Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 Aug 2009

Tedy Bruschi To Retire Monday

Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi will retire Monday, after 13 seasons with the Patriots.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 30 Aug 2009

25 comments, Last at 02 Sep 2009, 11:14am by Lance

Comments

1
by PatsFan :: Sun, 08/30/2009 - 11:20pm

Sad to say, it was about time. I won't be surprised to find out later that BB told him he wasn't making the team and that a "retirement" was arranged to avoid the embarrassment (to both sides) of being cut.

2
by PatsFan :: Sun, 08/30/2009 - 11:42pm

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald says Bruschi decided to retire on his own terms after deciding he could not play to a level he was satisfied with.

5
by Eddo :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 7:49am

I wonder if that's necessarily true. Of course that's what both the team and Bruschi will say is the official reason, but my first thought was the same as yours: Bruschi was going to be cut, so the team did the classy thing and allowed him to retire instead.

6
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 9:01am

We'll probably never get the real story, but I think you're right. It wouldn't be the first time a team gave a popular player the option to retire in order to avoid being cut. And if you think about it, that seems likely to be what's going on here. He went through the whole off-season, training camp and pre-season, and THEN decides to retire right before the regular season starts? That's not the normal progression of these things.

7
by RickD :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 11:20am

Bruschi missed the coverage on Friday night that let Chris Cooley make a 74-yard reception. That might have been the trigger.

I don't know if he was going to be cut or not, but he certainly wasn't going to be starting any more. That demotion alone might have been the trigger. And that's something he wouldn't have known before camp.

So yeah, maybe he wasn't going to make the 53-man roster. Maybe he was. We won't know.

3
by JFP (not verified) :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 12:17am

In an ideal world (for us Pats fans) he should have retired after beating the Giants in the SB, but that wasn't meant to be.

To me Tedy Bruschi and Troy Brown had what Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli were looking for in their players: drive, intensity, and a commitment to playing to their full humbles liebermanpotential.

Best wishes to him!!!

4
by JFP (not verified) :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 12:20am

(Sorry here's how my comment should read. I typed the recaptcha words by mistake.)

In an ideal world (for us Pats fans) he should have retired after beating the Giants in the SB, but that wasn't meant to be.

To me Tedy Bruschi and Troy Brown had what Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli were looking for in their players: drive, intensity, and a commitment to playing to their full potential.

Best wishes to him!!!

9
by MJK :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 11:45am

And here I was wondering what "liebermanpotential" was. Some kind of incredible manilness given off by Joe Lieberman, perhaps?

8
by MiamiAndy (not verified) :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 11:36am

I really hated Bruschi.

I'm a Dolphin fan, and I thought he was the paragon of bad sportsmanship in the games Miami played New England. He was always showboating and being a general jerk. I know I'm biased, but I don't hate Tom Brady and all of the Patriots. I just have a special place for Bruschi and Mr. HGH.

Commentators are already stating how everybody, no matter what team you rooted for, rooted for Bruschi. Not me. If he was black, he'd be just another good linebacker. Believe it.

12
by Temo :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 12:19pm

I agree on all accounts. I don't know specifically if it was a black/white thing though. I just think the media needed a defensive player they could heap stardom onto from those Patriot teams, and he was available. Vince Wilfork, Richard Seymour, and a couple others were always more gifted football players, but did not get as much credit for whatever reason. Mr. HGH and Ty Law got a lot of media attention though.

In reality he just embodied the whole know-your-role-and-be-a-teamplayer aspect of Belichick's creed, which in its own way made him a great player.

14
by tuluse :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 12:27pm

I never cared for Bruschi and the national media's slobbering over him. Did you ever hear the Buffalo radio station that did a parody of it? It was great. "Teddy Bruschi, some sort of half-man, half-god, half-maybe centuar"

10
by MJK :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 11:55am

Bruschi and Troy Brown were always my two favorite Patriots. Things to like about Bruschi:

1). In a world of fast talking agents and showboating WR's and CB's, Bruschi represented himself in his own negotiations, and always negotiated contracts that seemed fair and evenly loaded (i.e. he never had inflated dummy years). In exchange, the Patriots always gave him a fair deal, and the one time that they could have screwed him (after his stroke), they chose not too and took good care of him.

2). He was one of the most active members of the Patriots team in giving to charity and being active in community service...especially after his stroke.

3). He was a clean, respectable player. Never had off-field issues, never a hint of performance enhancing substances, at least not to my knowledge.

4). He was one of the central players in the "team first" mentality of 2001 that made a lot of us love the Patriots.

5). He was a really good LB. Until around 2006, he could cover the most athletic TE's (Dallas Clark), was a shut-down run stopper, and even got after the QB a fair number of times. Not a HoFer by any stretch, but certainly consistently above average at his position for a very long period of time.

6). By all accounts, he was a very good mentor for younger players.

7). Some have accused him of showboating, but I think instead he was just a really emotional guy that played with his heart on the field. Unless a player is consistently a jackass (i.e. Randy Moss before he came to the Patriots, Keyshawn Johnson, Freddie Mitchell), I generally chalk occasional apparent "bad sportsmanship" to specific circumstances on the field that I am not aware of (i.e. maybe a particular taunt or showboat that we see is in direct response to some trash-talking we didn't hear).

13
by Temo :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 12:23pm

I've never known Keyshawn Johnson or Randy Moss to be bad sports, Joe Buck-related tirades aside.

I'd say both exhibited similar amount of exuberance as Bruschi on the field. Moss particular was always more of an arrogant type than a showy type.

Point being that neither WR, to my remembrance, have done anything quite like the things Chad Johnson, Terrel Owens, and Joe Horn have done.

15
by MiamiAndy (not verified) :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 12:36pm

1. I could care less if he negotiated his own contracts. He saved himself 2.5%. Big deal.

2. That is nice (not being sarcastic).

3. You don't get points for that.

4. How was he team-first? Was he more team-first than Richard Seymour? Or any other player that played on all the SB teams?

5. Agreed.

6. If you say so. I don't follow the Pats that closely to know who is a mentor.

7. Wrong. If you showboat on the field, you're a showboat. He was not classy in victory at all. In fact, he was kinda a dick.

20
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 09/01/2009 - 11:14am

"4. How was he team-first? Was he more team-first than Richard Seymour? Or any other player that played on all the SB teams?"

Well, Richard Seymour has held out for more money, so yeah.

Bruschi was good to very good at every part of his job: coverage, rushing the passer, run stopping, etc. Essentially an almost perfect 3-4 ILB. He wasn't spectacular at anything, but his versatility was a lot of what made those superbowl defenses tick.

22
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/01/2009 - 2:44pm

"Bruschi was good to very good at every part of his job: coverage, rushing the passer, run stopping, etc. Essentially an almost perfect 3-4 ILB. He wasn't spectacular at anything, but his versatility was a lot of what made those superbowl defenses tick."

This is evidence of point 5, being a "very good LB", not necessarily being any more or less team first than dozens of other Patriot players (Seymour excluded).

23
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 09/01/2009 - 4:39pm

I wasn't saying that him being a good LB was evidence of him being team first. I was saying him not holding out like Seymour was. His lack of an agent, his playing lots of ST, etc, were all parts of it.

17
by t.d. :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 4:20pm

not saying he's dirty, cuz who knows, but guys in their early thirties don't usually have strokes

18
by Zwol (not verified) :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 4:35pm

You imply that Bruschi's stroke was caused by use of performance enhancing substances - well, where's your evidence? Do you know anything at all about strokes (e.g., the actual rate of strokes in men his age)? Do you know anything about the particular medical circumstances of his stroke? Or are you just pulling this out of your ass?

19
by MJK :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 4:36pm

Bruschi's stroke was the result of a physical defect in his heart--a small hole in one of the ventricular walls if I remember correctly? It was something he was born with, occurring in some small percentage of the population, and something that could have hit him at any time in his life...it was kind of an unseen sword of Damocles hanging over him. There was NEVER any indication at all from anyone that it was in any way related to any kind of drug or performance enhancing substance. He was able to return to football only after the hole was surgically repaired and after he had gone through extensive physical therapy to regain the muscle control he lost in the stroke.

24
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 09/02/2009 - 2:05am

Didn't I once see a thread quibbling about correct use of "Sword Of Damocles" around these parts. Not that I'm being a pedant about *your* usage, you can use it how you like, you've just got me wondering. I'm going to think of it as "a big 10-ton weight out of a Road Runner cartoon" ... :-)

11
by PatsFan :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 12:00pm

Wow. Belichick was almost crying during his part of the press conference and the sports radio guys who were there said after he left the podium he actually did cry.

16
by RickD :: Mon, 08/31/2009 - 12:47pm

Yes, I watched the presser on ESPNNews and I have never seen BB that close to losing his composure. He was definitely choking up. Called Bruschi "the perfect player".

Bruschi was also tremendously respectful of BB.

21
by Guy #1 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/01/2009 - 2:02pm

Heads up to anyone who lays the "robot" criticism on the Pats, they have emotions like everyone but they don't air their emotions out to the media. Mature group of people.

25
by Lance :: Wed, 09/02/2009 - 11:14am

Hold on-- I have to clean the vomit off my keyboard.