This was originally going to start with an extremely forced analogy about opening the fridge and realizing you’ve got a lot of food, but nothing that jumps out to you like, say, “Oh, I got steak, I got potatoes, I got some fresh veggies, wrap it all up in some foil, season it up, fire up the grill and let’s roll!”. So instead, you end up playing Chopped in your own kitchen.
Instead, let’s just roll with a classic:
Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Doc. Ah... Are you telling me that you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?
The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?
The Patriots’ apparent logjam on the offensive line is a problem most other NFL rosters this side of Dallas and Tennessee would love to have - 6 quality, if not perfect, players and only 5 spots to play (the return of the six-man jumbo offensive line notwithstanding - New England DOES play the Colts this year, just saying). Going into the draft, the Patriots had struck out on re-signing left tackle Nate Solder, who of course is now the highest-paid offensive lineman in football, so all New England had to do was replace arguably the second-most-important player on offense while, per usual, picking well into the bottom half of the first round.
Fast forward a couple months, and if you’re the kind that has faith that Dante Scarnecchia IS the kind of guy that you want playing Chopped with whatever you give him (and aside from Bill, who else could you possibly want?), let’s just say if this update from ESPN’s Mike Reiss means anything, I love it when a plan comes together:
Observations from practice, Part IV:— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) May 31, 2018
* In walkthrough work, Trent Brown was LT & Isaiah Wynn LG. As usual, team will work linemen at multiple spots.
* DE Eric Lee's strong rush at LDE on OT Cole Croston helped create INT.
* Rookie CB Duke Dawson gets work as personal protector
Not to turn this into a “Chris Hogan played lacrosse, people forget that”, but Trent Brown fits the classic Madden-created-player mold for a franchise tackle much more closely than Wynn does, assuming you like your left tackles to be roughly the same height and just a few steak dinners shy of The Mountain from Game of Thrones in real life. Isaiah Wynn, on the other hand, is about as big of a wild-card and potential Swiss Army Knife as anyone on this line; unlike, say, Joe Thuney, who was drafted specifically to play on the interior offensive line, Wynn’s played both guard and left tackle at a level where it wouldn’t be a surprise if he had a BMF wallet. And with Brown’s inconsistency that’s been noted at various points during his career, trying guys out at various spots on the line is both the right way to do it and, as Mike Reiss points out, something the Patriots are well-known for doing.
Leave it to Bill to turn a position group where play across the league is inarguably not where it used to be, and turn it into a stocked bar of talent.
Or, at the very least, getting a plan B together for when guard Shaq Mason will get an eight-figure contract from somebody, and it very well may not be New England.