Tony Massarotti and guest host Adam “Pacman” Jones talk about the questions surrounding this Patriots team. From big picture issues like Welker’s health and Brady’s contract to personnel decisions, the guys break it down.
Massarotti: “We are all in agreement that this is probably not a Super Bowl team, or Super Bowl favorite at the very least. There are way too many questions. What we are seeing is the start of a new era in Patriots history. You heard a lot of people say last season ‘That’s it the dynasty is dead.’ That’s probably true. The Patriots are ready to turn a new page. And that’s a good thing. I’m interested to see who sticks in the next couple years to get them to the level where we all want them to go. To me, what you are seeing is the reconstruction of a franchise. The primary question I want to ask today is: What are your expectations? I think it’s wide ranging. The development of Jerod Mayo is going to be a story. What happens at right defensive end? What happens in the secondary? Who’s going to play left guard? These are long term questions. The future is now. It started today. Objectively, what do you see? Offensively, there are far more veteran, proven guys than on the defensive side of the ball. The questions about this team offensively are health and contract issues. That’s it. In terms of the potency and experience of the offense, it’s clearly there. The personnel seems to be in shape. The other side of the ball [defense] is a totally different argument. Last year they lost their identity. Now they have to find a new one.”
Adam “Pacman” Jones: “We’re used to coming into the season saying ‘The Patriots are the clear cut in the AFC East and they’re going to be 1 of the Super Bowl Favorites.’ Right now? I think they’re on the short list of good teams you expect to be in the playoffs. If you’re lining up teams and favorites, I don’t know if the Patriots are the top 3 or 4 teams. I think that’s fair to say. Part of the process is you need to be patient. If you want these guys to turn into the type of players you’ve been looking for, and the defense specifically, then patience is necessary. On the defensive side of the ball, I expect them to be better, maybe marginally better. I think that’s the big question about this Patriots club outside of the big picture things: Brady’s health, Mankins contract situation, Welker’s health. The big questions, for me, are how does the linebackers and secondary progress? Do they take a big step forward? If not, I don’t know how much more you can expect from this team.”
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