Wednesday, March 13, 2013
BILL BELICHICK SHOWS HIS TEETH (AND GENIUS) ONCE AGAIN
Bill Belichick has long been the most ruthless coach in the NFL. He shows the emotion of
an overworked mortician trying to get by on 20 minutes of sleep. In 2006, his father died just
hours before the team took on the New Orleans Saints. Belichick acted as if nothing happened,
coaching the game no differently than any other one during his career with the Patriots, with
nothing on his sleeve. It was straight business. He'd take care of the funeral preparations later.
If there was a Wizard who could give him a heart, Belichick wouldn't even bother taking the trip down the yellow-brick road to get one.
Belichick just doesn't care what you, me, or any of the so-called experts think. He gets paid to
make tough decisions and does it with a faint pulse. And why should anybody argue with his decision to let Wes Welker go sniff the Mile High air with Peyton Manning and the Broncos for the next two years? Oh, sure, the former Patriots receiver just put together one of the most spectacular six-year runs in NFL history. And he was Tom Brady's favorite receiver and Belichick mustn't ruffle the feathers of the franchise quarterback, right? Wrong.
Have we not learned anything about Belichick over the years? Don't we know that he's as cold,
methodical, and focused as a sniper in a war zone? In 1993 when he was coaching the Browns,
he unceremoniously dumped Bernie Kosar, who was the most beloved player in franchise history outside of Jim Brown. Kosar had roots in Ohio and actually wanted to play in Cleveland when every
other player would much rather go through waterboarding torture than play for the Browns.
But Belichick didn't see a fan favorite, but rather a quarterback in steady decline and he cut him.
You think he cared about the the fans, who already despised him, and what they thought? Hardly.
In 2000, Drew Bledsoe, an established franchise quarterback well on his way to Canton, got
tattooed in the chest by Mo Lewis of the New York Jets and could've died from internal bleeding. When he was healthy enough to return, Belichick pretty much said, "Here's the clipboard and
headset. Now, go stand on the sidelines." He knew Brady was the better quarterback even
with only about a half-dozen games under his belt. How'd that decision turn out?
In 2003, Belichick cut safety Lawyer Milloy just before the season-opener for salary cap purposes. Milloy was a four-time Pro Bowler, a team captain, and inspirational leader. EVERYBODY in New England was ticked off with Belichick over that move. Players, coaches, and fans went nuts. Belichick didn't care because he did what he thought was best for the franchise, which is one of his favorite mantras. Tom Jackson of ESPN stated on live television that "the players hated Belichick." First time Belichick saw Jackson, he gave him the Foxborough University salute." After losing their first two games that season, the Patriots ran the table, winning 17 in a row, including the Super
And people really want to doubt Belichick after he said good-bye to Welker? I understand fans
in New England are emotional with a capital E. They can't let go of anything. Heck, they're still
pissed off because the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1912.
People in the region were incredulous that the Patriots didn't match the 2-year, $12 million
offer the Broncos gave Welker. Sports talk radio in Beantown was going nuts that the Hoodie
and Robert Kraft didn't pony up a measly $6 million a year for number 83. And then they wound
up giving Danny Amendola a reported 5-year deal worth $31 million, only $10 million of which
Perhaps, Belichick has an idea of what the hell he's doing. The guy has a record of 151-57
with the Patriots for a winning percentage of .726. That's winning almost 3 of 4 games every
year, plus they've won three Super Bowls and gone to two others. When Rex Ryan arrived
in New York nearly five years ago, he said he didn't come to "kiss Belichick's rings." The
only thing Ryan has smooched since then are his wife's feet and he probably has rubbed them
quite often, as well.
Maybe he saw Welker start to fall out of line with the "Patriots Way". Remember it was
Welker who made those not so thinly-veiled comments about Ryan being a good "foot"
soldier" and having "good feet" before their playoff meeting several years ago. Belichick
had warned the team not to make any comments about Ryan and his foot fetish scandal.
Belichick benched Welker for part of the first quarter and embarrassed him. The Hoodie
doesn't care how good you are, if you pulled that kind of stunt, you're going to sit, or much
worse. He'll trade you, as Randy Moss found out after he started to get sour about a contract.
Welker has taken a lot of hits over the last few years and it's always been Belichick's philosophy
that's it's better to get rid of a guy a year too early, than a year too late. Welker is 31, Amendola, 27. They are very much the same type of player who even played at the same college. (Texas Tech)
And just who was Welker before he came to the Patriots? He wasn't that great a player with
the Dolphins. In the year before he arrived in New England, Welker had 67 catches and a 10.3
average yards per catch. In St. Louis last season, Amendola had 63 receptions for an average
of 10.6 per catch. Pretty much the same stats.
Amendola played for Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for a season in St.Louis and shouldn't have any trouble adjusting to the Patriots sophisticated offense. Plus, Brady has
a way of making good receivers even better. He demands that everybody is prepared and plays
with the same type of passion that he does. Sam Bradford is hardly Tom Brady.
Some say that Amendola is injury-prone. Sure, he busted his elbow making a great catch
on the turf a few years ago. Anybody who bounces on the fake stuff like a super-8 ball probably
would've gotten hurt on a play like that, too. It's the NFL. Injuries happen, and happen a lot. Plus,
things are a lot different when you're playing for a franchise like the Patriots as opposed to the
St. Louis Rams. That's no secret. Don't be surprised to see Amendola's productivity match that
of Welker in the very first season with Brady and Belichick.
The Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl with Welker, they can certainly lose another one without
It'd be foolish to doubt Bill Belichick. He's proven that he knows what he's doing and doesn't care if
he doesn't have a heart to put on his organ donor card.