Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Darrelle Revis to the Patriots: The hype is bigger than the reality

How about those graphic design skills?
It didn't really bother me when New England lost Aqib Talib to the Broncos yesterday, and I am similarly unexcited by their signing of Darrelle Revis today.  I'm not going to pretend to understand the inner workings of the NFL's salary cap, but it appears that at $12 million for next season Revis will be the second highest paid Patriot after Tom Brady.  That seems like an awful lot to spend on a cornerback, and isn't it a little weird that it's only a one-year deal?

As much as everybody loves football, I just can't get too hyped up about this free-agency period.  I guess I don't believe it really has that great of an impact on the overall balance of power in the league.  Unlike in the NBA, and to a lesser extend MLB, a single player doesn't usually have much of an effect on where an NFL team finishes in the standings (unless it's a Hall of Fame quarterback like Brady or Peyton Manning).

For example, Wes Welker was an integral part of the Pats offense for years.  But then he left for Denver, and both teams were still exactly as good as they were the year before.  New England basically just replaced Welker with Julian Edelman.  In the other major sports player talent is far and away the biggest indicator of success, but in football that's not the case.  Coaching has an enormous role (and for this argument I consider exceptional QB play as part of coaching; it's quality decision making from a team leader), especially on defense.

There are a lot of NFL games where whoever draws up the best plays and defensive schemes wins, regardless of whether Aqib Talib, Darrelle Revis, or "Johnny unknown guy who will step up for the Patriots next season" is in the backfield.


Even though it goes against my premise, I enjoyed this picture too much not to add it.

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