Sunday, September 11, 2016

Filling In

Shank's latest column attempts to create as much doubt as possible about Tom Brady's replacement for tonight's game (and the next three as well):
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Twenty-four-year-old Jimmy Garoppolo — who has never played a meaningful snap in the NFL —
Naturally, meaningful is undefined, as this suits Shank's agenda of creating doubt so he can shit on the Patriots tomorrow should they lose. Shank mentions Jimmy G. going 20 of 31 in 11 games, and all of that activity is deemed meaningless.
will stand behind center and in front of the nation Sunday night when the New England Patriots play the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. It will be the highest-rated television program of the weekend.
Pure speculation, but then again, this may be Shank's 'blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then' prediction he actually gets right.
Jimmy G is being asked to command the SS Belichick while Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of his generation, begins serving a four-game suspension for his ambiguous role in the interminable, litigious, and abjectly stupid drama known as Deflategate.
You remember Deflategate - the one that Shank actively cheered on and eventually called Tom Brady a cheater. Funny how Shank conveniently forgets that when he needs to.

Man Crush Alert, or just want you want to read when you go to the Sports section:
Other than the superficial observation that Garoppolo is perhaps the only American athlete even more handsome than Tom Brady (not that there's anything wrong with that - ed.), we know virtually nothing about Jimmy G.
Too bad there's really no way to research that sort of thing...
He played his college ball at Eastern Illinois (never to be confused with Alabama or Southern Cal) and has not started a regular-season game in two seasons with New England. He has been the clipboard holder and mopup man for Brady, completing 20 of 31 passes in 11 games.

The goofy-yet-intriguing situation is without parallel in the long and fabled history of New England sports.
You can skip the next several paragraphs, as Shank falls back on an unimaginative, tired and longstanding formula of comparing this situations to past situations with the Red Sox and Celtics. But it helps to complete the column, so...
This is different. Garoppolo is replacing a legendary champion . . . but just for four games. And we have no sample to suggest how Jimmy G will do against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans, and Bills.
Shank, aware or not, then goes on to give just that sort of sample:
Backup quarterback Matt Cassel stepped in for Brady in 2008 when QB 12 got his knee blown up in the first game of the season. Belichick made things simple for Cassel and the Pats won 11 games, but they did not make the playoffs. Cassel parlayed his tryout into a big contract with the Chiefs, while Brady came back better than ever in 2009.

We suspect the Hoodie will dumb it down for Jimmy G. The quarterback looked shaky against the Panthers in his final preseason game, but he has yet to play with the full complement of New England’s offense weapons, and he won’t have Rob Gronkowski on Sunday. Look for a lot of short passes, tosses to the tight ends, and a smashmouth running game. Nothing high-risk. No stretching the field. Let your defense win the game. This will be Game Management 101.
If Shank thinks this is what Belichick is going to do, bet on the exact opposite.
So the Patriots’ quarterback situation at this hour is fascinating in addition to being unprecedented. The Patriots are going to play four games with a new guy behind center. Fair or unfair, it’s going to constitute a referendum on who’s the most important figure in Foxborough. Jimmy G’s success or failure will fuel the age-old argument regarding who gets credit for New England’s dominant run. Is it Tom or is it Bill?
I wonder why Shank always has to make such situations strictly binary? Is it because he's stupid? Perhaps, but again, it doesn't exactly suit him to share credit between Brady and Belichick. He needs to assign credit to one and by definition, blame or discredit to the other. This is how his mind 'works', for lack of a better definition.
Brady has been to six Super Bowls and won four of them. Belichick has been his coach for every game of his career. As noted by former Globie Ron Borges, in seven-plus seasons without Brady as his quarterback, Belichick is 52-62 and has missed the playoffs six times. The Hoodie is 1-1 in playoff games without Brady.
See what I mean? Of course, that leaves this question unanswered - what is Belichick's record when you remove his tenure with the Cleveland Browns? Take it away, commenter Shsnatick:

Once and for all let's set the record straight regarding Bill Belchick's record without Tom Brady. The Browns had a record of 3-13 in 1990. They hired Bill Belichick. His record:
1991 6-10
1992 7-9
1993 7-9
1994 11-5 (beat Patriots in the playoffs)
1995 5-11 (after Art Modell gutted the team in preparation for move to (Bal)
2000 NE Patriots (house cleaning year)
The rest is history.
Belichick's record with the Browns: 36-44, so the record with the Patriots and without Brady is 16-18. Just a bit different, no? Once again, that doesn't support Shank's argument, so you won't see it. And if you have to rely on Ron Borges, a plagiarist, for your statistics, you're already halfway to losing that argument.

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