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NFL on FOX rates New England Patriots the #1 Franchise

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"Of course!!", says those in the know.  How hard is it to understand this?  How could the New England Patriots NOT be #1?  Adam Schein of NFL on FOX writes:

Bill Belichick is the best head coach in football. Tom Brady is the best quarterback in football. Bob Kraft is a fantastic owner who knows how to market his team while letting Belichick run everything dealing with football. New England got a 30 out of 30 for head coach, quarterback and owner. The league created what it thought was a dynasty-proof system with the salary cap, yet New England was able to dominate because of the structure established under Belichick and Kraft. The New England Patriots don't just top these rankings, they are the model franchise in all of professional sports.

Salary cap?  Who cares; I'll work my magic anyway.  And that is why the Patriots are consistently at the top of the heap and one of the teams to beat.  They know how to mix free agents and draftees to maximize the capabilities of the team.  A few teams have success by grooming all of their talent from the ground up, but that means you have to work vigorously to retain that talent.  The Colts seem to operate this way and not utilize free agency, but I'm partial to the Patriots approach.  Why?  I think this is a major reason for their success over the years: the ability to pull in talent when and where it's needed.

To my eyes, the 2009 free agents picked up by the Patriots are some of the best I've seen in a while.  Take Fred Taylor.  Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter sees a good year in "Fast Freddy":

The Patriots arguably have the deadliest passing game in the league with Tom Brady back from reconstructive knee surgery. He threw for a league-record 50 touchdowns two years ago and should be even more lethal with the arrival of veteran newcomers Joey Galloway and Chris Baker. Defenses are going to have to play a lot of nickel and dime packages, which should create running lanes for Taylor, who still has breakaway speed despite being 33. He also won't have to shoulder the load alone with Laurence Maroney returning from a season-ending shoulder injury.

Cities don't win championships and neither do sports facilities.  You can have those trophies.  Franchises win championships and the New England Patriots have the best of the best.

Is it September yet?