The bye week is a good time to step back and look at the Patriots big picture. In BB: A Football Life, at the end of 2009 Hoodie remarked to TFB that he couldn't get that team to play the way he wanted them to. Thus began a significant rebuilding effort, going 14-2 the next year did not change this philosophy, I believe this success reinforced said mindset.
Offensively the pats have a dynamic, multifaceted attack. A solid and deep O-Line, 2 excellent tight ends that complement each other, 2 fine dependable wide receivers, a stable of running backs and a hall of fame quarterback, also QB depth in a steady backup and talent to groom for the future. We have seen how NFL defenses are trying to slow them down, clog the middle, play press coverage and get to Brady. Depending on scheme and personnel they have had varying degrees of success/failure. Along with an emerging running game I believe Taylor Price and Shane Vereen to be the last brush strokes in the magnificent oil painting that is the Pats offense. Home run hitters that must be accounted for. I don't liken football teams to jigsaw puzzles, you can't just snap the last few pieces in, I see it as a painting, the hue and texture of the additions must be blended and applied in a careful, painstaking manner. Only then can the true beauty be seen.
Defensively they threw out the old canvas and started anew. Sure there were some good paint left on the pallet but the image that was coming into view wasn't that appealing. Now we see very good interior linemen plus Mayo, Spikes, Carter, Chung, McCourty, Arrington that have developed into a nice foundation. The often tedious process of adding Dowling/Cunningham and the necessary yet mundane colors of Ninko, Guyton, Ihedigbo and Ellis to the artwork remains an improving yet incomplete work. Its not as striking as the offensive painting, but we have not seen the finished product. Whether they can finish the job this year is debatable. Patience is not an abundant virtue amongst Patriots art critics.
I believe Belichick, the artist, has learned a great deal from his previous endeavors. He has added more natural and instinctive colors that blend together better than scientifically processed ones. Did Monet go down to Home Depot to get his colors matched? Pardon me Nick Caserio but I don’t think so.
As it is the bye week I took the opportunity to spend 24 hours suspended from the roof of my sweat lodge with only a bottle of tequila, a grocery bag of peyote and the insistent pounding of tribal drums to comfort my soul. A full day of chanting and astral projection put me into a state of mind that is needed to see just cloudy visions of the Pats future.
I saw a 12 foot tall Mel Kiper, Jr., his hair and face painted blue, in Aztec Priest garb saying 'The Patriots are going all in on defense at this year's draft. 2 outside linebackers and a safety already. I can’t believe they traded up.' in a strange N'ahuatl dialect. I saw Shane Vereen take a swing pass and go 75 yards with it. I saw a corner miss a jam on Price and chase him into a foggy blizzard. I saw Dowling and McCourty dancing in the confetti.
Y ahua yia o ahua yia ohuaya ohuaya. Y ahua yia o ahua yia ohuaya ohuaya.