BY CHUCK CONSTANTINO, Couchshideshow.com writer
As a fan of the New England Patriots, I was heart broken at the conclusion of Sunday’s nailbiting Superbowl.
Fast forward a day later, and just like every NFL fan who is not a New York Giants fan, my mind is on what lies ahead for my team. New England, led by mastermind head coach Bill Belichick and wonder boy Tom Brady, have many holes on this team, as the G-men showed. This loss is sure to sting and last until week one of next season.
But all is not bad in Foxboro, here are a few things Belichick and company have to look toward.
• Free Agency: The Patriots are a team which builds through the draft, but after this season, with all the expiring contracts up, Belichick will have to look to free agency for some upgrades. Wide outs Wes Welker and Deion Branch, running backs Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and pass rushers Shaun Ellis, Rob Ninkovich, Mark Anderson and Andre Carter will all be free agents. Also, they’ll have to replace incumbent centers Dan Koppen and Dan Connolly. Though the Patriots haven’t shelled out good money for a free agent since the signing of defensive linemen/outside linebacker Adailius Thomas, addressing the defensive line, defensive backs and wide receivers needs to be a top priority. The Pats could take a look a wide outs DeSean Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon and Vincent Jackson. I doubt they actually sign any of them, but they need to be talking with their agents.
BY DEREK BARSNESS, couchsideshow.com writer
As a once longtime Denver Bronco fan, my love for the team dwindled during the past few years.
Maybe it was going from the glory days of Elway to Brian Griese or Jake “The Snake” Plummer that was the catalyst for the loss in passion. Then again, maybe it was just a spark in interest in fantasy football, a hobby that can cause any diehard fan to abandon their own team without remorse. Call me a fair weather fan, but without Elway, the Broncos just aren’t interesting.
While the Broncos didn’t completely fall off the map, the team was never built for deep runs into the playoffs. After an ugly loss in the 2005 AFC Championship, everyone knew Plummer wasn’t the answer, but a young gunslinger from Vanderbilt, Jay Cuter, was thought to be the perfect fit. Garnering praise from scouts and many fans as the next Elway himself, Denver drafted “Baby Face” Cutler with the 11th pick in the 2006 draft. Sure he wouldn’t be able to run the naked boot as good as Plummer, but the arm strength was a fair trade in qualities. After Cutler nabbed the starting spot late in his rookie season, fans were practically booking flights and hotels to Super Bowl destinations for the upcoming seasons.