Braylon Edwards' idiocy affects us all, including his beard

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Braylon Edwards' idiocy affects us all, including his beard

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

To his credit, Braylon Edwards has never claimed to be a smart man.
It might be the brightest move he's made. Edwards did make the Patriots look foolish at times on Sunday but he couldn't play it straight. After the receiver pulled in a touchdown pass over New England cornerback Darius Butler, he immediately shot his team in the foot by incurring a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration.

It was silly. And it wasn't even the headline act of amateur hour.

Just 48-hours after Braylon Edwards did his "If Jeremiah Johnson played football" impression at New Meadowlands Stadium, he was arrested in New York for DWI.

That won't earn a guy nomination for Mensa International. What drinking and driving will get him is pulled over by police. Add in the kind of facial hair that screams, "I'm homeless! And probably up to no good!" and an arrest was inevitable.

Rumor has it that Braylon's BAC was actually below the legal limit and it was the alcohol consumed by his beard that pushed him up to a 0.16 level. The wideout's beard contacted me via Twitter this morning to deny involvement.

@BeardOfBraylon: @Mary_Paoletti I was just sitting there minding my own business.

You know what? I'll buy that.

I think Braylon's beard was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And it's a shame because I don't think this will be the last time that Edwards does something like this. No matter how he is disciplined by the Jets or NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Edwards will screw up again because he's an ego-driven knucklehead.

I just hope, for the sake of Braylon's beard and all of us who have to look at such a sad thing, that he shaves. Soon.

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

David Harris is expected to be a savvy middle linebacker who will line up his teammates when they help. He's expected to provide some level of leadership, even in his first year in New England, as an accomplished-but-hungry 33-year-old who has not yet reached a Super Bowl. 

What Harris is not expected to do is improve the Patriots pass-rush. He was in on one sack in 900 snaps last season.  

But in a roundabout way he might. 

MORE: How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

There are dominos to fall now that Harris has been added to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia's defense. How much will Harris play, and whose playing time will he cut into? Those questions don't yet have answers, but one of the more intriguing elements of the Harris acquisition is how he will benefit Dont'a Hightower's game.

If Harris can pick up the Patriots defense quickly -- and all indications are that there should be few issues there -- he could take some of the all-important communication responsibilities off of Hightower's shoulders. 

Ever since taking the reins from Jerod Mayo as the team's signal-caller, Hightower has had to be on top of all requisite pre-snap checks and last-second alignment changes. It's a critical role, and one that Hightower performs well, but those duties place some added stress on the player wearing the green dot. Perhaps if part of that load can be heaped onto Harris' plate, that might allow Hightower to feel as though he's been freed up to focus on his individual assignments.

Harris' presence might also impact where on the field Hightower is used. Hightower may be the most versatile piece on a Patriots defense loaded with them, but with Harris in the middle, Hightower could end up playing more on the edge, where he's proven he can make a major impact (see: Super Bowl LI).

For Belichick and his staff, having the ability to use one of their best pass-rushers -- and one of the most efficient rushers league-wide, per Pro Football Focus -- on the edge more frequently has to be an enticing byproduct of the move to sign Harris. Especially since there are some question marks among the team's end-of-the-line defenders behind Trey Flowers and Rob Ninkovich. 

We'll have to wait for training camp before we have an idea of how exactly Harris fits in with the Patriots defense. But the effect he'll have on his new teammates, and Hightower in particular, will be fascinating to track.