Source – Bill Belichick reflected that the team had more than held its own all season, winning 12 games and sticking in every game they played.
“The team was constructed very competitively,” said Belichick. “I think that was reflected in our overall play during the course of the year. Again, we lost four games that basically came down to the last possession, again, other than the Baltimore game, which that was a pretty competitive game, too.”
“[H]ad a couple things been a little different, maybe the outcome would have been a little different. So, I think we all had a part in the wins, we all had a part shared in the losses. We’ve got to try to do better in all of those areas, each of us that are a part of the team going forward, and each of us did that over the course of the year.”
There was a song when I was a kid from British One-Hit Wonder Ian Dury & the Blockheads called “Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3.” You can sample it here if you like, but don’t take my acknowledgement as a tacit endorsement. It’s a novelty song. There were no Parts 1 or 2. And it probably doesn’t translate to today’s tastes. But it is a reminder that not everything back then was a timeless classic like “C’Mon, Eileen” or any of 500 Kenny Loggins movie themes.
I bring it up here because 48 hours later, that’s exactly what we all need. Reasons to be cheerful. The months from the last tick of the clock until kickoff in September are the worst for Patriots fans. Times of coaching losses and roster turnover and retirements. And this year we get a bonus month of that stuff we haven’t seen in a decade. Plus the fact that there are possibly more unresolved issues involving more core players than at any time in the Dynasty era.
So we could use the boost, now as much as ever. A reminder that this isn’t the end of anything other than the 2019 season. Here’s me doing my part to serve the greater public good. To spread the cheer. Like Buddy the Elf. Or those people who visit nursing homes. Or a drug dealer. Only the drug I’m dealing, is optimism:
Now, does that feel better? Drink it in. Always goes down smooth.
Julian Edelman is already laser focused on 2020. Devin McCourty, who was not ruling out retirement before Super Bowl LIII is making it clear he’s back next year. And since he’s thrived in New England, landed the coveted second contract and shares a secondary with the same guy he shared a womb worth, the odds are in our favor. The backup center had already watched the Wild Card game four times within a day of it being over. And the team has $49 million in cap space to play with. It’s not everything, but it’s a lot.
To me personally, what I like seeing most of all is Edelman’s post. You know how you can tell what kind of frame of mind a guy is in just by looking at the way his dog is acting? How oftentimes it’s a symbiotic, empathetic relationship? That’s how I feel about Edelman and Brady. And for too much of this past year it felt like Edelman wasn’t his usual playful, lively self. Not mopey so much as just kind of serious. Internalizing everything. There have been times in the past where he’d make a crucial 1st down or a ridiculous catch and I half expected him to bring the ball back to the huddle in his mouth and ask Brady to throw it to him again. And while it might just be my imagination, that dynamic seemed to be missing. Anyway, for right now I’m happy just to get All Business Jules back on the social media so soon.
As for the others, McCourty is huge, obviously. But they’ve paid him before and there’s no justification in his play to do anything other than pay him again. And you have to respect the hell of out a backup O-lineman obsessing over a game that I deleted from my DVR within minutes like Harry Potter destroying a horcrux. The dedication fills me with hope for a bright future.
And while we’re being hopeful, it’s a long way off and there’s much homework to be done. But if you’re so inclined to pin your hopes on a guy who had hip surgery that will scare a lot of teams off:
… the Patriots are sitting on the 23rd pick. Their first of 12 in all. There’s a lot of work ahead. But it’s already begun. From the players, the personnel staff, and now us. #StillHere