Tag Archives: Tarell Brown

New England Patriots: Lots Of Questions, Few Answers

We’ve now reached the halfway point in the pre-season (1-1) after the Patriots defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-24 Saturday night behind Jimmy Garoppolo…and few of the Patriots questions have been answered. Let’s take a quick look at where the team stands as regular season quickly (yes, I’m smiling) approaches.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo leads Pats to comeback win vs The Saint (Photo: Keith Nordstrom/NewEnglandPatriots.Com)
Jimmy Garoppolo leads Pats to comeback 26-24 win vs The Saint (Photo: Keith Nordstrom/Patriots.Com)

The jury is still out (oops, bad choice of words there) on Jimmy G. At times he looks like the QB of the future. Saturday night’s scramble leading to a TD pass as the 1st half wound down is an example of him at his best. Unfortunately, in the same game, his interception was an obvious mistake that hopefully he will learn from. As highlighted in the Patriots.com post game Game Notes– “When he came in to replace Tom Brady he executed a two-minute drill prior to halftime and completed 5-of-5 passes for 65 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown pass to WR Chris Harper.

Patriot fans need to take a step away from the immediacy of the team need (re: Brady possible suspension) and realize this is just his second year in the NFL. Very few QBs are instant successes and the growing pains can be frustrating for both the player and the rabid team followers.

“Last week the pressure got to me a little bit, and it’s never good to get sacked or hit that many times,”

Defensive Secondary

The only things that seem certain at this stage are:

  • All the worry when the Patriots lost Revis Island, Kyle Arrington and Brandon Browner was justified
  • Malcolm Butler still seems like the real thing. His limited play in the pre-season games is an indication Head Coach Bill Belichick has seen enough of him in practice to feel confident in him and needs to look at others in game situations. How things have changed for Butler since “the play”, going from a question mark that others gave up on to the Patriots best corner!
  • CB Tarell Brown made his Patriots debut after missing the first preseason game against Green Bay with mixed results
  • Devin McCourty, an above average safety, is a below average CB. He has acknowledged he isn’t comfortable at his old position.

Commenting on his play Saturday night in New Orleans he was honest (tsk, tsk, a Patriot player actually saying something) when he said “It didn’t feel great and I don’t think it looked great.” He also acknowledged he doesn’t have much say in where he plays “You can’t control where you play. Everyone’s playing a position for the team, and overall, what’s best for the team. I don’t think what you think or feel matters.”

Devin McCourty breaks up a pass intended for Brandon Coleman in the first half of Pats win (Bill Feig-AP)

Offensive Line

  • Like last season at this time, the offensive line is still a work in progress. The return of Sebastion Volmer and Nate Solder to game shape will give rookies Shaq Mason and Tre’ Jackson a chance to breathe as they adapt to the speed of the NFL.  Neither Mason nor Jackson has yet made that step-up expected of them, but give them time as both show promise and are still learning the game at a whole new level. The hope is that the unit jells as the season progresses, as they did in 2014.
  • Saturday night rookie free agent David Andrews made his second straight start at center

Receiving Depth

Chris Harper against the Saints (Photo: Keith Nordstrom/Patriots.com)
Chris Harper against the Saints (Photo: Keith Nordstrom/Patriots.com)
  • With wide receivers dropping like flies my early optimism for this year is quickly getting clouded with question marks. Brandon LaFell still hasn’t played a down, Brian Tyms may be out for the season with a foot injury, Aaron Dobson’s return to health was an illusion, Josh Boyce continues to shine in practice and disappear at game time. Key players (Julian Edelman-injury/Rob Gronkowski/Scott Chandler-injury) continue to watch from the sidelines, so it is hard to have a true evaluation of just how strong/weak the Pats are, but rookie Chris Harper has taken the ball and run with it in their absence. Seven year veteran Brandon Gibson has looked good, but also was injured late in the game.

The depth looks so bad now that Mike Reiss wrote in his Sunday columnIf (Kenbrell)Thompkins doesn’t stick with the Raiders, I could see the Patriots having interest in his return” In addition the Pats reportedly brought Reggie Wayne in for a physical (read my Reggie Wayne article written just before Training Camp)

There’s more, but that’s enough for now to keep fans thinking. No panic, but concern, is in the air. Just keep thinking, Bill Belichick is the best Head Coach in the NFL and he finds ways to win. That’s a fact that can’t be denied.

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New England Patriots: Assessing The Extension Of Ryan Allen And The Addition Of Tarell Brown

With less than a week away before the start of training camp, the New England Patriots are finishing up their final offseason transactions. This past week, the Patriots added veteran cornerback Tarell Brown and locked up punter Ryan Allen with a three-year contract extension, that has the option to renegotiate after two seasons.

Tarell Brown is an eight-year NFL veteran, spending his first seven years with San Francisco only to cross the bay to Oakland in year eight. He was a starter on three very successful San Francisco defenses in the years 2011-2013. He was a key contributor to their NFC Championship squad in 2012, when they fell short against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.

Brown will immediately compete for a starting role on the Patriots defense, given the lack of experience on the depth chart. At 5-11, 190 pounds Brown is smaller, but his savvy will certainly be beneficial for the Patriots. Their is a multitude of young cornerbacks on the Patriots roster that look to have ability, but experience is what is cause for concern right now.

Heading into his ninth season, experience certainly won’t be an issue for Tarell Brown. In his time he has intercepted eleven passes, with fifty-nine passes defended. Last season Brown played in fourteen games with the Raiders, while giving up 42 receptions on 67 targets for 571 yards and one touchdown, according to Pro Football Focus.

brown sf

His season was cut short due to a foot injury that landed him on injured reserve. The only question now is whether or not that injury will slow down his start to the 2015 season.

The contract extension for punter Ryan Allen came as a real surprise because it is so out of the ordinary for Bill Belichick to extend his punter long-term.

There have been two constants for Bill Belichick’s punters over the past fifteen years; They are left-footed and they are only wanted for three seasons. Ken Walter, Josh Miller, Chris Hanson, and Zoltan Mesko all produced fairly well for the Patriots, but none were worthy of contract extensions.

Even though he has only been in the league for two seasons, Ryan Allen is already starting to show more ability than any of the previous punters in the Belichick era. Since coming to the Patriots as a free agent out of Louisiana Tech in 2013, the two-time Ray Guy Award winner has averaged 46.1 yards per punt with a net average of 40.2.

In 2014 he landed 25 of his 66 punts inside the 20-yard line. In addition, Allen launched the longest punt in Super Bowl history against the Seahawks with his 64-yard boot. Furthermore, Allen has been a very good holder for kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

allen sb49

To conclude, the New England Patriots have continued to add to their roster heading right into training camp this Thursday. With the addition of Tarell Brown, the Patriots will have a veteran cornerback in a meeting room that will be full of young and inexperienced players. His veteran intellect may be a key part in helping young players such as Darryl Roberts, Jimmy Jean, and Malcolm Butler grow.

With the extension of Ryan Allen, Bill Belichick now has his three key pieces of the special teams unit locked up for the next four years with Allen, Stephen Gostkowski, (who just received a four-year extension) and long snapper Joe Cardona signed through 2018.