2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs. Reality.

Part IV.


Greetings Pats Fans,

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Okay I get it (I'm Not a Homer!).


The quote that everyone ignored was, "We did what we felt like was best for the team," BB said. "And that was really it." It was the silent speed, the quiet mystery, and the cold harshness of this trade that made it so loud. Actions speak louder than words. The trade was a clear and present message to the Pats locker room.

Insubordination is not going to be tolerated, just do your job. "I mean, I've coached every player I've ever coached the same way," BB said. "You have an assignment, you have something you're responsible for and then the instincts come after that. As long as you cover your guy, that's your job. You want to: cover him off, you want to cover him on, inside technique, outside technique, back pedal, squat, whatever it is. I mean there's a million different ways to do it. If you have him covered I'm going to be happy about it. You're going to be happy about it. Right? So that's the bottom line." There is a clear and present implication that Collins wasn't just doing his job.

They had trouble with him free lancing three years ago, and used that motto "Just Do Your Job" to help inspire a Super Bowl victory. "Watch the tape," Lombardi said. "Jamie has not played particularly well. Sometimes freelancing is a problem, and I think sometimes effort is a problem." His tackles have steadily declined since the Super Bowl season.

Then he missed the Cincy game (ear lop), for screaming at a coach in practice, and they lowered his role to 50% of what it was. "This is about football. This is about watching the player, grade the player," Lombardi said. "People have a perception, youíre arguing based on perception. If you studied the game tape and you understood the defense, and you understood everything thatís going on, you would understand this is a football decision.

"Jamie Collins, Iíve said this to this kid before when I was there, 'when he wants to play and heís really into it, he can be a very good player.' Now, is there something going on in his life that I donít know about? But through eight games as a Patriot this season he had not been playing at a level thatís acceptable to winning and beating good teams.

"The conversation weíre having isnít about beating Landry Jones and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Itís about beating Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in a championship game." Excuse me Mike, I prefer the term "Champ Game".

BB clearly refused to bash Collins on his way out of town, but he also reinforced the credibility of Lombardi, big time. "Look, Mike's one of the smartest people that I know," BB said. "He's one of the smartest people I've worked with and he was a huge asset to me for the two years that he was here. Mike's a smart guy and he studies football and he knows it very well. I would say on probably all teams. So you talk to Mike." They did. 

So this was all about team discipline. Silly little things, like "just do your job" can pull a team together enough to win it all. But also big things like dumping a player can scare a team together. And be the motivation that brings a team together for a championship, like the Lawyer Milloy dumping. The Pats are the favorites to win it all now, but we are only half way through the Regular Season, and the Playoffs really are almost another full season.


Also, maybe Shafter was also right about his second tweet: With Jamie Collins contract coming up, he was at one point asking for what one league source described as ďVon Miller money." Von: 6-$114.5M ". If Collins is looking for Miller money, that was a deal breaker.

Miller is an edgerusher, the best edgerusher in the NFL last season. Collins is an inside, or an "off the line inside linebacker", like Van Noy was for Detroit. "He was on the line, a Sam in their 4-3 package," BB said. "He was an off the line inside linebacker in their nickel package. He didn't really play a lot his first two years. This year was the year he had the most playing time. He played in the kicking game." Elite ILBs get about half the money of elite Edgerushers.

So his desire to get paid 100-Mil is off the charts. He was in range to get a 50 to 60 Mil contract, before he got sent to the gulag for unknown reasons. He will probably sign his big contract for his second team that is winless, and live happily ever after.

However the message BB sent, clearly had to send shivers through all the young player's souls who are trying to build their careers. Jamie Collins just went from the current favorite to go to the Super Bowl in the AFC, to Cleveland. Where careers go to die.

Their little ears are standing up like horny Vulcans. Mr. Butler, you are next in line, and you can behave like a professional or be beamed-up to Loserville. Cyrus Jones better smarten up, or he is on the next train outta town. Mr. Coleman, you better just do your job, or you could be watching the Pats in the Champ Game on Collins' couch in Cleveland.

I think the Van Noy trade is also starting to make more sense. "Well, it starts with heís played [in the NFL]," BB said about Van Noy. "A player like himself or Mingo or somebody like that, itís different than bringing [Woodrow] Hamilton up off the practice squad who hasnít played. I mean you can see those guys play and itís a question of them really getting enough confidence in them, and their teammates have enough confidence and familiarity and communication with their teammates, so that they can go out there and perform effectively.

"Itís not going to be perfect. Thereís going to be other bridges to cross but you feel like itís at a point where the player can handle it, the player is confident, his teammates are confident. You canít have all the players out there wondering ĎDoes this player know what to do? Do I have to tell him this? Do I have to tell him that?í I mean you canít play like that. Certainly there are times where you can help each other out but you canít go out there trying to do the other guys assignment all the time.

"Once you get past that point, you feel confident with it, then you go do it. Sometimes you have to do it sooner than you want and maybe that means you have to trim back some of the adjustments or communication if you donít have any other options. If the players just not ready then you have to play to the level that you feel comfortable playing." That trade happened just after the alleged Patricia incident.

Mingo, Roberts, and Van Noy will be battling it out to steal Collin's minutes inside. Van Noy is the best natural rusher of the three. Mingo has the best speed around the corner, but Van Noy has that knack for hitting the quarterback. Roberts is the best run defender in the middle. The second half of the season starts with the Pats hosting the Seahawks. It will be a whole new team. Everything has just changed on the Pats team.

When you make a move like this, it affects everyone on the team. "Unfortunately that's part of this business and I'm sure a lot of you don't want to take into consideration other moves that are made on the roster, but they affect everybody," BB said. "So it might be a guy that isn't a big guy on your radar but to his roommate or to a teammate that's very close to him. It is a big move [for them], and so I recognize that, I understand that, I appreciate that, but again, in the end my responsibility is to the football team. It's not to an individual player.

"So I make the decision that I make based on what I feel like is best for the team. It's not a personal decision, it's a team decision. If it was a personal decision then there'd be a lot of decisions that would be different. But that's not my job. My obligation is to all of the players; not just to a single individual. I know you want to focus on the bigger names if you will, which is fine. I understand that. But all of the players are important to me. They're important to their teammates. They're important to the organization and anything that affects any individual on the team is important. Not just to three or four we want to single out because of whatever their star power is. I'm not minimizing that but things affect all of the players on the team, not just the few names that are mentioned."

So if the Pats win the Super Bowl than BB is the genius and I am the idiot again. But if they don't win it all this year, it is likely to be blamed on the decision to trade Collins. They were already short handed in the rush because of the Mr. Jones trade, and not having Collins available to blitz the A-Gap is a ton more trouble in the Playoffs. When they are likely to be facing QBs like Roethlisberger, Luck, and Wilson. But you cannot have blatant insubordination in the Navy, or on a football team. This is one of those moves that could hurt both the team and the player. Or, lead the Pats to the Unprecedented Fifth!

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