By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Brevity is the soul of wit. Trying to be funny or compelling? Keep it short. Don't bludgeon, jab.
Patrick Chung shut down the Bill Belichick truthers with about as few words as possible in a new tweet on Wednesday. Belichick and the Patriots breed a vast variety of hot takes, but "Tanking for Trevor" has to be the hottest right now. The idea that Belichick would throw a Patriots season so maybe the Patriots would have the worst record in the NFL, and all in a Hail Mary attempt to land Clemson's Trevor Lawrence? Waste of breath.
In Chung's words, "dumb."
Whoever said that is dumb https://t.co/ZorDNiC7PY
It's funny because a lot of people said that.
That may come off mean. But it's all that needs to be said about that take. It's a perfect statement. Any of my on-air colleagues who actually believe the Patriots are tanking or should tank are living in a fantasy. But hey, maybe it would make for a nice, heated debate if someone wants to take the side of dumb. Granted, you're also taking the side of fun. But it's also dumb.
Chung said it better.
So what's Belichick really thinking?
To be fair, would it also be dumb to consider that maybe Belichick prepared himself for Chung to opt out? Perhaps Dont'a Hightower too? It's fair to wonder where Belichick was planning to fit all the safeties with Devin McCourty still in tow, and with Adrian Phillips, Terrence Brooks, rookie second-round pick Kyle Dugger, and Cody Davis behind Chung. You may see plenty of Phillips in the Chung role.
The Patriots' veteran linebacking corps has been gutted, but Belichick also invested heavily in youth and fresh talent at that position in the offseason. He drafted Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings with consecutive picks in the second and third rounds, and Wyoming's Cassh Maluia in the sixth. Undrafted rookie De'Jon "Scoota" Harris our of Arkansas has a better chance of making the team. They still have Ja'Whaun Bentley, Chase Winovich, and John Simon, and signed ex-Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland.
They have fewer options to replace Marcus Cannon at right tackle. There may be a lot of hope placed on second-year third-round pick Yodny Cajuste, who missed most of 2019 camp and spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve. Maybe Korey Cunningham or rookie sixth-round pick Justin Herron can do the job.
All kinds of uncertainty. But still plenty to work with in the case of key players opting out.
There's no way of knowing what Belichick has planned, particularly 24 hours after players opted out and 2020 training camp has barely begun. But it's most certainly not because he wants the team to suck. Don't be what Chung said.
Sports Hub Sidelines Podcast
Ty Anderson and I discussed the Patrick Chung news and talked plenty of Bruins in the newest episode of the Sports Hub Sidelines, now available wherever you get your podcasts. Have a listen below.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].