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Offense Isn't Enough

Patriots Blog Writer Doug Cutler Jr.

2/12/09

First, a word about Alex Rodriguez, Major League Baseball, and steroids

So now we find out that the man who was supposed to save us from recognizing Barry Bonds’ theft of baseball’s most important record is a thief (and a liar) himself. Where do we go from here? Throw our arms up in disgust and then simply accept it as “business as usual?” Absolutely not. What we need are penalties with real consequences. One move that I would cheer would be the forfeiting of all individual statistics for a period of one year prior to any positive test. Add in the subsequent mandatory suspensions that are already implemented by MLB and you’ll do two important things:

1. Help restore some of the integrity of baseball’s record book by eliminating statistics that were aided by performance-enhancing drugs.

2. Actually make the punishment fit the crime. If we can keep Pete Rose and his 4,000+ hits out of the hall of fame for gambling, why can’t we tell steroid users that if they get caught with illegal substances in their body we won’t recognize any accomplishments they attained because of that abuse?

Now back to football.

Where the Patriots Go From Here

Three words: Defense, defense, defense. If the last few Super Bowls (and most of the history of football, btw) have taught us anything, it’s that defense wins championships. The New York Football Giants proved that axiom last year and the Steelers did so again a few days ago. Over the last few years, while the Patriots were busy drafting and signing offensive skill players by the truckload, their defense got grayer and weaker.

I’ve always believed the true strength of a great defense emanates from the line. Don’t believe me? Take another look at the best defenses in NFL history. Remember the Steel Curtain, the Purple People Eaters, the Doomsday Defense, the No-Name Rams, the Bears’ 46 defense, and the Cowboys’ defense from the ‘90s? All of them were dominated by stellar defensive lines and every one of them made trips to the Super Bowl. You’d need to charter a bus to drive all the hall-of-famers on those lines to the local breakfast buffet, too. Maybe two busses.

Here the Patriots have done well for themselves. Richard Seymour, Jarvis Green, Ty Warren, and Vince Wilfork are at or near the top of the NFL D-line heap. This line is good and it is clearly the strongest part of the defense. It’s the remainder of the unit, specifically the defensive backfield that is cause for concern for Patriots Nation. Gone are the days when New England had at least one legitimate star at cornerback and safeties that rang bells like Franciscan Monks at noon-time.

The fact of the matter is this: If your defensive backfield can't cash in on good defensive line play it's time to make serious changes.


Here’s hoping that Bill Belichick and what’s left of his staff get back to their roots and swing the focus pendulum back towards the defense. Jerod Mayo and Brandon Meriweather were very good and good draft picks respectively, but we haven’t seen much outside of these two from the younger defenders. If more resources aren’t invested in their defensive infrastructure soon, I don’t think we’ll be seeing any more Super Bowl trips from this team, Tom Brady or no Tom Brady.

Question of the week:

During the 1993 season, a Patriots player caught a short pass and was in the process of being tackled when he threw a lateral to a nearby teammate who then took the ball and ran it in for a long touchdown. Who were these two players and who were the opponents?

(answer will be provided next week)

4 comments:

  1. Did we really think that A-Rod was going to be our savior? This guy has been a money grubbing, attention hungry, self statistic making, Barry Bonds clone his entire career.
    I love the Idea of forfeiting all individual stats but, will it ever happen? I hope it does. Man, I hope they strip every cheater they find of their so called stats.
    Even if it doesn't happen, I think these players actions will speak for themselves. MLB won't need to take the stats away or add asterisks. These player's have already done that to themselves. We will never forget this period in time, and even if these guys make the Hall, we will always remember what they did to get there.

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  2. A-Roid........A-Fraud.....yup I do believe we/they have to do something. If there is little to no penalty then the crime will always be committed especially if it simply enhances ones performance. Defense defense defense, can't say it any better. Just look at the best example ever....Dan Marino!

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  3. Definitely agree with the A-Rod statements, as, simply put, it is cheating. In my eyes, a record is only a record if it is obtained through means of individual acts not enhanced by pharmaceutical methods, end of story. Let us digress....defense, the unsung heroes, are truly the heroes of any championship. Without defense, offense is nothing. It is impossible to commence production if you dont have the tools to do so. In this case, defense is the tool we will take out of our toolbox and lift the offense of our team by hampering the other teams performance. There is no more basic fundamental of any sport than a strong defense. I am in complete agreement with both topics in the article, well expressed opinions!

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  4. Baseball and Steroids? ... Waste of good Blog space. not worth talking about as my faith in hard work and great baseball athletes dwindles to nothing. However, Lets stay focused on the NFL Free Agency. Something worth all my focus!

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