Josh Parris was joining the players he was supposed to start the season with when he took the field alongside wide receivers Adrian Flemming, Ben Lewis and Jarrod West on Saturday.Parris earned the starting tight end spot in training camp, only to suffer a knee injury that required surgery on Aug. 20. During Syracuse’s 28-6 loss to Louisville on Friday, he made his full return and consistently provided an intermediate outlet for Terrel Hunt against the Cardinals.At the beginning of the season, SU tight ends coach Bobby Acosta said Parris mostly closely resembled the ideal tight end for Syracuse’s offense. And while he wasn’t explosive in replacing his original replacement, Kendall Moore, Parris did tie for the team lead in receptions with West.Lining up at tight end, in the slot and out wide against the Cardinals, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Parris gave the Orange 34 yards on five catches — the most by an SU tight end this season —and established himself as a consistent option with first-choice receivers Ashton Broyld and Brisly Estime injured.“He does what he always does, he makes catches,” Orange running back Prince-Tyson Gulley said. ”He was good for us on the tight end, blocking and everything, so he helped us out big-time.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textParris was especially helpful on third downs, SU offensive coordinator George McDonald said, and gave SU important yards after the catch.He often came in for a running back on third-and-medium situations and swapped out for ball-carriers when Syracuse wanted a fuller backfield.On third-and-4 at the Louisville 39-yard line on SU’s second drive, he caught a pass at the 30 on the right side of the field and burst through a would-be tackler to the Cardinals’ 27. The Orange went on to score three of its six total points on the drive.“He made some very nice plays, he made some guys miss right after the catch,” McDonald said. “I was very pleased with him, I was happy for him because he’s worked so hard before the injury and then during the injury to get back.” Comments Published on October 6, 2014 at 12:12 am Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_ Facebook Twitter Google+
Perhaps Brady had grown tired of the Patriot Way and craved a new late-career challenge that turned out well for Manning, Brett Favre and his hero growing up, Joe Montana. I still say Tom Terrific should have recalibrated his intentions because of the bizarre, unforeseen circumstances existing today.As trivial as it is in the big picture of what’s going on around the world today, the coronavirus could wind up having the unforeseen effect of significantly curtailing Brady’s prep time, thus damaging his chances of having success with his new team at least in 2020.Jeff Diamond is a former president of the Titans and former vice president/general manager of the Vikings. He was selected NFL Executive of the Year in 1998. Diamond is currently a business and sports consultant who also does broadcast and online media work. He makes speaking appearances to corporate/civic groups and college classes on negotiation and sports business/sports management. He is the former chairman and CEO of The Ingram Group. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffdiamondNFL. Like many football fans, I would have loved to see Brady spend his entire career with the team he led to such great heights and dominance. It might be temporarily exciting to see how he performs in another uniform, and it will be thrilling if he can duplicate Peyton Manning’s feat of winning a Super Bowl with his new team in Denver after leaving Indianapolis.The networks will salivate over the chance to televise Brady’s first regular-season game, his first primetime game and perhaps his first playoff game. The league office will love the big ratings certain to come from Brady and the Bucs in a year of negotiations on the next TV contracts.Yet it won’t feel right, just as it didn’t to see any of the all-time greats in different jerseys during their swan songs.MORE TOM BRADY:Who will replace him in New England?Brady vs. Belichick: Who’s been more vital?Belichick’s reaction to Brady’s departureI get that Brady may have been irritated and had his pride wounded when the Patriots (and Belichick in particular) apparently didn’t make a stronger long-term commitment the past two years in contract talks. Or that Belichick was too often luke-warm in his praise of a three-time league MVP and six-time Super Bowl-winning QB. Now that we know Tom Brady is leaving New England after 20 years, the debate is on as to whether it was a wise decision on his part.I say no, not in this year of the coronavirus that already has changed how free agency operates and will dramatically alter the dynamics of the offseason program. If I were part of Brady’s inner circle, I would have recommended that he sign a one-year deal with the Patriots and wait another year before moving on if that was his ultimate desire. The coronavirus has put everything in limbo as of now, hence the announcement this week that the league and NFLPA have agreed to delay “indefinitely” the start of teams’ offseason programs. With other sports likely shut down until June at the earliest, it wouldn’t be a surprise if there are no organized team activities until training camp. And with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and how long it will take to get it under control, who’s to say that training camps won’t be shortened?That tells me the 2020 NFL season will test coaching skills more than any time since extensive offseason programs came to the forefront. It takes time to get everyone in sync, considering 30-40 percent of rosters turn over year-to-year due to free agency and the draft. Plus, more undrafted, minimum-salary players generally make the team to help balance out the salary cap.So if coaching is more important than ever this year, and you’re Brady, why not stay with league’s top coach in Bill Belichick and one of the best offensive coordinators in Josh McDaniels in order to achieve maximum success?Why not return, at least for this season, to the organization, coaches, teammates and offensive system you know like the back of your hand rather than journey into the less certain environment of a new team? (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/35/1b/tom-brady-031720-getty-ftrjpg_2ur7inwddm051pp7qvm7lf2xa.jpg?t=-348789952&w=500&quality=80 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/f7/9d/brady-belichick-031720-getty-ftrjpg_1m0gxqyig23rg10qvopaxvb6zj.jpg?t=-388253528&w=500&quality=80 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/75/f8/tom-brady-010820-getty-ftrjpg_cv52i0ukyays1113tb12szkfv.jpg?t=-2045854089&w=500&quality=80 MORE: Why the Bucs are the perfect fit for BradyIn a normal year, free agents are allowed to visit potential new teams and cities to check things out first-hand. Meet the general manager and coaches in person rather than via FaceTime. Tour the team facilities to be sure they’re first class. Talk in person with veteran players who live in the community. Just get a lay of the land and a feel for what’s truly the best fit.In the case of his presumed new team, the Buccaneers, Brady would fly to Tampa and spend considerable time with coach Bruce Arians, general manager Jason Licht and other coaches and staff. Whenever I signed a free agent, these in-person meetings were essential to finalizing my decision. It was more than a rubber stamp; I wanted to be sure of the personality and football fit.No such luck this year with team facilities closed to free agent visits due to the pandemic. Players and teams must take a leap of faith to make a move this month. In fact, teams are not even allowed to have their team doctors give physicals to free agents they’re planning to sign. They must rely on doctors in other cities and a prior team turning over medical records. As a GM, that would make me nervous before paying a large signing bonus or agreeing to contract guarantees.MORE: Patriots among NFL free agency losersIf this were a normal year, teams with returning coaches like Arians with the Bucs would begin the offseason program on April 20, so Brady would then have the following nine weeks with his new team to engage in conditioning, OTAs with on-field practices and a three-day minicamp.This is important time for a newly signed player — especially a quarterback — to assimilate into his team and really get to know the inner workings of the organization, his coaches and new teammates. Knowing his work ethic, Brady would spend as much extra face-to-face time as possible with his coaches before training camp opens in late July.MORE: Fantasy analysis of Brady to Bucs Yes, Brady will talk every day with his new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He probably will arrange to throw to his wide receivers, tight ends and running backs in Florida or California — if they’re willing to travel and if planes are flying in the coming weeks and months. NFL players aren’t accustomed to 18-hour driving trips.It’s just not the same as being in the team facility on a daily basis, working on the white board and viewing the video monitor in the coaches offices and hanging out with fellow players on both sides of the ball in the locker room and the team cafeteria.MORE BRADY:Other Hall of Fame QBs who changed teamsAnother factor in this equation is the personal time and energy expended with a move, especially with Brady’s family life being so important to him. NFL people do it all the time, as I did when I left the Vikings and joined the Titans. It’s never an easy transition, and the travel between Tampa and New York, where Brady has a home, will be a distraction whether Brady thinks so or not.I can understand Brady’s desire to move to a warm weather city such as Tampa. He will practice and play on grass, which is attractive to a 43-year-old player. He will move to an offense with weapons such as 1,000-yard receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and a potential top tight end in O.J. Howard. He will work with a quarterback guru in Arians. But I also believe Belichick will significantly upgrade the Patriots wide receivers and tights ends via free agency and the draft (with four picks in the first three rounds and 12 selections overall).I don’t believe money was a factor with Tampa Bay willing to step up to a higher level of cash than New England did. Brady and his family are set financially (for generations to come) through what he has earned playing and with endorsements along with his supermodel wife’s portfolio. So the financial aspects likely were low on his list of priorities in this decision.