Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Patriots land (formerly) chatty Floyd Reese
On this day, we as reporters mourn the loss of a wise and accommodating voice.
Floyd Reese has been silenced.
Reese, the former Tennessee Titans general manager who spent the past two seasons as an ESPN analyst, has been enveloped by the cocoon of quiet known as the New England Patriots.
In a surprise move, the Patriots on Tuesday afternoon named Reese senior football advisor. That's an ambiguous title, but he ostensibly will fill the void left by vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli, who left to become the Kansas City Chiefs' general manager.
Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio was Pioli's presumed replacement. A press release out of Foxborough said Caserio "will manage the daily operations of the personnel department, continuing to work closely with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on all personnel matters."
But Reese was the bulletin's headliner.
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to chat with Reese on a number of topics over the past few months.
He became such a go-to resource when I needed a sounding board on personnel topics that I twice put a moratorium on calling him so he could have some peace. He always would laugh and say "You know you can call me anytime."
Those days are over. But here are some thoughts Reese imparted on the Patriots before his vocal cords were removed.
His thoughts on Belichick's season despite losing Tom Brady (from December):
"Bill is able to do a lot of things people think they can do or know they should, but can't pull it off. For him to be able to take people and get them to perform to a level that can win you Super Bowls. How many teams in the NFL can lose arguably the best quarterback in the NFL and still be in the position they're in with a guy that hasn't played a lot of football. His upbringing, his background, his history is pretty strong."
On what kind of trade proposal it would take to get Matt Cassel (from mid January):
"It would have to be multiple choices and very high choices to get Cassel. Two first-rounders, or a one and a two and a three ... It'll be something very, very expensive.
On Cassel's three-touchdown performance days after his father died (from December):
"It's definitely a seller's market. A team like New England can sit back and bide their time.
"If you take the actual number of franchise quarterbacks in the NFL, there's maybe 15. Who's Detroit's starting quarterback? You can go down a long list. All of those teams would be in the bidding.
"You don't have to be in a hurry. There's always teams out there in need of a quarterback, teams who'll think "We don't like this guy. We can't win with him."
"To have the wherewithal or ability or gumption or whatever it takes to be able to pull off what he did was indeed special. There's a lot of us in the football world who think we're pretty tough, but when something like that comes along it brings you to your knees. For him to be able to pull it off was a special performance."
On Tom Brady's return from a season-ending knee injury (from November):
"His knee is a concern, but he's been so injury-free you have to imagine this is a fluke and he comes back fine. He may not be as good. Maybe instead of 50 touchdowns, he throws for 40.
"We've seen what a guy like that can do for a Randy Moss. Randy feels a lot more comfortable with Brady there. His knee won't affect his distance much, his accuracy much. You'll probably be timid when people start falling at your feet, but some guys who haven't been injured are like that.
"If this was a knee that Tom has had five or six procedures on and Tom was 37, I think there would really be a concern. But that is not Tom's situation now. The additional procedures on a knee that is injured to that magnitude is not unusual. Sometimes you clean out some scar tissue or other minor things with ACL injury.
"I know infections in a knee can literally eat a knee up. But, other than that, you expect the knee to come back and respond, although it might take the first six, eight games to come back and be Tom Brady."