Do Pats fans deserve an explanation?

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Do Pats fans deserve an explanation?

If you haven't read this morning's SRO post about Wes Welker, conspiracies and the Bill Belichick silent treatment, please do so now. When you're done, come on back.

We'll all wait . . .

OK, so after that post, we got the following response from Twitter follower @NewDirty9:

@csnne @rich_levine nothing bothers BB, but fans stuck with this team thru 1 win seasons spygate scandal. And we get 0 answers about anythin Smitty (@NewDirty9) September 19, 2012It's not the first time I've heard something like this from a Patriots fan, and I'd be lying if I said I haven't wrestled with the concept myself. After all, it's not always easy to care so much and invest so much time and energy into a team, while at the same time feeling like you're in the dark on so many matters of importance. Especially when it comes to a player like Wes Welker.

Welker's spent the last five years working his ass off for this coach, this team and its fans. He's taken so many brutal hits, perhaps quite literally taken years off his life and to see him jerked around like this can leave a pretty sour taste in your mouth. To have no explanation for why he's being jerked around? That's even worse.

But when it comes down to why Patriots fans put up with this kind of thing from Belichick, I think NewDirty9 answers the question in his tweet.

From 1989-1993, the Patriots posted five straight losing seasons, during which they went a combined 19-61. There was a one-win season. There was a two-win season. There was WAY TOO MUCH HUGH MILLEN. And yes, the fans who withstood those horrible years deserve an unbelievable amount of credit, respect and admiration from the franchise. They deserve, for instance . . .

More than a decade of cheering for one of the most dominant teams in NFL history.

See what I mean? Sure, in a perfect world, you'd like a coach who's not so insanely protective of every aspect of his team. A coach who let's the fans in and makes them feel a part of the process. But, what can you do? Is that really so much better than what we have now?

Either way, I know that what we have now is better than what we had back then.

I don't care if Bill Belichick boycott's every press conference for the rest of his time in New England, I'd rather be in the dark than spend another five years in the AFC basement.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?


Phil Perry and CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran debate which receiver has been better for the Patriots: Wes Welker or Julian Edelman? It's part of this edition of Quick Slants The Podcast.

Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

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Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

The Patriots went into Wednesday with what could have passed as the deepest receiving group in team history, yet by lunchtime they had added another. 

Former Browns and Bengals wideout Andrew Hawkins announced on Twitter (via uSTADIUM) that he had chose to come to terms with New England. He explained that the opportunity to work with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick proved to be enough to convince him that he should pass up more lucrative offers from other clubs.

"After giving it a lot of though, I've decided that I'm going to join the New England Patriots," he said. "Super excited about the opportunity, man, to join the reigning football champions. In Cleveland, I said it was about joining a contender, and the Patriots are the contender, the reigning champs.

"The program is top-notch, and you get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history, man, so it's super exciting. It was never really about the money. To be honest, I passed up on deals that were probably double the compensation . . . but it was all about winning for me at this point, and putting myself in the best position to do so."

Hawkins (5-foot-7, 180 pounds) may be a familiar name to Patriots fans as he caught four passes for a season-high 56 yards and one touchdown against New England in Week 5 of last season. He finished the year with 33 catches for 324 yards and three scores. The 31-year-old has recently seen his name in the headlines as he completed his Sports Management degree at Columbia and graduated last week. 

The Patriots have receivers room that's currently pretty loaded with talent. Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell figure to make up the top end of the depth chart, while former practice-squad wideouts Devin Street, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White figure to compete for playing time as do undrafted rookies Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.

"Nothing's for sure. I got my work cut out for me. It's an opportunity," Hawkins said. "That's how I'm approaching it. Going there and seeing how I stack up with the best and try to earn my keep and prove my worth. I'm jsust excited to get there, get to work, and hopefully I can be part of something special and kind of join that Patriot legacy."