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View Full Version : CB Antwaun Molden - Making an impact for the Patriots


Texans34Life
10-07-2011, 10:48 AM
http://www.projo.com/patriots/content/20111007-patriots-molden-ihedigb_10-07-11_PAQ.2ebd408.html

FOXBORO — When the NFL settled its labor issues and the players returned to work in July, Antwaun Molden was a member of the Houston Texans, a fourth-year cornerback fighting for a roster spot. James Ihedigbo, who had been a special teams standout for the Jets for four years, was a free agent looking for a job.

Thomas Welch spent the last three seasons on the Patriots and Vikings practice squads after being drafted by New England in the seventh round in 2008. He was out of a job, then brought back by New England in early September. He was promoted to the active roster, cut two days later and re-signed for the practice squad. Finally, just a few days ago, he was promoted to the active roster.

Ask a Patriot fan about any of them two weeks ago, and only the most knowledgeable of fans would know about any of them. After the victory in Oakland Sunday, though, a true Pats fans should know all three.

All three saw their most extensive action ever against the Raiders and were part of an effort that brought the Patriots their 31-19 victory. Injuries forced them into action. And all three stepped up.

All are now preparing for the visit by the Jets on Sunday as contributing members of the New England rotation.

“It feels good,” Molden said. “I love the game of football. This is a good team. They brought me in for a reason. I want to do my job. I like playing football. I like to contribute.”

Molden was on the field for nearly 30 plays in the victory over the Raiders. Like Welch and Idedigbo, he got his chance because others were hurt. The Eastern Kentucky grad does not hide his excitement.

“I’m getting acclimated to the area, to the system here. I’m feeling good,” he said. “Most definitely this is a great organization. I’m just happy to be part of it. I want to do my job and help any way I can.”

Ihedigbo, a UMass grad, is an interesting story. Both his parents both have doctorates and moved here from Africa. Ihedigbo grew up near UMass and has used his athleticism to build his career. He was a special teams player for the Jets and is doing the same thing with the Patriots. He and Matthew Slater are the only Patriots playing on all four of New England’s special teams. Because of injuries, Ihedigbo also is seeing time at safety.

He knows the Jets-Pats rivalry from both sides. He can testify better than almost anyone about the difference between Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick.

“In philosophies, they’re two different coaches,” Ihedigbo said. “Rex will be Rex and Bill will be Bill. They’re both successful in their own ways.”

Welch has been bouncing around for two years, always on the edge, on practice squads. Against Oakland, the Pats had only one tight end active, Rob Gronkowski. Welch, who spent some time as a tight end at Vanderbilt (after playing quarterback in high school) was activated and pressed into regular duty as a blocking tight end while wearing number 66.

“I played some tight end in college, but it’s been at least four years (since he did so),” Welch said. “Mostly I was just blocking, so it’s pretty similar to O-line. But going in motion, I had to remember how to do that a little bit. I had to dig into the memory bank little bit.”

He is still catching up with everything that has happened to him.

“It’s been a crazy couple of weeks,” he said. “I’m glad I’m here and whatever they need me to do, I’m going to do. . . They said they needed someone to come in, throw some blocks. Obviously, we have some people down, so they told me to be ready and I was.”

Ihedigbo, Welch and Molden are examples on how teams have to make adjustments as the season rolls along. Offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien spoke about it the other day. “On game day, you know you have 46 guys on a roster. Like Bill [Belichick] always says, ‘You’re trying to make use of everybody, and each guy on the team has a different role.’ Some roles are bigger, some roles are not quite as big, but each is hugely important,” O’Brien said.

Rey
10-07-2011, 11:16 AM
I had Molden making my final 53....I thought he looked better than some of the other corners we kept...Plus I would have liked to see this coaching staff develop the physical tools that he has..

texanhead08
10-07-2011, 11:21 AM
Molden's problem here was being healthy. If you can't stay healthy you can't play. I think the organization just ran out of patience with him

Shaft75
10-07-2011, 11:23 AM
He used to be apart of the worst secondary in league history and now he's with the Pats terrible secondary... I would say poor guy, but I think he's had his opportunities.

eriadoc
10-07-2011, 01:44 PM
Molden's problem here was being healthy. If you can't stay healthy you can't play. I think the organization just ran out of patience with him

I think that's BS. There have been multiple times when we were told he wasn't healthy and then you'd see him on special teams. If someone is healthy enough to do collisions on special teams, they're healthy enough for anything else the team can throw at you. Personally, I think he probably never worked on "being a pro", or at least Kubiak's vision of it, so he never got a real chance on game days. I think the entire thing was mishandled by Kubiak. But we'll see.

Dutchrudder
10-07-2011, 05:58 PM
I would bet that the real factor for change in Molden is coaching and motivation. I don't think even Darelle Revis would have looked good in our secondary last year.

Double Barrel
10-07-2011, 06:20 PM
Belichick > Kubiak

It's as simple as that.

infantrycak
10-07-2011, 06:27 PM
Sure seems like people are overreacting trying to turn this into some reflection on coaching. He was only in the game because of injuries. He had a whopping 2 tackles and 0 passes defended.

eriadoc
10-07-2011, 06:32 PM
Sure seems like people are overreacting trying to turn this into some reflection on coaching. He was only in the game because of injuries. He had a whopping 2 tackles and 0 passes defended.

That's why I said "we'll see" at the end of my post. I suspect (don't know) that the Molden situation was mishandled by Kubiak. And I'm thinking that a good coach will turn Molden into a player.

We'll see.

Double Barrel
10-07-2011, 06:59 PM
Sure seems like people are overreacting trying to turn this into some reflection on coaching. He was only in the game because of injuries. He had a whopping 2 tackles and 0 passes defended.

Belichick is just better, though. He did the same with Jabar Gaffney, who we all know what he was all about.

Same reason dude could take Randy Moss and be productive, and when he starts acting up, he's gone without much fanfare.

Kubiak could not do the same, but that's not a knock against him. Most coaches cannot do what Belichick seems to accomplish with has beens, retreads, and no names. Obviously having a HoF QB helps, but Belichick had a hand in his development, too.

infantrycak
10-07-2011, 07:08 PM
Belichick is just better, though. He did the same with Jabar Gaffney, who we all know what he was all about.

Same reason dude could take Randy Moss and be productive, and when he starts acting up, he's gone without much fanfare.

Kubiak could not do the same, but that's not a knock against him. Most coaches cannot do what Belichick seems to accomplish with has beens, retreads, and no names. Obviously having a HoF QB helps, but Belichick had a hand in his development, too.

I would readily concede Belichick is the better coach but I still think this is stretching. He didn't do anything with Gaffney that I can tell. Gaffney had 632 yards here with a miserable QB. He never sniffed that in NE. Hell his best year of 875 yards came under a coach who was so miserable he got fired after two seasons. As far as I can tell Moss just turned himself on and even Belichick couldn't keep the switch on.

beerlover
10-07-2011, 07:09 PM
More than anything it should make us feel better about the talent we do have :kitten: if our guys we cut can make it somewhere else that means we must have a glut of talented secondary players right :wadepalm:

TimeKiller
10-07-2011, 07:13 PM
Belichick is just better, though. He did the same with Jabar Gaffney, who we all know what he was all about.

Same reason dude could take Randy Moss and be productive, and when he starts acting up, he's gone without much fanfare.

Kubiak could not do the same, but that's not a knock against him. Most coaches cannot do what Belichick seems to accomplish with has beens, retreads, and no names. Obviously having a HoF QB helps, but Belichick had a hand in his development, too.

I'm with Icak-

There's no question who the better coach is but Antwan Molden finally seeing a field has nothing to do with it.

Double Barrel
10-07-2011, 07:15 PM
I would readily concede Belichick is the better coach but I still think this is stretching. He didn't do anything with Gaffney that I can tell. Gaffney had 632 yards here with a miserable QB. He never sniffed that in NE. Hell his best year of 875 yards came under a coach who was so miserable he got fired after two seasons. As far as I can tell Moss just turned himself on and even Belichick couldn't keep the switch on.

yeah, not really defending Gaffney, I just remember a couple of playoff games where he went off and back-to-back 100+ yard games in clutch situations. That always stuck in my mind, because he never seemed to be much with the Texans.

As far as Moss, yeah, the switch and all, but someone had to motivate him to push that switch, and now he's got the 23 TD/season record along with helping Brady set the 51 TD/season record.

I do agree it's stretching with Molden, but I do think that if anyone can squeeze any more out of him, it'll be Belichick & co. That was all that I was really trying to say.

thunderkyss
10-07-2011, 07:42 PM
Sure seems like people are overreacting trying to turn this into some reflection on coaching. He was only in the game because of injuries. He had a whopping 2 tackles and 0 passes defended.

You obviously didn't read the Headline
Trio of unknown Pats are making an impact

Molden was part of that trio....... duh!

gary
10-07-2011, 07:51 PM
Molden might get better but we'll see.

infantrycak
10-07-2011, 08:29 PM
yeah, not really defending Gaffney, I just remember a couple of playoff games where he went off and back-to-back 100+ yard games in clutch situations. That always stuck in my mind, because he never seemed to be much with the Texans.

I never understood what Kubiak saw that he didn't like in Gaffney. I thought that was a mistake at the time.

You obviously didn't read the Headline

As is frequently the case the article and the facts don't support the headline (which is typically written by someone other than the author).

The Cush
10-07-2011, 08:37 PM
How hard is it to make an impact on the league's worst passing and overall defense in yardage

Texecutioner
10-07-2011, 09:08 PM
I would readily concede Belichick is the better coach but I still think this is stretching. He didn't do anything with Gaffney that I can tell. Gaffney had 632 yards here with a miserable QB. He never sniffed that in NE. Hell his best year of 875 yards came under a coach who was so miserable he got fired after two seasons. As far as I can tell Moss just turned himself on and even Belichick couldn't keep the switch on.

Of course Gaffney's numbers weren't that great in NE. When he first got there he was behind Moss, Welker, and Stallworth and then there was a TE so he was like their 5th option. He was playing a lot better there than he was with the Texans though and looked a lot more focused. No question about that at all.

As far as Molden goes, I won't expect to see much out of him in NE or anywhere else for that matter.

Dutchrudder
10-07-2011, 10:24 PM
How hard is it to make an impact on the league's worst passing and overall defense in yardage

I dunno, ask 2010 Molden...

:kitten:

infantrycak
10-07-2011, 10:26 PM
Of course Gaffney's numbers weren't that great in NE. When he first got there he was behind Moss, Welker, and Stallworth and then there was a TE so he was like their 5th option. He was playing a lot better there than he was with the Texans though and looked a lot more focused. No question about that at all.

He had Brady a future hall of famer throwing to him instead of a horrible QB.

And no, none of those guys were on the team when he got to the Patriots. Reche Caldwell and Ben Watson were the top two targets in 2006. Gaffney started 6 games and only totaled 142 yards. The next year is when all those guys were there but Gaffney and Watson were targeted equally. That was the only year that group played together. 2008 Stallworth was gone and Gaffney was the 3rd option well ahead of Watson. But again if we are looking at his production as some kind of indicator of coaching talent then by far his greatest production occurred under the least competent coach he ever played for. He is on pace for his best year ever at just under 1000 yds this year under Shanahan.

sakebomb
10-08-2011, 08:34 AM
He used to be apart of the worst secondary in league history and now he's with the Pats terrible secondary

I was going to say the same thing.

jtexas
10-08-2011, 09:30 AM
He may have played, but he didn't play well.

30 snaps played, 24 pass plays, targeted 4 times and allowed 2 receptions of 28 yards and 7 yards. :mcnugget:

The Pencil Neck
10-08-2011, 02:21 PM
What does Gaffney's performance have to do with Kubiak? I mean, Kubiak just said that he didn't want him, right?

Gaffney never played a down for Kubiak from what I remember. If Kubiak had decided to keep him around, Gaffney might have flourished. Especially after HWWNBN was cut.

And I don't see what Molden has to do with Kubiak, either. Molden was coached by Hoke and Gibbs. His lack of development was as much about his being injured as it was the coaching and the coaching was only indirectly Kubiak's fault.

Wade and Joseph didn't like what they saw from him and they're the ones who let him go.

And on top of everything, it's not like Molden has suddenly turned into Revis or something. And he's part of another epically bad secondary.

Rey
10-08-2011, 04:39 PM
And I don't see what Molden has to do with Kubiak, either. Molden was coached by Hoke and Gibbs. His lack of development was as much about his being injured as it was the coaching and the coaching was only indirectly Kubiak's fault.

Wade and Joseph didn't like what they saw from him and they're the ones who let him go.
.

Kubiak should be held accountable for most everything that happens with this team football wise.

That said, kubiak isn't a bad coach because they let molden go.

thunderkyss
10-08-2011, 05:18 PM
Kubiak should be held accountable for most everything that happens with this team football wise.

That said, kubiak isn't a bad coach because they let molden go.

Agreed.

Now if he let a TE go who went on to become something in this league.... that's a different story all together.

steelbtexan
10-08-2011, 06:23 PM
Agreed.

Now if he let a TE go who went on to become something in this league.... that's a different story all together.

LOL

I'm in total agreement with Rey.

eriadoc
10-09-2011, 10:51 PM
Kubiak should be held accountable for most everything that happens with this team football wise.

That said, kubiak isn't a bad coach because they let molden go.

No, but I think he made bad decisions with Molden all along the way. It's a wasted 3rd round pick, obviously. He never gave the guy a shot on the field. We'd hear vague injury rumors, but then see Molden on the field for ST. Last year,w itht he worst secondary in the history of the league, the team went out and signed Miami's cast-off and played him instead of giving Molden a shot. OK fine, but then why the hell was the guy on the team in the first place then? Why did he even make the team in '09 for that matter? Put the guy on the field, especially in the last five games of last year when you knew you had no chance, or cut your losses and get someone else in there. It's not the end of the world or anything, but it's a 3rd round pick that he never put on the field, but kept on the roster anyway. Should have cut his losses in '09, IMO.

I'm feeling the same way about Adibi, and to a lesser extent, Slaton. And Anthony Hill was cut this year after being drafted in '09. Garrett Graham isn't getting play time, but at least he's got some good players ahead of him on the depth chart. Molden had crap ahead of him.