The 2018 offseason has been one to remember for the New England Patriots. Whether it’s the ongoing drama going on in the love/hate triangle between Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Bill Belichick, the possession/use of two first-round picks in the NFL Draft or the fact that New England didn’t draft one of the top quarterback prospects this year, the Patriots simply cannot stay out of the news whether it’s positive or negative. Mike Dussault joined host Mike Petraglia on this week’s Patriots Beat Podcast on CLNS Media to discuss some of the ups and downs of the offseason.
The number one thing Dussault and Trags liked was the trade with the Cleveland Browns for cornerback Jason McCourty.
“I’m excited to have that element in the secondary,” Dussault said. “I think that Jason brings a bit of a new perspective, and I think those early-season miscommunication issues that we saw last year may not be as bad partly because he already knows most of the secondary he’ll be playing with. It’s one of those good additions both on and off the field.”
Another positive aspect to the offseason was how New England used its two first-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Patriots drafted two players out of the University of Georgia in offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel, and while one pick (Wynn) made sense in terms of team needs, some people were a little surprised at the decision to draft a running back so early.
“Sony Michel I thought was a head-scratcher at first,” Petraglia said. “But if they project Michel to be able to come in and take as many snaps as Dion Lewis did and maybe even catch the ball a little more than Dion Lewis did, I think that could be a home run for the Patriots.”
When talking about the negative aspects of the Patriots’ offseason, the first thing anyone thinks of is the ongoing drama between Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Bill Belichick. But at this point, it appears as if Bill Belichick and the team have the upper hand in the PR battle.
“I never could have predicted what it would take for fans to, I don’t want to say turn on Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, but certainly get annoyed,” said Dussault. “And I think every time they’ve had a chance to kind of smooth things over, they’ve almost made things worse.”
Considering all this drama that has been going on since the Super Bowl ended, many fans thought it made sense for the Patriots to draft the heir apparent at quarterback in the NFL Draft this year. While there’s a small chance they may have, the Patriots went against expectations and waited until the seventh round to draft LSU’s Danny Etling.
“If I’m reading this correctly, the Patriots are hoping they can cut him late in training camp, have him clear waivers and they can put him on the practice squad,” Petraglia said.
All of this and more can be found on the latest episode of Patriots Beat. SUBSCRIBE