After doing quite a bit of reading last night I wanted to share some of my thoughts on some of what went wrong and needs to be fixed rather then finding a scapegoat to harp on all day, so here they are..
- While it's good to have Rob Gronkowski back and I'm excited to see what Tim Wright can do, the Patriots need to find a blocking tight end. Michael Hoomanawanui has proven he is what he is at this point. He's obviously not much as a receiver but if he can't be called in to help block, the team needs someone who can. Having Daniel Graham help Matt Light block quick pass rushers used to be a big help for the offense. This is something they have still not replaced to this day.
- While we're on the subject of blocking, lets talk Oline. Ryan Wendell and Dan Connolly have been solid, but never anything special. Before he was hurt in Training Camp rookie center Bryan Stork was competing for time at starting center. The 6'4, 315 rookie has nice size. After looking at some highlights, it seems he needs to get stronger and faster to not only drive linemen, but get to the second level of the defense. His strength is definitely pass blocking. He'll also need to get all the calls down for the offense in order to get on the field. We may not even see Stork this season but I would keep my eye on him.
- It was clear the Dolphins made some moves coming out of halftime. One of those moves was switching to more of a 5-2 front on Defense. This allowed them to take advantage of a shaky offensive line and the rest was history. I'm not saying having a new offensive line coach wont change things, but it's clear the problems were more communication and execution based then coaching. I hated BB switching players in and out but I wonder if the heat had something to do with that in order to keep guys fresh?
- Rob Ninkovich banged up? According to Ben Violin of the Boston Globe he suffered "either a pectoral or shoulder injury" early in the third quarter. I didn't notice this at the time, and I'm sure it didn't do the Defense any favors in the second half. I'm hoping it's nothing serious..Knowing Bill Belichick I'm sure we'll have full details come Wednesday.