I heard he took the job, at the very least I figured he would land as a defensive coordinator somewhere, and I cannot help but wonder if promises were made for the future to lure him here. Either way, traditionally Belichick's defense has been anchored on gap control and play diagnosis. Meaning, it was up the the defensive line to hold the line and figure out if it was a run or a pass, then react. We all know that this has been effective, very effective. Capers is a guy who made his bones by running a defense that was far more aggressive in putting pressure on the QB and on the secondary jumping routes and generally playing a more aggressive style of football. Did Bill bring in Capers to counteract his style? Does he feel his defense needs more "pinache?" I dont know, but I know that one guy who could really shine in a more aggressive system is #75, Vince Wilfork. Anyone who remembers his days at the U in Miami remembers that was a huge playmaker in the backfield, his whole style was about bursting through the offensive line and demolishing running backs before they got to the line. In New England, he had to change that quite a bit, and I think that it would be awesome to see him with the leash off.

-Where does Lamont Jordan fit in?
If Sammy Morris was still hurt, or cut I would not be asking this question. But Morris seems to be healthy and even got an offseason workout award, complete with parking spot. So why bring in another change of pace back? I don't know but I can't wait to find out.

-Will Randy Moss continue to impress me with his clothing choices?
I am still hoping he shows up in a shirt with a giant picture of Tupac on it. You know he owns one, and if he needs another they have about 15 of em at Marshalls.

Again, the baby is crying so I am out. Look for a follow up in a day or so...


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