The New England Patriots are heading into the great unknown following the offseason departures of not just quarterback Tom Brady but also other cornerstones such as Kyle Van Noy, Duron Harmon and Nate Ebner — all players who have had an impact not just on the field over the last few years (or decades, in Brady’s case) but the locker room as well. So while the loss of on-field talent is noteworthy, the off-field aspect cannot be ignored either.
According to one of the leaders of the early Patriots dynasty, however, this will not pose a problem for the club in 2020: Rodney Harrison recently joined fellow NBC Sports analyst Mike Tirico to speak about numerous NFL-related topics, and the leadership questions surrounding Harrison’s former team came up as well. The two-time Super Bowl winner and former team captain in New England does not see an issue in this regard.
“I think the Patriots, that’s the last thing they’re worried about is leadership. You got so many leaders on the defensive side of the ball, you got quiet leaders on the offensive side of the ball and, of course, you still have Bill Belichick,” Harrison said and also followed his statement with a prediction about the Patriots’ record in 2020: “I think this is a team that’s looking at a 10-6 record, maybe 9-7 at the worst-case scenario.”
The Patriots finishing the first season after Brady’s departure with a winning record is not out of the realm of possibility, but it will be difficult: not only did the team lose considerable talent, it also faces one of the tougher regular season schedules in all of football. That said, New England still fields plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball — and has the experience both on its roster and coaching staff to find success even without the greatest quarterback of all time.