Christmas is nearly upon us, and while our New England Patriots are still in prime position to make a run at the Super Bowl, it is never too early to look forward to next year. In the Christmas spirit, here a few “gifts” that us fans would like to see the Pats go out and get for us, this off-season.
Do Everything Possible To Get Everyone Healthy
I know this sounds kind of lame, but wouldn’t you be happy with just this present for 2014? I mean, this team has a lot of talent, and if they had half of the guys that are currently injured playing on Sunday’s, I think the Pats would be the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Getting Rob Gronkowski, Jerod Mayo, and Vince Wilfork ready to go, should be a priority for Bill Belichick and company, because if this team can get healthy for next year, they will do some damage.
Re-Sign Aqib Talib
Despite missing a couple of games with a hip injury, Talib is a must sign player for the Pats. His ability to lock top receivers up in man coverage is up there with Richard Sherman, and when he does this, it allows the rest of the defense to play more aggressive, and in turn, create some positive plays. I think Talib has proven that he deserves a long term contract, and I hope New England inks him to a three or four year deal.
Re-Sign Julian Edelman
Right now, if I were given the choice of Hakeem Nicks, or Julian Edelman, I would take number 11. He has proven to be a valuable weapon in Tom Brady’s arsenal here in 2013, developing a great rapport as the year has progressed, and his ability to make guys miss after the catch borders on ridiculous. LOCK THIS MAN UP.
Look For A Linebacker To Replace Brandon Spikes
I love Brandon Spikes. I really do. He is probably the best run stuffing linebacker this league has to offer, and the energy that he brings to the field visibly helps that defense. But his pass defense is so bad, that I think it is time for New England to move on. The NFL has become a passing league, and when teams get a tight end, or a running back singled up on Spikes, it never ends well for the Patriots. Whether it is through the draft, or simply speeding up Jamie Collins’ development, the Pats should begin their search for Spikes’ replacement.
Jace Amaro/Eric Ebron
Mock drafts across the country have been calling for the Patriots to draft one of these two tight ends, and I definitely think this would be a good move for the team. All reports are pointing towards Rob Gronkowski returning for the beginning of the 2014 season, but sometimes things go wrong, and he could end up missing quite a bit of time. Having a tight end that can exploit single coverage with a linebacker, or a safety is huge in today’s NFL, and it is something that the Pats miss when Gronk is on the sidelines. If New England can grab one of these two guys in the first round, they may have found themselves another ‘dynamic duo’ at the tight end position, and I am sure that Tom Brady would appreciate that.
Find Some Depth At Defensive Tackle
Hopefully New England won’t lose both Wilfork, and Tommy Kelly in 2014, but if that does happen, they have to be much more prepared. The injuries they suffered at this position in 2013 may have actually been a blessing in disguise, as now Chris Jones, Joe Vellano, and Sealver Siliga will be ready to clog up the middle if they are called upon. But if Kelly and Wilfork do go down, having those three guys won’t be enough to win a lot of football games. Getting a big guy with some skills needs to happen over this off-season, because going through another year of being ranked at the bottom of the league in run defense, will not net the desired end result down in Foxboro.
Trade For Calvin Johnson
What, I can’t dream?