You hear a lot around here about The Michigan Man. Well, what the hell have we gotten ourselves into with Chase Winovich?
This draft the Patriots took glamor position guys all over the place. A big, physical receiving threat. A freakishly large cornerback. A surprise running back. A quarterback, for Christ. But watching this, is there any shred of doubt that Winovich is going to be the cover of Patriots Rookie magazine’s Most Intriguing People issue once camp starts? If not be the most eccentric, interesting character in all of Boston sports save for probably Kyrie Irving?
I mentioned before the draft that NFL personnel were divided on him. Some saw a fiery, vocal guy with a motor that red lines all the time. Others saw a self-promoting douche. It’s a matter of personal tastes. I’m still not sure I’m sold, just because I’m not used to that around here. Traditionally our core defenders have been cerebral film-study nerd types like Jerod Mayo, quiet and unassertive like Rob Ninkovich or affable trench warriors like Vince Wilfork. Hell, Stephon Gilmore plays one of the yappiest positions in all of sports at a high level and the only time he’s ever talked shit was last year when someone asked him about Jalen Ramsey running his mouth and Gilmore said “Zone coverage guys have time to talk.” Burn.
That said, I think the Patriots could use an element of that. Of a crazed Viking yelling “Block me! Block me!”, getting the sack and then screaming “I told you block me!” And that thing about ripping your own arm off is fricking gold. I just remember a stretch from around 2009 to 2012 or so, where it seemed like every year the Pats season was being ended by guys with … and dammit do I despise this using this term but it fits … swagger. Mouthy, insufferable, feral dickholes like Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis, who put you in a grave and then emptied their bladders all over it. While the Pats would take their soft-spoken high road out of the playoffs all too early. Obviously they’ve done just swell since then. But I think a double shot of that dropped into the whirring blender of their big defensive smoothie could still be a good thing.
Assuming the kid knows his assignments and can play, obviously. Julian Edelman runs his mouth. Gronk got into it with the likes of Sergio Brown and Vontaze Burfict when they angered his inner Hulk. And Tom Brady isn’t saying “fudge.” (On or off the field.) And they back it up. I won’t wish the summer away but I literally cannot wait to watch Winovich try to make his performance live up to his persona. Can. Not. Wait.