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I've always admired the Patriots in the NFL and their use of "heart" players and guys who don't fit the "pro athlete" mold. But when you think about it, it's all a part of their process in New England.
For example, Danny Woodhead is not your "typical" NFL running back. Yet Belichick knows that he brings that "me against the world" attitude to the huddle, inspires others with his effort and work ethic, and puts the "stars" of the team on notice that they can be replaced at anytime with another "Danny Woodhead of the world", because in New England, it's all about the franchise, all about the rings, all about the head man, and not about the stars.
Also, look at Julian Edelman. Here is a no-name QB from Kent State that was a 7th round guy, that caught Belichick's eye. Since 2009, he has started at WR, been the #1 KR and PR guy, and played extensive DB in 2011 when needed. Again, it's a subtle/not-so-subtle way to keep the "Patriots Ball" motto in the forefront of the players minds. It's why the Patriots are so quick to release Randy Moss, it's why they are so quick to release Chad "Ochocinco", it's why they are so quick to release Asante Samuel and all their other big name defensive guys. Every time they release an All-Pro, it puts the team on notice that Danny Woodhead can take your job.
If you look at the Patriots, they also run a massive WR/TE by rotation scheme. They seemingly play more receivers/ends than anyone in the league. They are ALWAYS building depth. They are hedging their bets.
A final example, Mike Vrabel. Here is a Defensive Machine that Belichick used extensively as a goal line pass catcher throughout his career. On any other NFL team, the TE's and WR's would have wined and cried that their TD's were being taken away from them by a LB. But not in NE. In New England, it's all about the team, the win, the rings. It's about the attitude and the desire to make New England the best, not yourself. In saying that, making yourself the best is what makes New England the best. But it is definitely a "the sum is made up of the parts" mentality.
Finally, New England still has room for stars........that can handle the spotlight. They have Tom Brady, they have the Gronk, they have Wes Welker and they've had the Richard Seymor's of the world. But those guys highlighted the organization, they didn't make it. They were all a part of the process. And when they're gone, it won't be "devastating" because Belichick has built it to be elastic. It's built to absorb change. The process is so efficient, and the mindset of being replaced is so organic, that fear and panic just don't set it.......Remember Matt Cassel filling in for Tom Brady and cashing in large afterwards? It's the system. You can kill a man, but it's nearly impossible to take down an entire army.
On to 'Bama and the tie in. I could obviously articulate all the subtle similarities, but for the sake of time, let's keep it big picture.
To keep it short.......
- Just replace Belichick for Saban (the disciple).
- Just replace Danny Woodhead for Kelly Johnson
- Just replace Julian Edleman for Will Lowery
- Just replace Mike Vrabel for Terrance Cody
- Just replace their WR rotation for ours
- Just replace New England's process for Alabama's
- Just replace Tom Brady and Wes Welker for Trent Richardson and Julio Jones
- Just replace their MVP's and awards for our Heisman and Doak Walkers
- Just replace their Super Bowl's with our BCS Titles
- Just replace "Patriots" with "Crimson Tide"
*** And just know that when you watch Alabama play on Saturday, you're watching the closest thing to an NFL "FRANCHISE" that has ever suited up against the collegiate's on Saturday's
RTR --- Beat Michigan
Excellent post Halftime! Spot on.
Very good post and analysis. Personally I think Bama is like the current 49rs.
Tough and very hard nosed coach, very stingy defense and an offense committed to the run.
Bama and San Francisco both have a QB that gets the job done although not too flashy (although I think AJ will break that trend this year).
Nate Ebner is a rookie safety for the Pats this year, he barely played at Ohio State but his rugby experience seems to have caught Belichicks eye because he has been running with the first and second team defense's all preseason.
Highlights from Nate Ebners 7's days
Great post, Halftime. As a longtime NE fan, I strongly concur!
1960 Les Paul
No Doubt that Coach Belichik has had a great impact on Coach Saban's coaching philosophy. The one thing that really ties them together for me is their "No one is bigger than the team" motto and how they are able to get their players to buy into it. The ones that do are better players for it, and the ones that do not usually do not last. Good post and +1 for you.
Follow me on twitter @TrevorHewettBOL. https://twitter.com/#!/TrevorHewettBOL
IMHO, Bama is more like the Giants than Patriots: discipline, average QB play, strong run game, play action pass, punishing defense, and details-oriented coach that puts lots of emphasis on the organization.
+1. Awesome post.
great thoughts! I would love to sit in a room with Coach Belichick and Coach Saban...and hear them talk football..tell stories...that would be sweet!
You just described the Patriots organization. Except I would not classify Eli Manning, Tom Brady, GMAC or AJ as avg qb play.
Yup, Eli is not avg. Hes actually elite, and NFL analysts are finally admitting it. Top 5 qb. Sure he doesnt make it look easy all the time but hes a Manning....nuff said. The kid hangs tough.
"We're modern-day gladiators, and that mental toughness is really important to have in a good team." Nick Saban
Would be one of my sports "dreams come true" to sit with Coach Belichick and Saban. Bet they rarely even talk X's and O's....probably mostly mindset and buy in.
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