New England's Second-Guessing Game: Count Me Out
How long does this go on? Seriously, what is the statute of limitations for bringing charges against a coach for the grievous felony of making all our dreams come true and then breaking our hearts?
All week, all season really, I have read article after article second-guessing Bill Belichick. He has been accused of everything a football coach can be charged with.
First, he was making stupid trades.
Seymour to Oakland was not a stupid trade, as we will see when Wilfork re-signs and Belichick cashes in that 2011 draft pick he got in the deal.
Yes, we could use Seymour now, desperately, but for all the talk of taking things one game at at a time, Belichick knows that part of his job is looking ahead.
Matt Cassel to Kansas City; that we understood, but throw in Mike Vrabel? Belichick was accused of everything from doing Scott Pioli a favor to refusing treatment for stage four senility.
As it turns out, Cassel has a 72.6 QB rating, has thrown for 1982 yards, and has been sacked 37 times. Blame his offensive line if you want, but we know Cassel has a hideous tendency to hold onto the ball too long.
Granted, the supporting cast in Kansas City leaves a lot to be desired, but it seems clear that Belichick was not doing Pioli any favors. And why would he, anyway?
Vrabel ranks ninth in tackles for the Chiefs, with one sack and one fumble recovery. Let's get real, people, as much as we loved the guy here, his best years are behind him.
Then there was the question of allowing Tom Brady to throw a total of 100 passes in the first two games of the season. What was he thinking?
There was a method to his madness, as there generally is. What better way to boost Brady's confidence after 589 days without playing a full game?
And it worked. Brady isn't putting up the kind of numbers he did in 2007, but he has thrown for 3638 yards and has a reasonably respectable QB rating of 96.9. And despite the problems on the offensive line, he has only been sacked 15 times.
So far, so good.
So what if he did? If the Titans and the Bucs couldn't compete, that's their problem. And the Patriots as a whole needed the practice.
Going into the bye week, things were looking all right, not great, and we knew the toughest games were yet to come.
Fourth and two, fourth and two, fourth and two. The monotony of that discussion has bored me to numbness. Enough already.
No, he didn't have confidence in his defense. He has a bunch of green talent on defense, and the odds, if you understand algebra at all, left him no choice.
It was disillusioning for me to see so many Patriots fans turning on him for that call. It was the right thing to do, a risk he had to take, and in your gut, you must know it's true.
A risk he had to take that didn't work out. It happens somewhere every Sunday.
It has all been downhill from there. The New Orleans game, in retrospect, was entirely predictable.
Miami? New Orleans hangover, demoralized bunch of kids on defense?
No matter what happens from here on out, BB has made the choices he had to make. For now, our team remains in first place in the AFCE, and I believe that trend will continue.
The team will make the playoffs. They may not go far, but they will be there.
And because of what Bill Belichick has done this season, the Patriots will be a better team next year.
So I suggest we all cut the coach some slack. I believe with all my heart that he knows what the hell he's doing. We are blessed to have him.
I will not second guess this man. I have watched too many half-assed coaches make idiotic decisions that ultimately destroyed any chances the Patriots had for success.
I have been around long enough to know that Bill Belichick is the best coach that ever happened to this team.
I do not second guess him, and neither should you.
Now feel free to second guess me, because I don't pay any more attention to it than Bill Belichick does.
TR is a contributor to Boston Sports Then and Now.
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