Postcards from Camp: Cuban Refugees

Bobby Sansone, Senior Writer

August 26, 2003

PARTS UNKNOWN – The defending AFC East champions had a wild off-season. A trade that wasn’t, a mass exodus of veterans, and some surprise cuts should make for an interesting regular season for the team that carries 3 TEs. Owner Anthony Aceto won’t try to repeat as division champion but rather rebuild the team though the draft and free agency. Expect outlandish trades on draft day as Aceto will try to rebuild tis team as quickly as possible.

Biggest Question Facing Owner Anthony Aceto

Who should be a part of the rebuilding process? The Refugees seem to have 4 players to build around. QB Patrick Ramsey has the potential to be an excellent fantasy player. K Adam Vinatieri has resurrected his career since being traded from the Thugs for a player to be named later (the player has yet to be named by the way). TE Todd Heap is among the league’s elite TEs and WR Plaxico Burress seems poised to have a huge year.

Rising Star

Todd Heap. Heap leads a roster which includes two other TEs. Aceto isn’t afraid to use Heap at the UT position if Daniel Graham develops into the player the Patriots believe he can be. Look for Heap to challenge Tony Gonzalez, Bubba Franks and Alge Crumpler for the AFC’s TE Pro Bowl spot.

Probable Starters

Ramsey, (Antowain) Smith, (Anthony) Thomas, Bruce, Burress, Heap, Vinatieri, TBD

Final Observations

The Refugees do have some building blocks but will struggle to win 6 games this season. Aceto will work hard to trade his veterans for draft picks and young players. Anthony Thomas needs to bounce back from a sub par 2002 season if he wants to be a part of the Refugees future. The Refugees do play in the league’s weakest division which means they could be competitive as soon as next year.