Belichick is a rockstar. Afterall, he hangs with Jon Bon Jovi. Naw, I can't see Hoodie in spandex. The torn sweatshirt suits him just fine. Besides, when was the last time you knew of a grumpy NFL head coach starting a fashion statement? Yes, you can buy the Belichick hoodie, frays and all.
Did you ever get the feeling there's a mad scientist in the bowels of Gillette Stadium, mixing beakers together to see what works, dumping that which doesn't? I sometimes feel that way, especially this year. The loss of Pioli was something we were all concerned about; it was hard for us fans to measure what exactly the result of him leaving would be other than to listen to Belichick and Kraft wax philisophical about how integral a part of the player process he really was. My immediate reaction? Kinda "Oh Crap!!". I wasn't alarmed to the point of hysteria, but I was concerned.
Fast forward to "That Weekend". You know, when the trade of Vrabel was announced Friday night and it was WIDELY speculated Cassel was being traded to somewhere, possibly Tampa Bay or KC. It turned out to be the latter: a combined Vrabel/Cassel trade netting KC's second round, second pick (34th overall) in the draft. Ok, I wasn't ready to jump on the bandwagon and declare it a massive coup, but I wasn't thinking Belichick had lost his marbles or was the dullest tool in the shed, either. There had to be more.
Then, the Julius Peppers rumors started flying. Peppers, a DE in Carolina's 4-3 defense, was making lots of noise that he wanted out and he wanted to play OLB in a 3-4. Guess what defensive scheme New England runs? Yeah, I know they do lots of weird "speed defense" stuff and are prone to nickel and dime packages when it suits them, but their primary "D" is a 3-4. Guess who we just lost to KC? That's right, OLB Mike Vrabel. Another rumor flying about? Carolina would be ok with that 34th overall draft pick we just happened to acquire from KC:
The second phase, NFL sources say, is likely to involve a trade that would send Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers to the Patriots in exchange for the second-round pick (34th overall) they received from the Chiefs on Feb. 28.
At 34th overall, you can very often pickup first round talent at a reduced price. Oh, it gets better. Our very own Red Sox #1 Fan postulates the following regarding Peppers and another dude:
This guy is 6’7" 283 and fast as hell he makes Adalius Thomas look small. Then the pats can throw Jason Taylor at inside LB and then draft someone for our secondary lets get crazy!!
Rivals will proclaim the death of New England's '09 defense before it even gets off of the ground. Those rivals would be DEAD...NUTS...WRONG!! Peppers has been proclaimed a problem child. Have you ever met a problem child in the Patriots' locker room? Winning franchises breed respect. Players want to play for winning franchises, therefore they respect the coaching staff and team vets that put the rings on the fingers. If Hoodie can handle Moss, he can handle Peppers. Then there's Taylor. Why, on earth, would we grab a dude destined for retirement in one or two years and put him at a spot where we desperately need youth? Mentoring, that's why. Taylor's been around FOREVER and could school the young dudes right. That and he's one helluva linebacker. Did I mention he'd probably be cheap?
Deal away the 34th pick to get Julius, pickup Taylor for a year, find a young ILB with our remaining second round draft picks (or trade up), and watch rival fans go from "Bwwwwaaaahhhh!!!" to "Uh Oh". Yup, Hoodie is a genius. Was there ever any question?