Patriots players vocal, is Bellichick still in control?
Now it is the New England Patriots' turn to struggle. They aren't playing the way they were earlier in the season, and like the Redskins, it seems some of the players are pointing fingers and speaking to the media.
Coach Jim Zorn didn't do too much about his players' actions, the front office made the moves. However, this isn't Jim Zorn we are talking about, and Bill Belichick doesn't have any qualms about disciplining his players. For example, earlier this week several players, including Randy Moss and Adalius Thomas were late to a meeting. Coach Belichick didn't care if the late arrival was weather related, his meeting was for 8am and the players who weren't there on time were sent back home. This action led to Adalius Thomas commenting to the media that the punishment was more suitable to Kindergarteners.
This comment, on the heels of Tom Brady's comment after their one point loss to the Miami Dolphins last Sunday, that "Sometimes we fight, sometimes we don't fight very hard." has some wondering if Belichick has lost control of his team.
The media has been all over the Pats, analyzing, criticizing, opinionating, and dismantling the team. Of course, for the players and the team, it could just be frustration. The Patriots, after all, have been setting records, just not good ones.
For example, they have lost two games in a row, something not seen in three years, and they have lost three out of their last four games. A loss today to the Carolina Panthers would see them match a loss record from 2002, a year no Pats fan wants to even think about.
A win today could rejuvenate the team and reinforce the player synergy that has been missing. The Pats are the favorites today, by two touchdowns. Only time will tell if the team can put it all together and do what they do best, play football.
In any case, the team will do it without Thomas, who has been benched for the game. Playing without Clinton Portis, the Redskins' most vocal player seems to have worked, perhaps playing without Thomas will help the Pats. Let's hope so. After all, the best cure for dissension in the locker room has got to be winning. The Pats undoubtedly want to go to the post season, and the Super Bowl. What better inspiration could there be?