Belichick has engaged Doomsday Protocol against Patriots

Published: 9/27/2018 3:55:16 PM
Modified: 9/27/2018 3:52:54 PM
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Spurred by his notorious ego and a newfound thirst for not winning, Patriots head coach and general manager Bill Belichick has apparently engaged the long-rumored Doomsday Protocol he long ago devised to destroy the New England Patriots.
 
“In Bill we trust,” fans always say, maintaining a position of unmitigated loyalty to Belichick that no Patriots supporter has once wavered on since the Patriots hoisted their third Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl XXXIX. Now, it seems Belichick is using that trust against the New England faithful. There can be no doubt that at some point in the last 12 months, Belichick turned to a voice-activated safe, spoke the code, “Tango Bravo, 045,” removed the leather-bound file inside and began work on the first item: “1. The linebackers shall be slow.”
 
From there, he meticulously worked his way through a series of deviously crafted moves  we might never fully understand. What is clear is that it was obviously Belichick’s plan for Julian Edelman to get suspended for PED use, depriving Brady of a talented, reliable receiver for the first month of the year. He then seasoned the chaos of Edelman’s absence with planned injuries to Malcolm Mitchell, Kenny Britt and Jordan Matthews, lest any of them have a chance to develop a rapport with Brady. Likewise, he arranged for a series of season-ending injuries to young players, including Derek Rivers and Antonio Garcia in 2017 and then Isaiah Wynn, Duke Dawson and Ja’Whaun Bentley this year. Jeremy Hill and Rex Burkhead failing to make it past Week 3? It’s all in the Protocol.
 
His ego-driven plan to stick it to someone* met its strongest opposition when Rob Gronkowski refused a trade to Detroit shortly before the NFL Draft in April. At the time, it was obvious Gronkowski was so angry at Belichick (just as the coach had designed), that the tight end had no interest in playing for the Patriots. And once the team reached a deal to ship Gronk out of Foxborough, he made clear that he wanted to play for no one but the Patriots. And if you think the last two sentences contradict each other, they don’t, because logic.
 
Another domino in Belichick’s carefully laid mousetrap is the return of former Patriots receiver Danny Amendola to Foxborough this weekend. Amendola is now with the Dolphins after Belichick let the 32-year-old depth receiver sign with Miami for $6 million, only double the cap figure New England had paid him the year before, for the sole purpose of sinking this franchise. Most impressively, Belichick let Amendola leave before he knew for certain that Edelman would be missing a quarter of the 2018 season.
 
While the Pats are currently trying to integrate new weapons into their offense, it’s easy for the New England faithful to recall how easily Amendola slid right in with no growing pains whatsoever. His seamless transition in replacing Wes Welker made it impossible for fans to doubt that Belichick had then made the right decision in letting Welker leave for Denver at age 32 for more money than the Patriots were offering. He represents the loss of a key offensive weapon for New England as only three current Patriots have more receiving yards than Amendola this season.
 
Of course, Amendola will always be remembered for his relentless production with the Pats, reaching his peak in New England last season with 659 yards, just 910 yards shy of Welker’s single-season franchise record. He was also zeroing in on the franchise’s career leader, Stanley Morgan, falling within 7,969 yards of Morgan’s record, a mark he no longer has a chance to pursue thanks to Belichick’s willful destruction of the franchise.
 
Dave Brown is a freelance correspondent who covers the Patriots for the Monitor. You can follow him on Twitter @ThatDaveBrown.
 
*suspects include Bob Kraft, Brady, Alex Guerrero, Lawyer Milloy and Dennis Eckersley


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