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5 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Don’t know about you, but today felt very...odd.  Just off.  For me, seeing the Pats in their “new” unis (they’ve gone to their color rush look full-time, with a white jersey version to debut later this year), no fans in the stands, and Cam Newton as the QB added greatly to that feeling.  

Yeah, Fitz is Fitz.  He has his good moments, but then there’s the bad ones.  And there’s been plenty of those.

Definitely weird. No fans is just bizarre, but it has to be that way (although the Dolphins are allowing 13,000 fans in to Hard Rock next week for the home opener, which I wholeheartedly disagree with). Cam as the Pats’ QB was strange too, but he played well. He had me frustrated all afternoon. Fitz is most certainly Fitz. He was awful today. I’m not one to rush Tua, so I’m fine with him sitting and learning right now. But performances like this will make the calls for Tua louder by the week. 

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Wow Miami going all out for Van Noy. 4 years 51 million!

Yep this is going to be a Favre type end  

The funny thing is that I'm sure there were be people who automatically assume that since BB is still the coach, that the train will just keep runnin'. As you know with Marino, and we BOTH know w

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Joe Burrow just got his indoctrination to the Bengals.... not only does their kicker miss the tying FG attempt at the gun, he injures himself to boot. This after an AJ Green OPI call on what would’ve been the winning TD. Welcome to Cincinnati kid. 

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Agree, the smart move is to give Tua some time to watch and learn (and what NOT to do from Fitz).

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Brady and the Bucs with a garbage-time drive that will help the numbers look a little better.  Very uneven day for both him and his offense.  One of those teams that really could have used some preseason action to try to get comfortable with one another.  

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10 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

Definitely weird. No fans is just bizarre, but it has to be that way (although the Dolphins are allowing 13,000 fans in to Hard Rock next week for the home opener, which I wholeheartedly disagree with). Cam as the Pats’ QB was strange too, but he played well. He had me frustrated all afternoon. Fitz is most certainly Fitz. He was awful today. I’m not one to rush Tua, so I’m fine with him sitting and learning right now. But performances like this will make the calls for Tua louder by the week. 

Cam could’ve easily had a TD pass on that touchback play, but sh!t happens.  Gotta admit, when he was jawing with the Dolphins at the end of the game, all I was thinking was “Will you just shut the fvck up and get off the damned field already?!”  He’s clearly going to be annoying at times, but if BB and Mac can get the most out of him, I’ll deal with it.

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That ending by the Falcons, holy hell.  Brings back PTSD of the wonderful Super Bowl lead they blew.  How ON EARTH do you have guys who refuse to touch an onside kick and just let Dallas get it?  That's something a Gase team would pull.

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3 hours ago, NJDevs4978 said:

That ending by the Falcons, holy hell.  Brings back PTSD of the wonderful Super Bowl lead they blew.  How ON EARTH do you have guys who refuse to touch an onside kick and just let Dallas get it?  That's something a Gase team would pull.

Dan Quinn’s seat just went from blazing to five-alarm.

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Patriots limitations on full display this week.  Kind of amazing that they’re still in the game at the moment...though Wilson’s bad luck with the Pick-6 has definitely helped in that regard.

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Josh had his fair share of dopey play calls tonight...but that final one took the cake.  Game probably shouldn’t have been that close to begin with.

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Just recorded and watched the E:60 interview with Drew Bledsoe (think it’s called “Better With Age”, in reference to Bledsoe’s Doubleback winery in Washington, his home state...he’s enjoyed a ton of success with the winery, and really loves what he’s doing...not to mention the place is absurdly beautiful to boot...I don’t even drink wine anymore (due to Type 2) and I want to go there, just to check it out).  Was a pretty good watch...Bledsoe comes off as a very classy guy and pretty down-to-Earth.  The middle chunk of the show is dedicated to the injury that nearly killed him (I knew the Mo Lewis hit had done some serious damage, but I didn’t realize how close Bledsoe actually was to dying), and how his resulting absence led to Tom Brady taking the job and never giving it back up.  Under the circumstances, Bledsoe was initially actually happy for Brady getting a look, in that he thought it would lead to Brady getting a chance to start elsewhere...Bledsoe never imagined that the job wouldn’t be given right back to him once he was fully healthy.

Understandably Bledsoe was both very pissed and upset that he wasn’t reinstated once he was cleared to play, and you can tell that it will always bother him to some extent...but all things considered, he has handled a difficult situation as well as could possibly be expected...to his credit, he decided that he was going to be a supportive teammate, and not let his emotions derail the train (and in spite of everything, Bledsoe and Brady had always been good friends, and that did not change one bit...Bledsoe’s beef was clearly with Belichick more than anyone else).  
 

The one mistake that is made in recapping Bledsoe’s career is he’s made out to be far better than he really was...I think part of the reason Brady kept the job was that Bledsoe was coming off three inconsistent and largely mediocre seasons, heading into 2001...though Bledsoe clearly had supporters in the locker room and was largely well-regarded by his teammates, he simply hadn’t been all that good overall since reaching the Super Bowl in 1997.

The “screwed over” narrative continued in the interview’s coverage of both his Buffalo and Dallas days (this was more the show’s take than Bledsoe’s), but there’s definitely some serious glossing over going on...the Bills took a first-round QB in 2004 (JP Losman) because Bledsoe had largely flat-out stunk up the joint for 2 1/2 years after a terrific first 8 games with Buffalo, and was off to another mediocre start in his final season with the Cowboys before they decided to go with Tony Romo.  Not long after, Bledsoe called it quits.

If you watched the show without having seen much of Bledsoe’s career, you’d have thought he was a first-ballot Hall-Of-Famer.  He was definitely a major transitional piece in the Patriots’ transformation to a complete joke of a franchise to perennial winner (Parcells was just as important, as was Kraft buying the team), but for all of Bledsoe’s good memorable moments, there were plenty of bad ones too (mostly a number of WTF?! decisions that resulted in some brutal interceptions), and he was simply not very good in the playoffs.  Brady was a far more dependable and consistent decision-maker, who for much of his career found a way to make things work regardless of who his teammates were...and who knew how to raise his game when the stakes were at their highest.  Bledsoe was more pure arm, a bit like Jeff George and Jay Cutler (but with a far better attitude and rapport with his teammates).

Bledsoe was pretty forthcoming throughout...admitted that playing for Parcells wasn’t fun in any way, and basically said that anyone who says otherwise is pretty much lying.  His family is very close-knit and supportive too...it was clear that they were just as crushed as he was when Belichick told him that Brady would remain the starting QB.  But overall, great interview, even if the show had some flaws.  Bledsoe definitely comes off as a genuinely good person and dedicated family man who very much enjoys his life and has made peace with some of the more difficult parts of his past.  

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re: Bledsoe, I have a friend who ran into him during a ski vacation out west and yeah he's a good dude.  As far as his play I remember when he was the young, franchise QB.  It's hard to say what happened to him as a player cause he was a top QB at one point.  I guess because he was always a statue in the pocket you have a much smaller margin of error, and once some of those reliable targets he grew up with like Coates got old and Glenn started to get hurt, his mistakes became more glaring.

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1 hour ago, NJDevs4978 said:

re: Bledsoe, I have a friend who ran into him during a ski vacation out west and yeah he's a good dude.  As far as his play I remember when he was the young, franchise QB.  It's hard to say what happened to him as a player cause he was a top QB at one point.  I guess because he was always a statue in the pocket you have a much smaller margin of error, and once some of those reliable targets he grew up with like Coates got old and Glenn started to get hurt, his mistakes became more glaring.

I’ve read Parcells’ biography, and the feeling in his camp (and several others) was that Bledsoe was going to be an absolute stud, a future Hall-Of-Famer and an all-time great.  He seemed to have it all coming out of school a year early:  size, the arm, the brains...everything but speed.

Considering how franchise QBs developed back then, Bledsoe’s trajectory was pretty typical at first...and he was just 21 years old as a rookie winning the job out of preseason to boot.  His first year (for a team that had been beyond rotten the season before) went as one should expect.  In his second year, with no running game to speak of, he puts the offense on his back and finds a way to help will a flawed work-in-progress team to 10 wins and a playoff berth.  Year 3, he has a top back to work with (Curtis Martin) and Parcells clearly wants Bledsoe to be less reckless with the ball, so they reign him in and get him to cut down on his INTs.  Years 4 and 5, he looks like he’s close to a finished product, still needing some seasoning and fine-tuning, but entering his prime and ready to be a beast for the next several seasons...and even with five seasons already under his belt, he’s only entering his Age 26 season.

But he just never got better from that point on, and actually regressed...too many boneheaded INTs, too many 13-for-36 type games, too inconsistent and erratic...when he was off, he had a way of killing his team.  He was also a slow reader of defenses, and that’s where Brady quickly showed himself to be superior...the O-line suddenly was no longer an issue with Brady behind center.  Bledsoe also needed everything around him to be near-perfect...Brady didn’t.

Bledsoe was rightly inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, and despite his faults as a player, he’ll always be remembered fondly by Patriots fans, for helping to restore respect and relevance to a brand that had lost all of that prior to his arrival.  But given his physical gifts, it still feels like he could’ve been so much more.

One last Bledsoe tidbit...the 49ers tried to trade up in the draft to get him.  Their offer?  ALL of their 1993 draft picks.  

 

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