Elster's World

Friday, May 11, 2007

There's No "Moss" In Team

On the day that the evil Bill Belichick hastily wrote his version of a dear john letter on a cocktail napkin and told his about to be bosses that he didn't want to be the "HC" of the "NYJ" two significant events took place - he set the New York Jets organization back about eight years and he turned the New England Patriots into an absolute football powerhouse in an era of flashes in the pan champions.

Belichick came to New England and instituted a plan. The team would build through the draft and cheaper free agents, eschewing high priced, me first athletes for a team concept. He managed to get the team veterans to buy into the concept. The results were spectacular - the team won the Super Bowl in 2002, 2004 and 2005 and were in the hunt in 2006 and 2007.

The amazing thing about it was Belichick's ability to squeeze the utmost out of every one of his players. Were his linebacking corps of Ted Brusci, Ted Johnson, Willie McGinnest and Mike Vrable really the modern day equivalent of the 1986 Super Bowl Bears? Think about that - he was playing defense with three white linebackers. And it wasn't 1956!

And when his defensive secondary corps was ravaged with injuries, he figured out how to plug those holes with spare parts - even famously converting wide receiver Troy Brown into a decent dime defender.

And when Tom Brady spent this season throwing to a bunch of misbegotten castoffs, the team still was one bad pick away from going to another Super Bowl.

Between his ability to pick players, scheme game plans and maximize talent, it seems the only negative things you can say about Belichick have to do with his horrid fashion sense, his lack of human emotion and the fact that he supposedly bullies his players into playing with bad injuries (see Johnson, Ted). But every single fan of an NFL team would trade their coach for him in a heartbeat. No questions asked.

So when the Patriots opened the vault this offseason to sign Adalious Thomas (the best and most expensive linebacker on the market), Donte Stallworth (high credit risk) Wes Welker (in a trade with Miami) etc., etc., it seemed a little strange. This was certainly off the beaten track for Belichick teams and they did have a couple of first rounders in the upcoming draft but hey - they had the money, they had a franchise quarterback throwing to terrible receivers, they were way under the salary cap - why NOT spend a little dough and bring in some better players. Even us Jet fans could appreciate this logic. If you were so close and you had the money, why not reach slightly outside of your no expensive free agents philosophy to add the final pieces.

But then came the draft day shocker - the Patriots had traded a fourth round pick for famed malcontent and shirker Randy Moss. "Wait a second," we all said. "Randy Moss? That can't be right. Can it?" And indeed it was. This move wasn't just a reach outside the philosophy, this was a total 180. The man who put the team concept before anything had brought in the biggest "me" guy in the entire National Football League. Remember, this is the team that wouldn't come out of pocket to keep the most clutch kicker in the NFL - even letting him go to their rival, the Colts. and this guy's bringing in Moss??

Sure, there are a variety of reasons why this move made perfect football sense for the Pats. It's not costing them that much. They can cut him at any time. Brady is great with no targets, imagine how great he can be with Stallworth, Moss and Welker flying all over the field. Belichick might be retiring this year and he wanted to give Pat fans one more championship before he leaves. And no, it's hard to really argue with any of these reasons.

Except

there's this one thing.

The Patriots were supposed to be above guys like Moss. They are supposed to be better than that. They show the world that you can win championships with linebackers like Johnson, with re-tread running backs and safeties that can't run well. They are supposed to smugly look at teams like the Bengals and say - you don't need criminals and egos to win Super Bowls.

But now...now they are just like everyone else. only worse. Now they are the New york Yankees of football - spending their way to another championship. Now all non-New Englanders have yet another reason to hate the Patriots.

Which, in truth, isn't necessarily a bad thing.

And honestly, is it really so terrible what new England is doing? Aren't they what every other football franchise strives to be? Perhaps, but it won't stop me from hoping and rooting for Randy moss to single handedly destroy the team's chemistry the same way I'll be rooting for Roger Clemens to fall on his fat face too.

And maybe, just maybe Mr. Evil Belichick will walk away from this with his perfect reputation at least slightly tarnished.

4 Comments:

  • This post is so absurd that it can only be a desperate attempt to bait me into responding. Fine. Where to start?

    1. "he set the New York Jets organization back about eight years"

    No he did not. Belichick probably would have failed here anyway. The Jets were basically screwed once Parcells "retired" on them. They've been pretty good since then but not a serious contender except for part of 2004.

    2. "eschewing high priced, me first athletes for a team concept"

    That's a myth. Ever hear of Corey Dillon? Rodney Harrison and Rosevelt Colvin also were major big money signings.

    3. "he was playing defense with three white linebackers. And it wasn't 1956!"

    Exactly, it's not 1956. Stop obsessing about race. Ever hear of Brian Urlacher?

    4. "when the Patriots opened the vault this offseason to sign Adalious Thomas (the best and most expensive linebacker on the market"

    Thomas was a bargain and a great signing. Compare his contract to the almost identical one Joey Porter received.

    5. "then came the draft day shocker - the Patriots had traded a fourth round pick for famed malcontent and shirker Randy Moss."

    Really, a 4th round pick? How will NE go on without their fourth round pick?

    Surely if you will trade your 4th round pick for a malcontent, you had better get back a superstar like Kevan Barlow, right?

    6. "The Patriots were supposed to be above guys like Moss. They are supposed to be better than that."

    No they aren't and weren't. You're taking Tangini too seriously. NE always went for the best players.

    7. "Now they are the New york Yankees of football - spending their way to another championship."

    Please - NE is subject to the same exact salary cap as the other 31 teams.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 4:43 PM  

  • I disagree with your analysis

    1. His philosophy would have helpoed turn the jets around quicker - no Groh and Edwards eras

    2. Pats generally went with lower prices and safer deals. That's a FACT. Even the Moss signing is lower risk because he took a pay cut. Colvin was an exception. So was harrison. This yera they made a SLEW of exceptions.

    3. Urlacher is an exception. you pickjed ONE backer. it's nothing to do with me being racial. It's factual. Most great linebackers anre african american

    4. He was no bargain. And the POrter contract was absurd.

    5. My point was the round pick - it was the trade for Moss. i cannot believe he went for a 4. Id have taken no less than a 2.

    6. INCORRECT. This is the image THEy have portrayed for themselves these last few years. Not somehting from Mangini's inagination

    7. Ths year they broke their own stringent policies and spent a fortune in order to "buy" a ring. it's an inescapable conclusion.

    Joe - Soetimes you forget that your version of matters is not the only one - nor is itnecessarily the correct one. i understand you are grumpy because you've been working reeally hard, but that doesn't make my opinion any less viable.

    As a Jet fan I have the right to bevery bitter by all these Pats moves.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:47 PM  

  • The Colts (most of them anyhow) are still around to put an end to Belichick's foolishness.

    By Anonymous Bob Miller, at 11:50 AM  

  • Not sure the colts did enough this offseason to stay with the Pats. They are worse defensively than they were last year and the pats are significantly better offensively.

    By Blogger Elster, at 12:02 PM  

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