After two games of the 2019 NFL season, the Patriots defense has only allowed three points. Yesterday against the Dolphins, the team shut out the fish in Miami. Overall, the defense had seven sacks,four interceptions and two_ picks for six. In this post , we will examine three areas why this year’s Patriots defense ranks as Belichick’s best. Why the 2019 Patriots Depth
Reason number one is depth. This year’s squad is well stocked at each position. Second_ year players Juwan Bentley and Christian Sam provide speed and energy. Rookies Jo Juan Williams and Chase Winovich have provided significant contributors in the first two games.
In the season opener against the Steelers, Winovich played the entire game. Since the Patriots 13-3 Super Bowl win the defense has not surrendered a touchdown.
Energy This year’s defense has a good mixture of youth and experience. Veterans Devin McCourty, Stephon Gilmore, Kyle Van Noy are good role models for the rookies to look up to. Second_ year linebacker, Jonathan Simon was signed late last season. Simon was an integral figure in the club’s postseason run Cornerbacks Jonathan Jones and JC Jackson have superb in coverage. Both players were undrafted. Jones recently signed a three _year contract
Leadership Every successful organization needs leadership. This seasons Patriots team has plenty of it. Adam Butler, Jamie Collins, Duron Harmon, Patrick Chung, and the McCourty brothers are the leagues best. If this group can stay healthy, it should rank as Belichicks best. The Patriots stick to the motto Do Your Job and so far that’s just what this defense practices. Considering the fact, that last year’s coordinator Brian Flores left for Miami the Patriots have the best defense in the NFL. The Season Ahead The old adage defense wins championships certainly applies to the Patriots. As the team gears up for Super win number seven, the defense depth is the number ingredient to reach the Super Bowl. Barring injuries the 2019 Defense ranks as Belichick’s best.
In six seasons, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has bought the team back to respectability. Playoff wise the Celtics have reached the third round twice losing to Cleveland two years in a row After a turbulent 2018/19, the upcoming season is a key year for Brad Stevens. The team cut loose Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris. Center Al Horford departed for Philadelphia. In this post, we will cover three reasons why 2020 will be a make or break year for the Celtics coach. 2020 Will Be A Breakout Year For Celtics Coach Brad Stevens A Disgruntled Kyrie In just two short seasons, the club said goodbye to Kyrie Irving. Irving left after a year of frustration and controversy amongst players and coach Brad stevens. Irving’s new home will be in Brooklyn. The Celtics also lost Marcus Morris and Al Horford. All three players played a significant factor in their tenure, but have no championship to show for it. Younger Roster; In the offseason , the club went in a different direction .On draft night, GM Danny Ainge, drafted Romeo Lanford, Indiana, Grant Williams, Tennessee, Tremont Waters LSU, and Carson Edwards Purdue. All had successful college careers and are expected to be on the roster opening night.
Out of the four picks, the interesting pick to watch is Carson Edwards. Known for his three_ point shooting Edwards has been talked about as a possible
starter. Grant Williams brings a physical presence to the team’s front line. Number one pick Romeo Langford is weak at shooting three’s but has a reputation for taking to the hole.
Despite the roster being younger, many fans feel that this movement will set the team back two or three years. If this is the case 2020 will prove how valuable Stevens is to the organization. Organization Signs Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter With the departures of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford the club signed ex Hornet Kemba Walker and Trailblazer Enes Kanter. Kanter will fill the void left by Horford and Walker will be the starting point guard. Walker has a reputation has a great locker room teammate. Kanter provides inside scoring and rebounding. He is expected to split the time with second _year man Robert Williams. The Future; With a disappointing offseason the Celtics are moving ahead. With an infusion of youth and Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward fans are optimistic Any hopes of a deep playoff run is slim. If Stevens can develop the young players with the current roster then Steven’s future with the Celtics is safe.
The Boston Bruins are enjoying a quiet offseason, after claiming their third Eastern Conference championship banner in nine years. Thus far the only Bruins signings have been winger Brett Ritchie from Dallas, Danton Heinen, and Steven Kampfer. General manager Don Sweeney still has a lot of work to due this summer. The Bruins need to come to terms with Defenseman Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, and Brandon Carlo. In this post, we will review three reasons why the Bruins have not improved from last season. Overpaying For Danton Heinen Mistake, number one was overpaying for Danton Heinen. Heinen, the third_ year wingers production dipped considerably in 2018. In 2011 Heinen’s 11 goals and 13 assists and a plus_ minus ratio of 11 one more than the previous season. In 2017 he netted 16 goals and 31 assists. This past summer the,organization awarded him a 2.8 million dollar salary which ends in 2023. Granted, Heinen is a gritty third_ line player, but not worth the figure he signed With only three years of service time, he adds a strong physical presence on the team’s third line. Only time will tell if he is worthy of the contract.
No Major Free Agent Signing’s The good news is the Bruins are well under the NHL cap space this summer. The bad news is they have to come to terms with Tory Krug, Charlie McAvoy,and Brandon Carlo. The team cannot sign all three Torey Krug had one his most productive seasons as a Bruin. Krug is a valuable member of the power play and sparkled in the playoffs. Krug has one more year left on a four_ year $21,000,000 deal. Expect Krug to average 9 or 10 million per year on the open market. Signing him will be a major hurdle losing him will be worse.
Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo are the nuts and bolts of the defensive corp. Mcavoy is at the end of his rookie contract. Carlo had his best season as a Bruin. When Zdeno Chara retires, Carlo will be the club’s number one or two defenseman.
Signing Brett Richie The only major splash this summer has been Brett Ritchie. The team lost free agent Marcus Johansen and center Noel Acciari. Ritchie has 33 goals and 21 assists n five_year’s as A Dallas Star. He is not the skill player that Johansen is, but fits the Bruins style of play. The Bruins have major decisions to make on McAvoy and Carlo. Krug could be the odd man out. Mc Avoy and Carlo are the future of the Bruins Compared to last season the team has not gotten any better and will struggle to reach the finals.
With Major League baseball’s 2019 All _Star game in the books, the Red Sox find themselves in second place nine games behind the Yankees. The difference this year, compared to last season, has been the pitching. In this post, we will review three relievers that may be available at the trade deadline. Three Quality Relievers That The Red Sox Will Target At The Trade Deadline Brad Brach Orioles Like his former teammate Zach Britton, Brach could be the next Oriole on the chopping block. The catch with Brach is he is under contract through next season at 9,000,000. Which means the Red Sox would have him for a year and a half. Red Sox fans can recall that five years ago, the team sent Andrew Miller to Baltimore and in return the club receiver Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez has developed into one of the clubs most dependable starters. Joakim Soria Soria is another candidate who could be dealt for the right price. Boston traded with Chicago three years ago that netted Chris Sale. Soria is a veteran who owed 10,000,000 dollars for next season. The White Sox of 2019 is vastly improved. It would take a quality prospect or two to acquire Soria. Soria brings value to a club fighting for a playoff spot. He has been both a setup man and reliever during his career. Despite a 1-4 record and a 4.75 ERA this year, he has 220 career saves. Adam Conley Marlins With the Marlins once again basement dwellers, they will be a team moving players. One player, in particular, pitcher Adam Conley. Conley is flexible who can either start or relieve and would be a perfect fit for the Red Sox. At 1-7 and a 774 ERA this season Conley would add depth to a starting rotation or bullpen.
The Second Half The Red Sox starting pitching has been a disappointment. Chris Sale and Rick Porcello have not received the run support needed to win.
The organization has begun preliminary talks with the Mets, regarding starter Zach Wheeler. Wheeler is 6-6 and a 4.69 ERA in 2019. The other suitor is the Yankees. With the Red Sox farm system razor_ thin look for GM Brian Cashman to obtain Wheeler’s services. The Red Sox lost big shoes in losing Joe Kelly and Crag Kimbrel. Plus the injury to Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t helped. Look for GM Dave Dombrowski to make a move or two at the deadline.
With the 2019 Trade deadline approaching July 31st, the club has several issues to consider. Struggling in third place for most of the season the most significant need is in the bullpen. With no proven closer, Boston does not have an abundance of prospects to offer. In this post, we will explore three possible trade scenarios for the 2018 World Champions to explore. Trade Eduardo Nunez Trade chip number one trade Eduardo Nunez. Nunez was acquired two years ago from San Fransisco at the trade deadline. Nunez is having a productive 2019 hitting 2home runs and 18 rbi’s and hitting An experienced veteran Nunez would be a plus on any team. Nunez brings versatility and is an asset in the locker room. With Marco Hernandez and Brock Holt, healthy Nunez is expendable. Release Stephen Pearce The 2018 World Series hero has been plagued with injuries in 2019. Currently on rehab Pearce, is nearly ready to return. A valuable member of the team last season Pearce has only 89 at_ bats in 2019. Pearce signed a one year 6,000,000 dollar deal this past offseason. With plenty of power, Pearce still carries a potent bat when healthy. Would be a valuable acquisition for a team contending for the playoffs. Rookie Michael Chavis has been the regular first baseman. Trade Mitch Moreland With rookie Michael Chavis playing every day Mitch Moreland could be expendable. Moreland is in the middle of a two_ year contract extension. Last season, Moreland was a valuable contributor for the world champions He had one of his best season hitting 15 home runs driving in 68 runs and batting 245. When healthy he is one of the best defensive first basemen in baseball. Moreland, when healthy, would bring value to an organization with a thin farm system. So far, the 2019 season has been disappointing for Red Sox fans. With injuries to key players Nathan Eovaldi and no proven close,r the team has been struggling. With the All-Star game one week away the club is nine games behind the first place Yankees. If the Sox do not gain any ground soon, then the club will have to move some overpriced players. With half a season left, the Red Sox are far too talented to be stuck in third place.
The recent firing of Revolution coach Brad Friedel marks the beginning of a new era for the New England Revolution. The 2019 season has been somewhat of a disappointment for Revolution fans. Currently, the club sits in eleventh place in the MLS soccer standings. This month the Kraft family decided to go in another direction and hired well respected Bruce Arena to guide the organization. As a coach, Arena is one of the most successful coaches in soccer history. In this post, we will review three why hiring Bruce Arena is a step in the right direction. One Of The Most Successful Coaches In MLS history In Arena, New England gets one of the most successful coaches in soccer history. His resume includes five MLS Cup championships. Three with the LA Galaxy in 2011, 2912, and 2014. Also, a Supporters Cup Shield in 2011. The decision to fire Brad Friedel came as a result of another slow start by the Revolution. Friedel compiled a 12-21-13 record in his brief tenure as head coach, Certainly not good enough to compete for a world cup. For the past five seasons, the Revolution have been struggling at the bottom. Currently, the Revolution are 4-8-4 and stand in 11th place in the MLS East. With Arenas, winning history fans can expect a total housecleaning. Impressive Resume Another reason for the hiring of Arena, was his remarkable resume. He began his coaching career after graduating from Cornell in the late sixties. At Cornell. he participated in soccer and was the team’s goalkeeper for four years. As for his coaching experience, Arena has had a brilliant career coaching the LA Galaxy, DC United, and NY Red Bulls. In Los Angeles Arena guided the Galaxy to three MLS titles Also, in 1996 and 1998 he led DC United to two World Cups. Not to mention a supporters cup in 1995. Winning Formula Taking over the Revolution will be a challenge. As an organization, the club has never won a US Cup. despite four attempts in the early part of the millennial. In 2000 the team won a US open cup trophy. The Future Ahead By hiring Arena the Kraft family is sending a message that significant changes are coming. After their worst start in franchise history, the team can only go up. As for the roster, the Revolution do have several players with plenty of upside. Some talented names to watch are goalkeeper Cody Cropper, Midfielder, Scott Caldwell, forwards, Teal Bunbury, and Diego Fagundez. It will take some time, but look for Arena to do what needs to be done and bring a World Cup to Gillette stadium.
What a difference a year makes. In 2018 the Celtics lost to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Championship. That roster was minus a Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. This year, with a healthy roster the team slipped all the way to a fifth seed in the East. Several factors can contribute to this year’s disappointment. In this post, we will examine three reasons why the Celtics failed to play a brand of basketball fans can be proud of.
Three Reasons Why The Celtics Need To Play Like Celtics in 2019/20
No More Finger pointing One area that needs to be addressed in 2019/20 is no more finger pointing. This was the norm for this year’s squad. Previous Celtics greats Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Kevin McHale, and Paul Pierce would never blame other teammates.
The team needs to focus on cohesiveness and unity. Over the course of 82 games, unity prevails where fingerpointing ends up in a losing battle. If the Celtics can regain their 2018 form, this is one area that needs to be eliminated immidiately.
For a team that came so close a year ago, you would never know by the actions of this seasons team.
Better Ball Movement The second area that needs improvement is the passing department. Games in which all five players were involved in were usually games that resulted in a victory. For most of the season, the ball and game fell on Kyrie Irving. Gordon Hayward returned after a season _ending injury in 2018 was a disappointment. The rest of the players Marcus Smart, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum,Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris contributed significantly. Reserve guard, Terry Rozier spent most of the season complaining about his lack of playing time.
Better Shooting The biggest weakness, for this year’s team was the shooting. The Celtics finished fifteenth overall in three _point shooting. In the two_point shooting area, the club ranked fifth. In the rebounding department, the Celtics ranked 16th and on the defensive side, the team sank to 22nd.
All factors considered the club lacked consistency. At times they showed flashes of brilliance and other times they would return to unacceptable basketball. If the team aspires to be an Eastern Conference Contender, then they need to play like a Celtic team. Teamwork, Shooting and rebounding.
The Upcoming Season If 2019 /20 is going to be a success it will have to be a complete team game. Head coach Brad Stevens needs to be more of a disciplinarian. Too many times last season the coach allowed the players to walk all over him.Regaining trust in each other is an important ingredient for any teams success.
The Boston Bruins are enjoying a very sweet 2019 playoff run in a quest for their second Stanley Cup of the millennial. One of the reasons behind the successful run is the play of netminder Tuukka Rask. Rask has guided the Bruins past victories over Toronto, Columbus, and two wins over Carolina with game three Tuesday night. In this post, we will examine three reasons, why Rask has been so successful and where he stands amongst recent Stanley Cup goalies.
What Separates Tuukka Rask From Other Elite NHL Goaltenders?
Young Defensive Group Outside of Charlie McAvoy the team has an extremely young group of talented defensemen. Starting with Charlie McAvoy the team is a well_ balanced unit with Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Connor Clifton, and Torey Krug.
The young group has been a significant reason that has contributed to Rask’s success this season. Krug, in particular, has been a vital force on the team’s power play.
If the Bruins expect to get past Carolina, then the defense will have to keep the Hurricane forwards at bay. The Bruins defense was one of the best in the NHL in 2018/19
Penalty Killing another reason for Rask’s success this postseason has been the play of the penalty killing unit. During the season, the penalty killing ranked near the bottom. During the playoffs, however, the penalty killing has been the out of the four playoff teams remaining. Currently, the team is riding a five_ game unbeaten streak.
One of the reasons for this year’s playoff success is the play of the penalty killing unit. The group have prevented the opposition from scoring. Currently, the club is enjoying a five _game postseason unbeaten streak thanks to the penalty killing. If the team can get past Carolina, the play of the penalty killing unit is vital.
Rask Versus Recent Stanley Cup Goalies; The past three seasons the Stanley Cup Champions have been The Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins twice and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Compared to Stanley Cup goalies, Rask statistics rank with the best. Corey Crawford of Chicago is 244-142 career as a Blackhawk. In, the Playoffs his record is 48-37. Another example, Matt Murray of Pittsburgh compiled a 29-14 overall record this year, with 2.60 GAA and a 919 save percentage. Murray had a dismal playoff record in 2019 at 0-4 record.
Rask’s numbers, on the other hand, were far better than both in 2019. 27-19 298 GAA and a 912 save percentage. Career _wise Rask is 265 150 228GAA and a 921 save percentage. The most wins by any Bruins goaltender in the clubs history.
Post Season Success It wasn’t too long ago that Tuukka Rask was getting criticized for his lack of victories in postseason. With consecutive losses to Ottawa and Tampa Bay, it’s safe to say that Tuukka Rask has finally arrived as an elite NHL goaltender.
With a quarter of the 2019MLB season completed, it’s safe to say the 2019 Red Sox have many question marks. Question number one is pitching. Currently, the club is tied for third in the ALEast behind Tampa and New York. Any hopes of a mid _season surge into first place will fall on the starting pitching. In this post, we will review three areas that the organization needs to focus on a return to return to first place.
Lack Of A Closer Will Prove Costly For 2019 Red Sox
No, Craig Kimbrel In 2018 the Red Sox bullpen had a combined total of 46 saves. A lot of the credit went to closer Craig Kimbrel and setup man Joe Kelly. Kelly was instrumental in the post _season last year as he was one of the managers Alex Cora’s trusted relievers. In the offseason, Kelly signed a multi _year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Since Kelly’s departure, the majority of the responsibility has rested on reliever Ryan Brasier. Brasier has so far been adequate but does not even come close to Joe Kelly’s caliber. Kimbrel, on the other hand, remains a free_agent. He is believed to be seeking a long _term deal perhaps equaling six or seven years. Lack of Hitting So far, the Red Sox are 17-19 in the American League East. Overall, the club is hitting 283 as a team fifth best in the league along with a total of 42 home runs. As of late outfielder, Mookie Betts has been on a torrid hitting streak. Newly recalled Michael Chavis had been one of the teams most productive hitters belting seven home runs in less than two weeks. Also contributing with the bat have been Rafael Devers and catcher Christian Vazquez, and JD Martinez has been consistent. Starting Pitching Needs To Be Healthy After 36 games, the Red Sox starting pitching has suffered injuries to two key pitchers. Both starters David Price and Nathan Eovaldi have been placed on the DL Out of the two, Evoldi’s injury is considered more serious. It was diagnosed that Eovaldi will miss at least 4to 6 months of pitching due to Tommy John surgery.
If the team has any aspirations of returning to first place, then they will need a healthy David Price and Nathan Eovaldi. Also on the injured list is lefthander Brian Johnson. Johnson’s injury is not regarded as serious. The season Ahead If the club expects to have any hopes of postseason then a lot will depend on the health of the pitching. Also, investing in closer is one alternative the organization needs to think about if they expect to play even close to last season.
With the 2019 NFL Draft officially underway, the quarterback issue is an area of concern as long as Tom Brady stays healthy. Barring an injury, the only capable backup is veteran Brian Hoyer. The question is can Hoyer carry the Patriots through the whole season and the playoffs. Some possible names to keep an eye on are Justin Herbert of Oregon, Drew Lock of Missouri and Will Grier of W Virginia. In this post, we will examine three quarterbacks who could help the Patriots and make the 2019 roster. Three Quarterbacks Who Would Be A Perfect Fit In A Patriots Uniform In This Year’s Draft
Justin HerbertOregon Herbert is an interesting possibility whose stock has climbed the past month. The 21 year_old has the height 6’6” and weight 224 lbs. that appeal to a lot of NFL coaches. In 2018 Herbert threw for 3151 total yards and 29 touchdowns 8 interceptions. As a three year starter at Oregon, has thrown for 63 touchdowns with his longest an 83_ yard bomb in 2018. Herbert’s strong points are his decision making and arm strength. Look for Herbert to go in the mid_ rounds in this year’s draft. Herbert certainly has the size a characteristic that head coach Bill Belichick relishes. Will Grier West Virginia Grier has shown considerable interest from the Patriots as a possible fit in New England. The former transfer from Florida had a career year in 2018 throwing for 3,498 yards and 12 touchdowns. Grier’s strengths are his throwing accuracy and pocket presence. With, three _third round picks the chances of Grier being available are slim. Do not expect Bill Belichick to trade up to get him. Drew Lock Missouri Locke is an interesting candidate. As a three year starter at Missouri Lock has thrown for over 3000, yards in each season. In 2017 led the nation with 44 touchdown passes. At 6’4” Lock has the size and agility to be a legitimate NFL quarterback. He comes with the reputation of being a gunslinger and lacks patience. With an impressive resume under his belt look for Lock to be a fourth or fifth round selection. The Upcoming Season With a total of eleven draft picks this year look for the Patriots to be quite active. With Rob Gronkowski retiring the team has several needs to fill. The question still remains the Patriots will win as long as Tom Brady stays healthy.