Thursday night, the Patriots beat the Giants in their final preseason game. They finished the preseason 3-1, but that doesn’t matter. There were a lot of changes throughout the preseason, a lot of things to take away for a fan. Here are some from the preseason finale:
– I don’t see how JC Jackson doesn’t make this team. His coverage skills and athleticism are both good, and he showed very good ball skills all preseason, which turned into 2 picks Thursday night.
– Danny Etling isn’t ready to be a quarterback in this league, so I don’t think he makes the team, but there is definitely some talent there. I hope that no one claims him and he ends up on the practice squad.
– Cyrus Jones is a mystery to me. Bill seems to like him, but I’m not really sure why. I feel like he gives them something in the return game, but I don’t know if he’s good enough to warrant a roster spot. He’s fine in coverage, but not a game changer, so if they’re able to replace his return skills with Patterson and McCarron, he could be expendable. If he makes the team, I think he’s player 52 or 53.
– Speaking of McCarron, it seems that he’s a lock to make the roster, since he didn’t play, but I don’t really get it. I mean, he’s been fine, but I haven’t seen him separate himself from the other receivers in any way in any games. He did make a few decent catches in practice, so I guess that combined with what he gives them in the return game was enough to make the roster. Let’s just say I don’t see him as the new Julian Edelman.
– It’s clear the Patriots have a soft spot for Jason McCourty. It’s not hard to figure out why, his twin brother is one of the most respected Patriots of Belichick’s tenure, and Jason himself seems like a really great guy. With that being said, he was playing in the 4th quarter last night. There are only 2 possible reasons for that: 1) They want him to make the team, but needed to see something more from him. 2) They wanted to get more tape on him for another team so he gets picked up. Either way, I wish him the best, but I just don’t see how, even if he makes the team, he’s a factor on the defense.
– Don’t be surprised if the Patriots move one of their defensive linemen. It is, by far, the deepest position on the team, and they should have some flexibility. Keionta Davis is a guy who I would normally say should be on this team, but without a guy being moved, I don’t see how there’s room, that’s how much depth they have.
– I know that Zo said on the broadcast they could be acquiring a receiver at some point in the next week, but I don’t see how that makes sense. Maybe they try to bring in a guy like Braxton Miller to just throw something against the wall and see if it sticks, but I can’t imagine them spending real assets to get a receiver. Typically, receivers take a long time to get acclimated to the offense, and earn Tom’s trust. I don’t see how Golden Tate is all of a sudden an exception to that rule. No one they acquire will be a “plug and play” guy, not in this offense.
– O-line is an interesting position to keep an eye on, with Ulrich John going down last night, there’s even more uncertainty on the line. Let’s pray Marcus Cannon comes back healthy sooner rather than later. I’m ok with Waddle as the swing tackle, but not happy with him as the starter and Matt Tobin or Cole Croston as the swing. The inside has some good depth. Not sure who stays on the roster, but they have a few guys that are capable backups, and 3 guys who are solid, and Mason should start to be recognized as one of the top guards in the league.
– Ralph Webb ran hard again, showing some good burst through the hole. He also caught a TD pass from Etling. I don’t think there’s room on this roster for him, but I sincerely hope he makes it through waivers and onto the practice squad.
– Don’t expect this to be what the roster looks like on opening day against the Texans next weekend. Bill is usually very busy trading away and for players at the end of camp. I don’t expect this year to be any different.
– Thanks for reading all preseason! Finally the games will start to matter next week. But don’t worry, I’ll still be writing a quick takeaways blog after every game. Hope you come along for the ride!
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