ESPN football insider John Clayton talked with the Mut & Merloni show Tuesday afternoon and discussed one of the newest Patriots acquisitions, defensive end Shaun Ellis, who Clayton expects is the final signal that New England is in line for a scheme change.
"I think they figured out that Sean is going to be a valuable part of what looks to be a 4-3 defense," Clayton said. "Maybe the 3-4 days are going to be at least temporarily held back. I'm sure they can switch into a 3-4, but you can see now to try to get the pressure that they haven't been able to get from the linebacker position, they're going to get as many good, big bodies as they can up front to at least win the battle at the line of scrimmage."
That being said, Ellis turned down a one-year deal to stay with the Jets. Instead, the Patriots nabbed him and Clayton thought that deal was due to the limited dollars the Jets were offering the defensive end.
"I think they would have liked to have him back almost as a courtesy, but when you offer a veteran like that the minimum salary, I think you're telling him something, particularly somebody that's been there for so long, a guy that goes back to the Bill Parcells days," Clayton said.
But of course, any discussion about the Patriots offseason wheelings and dealings cannot go without some talk about Albert Haynesworth's addition on the defensive line. Although his production dropped considerably as his years in Washington went by, Clayton said he thought a change in scenery as well as the switch to the 4-3 should do the defensive tackle a lot of good.
"When he wants to be, he's unblockable," said the ESPN analyst. "Even go back to what you saw his first year in Washington. Now that wasn't a great Washington team. It was pretty average, but what they had to do was put two or three guys on him and so what it ended up doing was taking their two defensive ends, Andre Carter - who of course will be playing with Albert again - and the rookie at the time Brian Orakpo, and put them in double-digit sack seasons. This is from a team, I think if I'm not mistaken, that may have had like 13-17 sacks the year before. Well, they had 20 from the guys playing outside Albert.
"Albert draws a lot of attention, and he can physically dominate people and also too he can get push on the quarterback and try to get through those blockers. So I think what you're going to see is more of that and less what you saw last year."
Haynesworth and Ellis are just two moves of many this offseason in which the Patriots have targeted veteran players who may be on the decline of their careers but have had plenty of past successes. That drew some praise from Clayton in his interview with M&M.
"I think what they're bringing in are guys that have won, guys that have had success, guys that they know can do it and also addressing needs," Clayton said. "You know, once they made the decision with Randy Moss almost talking himself off the roster, they needed one more outside guy and now they get him in Chad Ochocinco. I think that for years after not finding that right rushing outside linebacker, they thought, "Right, how do we do it? Let's build up the defensive line in a 4-3." You look at the guys. How many Pro Bowls? How many great games have been played in all those defensive linemen that they acquired? What it also does is frees up Albert Haynesworth to maybe only 35-40 plays per game to be that dominant type of player. So I really like a lot of the things they're doing and I think it could very well translate into the postseason."
Also in light of the news that Jerry Rice called out Moss on failing to live up to his potential, Clayton said, as many have before him, that he expects we haven't heard the last of Moss in the NFL.
"Even though he did send a little note to Roger Goodell saying he was retiring, I don't think anybody's buying the fact that he's not going to play football this season," Clayton said. "It comes down to the right situation. ... He may wait until late August, early September, but I think if the right situation and the right team is there, he'll come back.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe speak with ESPN's Trent Dilfer and look ahead to the match-up with his old team, the Baltimore Ravens.
Butch Stearns joins Glenn and Fred to react to the Patriots victory over the Rams. They discuss Tom Brady's record setting 201st quarterback victory and debate if he is truly the greatest player of all time.
Glenn and Fred open the show reacting to the Patriots beat down of the Los Angeles Rams. They discuss the defense and debate whether todays game is a sign of things to come.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about what the Celtics will need to do in order to be considered one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference along with the Cavs.
WEEI's Mike Petraglia talks with Josue Pavon about how the Celtics are looking better with Al Horford back on the court and the overall toughness of this team.
Mut and Tomase are joined by Rob Bradford to talk about just how the Red Sox were able to pull off this trade. Rob's sit down with Dave Dombrowski helps to reveal the timeline of the mega deal.
Mut and John Tomase open the Hot Stove show debating the blockbuster Chris Sale trade. Tomase argues that you can like the trade, but dislike Dombrowski for gutting the Red Sox farm system.
WEEI.com's Rob Bradford sits down with Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski to talk about the Red Sox off season. They discuss how the blockbuster Chris Sale trade went down.
Hour two of Saturday Skate after a Bruins 2-1 over Buffalo, with Ken Laird and Rear Admiral debating the status of Krejci, Chara, Krug and Bergeron.
The first hour of Saturday Skate starts up against the third period of Bruins - Sabres, so Ken Laird and Rear Admiral give some Red Sox hot stove and Rob Gronkowski thoughts before moving into Bruins - Sabres game reaction
Ken Laird and Ty Anderson chat Bruins after a 2-1 win in Florida improved the team's record to 5-4.
Gerry, Kirk and Meter close out the final hour of the show discussing how Chris Sale will fit in Boston and Larry Bird's 60th birthday.
Gerry, Kirk and Meter started the 8 am hour discussing the latest velfie by Gary Tanguay.
Ken broke some news in the 7 am hour by telling New England that he would not trade Andrew Benintendi for Clayton Kershaw.
Tom E. Curran joins Glenn, Lou and Christian to preview the Patriots game against the Ravens and to laugh at how bad the Jets have been,
Glenn, Lou and Christian look ahead at the Patriots Monday Night Football game next week and talk about the big test they will face with the Ravens defense.
Dave Dombrowski has now shipped off a bunch of the Red Sox top prospects. The guys address the big trade and look back at why the bigger risk would've been to ride with the prospects.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe discuss the Chris Sale trade from all sides, and it's becoming abundantly clear that Michael is now afraid of losing Yoan Moncada.
We check in with Bradfo, who's work is never done!
Kirk Minihane, WEEI Podcast King, talks to the Podcast Godfather Adam Carolla about his new documentary about Le Mans, the backlash from the Election, and his time with Donald Trump on the Apprentice. The audio quality isn't great but the conversation is.
Kirk Minihane is a non-believer, Larry Johnson is a preacher, when Larry found Kirk doesn't believe in God he challenged Kirk to allow him on to the podcast to talk about religion and faith. Kirk and Larry have a tremendous conversation about God and Larry tries to convert Kirk into a believer.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Barstool Sports contributor and podcast host John Feitelberg. Kirk and Feitelberg talk about the rise of barstool, the sale of the website, what it is like to work for Dave Portnoy, and their live podcast shows at the Wilbur Theater.
Episode 2 of the official podcast of Kirk & Callahan, as Kirk and Gerry acknowledge their first real on-air fight on that morning's show. The guys also discuss newbie Rich Keefe, Gary Tanguay, and Larry Bird's 60th birthday
Ken Laird and WEEI.com's Ryan Hannable take a look at the Red Sox' acquisitions of Chris Sale and Tyler Thornburg from the minor league side of the equation, and what's left of Dave Dombrowski's farm system.
Gerry and Kirk got off to a rocky start when trying to discuss the Chris Sale trade. Kirk was feeling the Keefer Madness.More from this show
Glenn, Lou and Christian react live on the air when the Chris Sale trade was announced. The guys break down which prospects get sent over and how great the rotation now looks.More from this show
Gerry, Kirk and Alex opened the show discussing the extension of John Farrell. Alex loved the move.More from this show
IN the 8 am hour listeners voiced their displeasure with Alex and Reimer made his case as to why Gronk should retire at the age of 27.More from this show