Mailbag time and I don't get it.
Those defending Wes Welker, I mean. Walk me through this: Bill Belichick told the Patriots at the beginning of last week not to get lulled into a war of words with the Jets. And everybody followed his order -- except for Wes Welker. He thought he could get away with one, and when Belichick reportedly asked him about it Welker wasn't exactly truthful.
Seems cut and dry to me. He disobeyed his boss and then lied about it when his boss confronted him. It's an easy call for Belichick. What else is he supposed to do? If he doesn't give Welker a rip for it what happens the next time he gives the players an order? He had to discipline Welker, there's no other call.
Look, feel free to blame Belichick for the Jets' loss. I'm fine with that, he was seriously outcoached by Rex Ryan. But understand this: Wes Welker is to blame for the benching on Sunday, not Belichick. Welker was selfish. He knew Belichick would be pissed if he found about the foot joke buffet. And he knew that his coach wasn't Pete Carroll -- Belichick wasn't going to let him get away with it if he got busted. But Welker went ahead with it anyway. Why? Because he thought it would be funny. And it was, I guess. Probably Belichick thought it was funny. But it doesn't make it right.
OK, enough of the "One to Grow On" stuff. Lots and lots of Pats-Jets talk here as we say goodbye to the 2010 season, figure out what went wrong with Tom Brady, kind of defend the offensive line, draw up a wish list for 2011, figure out if Barack Obama is the worst sports fan in America and learn that sarcasm doesn't always translate.
So to the 'bag we go …
Belichick deserves an F. As a coach you NEVER set your team up to lose its focus.
NEVER do anything that prevents the team to be it's very best. Certainly because Welker was cute that you sit your best receiver down, breaking Welker's focus and the teams focus. Not the day to play Mr Discipline BB and you've lost your edge in playoffs now for many years. NEVER do anything to your team to take aways it's edge or focus again and stop being the TOTAL GOAT with trick plays inside your 40. 90 percent chance you're gonna give up seven than making six. You also went for it on 4th and 1 and instead of a QB sneak you hand it off and that was a huge mistake. Mistake after HS Coach mistake and it started when you benched Welker sending the WRONG message to the team. IF you came to coach against the Jets versus being the disciplinarian and gave up on the trick plays Pats WIN.
I think Tom's day as SB winner are gone. I have enjoyed Tom Brady but I think the family life and big pay checks have finished the guy in the trenches we once had that gave us the three Super Bowls.
A: This email (and others) is exactly why I couldn't stomach listening to 'EEI for more than 15 minutes at a time the last three days. There's no middle ground with most of you guys. A week ago Belichick was a genius and Tom Brady was the greatest quarterback of all time. All it takes is one loss (not even a loss -- people were booing a 14-win team at HALFTIME of a playoff game) and suddenly time has passed Belichick by and we're back to hair and Hollywood with Brady. Come on. Is it fair to suggest that the Brady/Belichick legacy has taken a hit with these last two playoff losses? Sure, I'm OK with that. But let's be fair: If I gave you the chance to trade Brady/Belichick for any other QB/coach combo is there any chance you're making that deal? Brady stunk on Sunday and Belichick got his clocked cleaned by Rex Ryan. It happens. And I swear, it had nothing to do with Wes Welker being benched for the first series, unless it was Welker's fault that Alge Crumpler dropped a touchdown pass, or it was Welker's fault that Pat Chung called for that fake punt, or it was ol' Wes who failed to cover Jerricho Cotchery on that 58-yard catch. Blame Belichick for a lousy game plan, or failing to make adjustments. But to put this one on the Welker benching is an all-time reach.
Stop acting like the Pats are incapable of making mistakes and playing poorly. You all sound like a bunch of spoiled, fair weather fans. It sucks, yes. It will hurt for a while. But lessons were learned in this game. Young defense gained valuable experience and the team and organization got the humbling it obviously needed. Sure, coaching could have been better. QB play could have been better. But in the end, it is what it is. Deal with it. They will draft well, add some talent and work very hard to avenge this loss next year. We have been on one hell of a run, historical at that. Appreciate it and gain some perspective that what this team did earlier in the 2000's was truly special and not likely to repeat easily. And for god sakes.... Revis is right: Take this loss like men and move on.
A: That about sums it up. A huge offseason looms. What happens with Light and Mankins (my prediction is they'll both be back)? Does Belichick keep all three picks in the top 33? Does he make a free-agent splash and go get an established cornerback, pass rusher or wide receiver? No reason for this organization to have some kind of staggering overreaction to this loss, but tweaks have to be made. A legit pass rusher has to be on that defense next year, and there is a real need for a physical receiver.
Tom Jackson is an idiot. That is all.
A: That's what he wants you think, Andy. That way you'll be motivated to write a great email. The guy is a hideously biased, totally outdated analyst, true, but as a motivator of men? Find me an equal.
A grade of "C" for the offensive line?? Really??? The Jets dropped men into coverage all night, often sending only three or four pass rushers and Brady gets sacked five times? They deserve an "F"! As a unit they were out-muscled, man-handled, pushed back and just plain run over by a meager jets pass-rush. Just like they had been by the Giants in 2007. When Brady has a bad game, it's because he's pressured. And why is he pressured? Because the O-line doesn’t show up! Why doesn't anyone see this? Coleman comes free and clear the almost levels Brady on his blindside on a play where they sent 4 rushers. Last I knew it was customary to have five fat guys up front to protect the QB. The Jets send 4 rushers and not one man came close enough to breathe on him as he took dead aim at Brady. And Dan Connolly’s personal foul penalty was inexcusable. Fluke punt returns aside, this guy deserves to be cut for such a terrible lapse in common sense when you’re trying to come from behind. And he can take Matt Light with him. You would think going into potential unrestricted free-agency would have the big redhead playing like a brick wall but I saw better blocks thrown by little Danny Woodhead than the poor excuse for protection Light was offering all game long. A lot of things went wrong in that game, but the lack of rhythm from the coin toss to the final whistle stems from one fault only: The offensive line.
A: Figured this wouldn't be a popular grade, but I gotta stand by it. I'll give the O-Line a hit for a couple of the sacks -- the Shaun Ellis pair stand out -- but having watched the game three times since Sunday I have to say that the Jets' coverage really had Brady completely confused. And Bart Scott nailed it in the locker room after the game -- it was over for Brady when he started acting like there was pressure when there was no pressure. They were in his head, plain and simple. He looked an awful lot like the Peyton Manning who couldn't beat the Patriots in 2003 and 2004. So I put a couple of sacks on Brady. I'm not bailing out the offensive line -- a "C" isn't high praise -- but I thought it was more a Brady issue. And let's remember that the Patriots ran for 113 yards on 28 carries Sunday against the third-ranked rushing defense in the NFL.
There is no way the Jets offense should be scoring 28 points at New England. We all see the pattern since 2006.
A: Yeah, but the defense didn't really allow 28 points. Two of the Jets' TD drives started inside the Pats' 40-yard line (the blown fake punt and the failed onside kick). The defense did enough to win this game. They weren't great by any measure -- a great defense doesn't give up the two TDs on the short field -- but I put this loss on the offense. This group scored 518 points this season and at least 31 points in each of their last eight games. To score 21 points (and really only 14 when it mattered) is just not acceptable.
Look on the bright side: It's just a game. Your country is being de-constructed by Democrats and you may be destitute on the street in the near future and you are distraught over a stupid game. I too love the Pats but get your priorities straight.
A: This quasi-insane email reminds of one thing: Obama is planning to go to the Super Bowl if his "beloved" Bears win on Sunday. Politics aside, this is one of the three worst sports fans in America. He's proven it time and time again over the last two years, whether it was his inability to name a single White Sox player last April (this is a guy who claimed to be a huge White Sox fan growing up) or giving in to the liberal dopes and actually filling out an NCAA women's bracket last year after a little backlash. Please. Obama couldn't pick Dick Butkus out of a lineup and I'm going to have to sit through 3,500 camera shots of him during the Super Bowl. He's a sports fan because someone told him that being a sports fan would play well with male voters. That's it. And I find that insulting, I really do. Leave the sports act alone and try fixing the billion things wrong in America. Why do I care so much about this, I wonder? Maybe I do need to get my priorities straight.
The Jets are good. They're very good. That's not my issue with the Jets.
My issue is this: Ryan is a punk. Scott is a punk. Cromartie is a punk. Tomlinson is a punk. No class b*tches, all of them. Win with some class, act like champions, then we'll talk. Until then, shut your punk-a** mouths. My only consolation is that Cromartie will be one of those dipsh*ts that will be broke two years after retiring. He's made millions, but his IQ is one-step above a doorknob and he'll be working in a carwash by the time he's 40.
A: I get it, Tim, but if I'm a Patriots fan I'm way more concerned with Mark Sanchez putting up a 123 passer rating against my defense or Deion Branch being dominated by Darrelle Revis than I am by anything Bart Scott or Antonio Cromartie has to say about anything. Who cares, really? So they hate the Patriots. Swell. It's been established. And before the two teams play for the first time next season the Jets will talk a ton of junk the entire week and everyone will get all worked up. We know how it goes. Why worry about it? I was in the Jets locker room all week leading and I can tell you this: They don't believe most of it. This is a locker room stuffed with guys who want to be bad guys in the WWE more than they want to be taken seriously. They know all the talk is going to get a rise out of people. Cromartie doesn't hate Brady, he just wants to be on SportsCenter. Which is pathetic in its own right, of course, but it's where we are today.
The Jets/Pats rivalry is still a tie in many ways to me this season. The Pats have had better regular seasons which puts them in better positions in the playoffs. That's part of it right. Sure to win is a bigger part. But the Pats if they improve don't have much to go. They will have a better regular season and the odds in general are that home playoff teams should win.
A: Guess you put more faith in the powers of a 45-3 win than everyone else. Just let it go, this is the Jets' year. Right now they are a better football team. And in the first two years of the Rex Ryan era he is ahead of Bill Belichick. Four to zip in playoff wins, two to zip in AFC title games AND a head-to-head win (on the road) in the postseason. I know, I know the final standings of the AFC East in 2010 have the Pats ahead. But those become as antiquated as the "Best of Benny Hill" VHS tapes in your attic the second the playoffs start. Ask the Falcons.
This article was really on point in regard to the good plays by the Jets offense as opposed to the bad plays by the Pats defense. In a solemn time though, I find it highly entertaining that you 1) had an opportunity to be next to Suzy Kolber, this highly appealing celebrity, and in the breech you 2) chose to try to creep her out, and 3) you are writing about it, oblivious to what you did and how she would react. Thanks for giving me a smile.
A: And …
No way Minihane had the balls to make a Joe Namath joke to Suzy Kolber. Not buying that for one second. And if it was just a silly joke for the column, step your game up because its not even particularly funny or clever.
A: Ah, sarcasm. The completely idiotic man's wit. Eventually I'll learn that it doesn't translate well to print or radio (I said on 'EEI Sunday that Antonio Cromartie always had his law degree to lean back if his career flames out -- an incredulous lawyer called 10 minutes later to let me know that Cromartie did not have a law degree). I did not -- as I wrote on Tuesday -- do a Namath impression to Suzy Kolber. I'm a moron, but I'm not a moron. Though she in fact did sit next me (true) and could not have been nicer (true), even forcing a smile through gritted teeth when I asked her if she thinks she might be as good a sideline reporter as Erin Andrews one day (see, sarcasm. You got that, right?)
You gonna watch this weekend? I'm in -- and I've got Green Bay 31-28 and Pittsburgh 21-20.