Felger & Mazz: NFL, September Going To Be ‘Real Scratchy Month’
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With Massarotti still on vacation, Felger welcomed yet another guest host to the show in ex-Ravens great Mike Flynn, a 2001 Super Bowl champion at that. With Felger missing Friday’s show and an opportunity to react to the Patriots’ first preseason game, he directed a question at Flynn: what were the lasting impressions of the game from the Patriots’ standpoint?
Flynn brought up two specific points that stood out to him: the Patriots’ have immense depth at many positions and they played the majority of their defensive possessions in a 4-3 package, not their staple 3-4 set-up. Flynn did say that he agrees with Belichick, who said that the whole 3-4/4-3 is overrated, given that the Patriots will vacillate between the two regardless of what their initial defensive strategy may be at the beginning of each game.
Felger switched gears a bit to discuss the fact that many Patriot regulars dressed for the game but did not play, including Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Chad Ochocinco, Logan Mankins, and Jerod Mayo. He indicated that this did not surprise him because with the lockout retarding the type of conditioning and preparation necessary for elite players to reach peak level, Belichick is not prepared to throw his blue chip players on to the field before they are in complete game shape.
Felger continued to maintain that the first few weeks of the NFL season are going to be a scrap show because of the delayed progress of teams due to the lockout. Flynn added that offense will always be behind the defense so he would not be surprised if the Patriots’ scoring was down in the first few weeks of the season compared to last year’s offensive output.
As for what impressed Felger from the preseason game, it was the play of the Patriots’ two back-up quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallet. Both had 100+ quarter back ratings and utterly shredded the Jaguars defense to the tune of 47 points. Lost in all that, Felger said, is the fact that Bill Belichick is a sneaky good developer of quarterbacks, starting with Matt Cassel. Should the Patriots be able to deal one of the two for another draft pick, Belichick would have to be commended for accruing yet another draft pick in what seems like an endless surplus of future draft picks the Patriots possess.
This is only the surface of what the guys had to say. Did Stevan Ridley dispel any doubts about his ability to catch the football in the Pats’ pass-happy offensive scheme? Can he continue to impress throughout at 16 game season? And does Taylor Price have a shot to take the number-four receiver slot?
Tune in to Felger & Mazz to hear answers to these questions and more!