Now that Jason Taylor has decided to become a Dolphin once again, the "analysis" starts. You know, what will the Patriots do next? Are we weak at linebacker? Were we desperate, as Providence Journal's Jim Donaldson claims, to go after Taylor:
And what does it say about the status of the Pats’ linebacking corps that so many people were placing so much hope that the soon-to-be-35-year-old sack specialist would sign with New England?
No. Donaldson's article reads a lot like a Dan Shaughnessy piece. That is, "I'll appear smarter than the other guy in the room by pointing out the negative stuff." I think that's where he's coming from, but it's hard to say. I, for one, believe a move for Taylor would've been business as usual for Belichick. He respects Taylor and is known for going after players who have given him fits when playing against them (Wes Welker, anyone?). In addition, picking up Taylor would've been a very shrewd move: we wouldn't have to face him twice a year.
Donaldson's reasoning for the negativity? Guys like Adalius Thomas were out with a broken arm and Shawn Crable was eventually IR'd. Oh, and Gary Guyton and Eric Alexander weren't drafted out of college. Here's what I think. I think we should listen to the smart people, like Nick Caserio:
One of the more direct questions came when Caserio was asked why the team didn’t draft an outside linebacker to address the team's struggles on third down last season [26th out of 32 teams] and fill the void left by Mike Vrabel's departure.
"I think we’ve got players on our team that we feel good about, between A.D. [Adalius Thomas], Pierre [Woods], we signed Tully Banta-Cain, Shawn Crable didn’t have an opportunity to play last year ... " he said, before noting that things could always change because the team doesn't play a game until September.
I'm choosing to take a "wait and see" approach with a "cautiously optimistic" overtone. If that isn't confusing enough for ya... Basically, I think there's talent on this team, but untested. I believe we'll be ok and, as Caserio says, there's a lot of time between now and September; you never know who might hit the wire.
Agree with Donaldson? Disagree? Wait and see?