Monday, January 28, 2008

The Pats 01 and beyond...

I have not seen Neil's completed list, so I cannot comment on who may or may not be left off of it. I am sure that I will have something to say about the top 5, but I will reserve my slander until I see the list. Here are a few comments/opinions on some of the people that you mentioned so far, as well as some people that I think you will forget and belong in the honorable mentions list:

Drew Bledsoe- He was the first draft pick of the Parcells era in New England. He led the Pats to the Superbowl in the 96 season. He was part of the core group of guys that Belichick inherited when he got here. Bledsoe's presence allowed Bill to focus on the defense and other positions, because in Bledsoe, the Patriots had a serviceable QB with a powerful arm. He absolutely deserves some credit for the Pats continued success and at least a mention on this list.

Bryan Cox- I remember he wore that neck protector that looked like a piece of cardboard sticking out the top of his jersey...But thats not why he is on this list. He is here because he brought the hard hitting mentality to Pats defense before most people in New England had even heard of Rodney Harrison. He also provided the veteran presence that has come to define the team. He brought a shovel to almost every game that season. The shovel was shoved in the ground on the sideline to serve as a reminder to his teammates that the Patriots had to, and could, dig deeper than their opponents....nuff said.

Roman Phifer- Come on Neil, this guy deserves his own paragraph. He paved the way for the beloved Mike Vrabel. Phifer was brought in as a veteran to play opposite Cox. Cox was to play running downs while Phifer would play passing downs. What happened is that Phifer took the role he was given and played at such a high level that he ended up being out there more and more for years.

Joe Andruzzi- I know that you said you were going to leave the 0-line out, but I know one rather large former Blackbear that will take issue with that...and he is scary as shit. Either way, there are some members of that line that absolutely should at least get a mention. Joe is one of them. He anchored the left guard position for three of the four Superbowl teams. He was a nominee for left guard on the ESPN All Superbowl team. He also helped to instill the work ethic and mentality that is still present in the O-line, that is one of blue collar work ethic. You are right Niel, if a lineman is doing his job, you should never hear their name. You only heard Joe's when he was raising the trophy...

O-T-I-S-Otis Smith meant so much to this team that a few years ago when he retired the Patriots signed him to a one day contract so that he could retire a Patriot. There is nothing more that needs to be said about that.

I am sure there are still more people that need to be mentioned, such as Bobby Hamilton and Anthony Pleasant, but there are many days left before the big game. See you soon...

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