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.
- Erik Scalavino and Andy Hart debate which position will produce the most competitive battle for jobs in training camp.
- Patriots Roster Report - 7/23/10 Edition. Listen to this edition as we discuss guard Logan Mankins wide receiver Terrell Owens and more. (14.14 min. audio)
- Jeff Howe thinks Tom Brady will be professional about his contract dispute, regardless of what has appeared in the headlines.
- Jim Donaldson says Patriots fans don't need to worry about Tom Brady as there's no doubt a player of his character would hold out.
- Albert Breer thinks Tom Brady is sweating out his contract situation and "seems to be" frustrated. Puh-leeze.
- Chris Gasper says the only thing worse than doing a cap-crippling contract for Brady is not doing one.
- Tom E. Curran says Brady wants a new deal so he can forget about it, not so he can lord it over anyone. He just wants to play football, be with his family.
- Ian Rapoport takes stock of the remaining unsigned rookies Spikes and McCourty.
- Boston.com A fan's guide to Patriots Training Camp.
- Ian Rapoport offers five questions to ponder heading into camp.
- Mike Reiss offers his quick hit thoughts on the Patriots and around the NFL.
- Tom E. Curran thinks the Patriots offense has to snap out of it's woeful 2009 predictability.
- Christopher Price says not everyone was surprised Welker might be back for camp, and lays out his options.
Christopher Price rates the roster. Training Camp Edition Part 2 and Part 3.
- Albert Breer reports Elvis Dumervil's deal shows how teams are protecting themselves.
- Mike Reiss Camp Countdown: Brady at the helm.
- Mike Reiss Camp Countdown: LBs & development.
- Mike Reiss Camp Countdown: Young DBs.
- Mike Reiss analyzes who will be the consistent third option at WR.
- Jeff Howe takes a look at the Patriots offensive line heading into training camp.
Albert Breer scouts the schedule: Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.
- Jeff Howe points out that the Patriots are underdogs for the first time in the Brady-Belichick era since 2006.
- Eric Ortiz notes the Patriots live by an anti-TMZ code in a TMZ world, and that 's something to celebrate.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Reports: Brady in camp, talks favorable.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Wes Welker continues amazing recovery.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: Optimism is everywhere in the NFL with training camps cranking up.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Sizing up how AFC East chips are stacked.
- Aaron Wilson (Nat'l Football Post) Robert Kraft convinced youth movement is the Patriots' way.
- Jamison Hensley (Baltimore Sun) Ravens rookie LB Sergio Kindle is in stable condition after suffering a head injury at a house in Austin, Texas.
- Todd Archer (Dallas News) Dez Bryant not interested in carrying pads.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Days to go: AFC East's unsigned rookies.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East gets some power rankings love.
- John P. Lopez (SI) Tight ends may have had a better decade than any position group.