Just one week after predicting that the Patriots’ revamped tight end corps would have the same lack of success as all tight ends have under Bill Belichick, Felger’s tune about them completely changed after the Pats’ convincing pre-season win over Atlanta. Read what Felger had to say about his heightened expectations for the Patriots.
Felger: At one point during that game I stop and I go, “They look really good!” They do. Brady looks really good. Moss hasn’t really lit it up, but everything you hear is that he looks good, he’s out there, made a nice catch along the sidelines. Wes Welker’s out there! He’s out there, back week 1, and should look fine. But we sorta knew those things right? The kids are out there-
Bertrand: I think its different when you see it with Welker, that’s why I think people were really looking for that.
Felger: The kids are out there on defense- and not that they’re doing everything right, Atlanta had one good drive there, little trouble getting off the field- but McCourty looks like he belongs. Those linebackers look like- the inside guys anyway- look like they belong. Chung’s out there sorta flying around. I don’t know! What’s not to like about what you’ve seen? There’s nothing not to like. They’re also playing with a purpose- and this is where it can be deceiving for sure- because let’s say Atlanta doesn’t have the purpose, or New Orleans just didn’t feel like lacing ’em up the other night. And that’s all entirely possible in the pre-season. Some teams have different levels of urgency and it sorta skews the way it looks, so that could be the case. But the Pats were the much more physical team last night, much! In the way they ran the ball, the way they tackled, the way they broke through tackles- I mean it wasn’t even close! And that’s also something that we like to see, a physical Patriots team, what we remember. They’re the more physical team. They got some kids who look like they can play- yeah even at tight end! Those tight ends looked great last night! And I’m not at camp, so I can’t sit there and tell you that’s what they’ve looked like the whole way through. Those who have been there can speak with more authority than I can. If that’s the way Aaron Hernandez has looked all season long, all camp long…Then fine, if that’s who that is I’ll take back everything I said about the tight end position. I need more than two pre-season games to make that final conclusion, but I don’t know, his feet, his hands, his athleticism, for that size…I don’t want him blocking out there for me, but if he’s in the Dallas Clark mold, God bless! There’s a lot to like about what they’ve done, to the point Beetle where I’m thinking about…changing my mi- you know, it’s not a strict changing of your mind because you always say “Well let me get out of camp before you make your conclusions about this team.” But I’m startin’ to think about some things.
Bertrand: Well let’s get like three or four games into the regular season.
Felger: Why do I gotta wait that long if I can see a kid can play-
Bertrand: I’m just saying I don’t know why you think this way!
Felger: Because if a kid can play a kid can play.
Bertrand: Right, but do it in the regular season when you know that the guy on the other side of the ball is playing with the exact same urgency that you’re playing with.
Felger: …B-Real, gimme some of that Kool Aid, where is that? Forget this coffee-licious thing, gimme that Kool Aid!
Bertrand: Listen I’m not down on them, everything was positive last night.
Felger: Did you see the moves by Hernandez on those two catches?
Bertrand: Yes, he’s very talented.
Felger: A guy with that size to be able to…I mean, there’s things you can scout. Footwork, hands, those sorta things. That looked pretty good.
Bertrand: Yeah so put him on “Dancing with the Stars.” Do it in a regular season game.
Felger: That looked pretty good!
Bertrand: i agree! Mike, there’s plenty of things to be very optimistic about right now.
Felger: Let me just continue to gush about the tight ends. Alge Crumpler is a large man- certainly maybe a little above his playing weight- got a ton of ass! I mean, you wanna talk about an ass! That guy is all-
Bertrand: What happened to “short fat old man?”
Felger: It’s all behind. He ain’t short! Who said he was short? That was a bad scouting report.
Bertrand: We play a promo with you saying hes a short fat old man.
Felger: I was just reading from Tom Curran’s report, that man ain’t short. His ass ain’t! His ass probably comes up to my chin! He is destroying people in the blocking game. On that first- maybe it was the Fred Taylor touchdown run. He de-cleated somebody! He crushed somebody! And he’s been throwing his weight around out there in both these games that I’ve seen. Pass me the Kool Aid Beetle!
Bertrand: You have lost your mind.
Felger: No I haven’t.
Bertrand: You have lost your mind.
Felger: I am not making any firm predictions.
Bertrand: Well then what are you saying, you feel good?
Felger: I’m saying if you were like me, I think a lot of people were. Hell, Vegas was like me! Vegas has their over-under at nine and a half. And you watch these games, and you’re objective about it, you gotta look at the way some of these guys look and re-think that position. You’ve gotta re-think it. No conclusions, long way to go. But through two pre-season games, Marc, I’m buying a lot of what they’re selling.