A couple of weeks ago, I got into it with several Homers over my criticisms of BB's drafts, from 2006-present. I was, and have been, referred to as a troll over these criticisms. Here is my response:
For over the past 10 years, I have been a regular poster on this forum. I got drawn in primarily due to the Patriots' rivalry with the hated Bill Polian/Peyton Manning Colts. During my first few years, I championed Tom Brady over Peyton Manning, and the Patriot Way over the conniving Polian and the preaching of "the Pius One", Tony Dungy. Being in full "In Bill We Trust" mode as I was (yes...I too at one time was a Homer!)...I rarely questioned anything he did. I supported him in both his personnel, and his coaching moves. After all, what was there not to like? The Patriots won back to back titles in 2003-04, and had regularly humiliated the hated Horseface in head to head match-ups.
In 2007, I supported and vigorously defended BB during the "spygate" BS...as I still do to this day. But, then came the drafts from 2006-2009. Still in the "In Bill We Trust" mode, I supported his draft selections, and touted his personnel moves. After all, he's BB!! He MUST know what's right!
But...after the team got blown out at home by the Ravens, 33-14, in the 2009 play-offs, got embarrassed by the Mark Sanchez led Jets in the 2010 play-offs, and lost a second SB to the NY Giants in 2011, I began asking questions...why?
The main reasons for the above losses appeared to be a flawed defense, with the main culprits being a tepid pass rush, and a weak secondary. When I looked for answers as to why the Pats' pass defense had deteriorated to one of the worst in the game...I began examining BB's past drafts.
The Pats had lost the lynchpins of their pass defense, CB Ty Law and SS Rodney Harrison, to old age. They lost CB Asante Samuel to free agency, and their best pass rushers, Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel, and Richard Seymour, to old age. Yet, BB had gotten no help through the draft since 2006 to rectify the situation.
In 2006, BB used his 21st overall pick on RB Laurence Maroney, his 36th overall pick (acquired by trading his 52nd and 75th overall picks), on WR Chad Jackson, their 86th overall pick on TE David Thomas, their 106th pick on TE Garrett Mills, their 118th pick on PK Stephen Gostkowski, and their 136th overall pick on OT Ryan O"Callaghan.
In 2007, BB used his 24th overall pick on FS Brandon Meriweather, his 127th pick on DT Kareem Brown, and the remaining low rounders on nobodies.
In 2008, BB used his 10th overall pick on LB Jerod Mayo, his 62nd pick on CB Terrence Wheatley, his 78th overall pick on LB Shawn Crable, his 94th overall pick on QB Kevin O'Connell, 129th pick on CB Jonathan Wilhite, 153rd pick on WR Matt Slater, and 197th pick on LB Bo Ruud.
In 2009, BB traded down, trading their 23rd overall pick to Baltimore (who used it to acquire their starting RT, Michael Oher), for the Ravens' 26th and 162nd overall picks. BB then traded those two picks to Green Bay (Packers used the 26th overall pick to land DE/OLB Clay Matthews), in exchange for the 41st, 73rd, and 83rd overall picks. BB also had the 34th overall pick, which he obtained in the Matt Cassell trade with Kansas City. With the 34th overall pick, he selected SS Patrick Chung. He then traded used his 47th, 124th and 199th picks to Oakland for the 40th overall selection, which he used to draft DT Ron Brace. The 41st overall pick was used to select CB Darius Butler. The 58th selection was used on OT Sebastien Vollmer, the 83rd on WR Brandon Tate, the 97th on Tyrone McKenzie, the 123rd on OG Rich Ohrnberger, and with his remaining 5 late round selections landed no one of consequence, other than WR Julian Edelman.
In 2010, BB landed FS Devin McCourty at #27, TE Gronk at #42, the soon to be released OLB/DE Jermaine Cunningham at #53, ILB Brandon Spikes at #62, the worthless WR, Taylor Price at #90, TE Aaron Hernandez at #113, and punter Zoltan Mesko, at #153. No one of significance was drafted with the five remaining late round picks...unless you want to count the recently released Brandon Deaderick.
In 2011, BB scored with LT Nate Solder, flopped with the injury prone Ras-I Dowling at pick #33, and did well with RBs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley (56th and 73rd overall picks). The jury is still out on QB Ryan Mallett at #74, and OG Marcus Cannon , at #138. The final three late round picks were no one of consequence.
Going into the 2012 draft, I had lost my Homerism, and became more objective. Other than McCourty, Spikes, Mayo, and, to some degree, Meriweather, it was evident that BB had added nothing to his "D" through the draft, from 2006-11!
It was at this point that I began reading everything and anything that I could get my hands on to try to figure out why BB had whiffed so often. He had left behind a grave yard of misses with high picks, from 2006-11. He got very little from the 21st, 36th, 86th, and 106th picks in 2006, the 24th and 127th overall picks in 2007, the 62nd, 78th, and 94th picks in 2008, the 34th, 40th, 41st, 83rd, and 97th picks in 2009, the 53rd and 90th picks in 2010, and the 33rd overall pick in 2011.
During the 2012 draft, I was elated on Day One when BB significantly addressed his defense, by trading up to select DE Chandler Jones at #21, and LB Dont'a Hightower at #25. But then...he reverted to his wasteful ways by inexplicably using his 48th overall pick on DB Tavon Wilson! BB then wasted the 90th overall pick on DE Jake Bequette. He somewhat made up for the awful Wilson pick by selecting the legally troubled CB Alfonzo Dennard in the 7th round.
The refrain from the Homers has been, "we won more games than any other team over the years you're talking about, been to two SBs"...yada yada yada. All true...but I see the Pats' success since 2006 as a tribute to the greatness of Tom Brady, and of BB, the coach. Had BB drafted better, the Patriots would have won several more championships, and would be discussed with the same reverence as the Packers of the 60s, the Steelers of the 70s, and the 49ers of the 80s.
So...that's it. I guess this makes me a troll, right...you Homers and haters?