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18 Jan 2007

The Week in Quotes: January 18, 2007

compiled by Alex Carnevale


"I'm trying to make a play. Every time I get an interception, I'm trying to score."

-- Chargers S Marlon McCree, on his interception-turned-fumble that kept the Patriots alive in the divisional round (Chargers.com).

"Unless it's a two-minute situation and it's a Hail Mary pass, I'm never going to try to knock the ball down. I got the ball and I'm trying to make the guy miss and go up field. There was a receiver behind me, and he made a good play. I have no regrets for trying to make a play. That's what I was trying to do."

-- McCree

"I would do the same thing if I had the opportunity to do it again. This time I would just secure the ball better. It's tough because if I hold onto it, we probably win. That's the way things go sometimes."

-- McCree


"And not withstanding the disappointment and frustration of the events of this day, I'll choose to look at this team in a very positive light, because the men that are in that locker room laid it down every single time they were asked to and at the end of this situation, really, we ran out of time is what happened. We ran out of time."

-- Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer

"And just the fact the way they showed no class at all, absolutely no class and maybe it comes from the head coach, there you have it."

-- LaDainian Tomlinson, on Artrell Hawkins and others parodying Shawne Merriman's taunt after the Patriots win.

"You know, pointing to the score board, doing the 'lights out' dance, stomping on the helmets, all that. That's part of it, I don't want to blow it up, we've all been there. Guarantee I've jumped up and down and that's why I don't want to blow it out of proportion, it was just a heck of a game, a battle. You know, yeah, guys talk, I was talking. It was one of those kind of games, you have a good time and you compete. It was kind of to me, hey, it's over, great game, you won, and you know it struck a nerve. You know what, it may not have been as big a deal, the competitors in L.T., myself, and all of us, you hate to lose, and you hadn't lost at home all year and you do, anything can bother you."

-- Chargers QB Philip Rivers

"You've got Lorenzo Neals and hey, they may be back, the Randalls and Keenans, and they're in the latter part of their career, how many more years they play. Those are the guys, you don't know if they'll get the shot again. They obviously had a huge part of our success, and it's --it's, again, that's why I think it's the greatest game there is. That's why we all play it and we'll all be getting ready to go again here in a couple of months."

-- Rivers

"Give them credit. That's why they've won some Super Bowls. We had everything going for us. We had everything we could have wanted and we did everything but win."

-- Chargers OT Shane Olivea, on the Pats.


"That was very classless. When we went in and beat their head in New England, blew them out, we did nothing but compliment them and say they were a good team. We would never disrespect a team like that. Shaun Phillips will have a grudge against them the rest of his career."

-- Chargers LB Shaun Phillips. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"[Bleep] New England and their team... Get the look of shock off your faces. Don't be shocked. We beat your [butt]."

-- Chargers CB Drayton Florence to the people of Foxboro after San Diego's 41-17 victory in 2005. (Providence Journal-Bulletin, October 3, 2005)


"All right. What a game. Really -- I'm speechless. Really proud of our football team."

-- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

"I'd rather be up 40, actually. We'll take what we can get."

-- Patriots QB Tom Brady, on whether he thrives in close contests.

"Troy saved our season. Without that play, we're flying home losers tonight."

-- Tom Brady, on the Troy Brown strip that led to a Reche Caldwell recovery of Marlon McCree's fumble. (Sports Illustrated)


"We got tired of hearing their comments. They're a great team. We knew they were a great team. No one respected them more than us. We took what they said and let it fuel us. We were prepared in the end."

-- Pats FB Heath Evans

"They were planning their Super Bowl party. They had scouts at all the other games. It was really a lack of respect for us."

-- Pats WR Jabar Gaffney

"We're a class team. We carry ourselves with a lot of class. We don't say what we're going to do. We just go out and play Patriots football."

-- soon-to-be former Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel (Boston Herald)

"People say the offer was an insult. I don't care what people think. If [Brees] wanted to come back, he would have accepted the offer."

-- Chargers GM A.J. Smith, on negotiations with Drew Brees last off-season.

"I was supposed to be the guy to take that team to the next step. But then I started thinking, How can I go back when that's what they think of me?"

-- Saints QB Drew Brees (Sports Illustrated)


"When you set your goals high, which we try to do here, you hope as the season goes on that you can get into position to play in a championship game, an NFC championship game and onto the Super Bowl. Years from now, (the media) will be able to grade the teams, the history and all those types of things."

-- Saints head coach Sean Payton, on getting to the NFC Championship Game matchup against the Chicago Bears.

"But a lot of coaches think you either have to be a disciplinarian and be a jerk or you have to be a players' coach and be a pushover. Coach Payton is showing you can be disciplined, hold guys accountable, but you can also be on the same level as your players."

-- Saints special-teamer Steve Gleason (San Jose Mercury News)


"Fred has been a big reason why this team has had such a good run. He's leading the league in a lot of categories. He's a big reason why we are playing in the NFC Championship game. He understands the importance of consistent play out there, I think the best thing a corner back like Fred can have as an experienced player is a short memory. You've got to get back out there and get back up. We saw some good players last week and a good offense. He's just got to get back up and start playing again and get ready for the next challenge."

-- Payton, on DB Fred Thomas' performance.

"I thought in a media market such as Chicago, in a playoff game, he played extremely well.

-- Payton, on Rex Grossman's performance against the Seahawks on Sunday.

"If they haven't heard from me, then it's not good news."

-- Payton, on requests for tickets for family in Illinois.


"Mike Ditka isn't a member of the Bears. He was a member of the Bears 20 years ago, and he's not a member of the Saints. I'm the only guy who has that distinction of being fired from both of those teams, and that's terrible ... and that's breaking my heart and I feel bad."

-- former Bears and Saints coach Mike Ditka

"Why? Why not think of Walter Payton, and Dan Hampton and McMahon, and Suey and Fencik, and that's who they should think about then. All those guys, Singletary, not Mike Ditka. I was just a guy there."

-- Ditka, on the suggestion that when people think of the Bears, they think of Mike.

"I was a guy passing through, I got on the train. Said, 'Let me take the train to New Orleans to the Super Bowl.'"

-- Ditka

"I'm just not gonna stand here in front of people and pick one team to beat the other. First of all, the greatest story in sports may be for New Orleans to run the table and go. If you understand that, that might be the greatest story in sports in the past 20 years."

-- Ditka (NBC5.com)


"We can say that it really shouldn't matter, but we know it does."

-- John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors and promotes the hiring of minority coaches, on having three African-American coaches in the playoffs.

"As an Afro-American man, I want to do well to make it better for other guys coming up through the ranks to get an opportunity."

-- Colts head coach Tony Dungy

"At some point, someone's got to finish."

-- Doug Williams on the losing playoff ways of Tony Dungy, Herm Edwards, Denny Green, and Art Shell. (USA Today)


"We are going onto a time that, at least in the nine years that I've been here, the least amount of possible change is to come up. We have a very small number of players that are up contractually. I am very confident we will be able to keep the integrity of this team going forward."

-- Brian Billick, Ravens head coach.

"We have fewer unanswered questions going forward than any time since I've been here with regard to our personnel, our quarterbacking situation, the direction of the offense, the personnel that will be staffing it. There are a lot of things to be optimistic about, and I'm excited about it going forward."

-- Billick (TDN.com)


"We talked one time."

-- Former Giants coach Jim Fassel, on whether or not he talks to Brian Billick. (WFAN)

"I definitely think it will this year. No question about it. I know that for a fact."

-- Fassel, on whether signing on with the Ravens and then parting ways after a 4-2 start has hurt his chances for another head coaching position.

"The worst decision I made in all my coaching decisions is I should have just laid low and got out of it completely and not gone down there to consult. There were some opportunities after my first year ... it probably would have turned out differently I think."

-- Fassel


"Eli's progress right now is not where we want it to be, obviously. He's played for two full seasons as a starter, so he's really not that far behind. I think it's overexaggerated. Look at the quarterbacks that are playing now in the playoffs, are those guys that much better? I don't think so. He's our franchise and I hope he'll be here for a long time."

-- new Giants general manager Jerry Reese (WFAN.com)

"I'm not going to deviate from anything that I said. I'm not because that's how I felt and I still feel the same way today and I'm going to feel the same way until. But I just never thought that I was considered a guy that was capable of going out there and making plays. All that I've done prior to this season, I thought it warranted that at least. And I just didn't feel for 16 games that I was given that opportunity."

-- Ravens WR Derrick Mason (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"It was a stressful day at the office. Back and forth, back and forth, and then we go into overtime and they get the ball first. It's a great game, but it's a stressful game too. Luckily we were able to pull it out."

-- Bears running back Thomas Jones, talking about the anxiety the players felt Sunday. (ChicagoBears.com)

"He played his best game this year. He played his ass off. He doesn't play a whole lot in the nickel, and he still made a bunch of plays. He's meant a lot to me the last few years."

-- Seahawks defensive end Bryce Fisher, on DL Grant Wistrom. (Seattle Times)

"If you'd have said, 'You're going to be the head coach of the team that plays in this facility,' I'd have said, 'Wow.' I would have been surprised."

-- former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. (Casper Star-Tribune)

"I have decided that Marty Schottenheimer is the best person to lead the Chargers in the 2007 season. General Manager A.J. Smith and I agree on this fundamental point."

-- Chargers team president Dean Spanos

Send your favorites to quotes at footballoutsiders dot com.

Posted by: Alex Carnevale on 18 Jan 2007

120 comments, Last at 22 Jan 2007, 8:42pm by Sid


by J.D. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:00pm

"soon-to-be former Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel"...

Ouch. Sad but true; it's a little-known rule that New England must go into the season with at least $10-15 million free under the cap, so they probably won't have room to sign him.

by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:10pm

What? No Herm this week? I'm crushed.

by JJcruiser (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:10pm


I most strenuously object! I read this column for Herm Edwards, not Jim Fassel's boring quotes!

I can't believe Herm didn't say anything worth printing this week. :)

1: What's your point? A$ante $amuel is going to want to get paid like a #1 CB, they aren't going to pay it, he's going to be history. I don't think it will be a cap issue at all.

by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:24pm

As usual, the Patriots players are whining about not getting respect.

You know what? You aren't deserving of respect. People who deserve respect don't sit around and cry that they don't get it. They just go out and do their thing and keep their mouths shut. That earns respect. Whining doesn't.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:25pm

Contrary to popular belief, New England is almost exactly at the cap every year. They've also got $30m of cap space for next year, and no one else to re-sign.

"Look at the quarterbacks that are playing now in the playoffs, are those guys that much better? "

well...three of them are.... and Rex isnt any worse.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:27pm

"You know what? You aren’t deserving of respect. People who deserve respect don’t sit around and cry that they don’t get it. They just go out and do their thing and keep their mouths shut. That earns respect. Whining doesn’t."

Oh Cmon. The one whining is LT. Whiney little bitch.

Read the Dreyton Florence quote. Thats what started it all. FWIW, no one expected the Pats to win that game, so why shouldnt they be talking about lack of respect? Hes right, the chargers were already planning their victory parade.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:28pm

Anyone else hear that the real Ron Mexico got arrested in Miami Airport?

by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:29pm

Re 3:
Ummm, not paying someone=cap issue. What you're implying is that the Pats aren't willing to pay the market rate for their employees given a regular business setting. I think that they find cheaper alternatives etc. because of the cap.

by Athelas (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:36pm

Belichick has THREE children--why is Amanda not getting any love? She hugged him on national TV--it's because she's female, isn't it

by Clod (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:39pm

That seems a pretty dubious quote from Florence about last years game. That was supposedly cut and pasted from an article from that day? How bout actually linking to the article with the quotes...

by vijay (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:41pm

I have to admit as somewhat of an AFC outsider (I'm a Cowboys fan), it seems as though the Pats are always complaining about a lack of respect while ESPN can't throw enough plaudits the way of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. So which is it? I just find it hilarious... Oh well, all I know is that no one respects the Cowboys and I'm upset.

by joel in providence (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:41pm

can i start the new england chapter of the dreyton florence fan club? (first order of business: figure out who the hell dreyton florence is.)

by JJcruiser (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:46pm

8: "it’s a little-known rule that New England must go into the season with at least $10-15 million free under the cap"

That's what I didn't understand. What rule? Why does it have anything to do with how much they think Samuel is worth? Are you saying that because they will have at least $10-$15 mil free, they won't sign Samuel? That makes no sense at all. They were cap-friendly last year and, notwithstanding Brady and Seymour's bonuses, should be fine this year, too. When Samuel walks it will be because they don't have him as high as he does, not for cap reasons.

10: As to the Florence quote:


Has it in mostly original form. It was a Tom Curran article from the Projo. Here is the excerpt from BSMW:

January 15, 2007
Quick Hits
As for the Patriots mocking the Merriman dance after the game yesterday, do you think the Patriots might've had this scene in mind from the last time these teams met? (From Tom E Curran's game story in the Projo that day.

01:00 AM EDT on Monday, October 3, 2005
Journal Sports Writer

One after the other, sweaty, smiling members of the San Diego Chargers walked through the massive concrete artery that leads to the visitors locker room in Gillette Stadium.

As they walked, tearing grass-stained tape from their hands, they gloated aloud about their just-finished, 41-17 hammering of the New England Patriots.

"That's a [butt]-whipping," said defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

"21-1, now," tackle Leander Jordan announced, referring to the Patriots' punctured 21-game home winning streak.

"[Bleep] New England and their team," suggested cornerback Drayton Florence. Florence then said to the collection of onlookers in the hallway. "Get the look of shock off your faces. Don't be shocked. We beat your [butt]."

by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:46pm

Can we please not have a Patriots flame war here as well? Please?


Rich, I saw something on PFT earlier. He had a water bottle with a secret compartment that allegedly contained weed. If there's any truth to that he's a bigger prick than I thought.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:01pm


"I have to admit as somewhat of an AFC outsider (I’m a Cowboys fan), it seems as though the Pats are always complaining about a lack of respect while ESPN can’t throw enough plaudits the way of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick."

Yet theyre still a 7 point Dog this week. I dont get why people think the disrespect thing is so outlandish. Basically every "pundit" has picked against them in 60%+ of their playoff games. I remember hearing about how the 2004 team didnt have a chance against Indy or Pittsburgh. And then they go and hold that #1 Indy offense to 3 points, and put up 41 on that #1 Pitt Defense. Thats why they keep claiming disrespect: They keep getting picked against.

by Rob S (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:02pm

"Look at the quarterbacks that are playing now in the playoffs, are those guys that much better? I don’t think so."

Well, here's a statement that I think most of the general population would disagree with (with the exception of Grossman).

by Not saying (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:02pm

Re: 14

It wasn't actual weed, just residue that had "a pungent aroma closely associated with marijuana". (Link)

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:04pm

Re: #14

Hear, hear!

by Oh, Mathematics (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:05pm

It would surprise me if /every/ team in the divisional round of the playoffs didn't (a) have their cities begin planning for a possible parade and (b) send scouts to the other game. That doesn't strike me as disrespect; they strike me as smart city and football management, respectively.

Also, I'd imagine that most football teams would come off pretty bad if what they said in the locker room (or on their way there) directly after a win was reported.

When LT "whines" about something, I'm much more tempted to listen, as the guy never says ANYTHING negative about anyone. Hearing the Patriots talk about not being respected is old hat.

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:09pm

The question with Ashante getting paid is the Patriots weren't willing to pay Branch like he's a top-5 receiver because he wasn't playing like one. Ashante, presumably, wants to get paid like he's a top-5 Cornerback. According to FO's game charting and other observations, Ashante is the 3rd best Corner in the league, behind Champ Bailey and Mathis. I think he deserves to be paid like a top-5 guy, but if he wants more than Bailey is getting, that's unreasonable.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:12pm

Did Fred Thomas really lead the league in several categories? Ones that are complimentary?

by PantsB (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:13pm

Clearly McCree is wrong. I can understand catching the ball in the heat of the moment, but on further reflection he should know that it would have been much better to knock it down (especially since he wasn't going to get to the LoS and they were winning). Coaching?

Some of the lost respect I had for Rivers whining (hypocritically) is restored with that quote. That seems an honest response: "We were upset they beat us so their dancing bothered us, but we do it too so...."

by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:14pm

Regarding Senor Mexico's airport experience, this from PFT.com

'The compartment reportedly "contained a small amount of a dark particulate and officials describe a pungent aroma closely associated with marijuana."'

If it looks like a duck and smells like a duck...

by JasonK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:21pm

Seriously, is Mike Vick living under a rock? How does he not know that you can't bring any water bottles through airport security anymore?

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:21pm

I don't think "prick" is the right label for Ron Mexico's shenanigans. Anybody who tries to smuggle pot onto a plane inside a water bottle, when water bottles are banned from planes, is a complete freaking moron. This might explain lots of things about how Vick does in game situations.

by dude (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:24pm

re: 15

"Yet theyre still a 7 point Dog this week. I dont get why people think the disrespect thing is so outlandish."

Arguing is easy when you just make up numbers! The Pats are a 3 point dog on the road this week. Is that disrespectful?

Regardless, you should be happy that the betting lines are so far removed from the reality that only you can perceive. Why not go to Vegas and make a killing?

by Jon Coit (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:31pm

If the residue is "dark colored" it's probably hash. Vick has the cash for the hash.

re: 25--to further your point, I'd bet a pint of blood that trick has worked for the man before. Just like his "style of play" did when he was a soph. He thinks he's so good he doesn't have to change to even be able to do the same things he's used to. Sad.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:33pm


If you travel all the time then you know the drill. Over the holiday the security lines REALLY slowed down because of all the folks who weren't aware of the restrictions.

Also, Vick probably doesn't deal with travel details unless it's personal. And since he likely hasn't gone anywhere since before the season started this is quite possibly news to him as it was for the umpteen folks I stood behind over New Year's.

by The Geico Caveman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:42pm

"Why not think of Walter Payton, and Dan Hampton and McMahon, and Suey and Fencik, and that’s who they should think about then."

That's Suhey, not Suey. As in Matt Suhey, who scored the first touchdown in Super Bowl XX. Maybe next time do a little research.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:51pm

I would consider it highly likely that the Patriots franchise Asante Samuel.

If they use the transition tag, he gets the average of the top ten cornerback salaries (much more palatable to the Patriots), plus the right to negotiate with other teams (much more palatable to Samuel). Should another team sign him to an offer sheet they don't care to match, they get two first-round picks (and we know how the Patriots like having extra picks).

Since they have the cap space to devote to this, I don't see why they wouldn't do it.

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:58pm

In regards to the "No respect" thing...the Pats did have only one player go to the Pro Bowl. However, I think that number is right, honestly. (Even though it should have probably been Ty Warren, and I wouldn't have minded Tom Brady over Rivers.) But it adds to the theme.

Additionally, the 'respect' thing is just a card the Pats play to get them psyched for a game. It doesn't really matter if YOU dont' like it or not...it seems to work for them, and they'll keep playing it. I mean, if Harrison can say that after the Super Bowl win, they can find disrespect in ANYBODY. :)

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:58pm

3 point road dog seems about right to me for the Patriots. I see the game ending with a 30-27 score in favor of the Colts, although not on a last minute field-goal.I think it ends with an incomplete pass by Brady as thier two-minute drill fails around midfield.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:59pm

I think all the talk of disrespect by both teams is more than a little bit silly.

... that said, there's a big difference between celebrating on someone else's field, and what Drayton Florence (whoever that is) said to a teammate while walking back to the lockerroom. One is very public, and the other isn't.

Again, none of that makes any of this talk worth a damn, but it's a matter of degree. I doubt Florence intended that comment to be made public.

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:00pm

The problem with Asante Samuel is that it's no secret he's a top 5 corner. The Patriots will almost surely offer him a top-5 corner type deal. But it won't be as big as the deal that some team with loads of cap space and a desparate need for a good corner will offer. A bad team by definition will have more cap space than a good team like the Pats because other teams won't be coming (and won't have been coming over the last few years) after their players as hard. Also, I suspect the Patriots have far less cap space than many people imagine.

The Patriots may go up a little, but won't break Champ Bailey+ type money, both because it's not worth it for a single player, and because I think they can't due to the cap. Then the question will come down to how much the difference is, what the other team is, and how much Asante likes it in New England relative to that difference and the other team. I give him about a 30-40% chance of staying in New England, but that's probably optimistic.

by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:02pm


Wow, they missed an H. You're a beacon of journalistic integrity. How could someone so sanctimonious and righteous not be out there saving babies from fires and making peace in the Middle East?

In other news, I am praying to the dark gods for a Colts victory. It seems like every ESPN and SI columnist is from the Northeast and the Boston stuff is absolutely nauseating. I've actually been avoiding sports media because of how sick I am of the Manning/Brady pretty white boy contest and Patriots plaudits.

by el plaga (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:10pm

i'm pretty sure the patriots, saints, eagles, charges, bears, seahawks, ravens, and colts all had scouts at other games last week. That's what scouts do, so to say it's disrespectful that the charges were scouting other teams is crazy.

And FO has the best football stats going and i have know stats to back my opinion but, asante samuel is not the third best cornerback in the nfl. i think my eyes started bleeding when i read that. So you have bailey, mathis, ok fine. now samuel is up there but by no means is he better than vasher, mccalister, barber, springs (when healthy), pac man jones i'll stop there.

by Clod (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:17pm


That seems a pretty dubious quote from Florence about last years game. That was supposedly cut and pasted from an article from that day? How bout actually linking to the article with the quotes…

sorry for repeating my prev post verbadim, but all you did was show the bsm link again and not the one with the actual quotes, which i am suggesting are not proven...who heard them and what position were they in to hear them...nto that they couldn't have been made. but we can't just believe something because its on the internet....can we??

by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:31pm

Thought I'd nitpick on this one --

"They were planning their Super Bowl party. They had scouts at all the other games. It was really a lack of respect for us."

That's what scouts do, you knucklehead. They SCOUT!

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:35pm

"Seriously, is Mike Vick living under a rock? How does he not know that you can’t bring any water bottles through airport security anymore? "

The thing that really pisses me off, is they didnt arrest him. They confiscated the bottle, ID'd him, and let him go.

I'd be in guantanamo bay (not)facing terrorist charges for trying to bring a bottle on a plane and then refusing to give it up.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:41pm

After having a week to ponder, I agree with McCree's thinking. If he takes it to the house or flips field position, the game is over. It was a great play by Troy Brown.

If Ed Reed or McCallister made that pick and ran it back a long distance, they would get a ton of praise. Yes, the problem wasn't that he ran with it, but he didn't secure the football... nice hit by Troy Brown.

by Blair (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:44pm

19 I agree completely.

When I saw the footage of LT on the field after the game I couldn't believe ANYTHING got him that angry. It had to have been bad because he is one of the nicest, most humble athletes/celebrities I've ever seen.

As much as I hate the Patriots, I was more sad than angry after that game because LT is such a great person (and a pretty good player, too). I really wanted to see him win it all.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:48pm

Re: 37

I really doubt the Pats were reacting to Florence's comments more than a year later. On the other hand, if a guy likes to showboat ala 'Lights Out/Steroids On' Merriman, he's gotta expect that folks are gonna shove it back at him when they get a chance. Sorta like TO's Ray Lewis impersonation a few years ago.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:49pm

Re 35:
Read who it's from. I thought it was a bit odd, but then when I read the name, I took it as the joke it is.

Re 15:
It depends on which "experts" you look at. Are the Patriots disrespected because most people that participated in an ESPN online poll thought the Saints would win it all? Who's opinion is worth the respect? The whole "nobody believed in us" line is always total BS.

by Chris Owen (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:50pm

McCree made a similar mistake just last year while he was with Carolina. Arizona was driving for a late go-ahead TD, and they went for it on 4th down from the 33 with 2:15 left. McCown threw to the endzone, where the ball was tipped in the air and the receiver fell down. McCree was helping in coverage, and he decided to intercept the ball. He then thought about running the ball out, but the other defender told him to take a knee. That meant Carolina got the ball back on the 20 rather than on the 33, and Carolina then went three and out without running any time off the clock. After a short punt, Arizona got another opportunity for the win, and they only lost when McCown rushed for 9 yards on 4th and 10. Live and learn.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:51pm

Since they have the cap space to devote to this, I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it.

Because then they don't have it for Daniel Graham, on whom I think placing a tag makes more sense.

Let's not forget last year Patriot Nation wanted Samuel OUT. He was the weak link in the secondary, and Hobbs was getting praised for his play. Samuel is hardly the first player to have a career season (stats-wise) in a contract year. I hope the Patriots re-sign him, but it's probably 80/20 in favor of not. In which case, I look for a CB in the first round. There's no draft-eligible corners named Calvin, are there?

by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:55pm




by RCH (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 3:04pm

45 - I'd also probably opt for Graham over Samuel. While Samuel might have more upside, Graham is more steady. (And while Thomas may be a good receiver, I don't think either he or Watson approach Graham as a blocker.)

by Tball (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 3:06pm

Tony Dungy lucidity-challenged quotes in the Boston Herald today:

Tony Dungy, who, when asked about facing a Bill Belichick-coached team, said, “I think you have to play against the mystique, to a certain level. You have to look at their players, look at what they do and watch the tape, and not worry about what they might do, what they have done in the past or what people think they’re going to do. You just have to play the game against New England.

“They’re tough enough to play against without having to worry about all of those other things. Hopefully, we can do that.�

When a reporter suggested that Dungy should not concern himself with the Patriots’ mystique, he replied, “That’s what I meant. That you have to play them and not their mystique, but that’s hard to do, because all you hear about is their mystique and you see the rings and you know how good they are.�

And on Manning being judged against Brady:

"I don’t know that he’ll be judged against Tom Brady," Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "But every quarterback will be judged against Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw and Bart Starr and guys who have won Super Bowls. That’s the way it is. I think we have appreciation now for Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason and Dan Fouts and guys who haven’t won it. But at the time, we talk about how many Super Bowls you’ve won. As time goes by, history is a little easier on you."

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 3:07pm

I wish the whole LT thing would die. He's a great and classy player. Not everyone is as classy, both on the Patriots and the Chargers. Merriman has pissed me off a great deal even before the whole steroids thing, and I don't have the slightest bit annoyance at any Patriot for mocking him, even after he just lost.

On the other hand, I understand why someone like LT who had played their heart out would be mad at losing, and at the mocking, and would say emotional things, and I don't fault him for that. In fact, while I have no problem mocking Merriman, I do feel bad that some Patriots (Colvin or Vrabel?) were mocking Kaeding. I really felt bad for that kid--to send his team home in the playoffs in consecutive years.

On the other hand, Rivers has a point that everyone does it. Move on. It's part of the game. People do things when they're emotional that maybe aren't the brightest, but you have to move on.

And as for Phillips...well, MJK thinks that referring to yourself in the third person just sounds dumb. MJK thinks that nothing said by anyone who does that should be taken seriously.

One final note--I actually feel it's a little easier to be a Patriots fan not living in NE, because I don't have to deal day in and day out that is the crap that comes out in the Boston sports media. Felger, Curran...ahhg. Borges...ahhhhhhhhhhhhggggg. And don't even get me started on Gerry Callahan...

by Mike B (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 3:13pm

What's all this talk about respect and good sportsmanship? As a fan, I most enjoy games between two teams that have a real visceral hatred for one another, when it's all the players can do to go a series without flipping out into a steroid-induced rage. That's why I hope that Pats/Colts rivalry hasn't gotten too much of that "mutual respect" baloney into it and each team still thinks the other one is terrible. Just imagine what football would be like with a bunch of Tiki Barbers running around helping each other off the ground and patting each other on the back. It'd be boring and ridiculous.

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 3:33pm

I would actually perfer a football full of Chad Johnsons. Johnson seems to be a guy that likes to have fun and talk trash and showboat, so he's certainly not boring, but he actually strikes me as a fairly classy guy who doesn't hate or take cheap shots and who knows how to keep his sense of humor.

by Biffy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 3:34pm

You know, I used to not care about the Patriots, one way or another. But they've made me hate them.

It's not the superbowls. I never hated the 49ers when they were on their roll, despite despising Joe Montana (a result of a personal encounter with him).

But the Patriots? I have the sense that they're a bunch of turds, top to bottom.

Another team MIGHT say or do something crappy and classless, but the Patriots will ALWAYS say or do something crappy or classless. Then they'll make some lame excuse about no respect, or not enough respect, or enough respect, but it wasn't gift wrapped, see, so we HAD to be a-holes.

Well, honestly, who respects a turd, even a three-ringed turd? Showering gaudy jewelry onto steaming feces doesn't improve it.

Would any of you want to be in a lifeboat with Bill Bellichick or Tom Brady? They wouldn't even wait to get peckish before turning canibal. I can just see Brady now, tearing off a raw hunk of human meat, and then turning and mugging with that tedious,smug grin, as blood runs down his chin...

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 3:52pm

I think my opinion of the Pats was solidified after reading the P-F-R blog entries. I completely forgot how Belichek screwed the Jets by going to NE in the first place...

by joe (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 3:58pm

#50 I can stop thinking how ridiculously funny a Tiki Bowl would be. All Tiki, all the time, on every snap.

"Nice run Tiki, you really hit the whole quickly."
"Well thank you for your cordial comment, Tiki, you made a great open-field tackle."
"Thank you kind sir, I nearly missed, had not Tiki made a fantastic effort at slowing you down."
"That Tiki is all hustle all the time."
"Tiki gave him a nice block."

by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 3:59pm

That's certainly a hard post to argue with.

by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 3:59pm

Oops, that was RE 52

by LoveforU (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:09pm

In keeping with modern psychotherapy would all you Pats haters make a list of 10 reasons you really should like the Pats. You will feel less angry, guaranteed!

by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:10pm

You live by the celebration, you die by the celebration. It's the way the game is right now. Everybody does it. Rivers was right in that respect. Talking about how one celebration is "good" and one is "bad" is just hair-splitting.

And teams play the disrespect card because it works for them. The press eats it up because it loves the drama, even if it's manufactured drama. And fans on both sides get far too caught up in it.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:11pm

Hard to argue with a post that suggests Brady and Belichick would turn cannibal without any provication? I guess so -- it's hard to argue with someone who's totally frikkin' nuts.

by Matt (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:24pm

re: 51

I hope you're being sarcastic. People like you are the reason that the Merrimans and the T.O.s do their stupid little routines. If hatred is one of your favorite things to see, what does that say about you? Try being a human being.

by Matt (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:25pm

Oops, that should be re: 50

by Matt (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:25pm

Oops, that should be re: 50

by JJcruiser (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:29pm

37: What do you want, a certified copy of the freakin' article sealed and stamped by the U.S. Archives? Go on Lexis Nexis and get it yourself, I don't care if you don't believe me.

52: You're saying you hate the Patriots because they are turds and always do something classless? Like when? What, other than their cheesy exuberance after the recent Chargers game, did they ever do that made you think they are turds? From top to bottom? From Brady to Belichick (the cannibals)? I agree they are not as fun as an explosive offense like the Colts, Saints, Chargers, etc., and Belichick is purposefully boring in soundbytes and press conferences; I understand non-NE fans wanting to see a new sherriff in town; and you can like or hate whomever you want, but your hyperbole is unsupported.

by Biffy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:33pm

#56 - Thank you, I feel it's illogic is unassailable.
#57 - I made that post shortly after filling out my list.
#58 - Your post smacks of rationality. I
#59 - Prove they WOULDN'T turn canibal dude. You can't.

by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:49pm

Re: 37, 63

The original article can be found on the Providence Journal's website here. Florence's quote is in the 5th paragraph.

by Biffy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:49pm

#63 Unsupported hyperbole? Can you have SUPPORTED hyperbole? If hyperbole is exaggeration, how can you support it? Also, please note, hyperbole is often used for humorous effect.

by atman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:55pm

Re: LT's comment. Oftentimes it happens that highly competitive people are sore losers. It's just part of the personality mix. The engine that drives a man to set records for rushing touchdowns can also drive a man to get pissy and sensitive after losing a close game. Nobody's perfect.

Oh, and whoever had "3rd week of January" in the How-Soon-Into-the-Postseason-Will-a-Vick-Brother-Arouse-the-Suspicions-of-Law-Enforcement pool, post your Paypal info, you've got some money coming to you.

by LoveforU (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:55pm

Biffy I think you're spiffy though your sanity is somewhat iffy.

by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 4:59pm

Why is LT so "classy" again? At this point between, rookie holdouts, complaints about carries, wearing "Raiders Suck" tshirts, and macking unsupported personal attacks against coaches, there is mounting evidence that he is not as classy as people may have originally thought.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:01pm

Biffy (#64 )--

Actually, I could prove it. Lifeboat. Brady. Belichick. Random third party victim. Hidden camera. Front me $50 million or so to set it up; should be a snap.

But then again, why should I ruin your fantasy? It seems the Patriots have left with with so little else...

by Craven (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:11pm

"In keeping with modern psychotherapy would all you Pats haters make a list of 10 reasons you really should like the Pats. You will feel less angry, guaranteed!"

Reasons to like the New England Patriots:

1. They employ a gay starting quarterback. This is a great stride forward for equal rights.

2. They aren't the Dallas Cowboys.

Okay, that was as far as I got.

by LoveforU (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:13pm

There once was a RB named LDT. Whose class he claimed was high quality. He said with a pout, "the Pats are classless no doubt". Thus established his own no class reality. (With special thanks to Biffy for this inspiration)

by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:19pm

You know, the guy in Dead Rising looks a bit like Brady. Wonder if he contacted them so he could fulfill his dream of slaughtering thousands.

by Biffy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:36pm

70 - I just think you'd run away with Biffy's hard-won millions. Also, my already rich fantasy life now includes you, my darling little starshattererer.

by Jake (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:44pm

Re: 71

Warning: this has nothing to do with football.

I really don't understand how a site that purports to lend itself to an educated and enlightened view of the game of football has people as narrowminded as you posting on it. Gay is not an insult just like black is not an insult just like any other description of the characteristics of a person that they are born with should not be used as an insult.

I suggest you seriously consider not using the word gay or any of the other words that refer to homosexuals as insults. I promise you that you have a close friend who struggles with their sexuality and that continuing to denegrate homosexuals is making the life of someone close to you vastly more difficult than it should be. There are any number of creative ways to insult Brady (in fact, calling him a cannibal wasn't half bad #52) and the Patriots.

In the interests of full disclosure, I am a heterosexual man and have no vested interest in this topic other than wanting to see a group of individuals who have been discriminated against throughout the history of mankind treated with the same respect we show the rest of the world.

Now: back to the stupid innane comments that have nothing to do with football that seem to plague FO these days.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:46pm

Re 75:
He said it was a reason to like the Pats...

by LoveforU (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:51pm

On a more serious note. There once was a coach named Dungy. Whose physic was hard and not spongy. When the Pats beat the Colts, Colts fans weren't unhappy like the Jolts', because they knew their coach was at least not grungy. (ps: only heterosexuals can have dimples like Brady)

by Biffy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:52pm


Biffy loves you, too, and he wonders how many fish live in this barrel...

by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:56pm

In the interest of continuing the "stupid innane [spelled wrong] comments that have nothing to do with football," I would argue that "Cannibal" is not technically an insult either.

by Jake (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 5:57pm

Re: 76
He was clearly being sarcastic, especially considering the fact that Brady's very public relationship status points strongly toward him being heterosexual.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 6:04pm

Craven (#71 )--

Oh, come on. It's easy:

3. They have such classy opponents.

4. Belichick apparently gets some on the side, giving hope to hundreds of millions of short, plain, grouchy, poorly dressed men.

5. They are very generous to their free agents and holdouts, letting them leave or seek trades to get more money rather than be stuck in New England.

6. They make fans of other teams care passionately about games that would otherwise hold no interest, as those fans rant and rave for "The Team Playing New England."

7. They make every armchair analyst feel smugly superior to the babbleheads at ESPN, since the armchair analysts see right through that Brady guy. (Okay, the Patriots only reinforce those feelings of smug superiority. Still, validation is nice.)

8. The stadium name makes for easy jokes without being remarkably offensive.

9. The Tuck Rule. (This is the last thing Raider fans can cling to to feel genuinely good about their team, and those folks need some help).

10. They still trot out the old Pat Patriot logo from time to time. That's almost as hilarious as the old Buccaneer logo.

by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 6:17pm

or caperosexual.

by FlatLined (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 6:22pm

Cannibals are born that way!

by LoveforU (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 6:27pm

How about 1.The pats Tom Brady gave me a reason to search Gisele Bundchen.

by Clod (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 6:29pm

#65, Travis

Thanks for the straight answer without getting all huffy, funny what a litte courtesy will do.

this is unfortunate, I love the chargers and hate to know dislike another of the players...

by Randy S. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 6:33pm

83 - Best laugh of this thread.

I hate Tom Brady too. A few years back, for some multimedia class, I made a video of him getting sacked and intercepted set to "Yakety Sax". It was pretty badly done, but was very fulfilling work. So I suppose I can thank the Patriots for that.

I still despise that team and will cheer for anyone that plays against them.

by Seth (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 6:43pm



This is why I love this website.

by jgm (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 7:22pm

I love the pats because Shannon Sharpe hates them.

by Andy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 7:57pm

Well, I finally figured out why the Pats will beat the Colts on Sunday. It has nothing to do with Brady vs. Manning, Vinatieri vs. Gostkowski, or Belichick vs. Dungy.

It has to do with Ricky Proehl. In SB 36 Proehl scores a late touchdown for STL and the team loses. In SB 38 Proehl scores a late touchdown for Carolina and the team loses.

It is the Proehl factor in this game. Proehl is quoted on file at the beginning of SB 36 "Tonight a dynasty begins." He just was on the wrong team. Now playing in his third championship game against his nemesis the Patriots.

Nothing will help the Colts win this game.

by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 7:58pm

Just don't listen Sharpe talk for too long...as with Chris Berman, Michael Irvin, and Phil Simms, it is recommended to take either tune out during his talk time, or risk having brain matter leak out every orifice of your body.

by jgm (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 8:02pm

re:90 you mean like Spiffy and Love4U?

by jgm (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 8:04pm

I meant spiffy Biffy

by Jordan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 8:18pm

I just don't see where the "lack of respect" term comes from in reference to the Patriots. Nearly every article I read and reasonable person I talked to said the same thing. The Chargers have a little more talent on the field than the Patriots. However, the Patriots have better veteran leadership on the field and a better coach, this should be a very good and close game. In fact most people in San Diego were very nervous playing the Patriots in January, because of their success. We mostly felt that beating the Pats was the big hurdle this postseason. How that gets turned into a "lack of respect" I'll never know.

by Craven (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 9:47pm

Schottenheimer: "(We) ran out of time is what happened. We ran out of time."


You ran out of timeouts.

Wonder why that might have been...

by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 10:16pm

Yeah, apparently Marty didn't stop to think how having one timeout might've, you know, prevented the Chargers from running out of time. McCree is still the real goat, though.

RE 83
Damn it, you one-upped me there. I had my chance to say that in post 79 and I blew it.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 10:22pm

Cannibals just win.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 10:24pm


To be fair, he was winning by 8 points when he made that call. Time was on his side. He was more concerned with running it out than saving it.

by Those plane crash guys in the Andes (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 10:30pm

We sense disrespect.

by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 10:33pm

97: Okay, but if you lose the challenge you stop the clock. And it was pretty obvious he was going to lose.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 10:46pm


It was pretty obvious the colts were gonna lose the challenge in the Steelers game last year.

by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 10:58pm

99: And when it was reversed, it was a bad call that stems from my least favorite rule. You know the one. "Football move"? That's a fundamentally flawed rule, as different refs could have vastly different interpretations of it.

Also, the Colts had nothing to lose by challenging that interception. If memory serves, if it had been a pick then that was the end of the season for the Colts.

Marty, on the other hand, challenged an obviously right call that also had nothing to do with any badly worded rules. The Chargers were still ahead 21-13, what was the point?

Maybe it's not all Schottenheimer's fault, but it was a blunder.

by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 10:58pm

Obviously I meant to cite 100.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 10:43am

Good points about the Patriots using the tag on Daniel Graham versus Asante Samuel. Here's why I still think they use it on Samuel:

Patriots starting tight ends if they lose Graham: Ben Watson, Dave Thomas. That's serviceable.

Patriots starting corners if they lose Samuel: Ellis Hobbs, Chad Scott. That's a bit of a problem.

by Snowbound (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 10:43am

Re: 75
I think the decline started with the FO/FoxSports partnership. While there was alway a certain percentage of inane posts, the expose of this site to the FoxSports readership has bumped it up to a whole new level.
Seeing all this love/hate drivel about Brady reminds me of the media's facination with celebrity, in the Brad Pitt, Paris Hilton fashion.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 11:06am

Yes Star, but the Patriots need a bad ass tight end for their offense to work. Light just can't be counted on to open up holes along the line, or keep Brady upright against the better DEs in the league. Neither Watson nor Thomas fits the bill. While Graham may not be the best blocking TE in the league, he's certainly the best blocking TE in the league who's also a real threat in the passing game. Plus he's a team captain and the tag number for tight ends is more palpatable.

If Samuel leaves, it will hurt, but the Patriots can probably find 80% of his production for 50% of the price via the draft or underrated free agent. Samuel is much easier to replace. A first round pick could replace him. Barring a string of injuries, there is no way that the Pats go into 2007 with Chad Scott starting. They'll use Blue Gay, Antowain Spann, or Eugene Wilson first.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 11:33am

I disagree, Dryheat. Not that they need a bad-ass blocking tight end who can catch, but rather that Thomas can't fit that role sufficiently. They have a guy on the roster right now who give them 80% of Graham. As far as the tag number goes, the cost to sign Graham outright is also likely to be cheaper.

Whereas, if Samuel leaves, the Patriots had better hit the jackpot in the draft. Blue Gay is a string of injuries all by himself, they might need Wilson to, I don't know, actually play safety, and if Antowain Spann was such a great option at cornerback, they'd be playing him now instead of Chad Scott.

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 11:51am

Also, Graham isn't one of the top-10 TEs in the league, and the Patriots wouldn't want to pay him as such.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 12:34pm

Says who? He's certainly not one of the top 10 receiving tight ends is the league...perhaps not even in the top 50 if you're going by receptions or any fantasy statistics. Much like there's more to quarterbacking than throwing the ball (as I try to tell Manning acolytes), there's much more to being a tight end than catching passes.

Anyway, the tag would almost certainly be temporary, leading to a more friendly long-term deal. I can't over-state how important Graham's blocking in the run game and pass game is to the success of the Pats offense.

Again, don't forget that the buzz from Patriots fans and reporters last year was very anti-Asante. "He shouldn't be more than a nickel back" was an extremely popular statement. I don't expect Belichick to pay top CB salary for a guy who's had one good year as a free-agent to be, unless it's a long term cap-friendly deal.

by Gus (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 12:48pm

Samuel's had more than one good year. He wasn't great last year, but his 2004 season he was a key contributor. My reservations on the Pats letting him go are the same ones I had with Branch...this is a guy who's in his prime, so let's keep him, eh?

I know Branch wasn't great in Seattle. Chad Johnson or Steve Smith would've had a tough time in Seattle with Seneca Wallace and this year's version of Hasselbeck at QB while having to learn a new offense.

When you let player after player go, eventually you're going to let go someone you'll miss. IMHO, Samuel will join Branch next year as players who prove Belichick and Pioli are capable of making bad personnel decisions.

Jabar Gaffney, on the other hand...

by Snowbound (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 12:51pm

Re: 105 -109
That's more like it, a real discussion.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 1:01pm

Dryheat (#108 )--

I don't think Belichick and Pioli take too many cues from fans and reporters, about how to deal with personnel issues. Heck, they don't even consider Brady's opinion.

The cynic in me (who often comes out when Belichick and Pioli are dealing with personnel issues) saw Daniel Graham made a team captain, and said, "They're trying to avoid franchising him and still sign him as a free agent." I understand how important Graham's blocking has been, but it's not as if they can't win without him: he missed four games this season, and they went 3-1, the same ratio as with him.

Put it another way: Belichick likes playing the odds. If they franchise Samuel and simply make Graham a decent offer, they stand a fair chance of keeping both. If they franchise Graham and make Samuel a decent offer, there's almost no chance they keep both. Good cornerbacks are rare and valuable, and some optimistic GM will probably offer to pay Samuel like Champ Bailey. (The good news is that Samuel missed the Pro Bowl, so Dan Snyder won't be interested in him.) ;)

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 1:22pm

Gus (#109 )--

I'm not sure you can characterize trading Branch as a bad move for the Patriots. By the time they traded him, the two sides were never going to agree, and his holdout was sucking the oxygen from the room. The fact that they got a first-round pick and not a bag of footballs for him was a pretty big win for the organization.

You could argue that they never should have let it reach that point, but Branch bears at least part of the blame for that. It's hardly a management mistake to believe the man when he says he'll play out his contract for you, and then he holds out instead.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 2:15pm


I don't disagree with your last paragraph, but I thought the starting premise of the discussion is that without the tag, neither gets re-signed. Obviously I'd prefer to keep them both. Heck, if they tag Samuel, some dummy GM (cough MattMillen cough) might still sign him to a sheet.

by Gus (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 5:22pm

112: Yes, the Branch trade ended up working out about as well as the Patriots could've hoped. Maybe I'm overrating him, it's just I'm of the opinion that Pats brass should not have let their relationship with Branch get to the point where they had to trade him. Maybe I'm overvaluing him, but I thought he was worth paying a higher salary to keep. I guess I'll have to wait to find if I'm right.

Kind in mind that the Patriots did pay Seymour more money when he held out (last year?), so it's not as if they never do it. I was kind of hoping Seymour's resigning might be a precedent to avoid the whole "we're not paying anyone top dollar or anything close to it" philosophy that NE management seems to subscribe to.

The reason that I'm now hoping that the Patriots will pay Samuel for at least next year is that our cornerback situation will deteriorate badly if he leaves. Samuel's capable of covering number one corners, but I don't know if Ellis Hobbs if someone who can. If Hobbs becomes a servicable number one, there's still the problem that Chad Scott or Randall Gay would be number two. That means we'd be counting on either a guy who's never been any damn good, or a guy who's gone on injured reserve two years in a row.

The Pats' site lists Gay's biggest contribution this year as "Stopped Roscoe Parrish short of the first down, limiting him to a 5-yard gain on a third-and-12 play in the first quarter" and leading the team in special teams tackles in the loss to Denver. That's not very inspiring. Oddly, I can't find what he actual injury was...

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 6:19pm

Gus (#114 )--

I actually think Seymour's holdout-turned-payout sent the wrong message to Branch.

The Patriots (under current management) simply do not pay top dollar for receivers. Quarterback, yes. Stud DL, yes. Linebacker, yes (they have shelled out quite a bit for Colvin and Vrabel, after all). Offensive line, yes (maybe not top dollar, but Light, Koppen, Hochstein, and Neal are all doing pretty well).

And (strangely enough), they also pay well for good cornerbacks. Ty Law made a bundle before he entered the too-injured-to-justify-the-final-year stage of his contract. Tyrone Poole and Duane Starks made millions coming in as free agents (don't laugh; Starks looked good at the time, and at least Poole won a ring before the Foxborough DB Curse got to him).

If Belichick and Pioli feel the same about Asante Samuel as the FO charting project does, they'll franchise him in a heartbeat. Mean-top-five (or -ten, if they feel daring) money for a top-three corner? Sounds like decent value.

by Athelas (not verified) :: Sat, 01/20/2007 - 11:31am

Gus (#114)-
Although they renegotiated Seymour's contract, they did not add $ to that year and that seemed to be the disagreementment between Branch and the Patriots--he really wanted more $ THIS year, and the 2 sides couldn't get beyond that.
And Starshatterer is quite right--they will pay a lot for certain positions like DL, QB & CB, but not WR.

by Gus (not verified) :: Sun, 01/21/2007 - 12:08am

115 and 116: Good points both, I see what you're saying. I would be forced to concede the point: Vrabel and Colvin are both hauling in a pretty penny.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Sun, 01/21/2007 - 11:24am

Actually, they did increase Seymour's salary in the restructure. They moved some from upcoming years forward into the current year. As Branch had no more future years, they couldn't do the same thing.

by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 01/21/2007 - 3:59pm

RE: 6

FWIW, no one expected the Pats to win that game, so why shouldnt they be talking about lack of respect?

That's a lie. But maybe the New England way of claiming they get no respect when they already get more than any other team is seeping down to the fans as well.

by Sid (not verified) :: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 8:42pm

RE: 109

Letting Branch go was a good decision. They get the 25th pick overall or so, and they didn't have to pay him the big bucks he just isn't worth.