Monday, April 25, 2005

In Bill I Trust

When will local scribes ever learn to trust the greatest coach in NFL history - winner of three Super Bowls?

After completing the 2005 NFL draft, once again, Coach Belichick took a beating in the local press for drafting offensive guard/tackle, Logan Mankins out of Fresno State. Why? Because pigskin prognosticators had him going in the third round, but at least I know better.

As one football executive said to a local radio show here in Boston before the pick; "When the Patriots select number 32 in the first round you can be sure of two things. One, you've never heard of the guy and two, he'll be a huge contributor within 2 years." And that’s how I feel.

They needed depth on the front line with the departure of Joe Andruzzi, and Stephen Neal and Tom Ashworth entering the final year of their contracts. By drafting Mankins they picked up insurance on the line, a tenacious and "mean" lineman with great technique. And here’s the caveat: his college coach, Pat Hill, was Belichick’s line coach at Cleveland. It’s whom you know. And Belichick’s other college source, Coach Saban of LSU, is now running the Dolphins. I think it’s a win-win pick. Here’s Bill on his first selection, Logan Mankins: "He has played left tackle at Fresno. He played guard at the Senior Bowl. He definitely has some position flexibility. He is a smart guy that has been in a really good program. He has good fundamentals. He is a good technique player. He is pretty tough and that will give him some different options. We will see how it all works out for him." As for the other picks, they are all flexible athletes that Coach Belichick will give long looks too.

And, planning ahead to the 2006 draft, which is considered much deeper in talent than this year’s draft, Bill wheeled and dealed some of his picks this year and ended up accumulating 3 extra picks for next year. Again, when will people just go with what Coach Belichick does?

I don’t know about you, but three Super Bowls later, when Bill says this is the pick, then who am I to argue? In Bill I trust!


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