Let's get something straight Patriots Nation, this team is far from being elite. The sad truth is adding a few good players will do nothing to bring them to the top again. There are two things you can do as a fan: you can choose to put on your Patriot Blinders (you know the ones with the little flying Elvis emblems on the tips) and continue to lie to yourself and recall with friends the glory games from the last decade. Or you can force yourself to put away the 3-Disc Super Bowl commemorative DVD's and realize that the Patriots are in for some lean years. This may seem a little harsh but sometimes the truth hurts.
When looking back at this year's season, a couple of things stand out. The team looks soft; they can't make the big play or win the big game when needed, can't draft very well and is always just near the top of the salary cap. Somehow they have made it work from year to year but I believe that after all of the so-so draft choices, so-so free agents, and so-so veteran laden talent, this team is headed for trouble.
From what I saw this year, this team always seemed to get blown off the ball from both sides of the line. There was no heart, no desire to overcome adversity when sand was being kicked in their faces. It looks like the years of success have caught up with them. Knowing Bill he will get this right...eventually. We can simply look to history for the answers. In 2000-2002, Bill was building and sculpting a system that could sustain winning for years to come. It wasn't until 2003 that the team seemed to be a single unit with all moving parts joined and rolling together. I know that they won the Super Bowl in 2001, but that seems attributed to a team that got hot at the right time; aka the Giants in 2007. Just understand that the Patriot Way has now spanned across the NFL. With Scott, Romeo, and Charlie in KC, Josh McDaniel's in Denver, Eric the Toad in Cleveland, Thomas Dimitroff in Atlanta, and Parcels in Miami, the pickings are slim for the type of players that anchored those Super Bowl winning teams. This can all be attributed to the success of Belichick and his staff winning three Super Bowls as well as NFL becoming a copy cat league. Once something is proved to be a success, you can guarantee that it will be duplicated and improved by others. . So where do Bill Belichick and the Patriots go from here? The obvious answer is that Bill Belichick will once again have to reinvent this team and build another dynasty; it just might take a couple years to climb that mountain.