Chris Forsberg offers a PFF stats analysis on Meriweather's decline.
On the surface, Meriweather's numbers weren't awful. He finished with 48 tackles, three interceptions, and six passes defended. But dig deeper and the drop-off in production is far more pronounced. The folks at Pro Football Focus track individual player data and their numbers on Meriweather are far more condemning. For instance, during Meriweather's 2009 season, opposing quarterbacks boasted a QB rating of 64.7 on passes throw in his direction; In 2010, that number skyrocketed to 100.7.
Here's a comparison of the past three years for Meriweather with PFF numbers (including playoff games) that highlight the Pro Bowl-caliber 2009 season and last year's dip:
2008: 42 targets, 26 receptions, 330 yards, 145 YAC, 5 TD, 4 INT, 86.4 QB rating
2009: 30 targets, 18 receptions, 296 yards, 132 YAC, 1 TD, 5 INT, 64.7 QB rating
2010: 30 targets, 20 receptions, 355 yards, 116 YAC, 3 TD, 3 INT, 100.7 QB rating
"New England’s system not only challenges you physically, it challenges you mentally, because they have so many concepts and so many things going on within that offense,’’ said Holt, now an NFL Network analyst. "Tom runs that offense to a T and he has the flexibility to change things at the line of scrimmage at any given time."
"You have to know a number of things all the time. That’s just the plays. I’m not even talking about the snap counts that he has the ability to change if he wants to. There’s a lot within that offense that you have to know and be able to do quickly. And not only know it, but now you have to go out and execute it - and for a lot of young guys and even veterans, that can be intimidating."
- The New England Patriots signed 11-year veteran G Brian Waters and released LS James Dearth and OL Steve Maneri.
- Patriots claim rookie LS Danny Aiken off waivers from Buffalo.
- Paul Perillo and Andy Hart debate their level of concern over Chad Ochcocinco's slow development so far.
- Karen Guregian hopes Bill Belichick has a safety net for the safety corps, because how else could he cut two of the top three guys on the depth chart?
- Shalise Manza Young analyzes the release of Brandon Meriweather, surprising because of the lack of depth at safety.
- Greg A. Bedard analyzes the Patriots roster moves and notes they have just three left of the 26 players drafted from 2006-08. It’s official.
- Mike Reiss offers some wrap-up thoughts from another active day when it comes to the Patriots' roster.
- Greg A. Bedard reports the Patriots castoffs were the most popular in the league, and more notes after perusing who claimed who on the waiver wire.
- Mike Reiss offers some weekend quick-hit thoughts from the Patriots and around the NFL.
- Christopher Price reports the Patriots have settled on their final 53 ... for now.
- Mike Reiss shares some insight on G Brian Waters, from Randy Covits, the veteran NFL writer for the Kansas City Star.
- Chris Gasper offers seven points and predictions gleaned from the Patriots preseason.
- Christopher Price notes so far the Patriots' practice squad has four players: OLB Markell Carter, DE Alex Silvestro, DL Aaron Lavarlas and DB Ross Ventrone.
- Phil Perry says that Matt Light speaks from experience when he says Albert Haynesworth is as close to unstoppable as you can get in the NFL.
- Monique Walker Patriots Notebook: The Patriots O-line gained depth with the addition of veteran guard Brian Waters; Nine of the players cut by the Patriots have landed with new teams; Danny Aiken is the 4th (and hopefully the best) long snapper picked up by the Patriots; The practice squad is starting to take shape, with five members so far.
- Karen Guregian Patriots Notebook: Herm Edwards thinks Brian Waters is "a really good pickup" for the Patriots; Brandon Meriweather thanked his Boston fans via Twitter; It was surprising to see DE Mark Anderson make the team over Eric Moore.
- Matt Bowen (Nat'l Football Post) What do the Bears get with Meriweather?
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: Colts' Manning's consecutive starts streak is in jeopardy.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Report: Moss would return if the Pats come calling.
- Dan Pompei (Nat'l Football Post) NFP Sunday Blitz.
- Dan Parr (Pro Football Weekly) 2011 Season predictions. Patriots to beat the Falcons in Super Bowl XLVI.
- Staff (NFL.com) Season predictions: Our experts make their picks.