The Texan trap
Page 23 of 25 -- -- Jason Fried, Swampscott, MA
A: You can't argue with Belichick's success, obviously and since the Super Bowl season he is the better GM. Over a long period of time, Donahoe has an excellent track record. Don't forget, Donahoe doesn't coach. Belichick has the advantage of taking players he knows he can coach. Donahoe takes players that he thinks Williams can coach. Back in Cleveland, Belichick's GMing wasn't too hot either. If we're looking at things since 2001, a period of two-plus seasons, Belichick has been terrific in the way he's run the organization. Donahoe has gone from three wins to eight, and now he's stuck on four through 10 games. Some teams do fall back and then go forward. Look at Parcells with the Patriots. Made the playoffs in '94, stunk in '95 and then went to the Super Bowl in 1996. Belichick went from 5-11, to a Super Bowl champion, then didn't make the playoffs last year and now has the organization heading back to the playoffs. I think if you go around the league and look at the better organizations, that pattern exists. There's nothing wrong with that Bills defense. Unfortunately for the Bills their offense appreciably worse as a result of not being able to keep Peerless Price and the offensive line woes. I take the long view. I can't do the knee-jerk thing that fans like to do on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis.
I'm a periodic reader of your column, not sure if this topic has already been discussed ad nauseum, but...
Not so much a question as an observation. Earlier in the year I wrote you an e-mail about the "Curse of the Esquire" right after the Pats dumped Lawyer and were shellacked by the Bills 31-0.
Well, week 12 is almost here, we're 8 - 2 and I have to say, I am now convinced that the New England Patriots administration and their coaching staff have best adapted to the "New Business Model" of the NFL and free agency better than just about every other franchise in the league.
Everyone's forgotten about Lawyer (including me) and Drew and the Bills altogether for that matter. As upset as we all were when we dumped Lawyer, this team and this coach seem to know when a player's peak has passed - Do the names Ben Coates and Chris Slade mean anything? There were uproars (at a minimum concerns) about losing these players too. But did anyone hear boo about Chris Slade or Ben Coates after they were released from the Pats? I think Coates lasted as a back up to Sharpe in Baltimore for a season and Slade disappeared in San Diego.
Hindsight has told us time and time again, these guys know what their doing (dumping Lawyer, Playing Brady in the Super Bowl, giving Bledsoe away, etc...) Moreover, the Pats D clearly hasn't suffered too much without Lawyer. How can you argue with the best start in the franchise's history? Just an observation....