On The Record
- ***** Purely from the *football* viewpoint, I'll state once more that I
believe that our SB winning HC/GM knows exactly what he's doing. I
believe the following to be the facts that led to the departure of
1. Milloy's greatest strengths were in his ability to play the run, and
his ability to pressure/sack the QB with safety blitzes.
2. His greatest weakness was in his ability to cover receivers.
3. His run stopping ability was critical to a team who's front 7 was
not highly effective in doing so. The addition of Ted Washington has
made our front 7 significantly more effective against the run, reducing
the importance of an outstanding run stopper at SS.
4. His pass pressuring ability was, likewise, critical to a team who's
front 7 was not highly effective in doing so. The additions of Rosey
Colvin (and, to a lesser degree, Ted Washington) have made our front 7
significantly more effective in providing consistent pass pressure,
reducing the need for frequent safety blitzes.
5. As a result of the noted changes in the effectiveness of our front
7, Milloy's value to the 2003 Patriots was not as great as it had been
in years when our front 7 was less effective. Additionally, his
weakness in pass defense would hurt more, since the responsibilities at
that position have now shifted more to that aspect of the game.
6. In the opinion of our SB winning HC/GM, his importance/value to the
team on the field was not relatively equal to the money he was due to
be paid under the terms of his current contract. In fact, I would
suggest to you that, while football always requires good play from all
11 positions, the *least* important of the 11 on defense is SS,
provided that the team has an effective front 7.
7. Since the salary cap made necessary by the economics of today's game
was negatively impacted by Milloy's contract, the Patriots proposed an
alternative multi-million dollar package which was, in their opinion,
more consistent with the player's relative value to the team.
8. Milloy felt that $3 million dollars was not enough money for him to
play SS for a team favored by many to make another trip to the SB. He
therefore declined their offer when they refused to show him the money.
***** My prediction remains that the Patriots will finish this season
11-5. I don't mininimize the importance of the leadership role that
Milloy provided for this team. However, I am certain that there are a
number of players on this team capable of stepping into that role, and
that it will happen. Yes, the players will mumble and groan for a
while, and, when they realize that their multi-million dollar futures
depend, not upon Lawyer Milloy, but upon their success as a team, one
or more of those leaders will step forward and drive them to put forth
their best effort on the field. That best effort, including the
aforementioned significant improvement in the front 7, combined with
the outstanding coaching ability of Bill Belichick and his staff, will
result in an outstanding season for the Patriots.
***** That's my very specific view of the *football* issues related to
this surprising, unfortunate, economically necessitated move. Were
money not an issue in the NFL, it certainly would not have been done.
As effective as I expect our defense to be without Milloy, it most
certainly would have been more effective with him. But every team in
this, and every professional sport in this country, must now be run
with a roughly equal combination of game specific, and economic
factors, involved in every player personnel decision. The teams that
remain contenders will be those that keep both sides of that equation
in view at all times.
***** The 2003 Patriots simply do not need Lawyer Milloy's particular
skill set as much as previous Patriot teams did. They can, and will,
succeed without him.
** N E Patriots ....
Last AFC World Champions! **