Belichick's "one-voice" approach and tight organizational measures have worked to supreme success in New England. But that success has included two very important factors -- it's taken place under Belichick's direction and with Tom Brady at quarterback. Winning begat winning and with more winning came a more stringent faith in the way things are run in Foxborough.
Conventional wisdom says you need more size at the NFL wide receiver position. The numbers, however, hint otherwise.
Like its collegiate counterpart, professional football is transitioning to more of a speed-dominated game. Sure, 330-plus-pound defensive tackles are needed to nose the popular 3-4 defensive scheme, but that’s only to make up for a lack of size on the ends of the D-line, which have been replaced by more versatile (and speedier) outside linebackers. Look at the success of the Wildcat formation last season. The Wildcat’s fundamental principles are speed and spreading the field (much like the NCAA’s triple option), as opposed to the fullback-led I-Formation, pounding for every earned yard.
Adrian Hasenmayer (Fox Sports) ranks which teams are best positioned to not just survive, but flourish at quarterback in 2009. Patriots rank 6th in his opinion. His argument is off in mine.
The man is back, and all of New England can breathe sighs of relief. But what if Brady, the three-time Super Bowl champion, gets hurt again? Well, we scoffed at the Pats' chances last September when Mr. Perfect got injured because Matt Cassel — a dude who had not started a game since freaking high school. Then Cassel turned in a Pro Bowl season. Could Bill Belichick do it again with NFL mysteries O'Connell, Gutierrez and Hoyer? Highly unlikely.
- Chris Gasper filling in for the vacationing Mike Reiss, answers reader questions in Thursday's online chat.
- Christopher Price offers additional Training Camp info.
- Michael Felger answers his summer mailbag, with enough Patriots questions and comments thrown in to keep it interesting. There's even a spygate question so it must be summer.
- Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk) Pats not likely to bring back McGinest.
- Jason La Confora (NFL.com) Which free agent deserves a roster spot the most?
- Alex Marvez Where will Wildcat go from here?
- Jamie Dukes (NFL.com) NFL players are people too. Everyone should be held to the same standard.
- David Krichavsky (NFL.com) USO Tour Day 1: The right team. USO Tour Day 2: A time of transition in Iraq.
- Jason La Confora (NFL.com) Good time to be a first-time coach.
- Mike Golic (ESPN) Golic discusses some of the new coaches heading into the 2009 season. Josh McDaniels has biggest shoes to fill. (2.40 min. video)
- Greg Bishop (NY Times) Calvin Pace is latest Jet to face doping suspension.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Pace suspension major setback for Jets.
Jason La Confora (NFL.com) Do we need Brett Favre more than we realize? Perhaps there's no such thing as true Favre saturation and you have to admit, his sense of timing is impeccable.