You're ridiculous. No one on defense except maybe Anderson and Beason played well today. I never once said that Brayton was All-Pro material, just that he deserved to be a starter given our DE core. That absolutely remains true.
No, you thinking there's that big of a gap from Brayton DOWN to CJ and Hardy is ridiculous. Could Brayton bring down that WR down in the openfield like Hardy did on a pass? And he ran him down from behind. OR could he run down Bradford like Hardy did? Which would've been a sack on at least half of the QBs in the NFL but Bradford threw it away. CJ leads the DL in sacks. Yet you believe Brayton is still better than both of them?
It's your line of thinking and "loyalty" to players like Brayton playing in front of more talented players that had James Anderson sitting behind Na'il fuging Diggs for years while he rotted on the bench. I said Anderson should've been given that spot in his 2nd year. To my knowledge, he hasn't put on much if any weight, and he was VT's best performer in the weight room before we drafted him... so go ahead and give me an excuse about his strength or whatever as to why he wasn't playing.
Same reason Jake was starting after his failures. Same reason DJ stayed on this team for as many years as he did... What was it, 4?
You have a problem with someone suggesting Smitty be traded, or should've been traded? He's had multiple injuries. He's 30+. He doesn't look like the same player he used to be. When he does make the catch, he's going down on first contact. That hardly ever happened before.
A lot of the elite WRs, like Smitty WAS, can play into their mid-late 30s and still be good-great... Like Rice did or T.O. is doing right now. Difference is, those guys are bigger and have the size to compensate for diminishing skills. Smitty doesn't. He's thrived off unparalleled athleticism and now that he's losing it and has injured himself repeatedly, he's not going to out jump many guys for balls, or out-strengthen or outrun guys after the catch.
Tell me how the Patriots have done over the last 9 years or so??? Now tell me how loyal are to players? Exactly. But, I understand, as a fan base all we have known is consistent inconsistency and mediocrity, so I know you don't know or expect any better.