Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A few afternoon links from Katie...

First, the TMQ is amazed by the Patriots. Me too, TMQ, me too.

New England: Traditionally the Belichick brain trust banks a high draft choice every year. In the 2006 draft, you knew Belichick was worried because it was smoke 'em if you got 'em -- the Patriots used every pick. This weekend the Flying Elvii returned to their previous management pattern, giving up a late first-rounder to bank San Francisco's 2008 first pick, then giving up a late third-round choice to bank Oakland's 2008 third. If the Patriots are banking picks again, that means Belichick thinks his roster is reloaded: which appears to be the case. Last season, New England nearly won the AFC championship despite having volunteers from the audience at wide receiver. Now Tom Brady will be throwing to Donte' Stallworth, Wes Welker and a perhaps-recharged Randy Moss, while the Pats' roster has gotten stronger in other areas, too. Plus New England is holding two extra high draft picks for 2008. How do these guys do it so much better than everyone else?

Moss is annoying, but if his head is screwed on straight he is potentially a major acquisition. You have to think Belichick is challenging himself here. Minnesota couldn't manage Moss, Oakland couldn't manage Moss, most NFL coaches were afraid even to try: if Belichick turns Moss into a team player who hustles, this will be yet more proof he is football's best-ever coach. Note that New England gave twice as much -- a second-round choice -- to obtain Welker as the fourth-rounder it gave for Moss. Who would have guessed a couple years ago that on the open market, Wes Welker would have double the trade value of Randy Moss? And note that with all those decent quarterbacks available in the mid- to late rounds, New England didn't draft one. Brady's understudy continues to be Matt Cassel, who has not been a starting quarterback since high school.

Jason Stark talks about the importance of April.

No comments: