Monday, August 21, 2006

JUNIOR MINTS

Is Junior Seau the 2006 version of Bryan Cox ala 2001 in New England? Well, Chad Brown, Monty Beisel (or as he was referred to in the AP report I saw as Monte), Freddie Roach, and Tedy Bruschi are injured right now for the New England Patriots, so there at least is some concern about trotting out Barry Gardner, Larry Izzo, and the rest of the whodats at ILB in the near future. By week 3 or 4 this likely will not be an issue, but even if just for training camp, the Patriots needed to grab an ILB. I could not see a better fit out there than Junior.

Whether fully healthy or not, Junior and Rodney Harrison bring more than veteran leadership: they bring swagger. Swagger is something the Patriots defense lacked last year without Harrison. Willie Mac was a great OLB for many years, but he lost his swagger a long time ago (yes, the four sack game against Jacksonville in the playoffs last year was an aberration; he will total four sacks all season for Cleveland in 2006). Ty Law had swagger. He may have lost some skills, but he still brought the swagger.

That said, no one had more swagger than Bryan Cox. I hated that (12 letter expletive deleted). When he was with Miami and with the detested Jets I thought he was the biggest (7 letter expletive deleted) (another 7 letter expletive deleted). But I loved him in a Patriots uniform. Sure, he did not last the whole season, but Seau may not last either. But he does not have to. He has to get them through the first three or four games, that is all. Then Tedy & Monty can step in and step it up.

Who can fault Seau either? This is not the Jets he is joining. This is a favorite to play in and win the Super Bowl. Lest anyone forget, but the Patriots have the Best Quarterback (call me when you stop pulling an A-Rod in the post-season, Peyton), the Best Defensive Player (tell me who you would rather have than Richard Seymour? He plays multiple positions, does not whine about tying up offensive linemen to let others make tackles, and nor does he complain about playing within the system and sacrificing stats as he takes on double and triple-teams on a regular basis), and they have the Best Coach in the NFL (sit down Mike Shanahan!) What other team, outside of the Pittsburgh Steelers (who I detest, but admire with their Patriots-esque front office), is a lock to make a run at the Super Bowl? No one else, that is who else.

So welcome, Junior. Just be sure to bring that swagger.

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