Monday, November 17, 2014

Lobel's Question of the Week: The Best Patriot Not Named Brady

Every week, legendary sportscaster Bob Lobel wants to hear your opinion on something that caught his eye over the weekend.

While Tom Brady may have taken an unexpected back seat to break out running back Jonas Gray last night, it is pretty much beyond debate that he is the greatest New England Patriots player ever.

Still, the race for No. 2 is pretty interesting, and Bob wants to know what you think. Here are a few of Bob's favorites, but let us know yours by participating in the poll or leaving comments below. Or, if you want to get all social media-y, you can Tweet to Bob at @boblobel.

Bob's Favorites

Adam Vinatieri

Has anybody made more clutch kicks in his career? While you could argue against a kicker being No. 2 on the list, it's hard to debate Vinatieri's importance during New England's first Super Bowl run, as he hit the game winner in the snow against Oakland (the infamous "Tuck Rule" game) and in the Super Bowl to defeat the heavily favored Rams.

Oh yeah, and he kicked another Super Bowl game winner two years later against Carolina, and was instrumental in the Patriots' third Super Bowl run the following year. He would go on to win another title with Peyton Manning and the Colts, but we won't hold that against him here.

Mike Haynes

The speedy corner and kick returner would win go on to win a Super Bowl as a member of one of the best secondaries in NFL history with the Raiders, but before that he was a six-time Pro Bowler with the Patriots. A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Haynes is widely considered one of the greatest corners of all time.

Rob Gronkowski

While much of Gronk's story is yet to be written, he's already become one of the single greatest forces in NFL history… When healthy. That will be the key for the league's premier tight end, who is just as likely to make a diving one-handed grab as he is plant a linebacker with a pancake block. Gronk is already a fan favorite and force of nature, but health and longevity will determine where he ultimately ends up among the Patriots' all-time greats.

Randy Moss

For a brief time Moss was the league's best deep threat on one of the greatest offenses ever. Unfortunately, he was never able to re-create the magic of that 2007 season, as an injury to Brady in 2008 and deterioration of his natural abilities ended his time in New England.

Still, 2007 Moss (which many will argue was past his prime) caught a league-record 23 touchdowns and helped Brady become the first quarterback to throw 50 scores in a single season.

Drew Bledsoe

Before there was Brady, there was New England's original superstar quarterback. Selected with the first pick of the 1993 draft, Bledsoe became an instant starter for the Patriots, and held onto that job until an injury forced him to give way to the phenomenon that was Tom Brady in 2001.

Before that, though, Bledsoe became a three-time Pro Bowler for the Pats, leading them to Super Bowl XXXVI and, along with Bill Parcells and Curtis Martin, made the franchise a consistent winner for the first time in its history.

He also came on in relief of an injured Tom Brady in the 2001 AFC Championship Game, defeating the host Steelers and allowing the Brady story to continue. While Brady would go on surpass him in almost every way, the Patriots may not be the Patriots we know today without the play of Drew Bledsoe.

Now, cast your vote here!


Anonymous said...

The greatest offensive lineman of all time, John Hannah isn't on your list????

Anonymous said...

Agree that Hannah should be on the list, but Andre Tippett is my choice. Such a great pass rusher.

aspenrebel said...

Mac Herron, RB/PR

JohnB121454 said...

Writing in John Hannah, but no quarrel with any of those listed.

Anonymous said...

Give me an ice cold Bruschi!

RobM said...

I agree, John Hannah. It's close with Steve Grogan but Hannah was one of the best in the league all-time.

Anonymous said...

has to be Vinatieri. they maybe have 1 SB without him. thats it.