You all can play along with Tom E. Curran on csnne.com and rank the greatest Patriots under Bill Belichick until the cows come home. But me being me, I had a lot more fun compiling the all-time worst list for Sports Tonight on Thursday.
As usual, TV didn't provide enough time to flush out the topic. So I'll do it here. Behold Belichick's bottom 12. A dirty dozen:
(Note: To be considered, players actually had to make the team and play in enough games to definitively prove how much they sucked. Of course, the worst of the worst never made the team or saw the field. We'll ignore those guys and keep it to the ones who actually contributed to losses. In other words, Tim Tebow doesn't qualify.)
12. Brandon Meriweather, SS -- Maybe he doesn't belong, but I just hated this guy (professionally, not personally; I never met him). He didn't know how to field the position and only tried to hurt people. He made two Pro Bowls with the Pats, which shows you how useless that game is. One of the poster boys for my least favorite stretch of the Belichick era (2007-2010).
11. Adalius Thomas, DE -- Horrible contract. Part of the group that left the reservation in 2009. A real waste. His only saving grace was an excellent performance against the Giants in the Super Bowl.
10. Drew Bledsoe, QB -- Joking! (KInd of.) Just because we feel like putting a quarterback on the list, we'll go with Rohan Davey. Boy, did he stink.
9. Shawn Springs, CB -- The Pats gave this guy real money in 2009 ($4.5 million in bonus and salary), and in the end he played 12 games, intercepted one ball and contributed to the worst locker room of the Belichick era.
8. Steve Martin, DL -- Remember him? As his name would suggest, he was a real joker. Loved talking to the media. Was signed in 2002 to stuff the run and couldn't do it. After a road loss to the Titans late in the year in which the Pats allowed 238 rushing yards, Belichick whacked him. Big mouth. No ability. Bad combo.
7. Jordan Devey, G -- Maybe a hell of a tuba player (he played for the band in high school, not the football team), but not much of an offensive lineman. He almost got Tom Brady killed early last season. Incredibly, he's still on the team.
6. Deltha O'Neal, CB -- Part of the lost season of 2008, the former Bengal was the first in a long line of Patriots failures at corner between Asante Samuel and Aqib Talib.
5. Chad Ochocinco, WR -- Another joke. Belichick always liked this guy for some reason, so he threw him a lifeline (not to mention a couple million bucks) in 2011. Ocho repaid Belichick's support with 15 catches in 15 games. A no show performance.
4. Donald Hayes, WR -- Supposed to be a big outside threat for Brady in 2002, the free agent Hayes never could figure out the offense. There was a reason: he had a severe learning disability. That's not his fault, of course. Bad work by the Pats for not doing their homework. Hayes had 12 catches in 12 games and was released. Never played in the league again.
3. Monty Beisel, LB -- He and Chad Brown were the replacements for Ted Johnson (retirement) and Tedy Bruschi (stroke) in 2005. Both were benched by Week 7. Beisel made more noise yelling at Curran in the locker room ("I'm a P.R. man myself!'') than he ever did on the field.
2. Duane Starks, CB -- The Pats traded a third-round pick for this stiff, a former Super Bowl winner for the Ravens in 2000. By the time he got to the Pats in 2005, he couldn't play. Slunk off the field during a game against the Colts and was out of the picture after seven games.
1. Albert Haynesworth, DL -- What a bum. Didn't cost the Patriots much (a fifth-round pick and around $1 million), but he also didn't do a thing. Was cut before the season was out. The Pats should be embarrassed for bringing him into the organization. A bad guy and a bad player.
Who'd I miss? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen to Felger and Mazz weekdays, 2-6 p.m. on 98.5 FM. The simulcast runs daily on Comcast SportsNet.