Friday, December 11, 2009

Take Off The Hat Tom and LEAD

This week Adalius Thomas, having been disciplined for the second time by Bill Belichick, retorted:
“Motivation is for kindergartners,’’ Thomas said, echoing what he said the last time he was punished (Thomas was inactive for the snow game against the Titans). “I’m not a kindergartner. Sending somebody home, that’s like, ‘You’re expelled until you come back and make good grades.’ Get that [expletive] out of here. It’s ridiculous.’’
One of the other players to arrive late? Randy Moss. There is no question the guy is a talent and last year he rose to the occassion. But if you saw five minutes of that Miami game and New Orleans game it is fairly obvious that he decides to pack it in when he chooses.

I expected this team to win the AFC East with 12 wins and lose in the Divisional Round. They won't get 12 wins, but it is more than likely that they will now lose to Indy in Round 2. I'm not surprised by what they accomplish this year since Belichick made it obvious in August (and I wrote) that this was a rebuilding year. That is OK and fans should be OK with it too.

What I hate to see is the fact that the locker room is apparently falling apart just a bit and rather than seeing quotes from Tom Brady demanding accountability, we get this:Perhaps the new cap for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays? Um, no...If you can't see it, the logo is his initials, "TB", but also his number "12". Just check out his new website. The last time I was so appalled by a cap the great Ted Williams was wearing it during the 1999 All-Star Game. Perhaps I'm over exaggerating because of my frustration about this team, but there is an issue in the Patriots locker room and it is because it is devoid of true leaders.

Tom Brady is an amazing player and this is NOT some Dan Shaugnessey recreation of history. The guy has done more for one organization than perhaps any football player in history. But this past week I saw his chiseled jaw on three magazine covers...the week after an embarrassing loss to Miami. The same week four players were kicked out of practice for arriving late (including the aforementioned Thomas). I don't blame the guy for being a cover model or pimping his personal brand, but I'd like to see him begin to lead this team off the field.

However, I have not seen or heard about him taking his teammates to task. Perhaps it is all happening ultra privately? I find that hard to believe as we heard constantly about how Ted Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour and Troy Brown would take on leadership roles in the locker room.

But I wonder if Tom Brady has what it takes to succeed in what may be his largest challenge to date?


Aaron_Strout said...

Kyle - good points. I was thinking a similar thing this week when I saw Tom B on the covers of several different magazines. While I'm not 100% Tom isn't still leading, it does feel like there needs to be some additional senior leadership in the locker room (it's obviously not coming from some of the more senior guys like Adalius Thomas and Randy Moss). This is one of the downsides of losing guys like Rodney Harrison, Teddy Bruschi and Dick Seymour.

I think the greater issue is that Belichick is trying to do too much by himself. To that end, I think he should bring back someone like a Charlie Weis to help him spread out the sr. responsibilities a bit and play a little "good cop" to Belichick's "bad cop" in the locker room.

rakeback said...

The minute that Billy B sent away his defensive leadership, he doomed his team for the season. The players may have been on the downside of their careers, but obviously they meant more to the team than Bill realized.

KFFBOS said...

You guys are both right. I'm not completely down on Brady, I still love him as a player, I just don't think he is a leader in the locker room. Neither is Big Ben or the Manning brothers, but they have other guys that do that for them off the field.