September 25, 2017

A Few Words, Ostensibly About Jason Taylor

by Scott Benson, Patriots Daily Staff

I never thought Jason Taylor would end up signing with the Patriots, but it was still kind of surprising to hear of his earlier-than-expected return to the Miami Dolphins yesterday.

The conventional wisdom was that Taylor would wait out the upcoming OTA’s and mini-camps before committing. Apparently not.

I was never a fan of swapping out one 34 year old linebacker for another, so this is no skin off me. Yes, Taylor might have made the Patriots better in the short-term (or not; nobody seems to have considered that possibility) but since when has it been about the short-term in New England?

I’m more convinced now than ever that the Pats have intended all along to play with what they have. Their every move from the time free agency opened to this ‘non-signing’ today says they believe they can win the Super Bowl with Pierre Woods, Tully Banta Cain, Shawn Crable and Vince Redd playing opposite of Adalius Thomas.

Nick Caserio, in an appearance at the Hall at Patriots Place last evening, essentially confirmed this.

We’ve got players on our team we feel good about,” Caserio said, citing Adalius Thomas, Pierre Woods, Tully Banta-Cain and Shawn Crable, a 2008 third-round pick who spent much of last season on injured reserve.

Caserio apparently went on to note that there are still three months to go before the Patriots complete their roster building for the 2009 season (and beyond) though I hope he knows he just bought himself at least twelve more weeks of ridiculous Julius Peppers fantasy with that caveat.

Because there are some among us who are steadfast in their belief that if the Patriots don’t replace one Name Linebacker with another, they might as well set the whole team on fire. How these noisy nutjobs have arrived at this conclusion in beyond me; I only wish Caserio had been content to stop at “we feel good about” and spare the rest of us three more months of ridiculous foot stomping about the Madden rosters of drooling message board posters.

Who knows if the Patriots have made the right decision here; given that their previous personnel decisions under Bill Belichick have resulted in a  71% regular season winning percentage this decade (82% in the playoffs), it seems reasonable to assume they at least have a shot.

I’ll trust in those odds, and the people whose work has been right far more than it’s been wrong, and not in the braying junior GM’s who have apparently mistaken someone else’s acumen for their own.  

Scott Benson can be reached at [email protected]


  1. Hey Scott,
    To me it’s always been about the D-line or the O-line (if you’re talking offense). It seems that the management agrees with this assessment by the results of the draft. And the last couple of years the d-line has not done their job. I know they are “not supposed to rush” the passer in their 3-4 scheme but they have to at least cave in the pocket and they haven’t done this. Ty Warren last year was off. And Seymour for the last 2 years. These 2 positions have to perform better if our pass defense is to get any better. It always starts up front.

  2. Keeping in mind that Warren struggled with injury all last season. He’s been a very good player for them for a long time. I believe if his rehab(s) go reasonably well, he will once again be one of the best 3-4 ends in the league.

    I wrote it last year, and will continue to write that Seymour had a very good season last year in all aspects, including pass rushing (led the team with 8 sacks). And he is still not yet 30 years old. The criticism of him locally is unfounded, and it astounds me ow many fans seem to think of him as a player who has reached the end of his career. I would guess he is respected and appreciated more by opposing coaches and players than he is by his own fans.

    The point of today’s post, however, is that the Pats have been pretty clear by their actions that they believe players like Woods, Banta Cain, Crable and Redd can play and succeed opposite Thomas this year and beyond. Many fans have chosen to ignore this – or dismiss it – in favor of prattling on about how the Pats NEED players like Peppers and Taylor if they are to succeed. That’s a crock of shit that’s based only on how things ‘look’ in May, a flimsy premise that we should by now have learned to reject.

    If, after the season, the Pats’ judgment is proven to be wrong, then I would expect criticism. Now? Ridiculous.

  3. Chris Warner says:

    Reiss brought up a good point that I overlooked on draft day: imagine that the Pats had picked an OLB in the third round, a 6-4, 245 second-team All-American whose 28.5 tackles for loss set the Michigan single-season record. Now imagine that player spent a year in Foxboro with a defensive playbook in his lap. That’s Shawn Crable.

    As much as I would have liked Barwin, Kruger or any of the multitude of OLB/DE conversions available this year, it’s hard to believe that any of them would be above Crable on the 2008 depth chart. Of course Taylor would have helped, but let’s at least watch these guys in shorts and helmets before writing them off.

    Just another opinion from your AWARD-WINNING SPORTS BLOG. (Heh, heh. Sorry. Got carried away.)

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