Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Angry Fan presents the TAF All-Patriot Team, wide outs

I want to throw this out to my handful of readers. In light of Matt Cassel's sudden morph for the past two games into the best characteristics of Steve Grogan, Drew Bledsoe, and Tom Brady, I wanted to address my all time team. Below I've picked out my nominees for each position, and the total number that will, in the end, be named to the team.

Also, feel free to do write in candidates - however, keep in mind, you have to make your argument for why that player deserves consideration, and you need to get votes from your fellow readers.

One last note before I get into the nominees - typically one season wonders will not make the list, unless that season was particularly special. Active players are considered on the list, but it will skew away from them as the body of their work could still take a turn for the worse. Also, I am going with individuals, not tandems. You want to look at some of the top tandems, you need to look here.

And onto the nominees, who were all solely at my discretion...

Wide Receivers (5 will be named) -

Troy Brown 80 - Not the most prolific nor talented receiver to ever play for the Pats, Brown might have been the hardest worker. A draft pick in a round that doesn't even exist, Brown went on to become the all-time leader in receptions for New England not because he repeatedly racked up 90 catch season, rather because he weathered the grind and fought harder than anyone else to get there. His record is a testament to perseverance, particularly when it's taken into account that he left receptions on the field by playing defensive back when the team needed him on the defensive side of the ball (most summaries will be shorter than this). Until Wes Welker became the new Troy Brown, Brown also held team record for receptions in a single season.

Gino Cappelletti 20 - The monster from Minnesota, Cappelletti fails to receive the Canton consideration he deserves. The wide receiver/place kicker was a five time AFL All Star, and dominated the AFL. Consider the following from Wiki regarding his career -

"Cappelletti led the American Football League in scoring five times and led or tied the NFL in scoring 5 times as well. He had two of the top five scoring seasons in pro football history – 155 points in 1964 and 147 points in 1961 (14-game seasons). Nicknamed the "Duke", he is the all-time leading scorer in the American Football League. Cappelletti is among the AFL's all-time top ten receivers, in yards and in receptions. He is the Patriots' third all-time leading receiver with 292 catches for 4,589 yards."
That's just the short of it. I could go on, but we would be here all day.

Stanley Morgan 86 - A burner, Morgan averaged over 20 yards per catch for his career, including 24.1 per catch in 1978. Morgan was a four time pro-bowler who is only now beginning to garner some much deserved attention by HOF voters. The four time pro-bowler still leads the team with 10,352 receiving yards for his career.

Randy Vataha 18 - Like Brown, Vataha is not what anyone would call a high draft pick. According to the team's 1976 media guide -
...rookie year earned him a spot on UPI's AFC all-rookie team, a Gipper Award for receiving and the Johnny Unitas Award ... tied the club record with 51 catches in 1971, set new marks with 88-yard TD catch and 872 yards as he played in all 14 games ... thigh bruise forced him to miss two games during 1974 season, first misses since junior high school days ... led club in receiving in 1975...
Jim Colclough 81 - Cappelletti's battery mate, Colclough, like Cappelletti, doesn't get the love he deserves due to playing his entire career in the AFL. One of the original Patriots, this is his summary from the team's 1968 media guide -
...ranks behind only (Lance) Allworth and Dubenion in best all-time AFL average gain with passes caught (17.6) ... ranks ninth in top ten of all-time AFL pass receivers ... has caught 275 passes for 4865 yards in his eight years of AFL play ... was traded to Jets in 1965 for John Huarte but Pats traded later to get him back ... knows his way around ... had 16 catches for 284 yards in '66...
Deion Branch 83 - Realistically, Branch's regular season stats pale in comparison to the rest of the crew here. He never put up solid number one receiver numbers. He was seldom healthy. but he was a beast in the post season. Occasionally he was the fly in the ointment against teams here and there during the regular season. And those things are worth something.

Randy Moss 81 - It's hard to keep a guy off the list that set the single season record for touchdown receptions with 23 to go with a 1,493 yard season. Without Brady under center, he's still on pace for 1,100 yards.

Wes Welker 83 - The other 83. In two seasons (including the current) the durable Welker is the king of the catch and run. The king of the bubble screen, Welker has likely caught more balls behind the line of scrimmage than any other receiver in the league. In spite of that, he has higher average per catch than a 10 yards. Currently he has 192 receptions and over 2,000 yards receiving in 27 games for New England.


the blue state blogger said...

Wes Welker is this generation's Troy Brown. I love that guy.

Kevin Smith said...

I love the fact that he tends to forgo running out of bounds, and instead will lower his shoulder for the hit. The man is fun to watch.

Feel free to vote for more than one.

Kelly said...

I'm also for Welker.