|The Human Beinz - Nobody But Me|
Last year at this time we were 5-6 and in the middle of a disappointing holiday season. In 2008 we had the same exact record that we currently have and went on to win the AFC East.
No, I'm not suggesting the AFC East is obtainable because that's just not realistic. The reason it's not realistic is why many feel this team isn't up to standard. It's because of the great seasons that the Pats and Jest are having. We're a product of our environment and this is a tough division with two other teams that have had some things fall there way.
I'm certainly not satisfied but I am positive that this team is headed in the right direction. We've once again been ravaged by injuries. If not for that I wouldn't still be as confident in this team. The difference between this year and the past two is that we've matched the 2008 record with many more injuries and we've improved our record from 2009 with a similar amount of injuries.
Unfortunately we're directly attached to the other teams in our division so their success means our indirect failure even if we're taking the steps that many aren't recognizing. This team needs to be judged on it's own and not in comparison to our division rivals.
Our leadership has managed to replenish this team with young talent at every position and now they're developing that talent. Most have taken steps forward and shown progress. It would be foolish to discard this progress just because the Pats and Jest have three less loses than us so far. At lots of positions both of those teams have players many years older than ours which is working for them now but it only means that soon our young talent will mature into the dominant force in this division. It's a matter of us maturing faster or their veterans deteriorating faster.
They built this team without taking shortcuts which I can't say for the other two teams. The Pats have consistently pissed off their veterans with the most recent case being Logan Mankins. They trade their veterans for picks and show the rest of the team that there isn't much loyalty there. Belichick's "team first" mentality used to work when the players thought they were in a partnership. That's not the case anymore.
On the other side the Jest have consistently traded picks for players and I'll admit that some have worked out for them in the short term. The problem is keeping these players they've invested picks in. Many are in the final year of their contract and the Jest won't be able to keep them all. Furthermore they have aging veterans that will likely exit their organization very soon.
We on the other hand have paid players accordingly and not mortgaged the future for the sake of today. Our players that are in the middle of their rookie deals know that they'll get paid if they excel, just ask Davone Bess or many others. We're not in a position that any one player can walk in the offseason and cause a hole that can't be filled. That can't be said for the other teams dealing with players that want to get paid or older guys that are finishing on their own terms.
Money has been spent wisely for the most part and the youth on this team is glaring. It's obvious to me that we're headed in the right direction as long as I judge this team alone and not in comparison to an aging Jest team that has risked the future for today and a Pats team with a great QB as well as many veteran players.
Rarely does a team take short cuts and finish with anything at the end of the year. It doesn't work like that and we haven't taken any short cuts. They built this team by the book and I can only hope they continue to do that because it's the right way to do it. We've already waited so just have some patience and let the flower bloom because the stem is already popping our of the ground. Those two flowers next to us already have petals falling off no matter how nice they look now.