(Foxborough, MA - October 13, 2017) The New England Patriots announced the signing of Bill Ruggles, a 6'1", 285-pounder to a 48-hour contract to help them face the surprising NY Jets this Sunday at a hastily-called Press Conference at Patriot Plaza early this morning.
Head Coach Bill Belichick explained that this rare step was taken in an effort to shore-up its porous offensive line that has allowed Tom Brady to be hit 32 times and sacked 16 times in its first 5 games! In fact, TB12, as he has come to be known, is currently listed as "Questionable" on the Patriots Injury Report due to a sprain of the AC Joint in his left (non-throwing) shoulder and only practiced on Thursday for the 1st time all week.
"This unprecedented roster move was allowed by the NFL and the NFLPA," Belichick revealed at the Press Conference "via a little-known loop-hole in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows one Senior Citizen Exemption on the 53-player roster per game."
"Given the fact that he lives in Northern NJ not far from MetLife Stadium, he has been a life-long, die-hard fan of the Patriots franchise since its inception in 1960 (as the Boston Patriots) while growing up in Lunenburg, MA, and, most importantly, he's just finished nine (9) grueling work-outs at CrossFit-Mahwah that have him in the best shape he's been in since he played at UConn in the early 1970's, and his willingness to play back-up for 3rd year Center David Andrews, we thought it would be worth having him suit up for this AFC East Conference match-up."
This signing could be yet another shrewd roster maneuver orchestrated by Belichick and Robert Kraft, Owner of the 5-time Super Bowl and Defending Champion Patriots who are struggling in the midst of a disappointing 3-2 start this season. Their 3 most obvious "OFIs" (Opportunities for Improvement) are: 1.) Reducing the number of Penalties, 2.) Tightening up the Defense (which is currently ranked #31 overall giving up almost 450 yards of Total Offense per Game), and 3.) Reducing, if not eliminating, the number of times Tom Brady gets hit or sacked on offense.
Through five games, Brady, who turned 40 during the Pre-Season, has already been hit 32 times, one shy of his 2016 total and has also been sacked 16 times, one more than his total for all of last season. He is on pace to be sacked 51 times this season — nearly as many times as the past two seasons combined (53) and a number that would easily be the most in his career. Ruggles wants to reverse this trend this week-end against the Jets.
When reached for comment, Ruggles beamed: "Who knew? I'm excited! This is a dream-come-true for me and I think I'm ready for the challenge more so now than any other time in my adult life. Since our management consulting practice has always been focused on helping our clients find and overcome their performance struggles, what better way could I find than to help my favorite professional sports team -- the New England Patriots -- do just that this week-end in my own back-yard? To me, you're either part of the solution or part of the problem. I've always been someone who looks to be part of a team of problem-solvers and this could be the latest opportunity to do just that!"
It's clear something drastic HAD to be done and it should be interesting to see if the 65-year old Ruggles can contribute to a Patriots victory on Sunday afternoon in the Meadowlands.