Curran: 34 lines about 17 issues


Curran: 34 lines about 17 issues

Seventeen thoughts in 34 lines . . .

Bodog is an on-line gambling site that releases odds on anything you could possibly want to wager on and a few things you probably wouldnt. Anyway, the Patriots remain steady this week at 4-to-1 to win the Super Bowl in February.

Green Bays odds got a little shorter this week theyre at 3-to-1. Easiest play on the Bodog board has got to be the over on the total number of interceptions Carson Palmer will throw (.5).

On Thursday, Tony Romo divulged his theory for why Jason Garrett went conservative at the end of Sundays game against the Patriots. He believed Garrett believed in his defense.

It hasnt been the vogue opinion the notion that Garrett didnt trust Romo has had more traction but I agree with it. If Dallas ran once then twice threw incomplete, Garrett would have been labeled a moron for stopping the clock and not forcing the Patriots to use timeouts.

The Patriots were supposed to be in the hunt for Brandon Lloyd, the wideout who ultimately was traded to St. Louis. In trying to determine the level of Patriots interest before the trade was announced, Im not sure they were even in the mix.

Hows that happen? Team executives or agents trying to drum up interest and make the perceived trade market seem hotter than it really is.

So what does that do to the perception the Patriots were in the running for Lloyd because they were giving up on Chad Ochocinco? It kinda kills it.

If you want to be a successful New England Patriot (and who wouldnt?!?!), dont get drafted by the team in the second round. Bethel Johnson, Eugene Wilson, Marquise Hill, Terrence Wheatley, Sebastian Vollmer, Darius Butler, Ron Brace, Patrick Chung, Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Gronkowski, Shane Vereen and Ras-I Dowling are the picks since 2004.

Wilson, Vollmer, Chung and Gronkowski are the four you can say, Yeah, pretty much worth spending a pick that high on. And 4 out of 13 in the second round doesnt seem a real high yield (although all evidence is not yet in on Brace, Spikes, Cunningham, Vereen and Dowling).

Teams play dumb against the Patriots. So far this season, New Englands accepted 50 penalties for 432 yards against their opponents in six games.

The only team benefiting more from their opponents lack of discipline? The Lions theyve accepted 60 penalties for 445 yards so far.

Another interesting statistic is passes not caught on which a player was targeted. Surprisingly, Wes Welker is tied for fifth with Brandon Marshall in that category with 24.

That Welker leads the NFL with 51 catches for 785 yards - numbers that lead the No. 2 guy by 12 catches and 110 yards, respectively and had 24 more throws his way with which he could have augmented those stats is pretty amazing.

One more interesting Welkerian stat? He leads the NFL in yards after catch with 397 (Matt Forte is second with 347) and the next seven YAC leaders after Welker are all running backs.

Meanwhile, while its important to highlight the fact Welker is relatively underpaid for his production, the question of why hes steamrolling toward free agency wont be fully filled in until two things are known: One, what are the Patriots offering; two, what is Welker expecting?

The success of the Patriots and the style in which both the organization and Bill Belichick operate invites scrutiny and judgment. Of everything.

You know it wears him out, and after he alluded to that on WEEI earlier this week I tried to flesh out that story a little more by asking him about the sensationalism of media now compared to years gone by. Look, its the way of the world were all living in it, was the thrust of the answer.

Well try that one again. Enjoy the bye, bye.

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'


Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."