I was watching the NFL Playoffs today and noticed how many players are filling in and playing positions that aren’t their normal specialty. This is a trend that Bill Belichick started a few years ago. He built the Patriots with a few core players that were all versatile enough to play several positions. Belichick realized that the NFL season were a grind. The Playoffs are even tougher, and to survive, you need to adapt.
Troy Brown was a wide receiver. He extended his career by a few years because Belichick trusted him so much that he brought him back to return punts, play Cornerback… and a little wide receiver when the team sustained some injuries.
Belichick brought Junior Seau back out of retirement… again.. because he trusted him and Seau can fill the needs of several defensive packages.
The point here is that people that are trustworthy and can play different positions are hard to come by and extremely valuable.
Does it make sense to cross train people? Yes. Does it make sense to look for people that fill in for other positions in a pinch. Hell yes. I think if you asked Belichick if he would want Troy Brown or Terell Owens on his team, he’d pick Troy Brown every day of the week.
And yes, I realize the Patriots aren’t in the playoffs this year. But if you look at the injuries they sustained this year, you would agree that this was one of his best coaching/managing jobs ever.