With the NFL season kicking off Wednesday night, it seemed like a fitting time to dish out some no-huddle thoughts on the Patriots as they prepare for their season opener Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, birthplace of Bill Belichick (wonder if he ever mixes some Jason Aldean in with Bon Jovi?)
Here are 10 observations, prognostications, and reservations about the 2012 Patriots while wondering what happens first
1. I think we’re at the point where we have to stop explaining away every head-scratching Patriots personnel move with a variation of the “Belichick Knows Best” trope.
Belichick is a brilliant football mind, and he gets more right than wrong on the personnel side. But after getting virtually nothing out of trades for Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco/Johnson last year and the recent miscalculations of varying degrees with Adalius Thomas, Joey Galloway, Shawn Springs, Fred Taylor, and Shaun Ellis to name a few, it’s not heresy to question a roster decision made by His Hoodiness. A lesser genius than Belichick, Albert Einstein, said it best: “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
2. I think this is the year that Aaron Hernandez steps out of Rob Gronkowski’s sizable shadow at tight end. Hernandez’s versatility is what makes the Patriots’ offense so difficult to defend. They can go hurry-up and switch formations without having to switch personnel because Hernandez can play any of the wide receiver spots, tight end, H-back, and even line up in the backfield. His 43-yard rush in the playoffs against Denver was the team’s longest run of the year. Plus, if Gronk thinks he got a lot of attention for his offseason antics, wait until he sees how defenses treat him this fall.
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