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Vrabel, Mahomes, Kelce, NFL offense, player of greatest value in the NHL

Wednesday 1/10/24

Mike Vrabel became available yesterday after being fired by the Titans, and if I had to guess what's going to happen with the Pats, it'd be that he's their next coach. Tom Brady is the apple of Bob Kraft's eye, but there's a little Mike Vrabel in there, too.

Do I think it matters? Not much. The chances are that the Patriots are just going to be another team and at some point, in the ensuing decades, they might have 1/6 the success they had over a twenty year period. People here talk like they're going to get back to that height. They're not. That was a once-in-the-history of the sport thing. When Mahomes and Reid are gone, the Chiefs will be just another team. Knowing how Kraft thinks, in part, I can totally see him going with Vrabel.

I had said before that I wouldn't want a defensive-minded coach. I don't think that's necessarily Vrabel. He doesn't strike me as an X and Os guy, but rather a mentality guy. His teams have a certain attitude. I bet he delegates a lot of other stuff. But what I see is offense coming back to earth. People were like, "The Patriots have a super stout defense!" No they didn't--everyone's defense was better.

Speaking of Mahomes: slippage. Not a good year from him. Also: you're watching the start of the end of Travis Kelce. Not a good year from him either. Huge amount of his production came in back-to-back games. And even with the extra game, he couldn't get to 1000 yards. That's his value--receiving. It's not receiving and blocking, which was Gronkowski's value. To me, they are not close as players.

Bruins did well to get a point in each of their last two games. Last night was the second of a back-to-back against the Coyotes after they went to the shootout the night before against Colorado, both on the road. Ullmark got hurt, I guess. If a goalie gets hurt, you want it to be because of contact, either with a body or the puck--not because he goes to make a save and there's an issue, which is what happened.

Pastrnak was on the ice for twenty-seven minutes. Scored a goal and was a -3. Odd, sloppy stat line.

As for the night before: that Avalanche team has to be the best skating team in the league. The Bruins can't skate with them. There are other ways to win, of course, but for the Bruins to beat Colorado, they have to find a way to neutralize that speed, or get around it. Is MacKinnon as fast as McDavid? Is Makar as fast as MacKinnon?

The guy I most like to watch in the entire league is Cale Makar. He's the player I'd want above any other if I was starting a team. I think he's the most valuable player in the NHL. He's out there impacting so much, for almost half the game. I watched him a lot the other night in the offensive zone when he didn't have the puck. He moves a ton. The guy is always up to something on the ice. And can he skate. It's beautiful. I'd rather have him than McDavid. This is a defenseman who could and probably should win a Hart at some point. I'd pick him right now for this year.

I see that Vegas and Colorado are playing tonight at 10:00 Eastern time. That'll be a good game.


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