4 Things to Worry About

So, other than the refs, it's been a pretty quiet week on the Patriots front. There is not much going on, so I figured I'd touch on some things that have me worried thus far about the Patriots. As always, follow me @CultOfBelichick

-Bust watch: Shane Vereen and Ras-I Dowling. Neither of these guys has touched the field much this year. Ras-I started the season off as the third CB coming in and playing about 50% of the snaps. However, since the Arizona game, he has not played defense at all. He has been passed on the depth chart by both Sterling Moore and Marquice Cole. We could be looking at another Darius Butler situation. This doesn't seem to be related to injury at all, and appears to have lost the confidence of the coaching staff. I don't see him cracking the lineup on defense again unless there is a rash of injuries. Shane Vereen's bust status has been directly related to his inability to stay healthy. This was the knock on him coming out of college, and he has not been able to shake it. Some guys just can't stay healthy for a whole NFL season, and it seems like Vereen is one of them. I am not that mad about the Vereen bust because he was a late 2nd rounder and then we got Ridley in the next round. So, we took two RBs with the hopes that both of them would come to fruition, but as long as we got one franchise guy out of it, I consider it a success. The Dowling bust on the other hand....he was basically a 1st rounder (33rd pick). Can't miss on those picks.

-Steve Gregory. Has not looked good at all. That attempted "tackle" (I feel weird even calling it that) was Pittaful (Get it? Because he was going after Dennis Pitta?!?!?!?!?! #punplayyy). He has been taking some horrible angles back there. You will be watching the game and then he will just come out of completely nowhere and miss where he is supposed to be by like 5 yards. I was hoping he would come in and bring stability, but it hasn't happened as of yet. The whole secondary is a work in progress, and we have to hope that with more practice and more time to get their communication to where it needs to be, they can be solid enough to grab us another SB.

Devin McCourty needs to catch a pick
-Gronk's not 100%. No one can convince me Gronk is 100% healthy right now. You can just tell by the way he gets off the line, and the general lack of explosion he is playing with. He hasn't been his normal beast self, ESPECIALLY after the catch. We are used to Gronk breaking tackles with regularity and it used to be that you couldn't bring him down with just one guy. This year, he hasn't been making those plays at all. He is getting doubled in the end zone, and just isn't as effective as he was last year. Let us hope that by the time the playoffs role around, he can be closer to the Gronk we saw last year until Bernard Pollard tried to ruin the season.

-Devin "The King of Dropping Interceptions" McCourty. Devin McCourty has been better than last year, there is no doubt about that. However, he needs to capitalize on the chances he is given. He has dropped three sure fire in-his-hands interceptions thus far this season. Then, there have been maybe one or two more he could have possibly had. Unless he is going to shut guys down on every play, he is going to need to make the most of the opportunities he has. During his Pro Bowl rookie season, he was able to make the most of these opportunities and use his ball skills to go up and get the interceptions, and I am not sure what has happened to him that he cannot do this anymore. He needs to pick this up. I know a lot of people wanted to vilify him after that game on Sunday, but I thought he was alright.