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A Study Shows the Patriots are Smarter Than Everybody Else

BB Motivational

USAToday[I]t should come as no surprise that the team that does the best job making that money count year in and year out is the team synonymous with sustained success in the modern NFL – the New England Patriots. From 2009-2013, the Patriots compiled a regular season record of 61-19 – and did it with payrolls that ranked, on average, in the bottom half of the league. Like all the teams we’ve profiled, the Patriots have found some of their most valuable contributors through the draft. Brady was famously a sixth-round pick, and even though the Patriots’ consistent excellence ensures they’ll never have high first-round picks, they’ve found stalwarts like Vince Wilfork, Logan Mankins, Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Chandler Jones, and Nate Solder in the draft… The Patriots will do just about anything to gain and keep an edge – a trait that infamously landed them in huge trouble when they were caught videotaping opponents’ signals in 2007. That led to a $750,000 total fine ($500,000 to Belichick, $250,000 to the team) and the loss of a first-round draft pick. But in one of the Patriots’ defining displays, they responded to the punishment by reeling off an undefeated regular season and coming within a last-minute touchdown of the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl title. Now, the scandal known as “Spygate” is a historical footnote. And Belichick and Brady are the biggest reasons why. Whether it’s the Patriots’ ability to identify talent, turn players who didn’t catch on elsewhere into key contributors (think defensive end Rob Ninkovich, or reviving Randy Moss’s career), or find creative uses for players (think using linebacker Mike Vrabel on offense), it’s a good bet either Brady or Belichick had a big hand in it. And the Patriots’ ability to keep both happy without breaking the bank is the key to the franchise’s long-term dominance.

Hmm… this sounds vaguely familiar somehow.  I’m trying to think where I’ve heard this.  The Patriots and “sustained excellence.”  Belichick is smarter than everyone else.  Brady is better.  They stay in the hunt every year because they manage the cap better than every other team.  They draft better than anyone else, even though they’re always picking from the back of the line.  Oh, and “Spygate is a historical footnote.”  Where HAVE I heard all that before? I was thinking maybe some of the football press in this town said it, but nah.  They’re the ones who bitch every year about how Mr. Kraft is running a Chinese sweatshop and Belichick is his factory boss, abusing the help into sewing $175 Nikes for two cents a week.  Maybe some of the talk radio hosts. Except the ones I listen to are always pounding their desks for the Pats to make big splashy free agent signings the way all the loser franchises like the Washington R-words do.  The TV guys?  Nope.  They’re the ones who say the Patriots drafts have sucked.  The national sites like ESPN are reporting that Brady’s fading fast, so it can’t be them.  Not to mention the times all of the above have called Belichick “arrogant” for moves like trading for Moss or putting Vrabel on offense.  And Spygate?  Everybody with a degree in journalism still talks like that was the most heinous crime since The Crucifixion.  So who IS it who’s been saying this stuff, consistently, vociferously and unwaveringly all this time?  Oh wait.  It’s me.  I’m the answer.  Boy am I embarrassed.  Sorry.  Forget I mentioned.  But I will say this to USA Today: Welcome to the club.  Nice of you to finally join me.  @JerryThornton1