Friday, March 27, 2015

3 comments Despite His Having Four Super Bowl Rings, Dan Shaughnessy Still Thinks He's Smarter Than Bill Belichick

Dan Shaughnessy uses the phrase "The Patriot Way" in this column. I am betting he does this just to annoy people like me. Dan doesn't like that the Patriots refused to pick up the option for Darrelle Revis and then weren't able to sign him in free agency. He makes this clear through snark and discussing how the "system" is more important than the players, as if this strategy hasn't worked for the Patriots in the past. So despite the Patriots having just won a Super Bowl, Dan spends some time being snarky and suggesting he knows what is better for the Patriots then the incompetent Bill Belichick does. After all, it's been a whole couple of months and the Patriots still haven't won another Super Bowl. Dan thinks the Patriots may never win another Super Bowl now that they have allowed Revis to go to the Jets in free agency. Someone should do something about how Bill Belichick is wrecking the Patriots team.

The Patriots just lost their best defensive player. 

No, they re-signed Devin McCourty and Chandler Jones is still on the roster. Jerod Mayo is also coming back from injury, so it seems the Patriots still have quite a few guys who can be considered their best defensive player.

Greedy Darrelle is going to New York for a five-year, $70 million contract. He’s going to make $48 million over the first three years of his Jet contract. He’s now got $39 million in guaranteed money coming his way.

Yes, of course Darrelle Revis is greedy for maximizing his market value. We all know Dan Shaughnessy would NEVER take an opportunity to earn more income and maximize his value. Never. Ever. So fuck Darrelle Revis for trying to make as much money as possible during his career. This makes him greedy and not a good businessman.

The clever Patriots would not go for that. They reportedly stopped short at a guarantee of $35 million.

So, if the reports are true, this New England team, flush with cash, lost its best defensive player for $4 million.

The Patriots had around $14 million in cap space around the time that Revis was signed by the Jets. I'm not sure that would count as being flush with cap space. They couldn't afford to sign Revis to the contract that the Jets signed him to. Revis is earning $16 million during the 2015 season. It seemed pretty well-known, at least to me, that the Patriots couldn't keep both McCourty and Revis. Of course, when has Dan allowed reality to seep into his criticisms?

Naturally, you are all OK with this. You are Patriots fans. Your team just won a Super Bowl. You subscribe to a long-standing policy that your team will not pay stupid money for talent. Sure, the Patriots have the money, but that’s not the point.

No, it is the point. The point is that just because the Patriots have the money it doesn't mean they should spend that money.

The point is that players don’t matter. It is the system that matters. The system wins Super Bowls. The coach wins Super Bowls. The owner wins Super Bowls.

The quarterback wins Super Bowls too. At some point when this has been proven incorrect, then I would love for Dan Shaughnessy to point out when. The Patriots have shown they don't have to keep players who have hit free agency as long as they are able to find other players to serve as replacements. Dan is snarky about the system, but it works, so his snark is simply a sarcastic statement of fact.

Your team doesn’t do the foolish things that other teams do. And your team just won the Super Bowl. So who is going to question the Patriot way? Only a fool.

Or someone (namely, a sportswriter named "Dan Shaughnessy") who questions every move Boston-area teams make that don't match the conventional wisdom of what a team should do. Then when he is proven to be incorrect about his questioning of these moves, he simply moves on to the next issue he can gripe about sarcastically.

Clearly, the Jets are idiots. Again.

Maybe. Was the Jets' issue last year at the cornerback position? Partly, but that's a lot of money for a cornerback who the Jets already refused to pay just a few years ago. They may not be idiots, but it's a big investment in one player.

The Patriots rented Revis for one year and they got what they wanted. They won a Super Bowl. So line up and guzzle the Patriots Kool-Aid.

This is Dan's defense mechanism. He gets snarky and says something like, "Well, it worked for the Red Sox didn't it? So every move they make from now on will work, won't it?" in a desperate effort to lower the bar and move the goal posts, while distracting the reader from the fact Dan's upcoming criticism has no validity. No one is guzzling the Patriots Kool-Aid. They won a Super Bowl with Revis. Their plan worked.

Never mind that the Patriots could keep on winning Super Bowls and keep their best defensive player.

Could they though? Really think about that, Dan. Think hard. I'm not sure the Patriots could have kept Revis and McCourty.

It’s more important that they win at the negotiating table. It’s all about the value.

While being sarcastic in an effort to make the Patriots seem as though they are cheap, Dan is missing the point. It is important to win at the negotiating table. Good teams keep an eye on their salary cap situation for this year and 2-3 years down the road. It IS all about value. Losing at the negotiating table is how teams end up with millions in dead money which restricts their ability to make offseason moves that improve the team.

Dan just doesn't understand. Maybe the Patriots are cheap, but it works. Maybe Dan would have a point if it weren't for two small issues:

1. The Patriots' strategy of being cheap has paid off for almost 15 years now. They have been the most successful NFL franchise since 2001 using this strategy.

2. It is all about value at the bargaining table in order to sustain the long-term success of a team.

It’s about the value because the Patriots are not only the best team on the field. They are the smartest. They are the most clever. They are playing chess while the other dimwits are playing checkers.

And now Dan is trying to overstate the case in order to enter the Theater of the Absurd since his opinion in the real world has been proven to sound stupid.

Pity those foolish Steelers and Giants and Ravens and Broncos. And Jets. They do not know how to do business. The Patriots know how to win and they know how to do business.

But it's true. The Patriots do know how to do business. The results on the field support this point of view. The Steelers, Giants, Ravens and Broncos aren't foolish. It's not a zero-sum game like Dan is desperately trying to prove is true. The Patriots aren't smarter than every other team in the same way McDonald's isn't smarter than Wal-Mart, Target or Burger King. They are all successful, it's just they each have a different way of doing business. Target isn't stupid because Wal-Mart is smart. The same theory applies here. The Patriots have a good way of doing business that is proven to be successful. It doesn't mean other NFL teams don't have a good way of doing business themselves.

Everybody in this NFL-crazed nation knew the Patriots were never going to pay Revis $20 million for 2015, with a salary-cap hit of $25 million. But not everybody knew the Jets were going to lose their minds. That’s why they are the Jets.

So the Patriots should have given Revis the money the Jets gave Revis and this would have made the Patriots smart, but because the Jets gave Revis this money then they are losing their minds? I don't even understand the logic behind this comment.

They just added a great cornerback to their woeful, non-contending team. And the smarter-than-everybody Patriots no doubt believe they have a valid tampering claim against New York. It’s all there on tape. We heard Jets owner Woody Johnson gushing about Revis in December. Not cool.

Dan's basic point seem to be that he is going to talk sarcastically about how smart the Patriots are compared to the Jets, while seeming to truly believe the Patriots are smarter than the Jets...or something like that. Maybe not. Maybe the Patriots would have been smart to re-sign Revis, all while the Jets were dumb for re-signing Revis.

So now it’s time to fire up the Patriots media cartel. Time to demonize Revis.

You mean by calling him "greedy"? Or was that Dan making fun of Patriots fans for calling Revis greedy while not actually calling Revis greedy, unless Dan suddenly decides he does think Revis is greedy, in which case Dan was completely serious in calling him "Greedy Revis"?

Has anybody noticed that Revis only had two interceptions last year? Clearly, this guy is overrated. Right? And now we know for sure that he cares only about money. If he really cared about winning football, he would have stayed here for less. But no. Ultimately, Revis showed his true colors. He chose money over legacy. What a loser.

Dan is changing tone here almost as much as I change tone. It's difficult to keep up with. Clearly, he is being sarcastic right now about Revis being a loser. Most NFL players care only about money, it's just Revis is in a position to actually make more money.

If I may stray from the party line for a moment, there might be some legitimate questions here. If the Patriots were willing to make Devin McCourty the highest-paid safety (five years, $47.5 million), in football, why did they draw the line on Revis, who is better at corner than McCourty is at safety?

Perhaps, and this is a point that Dan seems to consistently miss, the Patriots could really not afford to keep both of them. McCourty was cheaper, and while not as talented as Revis, he allowed the Patriots to do something defensively that couldn't be replaced with another safety that was on the market or in the draft. Revis may be a better corner than McCourty is a safety, but it may be easier for the Patriots to replace the production of Revis than it is to replace McCourty's production. There are outside forces which are present and can move a player's value to his current team up or down.

And how are they going to take the hit of also losing Brandon Browner in the defensive backfield?

They may commit fewer defensive holding or pass interference penalties.

Revis changed everything in 2014. In the six seasons after the undefeated season of 2007, the Patriots were good, but never great; not even when they got back to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis against the Giants. They were always good enough to win the AFC East (like signing up for AOL), but they were not good enough to keep good offenses off the field when it mattered.

Oh, okay. Thanks for clearing up that the Patriots were good, but never great, when they went 72-24 over a six year span. The Patriots were 4-5 in the playoffs during that time and what happened again in the 7th year after the Patriots went undefeated? Oh yeah, they won the Super Bowl. I was always confused by whether the Patriots were good or great and always thought a 75% win rate in the regular season over six years was a pretty great record. It turns out that record is only good. I'm glad Dan Shaughnessy is here to point out the truths as his delusional mind sees them as it relates to a point he is looking to prove.

In 2014, Revis enabled the Patriots to play any kind of defense Belichick wanted. Revis routinely erased the best receiver on the other team. Calvin Johnson. A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton. Revis got more Pro Bowl votes than any corner in the NFL. More votes than flavor-of-the-year Richard Sherman.

Richard Sherman is still a pretty good cornerback. I will not allow myself to be distracted by Dan Shaughnessy's shot at Richard Sherman based on such an idiotic metric as Pro Bowl votes.

We know the Patriots don’t like to work with a gun at their heads. They like value. They don’t spend to the cap and they don’t like to overpay. Just because somebody else is willing to pay stupid money, why should New England?

It really is a good strategy if an NFL team can continue winning games while using this strategy. Why should the Patriots overpay for a player simply because another team chooses to use this strategy in order to acquire or keep a player? Because acquiring big name players and spending money is exciting and keeps the local beat writers with fresh stories they can write during free agency?

Ordinarily, this thinking works with the Patriots and their fans. It’s “In Bill We Trust.’’ Fans support the team when Wes Welker leaves and when Logan Mankins is traded. Usually, this blind loyalty is rewarded.

Most always this blind loyalty has been rewarded. As long as fans don't hold the Patriots to the absurd standard of "Have they won the Super Bowl every single season?" then the blind loyalty has been rewarded with nearly a decade-and-a-half of sustained success. I can't see in what world there should be criticism of how the Patriots deal with personnel. Regardless of how strong the AFC East has been, the Patriots have won four Super Bowls since 2001 and their strategy on how they value players has proven to work. It's not easy to be as good as the Patriots have been for as long of time as they have been good. Of course, Dan has no perspective and just assumes because the Patriots haven't won the Super Bowl 10 more times in the last 14 years, then a different strategy in valuing their personnel would have changed that. He sees the Patriots' way of thinking as the problem surrounding why the Patriots aren't MORE successful, as opposed to viewing this thinking as the reason the Patriots have been this successful. Dan sucks.

It seemed that Revis was different. He was the best player at a crucial position. He delivered a Super Bowl.

You would have thought he was a guy the Patriots could not afford to lose.

When an NFL team says, "We afford to lose this guy" because of that player's perceived value, then that is how teams often end up overpaying for players it turns out they could have afforded to lose, even if they didn't want to lose that player.

But there is no such player. It’s not about any one player. It’s about the system.

Which is a system, that like it or not, has been proven to work for the Patriots.

The Patriots usually win, and sometimes lose, but at the bargaining table the Patriot Way is the only way.

There is no real "Patriot Way," but the Patriots do have a philosophy that seems to work. Dan Shaughnessy, of course, thinks that HIS way is better than the Patriots' way of doing business. After all, the Patriots haven't won the Super Bowl 10 times in the past 14 years. That's quite the record of failure. Just imagine how successful the Patriots could have been if they had utilized the Shaughnessy Way of dealing with personnel. They may have created a dynasty over the last decade-and-a-half. 


Chris said...

In his effort to troll as hard as possible Dan is failing to see an inconsistency in his narrative. Revis is greedy for taking 70 million from the Jets(of course it's not like Revis held a gun to Todd Bowles head but that is a whole different story entirely), but I'm pretty sure that if the Pats offered 70 million plus to Revis then Dan would have a problem with it.

Eric C said...

A few years ago he said these things about Welker when he signed with Denver:

"The loss of Welker did something no other move has done: It gave Patriot toadies a moment of pause. This time, even the loyalists are acknowledging the arrogance and hubris of the Patriot operation."

"But it’ll be a national holiday for Patriot Haters if Welker wins a Super Bowl with Manning in Denver."


Bengoodfella said...

Chris, of course Dan wouldn't have an issue with Revis taking money from the Pats. His leaving the Pats for the team that drafted him means he's a money-hungry mercenary...a lot like other NFL players.

Eric, at least he can be a hilariously consistent troll at times. He wants the Pats to fail because it's easier to bash them then.