Asante Back in the Fold… For a Year

February 17, 2007

As free agency looms on the horizon, the Patriots took away one of the better FA’s on the market, Franchising Asante Samuel yesterday. Typically, this is a move the Patriots do when they know they can’t reach an agreement with a player but they feel imperative to keep him. Adam Vinatieri had the franchise tag for many years, and I think Richard Seymour did as well (could be wrong on that).

I’m glad they’re keeping Samuel, as he will be a key to the young defense moving forward. Will this relationship last? I don’t know, but if Samuel isn’t slighted by the franchise tag and is willing to negotiate beyond this, they should have him locked up.

With this move, however, many speculate Daniel Graham could be on his way out. That’d be a tough loss as this team has benefitted from having multiple talented TE’s. I’d like to see Graham back in the fold but if it were between the two, you’d have to say Asante is more valuable.


Power Ranking

February 7, 2007

Well now, the first power rankings for the 07-08 season has just been released, seems a little premature to me. But Pete Prisco from CBS Sportsline believes that the Colts are the best team as of right now, uh what a hard a pick they just won the super bowl. Anyway, Pete believes that the Patriots are overall the second best team, which I have some doubts about.

If it was me I would have to put the Pats around the 4-5 spot. Even though our receivers didn’t do all that bad were still weak at that spot. So basically because of that, other then the Colts I would put the Ravens, Chargers, and also the Bears in front the Patriots. But by training camp I would have to put the Pats back to the two spot as they will be upgrading with their great camp room, and two first round picks.


Our National Nightmare Has Just Begun

February 5, 2007

peytonwins.jpg
Photo Courtesy Boston.com

On my way into my apartment this morning I noticed some remnants of someone’s party in the middle of the walkway. It was thick, spread out a good distance, and the color one would expect for such an occasion. The individual responsible for this mess no doubt had the same startling realization I did after last night’s game and this was the product of it. Now that there are no more excuses, no more glitches, no more flaws to the Colts game, they will steamroll the NFL from here until who knows when.

I realized this after seeing the look in Peyton’s eyes last night, when he finally realized his fullest potential. He didn’t have that exhausted “finally” look on his face. It was a look like he’d already been there, and this was just one more day on the calendar. Seeing that, I instantly succumbed to fear. That’s the look legends have. Larry Bird had the look. Tom Brady, Joe Montana had the look. That look on their face, not giving way to instant gratification, but rather savoring the moment only to know in the back of their mind there’s more to be had. And if that realization doesn’t scare anyone in the NFL who isn’t a Colts fan, you’re really not seeing the big picture.

As Patriots fans, we’re all aware of the shortcomings the Colts have had throughout the last five years. They’ve always been a pretty good team, but just couldn’t pull it together when it mattered. Peyton has been in the NFL for nine years and every year that question, “can he win the big game?” loomed over his head like a black cloud. Don’t kid yourself, that question was booming in his head before the Patriots game. After beating the Pats, he probably gained some confidence back, but he certainly has it now after last night’s victory. I concede the Bears just aren’t that good, especially with Rex Grossman, but fact is bad QB’s can win the Super Bowl and Peyton made sure that didn’t happen last night.

What stuck out to me, which is the cause for my major concerns is the Colts’ ability to come back in games. After that return and Manning interception, I figured the Colts were rattled and would have a very difficult time coming back from it. But then again, I felt the same way when the Patriots were up 21-3 in the first half two weeks ago. Like they’ve done all year it seems, Manning and the Colts methodically chipped away at the Bears and found a way to come back and keep the lead. Championship teams play like that. Dynasties play like that.

And forget all the talk about Tony Dungy. I was one of those who said he’s overrated, and I believe he still is. But his best quality is his ability to learn from past mistakes. How many times did we see the Colts blunder over the years and make poor decision after poor decision? I didn’t see any of that last night. Notice Devin Hester didn’t get any kickoffs after the first one? It’s an obvious call to most of us, but believe me, it’s not as obvious to the coaches. Remember the Pats Packers Super Bowl? Yeah, exactly. Now that he’s over those mistakes, I don’t see Tony Dungy being the hindrance he used to be. Not anymore, after last night.

For those of you who aren’t Patriots fans have grown tired of the success the Patriots have had. But last night gave birth to something far worse than the saturation you got from New England. Off the field, we’ll succumb to even more Colts/Manning frenzy, more commercials, more Tony Dungy, etc. On the field, we witnessed a complete team play like champions, like a Dynasty. This was the start of something awful for football fans. Unless you’re a Colts guy, you’re gonna hate the league over the next few years. And the sad part of it is there’s only one team capable of beating the Colts, and unless they retool and come back with a vengeance next year, the Patriots will be pushed away by the next dynasty of this new century.

Among other things, I have started to wonder about which team got the better RB in the draft this year: Pats or Colts? I’ll talk about that later this week. We’re also going to start making some changes to the site and other things like that. We’re now officially in the offseason, so it’s time to house clean. I promise, you will like what you see. Stay tuned.


A Sit Down* With Peyton Manning

February 3, 2007

peytoninmiami.jpg

Patriots Fan Blog has been fortunate enough to gain access to the most highly touted QB of this era. Since 1998, his rookie season, Peyton Manning has lit the league on fire with his unbelievable abilities. Drawing many comparisons with Dan Marino, Manning hopes to attain something even Marino could not: a Super Bowl ring. I sat down* with the “6’5, 230 pound quarterback, with a laser, rocket arm” and here’s what we talked about:

PFB: Peyton, congratulations on getting to the Super Bowl this year. I’m sure you want to thank some people for helping you get there, so take this opportunity now.

Peyton: Well I guess I’ve really got to thank myself. Throwing away all those games over the years has really made finally getting here all the sweeter.

I guess I should thank my team. I mean, *long pause* I’m trying to be a good teammate here, but let’s just say over the years they’ve had some mental breakdowns from time to time. Alright, just about every game, someone on the team has screwed up. I won’t name any names, but we all know it wasn’t me.

PFB: Now that you’ve beaten the Patriots in a meaningful game, where does your career go from here? Will you just be happy to be in the Super Bowl?

Peyton: I don’t know, I figure I’ll do about 15 more commercials this off season, win or lose, then see where I am.

PFB: Is your brother Eli gay?

Peyton: No. He’s only a quarter gay, as am I. From our grandfather on our mothers side who was gay.

PFB: We’ve heard rumors that you like to wear women’s underwear the day of a game. Any truth to that?

Peyton: That is absolutely false! Game day is the one day of the week that I DON’T wear ladies underpants. That would be totally unprofessional. It really bothers me that people think that.

PFB: Well, since you confirmed those rumors…. What’s your preference in ladies undergarments?

Peyton: I like the feeling of lace on my body. But today it’s granny panties, because someone’s back in town for the week.

PFB: Um… What?

Peyton: The red tide has come in?

PFB: But, that’s not possible?

Peyton: Yeah…. Right.

PFB: Moving on… Is there one particular moment of this season that you’ll always remember?

Peyton: Yeah, the “laser rocket arm” line from one of my commercials. I totally ad-libbed that, that was all me. I felt like Ryan Stiles or Colin Mochrie, I was on fire that day. I remember turning to a production assistant at one point and telling her that I should be on Whose Line, not Wayne Brady.

PFB: What do you have against Wayne Brady? Is it because he’s black, or because his last name is Brady?

Peyton: …….no comment.

PFB: We all know many athletes have a lot of superstitions they believe in. Along with the women’s underwear, do you have any other superstitions?

Peyton: Yes. I must film a commercial before each game. If I don’t then I just don’t feel right, like something is going to go wrong.

PFB: What commercial that you haven’t filmed is one you would like to do?

Peyton: I really would like to film a commercial for male enhancement pills. What’s more manly than a 6’5″ 230 pound quarterback with a laser, rocket arm selling pills to make your unit bigger? I think that kind of stuff is right in my wheel house creatively. Down the road I want to sell stuff like Ben Gay, but not until after my Jesus-like career is done.

PFB: Out of all the commercials you do, which one annoys you as much as it annoys the rest of us?

Peyton: SURELY you jest good sir!

PFB: No, I’m serious. Which one?

Peyton: You must mean annoying as in completely riveting that absolutely compels you to buy/sign up/use the product I’m endorsing!

PFB: No, I’m pretty sure I meant annoying as in you’d rather poke your eyes out with a knife than endure another 30 seconds of it.

Peyton: I’m just going to breeze over that one and tell you which director I’d like to work with in my next big commercial. The answer would have to be Clint Eastwood. The man is a genius!

PFB: If you weren’t a football player, what would you do?

Peyton: If I wasn’t a football player I’d probably focus full time on my commercial acting career.

PFB: Speaking of careers, I have to ask- Now that you are in the Super Bowl, how do you feel the publics’ perception of you will change? Do you feel you’ve now stepped out of the shadows of Ryan Leaf?

Peyton: Uhmmmm remind me again, how many commercials has Ryan Leaf done? Exactly! Set, game, match, ME! FACE! LASER ROCKET ARM!

And with that, our interview concluded. As of now Peyton Manning is gearing up for the Bears tomorrow night. I for one will be most interested in seeing his performance. I’m sure he’ll be in at least five commercials. Enjoy the Super Bowl.

* This may or may not have been an actual interview with Peyton Manning. It may or may not have instead been a collaboration between myself and Andrews.


Jets Cleared in Branch Tampering Case

February 3, 2007

The New York Jets are cleared from any wrongdoing allegations, with the tampering charges brought to them the by the Patriots.

Jets statement Thursday
By Kion46.com

“We are pleased Commissioner Goodell determined that the Patriots’ tampering allegations were completely unfounded, that the Jets conduct did not violate League policy, and consequently, the Patriots had no basis to claim an injury. With this issue now behind us, the Patriots and the Jets remain competitors on the field and partners off the field, working together to advance the interests of the league and its fans.”


Ted Johnson Blames Belichick For Concussions, Global Warming, and Poverty.

February 2, 2007

tedjohnson.jpg
Photo Courtesy Boston.com

Ask and ye shall receive I guess. I post today saying there’s nothing to talk about and bam, here’s a fresh story to talk about.

If you read this article on ESPN.com and this article on boston.com you’ll read about the Ted Johnson story that’s running around the news. Unbelievably, Ted Johnson appears to blame Belichick for the woes in his life. What Ted Johnson doesn’t understand is that BB never has run his life, therefore he’s not responsible for the decisions Ted makes.

First, I concede I’ve never played a second of pro football, nor do I understand what it’s like to get a concussion. Having said that, I have to completely disagree with Ted Johnson and call him out for being a punk, blaming the Patriots/Belichick for his current predicament. When it comes to a persons well being, there’s only one person that’s in control of that situation, and that’s the person themself. If Ted didn’t feel comfortable playing, to the point where he could suffer another concussion, he should have said no. But putting pride in front of his well being, he assumed the responsibility for his injuries.

A lot of you may feel I’m being irrational for siding with Belichick on this matter. You have to look at the entire picture to see why I’m siding with him. The players have to understand they accept certain risk when they play football. For an inside linebacker, a position all about causing collisions, that risk is exceptionally high. But Ted Johnson took that risk along with the generous 5 year, 25 million dollar contract he signed back in 97 or 98, and continued to play.

But of course, big bad Bill Belichick made him play with a concussion apparently. In the article, he explains BB “challenged” him to play by putting a full contact jersey in his locker, rather than a red one, indicating no contact. So when Ted was presented with the jersey, he decided to play, instead of pulling himself out of practice. His logic was explained, and I understand where he’s coming from. It’s a difficult, something I’m glad I don’t have to deal with, but I don’t feel he made the right one.

In the NFL, there are serious consequences to being labeled “soft,” or “injury prone.” Some guys, most guys, don’t get more than one chance. The moment you get labeled an oft injured guy (remember Terry She Glenn?) you have to bust your ass to remove that label, if you ever can. The consequences are two fold, because you gain a reputation and lose respect in the lockerroom, you can also suffer financially, being considered a risk. Playing through pain is part of the deal in the NFL, and that’s what Ted did, as he thought he should.

The problem, and why blame squares solely on Ted Johnson, is that he needs to watch out for himself first, especially if he’s suffering a head injury. As bad as it sounds, BB’s job is not to babysit players who get hurt; players get hurt all the time. BB’s job is to win, and to dress the guys he needs to give him the best chance to win. Coaches, BB included, have to walk a fine line with their players. You need to motivate/pressure/push your players to the brink every week. If you can’t get your players to do that, you won’t win for long. BB can push his players, and a guy like Pete Carroll cannot. Because of that pushing, motivating, and pressuring, sometimes you push guys too far. But the cost is great for a coach; if you can’t win, you don’t last long. BB knows this, and that’s part of the reason why he’s a three-time Super Bowl winner.

Don’t get me wrong. The situation Ted Johnson is in is terrible. He’s going through serious problems in his life, all likely stemming from these concussions. In one of those articles some Patriots officials state he’s been dealing with emotional issues even before the concussions, but I’ll still give him the benefit of the doubt. My problem is it’s pretty weak of anyone, including Ted Johnson, to place blame on someone else. This situation sucks, and no one should have to deal with it. But the fact of the matter is in the end you need to be responsible for yourself. If Ted Johnson truly was worried about the consequences of multiple concussions, he first wouldn’t have played football, but second, would’ve done a better job handling the situations he was in. I feel it was a lack of wisdom on his part that put him in this predicament in the first place. It’s easy to blame others, who may have been able to help you, but really, in the end, you need to be able to help yourself.

Ted Johnson was a great player and a fantastic Patriot. I truly hope he can find help and get well.


This is the most boring time of the year

February 2, 2007

I can’t stand the time right after a Patriots season. When they win it all, it’s not nearly as bad because of the obligatory celebrating I’m forced to do (conveniently on the 50 yard line at Qualcomm stadium). But when they don’t, February becomes a major drag. I honestly don’t care who wins the Super Bowl, although I’d prefer the Bears just so Marino can have company in the biggest asshole to never win a Super Bowl category. Vegas has Indy winning, which I’d agree with, but I can still hope for the best.

As you can tell, things have been slow here at the site. There hasn’t been much to report (Seymour not playing in the Pro Bowl. Yawn), so interest has died down. Case in point, the immediate aftermath of the Patriots loss to the Colts netted us over 1700 hits. That’s chump change for a bunch of sites, but for us, that was heavenly. Now, we’re below 40 hits a day and holding steady. I took over this site with the hopes of attracting a larger audience, and I will. But as you can see, it’s hard to have content when there is nothing to talk about.

That will change after the Super Bowl. I have some plans to shake up the site a bit, and I think you all will be happy with them. Except for that Jim guy, he’ll probably hate what I have in mind, but that’s okay. I still love you, Jim.

March brings in Free Agency, and the Patriots are going to need to be players. We’ll talk about that in the coming weeks and then that’ll lead us straight into the draft. I’ve brought back Ricky for draft analysis. He’s gonna be our Mel Kiper, complete with a fantastic hairdo. Look for him to analyze and break down this years crop of draft picks. Andrews will be Andrews, expect him to do some investigative journalism, or post Bill Simmons quotes. Either way, it’s all comedy gold!

Thanks for making us a part of your routine. Stay with us as we make these changes and enjoy a more entertaining experience at PatriotsFanBlog.com. It’ll be cooler than the iPhone!

Jeff