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New England Patriots Links 4/13/10 - Patriots Don't Just Collect Talent, Their Goal is to Build A Team

Mike Reiss offers a terrific perspective piece on the Jets' big moves this offseason.

Scott Pioli used to have a note written on the board in his Patriots office that reminded him that he wasn't collecting talent, but instead, building a team. That process is ever-evolving and requires a lot more than a few splashy, headline-grabbing moves in March and April.

Ian Rapoport notes Damione Lewis wanted to be sure he could do the job, before signing with the Patriots.

Lewis wanted to make sure he could confidently make that kind of leap before signing a free agent deal with the Pats, so he got in touch with some players who have also had to switch defenses.

"Yeah, I talked to some guys I played with over the years who have made the transition from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense," Lewis said. "I asked about the differences. They told me what they felt was the difference. They actually said it would be an easier transition going from a 4-3, to a 3-4, than vice versa. The game is so much faster in a 4-3 as a lineman, than it is in a 3-4. They just said it’s a matter of being patient, and I’d be fine."

Lewis worked out with his new teammates for the first time yesterday, and started the relationship-building process. He said whatever leadership skills he may have aren’t forced.

"That’s just my personality. I just follow whatever path my personality puts me into," he said. "I’m not a big rah-rah guy. I’m not a very forceful guy. I’m just me. I’m very comfortable . . . I believe in having a good time . . . I believe in reaching out and talking to guys and asking them what’s going on in their personal life, and what’s going on out on the field. I think that’s where camaraderie comes from.

"Whatever role that puts me into, then that’s what it is," Lewis went on. "I’m not going to reach out and try to be something, I’m not, or be more than what I am."