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Bruschi shares comeback award with Steve Smith

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by kirjtc2, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. kirjtc2

    kirjtc2 Rookie

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    Yup. A guy suffers a stroke and still has to fight to be recognized for comeback player of the year. Sorry if this was already posted.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/football/nfl/01/05/comeback.player.ap/

    NEW YORK (AP) - Tedy Bruschi didn't get a chance to tackle Steve Smith when the Patriots played the Panthers in September. By mid-season, he'd made a remarkable comeback from a stroke and was starting for New England.

    Bruschi's return was as impressive as Smith's achievement of returning from a broken leg that cost the Carolina receiver nearly all of the 2004 season. On Thursday, they shared The Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year award.

    The Patriots' star linebacker and defensive leader made it back on Oct. 30 after originally expecting to sit out the entire schedule. By then, Smith was on his way to leading the NFL in most receiving categories. Both sparked their teams into the playoffs.

    "I'm a football player by trade. That's what I do," Bruschi said. "So I did everything I could to make myself a football player again."

    As did Smith.

    "I keep stressing that last year put everything in perspective," Smith said. "I felt like football was my whole life. When it was taken away from me, I felt the Lord was teaching me a lesson to not put all my eggs in one basket. ... That's why I am enjoying playing."

    Their teams surely enjoyed their contributions, which earned 18 votes each from a panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league. That easily outdistanced Washington quarterback Mark Brunell with six; Tennessee defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch with five; Detroit receiver Roy Williams, Tampa Bay receiver Joey Galloway and Minnesota receiver-kick returner Koren Robinson, each with one vote.

    Bruschi, 32, played nine games after recovering from the mild stroke suffered in February, days after playing in his first Pro Bowl and 10 days after helping the Patriots win their third Super Bowl in four years. He later had surgery to repair a small hole in his heart.

    He's preferred not to speak much about his comeback, in keeping with the closed-mouth approach of so many Patriots. But he gave some insight into his makeup when he returned Oct. 30 in a win over Buffalo.

    "I'm back to doing what I love," Bruschi said. "Sometimes, you've just got to pick yourself off the ground and get back to living your life. That's all I was trying to do."

    He missed the season finale against Miami with a calf injury, but has practised this week and is expected on the field for Saturday night's playoff game with Jacksonville.

    His teammates project the same kind of stellar effort in the post-season that Bruschi always has given in his decade of NFL play.

    "His instincts are still there and that's what separates him from other linebackers," linebacker Chad Brown said. "He's just got a great feel for what everyone on the defence is doing, how the offence is trying to attack him. And couple that with his great instincts and that's why he makes plays."

    Smith has many of the same attributes, and was a key playmaker in Carolina's run to the 2003 NFC championship before losing to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. After sitting out all but the opener in 2004, he was even more sensational this season.

    So much so that Smith tied for the most receptions in the league with 103 and led all receivers with 1,563 yards. He scored 13 touchdowns, and also ranked third in the NFC in punt return average (10.6 yards).

    "My best quality is my height," he said. "A lot of people think my height is a disadvantage: 'He's only 5-9, he's not capable of all of those things that they say that they ask of other receivers.' I feel I am."

    Clearly, he is correct.
  2. Warhorse

    Warhorse Rookie

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    I don't think Bruschi was disrespected for having to share the honor of Comeback player. He's only played in nine games while Steve Smith has played in every game after missing last year. Steve went on to lead the NFL in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in receiving. Bruschi only had 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble. I think Bruschi is lucky he got as many votes as he did. I know he helped his team when he came back from the stroke but I think Steve Smith did more for his team after missing almost all of last year.

    Bruschi has played in nine games, but was only his effective self in seven games.

    I am not disrespecting his comeback from the stroke. I am stating that the award should go to whoever helped their team the most after coming back. While Bruschi was a catalyst in those games he played, Steve Smith was a catalyst in 7 more games than Bruschi.
  3. Pat the Pats Fan

    Pat the Pats Fan Rookie

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    And for 2006 CBPOTY

    Rodney Harrison
  4. Alk

    Alk Rookie

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    Brees will be up for consideration too. Neither is guaranteed to even play in 06' IMO.
  5. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No, the award should go to the player who came back and was productive against the longest odds. Guys come back from broken legs almost daily in the NFL. No professional athlete had ever successfully returned to play a contact sport unless you count Rodeo. How quickly we forget....

    Leave is to the AP the screw up a no brainer. They just don't get it on these awards, just like MVP. There was talk early this season that Drew should get consideration if Dallas made the playoffs. I guess that would have been for coming back from suckitude, one hell of an affliction. Luckily he took himself out of the running by relapsing.
  6. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    i respect Smith but the comeback made by our Tedy Bruschi was something
    incredible

    for the 1000th time: wellcome back Tedy Bruschi # 54 !!!

    a true P a t r i o t !
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Colts' fans sour grapes aside (I know guys, Peyton's "comeback" fom his divisional round choke should be considered as an eligible medical recovery under APA and other psychological/emotional trauma guidelines, it's just not fair...sniff, snivel, sob!)...

    Congrats to Steve Smith and our most excellent Tedy Bruschi! :rocker:
  8. abejarano12

    abejarano12 Rookie

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    From the moment Tedy cameback I knew that he was going to be comback player of the year. I thinks him and Steve Smith sharing the award is great. Steve helpped his team and so did Tedy.

    However, I think Tedy should have been the sole cbpoy. He returned for a stroke. I've seen what stokes do to people and it's not good.

    Congrats to both Steve and Tedy.
  9. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    Although I think the unprecedented return of Tedy from a stroke qualifies him to stand alone as comeback player of the year, I am not going to quibble with sharing it. From what I've read, Steve Smith had a great year and is very deserving too.

    Congrats to both!
  10. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 Rookie

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    I looked up Steve Smith's stats, and he's listed at 5' 9", 185 lbs. He has such great leaping ability, I could have sworn he was 6' or taller. Great athlete.
  11. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot Rookie

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    This should have been a walk for Bruschi. Life threatening injury vs. broken ankle, leg, arm, whatever.

    I like Steve Smith and all, but this is a giant crock of BS. Borderline outrageous.
  12. Warhorse

    Warhorse Rookie

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    I guess we'll just have to chalk this up to the Patriots being disrespected again.

    Geez, I state that because Steve Smith played all year long and lead the NFL in receptions, yards from receptions and touchdowns from receptions, while Bruschi came back and played mediocre for two of the nine games that he played in, that I've got sour grapes. I know Tedy came back from a stroke. To me the severity of the ailment that a player came back from should only be a part of the determination of the award. While Tedy played decent, Steve garnered the #1 attention by a defense and still came back to lead all the significant categories in his field while helping his team all year long.

    Tedy played a little more than half the games Steve played in.

    What happens if you have two running backs, one rips his ACL, the other breaks his leg and both miss the previous year. Everyone knows that an ACL tear is a whole different matter than a broken leg. Let's say that the RB with the ACL tear plays in 14 games and has 1200 yards and 8 TDs, while the RB witht the broken leg comes back to win the rushing title with 1850 yards and 15 TDs. Me, personally, I would vote for the guy who came back from the broken leg because he did the absolute most while returning to play. That's just my opinion. I'm sorry I just can't jump on Bruschi's back and let him lead me to the promised land like some of you. I think what Tedy did was great. He deserves to come back and go out on his own terms instead of being pushed out by some medical condition.

    Sharing the award is probably the best solution, I guess. This way the player with the most severe condition and the player with the best return to play both get the award.
  13. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    Did you see the transformation of the Pats D after Bruschi got into game shape? The run D is better, getting pressure on the QB has increased three-fold and the DB's are playing where they are supposed to. He's the QB of the defense.

    But I say hey congrats to both players.
  14. Warhorse

    Warhorse Rookie

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    Yes I did see the transformation but that was not all due to Bruschi. I believe around the time Bruschi came back, that was also the time that the Patriots started getting players back healthy after the huge round of injuries.

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