The Fat Lady's Singing.
I don't even want to get involved with the whole Moss issue. There are so many ways to spin this story, and believe me I've head them all by all the Suckups. However, there is no way to spin this story to say we now have a chance at the Super Bowl. With Moss we had a Championship Offense, and if they could continue their big plays on defense, an okay defense that can make the game changing plays. If we had say a 4% chance to win the Super Bowl before the Moss trade, our chances are now nil.
This trade is too much like the Seymour trade. The Seymour trade essentially ended the 2009 season. It's like Parcel's says, "you never give players an excuse to lose." The trade of Seymour told the team that winning the Super Bowl in 2011 was more important than winning the Super Bowl in 2009, and we all saw what happened once that team reached the Play Offs, the excuse for losing festered into a defenseless run defense. I know, I can hear the Suckups crying now, "one had nothing to do with the other, weh-weh-weh." Bull shit. When BB traded Seymour he told team, "I truly believe we cannot win this season (so why should you?)." And big surprise, they didn't.
This trade was made completely for non-football reasons is BB telling his players again, "I truly believe we cannot win this season (so why should you?)." He has given this year's Patriot's players an excuse not to win. Now, before the season I would have agreed with him. However, being a Patriots fanatic I had convinced myself they had a chance after watching the Bengal's game. Then after the Miami game I saw the path to the Super Bowl, with the best Offense in the NFL and a big play defense, a defense that isn't all that stingy but can make big plays when needed, like the New Orleans Saints of last year. Then this? BB trades the second biggest piece of the puzzle away for a 3rd? And just for the record, the Pats would only have received at most a 5th in 2012 for losing him in free agency. The most compensation you can receive for losing a FA who has played in the NFL for more than 10 years is a 5th round Compensation pick (essentially a 6th Round pick), and that pick is not guaranteed. If they picked up any viable FA after this season they could lose a round or two or even the pick. So the 3rd Round pick is not anywhere near what it would have been had he left in free agency.
As for the reasons why it was done? The bad seed being planted theory does not hold water. This deal was set in motion long before the Miami game. Every time I hear a player or coach talk about Randy it is in glowing terms. Wilfork on WEEI on why they became such good friends, "Just coming over and being the person that he is. He's got a place down in Florid. I guess, good people just recognize good people. We hit it off from day one, and that's a friendship that's gonna last forever. I don't think that'll change just because he's not a Patriot, you know, I see guys come and go all the time, and that's one guy that's, you know, a great person, a great athlete, a great friend, great teammate, you know, whatever you want to say. He's a good dude." He sounds like a completely different person then the person the typical Boston media has been assaulting nonstop since the trade. Why is it when a player is traded from Boston the highfaluting, morally superior, and self-righteous Boston media can't wait to backstab him all the way out of town? I was ready for the attack, but some of the stuff that is coming out is crazy. Like the ridiculous report by Shalise Manza Young that BB approached Randy while he was stretching before a practice in the preseason and BB "approached Moss about starting talks on a new deal." That just does not pass the sniff test. Does anybody believe the BB would be negotiating contracts during a stretch before practice? In the preseason? Bullshit. I thought Randy's big problem was that the Patriots didn't want to negotiate a contract with him? Didn't he seem desperate for a new contract? Plus, isn't it obvious after the Pats gave him away for a pathetic 3rd Round pick that they had no intention of signing him to a new contract. Doesn't his rant after the Bengals game make a little more sense if we assume that the Pats had no intention of signing him, and let him know it.
In an article in the Herald, Brady disputed any bad blood between him and Moss, “No, certainly not,” Brady said, when asked by the hosts if that was true. “I don’t know why these things come about, but they just do. It’s just a competitive media culture out there right now. But certainly between Randy and I, I love the guy as a person, as a player. I don’t think I’ve ever had an altercation with a teammate. You demand a certain level of respect in the locker room, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of our players fight.”
Then when Holly asked Wilfork if the Randy he met was different for the Randy of reputation, he made some interesting observations, not only on Randy, but on being a professional athlete, the media hordes, and fame itself, "Sometimes the media can be harsh on people. Sometimes they can glorify people. You know what, losing causes a lot of that. If you lose ball games, or lose a lot, you start to see different personalities that come out in the locker room and everything... We never had a problem with him over here. Like I said: great teammate, great person, the locker room loved him, it ain't to many people that don't like him. And you know I think that was the surprising thing. But at the same time, you really can't judge him, [on] what's in the newspaper, or things people say about him once you get to know him." Wow! Randy sure sounds like a locker room liability to me.
himself came out and said he had no problems with Randy, "I wish
Randy the absolute best. He's been a guy, a player, that I have always had a
good relationship with. He's been very honest and when I've asked him
questions about football, personnel, things like that, he's been very
helpful to me, personally, and been very professional and, I think, a good
teammate and a good contributing member of this team. But in the end, that
was the decision." He continued to say that he loved Randy and he
said the Randy was excellent with the young players and not a corrupting influence
at all. Sounds like Captain Badseed to me. Then when asked why? Why trade your
second best player? Why trade the one guy who spreads out the defense and
opens up the middle for G-E and Welker? Why trade the guy who, as Hernandez
himself is wont to say, opens up everything for him to run with the ball
after the catch?
He continued to say that he loved Randy and he said the Randy was excellent with the young players and not a corrupting influence at all. Sounds like Captain Badseed to me. Then when asked why? Why trade your second best player? Why trade the one guy who spreads out the defense and opens up the middle for G-E and Welker? Why trade the guy who, as Hernandez himself is wont to say, opens up everything for him to run with the ball after the catch?
came out and displayed how Captain Badseed is destroying the moral of the
team with his shenanigans, so he had to be traded "Well, it's a
combination of things," he said at his Oct 7th Moss Conference.
"That would be a much longer discussion than we're going to have. It's
a combination of factors. But I would say this, there was never any incident
or discipline problem with Randy. There never has been one with me in four
years. And it certainly wasn't about contract and money. I think Randy
showed and proved the first year he was here what that was all about. What
he did with his contract made the whole deal work. I think you can eliminate
those two things. " What? So where is all the venom that everyone is reporting about Captain
Badseed. Granted, BB is the master of the Corporate Speak: never saying
anything negative, talking with effusive praise, and explaining how the sun
is shining while he's dumping toxic waste into the duck pond.
" What? So where is all the venom that everyone is reporting about Captain Badseed. Granted, BB is the master of the Corporate Speak: never saying anything negative, talking with effusive praise, and explaining how the sun is shining while he's dumping toxic waste into the duck pond.
So everybody loves Randy. But he's gone. It wasn't a locker room revolt that excommunicated Randy from this team. It wasn't a move that had to be made to make this team better on the field, that fact cannot be disputed no matter how dark your patriot's colored sunglasses are. Randy was the one player on the team, beside Brady, who teams had to game plan for. He has the deep speed that makes D-Coordinators wake up in the middle of the night sweating. The question wasn't if they should keep their safeties deep, the question was how deep should they keep their safeties? Maybe Tate can give the deep presence Randy had. Maybe Hernandez, Gronkowski, and Branch can make up the production in receptions and yards that is now missing. However, what cannot be made up is Randy's HOF ability to score Touchdowns. Since he joined the team he is averaging almost a TD a game. That is unprecedented from a receiver in NFL history. That giant hole cannot be filled by this team.
I may have used a little hyperbole last week when I proclaimed Chung and Brandon Tate the team's new stars. I was watching Tate emerge as a nice compliment to Welker and Randy, and be explosive in the Kicking game. He has developed into a valuable 3rd Receiver. It was the combination of his work catching passes and on special teams was making him a special player. He is not a Number One receiver, nor even the Number two in the Patriots bizarre offense where their top receiver Wes Welker is dominate in the Slot, the traditional role of the 3rd Receiver. Tate is now the Number 3/2/deep-threat. His route running and his understanding of the offense has increased to the point where he can use his natural athletic gifts to make some big plays, and he may be able to get open deep, maybe. But he is not a number one receiver, and even BB would admit that as his trade for Deion Branch showed. Plus, like Welker, the more important he becomes on offense, the less you want him playing on special teams. Call me crazy, but does anybody want to see Brady returning kicks? Splitting the Wedge? Blocking on punt returns? Hell no!
The only real reason to can him like this is if his fight with Bill O'Brien at Halftime was so bad that BB had to choose between the player and the coach. If Randy had undermined the coach's authority so badly that the player would lose respect for him and stop listening to him, then one or the other would have to go. That does not seem to be the case, or they would not have been talking with Minnesota for the past few months. However, it was the only question BB refused to address in his see-yeah-later-Randy propaganda tour. So if Randy had undermined O'Brien to the point where pone had to go, then the move starts to make sense. The only other reason to trade Captain Badseed, and I can testify to this as a farther of two, sometimes whining just become unbearable;-) So my hypotheses is that Captain Badseed may have whined his way out of town.
The real problem now is how does this effect the offense. My biggest problem is that we had a championship caliber offense and a young developing defense that, while not the stoutest defense I've ever seen, was looking more and more like it could develop into a defense that could make big plays when it needed them. Now, with Captain Badseed gone, is the offense still championship caliber? To which I say no. Is there any D-Coordinator who is stupid enough to scheme for the Patriots and not plan to double and triple team little Wes Welker to death? The answer is of course yes. However, 90% of the D-Coordinators in this league are smart enough to double little Wes in the Slot. Does anybody think we are going to face a team who keeps both safeties twenty yards down field for 75-90% of the plays? Hell no! Especially, when you can bring a safety into the box as a 3rd or 4th linebacker to help double team little Wes and help with the run. I have said G-E, who is looking more and more like Antowain Smith to me (a big physical back who gets the tough yards, but isn't going to break the big ones), lacks speed but not much else. Having an extra Safety in the Slot is going to hurt his production as well. The good news is that Deion Branch can step into Captain Badseed's role as the number one receiver and leave little Wes and Tate in their current roles. However, Branch is no longer a viable threat anywhere close to Captain Badseed. No team will even contemplate double him, never mind permanently assigning a Safety over the top on his side. Plus, the most exciting aspect of this offense so far has been the amazing Hernandez, who claims that all of his production has been the result of all the extra attention Captain Badseed commands. He commands that attention no more.
The other problem is that BB has done this before: Lawyer Milloy, Deion Branch, Richard Seymour, and now Randy. The problem is that this move of trading big name guys during the season has failed miserably in two out of three attempts. And the one time it did work is because: one, they had a better player to step in for Milloy- Marvin Harrison, two, they had one of the top defenses in the NFL, and three and most importantly they had Tedy Bruschi. Bruschi stood up after the Bills loss and said, "Screw Lawyer Milloy!" He told everybody that that locker room that their fate belonged to the them and no one else. I don't see Pat's player stepping up into the leadership void and telling everybody who doesn't believe in them, "to go screw!" that is what it would take to move this team into a contender and not a bum. This is the opportunity for someone to step forward and destroy any excuses to lose. If no leader emerges from this rubble, then the season is over, period.
However, if a leader does emerge, the Patriots have a few good things going for them. One, they have Hernandez and Gronk, who look like they are developing into weapon's like we have never seen on the Pats before. Their ability to spread things out and still be effective blockers gives the Pat's offense something new in the NFL, or at least a wrinkle to their offense that I have never seen before. What I call their Power-Spread formation. So they can spread it out, go into a power running formation, and everything in between, with the same personal on the field. This is the weapon that will lead them to the Play Offs. The second is that a lot of their younger defenders are starting to come into their own. If they can continue to develop as the season goes on, this could be a decent defense by play off time, and if they can continue their penchants for big plays, this could be a real good defense come January. Third, their Special Teams unit looks like it is something special. Now, they will not have another game like the Miami game this season, or maybe ever. However, they have displayed that, like on defense, this unit is capable of making big game changing plays.
The forth reason is that their is no real dominate team that has emerged in the NFL so far. This has been a crazy start to the season, with not a single undefeated team in the NFL after five weeks. I cannot remember that ever happening before? The road to the Super Bowl still appears to be open. The Jets and Ravens appear to have the most physical defenses in the AFC, and will be getting a strong taste of like without Randy on Sunday.
The best news is that BB appears to have sacrificed the past two seasons to make his run next season., oh wait there's going to be a lockout next season. Damn!
If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me: