Tuesday, December 30, 2003

hidden indicators 

Gregg Easterbrook nominated two Patriots players for his TMQ Non-QB Non-RB NFL MVP:
Casting aside the offensive backfield glory boys, this season you could make solid cases for LB Ray Lewis of Baltimore and DE Richard Seymour of New England as MVPs. There are reasonable cases for DT Albert Haynesworth of Tennessee, No. 1 against the run, and safety Roy Williams of Dallas, No. 1 against the pass.


But the most valuable offensive lineman in the NFL this season, and thus the Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-QB Non-RB NFL MVP, has been Damien Woody of New England. He has not only played very well on a team that won 12 straight, but when linemate Mike Compton got hurt, Woody moved to guard -- surrendering his expected Pro Bowl slot at center. Everyone knew Woody changing positions for this year would cost him a likely return to the Pro Bowl. The kind of guy who gives up an almost-sure Hawaii trip, in order to benefit his team, is an MVP in my book.
Experts know full well what this means: While teams with more celebrated "talent" like the Miami Dolphins prepare backyard BBQs this Sunday to enjoy the playoffs, the Patriots coaching staff and players are working hard to ensure the rest of the league ends up in an equal cushy spot to prepare for their own Pro Bowl appearances.
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