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Tribal Warfare
01-15-2009, 01:49 AM
A Look At Pioliís Record/Part 2 (http://www.bobgretz.com/chiefs-football/a-look-at-pioli%E2%80%99s-recordpart-2.html)
January 15, 2009 - Bob Gretz |

The Patriots with Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli driving the personnel wagon relied on the NFL Draft to build their championship teams and then filled holes on their rosters through trades and free agency.

Generally, they made these moves and got great value, like their best signing in free agency, linebacker Mike Vrabel. He came in 2001 as an unrestricted free agent out of Pittsburgh without much fanfare and without a mega-bucks contract. Vrabel is still playing for the Patriots defense and actually earned a trip to the Pro Bowl last year.

The Patriots first Super Bowl team was pushed forward by a big free agent class numbering 18 players going into the 2001 season, that was highlighted by Vrabel, Roman Phifer, WR David Patten, special teamer Larry Izzo and RB Antowain Smith.

That group paid off big dividends as many of t hose players played key roles in the teamís march to the Super Bowl. For the next three seasons, Smith was the teamís leading rusher with more than 2,700 combined yards.

Belichick and Pioli also had a long record of identifying players they want in the draft and then trading up to get them. The Patriots have been very active draft day dealers over the years, making at least one deal during every draft between 2001 and 2008. Sometimes they went up, other times they went down and accumulated choices.

In fact, through the nine drafts where Belichick and Pioli ran the operation, through trades or compensation picks for free agency signings, they finished with 16 more draft picks than they were granted with seven rounds in each draft.

FREE AGENTS

The Patriots have not really been a big player over the years in unrestricted free agency. Easily their best free agent acquisition was Vrabel who they signed after he had played four seasons with the Steelers. Vrabel became an immediate starter for the Patriots at linebacker and remained there for eight years. Heís also scored 10 touchdowns as a short-yardage, goal-line receiver. Vrabel made the Pro Bowl in 2007.

That 2001 Super Bowl team got contributions from UFAs like Vrabel, Izzo, Smith, Patten, FB Marc Edwards, QB Damon Huard, DE Anthony Pleasant and G Mike Copton.

Theyíve inked other UFAs through the years like TE Christian Fauria, LB Brian Cox, CB Tyrone Poole, NT Keith Traylor, RB Sammy Morris, LB Rosevelt Colvin, LB Adalius Thomas and TE Kyle Brady,

They filled other holes with veteran players who have been released for salary cap or age reasons by other teams. Players like SS Rodney Harrison, LB Junior Seau and WR Jabar Gaffney to name just a few.

TRADES

The Patriots made plenty of trades involving individual players during the nine seasons that Pioli was part of the equation. Here are the biggest ones:

* Sent WR Terry Glenn to Green Bay for a pair of fourth-round draft choices, one in 2002 and the other in 2003.
* Sent QB Drew Bledsoe to Buffalo for the Bills first-round choice in the 2003 NFL Draft. That choice was 14th in the round.
* Traded FS Tebucky Jones, who had been a starter in the Patriots defense, to New Orleans for third and seventh-round picks in 2003 and a fourth-round choice in 2004.
* Acquired NT Ted Washington from Chicago for a fourth-round choice in 2004.
* Acquired RB Corey Dillon from Cincinnati for second-round choice in the 2004 Draft.
* Obtained CB Duane Starks from Arizona for a third-round choice in the 2005 Draft and a swap of fifth-round picks.
* Traded WR Bethel Johnson to the Saints for DT Johnathan Sullivan.
* Obtained WR Doug Gabriel from the Raiders for a fifth-round choice in 2007.
* Traded WR Deion Branch to Seattle for a first-round choice in the Ď07 Draft. That became the 24th pick of the round.
* Acquired WR Wes Welker from the Dolphins for second and seventh-round choices in the Ď07 Draft.
* Acquired WR Randy Moss from the Raiders for a fourth-round choice in the Ď07 Draft.

There were other smaller trades along the way, including the Patriots dumping some players before they cut them or they reached free agency. For instance: Brad Gorin started 18 games over two seasons (2004-05) at right tackle. When Matt Light was lost for the season at left tackle in the 2005 season, rookie Nick Kaczur stepped in and started 11 games on the left side. When Light came back for the Ď06 season, Kaczur moved over to right tackle and that made Gorin expendable. The Patriots traded him to Arizona for a sixth-round pick in August.

When the Patriots saw a player they wanted in the draft, they were never afraid to trade up to make sure they got their man. In the 2001 Draft, they did that to get tackles Matt Light and Keyatta Jones. It was Daniel Graham and Rohan Davey in 2002 and just about every one of their choices in 2003 involved a trade up, as they went after Ty Warren, Eugene Wilson, Bethel Johnson and Asante Samuel.

Overall, itís quite apparent as you go down the Belichick-Pioli moves that there was a game plan to all of them. This duo knew what type of players they were looking for and were not going to overspend to get them, whether in money or trade conditions.

They also allowed players to leave when they felt contract issues were going to be a problem. Some like Lawyer Milloy (Atlanta), Ty Law (New York Jets) and Deion Branch (Seattle) are still playing in the league.

Ari Chi3fs
01-15-2009, 02:17 AM
they finished with 16 more draft picks than they were granted with seven rounds in each draft.


CHEATERS!!!!

kc rush
01-15-2009, 07:40 AM
Does Gretz get paid for this? He basically regurgitated some roster moves and said that Pioli and BB have done a good job. :spock: Thanks for the insight.

How about sharing some of Pioli's philosophy and how that may work with the Chiefs, how might it affect this roster, what free agents might be out there that could help this team?

Chiefnj2
01-15-2009, 08:24 AM
Does Gretz get paid for this? He basically regurgitated some roster moves and said that Pioli and BB have done a good job. :spock: Thanks for the insight.

How about sharing some of Pioli's philosophy and how that may work with the Chiefs, how might it affect this roster, what free agents might be out there that could help this team?

It's an article from his own website.

Pioli isn't saying shit about philosophy or what his plans are for the team so there is no point in Gretz or anyone else speculating on how it might affect the roster, etc.

Fat Elvis
01-15-2009, 08:34 AM
It is Blob Gretz's way of saying, "I'm so screwed without Carl."