By Bruce Allen, Patriots Daily Staff.
Injuries are mounting up.
Cornerbacks can’t cover.
Zoltan can’t punt.
Patriots don’t belong in the same zipcode as the Saints.
Those are just a few of the sentiments I’ve heard tossed around today by the local media after the Patriots engaged in a practice (we’re talking about practice here, PRACTICE. Not a game, PRACTICE.) with the Super Bowl champs.
In other words, it seems the Patriots have a lot of work to do.
A little more detail on the above concerns:
Injuries to Ty Warren and Nick Kaczur appear to be the most serious, with Warren reportedly considering hip surgery, and Kaczur reportedly telling teammates he might miss the entire season. Gary Guyton remains out, and Leigh Bodden did not participate this morning either.
Kaczur’s absence combined with the Mankins holdout has left Dan Connolly holding the bag at guard. Ian Rapoport payed attented this morning and noted the following:
I watched G Dan Connolly a bunch and he seems to be working hard. But he did seem to struggle with some of the Saints DLs like Will Smith. He’ll get his hands on a guy, but doesn’t move people. Speaking of that…
– Of all the things the Patriots did well, they seemed to struggle to run the ball. And it didn’t seem to be the RBs fault. There just wasn’t room. This team needs Logan Mankins.
More from Ian Rapoport:
The Patriots secondary seemed to pick up where it left off in New Orleans, as it watched the Saints receivers catch passes at will. That wasn’t great news. But perhaps it was a product of the lack of pressure. The hope is that this isn’t a theme.
Well, isn’t that great.
Those two statements from Rapoport, who we’re repeatedly praised as one of the more level-headed guys on the beat, were not encouraging.
On Twitter, the very first tweet following the practice from @MikeReiss was this:
When the punter is the first thing you mention about the practice…it must’ve been bad.
Tom E Curran on WEEI this afternoon stated that the Patriots are not even in the same zipcode, football-wise with the New Orleans Saints, and it showed on the field.(His actual practice report for CSNNE.com was much more positive, however.)
Maybe we just have rabbit ears for the negative, because apparently there was plenty of positive today as well. The Patriots offense had their way with the Saints defense, Pepper Johnson talked about how well things are working out with the coaching staff, even saying that the no coordinator situation is a blessing in disguise. Rapoport had plenty of positives in his review. Christopher Price was impressed once again with Aaron Hernandez.
Best of all – EA Sports says Patriots will win Super Bowl XLV
So it wasn’t all bad.