The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?
Well with the NFL lockout having ended all that was now left is to witness the mayhem as teams summarily jettisoned players superfluous to their needs. One has to wonder whether or not this was the madness envisaged by the fans , team owners , league hierarchy and the general managers ? The $120 million salary cap has somehow got teams envisioning themselves as Imelda Marcos on a shopping spree looking to fill their shoe closet . How much does a pair of Bruno Magli cost nowadays ? And if so did OJ Simpson auction off his infamous pair on E-bay ?
Slide show for your perusal .
Somehow with all of these cuts made and then with players being acquired by new teams there had to be one or two surprises that would leave the fans in shock . As a New England Patriots’ fan I was completely taken aback with the moves made by Bill Belichick and the front office staff in acquiring both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco . I can only surmise that Robert Kraft , GM Nick Caserio and senior consultant Floyd Reese had to have given this all their blessing ! Unless hell had frozen over in the forty eight hours since the lockout ended this to me was something that not even I had seen coming . Anyone who has witnessed the play of Haynesworth during his tenure with the Washington Redskins will know that like a clock that has stopped chiming he will only be right twice during the day . That has essentially summed up the player’s ability and commitment to being a team player . As for Ochocinco, he like Haynesworth must be viewed as another reclamation project by the coach and his assistants .
FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …
For the life of me I’m beginning to wonder whether or not Bill Belichick really believes that he can turn around the career of any player who just happens to be considered on the downside of their career . First came Randy Moss who would then chose to basically talk his way off the roster in midseason like any other self serving individual . And if that wasn’t enough we then had Adalius Thomas thinking that he could simply act the fool by simply not being part of a team . If there’s one thing that’s made clear when it comes to the Patriots , the egos are simply left at the door as it’s business as usual with a view to acting like a professional. Granted , Bill Belichick belies that at times with something of a rather conceited attitude but with him , it is what it is !
Last season was something of a tremendous disappointment from my own standpoint seeing this team fall flat on its face when it mattered most during the postseason in their loss to the New York Jets . It is at times like this when I wonder whether or not if this team has become completely complacent or is it more down to the lackadaisical approach of Bill Belichick and his coaching staff ? This season however with the acquisitions made and that of the draft picks added to bolster the existing roster has me now believing that the New England Patriots’ window of opportunity is slowly closing but now more than ever before they will have to acquit themselves rather than thinking that they can merely stroll their way into the postseason.
Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
If the Patriots are to be successful this upcoming season and make inroads not just within the AFC East but across the league as a whole , then the likes of Wes Welker , Deion Branch , Aaron Hernandez , ;Danny Woodhead , Rob Gronkowski , Devin McCourty , and others will have to step up to the plate and be held accountable . The signing of both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco would suggest that Bill Belichick believes that the duo are indeed the pieces needed to make this team much more formidable but from my own standpoint this is such a gamble that if things don’t work out , then given the mindset of Haynesworth and Ochocinico , that when things simply are not going their way they are both inclined to be truculent and to act infantile . But this all can be allayed if Tom Brady and the senior members of the Patriots make it clear that nothing short of their best efforts on the field will be accepted . If that situation can be broached then there’s no reason to believe why they can’t be successful . But as of now that has to be viewed as a big “if “ given the egos of the two players in question !
Consistency has never been the real issue with the New England Patriots , if anything it has been those momentary lapses at the most inopportune of times that has ultimately led to their demise . Repeatedly we have seen this happen when the team has a game within its grasp only to see them let it slip away. Now comes the hard part for the organization and that’s to prove that as perennial contenders they are justified as being viewed __ as just that !
The AFC is as strong as ever with the teams we have come to expect who will be vying for dominance within the conference. With franchises such as the Baltimore Ravens , Indianapolis Colts , New York Jets and San Diego Chargers looking to vie for the honor of being the AFC’s representative for the Superbowl it certainly will be interesting to see what transpires as the season unfolds.
Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..
This season is now fraught with danger in so many ways as I do believe that a number of teams could very well stumble out of the gate . Much has been made of the fact that during the offseason the players were unable to practice at their training facilities under the auspices of their respective coaches . And I am sure that with newly installed members Pat Shurmur , John Fox , Jim Harbaugh and Ron Rivera all looking to acquit themselves well with their respective new teams as this season has the makings of one being literally full of surprises in more ways than one !
Curiously enough given the fact the New England Patriots seem to be prudent in their draft assessment and the choices they make . I for one will be looking forward to see what possible contributions can be made by the rookies on the team . Ryan Mallett is no doubt being groomed as the possible successor to Tom Brady down the line and the team’s number one overall pick (17th in the first round). Defensive lineman Nate Solder along with DB Ras I Dowling have to be viewed as the players who are likely to make an immediate impact should they be given the chance to perform. But it’s still early days yet and one simply cannot take it as written in stone that these players will matriculate into something special . We have seen along the way that with highly prized college talent many of them simply have fallen by the wayside failing to fulfill the expectations first thought . Simply look no further than the likes of Vince Young and Matt Leinart for the answer as to the high praise heaped upon two players that failed to live up to the perceived hype !
Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.
In this off-season what moves as such have simply comes as either a momentous shock or surprise to you ? And how if anything do you feel that the players in question will fare this upcoming season ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support .
Alan aka tophatal ………. https://tophatal.wordpress.com
Picture and slide show details .
(1) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick smiles at a news conference during NFL football training camp in Foxborough , Mass., Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..
(2) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …
(3) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots participates in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……
(4) Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……
(5) Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (92 ) of the Washington Redskins stands on the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10 . The player was obtained in a trade by the New England Patriots this offseason after the NFL lockout had ended . Getty Images / Christian Petersen ……
(6) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Quarterbacks Jonathan Crompton (7) and Ryan Mallett (15) of the New England Patriots participate in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……
(7) Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..
(8) San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh shakes hands with a well-wisher during an NFL football press conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, July 25, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….
(9) Cleveland Browns’ President & Head of Football Operations Mike Holmgren is seen here as the formal introductions are made of Pat Shurmur as the new head coach of the team . AP Photo/ Matthew Jennings …..
Bill Belichick Team head coach