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Put up Christmas decorations today and like many people I have breakable pieces wrapped in newspaper (that stuff before the internet). I happened across an intact section of the Herald from October 29, 2000 and it struck me how far the Pats have come.
Kevin Mannix (the original Belichick hater) gave out grades during the Pats bye week (2-6 at the time). Needless to say, it was pretty harsh:
Coaching = D
QB = B...he always liked Bledsoe
RB = C
WR = D
OL = D-
DL = C
LB = C-
DB = D
ST = B-
Interesting that about 15 of these players (including an afterthought 4th string rookie QB) would form the core of the championship teams starting less than a year later.
Lots of fun memories though. JR Redmond giving no indication he would come up huge in a Super Bowl. Shockmain Davis leveraging a cool first name to stay on the roster. Eric Bjornson and Rod Rutledge pretending to be TEs. Andy Katzenmoyer looking forward to a long career. Vinatieri missing chip-shot FGs to lose games. Good times...good times.
As a side benefit, in this particular section you could also read about the XFL draft and the construction progress of CMGI Field (CMGI stock price in 2000...$163. Stock price when CMGI Field opened... < $1).
So as we face a weekend with no Pats game, just remember that 10 years ago the Pats also played on Thanksgiving and got shellacked by the Lions. Sitting at 3-9 and spending December waiting for Rick Pitino to be fired, watching Tim Hasselbeck lead BC to mediocrity and counting the days until pitchers and catchers reported.
Suddenly the Pats 3rd down defense doesn't seem so bad...
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Being a former student who had history as my major, I love history. This thread brought back some amazing memories. Shockmain, with a name like that, he should have been a Sportscenter mainstay. I actually thought Rutledge was gonna be a good TE. Was a huge JR Redmond fan, thought he was gonna be a stud. Was a huge Bledsoe fan, who knew our 4th string QB would become the GOAT. Was thrilled when the Pats got Katzenmoyer, thought he was gonna become what Brian Urlacher became. Great memories, thanks for a look back at Belichick/Brady's first seasons with the Pats. If you watched the Pats/Lions game on Thursday, they showed Brady's first ever NFL completion, to one, Rod Rutledge. See I knew Rutledge would be a stud, lol.
Lots of fun memories though. JR Redmond giving no indication he would come up huge in a Super Bowl. Shockmain Davis leveraging a cool first name to stay on the roster. Eric Bjornson and Rod Rutledge pretending to be TEs. Andy Katzenmoyer looking forward to a long career. Vinatieri missing chip-shot FGs to lose games. Good times...good times..
I think most of us have forgotten that awful spell Vinatieri went through. I have vague memories of a terrible miss vs the Chiefs. For a while there his greatest claim to fame was catching herschel Walker from behind; of course 2001 changed all that.
"If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us, to shake us from ... the values that make us who we are, as Americans -- well, it should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it. Not here in Boston. Not here in Boston."
—President Barack Obama, April 18, 2013
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I have blessedly forgotten a lot of the years from 74-2000. At least, I try to keep certain things repressed. But, yeah, folks who weren't watching back then haven't a clue as to how fortunate we REALLY are these past 10 years.
I think most of us have forgotten that awful spell Vinatieri went through.
I remember thinking in SB36 that it would be just our luck that AV would pick that moment to regress and shank that game winner.
Put me down as someone who was excited about Katzenmoyer and Rutledge. Like most others, I liked Bledsoe and had a real sense of dread when he went down.
Amazing how things turn out, eh? Nice thread.
We get what we deserve.
------------------ “On a day when they could have had impact players David Terrell or Koren Robinson..they took Georgia defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who had 1 sacks last season in the pass-happy SEC and is too tall to play tackle at 6-6 and too slow to play defensive end. This genius move was followed by trading out of a spot where they could have gotten the last decent receiver in Robert Ferguson and settled for tackle Matt Light, who will not help any time soon.”