Before we dive into this I’d like to extend a happy birthday from myself and the staff here at Stitched Up FM to a very special member of the Patriots organization.
That of course being reserve guard Chris Barker.
I feel for Mr. Barker, because anytime someone else has the same birthday as you it tends to overshadow your big day, kind of like how Jules Brady and her brother Tom were thrusted out of the womb on the same day. I can relate because I was born on the same day as André 3000 as well as social media phenomenon Harambe. Funny how one of them accumulated the bulk of their love after a child fell below a fence, and the other gave us The Love Below. At least 2/3 of us May 27th’ers have found love.
Much like Chris Barker’s day of birth, this Patriots’ training camp has been eclipsed by events more important than itself. Namely the celebrity culture that comes with athletes nowadays and how they interact with the media.
Side Note: I’m still confused why Mr. Robot lumped Tom Brady in with Lance Armstrong and Bill Cosby, but I think it’s just a knock on celebrity culture and not a knock on TB12.
By now most people are aware that Martellus Bennett has taken the Boston media scene by storm. He’s essentially taken Gronk’s role, which is fine as long as unforeseen circumstances don’t propel him into any of the other roles Gronk is expected to fill on this team.
All the analysis that can possibly be done about these has been done, so I’ll just leave the videos for the few who haven’t seen them. Anything I could say has been said. Like the saying goes, if you leave a thousand monkeys in a room with a copy of Pokémon Silver, they’ll eventually acquire 16 badges and defeat Red on Mt. Silver.
Now for the story lines being overshadowed by TE2’s tomfoolery.
This is where I’m going to introduce a segment I’ll call “The Click Five,” five stories that have been very clickable. Clever.
Scarnecchia Lured Away From Retirement
I can picture him and his wife sitting on their porch in Key West when he gets a strange phone call. He answers and says, “who’s this?” in one of those snarky old guy ways and on the other side of a cigar puff he says, “Bill, I’m retired. I’m done with that part of my life.” I would classify trying to fix the Patriots’ offensive line as a covert, black ops mission. At least it’s going to be as hard as one. Call it ‘Executive Order’ on veteran. But at least Bill went with the only man besides Robert Kraft that outdates him in the organization, a true veteran.
Our Secondary Is Like, Really Fucking Good
After the 2012 season the Patriots elected to not resign Patrick Chung. They basically forced him to do what Bruce Wayne does in Batman Begins and go live in poverty, live among the people for a year to show how bad life could be. They also could’ve just dropped him off in a remote part of Philadelphia for about 15 minutes and the perspective would’ve been gained. Instead he spent an entire season intercepting Mark Sanchez in practice and having to deal with the insufferable bulb of neck fat that is Chip Kelly. But he came back a changed man, and Devin McCourty even said he was the best SS in the league by the end of the year. Duron Harmon has been a force in the big-nickel package with three safeties, and even Logan Ryan has proved me wrong. But come one, there was a streak for many years where he sucked so bad and watching the Bills convert 3rd and longs on the Patriots like clockwork had everyone lobbying for Ras-I Dowling to get snaps.
Chandler Jones to Arizona
The list of expiring contracts next offseason is long, and Chandler Jones’ incident at the Foxboro police station in which he offered himself up as a sacrificial lamb made the decision to preemptively trade him much easier. We’ll have to see how it pays off for the Pats though, as in return they received a mediocre-at-best guard in Jonathan Cooper (who was carted off four days ago and wasn’t expected to start anyway), and a second round pick which via a trade with the Saints resulted in G Joe Thuney in the 3rd and WR Malcolm Mitchell in the 4th. In Bill We Trust? Time will only tell. But we do know that the Cardinals were dying to go younger, as they oddly are the oldest team in the league and have the most losses in NFL history. Hm. Those two have got to correlate someway somehow.
All Around Us Are (Un)Familiar Faces
I know, that felt forced. But not as much of a force as Terrance Knighton will be on the D-line. Hopefully Pot Roast can learn what Albert Haynesworth never could, and that’s to eat blocks. You’d think someone named Pot Roast wouldn’t have a problem eating anything, but the same was said about Haynesworth, who barely made it out of Boston without being harpooned on a wharf.
Anyways cover your two gaps and leave the tackling up to Hightower and Collins. Let’s hope he does a better job filling gaps than he did recruiting Kevin Durant.
A third Quick Dan was brought into town this off season in Chris Hogan. Although suffering a minor injury yesterday, he’s expected to play on the outside apparently. Let’s hope his route tree isn’t as diverse as Rickon Stark’s and he makes defenses have to cover him.
Another new face is Donald Brown, who King Bill actually praised earlier today. I don’t think anyone was expecting him to make the team, but this changes everything (although I’ll be cautious after the Zach Sudfeld affair). My guess is that he’ll be crucial in the pass-blocking aspect of the game.
Back to where we started here, the Patriots once again have two pass-catching tight ends in their offense, and this time one of them isn’t secretly leading a double life as a gangster (as far as we know). Martellus Bennett can insult Jay Cutler and Sam Bradford all day, but this is nothing new to people like me who are active participants on internet forums. At the end of the day, we’ve got a solid two-way tight end who can block and catch. And when a team has two pass-catching tight ends on the roster, there will ALWAYS be a mismatch, depending on if there’s linebackers or safeties on them.
This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t revive Odin Lloyd given the chance.
Brady’s Four-Game Deflexit
We’ve got Jimmy G for the first four games folks. In 2006, Tony Romo ousted the man Tom Brady ousted in 2001. Will Jimmy oust that man’s ouster?
Don’t be a cocksplat of course not. My guess is he’ll go 3-1. Dolphins and Bills are easy wins (with improved blocking hopefully), Texans without JJ Watt is a win, and I’m giving the W to the Cardinals in week one on a strictly hot take basis. They’ll get a first rounder out of some team for him too. As much as I’d love to see him stick around for a few years, if the Brock Osweiler deal tells me anything it’s that teams are willing to throw anything under the sun at you if it means a potential franchise QB. Not that I don’t have faith Jimmy will be someday.
That’s the training camp update. We’ll check in during the preseason to see how Jimmy does and if Pot Roast is expanding his event horizon and absorbing anything that enters the gap on either side of him.