May 31, 2013|
On this episode of the It Is What It Is Cast, Chris Price talks with the Boston Herald's Jeff P Howe about the Patriots offseason, Rob Gronkowski's back surgery, Danny Amendola replacing Wes Welker, and how this seasons team will stack up against last seasons.
Transcript - will not be 100% accurate
Are you ready for some football football. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- All told WEEI. Dot com. Welcome back everyone that we are proud to be joined by Jeff how for the Boston -- you could read were good. Beat Boston Herald Boston Herald dot com and you can follow him on Twitter at Jeff. Let's kick this thing off what's the latest on -- quade here I know that the reports are back surgery he's going to be on the shelf for. What is it now it's twelve weeks by the sound of things. -- -- what are you here with what's what's the story here. Well I'm going back to the timetable that terror greeting at last week and that's still -- the most definitive timetable we've been able to come across and even after the news came out that he would need to back surgery. Carolyn told that it keep it needs that surgery which -- you know because. He he's looking at a formal recovery and apps from the COB. Arm surgery -- street Salameh one so. That was you ought to be ended September and -- are only if things go completely according wearing -- note that there was set back and obviously gets worked so. I think. It's hard to really say that back surgery is -- -- things year in year out meteor on the field appoint training camp quite think. Each day the Archos he's starting season on the physically unable to perform list. -- increasing by the day air and that's not a certainty but I think that might just wind up being and -- Think it would be great all my speed about things -- at -- start on pop just because there's no pressure to really rushed back you know Euro currently -- games. All that not -- -- speaking sort of -- -- the rehab process on the course the way it's intended to. But I think that's probably the point by -- and make an educated guess there are speculation. That's where that. Long term is this the new reality for for growth -- are we looking at a situation where he's going to be on the show for an extended period of time because of an ankle or a back and this is not -- to stated he's not a durable guy it's just part of the way he plays but are we looking at a situation of the -- where he's going to be out four to six games and then we're gonna CDs you know absolute moments of brilliance out of him and then he's going to be on the shelf again it just seems to be this is where we are right now with them. Yeah it's really hard to say it just because now I mean that is you pointed out and -- probably able to do amount of the six surgery and that. Since last February and I think we -- a look at that to wait in long. Of bacteria -- in itself its theory no matter what -- surgery is. Let's say surgery and are sort -- brain is just the market for that matter whether people think you're robo corporate art and in the it's it's helping shape and the recent history -- the trend is not good the way the last couple deep and -- -- -- the other thing it's. The patriot law a look at -- -- is what they feared and expected reluctantly -- and they kind of knew that it's. That's back surgery would come down -- for them. Who waited yet commands and so flat beat and just play in the game that he was able playing for the arms so -- thought that this was going to be a possibility for awhile now this. So -- we knew from that standpoint is not surprising to battle and again and that's not like a positive thing in the all. And this whole story put. Big big -- that the -- looking out to really take care of itself and the infection sort of obviously delayed that whole thing you can operate on a part of the body will restore its actions. When you're dealing with double -- from another surgery but I think when you're when you're looking at style equally clear. As you mentioned I mean it's it's just it's hard to shake. The possibility that continuing to occur throughout arrest of -- career. It is peaking peeking out backing and and get things you know it. It's like we're looking at Logan -- this heat and he saw how how -- -- two years ago in all that knee injury tried for laid back. And it doesn't stop and that -- and -- you're thinking -- he have a healthy -- and upcoming now maybe things will continue to take care -- themselves maybe he'll continue to be herbal. Maybe -- a relatively healthy -- and are quite -- that -- -- -- even for Barack. Could help them turn the corner but it's going to be top form I think he gets reported thirteen. I wonder for looking at a situation now with him -- and you don't want -- he managed his snaps but you have to think that. A December game against the Texans he's going to be more important than say September game against I don't know Jacksonville. And the patriots have to start weighing in have to start making those decisions. When you're talking about quality snaps from Gradkowski the -- in position. If you're totally right I agree 100% and just ahead because that's the quicker car crash -- -- you line up and try to keep watching. And then you turn down field -- we knew the acceptable to lower at that nobody wants to hit him square -- because you trumped them all are so. They're used you've got to continue to take out there and you don't want those meaningless or not -- that -- -- that in there are ways but what's meaningful. And the other thing if you don't -- have to be out there. You amassed quality group financed or reason I think you. You do have to look without possibility maybe elevate it Jake Ballard proved that he can perform after the that the knee surgery that he had a year ago so. I think you look at and maybe you look at more now -- -- and all -- and Joey and even. Decreased -- it's now well for Hernandez is that if they're ordered that possibility because those guys. As big so now he even more so the last two both he and help out people they are when the game or even more important. Let's move on let's talk about some of the other things that have stood out when it comes to be routier's I know it's tough to get a read on things because we've been out there -- guys don't have numbers. It's a relatively low intensity style the practice but what are some of the things that are really pop for you. When it comes to this most recent series of routier's. Well I I think he'd be -- that's obviously don't work in progress that's been expected and it's the Brady Brady -- dole clearly have a little bit of chemistry. I think -- trying to find their chemistry with Mike Jenkins will see it that really materializes. But I think -- Patriots had it their way Donald Jones and in the draft -- what would materialize a lot more than that garlic chicken and then. I would surprise during the first OT in the air and spoke there think -- -- good -- even though he completely limited not doing. Team drills but you look at some of the other thing with the side numbered for god and we're talking -- Tommy -- just marchers. He's iTunes use I I think did I say it it's gonna be fascinating and there's a number of guys like that too that are that are surprisingly big. You talk about Tommy Kelly talk already journals and as well. Yeah well that he really truly I mean it's all -- cliche he looked like a linebacker playing secondary especially next to. Some of the other -- back -- accordions. Is there -- reasonably big player expert at the app with Israel will power over -- to. And then you get out Steven Ridley and you've been muffled -- This soft the -- that was one of the goals. It's increase the strength and power for upcoming season and he's trying to figure out that was the best decision and and make sure that you have in current speed so far. He like those results maybe you're looking at. And even bigger beat from Wrigley -- referral go last year so -- opener a few of the things that suck but we -- are. I'm glad to bring reportedly because -- fascinates me in a number of levels you know Bill Belichick has never had a running back rushed for more than a thousand yards in back to back seasons on all the way back to Cleveland. In in I don't know what that says about you know the multiple looks on offense for the fact you may -- it's a lack of consistency of the position. But Antowain Smith Corey -- none of those guys have ever rushed for a thousand yards in back to back seasons I wanna see if Ridley is the guy. Who can maybe break through that especially in the wake of you know the fact that maybe you're gonna be you're going to be missing Girl -- we've reported here. Yeah apple I mean really got -- for about where he's likely it would be. Because though of an injury which obviously can never predict happening. Or dispute what I don't I don't expecting -- have a let down here is not that's like a week Cheap -- in and week to pry open and Belichick. Clearly would have -- back there -- are rush and bill and in order to. Even at that point. I think Belichick a lot you know we're running back position. Changed whether it was dramatic urges altered slightly but I think that when he realized chute firing out a running back -- things. A lot of my offense early he goes out and I don't have got behind and it came up. -- entire -- -- -- struggle in the draft or Maroney in the first round and 06. And sort of split the carries and you want first go to Europe all the really used that -- the -- to stick to it. And -- become I mean everybody's doing everybody has to Barack or Germany and Peter and Paul Cramer are all out trees and you know it felt so. If but I think really clearly have to beat act -- beat they're high hopes. Forcing marine in the -- and -- -- had but he guarantee -- -- still -- go prove that he can beat act I I think there. We've seen -- up to -- -- he he's capable of it but you know they're just without seeing it happen over the full speed then. You don't know truly what EK -- -- sixteen games were. And you know I again I'd be done differently couldn't hit about our this year. Who's the new -- that your most excited to see in pads once training camp starts we -- need to renewals and we mentioned Tommy Kelly not just the free agents but maybe the rookies as well. Yeah I'm still really excited Eugene called and bring it it's up not go back to acre oil and I mean he's a I think he could be on player to watch as you go outside just there. To see what what are you elegant car in the team really when Rodney Erickson. Went around and playing well he did I watch them from afar by it's what enabled really want to help close the week you work. People who are looking forward -- that I see you present and really. Bring that it team from -- -- -- well respective and and especially than. That the leadership that he could bring for Alec Chordiant anti model and younger got depth chart game can he really elevate their games and -- -- -- -- it -- -- -- -- -- -- later this year and better -- -- are making progress -- its potential could be could be brutal -- From what we. For more we saw as he -- the position all but why last year so. I'm really looking forward -- it will bring and -- you know are there really are. I know you are that's the remade and their credit statements and pizzas there and and and don't play I mean. In Angola. Think he could be similar to Welker but I wouldn't expect them to be Welker and maybe we've been spoiled by being Welker. For so long that maybe you won't even stick out even -- he does have a good deed and by. The defense that is largely intact so I think. They're there are so many mean choose from but I out there we go -- and called jewels. Wilson also -- for me when we had refused to speak with them but really the thing that stuck out for me is the huge chip on her shoulder about the way things ended in Arizona I think there's a belief. Not unlike the situation with Rodney in 2003. Where some people around the league believe that he is washed up. In he might be able to you know you you might not nuclear that he once was it's clear that that Dennis Dixon his -- little bit. Don't wanna see how that translates to the -- also like you said to. Interested in seeing him interact with somebody younger defensive backs and see how he works as a as a mentor to some guys like will send them. You know Arrington and and in the in the restaurant there in the second or two I love I think Collins in -- hearing more more stories about columns in this corner our current transition into the rookie class. At Collins is just an absolute athletic freak I'm also really fast Newton boys want to get on the field -- once that -- promised. Is cleared up in he's healthy he's rated ago. How do you think this group of rookies is going to transition in two. This year in in in the NFL because the big guys last year. Really boat -- Jones Donta hightower Wilson both guys played a lot of naturally do you see these guys having the same sort of early impact of last year's class that. Or it's gonna be for the defense of guys I think they're gonna try to get called on the field as much as possible right now. -- -- -- That the defense -- it. Deserve the criticism political fallout beat them but at the progress especially later in the year there really -- -- but felt starting roles so that we -- call and and Logan Ryan Inspiron army to get on the field and as much maybe seeing Michael you know you're seeing in the seventh rounder what. I think it's college best chance. Right now would be a rotational player as an outside linebacker and in really either front it's been three or 43. And they try to get on the field. In nickel situations. Well as he'd cover linebacker next to Mayo. And probably just take it from there I don't think you're gonna see a situation like last year when Chandler Gilbert thought they are our. Kind of slowly emerged Rudy offseason workouts and then in the first week training camp they were solidified the that the starters. Offensively. The plant and they have to opener dark and just for its. Really step off and are able to contribute and they're gonna have to break a decade or Trent -- really or drafting wide receiver to this. We know we got to figure out that since rich and give and they've averaged seventeen catches in a Petri uniform and -- higher career so that step. Assistant new level. Swinging at it from -- draft position. -- -- There Regal-Beloit dot and you gobble up the fact that a guy like Josh -- -- -- -- -- broken to do so still go go wrong for three or not. There's a special credit dries it right there. For -- political player Soviet athletic ability should be group -- And I mean it's just stick it's going to be an interesting battle and whole city city pullback -- in -- Colonel -- not -- debate they lowered standards for what -- need it's wide receivers to make sure those rookie and don't vote. And actually contribute and -- talked to look at a rookie whether it's. I mean for eight treats her like the were to think that -- out forty receptions yeah I mean all share. But any note -- no birds are sort of a benchmark for rookie receivers are obsolete now. It's a pretty quality number when you're talking in order to large the person's opposition to step up alert right away he -- Are -- how much -- -- their have to contribute some sort of way. I don't look back to Garko seen Hernandez and 2010 when they were -- -- -- and that 45 -- brought it forward to. In -- -- much speak contributed. In it until little numbers are really all that eye -- our current code he -- -- numbers obviously important wants but. I mean look remote direct contribute the way the -- And then he Greek completely look away from them because these building trucks and and play out well for the jets. And look at the number I mean it's still it's talked to have two high expectations but with the way that they've completely remade the wide receiver position. And somebody is gonna have to step outside and -- It in that same beta -- interest in wind how was on our station here of about a week or so ago and talking about the wide receivers and then you know by training camp. I never pretty good idea of of who you know. But you know who uninterested in -- you know who grew from -- gets the ball I thought that was very interest they thought that was very telling when -- when you're talking about building chemistry in building -- relationship with these new guys. Yeah fully and I think that again it goes back to the mix between the veterans and the rookies and we've seen Brady go sort -- in a little more than probably most of us are not all expect him to do in the jewel in OT eight sessions. But again I'd be surprised that trend continued in training camp I mean there's so much more potential for the rookie of the -- what does that a lot higher. Including quite -- -- He's been mildly productive the point in the career -- is he guy that they should really becoming Arctic come in and instill -- or -- role -- -- -- I think that's a little unrealistic. Well it I think. You wanna see a little more and Arnold don't be so it and then Munich -- progresses and we. Tornado EP chemistry that he that every door and I think that they're there is a lot of reason to expect good things out of Angola assuming that helped patent pact with. You got to see we're just gonna keep gold backed the car and practicing seat and -- are at each group. You know what's interesting is -- Jenkins C -- we talked about Jenkins he's a bit of a Strider. When we are you know in in need the wide receivers that daylight here they've gone after over the last years have been guys -- been more quick. As opposed to being fasting you watch Jenkins and watch him run and age I have no idea how this is gonna translate you know once the -- once -- real game action starts to roll around. But easy he's a Strider in that he kind of takes these long hoping strides on the filled up up there was interest and for what it's worth. Yeah -- here is -- at times seem to take a little longer to develop these kind of a little. Israel ovals or Lockheed I don't know that makes sense to open my own mind I ya know I -- yeah. You know so I just I wonder if and real McDonald's don't have an appetite practices that. Being in front of the media that that aren't -- maybe -- contributing in other ways one media isn't there but I mean I wonder if it. Things don't materialize over the next. Every week or so it Brady says RA get -- installer in Gaffney and whoever else back here. I wouldn't be I don't think anybody be surprised he return at least one of those guys just so greedy can have a little more chemistry. And I don't think that would be a bad idea at all. Mama is a branch. Are and I think Theo and TT keeps turn enough time and time again that did that not to disrespect him or anything but I just. Though the level of chemistry that he has shown over the years in -- you had a smaller role last year. But he has had here in the past but he's just like you said there's a familiarity there. It you can count on him and Brady knows that he can count on him you know not to he's gonna get more than what thirty passes but just to have him there. In his back pocket I think would Mourinho might might certainly a quarterback. Yeah absolutely and maybe I mean especially think rockets are manual or go back to that that jets' playoff loss. When Brady looked away from rocket Hernandez -- What say that there -- a close game left against pretty sophisticated. Even Hillary -- -- and the defense changed Sadat and the rookies don't really know how to adapt. To be pretty nice and comfortable feeling for -- they are skipper at some he'll take somebody else so I need to know are growing so. There is inevitably. Once twice three times over the course of a season when you watch breeding and bring into the last few years. Where you say only Deion Branch -- made that catch because he has an extraordinary connection with covering the. Yeah I agree completely and that's why I mean I I understand when when people currently get on -- will bring athletic ability. In his an answer we'll always exploit. Athletic ability and chemistry Tom Brady are so completely different things and when Brady needs to be comfortable but what -- -- -- in note they can trust the guy to be wearing meat and should be. Even if you only have a couple into preparation. He's gonna trucks bring it to make that catch and that. It's bad for a guy like bridge is so much more important the ring and a guy -- -- like 42 or I mean it's just that. Being able to get down field run that she -- you know what -- that night's play. Been able to put those breaks forty I would be at this point but if it. -- get any out of his breaks and read the and being worked Reno going to be that's a lot more valuable. -- in the in the current state of this receiving corps. -- we're gonna wrap up by asking you a completely unfair question that's going to be -- look bad no matter how you entered but it's my podcasts and that's that's the Waco -- -- -- -- it. -- look at is this team better worse or about the same with. In the team that ended the 2000 full season. Well if I can't hurt loyal audience are then bow out to a seller the deep -- I think is better. -- offenses -- you can't take away. And you know what by that standard I guess you have to say that there are starting at a lower level than they -- the Black -- and because he can't they Welker out outgrow our beat -- -- -- early start with -- and be completely uncertain. And saved it. You can have the same expectation now and they parole or the -- the -- and and be much better in terms of playoff time like he did in 2000 and a 2011. Yeah I think that's absolutely possibility. But I really like that the cut is made they have a lot of a lot of ships to grow I mean there's just I think they go to deepen allotted for positions and they got a lot of depth they've got Frontline talent. And I think Bill Belichick is showing with some different looks in the goatee aids it's limited at the spin as much as these practices. There are geared toward the offense app and game. I think Belichick instructing its defense to do a little more and I think. The defense to be fun to watch if that trend continues so the ought to be better the offense is worse but I think in Turkey take away. Well -- -- at least for the time being after they've seen overall in the lower point right now and they were went into 2012. He is just how you can read his work -- Boston Herald dot com you can read a minute -- every day and you -- follow him on Twitter at Jeff he how -- just I really appreciate you taking the time to join us thanks Brent. Thanks sounds good we'll talk to suit our.