Shut Up and Play Ball Y’all

Randy Moss said after the Patriots open day win that he doesn’t feel appreciated.  This whine came on the heels of Tom Brady’s big contract deal which makes him the highest paid quarterback in the game.  But Randy Moss is appreciated.  His teammates love him.  Tom Brady has nothing but high praise for him.  The fans love him.  His coach Bill Belichick loves him and says he’s a good player, which is about the biggest complement one could hope to get from the cerebral and ever stoic Wesleyan grad.

So what’s all the fuss?  It’s not about appreciation or love really.  It’s about business.  Moss said so himself.  As a fan, however, I don’t care about the business side of it.  I want the players to talk about the game during the press conference.  If asked about a contract, the player should offer no comment.  Instead, many chose to air out their business and try to negotiate through the public.

I would like for Randy Moss to stick around and play for the Patriots for a few more years.  And I hope he gets a fair contract, I do, but I don’t want to hear about his contract until the end of the season.  To all you disgruntled players out there, you are under contract, so just shut up and do your job.  Play ball y’all.

T is for Team, not Tom

If you are a Patriots fan, like me, you have to be a little worried, if not downright panicky over the loss of Tom Brady.  Do you feel like withdrawing your emotional investment in this team?  Comfortable with the thought of Sarah Palin at the helm, I mean Matt Cassel at the helm?  Well, I’m not, but time will tell.  I have not been terribly impressed with his performance so far, but the Patriots are 2-0.  Cassel has looked tentative at times; lost at others.   He doesn’t appear very athletic, though he moves better than Brady.  He lacks the patience and confidence in the pocket and the accuracy to throw on the run like say a Brett Farve.  However, Cassel seems to be gaining confidence as a leader.  While I don’t know what his teammates really think of him, he does have the unwavering support of the coaching staff.  I still think they should go after a veteran quarterback, but Belichick could very well be trying to make a point that the T is for Team, not Tom.

Relax.  Don’t sell your season tickets just yet.  Here are some numbers that might make you feel better.    The Pat’s defense is ranked 1st in rushing touchdowns (0); 3rd in fewest points allowed (20) and 5th in first downs (26).  On the offensive side, Matt Cassel, believe it or not, has a QB rating of 101.4 completing 70.7% of his passes with 0 interceptions.  On the downside, he’s only thrown 1 TD pass and passed for a mere 317 total yards in 2 games.   Not Bradylike numbers, but he’s gotten the job done, and not by throwing to Randy Moss who has caught only 8 passes on the year.  See Patriots Statistics for more details.

The Pats should be competitive the whole year, even with an average QB because of their strong defense.  Cassel has not been asked to do much and certainly has not been given the keys to the full repetroire of offensive plays.  If the Pats can get the running game going with Sammy Morris, Marshall Falk, Lamont Jordan, Laurence Maroney and Heath Evans, the pressure will be off Cassel.  T is for Team, not Tom.