Last nights Celtics/Heat game was downright awful. This Saturday feels like the last chance for the original Big 3 to pull out a final championship. The same feeling resonates for Cunningham, Brace, Carter & Chung.
As a Patriots fan, I believe going back to what worked for us is our pathway to another title.
Signing Gerard Warren, Jonathan Fanene & Trevor Scott highlight these changes. Drafting Chandler Jones, Hightower and Bequette further this argument. In addition to Spikes, Nikovich, Mayo, & Deaderick, Fletcher -- the Patriots are keeping versatile players with experience in a 3-4. So what does this mean for Jermaine Cunningham, Ron Brace, Andre Carter & Patrick Chung.
For starters, I predict that Cunningham will be cut much like Shawn Crable. Crable had been given three years to merit his 3rd round pick but he never connected the dots. Both these individuals have the physical talent but not the mental aspects needed to play every down in the Patriots complex defense.
Ron Brace had THREE years to validate the Patriots top 2009 pick. Yet, Brace continues to see little of the field. I guess when you have B.J. Raji playing next you, it could give you a false value of your skills. I give Ron much credit for handling media criticism well but he doesn't have what it takes to make it on the Patriots or any other NFL roster.
Andre Carter will NOT be with the Patriots this year. I hate to say it but he won't. I appreciate everything he has done for the Patriots last season but since we're committing to a 3-4, Carter would only see the field on 3rd passing downs. Much of the 3-4's strength is hiding it's coverages/blitzes. Combining Carter's specialty, current injury and veteran price tag - I just don't see the Patriots bringing back someone who has only one trick up their sleeve (ie. Markell Carter).
Finally, this kills me to say this but Chung will not be resigned after the 2012-2013 season. There I said and I hate myself for it. I LOVE chung. LOVE. Patrick Chung is in the last year of his rookie contract and he needs to have an injury free season. But the realist in me doubts he will. Chung hasn't completed a season yet AND it's not like your health improves over time. As age reminds us everyday, our bodies slowly break down. Throw in the NFL and you're beating it up pretty badly. Unfortunately, Chung will slowly suffer a Bob Sanders epidemic and the Patriots rarely make a bad investment.
Will Cunningham and Brace finally show up? Will Carter's injury be something of the past and he could learn the ropes of our offense? Will Chung be the second coming of Rodney Harrison? Will the Celtics pull through on Saturday? I certainly hope so and I certainly want them all to succeed. Yet the Boston in me speaks - lightning does not strike twice.