The next day, while looking at who I’d like to see on our team, free agency, draft and otherwise, I was approached by Braylon. He came in with a conflicted look on his face. I invited him to come in and sit down, and he looked me right in the eye. He confessed what was troubling him. He wanted to be on a successful team, one that could get him into the playoffs, and maybe win a ring with.
“Braylon, I’m not exactly the one you want to talk to if you want a deal… I don’t have the final say on transactions of players…”
“I know coach, but I wanted to get the honest truth from you. Do you think we can win a super bowl in the next three years?”
Obviously I didn’t, but if we were going to have a chance, we needed some veteran leadership on this very young team. Other than Eric Steinbach, he was the oldest starter on offense at 29. He had played through some tough games, and showed great leadership in the seasons past. I didn’t want to lose him at all. I really couldn’t if I wanted to push into the playoffs next year.
“Braylon, I obviously can’t give out those types of guarantees. I have no idea what the next few years could bring, we could lose Brady, or Joe [Thomas], or any number of crucial guys. Football is a sport you just can’t predict.”
“Coach, I want to go to the Super Bowl, and my time is starting to tick away.”
Our conversation continued for about an hour. Braylon left feeling a little better, but obviously didn’t get the answer he wanted. I felt bad because I knew his pain, every player wants to be successful, but sometimes there’s only a few thing in life that can quench that thirst. One of them is the Lombardi Trophy. A few weeks later he asked the General Manager if he could start looking around for trades. The GM was uneasy about it, reminding Braylon of the huge deal he signed a few years ago and how the bonus would affect our salary. I was afraid there would be a lot more noise later in the off-season, or next year, if things didn’t pick up.
Quinn – 96.4 Rating, 303/479, 3471 yds, 29 TD 10 INT
Allen – 189 att. 489 yds, 4 TD 39 rec. 374 yd 1 TD
Edwards – 83 rec. 1122 yds 8 TD
Massaqoui – 57 rec 758 yds 3 TD
Rucker – 53 rec. 370 yds 7 TD
Rogers – 54 tack. 8 sacks INT,
Ward – 40 tack 4 INT FF FR
Pool – 71 tack 4 INT FR
Prater – 25/36, 52 lng, All misses from 40+ yds.
Crenshaw – 38 KR 1009 yds, 22 PR 354 yds. TD
Cribbs – 29 KR 713 yds TD, 21 PR 219 yds.
Super Bowl 2012
New Orleans Saints 13
Pittsburgh Steelers 17
League MVP: Drew Brees, 4161 yds. 40 TD 11 INT
John St. Clair
Johnathan Joseph (CB) 10.2M/2Y
Mike Mickens (CB) 6.6M/2Y
Vince Young (QB) 2.6M/2Y