Posted on: January 7, 2013 9:47 am

Looking Ahead to New Orleans

If the Patriots somehow win the Super Bowl next month, I think virtually all conversation will be ended as to who the greatest QB of all-time is. If Brady wins a 4th ring, 8 seasons after winning his last one, in the era of free agency, parity, etc., I personally think that is a greater accomplishment than Bradshaw or Montana's 4 titles or anything pre-merger (Graham, Luckman, Tittle, Unitas) or early modern (Lombardi's Packers).

Along with that, Belichick (who already has a HOF resume) has to go down as one of the greatest not only coaches, but personnel guys as well.
Belichick took over in 2000, which was also his first draft. He ended up with the following drafts:

2000- Brady
2001- Richard Seymour, Matt Light
2002- Daniel Graham, Deion Branch, Jarvis Green, David Givens
2003- Ty Warren, Eugene Wilson, Asante Samuel, Dan Koppen, Tully Banta-Cain
2004- Vince Wilfork, Ben Watson
2005- Logan Mankins, Ellis Hobbs, Nick Kaczur, James Sanders, Matt Cassel

2006- Stephen Gostowski, Ryan O'Callaghan (this was the Maroney-Chad Jackson year, bad draft)
2007- Brandon Meriweather (nothing else came from this, worst draft of Bill's NE era)
2008- Jerod Mayo, Matthew Slater (this was the "fix the secondary draft, Wilhite, Wheatley) Crable never got healthy

2009- Pat Chung, Ron Brace, Darius Butler, Sebastian Vollmer, Brandon Tate, Myron Pryor, Julian Edelman
2010- Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez, Zoltan Mesko, Brandon Deaderick
2011- Nate Solder, Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Ryan Mallett, Marcus Cannon
2012- Chandler Jones, Donta Hightower, Tavon Wilson, Jake Bequette, Nate Ebner, Alfonzo Dennard

That first chunk (along with what Bill inherited) won this team 3 Super Bowls. The middle chunk were lean years. Those guys helped the Pats reach another Super Bowl. And this last chunk appeared in another Super Bowl last year, with a chance to get back and win another one this year. Overall, Belichick has drafted very well and lots of teams now copy the Pats model of not paying older guys, stockpiling picks, staying out of free agency for the most part, and trading down in drafts to build depth. If Belichick & Brady win another ring this year, they are the best coach-Qb combo in history beyond a doubt, they are already in the discussion but that would clinch it I think.

Posted on: July 13, 2012 11:47 am

Ins and Outs 2012-13 NFL Season

La Confora, who is pretty solid on this us his "6 in" "6 out" theory, which a lot of people have done over the years, it's a pretty consistent metric for the NFL under the modern rules. MY division and wild-card winners for the upcoming season:

AFC East: New England (13-3 last year, even easier schedule this year, Tom Brady, good draft, added help on D)

AFC North: Baltimore (one last hurrah for Reed/Lewis, Flacco improves, offense just does enough)

AFC South: Houston (offense and health make up for absence of Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans)

AFC West: Kansas City (last few drafts finally add up for a solid season, hold off Peyton in Denver and a fading Chargers)

Wild Card 1:Pittsburgh (can't ever count out the Black 'N Gold, this team would win the West, but Balt. is better up North)

Wild Card 2: Cincinnati (no soph. slump for Dalton, A.J. Green, Gresham, etc. step up, D is solid, go 2-2 vs. Pitt/Balt.)

NFC East: Philadelphia (Vick plays at least 14 games, no distractions with a quiet training camp)

NFC North: Green Bay (A. Rodgers and Co. simply too talented)

NFC South: Atlanta (everyone else is hating on the Falcons, I think Matt Ryan takes a big step this year)

NFC West: San Francisco (they win the worst division in NFL, but not as strong as last year, what does Moss have left?)

Wild Card 1: Detroit (up and coming, still, secondary still has concerns, similiarly built to N.E.)

Wild Card 2: Dallas (beats out NYG for final spot)
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:40 am

2012 WideOut FA Bonanza

I was just listening to the Pixk-6 podcast on this website, not something I normally do but they were looking ahead at the pending NFL offseason following Super Bowl XLVI. Whether the Pats win or lose, they will have a bevy of offseason moves to make and that's not even taking April's draft into account. As usual under Bill Belickick, the Patriots have multiple picks in each of the first couple of rounds and all New England fans want to see what we've never seen: the Patriots to draft an impact pass rusher with a 1st round pick.
However, in this podcast, Ryan Wilson and Will Brinson went over the list of upcoming free agents the the WR position, and the list is astounding.
As follows, all will be unrestricted FA's this offseason:
  1. Vincent Jackson
  2. Dwayne Bowe
  3. Wes Welker
  4. DeSean Jackson
  5. Marques Colston
  6. Brandon Lloyd
  7. Stevie Johnson
  8. Reggie Wayne
  9. Robert Meachum
  10. Pierre Garcon
  11. Jerome Simpson
  12. Laurent Robinson

That's quite a list. After looking at a few websites, most people see Bowe and Welker as the most likely to stay with their current teams, while there is a good chance a few of these guys get franchised.

For Patriots fans, an interesting theory has been put out there by a few sources now: Brandon Lloyd will follow new Pats OC Josh McDaniels to New England, giving the Patriots the deep threat they have been missing since Randy Moss left. The Joey Galloway/Chad Ochocinco experiments didn't work, and both Brandon Tate and Taylor Price flopped.

The Patriots will have little to no shot at Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd or Alshon Jeffrey, so FA will be their best bet to acquire a top wideout this offseason. If they resign Welker and bring in Brandon Lloyd, the Patriots can continue to score enough to cover up the glaring holes on defense and devote draft picks to other areas of need (being mainly DE, OLB, CB and C if Dan Koppen isn't brought back). The Patriots also have BJGE as a free agent but I can see him returning and splitting time with Ridley next year, with Vereen more a 3rd down and special teams guy a la Kevin Faulk in his prime. 

Fellow Pats fans, what do you think? What do the Patriots need to do this offseason?

Posted on: October 7, 2010 12:11 pm

Bon Voyage Part II


These out of control egos that are pampered and even encouraged by modern fans and media, the entire sports machine, has given a pass for these jerks to do almost whatever they want, and the more outrageous and stupid their claims, actions and the like, the more of a wall they can hide behind. The crazier they are, the thicker the skin, and the better their own defenses are. It's a sickening cycle.

Classly, humble, sincere star atheletes have become the exception and are almost seen as soft, boring, etc.. When we, collectively, don't have dirt on a guy, it's almost like they are the ones hiding something, that being nice is an act and the skeletons are in the closet. Being seemingly innocent has turned into being guilty because you haven't been acting a damn fool outwardly for the world to see. The star athlete that can protect their privacy is a rarity and something to be admired. We fans contribute to it because we want to know all about these guys.

When do you see guys like Tim Duncan, Ray Allen, Steve Nash or Grant Hill getting into trouble, shooting their mouths off, complaing or campaigning publicly for more money, or to force an organizations hand to get traded by holding out or creating an uncomfortable situation. When do you see Peyton or Brady, Brees or Kurt Warner debasing themselves, others, anyone really? You may not like those guys, you may love them, but you can't say any of them make the headlines for anything negative really. Brady did knock up a chick and not marry her, but he takes care of the kid and how common is that nowadays anyways? Half the kids born these days are born out of wedlock.

The Moss situation is all ego. It's not a coincidence that he left on bad terms with Minnesota, Oakland and now New England. When it's 3 for 3, it's not the teams man, it's you. Someone called the radio show and said this: "Getting Randy Moss is like buying a boat, the two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you get it sold". How true. Some guys, for all their talent, just aren't worth the trouble eventually. The Patriots got their moneys worth production-wise for three years, but Randy wanted more money going into this labor unrest, and the Patriots weren't going to give a 33 year old reciever with behavior issues more money, especially while he was still getting paid this year. Brady on the otherhand signed a big extension and will get paid no matter what happens with the CBA. Draw your own conclusions. Similarities: both explosive and important players, both future HOF'ers and annual Pro Bowlers. Differences: one is a franchise cornerstone who is revered, one is a notorious malcontent. One is white, one black, one stable, one nuts. On the whole, Brady is a safe investment, and Moss isn't. Randy wants to "get his", as if 27 million, 14 guaranteed over the last three years wasn't enough. If you have money concerns after making all the money you've made over the last 13 years, than you have a serious lack of financial restraint. Randy made his own bed, but now doesn't want to sleep in it. Man up.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 7, 2010 11:52 am

Bon Voyage

So the Patriots pulled the rug out from under the NFL world once again, and traded the divisive and polarizing Randy Moss. As a Patriots fan, I am actually ok with this move if he was being a distraction in the locker room. Rumors and reports are still leaking out bit by bit from the media, so a completely clear picture of just how this all came about hasn't quite formed yet.

That hasn't stopped the talking heads from turning this into the biggest news story since The Decision. One particularly infuriating mouthpiece is Cris Carter, former star reciever for the Vikings and ex-teammate of Randy Moss. As someone who mentored Moss and "showed him the ropes" so to speak, Carter has become the unofficial expert on this whole situation, the lead source for all news concering number 84 in purple. The guy has been on the air for what seems 50 hours straight, everywhere I turn.

Carter keeps spinning the "Moss was/is a great teammate, he's misunderstood, you don't know him like I do" bull. There is no doubt Carter knows Moss better than 99% of the other media types covering this story, but for some reason, instead of just lending insight, Carter seems to take this personally and is busy constructing his platform on a vigorous defense of Moss. The seeming inability to seperate objective informing and subjective opining has made Carter look like a Rainbow Coalition drummer.

Some people have made this into a race issue and it might be, but we can get to that another time. (Sidenote: listening to Cris Carter right now on 103.7 FM WEEI with Dale and Holley and Carter just said his favorite baseball team is the Yankees and favorite NBA team is the Lakers. The dude grew up in Ohio. What a front-running P.O.S., but anyways). This entire saga has been governed by one overriding all-determinant pathos, and that is EGO. The capital letters are very necessary in this case. Also, let me say, anyone worth their salt, trying to accomplish anything in this world, has to have some ego. The people that are pragmatic, self-disciplined, humble, and successful find a way to subjegate their ego in the name of respecting themselves and others. When that doesn't happen, and ego rules the day, a person become not the man I described formerly, but a cocky, narcissistic maniac who loses sight of themselves in their own self-imposed "me me me" jungle. This can be mostly nature or mostly nuture, but is always some combination of the two.

The point I am trying to come to, by a roundabout way, is that in these modern, frenzied information sports age, every star athlete, no matter how bad of a guy he is or how much of an ego-maniacal jackass he is, has their defenders. LeBron, Kobe, T.O., Chad Ochocinco, A-Rod, Clemens, Manny Ramirez, on and on and on and on the list goes. Star athletes, either trouble-makers on and/or off the field. Guys that divide teams, distract from team focus, guys who's egoes are so far out of whack that anything they do they can spin into defending themselves from critics or victimizing themselves against a system they think is out to get them and stifle their inherent "individualism" or "right to speak their minds" or whatever. This other-worldy stratosphere these guys live in, propped up by dumbass fans, pathetic hangers-on and agents, suck up owners and executives, has completely blinded these guys from what it means to be grateful, appreciative, grounded human beings.
Category: NFL
Posted on: January 15, 2010 8:37 am

Order of Preference

Here's a list, in order, of which teams I wouldn't mind seeing win the Super Bowl;  one being I'm kinda rooting for them, and 8 being please, God, don't let that happen. I have my reasons.
1. New Orleans--That city needs some good mojo, and they beat the hell out of the Pats, so that loss will look a little better maybe?2. Arizona--I'm a Kurt Warner fan, if he's a borderline HOF before, a win would make it a no-brainer. A long down-trodden franchise.3. Minnesota--This team, for all their success and tradition, has never won the SB. I like Favre.4. Baltimore--The Ravens are always one of my favorite teams because they play Pittsburgh well. They knocked the Pats out, so root for them.5. San Diego--The Pats fan in me kicks in for the rest of this list. I hate LT and Merriman, but hate the rest of these teams more.6. Dallas--Always have disliked the Cowboys, but oh well. 7. New York--HATE the Jets. All Pats fans do. They are pathetic.8. Indianapolis--HATE the Manning family altogether. I never want Peyton adding rings to his resume. 
Category: NFL
Tags: Super Bowl
Posted on: December 30, 2009 8:54 pm

Lamar Woodley....WHAT?

What the hell is this guy talking about? The Patriots and Bengals, like the Colts last week, have earned the right to do whatever they friggin want next week. Ryan Clark had the right idea, saying no one is scared of the Steelers this year. If you hadn't punted games against Oakland and Kansas City, you wouldn't need all this HELP to get into the playoffs. If you take care of business, you control your own fate. The Patriots, IF they sit starters, aren't doing because they are scared to play you Lamar, they are doing it to get healthy and rest up. Cincy, same thing. Is it just a Steelers LB thing, saying stupid stuff all the time? Joey Porter is a walking-talking litany of moronical refuse. James Harrison is expecting to get invited to the White House when he DOESN'T win the Super Bowl, all the sense that makes. And now Lamar thinking the Patriots and Bengals are plotting against the Steel Curtain out of fear. Wake up buddy, maybe too many Iron City's before the interview.
Any of my fellow Pats fans feel like this team could get hot and go on a run like in 2001? Yea, me neither.
Posted on: December 1, 2009 7:54 pm

Holy Beatdown

Last night was a disgrace. The Patriots, my beloved Patriots, did not even belong on the same FIELD as the Saints. Drew Brees looked a lot like Brady did in 2007, getting all kinds of time and picking defenses apart. The Patriots had virtually zero pass rush. Tom, meanwhile, was harassed and hurried all night. Very much resembling the awful Super Bowl a few years ago. No quarterback, no matter who it is, can effectively manipulate the game when he is being hounded by 300 pound Giants every play. What happened to the O-line? A usual strongpoint. I haven't seen line play that bad since Max Lane trying to block Reggie White in the Super Bowl against the Packers in 1996. 
I love Belichick. We all do. However, the whole thing just stinks right now. Something is amiss. These heartbreak losses are one thing; a multiple touchdown-deficit defeat on the national stage? These are not the Patriots of 2003-2007. Last season we can write off to not having our starting quarterback of course. Also, being 7-4 isn't too bad. The thing is, the Patriots used to win these games. The Patriots used to have the Colts number. What happened? The defense is what has fallen off. It's not because we let older guys go to pasture (McGinest, Law, Milloy, Roman Phifer, etc.), it seems more because we don't, or choose not to, hold on to younger guys that are still highly productive. Richard Seymour, Asante Samuel, et al. 
Saving money is well and good. Lord knows the Belichick/Pioli combo has drafted fairly well. But Bill might be outsmarting himself here. We need to somehow clone Jerod Mayo like 4 or 5 times (even though he was pretty much invisible last night). Since that isn't possible, one idea would be to stop trading down out of the first round all the time, stop trying to turn 5th and 6th round guys into bona fide NFL starters for a very complicated defense. Bill can coach the hell out of anything and anybody, but he needs guys with more talent. Knowing the playbook is one thing; gotta go out and execute. 
The Patriots have needs, like any other team. A 3-4 rush end (whether the DE or OLB) or two. A cover corner. If we can't get to the QB (which we can't), then we need corners who can lock a guy down. It isn't easy to find the next Champ Bailey or Darelle Revis, but we can try. The D needs to get younger, faster, and WAY more athletic. Smarts are great, and we got plenty, but give me some athletes too. This team isn't going anywhere with the defense it's got. The Patriots are good enough and well coached enough to run out a 10-6 or 11-5 record with their eyes closed (proved it last year, with a soft schedule albeit). But if we want to stay up there with the Colts and Steelers of the world, we have to draft better, hold on to guys a little longer and pay the ones that deserve it. 
Category: NFL
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