Re: Never another Lombardi,
posted at 1/20/2014 2:54 PM EST
In response to OlderbutWiser's comment:
Babe is correct in his analysis but I differ with him as to the reason. I believe BB and TB will go down in the history as one of the best head coaches/quarterback duos in the game. They are both very talented in their specialization. However, BB is not a good general manager and he never has been. His selection of players to form his total team is lacking and he loses the big one as a result. This is partly a matter of his personality. The other factor is how teams are formed in the league with an emphasis on parity. Salary cap and draft order ensures a rotation of successful teams. It keeps a robust fan base and ensures overall profitability for owners.
BB gets the most out of his players. He is successful year in and year out. Consequently he is always at the end of the draft order. Instead of taking the top player available in the draft, both he and Kraft follow the philosophy of "valued-added" players. Thus, BB will trade down in the draft in the belief that there is not much difference in talent level between available players. The team is put together on the cheap with the conviction that coaching will be the difference maker. Other players are added to the team as needed via free agency (castoffs, retreads, and second-choices) with the belief that the same coaching skills can restore these players to glory-days.
Players drafted with demonstrated below-average skills but score well on wonderlic (how many fans have scratched their heads on draft day wondering who is this guy, and why didn't they draft....) dominate the player roster. It is the "Patriot Way." BB believes that a few very skilled/talented players can balance an otherwise cheap but above average intelligent team (a Talib can make the other players combined do a better job). This works well when playing the Jets, Bills, Dolphins, etc., during the regular season and it seems to work well when playing the lower seeds in the post-season. But it fails when playing the top talented teams. It is what I commonly refer to as the "system" and "value-added" players. Those value added players are let go if they are successful enough to demand greater compensation and replaced with another value added player. This system keeps the owners happy too, as it maximizes profit.
It seems to be one way to confront the built in parity for long term success and it works only if the general management of the team remains above average. Therein lies the fault...BB is not an above average GM. His personnel decisions are one of the main reasons the team has not won a superbowl in ten years. Because the other teams in the AFC East have not been very good it prolongs the rebuilding process for the Patriots.
I've been a Patriots' fan since the late 1960s and the Kraft ownership and BB era has been the best of times (believe me!). That doesn't mean you can't point out the weaknesses of the team.
The Patriots need to draft better quality players and employ top free agents. The signing of value added draft players, unheralded free agents, castoffs, retreads and second-choices cannot be relied upon to make a complete roster if another super bowl is desired.
In this aspect, Babe is correct.
I never post on here. I am always reading through other people's posts and try not to take sides or get involved in arguments. I will say this. This post above ^^^^^^ describes exactly how I have felt about the patriots for the last ten years.
BB's entire philosophy is to get most out of players who are not so called college superstars. He wants to develop players and wants no name players to outperform their expectations. While that may be good enough to win most regular season games especially against mediocre teams, it hardly works in playoffs against superior teams with much superior talent.
How often has BB went out and drafted a speedy big receiver that has really performed well at the collegiate in an established conference (Julio Jones, AJ Green type).
Having realized over the past decade that the league has turned into a passing league how often has BB drafted a big physical CB? Ras I Dowling?
While you may win postseason games with a good offense, a good defense is key to winning post season games. Look at the final defensive play of the Seahawks-49ers game.
I can go on and on but I think the post above really describes everything in a nutshell.