September 20, 2017

Worry Wart – Game Five vs. Baltimore

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

In light of the greatest Patriots receiver ever getting traded for a third-round pick, we have to pull the bandage and review the third-rounders during Belichick’s tenure:

2010 WR Taylor Price; 2009 WR Brandon Tate, LB Tyrone McKenzie; 2008 OLB/IR Shawn Crable, QB Kevin O’Connell; 2007 none; 2006 TE David Thomas; 2005 CB Ellis Hobbs, OT Nick Kaczur; 2004 S Guss Scott; 2003 DT Dan Klecko, CB Asante Samuel; 2002 none; 2001 CB Brock Williams; 2000 RB J. R. Redmond.

Thirteen picks, maybe six keepers among them (we’re including Price and Tate in that mix). Add to that the seventh-rounder New England threw in–a round that has brought the likes of Patrick Pass, David Givens, Tully Banta-Cain, Matt Cassel and Julian Edelman to Foxboro–and it becomes apparent that the Pats were willing to settle for a PB&J to set Moss free (and, in the process, be free of him).

All right, on to new, more pressing worries. Baltimore comes to town this week, bringing a great offense, a storied defense and a whole lot of crazy with them.

Raven Lunatic

Raven Lunatic: Say whatever you want about linebacker Ray Lewis (big talk, big heart, big involvement in a double homicide), he has lead one of the league’s best defenses for over a decade. Sure, his pre-game dance makes him look like a poisoned whooping crane, but don’t say I didn’t warn you when the Pats have trouble moving the ball on the ground.

If They Could You Know They Woodhead: We absolutely love lil’ Danny Woodhead and what he’s brought to New England’s running game. We absolutely fear what the diminutive one could face against the Ravens’ monolithic front seven. (Woodhead’s 5-foot-9 the same way a compact car seats five: close, but not really.)

Ate Ball, Side Pocket: Our Tom Brady has done a great job avoiding sacks (credit the offensive line, too), but he’ll see the most pressure since the NY Jets game, and that wasn’t a lot of fun. He and the receiving corps need to get on the same page, which reminds us…

A Rolling Moss Gathered Some Stones: Only Wes Welker caught the rock more than Moss, but no one did as much with it. How will this affect the offense? Will Deion Branch and the younger receivers be able to make up the difference? How about the running backs and tight ends? Will we have a Taylor Price sighting?

All important questions, because on the other side of the ball –

Taking Some Flacco: Barring two ill-advised passes by Miami QB Chad Henne that made Rob Ninkovich into Mike Vrabel for a week, the Dolphins more or less moved the ball at will (see: 400 yards of offense). With Joe Flacco at the helm, Baltimore has developed a multi-layered, dangerous scoring attack. This could look like Godzilla taking on Tokyo.

We don’t know if 12 days is enough time to realign a passing offense and improve a forgiving defense. Let’s just hope the Patriots coaches do.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]


  1. yes, I agree. The Patriots always screw up on their 3rd round picks. I think they just have a problem with the number 3, it gives them bad vibes, man….really,really bad vibes. They will NEVER pick a good player in round 3 until they exorcise the demon of the number 3

    • Chris Warner says:

      Butch, I wouldn’t say always – it’s a slightly less that 50-50 proposition. I was just saying that it’s a big drop from their greatest receiver to picking the 90th rookie in the 2011 draft.

  2. “poisoned whooping crane”

    LOL I nearly choked on my coffee.

  3. (Asante was a 4th rounder from central Florida, i think. even his own coach was surprised at the time, saying something like ‘well, he is the best cover man on the squad.” and the bit his tongue before saying adding something to the effect “but he’ll gargle lye before he tackles anybody”)

    anyway. had to be impressed with them today, boy. defense came up just huge at the end of the game. credit where its due. real curious to see how the san diego game plays out.

    enjoy the site alot, keep up the good work…

    • Chris Warner says:

      Good catch, Steve: the Pats actually didn’t have any 3rd-round picks in 2003. Both Klecko and Samuel were taken in the 4th (my eyes must have skipped over that. I’m getting older…)
      Agree with your impressions of the defense on Sunday. If that execution continues, this column could get a lot shorter every week.

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