Clint's Corner Archive
Clint's Corner Archive
The source for back issues of Clint's Corner. Forget a trade? Were Clint's predictions correct? Here's every edition, verbatim.
It has been two weeks since my last column and I have finally thought of something good to say about the drafting of Christian Peter... at least it was news. Christian was recently sentenced to 10 days in jail, and ordered to pay $324 in fines for grabbing Janelle Mues, 21, by the throat in a bar following a football boosters banquet. The sentence is currently suspended, pending appeal.
As we continue pining away for Labor Day weekend in Miami, this corner of Patriot Nation is desperate for a news item to keep the hot stove league burning. Continuing to make this a weekly column during the offseason may be tough. Even Patriots Football Weekly comes out once a month in the offseason. I'll do my best.
The Man in the Middle
The only personnel move to mention is the re-signing of Inside Linebacker Andre Bowden. Bowden has seen very limited playing time since coming to the Pats from the Arena Football League as a Free Agent. His work ethic and what he has shown during practice has kept him on the roster, waiting for his chance to play. When Todd Collins retired prior to last season's training camp, Bowden was immediately penciled in as a starter, playing alongside Vincent Brown with the first unit during camp. Unfortunately for Andre, he was injured before the first pre-season game and was lost for the season. The coaches must see something in him, or they would not have resigned him coming off a severe injury.
With Brown no longer on the team, the ILB spot (just one now that the 4-3 will be in place) is up for grabs. Look for Bowden to contend with Ted Johnson and Monty Brown for the starting nod. Newcomer Teddi Bruschi may play inside on passing downs, and don't count out Mr. Irrelevant, who is back for his 3rd NFL season. Marty Moore has sure put a rest to that label. It's early, but I'm looking for Johnson to have a great sophomore season. He's my starter.
Keyshawn Johnson, the USC Wideout selected #1 overall by the Jets in last months draft, is looking to break the bank. This could be bad news for the Pats. Having never played a down in the NFL, Johnson recently rejected a 5-year deal worth in excess of $17 Million. Over $5 Million of that was up front as a signing bonus. He wants 10% more than Ki Jana Carter, last years #1 overall choice by the Bengals, due to inflation. 10% inflation? Someone had better get Alan Greenspan on the line, and quick. Most of these rookie holdouts are due to the player's agent. The player wants to play, while the agent holds him back, assuring the player that the money will come. Rumor has it that Johnson's agent is actually trying to convince Johnson that his demands are too high, and that he had better lower them if he hopes to play this season.
The Johnson contract had better get done soon. It is unlikely that Terry Glenn's agent will sign anything until everyone knows what Keyshawn signed for. Although Glenn was the 7th pick, he was the 2nd wideout taken. Bobby Grier even said Glenn was rated higher than Johnson on their draftboard. Oops! Zip the lip Bobby. If Johnson breaks the bank, expect Glenn's agent to try to do the same. The recent past has had the Pat's #1's signed early and in camp on time. Kraft has been very aggressive with all of his draft picks, ensuring that none of them miss any valuable time in the pre-season. Terry Glenn will do the Pats and himself no good from his living room. Let's get it done!
The Honeymoon's over
Drew and Maura Bledsoe recently returned from their honeymoon to their home here in Massachusetts. The couple was wed in early May back in Washington state. Congratulations Drew! My time is up June 14th, 1997. Bledsoe appeared on New England Cable News' Kids Sportsworld donning his new silver wedding band to take some calls from the Kids. Unfortunately, you had to be 17 and under to call, so I did refrain. I was very tempted to try and fake it though.
You may be asking yourself why a 26 year old was watching a Kid's sports show. Like I said, it's been a slow couple of weeks. Fortunately, the young callers to the show did their part, and I do have a few things to share with you. I hope NECN doesn't mind.
On Terry Glenn and the Offense...
Although Bledsoe has yet to meet Terry Glenn, he is very excited about the pick. He acknowledged that Parcells wanted a defensive player with the pick, and was overruled. "Those things happen" was Bledsoe's take on what was an overblown media field day. Drew seemed very excited when talking about the upcoming season. "We should be able to put up some points. We've got the right guys up front blocking for us first of all. It all starts there, but then the talent we have on paper looks awesome. Hopefully with the speed we have on the outside with (Shawn) Jefferson and (Terry) Glenn we should be able to free up Ben (Coates) some more. He's one of the premier players in the NFL, and last year he got beat to death because we didn't have the speed outside that we needed to free him up in the middle. Curtis (Martin) had a great year and we expect him to continue. We're going to use him in different ways this year, he's going to catch the ball more. He's a great receiver. He's got great hands and we're going to try and get him the ball that way some more. If our Defense steps up, I think we can put up the points to win football games."
On Bill Parcells...
With the recent publicity surrounding Parcells' contract, speculation has arisen that this will be Big Bill's last year at the helm. This question was put to Drew. "You never know what he's going to do. He may be back for another year, and (this) may be his last year, and he gets upset when people try to speculate. If he takes off it'll be a shame, but hopefully if he does leave he'll be leaving on a winning note because he deserves it. He's had a great career as a coach, but I don't think anyone's written him off in the Patriots' office yet because nobody knows what he's going to do, ever. (Bill Parcells) only wants you to know what he wants you to know. He's not going to volunteer anything just because somebody asks him. Whether he comes back or not, nobody knows. If he does, we'll be glad to have him back and if he takes off, hopefully we'll get a good replacement." Bledsoe went on to comment on his relationship with the Tuna, calling it "volatile" and "rocky" at times, but that overall it is a good relationship. "We're both working toward the same goal", and with that, all the yelling and screaming can be overlooked. "He respects my opinion because I am ultimately the guy who has to go out there and do it."
Bledsoe's best news of the night was his response to a kid who called in and asked how long he wanted to play for the Patriots. Drew said he loved playing in New England, and wants to play his entire career here.
A Word from Pro Football Weekly
Last week, I submitted a question to PFW on ESPNET. I am a subscriber to that service, and for only $50 a year, I highly recommend it. At any rate, the folks at PFW posted my question, accompanied by their answer. Here it is, cut right from the Web page.
CM: With the drafting of Terry Glenn and the signing of Shawn Jefferson, do you expect the Pats' best receiver of '95, Vincent Brisby, to start the season on the bench? If Curtis Martin can avoid the "Sophomore Slump", do you think the revamped passing attack will give the Pats one of the best two dimensional offenses in the league? The offense looks so good on paper.
PFW: I think Brisby will still be one of the starting wide receivers this season but not the feature guy. Brisby was not real well suited in the home-run-type roll last year, but as the No. 2 wide receiver, like when Michael Timpson was there, he's just what the doctor ordered. I'm guessing Jefferson is used as the third receiver and Glenn starts, with the Pats hoping Glenn turns out to be like another Ohio Stater, Joey Galloway. As far as the Pats having the best two-dimensional offense, let's wait a while on that one. I definitely think Martin is the real deal, but I'm reserving judgment on Bledsoe's ability to bounce back from a subpar '95 campaign.
With Glenn, Brisby, Jefferson, Coates, Bledsoe, Martin, Meggett, Gash, and a solid Oline, how can the Pats not have a great offense? What is PFW thinking? If the Pats don't score points this year, Ray Perkins had better head South and stay there. I think the folks at SEGA could come up with some red zone plays for this group. I may be looking through rose colored glasses, but I can't see, barring injury, how this offense can be slowed down for an entire game. There is just way too much talent there.
Put your money where...
I not only think the Pats are going to be great this year, I already bet on it. At 7-1 to the win the AFC, how could I not throw $50 on the Pats? Special thanks to Donny B, who placed the bet at Caesar's Palace for me while on vacation in gambler's paradise! Mike and I hope to have a picture of this soon to-be winning ticket posted to this page soon. The original will remain safely in my possession. For those non-believers out there who may question this bet, I ask you: Who in the AFC is a lock to go to the Super Bowl? The Steelers won't be back, KC can't win in the postseason, Miami has no defense, and the Colts luck has run out. The Pats swept the Bills last year, and San Diego has lost a lot of talent. Before you laugh and ask "Why the Pats?", ask yourself "Why not? And if not, Who?" To play Devil's Advocate, I will say that Oakland may be the team to beat this year in the AFC.
That's all for this week. Take care and thanks for visiting.