New England Patriots Links 7/26/10 - Brady Shows Up, Checks In With Rookies

Tom Brady is present and accounted for. What will the media do?

Ian Rapoport gets Robert Kraft's take on the new season and the infusion of youth.

"It’s a business where you always got to keep looking to the future if you want to win," Kraft said in a recent phone interview. "And you try to balance that with being responsible to the people who have produced for you big time. It’s hard. But we have the best coach in the NFL (in Bill Belichick) and our personnel department is top drawer. This is a business where, when you get too sentimental..."

Kraft trailed off, leaving unsaid a core tenet of the franchise’s consistent run of winning: The desire to be successful trumps personal feelings.

"The only way you’re going to survive in this business is to replenish your team with younger players each year," Kraft said. "Hopefully, it’s not done in a shock atmosphere. I think we have done a good job in accumulating picks. We’ve lost some great players, and that’s the reason we were so good. But nothing goes forever in this business."

"You can be unrealistic, but in the end, you’ve got to keep building the business all the time," Kraft said. "Remember, you’re one injury away all the time from just being an 8-8 team. So, you got to continuously work your roster."

Michael Lombardi (NFL.com) Evaluating the AFC.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Blue-chip players: NT Vince Wilfork, WR Wes Welker, OG Logan Mankins, QB Tom Brady, HC Bill Belichick.

Red-chip players: WR Randy Moss, OT Sebastian Vollmer, OT Matt Light, DE Ty Warren SS Brandon Meriweather, LB Tully Banta-Cain.

Brady is still in the top 10 among quarterbacks, but like many Patriots he will need to play better in 2010 then he did last season. Welker was a blue-chipper last year, but I'm not sure he can regain that level coming off his knee injuries. Linebacker Jerod Mayo did not make the list because of the knee injury that kept him out of the first four games last year and slowed him thereafter. The Patriots need him to be an effective player again.

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