With apologies to Cusack, I have to ask Mr. Bellichick a question: "If you guys know so much about [football], how come you're here at like [Gillette Stadium] on a [Sunday] night completely alone drinking beers with no [victory] anywhere?"
I know the answer is not "By choice, man."
In a game we never trailed by more than 10, we didn't run the ball consistently, despite having consistent success when we did run. I don't get it. I don't get the stupid penalties. (I think 3 of them were that only-created-for-the-Patriots illegal contact nonsense, which the Colts whiny loser owner Bill Polian lobbied for on the rules committee because his pansy-ass receivers can't play tough when others play that way.) I don't get Tommy's decision making, and I don't get why we can't get a defensive back within six yards of a receiver and I don't get why our kick coverage has to give up a big play every week. I don't get any of that stuff. But then again, I'm not paid a lot of money to get that stuff.
Which brings me to someone who does: the head coach. And yes, I'm gonna do the total Boston thing, and jump all over a guy I've helped elevate to a near deity. I disagree with the people who say Bellichick's always been a bad coach, he's just had good players, etc. He's a great coach, but one who's so stubborn that it's a detriment to the team at times. The fact that the team has little depth in the secondary, no primary wide receiver and a suspect kicker combined with the fact that the team is $10mil under the salary cap is completely unacceptable. Brady signed for LESS money so the team would have MORE money to spend on complimentary players. So why the hell aren't we doing that? Why haven't we really replaced Charlie Weis? Why can't we find a decent special teams coach? Why must he be a slave to this heartless, all-business model of personnel management, which has a history of working, but never allows for an exception to the rule, like keeping people like Viniatieri, Willie McGinnest, Joe Andruzzi, guys like that?
Again, I don't get it, and I'm not paid to. What I do get is frustrated. All of a sudden, going back to last year really, we can't beat the top flight teams we need to beat. We are now 0-4 in our last games against Denver and Indy. And with very little respect to those two teams, we really should be 3-1. We gave away the Denver games with turnovers, the playoff game was given away by some truly horrendous refereeing (the interference call on Assante and not calling the ball out of the endzone on Bailey's INT return) and last night, we commit five turnovers and we're still in the game because the Colts aren't that good. If we had played against them as well as we can, we'd blow them off the field. When we lost to them last year, we were decimated by injuries, and they legitimately beat us. Going back to the last times we beat them, here's a list of players we no longer have who were very important to those victories: Willie McGinnest, Ty Law, Adam Viniatieri, Deion Branch, David Givens, David Patten. The Colts are without Edgerrin James. They have been able to hang on to the core of their team, maybe at the expense of their defense, but still.
Yes, Bill's system works, but it's the players that make it work. I said it before: It's the bricks and mortar that make a building stand up, not just the architect's blueprint. As competitive as the NFL is, it's inexcusable to not use every resource available, and right now, the Patriots are wasting their time by not exploiting the salary cap to its fullest. They are doing a disservice to their players, but most of all to their fans. I'm sure every seat at Gillette and every beer and hot dog served wasn't discounted to compensate for us being under the salary cap. It's frustrating to be such a passionate fan of a team managed in such a dispassionate manner. It sucks always having to say goodbye to players who meant so much because they don't fit into a rigid, inflexible business plan. It takes a lot of fun out of being a fan.