Tag Archives: Bill Belichick

THE NFL PLAYERS I’D TRUST THE MOST

Jay C. Brandriet

7/27/18

This is the goal. I need to pick 53 NFL players to fill out a roster. I have to get ten guys for a practice squad. The pool of athletes I’m choosing from is from 1980 to 2018. Let’s say they are playing a season for me, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. This is not a list of the 63 best players I’ve seen. I’m trying to build a team. Here are the NFL player’s I’d trust the most.

 

OFFENSE

 

QUARTERBACKS

Tom Brady/Joe Montana/Aaron Rodgers/Steve Young

I rank Elway higher than Young all time. In this case I’m mixing it up with a lefty, and a beyond scrimmage runner like Steve Young. Rodgers can be my “hail mary” guy. I would have used John there as well.

 

RUNNING BACKS/FULLBACKS

Walter Payton/Marshall Faulk/Terrell Davis/LaDainian Tomlinson/Marcus Allen

Payton is the best football player on this team. T.D. and L.T. can carry the load. Faulk stretches the field and will excel in the slot. Marcus Allen can play full back and gets it done in short yardage.

Allen was an elegant glider. He could do all the dirty work as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jerry Rice/Randy Moss/Calvin Johnson/Michael Irvin/Larry Fitzgerald

The first three are the best I’ve seen do it. Irvin is the groups motivator. Fitzgerald beat out Cris Carter by an inch.

 

TIGHT ENDS

Tony Gonzalez/Rob Gronkowski/Jason Witten 

Witten will also help make up for not having a traditional full back.

 

OFFENSIVE LINE 

Larry Allen/John Hannah/Anthony Munoz/Bruce Matthews/Jonathan Ogden/Gary Zimmerman/Randall McDaniel/Dermontti Dawson

 

SPECIALISTS

Devin Hester/Mark Kelso/Adam Vinatieri/Shane Lechler

Hester could play all three phases of the game if needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COACHES

Bill Parcells/Bill Walsh/Bill Belichick/Jimmy Johnson

 

DEFENSE

 

DEFENSIVE LINE

Reggie White/J.J. Watt/Warren Sapp/Bruce Smith/Randy White/Aaron Donald/Michael Strahan/Julius Peppers/Ted Washington

Peppers will block your field goal attempt. I needed a classic plugger, and thought of going with Vince Wilfork. Ted Washington will provide that instead at 6’5″, 365 lbs.

 

LINEBACKERS

Ray Lewis/Lawrence Taylor/Derrick Brooks/DeMarcus Ware/Patrick Willis/Luke Kuechly

Lewis and Brooks can play that rugged middle role. Taylor and Ware will kill it off the edge. Willis and Kuechly give me the modern mobile backers.

Miller jumps off the TV and on to quarterbacks. He allows me to pass on Doleman, Manley, and Wilber Marshall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Deion Sanders/Darrelle Revis/Champ Bailey/Aeneas Williams/Ronde Barber

Ronnie Lott/Ed Reed/Troy Polamalu/Rod Woodson

These dudes are impressive. They can all play the entire defensive backfield. Most versatile unit on this trust squad. They can block and tackle on special teams. Some can play running back and receiver. If Reed touches the ball, he’s magic. Barber can cover the Welker types. Lott and Polamalu can play spot linebacker duty, and a couple can throw.

Troy was a game wrecking safety. Clutch plays became a habit for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRACTICE SQUAD

Peyton Manning/Sterling Sharpe/Tony Boselli/Mark Bavaro

 Derrick Thomas/Darrell Green/Mike Singletary/Charles Woodson

Von Miller/Morten Anderson 

I need Green’s speed and Singletary’s voice. Woodson is All-Pro at everything. Bavaro is just a brawler you want on your side.

I’m curious which players you would trust.

 

Jay C. Brandriet

 

 

 

 

 

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THE TOM BRADY MEMORY I’LL ALWAYS THINK OF FIRST

Jay C. Brandriet

7/12/18

When the name Tom Brady comes up, there is one memory I’ll always think of first. It’s not a Super Bowl, Ugg slippers, or a controversy. It’s a random week five game against the Dallas Cowboys in 2011. It’s actually a singular moment that stands out in my mind.

This game was a big deal to me. The chance to beat the Pats and Tom Brady (and my buddy David Schultz) is an opportunity that comes around every four years. It was New England’s turn to play at home. The Cowboys came to compete hard on this Sunday in October.

It was one of those games where Dallas was out playing them, but only maintaining small leads. The Cowboys offense was sinking in the red zone as the Patriots held them to field goals multiple times.

The real action began here. There was five minutes left, and New England had the ball down by three points. Even in 2011, my fear of Brady was intense. You know this is where he sticks it to you. I was shocked and elated when the Cowboys held them to a three and out. They have picked off Tom twice today, sacked him three times, and now this? Wow! They have to take advantage.

Dallas has the ball with 3:36 to go. A couple first downs and this baby is in the refrigerator. First down. DeMarco Murray gets tackled in the backfield for minus two. Second down and twelve. Minimum Dallas needs to throw a screen pass here. Instead, Murray on the ground for minus one. Tony Romo melted down the week before vs Detroit, and the coaching staff got gun-shy. Sitting on a lead in the NFL is telling the football Gods you would like to lose. Playing that way against Bill Belichick, you are begging to lose.

This was the moment. I KNEW the game was over. It was now third and 13. Dallas still had the ball and the lead. Time was running out. I just KNEW the game was over. The Cowboys were not going to throw for sure now. Even with all that still had to take place……I just KNEW it was over. Brady is not going to let them off the hook again. Zero chance.

Third down. False start Dallas. Run for a few yards. Punt. Brady now has the ball on his team’s own 20 yard line. There is 2:31 left to play. This defense that had played rugged all day, was about to be burnt toast. There was no deep mystery here.

Then it happened. It was like an episode of Batman from the 1960’s. Pow! Sock! Wham! Tom was 8-9 passing on the drive for 79 yards. It’s like he was taking a walk in the park. Finally, the dagger came in the form of an eight yard touchdown pass with a measly 27 seconds on the clock.

Patriots 20

Cowboys 16

Final

Cowboys fans had their hearts broken on that play. I started dealing with it twenty minutes earlier. Tom Brady is so great, you can assume he will do difficult things easily.

Giving Tom Brady a second chance in the clutch? Goodnight folks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jay C. Brandriet

 

 

 

THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME IS ABOUT TO HAVE A SERIOUS LOG JAM: WR EDITION

Jay C. Brandriet

12/4/17

The old saying has often been “too many guy’s get into the Hall of Fame”. The new truth is, not enough players are getting that call. We have so much more information about today’s athletes and the history of the NFL than ever before. An average of six men per year have been inducted over the past 20 seasons. That comes across as a reasonable number. If you look behind the curtain, a log jam is taking place. Looking at the category of receiver only, I think this group of retired players all have a compelling case to be in.

Proudly from the University of Utah, Smith was a punt and kick return star in his early NFL days.

 

 RETIRED RECEIVERS THAT DESERVE TO BE IN THE HALL: 

 

RANDY MOSS: “Freak”.  Legend.  His go up and get it, and ball skills were a ten. Many fans would say Moss is the most talented wide receiver they have ever seen.

 

TERRELL OWENS: His initial power off the line of scrimmage was intense. It’s obvious T. O.  is a  Hall of Famer( just ask him)! Owens work ethic, skill, and level of dominance attained are all top shelf historically.

 

CALVIN JOHNSON: Johnson was the ultimate specimen to ever play wide receiver. I remember a few late game situations where “Megatron” was triple covered by Cowboys players. Each time the ball was in the air, it felt like the odds were 60 percent in his favor…. Calvin caught all three of them.

 

DREW PEARSON:  Pearson was the NFC’s best receiver in the 1970’s. He is widely considered one of the greatest clutch players in football history.

 

CLIFF BRANCH: An elegant yards per catch guy, Branch is the only Raider to play on all three title teams. At the time of his retirement he ranked number one in total post season catches and yardage.

 

HINES WARD: His Pittsburgh Steelers team records speak volumes. Ward has two rings and a Super Bowl MVP. His niche of being an all time great blocker helps get him in.

 

ISAAC BRUCE: His 80 yard TD grab was the go ahead score in Super Bowl 34. Bruce does not have near the name he should for how awesome he was. He’s like his generations Art Monk.

 

STERLING SHARPE: Sharpe did not miss a game in his seven years. His career ended after a serious neck injury following a season where he scored 18 times. At his best, Sharpe was in the same class as Irvin, Carter, Reed, and Tim Brown.

 

TORRY HOLT: His routes were precise and his hands were like football magnets. From 2000-2009 Holt’s 868 receptions and 12, 594 yards are the highest totals, for any decade in league history.

 

REGGIE WAYNE: Reggie was a steady pro who likely left a HOF resume on the field. He played in 21 post season games. At the time of his retirement, no player had more receiving yardage versus Bill Belichick led teams.

 

ANQUAN BOLDIN: I watched every snap of his first pro game at Detroit. He had 217 beast like yards. Boldin was eventually the go to guy on a world champion. He played a month after having seven plates and 40 screws put in his face.

 

STEVE SMITH: Nobody wore that chip on the shoulder better than Steve Smith. He was so fierce, and was one of the top playmakers of his generation. He’d catch it, pivot the other direction and it would look like he was part of the field.

 

ANDRE JOHNSON: Some guys should simply be awarded in the category of “what was your level while you played”? Johnson was elite at his job. Three times he had 1, 500 plus yard seasons.

 

RECEIVERS THAT STILL DESERVE A LOOK:

Chad Johnson

Rod Smith

Gary Clark

Harold Carmichael

Henry Ellard

Otis Taylor

Wes Welker

Larry Fitzgerald will be a first ballot guy when he’s done. Guys like Antonio Brown can think ahead to how the yellow jacket may fit them. The game will continue to be full of volume passing totals. More receivers are getting in this long line to be recognized. Who else deserves to be on my list?

 

 

ELI MANNING IS A WEIRD LEVEL OF GREATNESS

Jay C. Brandriet

11/30/17

The New York Giants (2-9) have benched Eli Manning for the rest of the year to look at younger players. This has caused quite a stir, and a reason for everyone to judge Manning’s career.  As a Dallas Cowboys fan, my job is to “hate” Eli. I truly have thought of his interceptions to put myself to sleep a few times. I can picture each pick, like cute little sheep.

Eli did not have the talent of division rivals McNabb or Romo. Those guys want Manning’s trophy case.

 

From a family of football royalty, it comes across like Eli has always been fighting through shadows. He doesn’t have the skills his father had. The only time he has ever been better at football than his brother Peyton, is right now.

Who has ever thought of him as top three QB at any point? Top five? Bueller? This guy is very hard to rank among the best that ever played.

Manning has three seasons of disgusting interception totals (20, 25, and 27).  He would turn the ball over and have this mopey expression that would annoy Giants fans to no end. I can see him unsnapping his chin strap to a chorus of New York boo birds as he walked to the sideline. Tiki Barber said he would follow a young Manning off the field yelling “posture matters”!

Eli is very good. He is tough, durable, smart, and above all clutch. Some will claim “Eli threw a couple lucky passes to win his two Super Bowls.” That’s garbage!

In the 2007 post season, he beat a Cowboys squad with 13 Pro Bowlers on the road. Number ten then out clutched Brett Favre in extreme temperature in Green Bay.

Manning then played a huge role in the biggest NFL upset of my lifetime. That Patriots team came in 18-0, and WOULD HAVE been considered the best single season team of all time.

Eli won a second ring and Super Bowl MVP a few years later. Let’s not under do that his teams beat Bill Belichick and Tom Brady TWICE when it mattered most.

This guy is a class act. He  will end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday. First ballot? Probably not…Eli Manning a weird level of greatness.