The Patriots made some unexpected and downright questionable cuts Friday afternoon. Deion Branch, Brian Hoyer, and James Ihedigbo were all released, ensuing thousands of Patriots fans to scratch their heads.
The Ihedigbo cut isn’t as surprising, seeing as how Patrick Chung and Stephen Gregory have proven to be starters this season and the Pats have two rookie safeties they’d like to develop and possibly use in some zone coverages, especially 2nd round pick Tavon Wilson. (Ihedigbo is also my least favorite player, and that’s saying a lot from a Umass Amherst student).
The Branch and Hoyer cuts are much more surprising, seeing as how Branch was lined up to be the number 3 receiver and Hoyer was in line to be the backup quarterback. Of course, in Bill I trust, so let’s try to get in the mind of Belicheck.
The release of Branch creates a huge opportunity for Aaron Hernandez to step in and play a lot split out wide. Hernandez could be looking at an absolutely huge season, playing wr and te at all times.
It seems as though Belicheck has his quarterback of the future. Mallet has played a good amount this preseason, and although his reads have been slow, he has looked poised in the pocket at times. I thought we could maybe move Hoyer for a late draft pick, but it seems as though there was no value out there for Hoyer.
Regardless if you think these cuts make sense, like I said, in Bill I trust, or rather, in Bill We Trust -Pats fans.
With all issues in the Red Sox clubhouse this season and all the losing on the field, it was time to go back to a time when the Red Sox finally turned the corner as a franchise. At their seemingly darkest hour, a group of idiots came back from a three games to none deficit in the ALCS against their hated rivals to win the next eight games and their first World Series in eighty-six years.
This is why MLB productions make these DVD’s, so losers like myself can go back and watch these games and relive some of our finest memories. Sure, I know the ending but as with most things in life, the journey matters just as much as the destination.
This is the story of that journey.
Pre-game- It’s the MLB playoffs on Fox so naturally, our buddies Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are calling this game. I’m just waiting for the first awkward silence when Tim McCarver says something dumb and Joe Buck doesn’t know how to respond. It’s how they typically work.
:02- Joe Buck reminds us that Lowe was sent to the bullpen before the playoffs began. It makes what is to come from him this postseason just a little bit crazier. He was really at the tipping point of his career. A third voice pops up and it isn’t Ken Rosenthal. I’m confused. Who else could it be?
:04- Gary Sheffield was batting .692 before he flew out the Nixon to end the first. I forgot how terrifying the middle of the Yankees order was in this series. Weren’t they hitting like a combined .500 or something? No wonder we lost three straight games.
:06- In a related note, Damon was batting .077 as the lead-off hitter. I don’t know much, but I do know that’s not good.
:09- Joe Buck first mentions the weather and calls it “Low 40′s”. From experience, I can tell you that it was a hell of a lot colder than that. People were buying hot chocolate and coffee in bulk.
:11- Whoever this other guy is in the booth is, he rarely speaks but when he does it’s usually better than anything that McCarver could come up with. He mentions how Manny and Ortiz have zero RBI at this point because Damon and Bellhorn, the one and two hitters, have sucked. It may sound obvious, but it’s something McCarver would never say.
:14- Ortiz walks and Fenway breaks into a celebration that makes it sound like the ninth inning. Really, this was playoff baseball at its finest. Every good thing was met with applause while everything poor was closer and closer to the end of the season. I love it. In other news, our mysterious third man is Al Leiter.
:17- Varitek strands two in the first. No runs were scored, but the first inning took 20 minutes. Red Sox v. Yankees everyone!
:20- Sheff was hitting .692. The next guy up, Hideki Matsui was batting .600 in the ALCS. It’s a real wonder that we got anyone out or even won a game. He promptly doubles. Then Bernie Williams, was batting .400 comes to the plate.
:22- Shot of Terry Francona sitting in the clubhouse. I was a little surprised because I was expecting him to be up on his little top of the dugout seat but I guess they didn’t build it yet.
:24- Caberera guns down Matsui at home to keep the game tied. The Fenway Faithful respond with thunderous applause. Remember when little plays were met with cheers because the fans cared? This was only eight years ago. Read the remainder of this entry »
Like this pass, Jabar Gaffney was dropped by the Patriots on Monday
The Patriots cut five players on Monday, including veteran wide receivers Jabar Gaffney and Donte’ Stallworth. Stallworth doesn’t come as a surprise since he had been fighting with Deion Branch for the supposed 4th wide receiver spot, and early reports were that Branch was winning that battle. That 4th wide receiver spot became the 3rd wide receiver spot for Branch when Gaffney was also cut.
The Gaffney release was a little more shocking, seeing as how Gaffney had a great season last year in Washington and there were no early reports that Gaffney was in danger of getting cut. He hasn’t made much news in camp and in the preseason, however, and has also been injured with a thigh injury. The Patriots might have decided to cut their losses with Gaffney and move on.
These two cuts mean that Branch will see more significant time on the field than most thought. It does make sense that the Patriots would put a lot of trust in the former Super Bowl MVP, seeing as how he has been in the Patriots system for quite a while and still has great chemistry with Tom Brady. The 33 year old veteran will be behind Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker on the depth chart, but we can’t forget newly extended, versatile Patriot Aaron Hernandez is sure to see some time split out wide as well.
The Patriots also cut defensive lineman Gerrard Warren, as well as defensive lineman Tim Bulman and cornerback Ross Ventrone. With these cuts we are able to see a little more of what the Patriots final roster will look like. I don’t know about you, but I sure am getting excited.