Ruffian-A violent person.....I have watched a season go down the tubes, had an opportunity to sit back, and wonder. What does this team need to take that next step. What will it take? Do they need bigger offensive linemen? Receivers who need one hand to catch the football? Bruising ball carriers to take the defense everywhere they go? Athletic defensive linemen who can swim, rip, and power their way to the quarterback? Size at corner?
A few days of thought brought me the answer. Attitude. I have watched the Patriots defense play well at times. Then play not so well at times this past season. I saw it last season too. But what I have not seen is a catalyst. The kind of player who by his play and attitude, brings something extra to the table. The Patriots on defense are robotic at times. The move in a specific way. Think in a specific way sometimes. The kind of nice way a guy opens the door for a lady. Which bothers me.
Don't get me wrong. I think its great to open the door for a woman. But this is a football team. One that needs to play angry. I definitely think that New England needs some attitude on their defense. The kind of guy who brings something to the table that makes everyone respond. And holds everyone accountable. I had hoped it would be Devin McCourty. No player represents the good and bad of the team as much as he does. For me at least.
When I look at a player like Richard Sherman, he has that kind of attitude that can raise the play of his team. Love him or hate him, he does that. He's the kind of player that can raise up or bring down a team as well. But his attitude means so much to those who are there with him. And the Seahawks play angry football because they have players like him.
I love that the Patriots are a team first organization. I love Bill and Tom. And most players on the team. But the Patriots main shortcomings for me are a defense that lacks the kind of play maker that is a ruffian. That is a key cog in mental anguish of every offensive player and coach in the league. They don't have it. And it showed Sunday.
If New England is ever to win a 4th Super Bowl, Bill is going to have to recruit in some way shape or form, the kind of players who play angry. Who take it personal that you gained one yard against them. He's raised a smart and tough football team. But he has been lacking a player on defense that brings the wood every game. Its time that problem gets fixed.