Patriots Mailbag ‘The Barth Bag’ Week 3

We're on to week 3 of the Barth Bag!

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We’re on to week 3 of the Barth Bag! First, some good news. I finally learned how to embed your tweets without including my original, so this thing is about to get much easier to read! As the Patriots continue to roll through weak opponents, we had another set of more big-picture questions this week. Let’s start with the big storyline of the day, Antonio Brown…

So this was asked before the news broke Thursday night/Friday morning about Brown’s threatening texts, but either way this question hits on an important distinction. When it comes to taking Brown off the field, the NFL was actually somewhat limited in what they could do, since all they have right now is accusations without any criminal evidence. It would be highly unusual for the league to suspended a player not criminally charged with a crime. However, these latest text messages provide concrete evidence, and if the NFL views them at ‘threatening’ (and we already know the league is looking into that), Brown will likely be suspended. There is also the question of ‘conduct detrimental to the team’, and if these texts could open the door for the Patriots to void Brown’s contract and release him.

No. Taysom Hill is a dynamic ball carrier who had years of experience running with the football. Jarrett Stidham is a pocket quarterback, despite how Auburn used him. I’m sure Bill Belichick would love to have a backup QB who can also play on special teams, but Stidham is not now nor will he ever be that guy. Taysom Hill is a one-of-a-kind player.

Who needs a ‘base’ defense when you have this much talent? The Patriots being able to mix and match their defensive packages based on the opposing looks is one of their biggest strengths. On Sony, I still think that is coming, but why would the Patriots show that new wrinkle in their offense before they want to? Do you really need to show the whole league Sony is now a weapon in the passing game against the Dolphins? I’m not sure what size shoe Evan wears, but I know whatever size they are he’s spending too much money on them.

It’s pretty wild to be talking about this in September, but I don’t think its an unrealistic question to ask right now either. I’ll let Bill Belichick answer it for me, as I believe he does in the trailer for the upcoming HBO documentary featuring him and Nick Saban. At the :22 second mark of that clip, Belichick mentions “it might have been better…if we long one along the way”, which seems to be in reference to the 2007 season. We don’t know for sure until the doc comes out, but if that’s how Bill feels, I’ll go with his take on this one.

I’m not sure if this means my favorite special teams play the Patriots run, or my specific favorite play they’ve ever ran, but I’ll answer both. For plays in general, it’s hard to hate the pooch punt, when they let Brady kick the ball on third or fourth down. They only break it out every few years, but Brady is so good at it it feels like they could use it on a regular basis. As for my specific special teams play, it has to be the blocked field goal/touchdown return in the 2001 AFC Championship, where Troy Brown laterals the ball to Antwan Harris for the score. Everything about that play is perfect, from the moment to the players involved to Gil Santos’ call.

 

Well, there you go, another Barth Bag in the books. Keep the great questions coming on Twitter with the hashtag #BarthBag, and give me a follow @RealAlexBarth