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Dez Bryant was the best thing to happen to the Dallas Cowboys since Troy Aikman. He was electric on the field, and the only athlete in the NFL who seemed to truly enjoy what was going on around him. He was a star on the field and a local celebrity off of it, but he wasn’t happy off the field. He had a lot of rumors flying around about him and his alleged relationships with different women, and even some of his teammates and coaches ‘feeling’ he was a bad influence on them.
In 2010, when the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Arizona Diamondbacks to win the World Series for the first time in over twenty years, the Pirates’ first baseman, Neil Walker, was only in his second year in the majors. But he was a revelation on the team’s playoff run, and analysts speculated that he could be a solid first baseman for a long time to come. He had a strong bat, decent defense, and above-average speed, and he was just entering his prime.
Bill Belichick’s style isn’t for everyone. With his exhaustive video sessions and furious outbursts, the stone-faced, no-nonsense head coach may drive players insane, but he thinks that’s what it takes to succeed in the NFL.
Patrick Chung, a former New England Patriots safety, knew this better than anybody, which is why he put up with Belichick for ten seasons. Chung says that informing Belichick of his retirement earlier this offseason was the “hardest discussion” he’d ever had with the great head coach who had given him so much success during his career.
Patrick Chung played under Bill Belichick for the most of his NFL career.
The New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick and Patrick Chung converse on the field before a game against the Miami Dolphins | Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Belichick’s popularity in the NFL is divisive. Some players can’t fathom playing for anybody else, while others can’t tolerate the man after only one season.
Chung is an excellent illustration of the first.
Belichick drafted Chung in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft, and the safety wound up playing 10 of his 11 NFL seasons with the Patriots. Chung left New England to play one season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013, but he missed Belichick’s relentless will to win so much that he returned to the Patriots a year later.
Chung was rewarded with three Super Bowl rings during his ten years with New England. Players may criticize Belichick and the way he manages his football club all they want, but he does all he can to win the Lombardi Trophy every February.
Chung had shared that objective with Belichick for a decade, so informing his longtime head coach he was retiring was one of the most difficult decisions he had to make in his NFL career.
Chung recounts the “most difficult discussion” he’s ever had with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Chung pulled out of the 2020 NFL season because to worries about the coronavirus (COVID-19). Patriots supporters were understandably ecstatic to see their veteran safety back on the field after a dismal season that saw the club finish 7-9 and miss the playoffs.
That, however, will not be the case.
Chung announced his retirement from the NFL a month after the 2020 season concluded. It was difficult for the 11-year veteran to make the choice, but it was much more difficult to tell his longtime head coach.
“I simply walked up to Bill and spoke with him. “That was definitely the most difficult discussion I’ve had in a long time,” Chung told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “I hold him in high regard. He holds me in high regard. Coaching with Bill and myself is more than just a game. I felt bad about disappointing him, but it was something I needed to do for my family and myself.”
Chung is looking forward to seeing Kyle Dugger continue his legacy in No. 23.
For the last six years of his NFL career, Chung wore the No. 23 with New England. When Chung announced his retirement earlier this offseason, the number became available for the taking, and Kyle Dugger, Chung’s potential successor, requested permission to use it.
Chung said yes without hesitation.
“You have a lot of respect for me. Many individuals don’t need to ask: if it’s available, take it. I appreciated his calling and asking when he didn’t have to,” Chung added.
“When he asked for my phone number, I replied, ‘Yes, definitely.’ I instructed him to handle it. I hope to God that he is much superior than me, since it will only benefit us as Patriots. Hopefully, he will arrive at that moment. I really hope he succeeds. He’s young, he’s raw, he’s got the instincts, he’s got everything, so I’m hoping for the best.”
Patriots fans may have just lost one of their most dependable defenders, but they’re hopeful that Dugger can step in and become Belichick’s new favorite safety.
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The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers both opened the 2013 season with new owners, but they have vastly different rosters. The Dodgers, who have been in the postseason six of the last seven years, are stacked with All-Stars and have a deep lineup, while the Mets, who have been in the postseason only two of the last 14 years, are a team on the rise and have a dynamic young pitcher at the forefront. While the Dodgers have arguably the best player in the game, Clayton Kershaw, the Mets have arguably the best pitcher in the game, R.A. Dickey.. Read more about what to do when someone lets you down and let us know what you think.
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