Sunday Night Wrap Up – Lucky Us.

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Reminders, Dedication, and Sacrifice
Did you catch Andrea Kremer’s report about Tom Brady’s “Reminders Meeting” for receivers and cornerbacks? That’s the meeting he called after their regular (bye-week) workouts. After the team meetings called by coordinators, after the interviews with Madden and Michaels, etc. (and I don’t even know what the “etc” is.)

Brady had watched film on the Bills’ first nine games, analyzed 200 plays, and developed a briefing for his receivers about the Bills’ defensive schemes, any weaknesses he’d found. Having done all that work himself, he wanted to give them this advantage. Deliver this gift. All they had to do was come to one more meeting, pick up their “reminders”. Use the info, just do their jobs.

Dedication to perfecting your game and the team’s. Just part of the deal when you sign up with the Patriots. It’s why Randy Moss showed up the first day of the voluntary pre-season workouts. It’s why he always credits the coach, the team for their success. It’s why he’s earned respect for his work ethic and leadership. Moss took a huge pay cut for the opportunity to come to NE.

Dedication and sacrifice. It’s why Brady will “forego” salary to make deals for players when the team is $80 mill. under the salary cap. And he just happened to walk by Adalius Thomas’ restaurant table the night Thomas was in town to talk to Belichick. Coincidence?

People Often Miss Luck Because it’s Disguised as Hard Work.
It’s easy for some folks to overlook the work behind success. It’s not just a lucky coincidence when Asante Samuel is in the right place, at the right time, to make an interception or break up a play. It’s because he knows his opponent that well. (As a High School Junior, Samuel played quarterback, with 1000 yards passing, 500 yards rushing; as a Senior he played defense and held the record for passes deflected, racking up 4 INTs and 75 tackles. A one-man team.)

It’s not just luck that brought us Adalius Thomas – one of only a few players ever to play 5 different positions in one game. He’s done it three times. These are the kind of players Belichick and co. love. Smart enough to know all the schemes, talented enough to execute them, willing to do whatever the team needs them to do. Even if it means foregoing personal records, giving up bonuses attached to them, or going to extra meetings and workouts to learn additional positions and plays. They’re dedicated and willing to sacrifice to be on a team this good.

Each adjustment Brady makes when he reads the defense, must be carried out to a man, real-time. Ever notice how they can do this, even in a no-huddle situation? Think about the level of confidence in their preparation and their ability to execute that this demonstrates.

Humble Pie? You bet.
Tonight’s game was not perfect. Some teams would relax and revel in a stomping like this. We missed sacks and tackles, dropped balls. A better team would have capitalized on these. (When Kremer interviewed Moss and Brady – above – Moss was shaking his head thinking about the humble pie he was about to be served.) Every guy interviewed pre- or post-game talks about “getting better, eliminating mistakes, preparation.”

As Yogi Berra said about baseball “90% of it is physical, the other half is mental.” We’re healthy, we’re whole. We just scored another touchdown (capping a drive begun with 2:49 left in the half). Even though we lead by 28 points, and Buffalo has the ball with only 04 seconds left, we burn our last timeout.

Not because the defense was confused or worried about the Bills taking the lead back. We had a timeout to burn. Doesn’t carry over to the second half. One more thing to think about in the locker room, J.P. We manage the clock that well. At first, I thought “Wow, they’re just being dicks now…” then I realized it’s only part of the strategy. Do not allow your opponent a shred of hope that they found a weakness you’ve overlooked.

I”ll bet that Brady knew the intentional grounding rule and exactly how he could argue it – and be correct – if he needed that out. He probably knows the rule book as well as any ref on the field. I’ll bet it was no accident that Moss got 4 TDs in the first half, same day that T.O. had 4 TDs in the Dallas game. Moss may not break records with the Pats, in part because we use everyone but the mascot as a receiver at some point in each game. If he misses individual records, at least it won’t be because the Owner made him “Captain” then refused any play-calling that included a throw to him. But Moss is happy. He can taste that ring. He feels lucky to be here, and he is. We’re lucky to have him, too.

And we’re lucky to have every other guy on the team, too.

But we’re not only lucky, we’re also very, very prepared. And very, very good.

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~ by jacqueline1230 on November 20, 2007.

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