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Another article: New England Patriots: Big Signings for Big Players

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Troy, May 4, 2007.

  1. Troy

    Troy New Member

    Of all things, the biggest that this article probably lacks is depth. Go ahead, and rip this apart. I'm excited for some feedback.

    The past few seasons, the New England Patriots were barely aggressive at all in attempts on retaining their own free agent players, or in going all out and attaining other teams' free agent players available on the market for that matter. This off-season, they looked in a whole new direction, and drove there. CB Asante Samuel, who many people much like myself thought, would leave the Patriots, considering how the New England front office have handled their free agents in the recent past, was franchise tagged almost immediately at the preliminary point of free agency. However, the hook? The Patriots didn't stop there. Now taking a look at their key signings/acquisitions:

    On March 4, Pro Bowl Linebacker, Adalius Thomas, who had played the last seven seasons in Baltimore, inked a five year deal to wear a Pats jersey next season. This acquisition is key because by adding Thomas to that already dominate linebacking core (that includes two big names in Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel), it forces opposing teams' to change their whole offensive gameplans when they're wanting to pass the ball, per say. Not only will they have to worry about the rest of the already-tenacious Patriots' defense, but they will also be intimidated of an experienced veteran in Adalius Thomas rushing at the Quarterback, looking to bring down the Quarterback with a sack, as he accomplished that 11 times last season.

    The ensuing day, March 5, New England traded a 2nd and 7th round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for Wide Receiver, Wes Welker. Welker worked well in Miami in the slot receiver position, while he excelled as a punt return specialist. He's undersized, but he isn't afraid to go over the middle and catch in a crowd of defenders. He's a tough player, but is inadequate by holding up an ideal of strength. He has pretty good receiving skills, and is elusive in open space (when given).

    Seven days later on March 13, the Patriots signed Wide Receiver, Donte Stallworth. Stallworth made a big impact in Philadelphia last season, making big plays, and playing in a game changer role in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform, proving that in the early success the team had in the beginning of the year. He's a shoot-and-go type of receiver, who is great at tricking defensive backs by running at a decent speed, then taking off down the field, firing right past them for an eventual deep pass from the Quarterback. Many NFL experts question his attitude, and believe it's a factor, however, with Stallworth in New England, and with Bill Belichick as the Head Coach, the potential problem could be just a flick.

    Then, on April 29, NFL Draft weekend, the Patriots traded a measly 4th round pick to the Oakland Raiders for future, potential, Hall of Famer, Wide Receiver, Randy Moss. Moss only had 42 receptions 553 yards, and 3 touchdowns in 13 games last season, which was a huge drop off from what he's had over the course of his career. The Patriots didn't truly need Moss, but adding him to the roster surely isn't going to hurt them, that is if he can rehabilitate himself into old form, from when he was the best wide out in the league from a few seasons ago.

    With these signings, are the Patriots the perennial Super Bowl XLII champions? While many critics and fans are ready to nod their heads and saying yes, why be so quick in doing so? Randy Moss is still Randy Moss, the same player with an attitude problem that isn't nearly ready to be erased. Despite how Coach Belichick can change Randy's attitude, it could still be a factor, and if the Patriots end the 2007-2008 season in bad fashion, it will be in Randy Moss's hands due to that factor. There aren't any questions to ask that if the Patriots had an amazing Off-Season or not, however there's no doubt about it that there are questions surrounding Randy Moss, and if he's going to be able to step up and become the old Randy.
  2. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Your comma use is horrendous. You capitalize words that shouldn't be capped.

    EDIT: Having just read in another post that you're a sophomore in HS, I would like to add some productive things.

    These grafs are way too long. Long grafs get terribly boring to read.

    I commend you for writing content on something you really don't have first-hand knowledge about, but must say that you are much better off going to your own high school events and trying to write a feature/gamer there. Do that, post a story and see how it comes out with first-hand information. It will be much easier to judge.
  3. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member


    Yeah, this is a pretty poor effort. It's way too clunky and the grammar is bad.

    For you, it has to start with the basics. You're not ready from an analytical point... not saying you don't know what you're talking about, but the basics needed to be established before you can tackle something like this.

    Like Rhody said, you need to find some event you can attend and get first-hand information. Watch the game for yourself, take your own stats and interview the coaches and players afterward. I know this doesn't seem as fun or as sexy as writing about Randy Moss' effect on the Pats, but it's important for the development of a writer.

    I know this may sound like I'm talking down to you, but I'm not. You need to go to a Barnes & Noble and buy a grammar book and AP style book. This will help you tremendously. I still have a book called "Writing with Words" I look at and of course my style book never leaves my bag.

    When it comes to the writing, again, either watch a Cardinals game on TV or better yet, go to a high school game and write a concise gamer... just the basics and keep your sentences short and sweet.

    Like I said, you need to start from the beginning. This is not saying you're a bad writer, but we all need to know, understand and use the basics of sportswriting as a foundation.
  4. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Try stringing for a local paper that covers high school sports. That is how I got my start and I was lucky enough to work with an SE that went out of his way to give me a good start.

    You obviously have a passion for sports and high aspirations, and that is great. But like the other posters have said, you would be better served to start where most if not all of the guys who do this for a living did.

    And read, read, read. I don't mean just read like you would a novel. Read for structure, for tempo, for style. Find a story you like in tomorrow's paper and then breakdown why you like it. Then apply that.
  5. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Troy -

    Thanks for posting.

    I'm going to generally agree with our other workshoppers, and recommend that you devote yourself to mastering the basics of grammar and syntax in your next couple of efforts. In service of that, I'm going to very strongly recommend that you buy yourself a copy of "The Elements of Style," by Will Strunk and E.B. White. It's an invaluable addition to any writer's bookshelf.

    You also need to start reading more. This will help you get the hang of sentence construction. Start by reading four or five stories every day in a well-regarded newspaper, making note of how they're constructed. If you don't live in an area with a good newspaper, go online. And don't just read sports, read the news stories as well.

    I made a couple of notes in your opening paragraph to help you identify some habits that need changing.

    As always, good luck with your work and thanks for sharing it. We're happy to read whatever you bring us.
  6. Troy

    Troy New Member

    Thanks for all of the feedback, guys. Sorry I couldn't have replied sooner.

    I'm really taking all of your thoughts in, and using your tips in action. Again, thanks. I hope that your eyes didn't bleed all too much while trying to read that. Yikes.
  7. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I don't know if this is pertinent, but didn't the new TV contract allow EVERY team to go out and spend willy-nilly? Of course the Pats were going to spend bookoo bucks on top-shelf free agents. Probably why they've been so frugal the last 4-5 years.
  8. giantsmets510

    giantsmets510 New Member

    You've got too many facts in the article rather then commentary. The fans that read this stuff probably know everything about this, and are more interested in what you have to say. Tell them something they don't know. Insert the quotes by the two former Raiders coaches about how Moss won't work out in New England. Something new, add your own flavor to your writing.
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