Picked-up Patriots pieces around Web

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
3:15
PM ET
Some picked-up New England Patriots pieces that catch the eye from around the Web:

Brady lands at No. 2 on Jaws' 'QB Big Board.' ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski puts together his annual quarterback "Big Board" and slots Tom Brady in the second spot behind Peyton Manning. Brady was also No. 2 last year. "The argument between Manning and Brady will go on well after each has finished his Hall of Fame career. I still believe that Joe Montana is the greatest quarterback ever, but that could change if Brady or Manning win a couple more titles in the coming years," Jaworski writes.

Patriots ranked among league leaders in plays per game. ESPN.com NFL senior writer John Clayton leads off his weekly mailbag with a focus on teams hoping to speed up their pace of play. To make the point, Clayton notes the Patriots' success in this area. "The Denver Broncos (72.1) and New England Patriots (70.4) were the only two teams to average more than 70 plays per game last season," he writes.

It all comes back to depth. Veteran Providence Journal columnist Jim Donaldson believes the key to the Patriots' season will be depth. "The Patriots, with a significantly improved secondary thanks to the signings of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, can get to the Super Bowl if they can stay reasonably healthy. But how reasonable is it to assume they can keep all, or even most, of the players just mentioned in one piece all, or even most, of the season?" he asks.

Brady 7th in jersey sales on NFLShop.com. ESPN.com sports business reporter Darren Rovell reports on Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel as the No. 1 jersey-seller on NFLShop.com during the first quarter of the league's fiscal year. Tom Brady is seventh.

B-minus grade for Patriots offseason. Nate Davis of USA Today gives a letter grade to each team's offseason and the Patriots get a B-minus. Why not higher? "The offense still seems to lack quick-strike capability, and TE Rob Gronkowski's durability will remain a concern. A redshirt-heavy draft doesn't seem equipped to contribute much in 2014," Davis writes.

Patriots fourth in PFT 'Power Rankings. After landing in the No. 4 spot in ESPN's Power Rankings, the Patriots land in the same spot in Pro Football Talk's version. "Getting beyond the conference title game and earning another Lombardi Trophy is a different matter ... They’ll need better health than last season, development from a young receiver or two and no noticeable slippage from key veterans to add a fourth ring for the Belichick era. There’s a lot that needs to break right, but the Patriots are in position to capitalize if things do go that way," writes Josh Alper.

Catching up with Faulk. Former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk checks in with Nola.com at his football camp, as he is now serving as an assistant high school coach at his alma mater, Carencro. "The kids is one of the reasons why I came back home," Faulk said. "To get them more involved, get them the notoriety, get them out there, build their confidence level up in what they doing so they can try to move forward."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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