Scout's Take: New England Patriots
Underrated: Jamie Collins
Collins went to Southern Mississippi as a safety originally, then was moved to defensive end as kind of a hybrid outside linebacker-defensive end. He’s really a pass rusher. And he went to the combine at 6' 3 1/2", 250 pounds, ran a 4.55 40, and really lit up every single position drill. And he’s a really smart guy. So the Patriots had the vision to put him at inside linebacker, even though he’d always played outside backer or safety. Nobody does a better job in terms of fitting players in to certain positions to maximize their abilities than coach Belichick. The blitzes that he sends Collins on, this guy is dynamic. [Nationally] nobody really knows about him, but everybody up and down the AFC East knows about Jamie Collins. He’s going to be hell of a player for years to come for the Patriots.
Overrated: Danny Amendola
He’s always cited as being one of the positive pieces there. People usually say, “Julian Edelman, and Danny Amendola, they are like two Wes Welkers,” and all those kinds of things. When he is healthy, he’s an adequate player. But more often than not, he misses a lot of time, year after year. He just cannot keep himself on the field, and that makes it very difficult to depend on him. He has more nagging problems, not the season-ending types of injuries. Still, from an overrated standpoint, people always mention Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola together—but chances are you’re not going to see both of them on the field.
I don’t think there is another staff better equipped for handling adversity than the New England Patriots, which is good news considering they’re facing some right now with Brady missing four games to start the season. The Patriots do a heck of a job of controlling the message. To hear their players all echo the message, you have to understand that from a coach’s standpoint everybody has bought into what coach Belichick is selling. They may have some rough patches in these first four games with Jimmy Garoppolo steering the ship for the first time. But with this team, this talent, this coaching staff, and Tom Brady on the field for 12 games, their season is far from lost. Twelve games is more than enough for Brady and Belichick to get them back on the right track. You should fully expect to see them in the playoffs.