Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In Response to Ben...

First and foremost, this is not a list for guys who paved the way or who had great Patriots runs pre-2001 to set the table for what is occurring now although I may tackle that because that would be fun (doesn't Mo Lewis need to be #1?). The list is supposed to be for guys in the Belichek Era who have had the most sustained impact on the team that is now playing in it's 4th Super Bowl in 7 years. That doesn't mean they need to have been on the team since 2001; just that they have been around for a chunk of those years, AND made a substantial impact on 1+ of the SB winning teams.

1) I think my shout out to Bledsoe was more than sufficient. Sure he ushered the team into their new era, but he was also shaky enough his past few years to make Belichek's decision RE: Bledsoe v. Brady a lot easier. I don't think I can put this guy on the list because his late career mediocrity opened the door for Brady. I did put him in there though for his long-term contributions and his bullpen work in the 2002 AFC Championship Game.

2) Regarding Bryan Cox, I hear you there. I wanted to put him at #10, but I just couldn't because there were way too many other guys who have had a longer impact on the field than him. Loved the guy though and he definitely was the one "it" guy from the 2001 team that really got things moving.

3) As for Roman Pfifer, I agree, he was great in 2001. He didn't open the door for Vrabel though. Vrabel was on the 2001 team.

4) Joe Andruzzi...OK, I probably could have made an exception for this O-lineman. I didn't want to open that up though because then what about Matt Light? What about Dan Koppen? What about Damien Woody?

5) And that brings us to O-T-I-S. I love Otis as much as the next guy, mainly because of him introducing himself as "O-T-I-S" on MNF. Still, I have a tough time putting on the list anybody that ever earned for themselves the nickname, Otis "My Man" Smith during their career because QB's loved to throw to whomever he was covering. Secondly, can you really tell me that he has meant more to the team the last 7 years than Ty Law or Asante Samuel? Come on, you really cannot. Those are All Pro players right there.

So that is the retort, the rest of the list is coming tonight. If anybody can guess the Top 5 before I post and (put your guesses in the comments) I'll think you are awesome for a couple of weeks and suck up to you.


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