Thursday, March 12, 2015

Random Thoughts (March 12, 2015)

Wow, you take a month off to rest and relax after Malcolm Butler sealed the fourth Super Bowl title of the Brady-Belichick era and you end up missing a few things.  I guess it's time to catch up.


Under the premise of first things first, let's discuss Darrelle Revis' departure for the Jets.

Revis is many things.  An All-Pro cornerback, a shrewd negotiator, and a passionate believer in the New York Jets.

The Patriots lost Revis to the Jets on Tuesday after their divisional rivals ponied up $39-million in guaranteed money.  While the Patriots certainly would have welcomed Revis back - his addition in 2014 provided Belichick with a shut down corner that helped lead the team to its first championship since 2004 - the money was too rich for their blood so they passed.

This move has led to an outcry among Patriots fans who, if sports radio is to be believed, connect the loss of Revis to the expected end of dominance for the Pats.

For those that believe a 3-13 season is on the brink with Revis back wearing green, it's time to pump the breaks.  The Patriots last losing season occurred when Bill Clinton was President, Belichick will figure this thing out.

While the loss of Revis should not be over looked, his return in no way guaranteed another championship and the financial constraints would have possibly prevented the team from adding players to bolster the roster or from offering contract extensions to young stars like Dont'a Hightower or Jamie Collins who will likely be the future leaders of the team as Brady's career winds to its end.

Also, it sounds like Revis wanted the Jets no matter what and the Patriots were aware of that. Sometimes the possibility of multiple championships and a winning environment cannot trump the allure of playing for a team that has not won a championship since Lyndon Johnson was President.

It's time to move on and watch Belichick build yet another team that will win 12 or 13 games on the way to the division title and will have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.


Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, and Joe Kelly will emerge as top of the rotation starting pitchers and the Red Sox offense will score runs in bunches as the team completes the rare "worst-to-first-to-worst-to-first" achievement and they will face off with the Nationals in a phenomenal World Series that will be decided in extra innings of Game 7.


The Red Sox pitching staff will cycle through 17 different starters due to injuries and ineffectiveness and injuries will sideline David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, and Mike Napoli for long stretches of time as they limp to a last place finish and the search for a new manager when John Farrell is let go in August.


As you can tell, I'm not sure how the 2015 season will play out for the Red Sox.


The Bruins are showing signs of life in their chase for an Eastern Conference playoff spot but I'm worried that a potentially short playoff run is being emphasized over the development of some of the better young players.

This Bruins team is not a Stanley Cup contender.  With Zdeno Chara less than a week away from turning 38 and contract decisions on several players - including Dougie Hamilton and Carl Soderberg - looming, this is a franchise that has to accept that it is in transition.

This is the time to put young talent such as David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, and Brian Ferlin in critical spots of important games to provide them with valuable experience. If this team was legitimately chasing a Stanley Cup I would be more cautious but this situation lends itself to development and the opportunity to provide experience in a playoff chase should be seized.


Brad Stevens, NBA Coach of the Year.

Stevens has a team filled with inexperience and lacking for talent yet has them on the verge of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  I know that the East is a weak compared to the mighty Western Conference but that should not be used against Stevens considering what he has already accomplished through 63 games.

The Celtics were not built to be a playoff team in 2015 and expectations were this would be another building year.  Danny Ainge has accumulated a stockpile of draft picks and young players and the franchise's vision seemed to be set on the future.

What Stevens has done is take a young team that has constantly been changing and created a team that competes and is learning how to win.  Not many coaches in the NBA coaches could have achieved what Stevens has with the hand he has been dealt.

Now, will a coach with a sub-.500 record take home the Red Auerbach award?  Doubtful.  But Celtics fans should be optimistic that they have a coach in place who has what it takes to succeed. Ainge just needs to put the necessary talent on the roster to take advantage of Stevens' abilities.


NFL Mock Draft season will be kicking off in the space soon.  Yeah, I can tell you're excited.


Finally, best of luck to Brian Fontas' Acton-Boxboro Girls Hockey team and Kristen McDonnell's Braintree Girls Basketball team in their quest to win Massachusetts Division One State Championships this weekend.

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