Tag:Tully Banta-Cain
Posted on: July 29, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 4:24 pm
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Ty Warren cut by Patriots, is 'moving on'

Posted by Will Brinson

The Patriots are making moves, folks. There's a pair of little trades you may have heard about over the past few days that saw them acquire Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth. And then Friday, there was the release of several big-name veterans.

The Pats announced that they've cut Tully Banta-Cain (as reported/expected), Alge Crumpler, Tony Carter, Ryan Coulson, Marcus Stroud, Nick Kaczur and, most surprisingly, defensive lineman Ty Warren.

The team also announced that they've signed third-round pick Ryan Mallett and fifth-round pick Marcus Cannon.

Warren is obviously the biggest surprise there, and while early speculation seemed to be that he might return to the Patriots on a lesser deal, his statement to the Boston Herald on Friday afternoon tells a very different story.

"I appreciate the Pats through the years," Warren said. "They're doing some things defensively and choose to go in a different direction. I thank the Krafts for the opportunity and drafting me in 2003. It was a pleasure.

"I will be moving on to bigger and better things. We are sorting out and will look forward to wearing a contending NFL team jersey this fall."

Warren was slated to make just south of $6 million in 2011 (thought that wasn't his cap number), missed the entire 2010 season due to injury and appeared headed to the PUP list to start the season.

So it's entirely possible he and Crumpler return at cheaper prices. However, according to Charean Williams of the Dallas Star-Telegram, Warren is interested in "returning home to play for the Cowboys or Texans."

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Posted on: July 24, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 5:04 pm
 

Banta-Cain undergoes surgery; back in 4-5 weeks

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Last season, Patriots LB Tully Banta-Cain was bothered by his abdominal muscles, but in the offseason and during the lockout, he seemed to improve. Yet when he began working out again recently, the injury resurfaced.

So much so that, according to the Boston Globe, Banta-Cain underwent surgery last week to repair an abdominal tear.

For a team that desperately needs help rushing the passer, the loss of Banta-Cain -- who’s combined for 15 sacks the past two seasons -- isn’t good news.

But he also might not be out for long. Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times writes that a source says, “I would say he'll be practicing in four to five weeks. Everything should be fine.”

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 1:31 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 7:25 am
 

Offseason Checkup: New England Patriots

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

 

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups .



The Patriots were probably the best team in football last season, compiling a 14-2 record before surprisingly losing to the Jets in the second round of the playoffs. Let’s see what New England had: Outstanding QB, check. Pretty good running game, check. A good enough offensive line and wide receiving corps, yes. A rock-solid defense, um, no.

The team had its problems on defense – which is talented but oh so young – but the wizardry of Brady who knows coach Bill Belichick’s system so well overcame most of those defensive hiccups. The Patriots haven’t had a losing season this century, so whatever constructive criticism that follows in this piece doesn’t suggest that the Patriots suddenly will struggle to win games. With Belichick, that simply doesn’t happen very often (unless, ahem, he’s donning the headset in Cleveland).




Recent unsuccessful playoff runs

A ridiculous statistic for you: the Patriots haven’t won a playoff game since the 2007 AFC championship game. That’s right, since that undefeated New England squad lost the Super Bowl to the Giants, the Ravens in the 2009 playoffs and the Jets in 2010 – all three of those were considered upsets, as well.

Doesn’t matter that New England has an annual chokehold on the AFC East (though New York is beginning to threaten that dominance), the Patriots can’t get anywhere in the playoffs. They haven’t won a Super Bowl in six years. So, what’s the problem?




1. Wide Receiver
Getting rid of Randy Moss probably was the right call for New England, but when the Patriots sent him away, they also lost their downfield threat. You might argue that Moss’ skills are in decline – and the Titans would DEFINITELY say that – but he’s still quite a long-ball receiver. Wes Welker is one of the best slot receivers in the game, Deion Branch had a nice comeback year and New England’s young tight ends are really solid. But a Moss-like receiver would be welcome.

2. More DL depth
Mike Wright and Ron Brace missed a combined nine regular-season games last season before injuries forced them to the Injured Reserve lists while Ty Warren missed the entire year, and a trio of rookies (two of whom were undrafted) were forced to step in and replace them. What the Patriots need in this year’s draft is a pass rusher off the edge, and since they have a plethora of draft picks, they could certainly try to trade up and find one. Wright, with 5.5 sacks, was the team leader, and following behind him were LBs Tully Banta-Cain and Rob Ninkovich. They need some help on the DL, though newly-signed Marcus Stroud could certainly ease some of that burden.

3. Better secondary play
Devin McCourtey had a strong rookie season, leading the team with seven interceptions and Leigh Bodden – who missed all of last year – will be a definite upgrade over Kyle Arrington. Pat Chung is solid at the SS spot, but FS Brandon Meriweather wasn’t very good last season (how he made the Pro Bowl is baffling). It would not be a surprise if New England tries to replace him.




The Patriots obviously have some corrections that need to be made. But this franchise has been the best – and most feared – in the NFL since Belichick took over (though Rex Ryan absolutely will NOT kiss his rings), and he doesn’t hesitate to get rid of loyal Patriots who he feels can’t help them anymore (I’m looking at you Richard Seymour, Adam Vinatieri, et al). The Patriots will continue to battle with the Jets for AFC East dominance, but like usual, New England will be a preseason favorite to win the Super Bowl.

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Posted on: January 2, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: January 2, 2011 11:48 am
 

Week 17 AFC Inactives

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

First, those who ARE active: Browns RB Peyton Hillis, Steelers S Troy Polamalu, Ravens TE Todd Heap

And those who are INACTIVE:

A whole mess of Jets starters, including CB Darrelle Revis, CB Antonio Cromartie, RB LaDainian Tomlinson and RB Shonn Greene.

A whole mess of Patriots starters, including LB Tully Banta-Cain, WR Deion Branch, TE Aaron Hernandez and WR Wes Welker.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills: He missed three practice this week with a bad knee.

Dan Connolly, G, Patriots: Hasn't been seen since his amazing near-TD kickoff return with a head injury.

Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals: For a guy who might be playing his last game with Cincinnati, this is a quiet way to go out.

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Posted on: December 20, 2010 1:36 am
 

Don't blame Flynn, blame his coaches

D. Driver consoles M. Flynn after Green Bay's loss (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You can try to blame Matt Flynn for the way the Patriots-Packers game ended tonight. And you’re right, it did not look, um, professional.

Confusion across the entire offense. Flynn obviously not knowing what to do. The seconds ticking away. Every fiber in a Packers fan’s body screaming, “Snap the damn ball!” The last-second sack and fumble that ended the Patriots 31-27 victory and dispelled what would have been an outstanding win for Green Bay.

But this was not a failure by Flynn, who was outstanding throughout most of the game in his first career start. Playing against the Super Bowl favorite – though, mind you, also a team that doesn’t have a very good defense – Flynn had an impressive performance, completing 24 of 37 passes for 251 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

And the sack and fumble at the end of the game.

Yet, this was a failure of the coaching staff.

Here’s the scenario: the Packers were down by four but driving with less than a minute to play and no timeouts remaining. With 29 seconds to go, Flynn took the third-and-11 snap and fired a 10-yard pass to WR Donald Driver. He was tackled with 23 seconds to play.

And from there, nobody had any idea of what was happening. Flynn couldn’t get a play-call on the headset inside his helmet, and with only four seconds left, he finally took the snap. He was met by Patriots DL Tully Banta-Cain for the game-ending sack.

But here’s the thing:  how could Packers coach Mike McCarthy not have a play ready for Flynn assuming the third-down play didn’t make enough yards? How are two plays not called in the huddle? Especially, knowing that Flynn has almost no NFL experience, how does McCarthy allow that to happen?

Said Driver after the game, via our Rapid Reporter: "We had a second-down play called (for) after the spike, but we were a yard short so we just had to go with it."

But how does that make sense? Why would the Packers need a play called for after they clock the ball? If they stopped the clock, they would have had plenty of time to call a play for second down. No, what they needed was a fourth-down play-call, which they didn't have.

Here's what McCarthy said in his postgame presser:

Q: Mike, what about the two-minute drill, especially the last two plays? Did you think you could get off another play or two, or was it rushed?

MM: First of all, the third down completion, you have to find out if it’s first down or fourth down. So, it obviously takes time and the clock was running and I think it was 20 to 21. It got to a point, we were right at the point, if it was a first down that we would have clocked the play and we would have had a set play on second down. You know, it takes the referee time to, you know, make a decision. And it was a clear fourth and one, so you have to get up on the ball and take a shot at the end zone. I think it’s a very clear situation and I think Matt operated it properly in a three-man rush and they sacked us. So, the mechanics of it, I thought, was very well done by Matt Flynn.

Q: It looked like he was checking personnel, was there trying to change personnel on that last play?

MM: No, we were in zebra. We didn’t change personnel, he was just setting the formation. You know, you have to find out the down and distances first. You’re in a clock situation if it’s first down and you have to throw the ball in the end zone if it’s fourth down. And that was the communication that Matt was giving to the rest of the offense.

Flynn might take the blame for the late-game snafu, but it wasn’t his fault.

Yet, with the loss, the Packers, at 8-6, severely hurt their playoff chances. At this point, the Saints (10-4) and the Giants (9-5) have a hold on the Wild Card berths, and if the Bears beat the Vikings on Monday night, Green Bay would find itself two games behind Chicago in the NFC North.

That probably would be lethal to the Packers postseason chances.

And yeah, it’s unfair as hell that a sub-.500 squad from the NFC West will go to the playoffs ahead of Green Bay. But the Packers had their chances. Their quarterback just didn’t have enough experience. And their coach didn’t give him the chance to win the game.

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