End of the First Quarter-Season: What Have We Learned?

-by Dino Scapelli

Remember when the discussion regularly drifted to whether this 2017 team would go 19-0? Seems kind of silly now, doesn’t it?

Let’s be clear: 2-2 is not a disastrous record for a contending team. The Patriots were 2-2 and looking ugly to start the 2003 and 2014 seasons and won the Super Bowl each time. Heck, they were 1-3 in 2001 before winning their first championship! So let’s not lose hope that they can become a champion once again this year based on those numbers. Let’s take a rational look into the team’s first quarter performance and try to determine what their strengths and weakness are, and how they might turn weaknesses into strengths.

The offense seems like a certain strength each year behind future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, who at 40 years of age still throws the ball well and reads opposing defenses better than any other QB in the game. This year’s offseason added depth to both the wide receiver and running back positions, and the offensive line returned all five starters. All-time great tight end Rob Gronkowski returned from back surgery to what looks like full strength. But stouthearted, squirrel-quick WR Julian Edelman was lost for the season in training camp, and reliable second TE Martellus Bennett was replaced by underachieving Dwayne Allen. The output of the offense has been sufficient to win each week, scoring 129 total points and gaining a league-high 423.8 yards per game. If there is a weakness, it appears to be the highly-regarded offensive line, struggling to open holes at times in the run game and failing to protect Brady, offering the old guy up for 29 QB hits and 12 sacks.

The defense, which led the NFL in scoring last season, was a disaster in Week 1 against a moderately dangerous Kansas City Chiefs offense, failing to contain the running game and displaying serial breakdowns in pass coverage. Week 2 appeared to be improved, holding a potent New Orleans Saints offense to just 20 points, but still allowed six pass plays of 20 yards or more. Weeks 3 and 4 showed further breakdowns in linebacker and especially secondary play. As effective as the offense has been, it has been undermined by a defense which has allowed 128 total points and a by far league-worst yards per game allowed. Compared to the 2016 defense, the numbers are shocking:

  • Yards per game allowed:
    • 2016: 326.4
    • 2017: 456.8
  • Points per game allowed:
    • 2016: 15.6
    • 2017: 32.0
  • Rushing YPG allowed:
    • 2016: 88.6
    • 2017: 132.8
  • Passing YPG allowed:
    • 2016: 237.9
    • 2017: 324.0
  • Passing yards per attempt allowed:
    • 2016: 6.8
    • 2017: 9.4
  • Passes of 20+ yards allowed per game:
    • 2016: 3.3
    • 2017: 4.75
  • Passer rating against:
    • 2016: 84.4
    • 2017: 116.5

What happened between last season and this to explain such a nosedive in defensive effectiveness?

Personnel losses include cornerbacks Logan Ryan and Justin Coleman; defensive ends Chris Long, Jabaal Sheard, and retired Rob Ninkovich; injured linebacker Shea McClellin; and injured defensive tackle Vincent Valentine. Ryan was a four-year veteran of the Patriots defense and had become an effective slot cornerback. Long and Sheard were veteran players who were effective in pass pressure and edge setting against the run, as was Ninkovich. McClellin showed positional versatility, if not athletic dominance. Valentine was an effective inside pass rusher and disruptive force.

In the middle of the front seven, DT Alan Branch has been unable to repeat his dominance in run stopping, and newcomers Lawrence Guy and undrafted rookie Adam Butler have yet to make much of an impact. Malcom Brown is an OK player against the run, but offers little disruption at the line of scrimmage.

Intended replacements at DE included underwhelming Kony Ealy, who never looked like a solution and failed to make the team; rookie Derek Rivers, now on injured reserve; and roster keepers rookie Deatrich Wise Jr. and last-minute desperation trade target Cassius Marsh. The veteran of the group is third-year player Trey Flowers, who emerged late in the 2016 season as a big-play maker if not a steady edge setter. Defensive captain and normally middle linebacker Dont’a Hightower has been used at DE when healthy, to little effect. Wise has shown flashes of pass rushing skill, but has been rookie-inconsistent and somewhat weak against the run. The undersized Marsh has continuously been overpowered and pushed out of plays. Flowers is more consistent, but not the run defender that Ninkovich and Sheard were.

At LB, the vacancy left by the athletic, albeit undisciplined at times Jamie Collins has never been ameliorated. Replacements like Jonathan Freeny, Barkevious Mingo, Kyle Van Noy, McClellin, the small and sluggish Elandon Roberts, and doddering David Harris have never made the kind of plays that Collins made look easy. The entire LB corps looks slow and often confused by the opposing offensive formations and movement. The position change of captain Hightower has only made things look worse. This was all apparent last year, and the position was from this pair of eyes a primary need in the offseason. However, Bill Belichick apparently didn’t see LB as a major need, signing only the decrepit Harris, undrafted free agent rookies Harvey Langi and Brooks Ellis, and Colts cast-off Trevor Bates (a member of last year’s PS). Ellis and Bates failed to make the team, and there are currently no linebackers on the practice squad.

The secondary was supposed to be the strength of the defense, perhaps even good enough to make up for the obvious shortcomings at DE and LB, but the losses of system-savvy Ryan and the addition of inconsistent CB Stephon Gilmore seem to have thrown a monkey wrench into what was a functioning unit. Somehow, the leadership of Pro Bowl free safety Devin McCourty has not been enough to rein in the handsy and opportunistic Gilmore, who is best-suited to covering one man one-on-one than to making the reads that Patriots DBs normally have to be able to make. CB Eric Rowe is gaining knowledge, but is not yet the automatic instinctive player he has to be; his strength, too, is one-on-one coverage. The undersized but determined CB Malcolm Butler has not been the player we saw come into his own in Super Bowl XLIX and continued to play above his weight in 2015 and 2016. Whether it is the emotional effect of being second salary banana to Gilmore or being utilized in the slot at times, where he is clearly not comfortable, he has been a disappointment thus far in 2017. It is hard to pin down reasons for the decline in communication in the secondary, Gilmore’s system unfamiliarity aside, but like the LBs, this group has looked lost many times in the first four games in spite of their obvious physical talent.

Through the first four weeks of the 2017 season, this has been the worst defense in the entire NFL, anathema to a Bill Belichick- and Matt Patricia-coached team. Some of these deficiencies may be improved by the possible return of Valentine and McClellin from IR, and the communication in the secondary will surely improve over time. But the question is whether this defense is going to be good enough in November and December to get the Patriots to the playoffs again, and whether it will be good enough in January to get them to the championship game most thought they would be in.

What has to happen to make this defense worthy of the Belichick label begins with the DTs simply playing better, Stephon Gilmore learning a defense more complex than any other he has played, and Malcolm Butler becoming competent covering receivers between the hashmarks. The talent at these positions is there.

But even then, the lack of quality and depth at DE is something that will continue to hinder the effectiveness of the defense, and the serious inadequacy of the linebacker corps must be addressed at the very least by returning Dont’a Hightower to his normal MLB position. From this chair, it looks imperative that there be some veteran additions to the DEs and LBs via trade if we are to enjoy another championship in New England.

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229 Comments on "End of the First Quarter-Season: What Have We Learned?"

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DNOMN8R314
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NEW POST
—>Report

Calipatsfan3473
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Ok- I need a little Tom Petty- it’s been a rough day.Report

Opinion Slayer
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By this time Tomorrow patriots D will have given up over 400yds and Brady leads O to 38 pts. But I’m still not sure who wins.Report

Opinion Slayer
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Well, if that happens then pats should win.Report

DinoScapelli
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Devo without the polish?Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Did the singer just get out on bail or something?Report

Saturn III
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Leafs are gonna be tough this year, may win the divisionReport

NewEnglandBlight
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Shouldn’t they be the “Leaves”?Report

Saturn III
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You’re right they should be, but I think the hosers drank too much black label beer and went with leafs.Report

Saturn III
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My love for you is ticking clock berserker!Report

memokerobi
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Won’t be able to do an All 22 Piece on a short week but if we win Thursday I can hopefully do one comparing the two gamesReport

PatriotPrideBoy
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Pats 42 Buccaneers 20.Report

Calipatsfan3473
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Who is this “guest” who keeps down voting everyone?? That’s just rude.Report

Calipatsfan3473
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Just put real grass in.Report

LaFeteMattDog
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Real grass doesn’t grow in Winter Town.Report

Calipatsfan3473
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If they can do it in Green Bay- they can do it in MA.Report

LaFeteMattDog
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Those are green spray-painted cheese curds.Report

Calipatsfan3473
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Seems to work just fine for them.Report

Calipatsfan3473
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Trade one of the new planes for real grass.Report

PatriotPrideBoy
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Replace the entire stadiumReport

LaFeteMattDog
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This guys a commie…or a redcoat!!Report

LaFeteMattDog
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Do you think Cam Newton realizes he’s a douchebag?Report

Calipatsfan3473
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Isn’t that part of being a douchebag- not knowing what he does and thinking it’s funny??Report

PatriotPrideBoy
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Rock HeadReport

jdlboot14
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wow, Alex Smith is outplaying Aaron Rogers by the stats. Are people going to mention that when they try to crown Rogers the best ever again.Report

Saturn III
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Gronk has a thigh injury, what part of his body hasn’t ever been injured?Report

jdlboot14
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I think we all know the answer to that…
(it’s the part that biblical hebrew calls “his thigh”)Report

Saturn III
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I have a Hisense 40″ also and we like it, wound up getting a 43″ Sharp recently for the living room and it’s a bit better. Both stream pretty well too.Report

Deadsmack #NoDaysOff
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Joe Person ✔ @josephperson
Ron Rivera on Gillette Stadium playing surface: “Just listening to guys’ responses, they weren’t happy about playing on that turf.”Report

Calipatsfan3473
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Thought I read that the players association was not thrilled with it- still too soft.Report

HunterCenter
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Atlanta United players were apparently not thrilled with it either.Report

Deadsmack #NoDaysOff
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I can’t believe Kony Ealy had 4 passes defended this week and that Pats LB’s are struggling so badly in coverageReport

memokerobi
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Batted passesReport

JLStokes
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Oh boy, here we go…Report

MrLucky
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That does it I’m a Jets fan now.Report

Deadsmack #NoDaysOff
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BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOReport

Deadsmack #NoDaysOff
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But Guyton couldn’t tackle anyone 🙂Report

HunterCenter
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“Kony, just go out there whenever you want and do whatever”

— Coach BowlesReport

Deadsmack #NoDaysOff
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Can BB do that with Gilmore? Oh yeah, Gilmore is already doing that no matter what

🙂Report

itsBradyBaby
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Oh boy , Coleman had a INT lets get then all back or no SB …smhReport

Deadsmack #NoDaysOff
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Well, Coleman knew Brissett well 🙂Report

jdlboot14
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what happened to that WR from PIT that we signed to PS – is he gone?Report

itsBradyBaby
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Love this Hisense TV from best buy, was skeptical but wanted something not too cheap and not too high for bedroom , sales guy talked me into it , love it so far .Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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I have a nice tv in the living room that we use to watch TV but we don’t have any in any other bedroom. I want to get a good, inexpensive TV for the guest room for when I want to watch something and my wife wants to watch something else. it’s also a TV for guests. There’s not too many times where we fight over the TV so we haven’t needed another and don’t really care about getting a top of the line TV for a guest room.Report

HunterCenter
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Makes since

— ClarkReport

Jdog Lemon Head
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I don’t want to pay a lot of dollars and sense for another TV
-ClarkReport

itsBradyBaby
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Yeah Hisense is not too high compare to other brands but its not as cheap as others eitherReport

HunterCenter
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“not too high for bedroom?”

Does not compute, Nate.Report

itsBradyBaby
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PriceReport

HunterCenter
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I was gonna say, you can never be too high in your bedroom.Report

itsBradyBaby
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LolReport

Jdog Lemon Head
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Not yet, but I’m definitely going to buy another TV. I want to put it in the kitchen by my wife overruled me. Doesn’t make sense since I do all the cooking so I figure I should have a TV in the kitchen. She said I can get one for the guest room instead so I’m going to get an inexpensive flat screen after work — between $100-$200. We’ll see how big a TV I can get for as little as possibleReport

Calipatsfan3473
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I got a cheap simple one at Target for the kitchen for about 125.00- works just fine.Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
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I have the 55″ 4K Roku Smart TV. It was $299 when I got it at walmart and iirc it was the cheapest 50″+, 4K HD+ set on the market.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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That’s a good price but I’m looking < $150. I need to not spend a lot. I've dropped a lot of coin this past month so I need to not spend a lot for the rest of October.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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Thanks. I will check them out. I was going to stop by Brandsmart after workReport

HunterCenter
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I think he should get an 80″ OLED and just “ask for forgiveness” later.Report

jdlboot14
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I can’t believe I’m nervous for a game against the Bucs! But, these days, I’m deflated every time the defense is on the field because we just can’t make a play when we need one. If things go bad early, we’ll be looking at 2-3 for the first time since ’01!Report

itsBradyBaby
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Anyone especially if U call yourself a PAts fan that dont think we will make the playoffs need a overreaction hug or can just go hug themselves under their beds .Report

HunterCenter
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I think the Pats win this game by 2+ scores and get the season right back on track. Usually when the entire nation tunes in assuming to see the Pats demise on TV, the Pats kick ass.Report

jdlboot14
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I’m first in line hoping this is the case. But, even if we beat the Bucs, and see the same issues on D, I won’t feel good… But, I’ll trust the 10 days off that this staff will be doing some serious tinkering, and we’ll see more differences after that.Report

HunterCenter
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as Saban says, “trust the process”Report

HunterCenter
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can’t he just build one himself? I figured that was a genetically instinctual trait.Report

HunterCenter
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but JDogs are an evolutionarily advanced breedReport

jdlboot14
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It was hilarious hearing Troy Aikman go on about Marquis Flowers making the tackle when it was 98. But, 59 did look quick and aggressive in his few plays, and may be forced into more of defensive role for what Collins used to do.Report

HunterCenter
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they might as well give it a shot. he can run, at least.Report

HunterCenter
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always room for improvement in the Special Teams phase!

BB might not want to hand the ball off to a RB 70+ times per game, but I bet he would love to Punt Coverage 70+ times per game.Report

Opinion Slayer
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Just found out the biggest issue with communication on the defense has been that Matt Patricia and BB have been speaking Bulgarian while the players have been speaking a Gaelic dialect! For crying out loud we’re in America guys lets just get back to speaking Spanish and on the same page!Report

HunterCenter
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Or for even better communication, BB and Patricia should learn Ebonics, because I’m sure Gilmore is fluent in that. Butler has a PhD in it.

Also, I just googled to see if he was a Communications major at South Carolina, but alas, he is a Sports Entertainment Management major. Bad choice, Stephon.Report

HunterCenter
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this defensive performance might hinge on Jonathan Jones’ ability to play the majority of defensive snaps, unless the Bucs roll out 2TE sets the whole time.Report

rondo723
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I don’t think it’ll hinge on any one thing or one player. Everyone has to just play better. They were letting Ed Dickson get behind the defense. Ed Dickson.Report

HunterCenter
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oh, I agree, I’m just boiling it down to one player who hasn’t had much of a role yet but could very well be asked to have a big one in this game.

Call him my Y Factor. Although admittedly, the Bucs TEs and pass-catching RBs are probably more of an issue for the Pats D than the Bucs slot WR.Report

rondo723
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Yeah, with Rowe’s injury, that’s likelyReport

DNOMN8R314
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I forgot T.J. Ward was a Buc. I cannot stand him.Report

HunterCenter
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he wasn’t practicing earlier in the week, I wonder if he will be able to play. Same with Lavonte David. If those two defenders can’t go, Brady and the offense will be able to stress the middle of that Bucs D at all levels.Report

itsBradyBaby
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Think he’s playing but Davies is outReport

itsBradyBaby
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Just sit him since you cant stand him .Report

HunterCenter
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maybe he’ll do us all a favor and just lay down the entire game on the sidelineReport

itsBradyBaby
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Black lives patriot…lmaoReport

itsBradyBaby
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I love the honesty coming from the D , watch out Bucs turning point begins with U , last chance Gilmore sure Jones is been ready in case your mental errors continues.Report

HunterCenter
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Banks?Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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CarltonReport

HunterCenter
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ok, phew, because for a minute there, I thought he was talking about Tony. And we’d have to read Stokes’ commentary on how Tony Banks is not old.Report

itsBradyBaby
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Jones …lolReport

HunterCenter
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the maiden voyage of AirKraft One will be the catalyst for positive change.Report

HunterCenter
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you’ve got to earn playing time, Branch. It is not given to you —>Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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I don’t know why, but I always hate when people say, “It’s above my pay grade.” He didn’t say that, but he mentioned the saying that those who make the decisions are about his pay grade.Report

HunterCenter
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right, as if he has zero control over his situation.

Just Perform, Baby.Report

HunterCenter
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I gotta disagree with the Boston Sports Journal that the Pats are currently in the hardest stretch of their schedule.Report

Neil X
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They have a stretch later in the season with 5 road games in six weeks, including playing at Denver and in Mexico against the raiders.Report

HunterCenter
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yep, the exact stretch that caused me to disagree with the articleReport

JLStokes
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To be fair, sometimes he’s literally being escorted by both arms from two defenders down the field.Report

MrScratch
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Again, I don’t see trade being a great route here or a necessary one.

We’d either have to take from a position of strength and weaken it or give up future draft value coming off a year where we had a very short draft.

And when you look at some of the talent readily available to pick off the streets, you might not get much better return than what you can get right now for vet minimum on non-guaranteed money. And you could land 3-4-5 players very cheap instead of one at cost.Report

HunterCenter
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although I agree with Hugo that if they got a player with several years of control, the cost of losing a couple seasons of rookie contract might be worth it to shore up the LB or DE spot. Would obviously depend on the player.Report

MrScratch
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Control at what cost? If somebody is giving away a player with several control years, it is probably at significant cost. Why would a team trade a valuable starter who was making mid-tier positional money for several more seasons?Report

HunterCenter
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well that’s the rub… what would the money be? Pats have the cap room, so that’s not the issue I suppose. It would have to be a big potential short-term boon to the roster to even be remotely worth it, I agree.Report

JLStokes
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I’ll say the Pats could use an upgrade of some sort at the LB or DE positions.

Though, if the 49ers want to trade Navarro Bowman for Jimmy G, I’d be down with that.Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
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I don’t think they need a high end DE of some kind, just one who can push Flowers inside more often. Dwight Freeney would do if he can play.
The biggest upgrade you can make is not-Flowers to Flowers lining up at the 3 tech.Report

JLStokes
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I’m still not sure why Dwight Freeney hasn’t been signed by NE yet.Report

HunterCenter
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he appeared to still have legs with the Dirty Birds last year when conserved for situational rolesReport

HunterCenter
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isn’t Akeem Ayers still on the street?Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Ya but I think KVN or McClellin gives you the same thing. Ayers happened to be involved in a time we remember fondly but he’s overexposed in all but the most specialized roles.Report

MrScratch
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McClellin is out at least half the year, maybe more, maybe the whole year and who knows what he contributes if he does come back? The secondary has a ton of talent and that can be fixed. But chances are, there will be injuries and we already have guys who simply aren’t producing or are in the wrong places trying to cover lack of production/ depth up front anyway. So adding to that and hoping you can get 1-2 guys to rebound to what they’ve shown in the past doesn’t seem like the worst idea in the world for this… Read more »
MrScratch
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There are a ton of guys on the street and you could land 3-4-5 of them right now for what would only be around a $750K- $1.5M cap add in NON-Guaranteed money.Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
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If you didn’t trade Jimmy G by now you aren’t trading for an ILB whose best years are behind him and who is very well paid. Needs to be a rookie contract guy for a 2nd or 3rd rd pick.Report

MrScratch
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A team that is off to a good start isn’t trading someone that can help them right now for future value (unless there’s a significant internal issue).

A team that is rebuilding isn’t trading a piece of that project that has shown and has a few more years of control for a roll of the dice pick. Maybe a guy coming up on expiration…

Then you’re giving away a high pick for 3/4ths of a season.Report

HunterCenter
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however, the defensive personnel issue(s) are now, and the Pats are still a young team overall.Report

MrScratch
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But, again, looking at something like that: in that exchange NEP take on $4M in gtd cap this year and future gtd money on subsequent years when Bowman will be 30 next year.

The 49ers take on over $10M in accelerated cap and would have to FT Garoppolo next year in order to ensure that they retain him and are giving up an asset and taking cap hits while committing to a QB for the future after a month where they went 0-4 and are almost certainly done for this season.

Trades are very tricky… especially a mid-season blockbuster.Report

JLStokes
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Didn’t know about the accelerated cap hit.

Thanks for the info…seriously, no sarcasm lolReport

HunterCenter
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stars aligned with the Talib deal whatever year that wasReport

HunterCenter
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Bowman is old, right? I would not give away a future starting QB for an aging LBReport

JLStokes
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He’s 29.Report

HunterCenter
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so yeah, his legs will go soon. I’m not trading a starting caliber QB for that. a 3rd round draft pick? Maybe, depending on what kind of contract we’d be inheriting.Report

JLStokes
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Hightower is only 2 years younger.Report

HunterCenter
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yes, which means HT is in his prime and Bowman is likely waning. 22-30 is the window, on average.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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The New Pats Plane doesn’t look as nice on the inside as I would’ve thought. I would’ve thought the seats would be much bigger, or even those flat beds since the players are large, and I figured there’d be meeting tables and stuff…kinda like in those fancy airlines to travel to dubai.
https://nesn.com/2017/10/patriots-take-you-inside-new-plane-ahead-of-airkrafts-maiden-voyage/Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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Heck, I think the Bruins fly on planes that have tables because I remember seeing the players play cards on a table when I was watching the Behind the B seriesReport

Calipatsfan3473
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Jonas Gray in jail————————————————–>Report

HunterCenter
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won’t have to worry about oversleeping nowReport

hugowasmyhomeboy
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Well that they let him out. So he won’t have to worry about sleeping either…Report

Calipatsfan3473
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Have to wonder what happened to the kid- cover of SI one week- cut the next.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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SI Jinx!!!Report

dp73
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USC 59
Oregon State 41Report

Saturn III
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If Oregon State scores 41, USC has bigger issues than I thought.Report

Calipatsfan3473
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What time are you leaving dp?Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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Similar score as the Pats / Bucs gameReport

itsBradyBaby
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Why cant you change screen name on here ?Report

HunterCenter
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thinking about finally adding the apostrophe?Report

HunterCenter
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and to clarify, I did not mean changing it to

Le’itsBradyBabyReport

hugowasmyhomeboy
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You can. Scroll up, to where it shows your picture, and says “Welcome itsBradyBaby”. Under that it says “Dashboard”. Click on that. Then choose Profile on the left hand side. There, you’ll find a field for your nickname.Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
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TestingReport

hugowasmyhomeboy
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And back to normal.Report

cfpats4
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Why do I fear that kony early will make the pro bowl?Report

HunterCenter
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because you are starting to question BB’s schemes and philosophiesReport

itsBradyBaby
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Good for him I don’t care he’s not a Pat .Report

Saturn III
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I am so taking the over Thursday Night – might be like a Big XII game.Report

HunterCenter
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but seriously, I do think the Pats win this game by multiple scores, and start to get their season back on track. back to back wins heading into the showdown with the Dirty Birds.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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We only have 1 TV in our house (yet we have 4 DirecTV boxes). It sucks for me because I’ll have to freakin’ watch the Pats game on my phone because it’s on at the same time as game 1 of the Indians (my wife is a huge Indians fan). She used my reasoning against me: She said, “Playoff games take priority over regular season.” which is what I said to her when I was watching the Celtics playoff game at the same time her Indians were playing.Report

Mattsky
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You need to be cheering for the Yankees to sweep Cleveland so it won’t be an issue any more. But be smart about it. Do it quietly.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
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Boo! I feel gross, but a part of me does want the Yanks to beat Cleveland so I don’t have to hear her family go on and on about the Indians. I am conflicted because if the Sox don’t win it all, I do want the Indians to win for HER sake…but not her family.Report

Mattsky
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Welcome to the dark side. GO YANKS!!Report

Saturn III
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Sounds like you need one of those 32″ Cheese TV brands for like $125 bucks and hook up one of those extra boxes.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

I think I may get a TV….I’ll buy a TV now and ask for forgiveness later! We consult each other for large purchases…we haven’t really formally set a price but we’ve typically said anything over $100. means I need to find a TV under $100 so I don’t have to ask!Report

Kerthwap
Member
Free agent

Cheaper than watching it at a bar! I recently got a 24″ 1080p 120 Hz on Amazon for $126. The sound sucks, but it doesn’t take up much space.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

Too late to buy a cheap tv on amazon…I would’ve had to have bought it yesterday so it would get delivered in time for the gameReport

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

I ask for forgiveness later all the time. somehow I am still married.Report

Saturn III
Member
Free agent

Same here Hunter.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

either that or get a new wife that doesn’t like baseball. Cleveland baseball, no less.

just kidding, JDog. Stokes told me to leave wives out of it and he’s right. I’m sure she is a wonderful person despite her love of Cleveland baseball. But I guess we now know who wears the knickers and stirrups in the family.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

I figured our NRA/second amendment/freedom of speech/police brutality discussions recently would certainly draw him out of the woodwork.

his new job on Trump’s alt-right PR staff must be keeping him very very busy these days.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

the Braves problem isn’t racism, its fanbase/city loyaltyReport

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

oooooooooo that is rough. Sports Bar?!Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

I’m debating on watching it at the Pats sports bar. it’s right by my office. I’m debating watching the Sox game here then transitioning to the Pats game right after but it’s going to be a long night.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

Do Your JobReport

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

offensive Fantasy goodness for sure.Report

Saturn III
Member
Free agent

That will be the halftime score.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

I get his frustration. He gets held, pulled and yanked and they don’t call it. So goes out and does it back and they call it. He wants consistency. I bet none of the OPI calls get called if he did it against KC since they were mugging him. But then he goes against Bogers crew and they call everything on him.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

but, BB clearly instructs Gronk on the tendencies of each NFL Officiating crew when they are game planning during the week, so Gronk needs to be smarter and do a better job of adjusting.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

Right. I was wondering why he wasn’t being physical back vs KC.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

Bucs coach seems like a wise man. RE: Pats defense giving up big plays

Statement from Bucs Coach

comment image
Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

Is that what it’s called? (what I just posted)Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

So it didn’t actually display? The text picture shows up on my page. I get that “Comment Image” text sometimes if it’s blocked at work.Report

DNOMN8R314
Editor
Free agent

I can read it fine.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

Would you trade Cooks for an elite LB/DE right now?

If I knew for certain that Mitchell was going to come back, and that Dorsett is learning the playbook, I might. Obviously this is just an academic discussion and will never happen.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

ok, sorry, maybe I should not have used the word “elite”. Maybe a tier below Watt/Miller level.Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

I would not.
The Pats can win a shootout with Brady at the helm. You can count on the offense. There’s no guarantee the defense turns it around even if you add someone.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

fair point.

would you trade a 2018 2nd round draft pick for a starting-caliber LB/DE right now?Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

I would for a LB if they are controllable. 2nd rd pick fetches a hell of a LB, and if they don’t move for one now they need to do it later.Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

Hell, I’ll take that a step farther – that’s a draft pick that is likely to be used on an ILB. Pulling the trigger now rather than later costs you years at the back end but gives you less risk and a more immediate “payout”. Would make plenty of sense.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

great pointReport

itsBradyBaby
Member
Free agent

NonReport

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

you’re right, the future Jordan Richards of the world have too much value.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

wow, Katie Nolan is a cutie —–>Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

I thought she’s actually a pretty good host too. She’s funny and seems to know what’s she’s talking about. Have you never seen her before? She ripped the NFL a lot during the deflategate thing.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

yes, I’ve seen her. Very witty. I guess my post was just in response to the fact that is a very flattering picture of her in the Twitter feed.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

That’s an even better word to use: Witty. IMO, her wittiness makes her funnyReport

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

a great trait in a woman who does not overplay it too much.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

she’s a huge pats fan. I liked her show Garbage TimeReport

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

I don’t know, Stokes could probably give her a run for her money. Actually, I think that Peter Martin/Alex Martin dude that posts on ESPN is the #1 homer.Report

JLStokes
Member
Free agent

Funny I’m considered a homer cause I don’t jump off the cliff after every loss.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

to your credit, you did say on Monday morning “I cannot defend this defense anymore”Report

JLStokes
Member
Free agent

The secondary has been hot garbage. The front 7 has been slightly below average, but improving. Together it’s not pretty.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

but doesn’t Peter Martin often criticize BB/Brady/McDaniels for the “throw it 50x per game gameplan” or am I thinking of another stupid commenter at ESPN?Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

Could be Rico. But maybe he does too. Peter Martin is “special” though. Everything he posts is about Goodell being a cheater and the Pats getting cheated.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

I bet she defines hummer too.Report

bring
Member
Free agent

You guys all hated Amendola when we first signed him.

Let’s give Gilmore a chance please.Report

Mattsky
Member
Free agent

Not me. I was in Amendola’s corner the whole time. I had debates here with people that wanted to cut him.Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

I think everyone liked Amendola when we first signed him, but most turned on him when when wasn’t lighting up the stat sheet, even though he was dependable when he was thrown to. Most were still down on him even after the SB in 2014. I remember because I kept saying that without DA, we don’t beat Baltimore in the playoffs.Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

I’m not worried about Gilmore. he’s a really good player and he’s in his prime. I do worry about the defense, but not about Stephon Gilmore. Or Butler, for that matter.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent
I’m not worried about Gilmore either. The secondary issues will get fixed. I’m worried that they only have 1 NFL-caliber starting LB, who is still recovering from an injury, and they are playing him at DE. That said, Hightower and Van Noy are a fine LB pairing, especially since the Pats rarely ever have 3 true LBs on the field at the same time anymore anyway. But there is no depth behind them, and the situation is greatly compounded by the lack of depth at DE, obviously. This will be the downfall of the 2017 Pats, if there is one.… Read more »
JLStokes
Member
Free agent

I disagree on Van Noy being included in that group. I think he’d been relatively solid. If the secondary was playing up to par and Hightower was playing his right position., I don’t think we’d notice anything about Van Noy’s performance.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

Van Noy is an adequate LB2 if you have a legit LB1 to pair with him. Which we do, if we would play him there and if he can stay healthy. But if Van Noy is your LB1, with weaker complimentary LBs around him, you have severe issues. To be clear, none of this is Van Noy’s fault.Report

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

KVN is waaaay out of his depth. Nice strongside OLB, who can rush the passer but drop back a bit, like Akeem Ayers. He’s the 10th or 11th guy on a defense. Every down and this is what you get.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

exactlyReport

hugowasmyhomeboy
Member
Free agent

Agreed.
I can’t find the stat anywhere, but it sure doesn’t seem like the Pats are missing many tackles. Meanwhile, they have to be at the top of the league in YAC allowed.
If you don’t miss tackles and the other team is getting a f***ton of YAC… what does that tell you?Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

that Mercury is in retrograde?Report

bring
Member
Free agent

Has David Harris played at all this season?Report

Jdog Lemon Head
Member
Free agent

BB is saving him as a secret weapon against the Jets!Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

When BB asked Harris to remember some of the Jets playbook, Harris returned the next day with the Comics section of the New York Times.Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

1 snap, I think? Inactive for a couple game, I believe, too. Ugh.Report

bring
Member
Free agent

he must be insurance for roberts?Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

I guess?Report

HunterCenter
Member
Free agent

I loved the Amendola signing when it happened. Perfect Welker replacement (on paper) and the writing was on the wall for Welker. And Edelman was exploring FA. Signing Dola made total sense.Report

JLStokes
Member
Free agent

While I do believe Gilmore is one of the most talented CBs the Pats have had in their secondary in 5 years or so, almost wish we could have seen what Devin’s brother would be like playing for the Pats. He’s not as talented as Gilmore, but he’s always been a solid-or-better CB and I doubt they’d have the same communication issues they are going through now. Plus, he’d cost way less than half what Gilmore’s being paid.

Not giving up on Gilmore, but it’s something that’s crossed my mind.Report

dp73
Member
Free agent

I agree. I feel he will bounce back.

When McCaffrey went in motion Gilmore and others followed and left “Fozzy” Whittaker all a lone if was not just Gilmore at fault.

Win or lose as a team.Report

JLStokes
Member
Free agent

True, but because Gilmore was the communicator. We don’t know what he said to make everyone shift that way.

It’s hella complicated and I hope they simplify it even more. Just put Gilmore on Evans all game and scheme AROUND him for now.Report

memokerobi
Member
Free agent

Think Gilmore will turn it around. He is not a bad player. That being said, the mental mistakes cannot continueReport

dp73
Member
Free agent

“I sit here and say it is correctable, but it is up to us to correct it,” he said. “It’s not going to correct itself. It’s really on us of getting it done and I think we’re on the right path, but what I always say is being on the right path, you don’t know until you go out there and do it in a game.”- McCourtyReport

dp73
Member
Free agent

Oct. 31 All trading ends for 2017 at 4:00 p.m., New York time.Report

dp73
Member
Free agent
Way to go Dino. Good Job. “moderately dangerous Kansas City Chiefs offense, ” Are you talking about last year because this year after 4 games they are 3rd in scoring in the NFL. “From this chair, it looks imperative that there be some veteran additions to the DEs and LBs via trade if we are to enjoy another championship in New England.” Some? Most of the answers on defense have to come from within. The Patriots many be able to make a trade for a role player like they have in the past but for a major trade the Patriots… Read more »
DinoScapelli
Editor
Free agent

Thanks for the edits, DNOM. It reads almost as well as it was originally submitted. 🙂Report

Calipatsfan3473
Member
Free agent

It’s a good article Dino 🙂Report

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