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Despite oodles of speed, Bill Belichick isn’t constructing a track team- so we did it for him

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The Patriots have speed on speed on speed on speed.

NFL: AFC Championship-Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots acquired speedy receiver Phillip Dorsett from the Indianapolis Colts and added him to their treasure trove of other speedy athletes on the roster. After years of focusing on short area quickness, it seems like the Patriots are instead looking to take the top off of the opposing defense.

Dorsett was immediately compared to Brandin Cooks, the other speedy receiver the Patriots acquired this offseason, and head coach Bill Belichick wanted to focus on their abilities outside of their speed.

“I think both those players have a number of good skills at their position,” Belichick said about Cooks and Dorsett. “I’d say it’s the combination of all of it. You know, we’re not putting together a track team here. We’re trying to build a football team. A good football player is a good football player. Whatever those skills are, if they can help our team, great. Everything’s important, but I don’t think one thing is – in this league, being able to do one thing just isn’t enough to have much value. Maybe a little, but in the end, it’s usually not enough.”

There’s a reason why Cooks cost the Patriots a first round pick and Dorsett cost a third-string quarterback; one has back-to-back 1,000+ yard seasons and the other was struggling to find a role in their third season. They both have different qualities outside of their speed that make them valuable assets and it’s up to the Patriots to maximize those skills.

But that’s not why I’m here.

“We’re not putting together a track team.” - Belichick

That’s what you think, Bill.

These are the fastest Patriots on the roster based on their 40-yard dash times and what would create the ultimate NFL track team with a sprint relay in mind.

The Locks

Brandin Cooks, Phillip Dorsett, and CB Jonathan Jones all ran a blazing 4.33s 40-yard dash. They’re absolutely making the sprint relay team.

The Depth

FS Devin McCourty ran a 4.38s 40-yard dash, while CB Johnson Bademosi at 4.39s is the only other player sub-4.4; Bademosi’s came at his Pro Day, which usually provides slightly faster times. CB Stephon Gilmore came in at 4.40s on the nose.

The Bubble

ST Matthew Slater is a surprise bubble player with a 4.44s 40-yard dash, and he is joined by WR Malcolm Mitchell (4.45s) and CB Eric Rowe (4.45s) on the fringe of the Second Team All Sprint squad.

ST Brandon King gets a special shout out for running a 4.49s 40 yard dash at nearly 220 pounds.


So there you have it- two Patriots track teams.

First Team: Cooks, Dorsett, Jones, McCourty

Second Team: Bademosi, Gilmore, Slater, Mitchell or Rowe

You’re welcome, Bill.