What makes this 140-character throwaway interesting — whether conscious, subconscious, just came off wrong — is it’s so tinged with Bill Belichick mythos; the unfailing genius radiating from the New England Patriots organization and contagious to diction regarding them, even though that last Super Bowl win was like eight years ago.
The tweet from Breer on Wednesday, in regards to their interest in Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders and evaluation of the 2013 NFL draft: “As for the Patriots, they look at everything analytically, so this probably says something about their assessment of the draft class.”
Of course, Twitter wasn’t going to let this one go. Scott Kacsmar came in somewhat reserved at first, “Blah, you give them way too much credit,” before Rumford Johnny expounded “It says they’re not very good at assessing WR talent. History doesn’t lie.” Then @BanditDeW dropped hammer: “Ahh the always popular ‘The Pats see something 31 other teams don’t so these moves are genius’ narrative. Fun.”
Whether Breer realized his tweet about how the Pats looking “analytically” came off too gung-ho or he was merely taking the time to respond to criticism, he did so without addressing what caused the tweet’s backlash — with commenters coming in supporting both sides of this rather civil exchange. “Nah, not saying that,” Breer responded. “Just that it’s probably their assessment. Doesn’t mean it’s right.”
The Patriots made their fair share of brilliant drafts in the early aughts and it’s common knowledge they cooled off in the latter part of the past decade, but they have reloaded enough via draft since 2009 to hold Belichick and Co. in decent esteem in this area — that they’re not heading into latter-day Bill Parcells/Bill Polian territory. This regime has been no Trent Baalke, but has hit at linebacker, tight end and other spots enough to say they still got it.
But thanks to a resume that includes early-round selections Taylor Price, Brandon Tate, Chad Jackson and Bethel Johnson, when it comes to drafting wide receivers it’s safe to say they never had it.