The Dynasty Years for the Patriots might be long gone, but the philosophy of “team” football still exists, and it really began on September 9th, 2001 at Paul Brown Stadium against the Bengals. The “Patriot Way” was born before the game even began, as the Patriots players were already being introduced before they were ready to come out. The players on that day came out as a “team”, and we are still feeling that influence today even on the current team.
It could still be a mystery to some regarding how the Patriots built their success, but it actually is pretty simple, and it is a “team” concept. It is not all about the individual talent as some in the media like to preach. There is so much more to it, and is something that statistics really cannot measure.
When the Patriots decided to come out as a team in 2001, it really built a foundation that you can see on the field today. No one player is bigger than the team, and everyone has their part, along with the coaching staff, and the entire organization.
Go back and look at the rosters of the three Super Bowl Championship teams, and you will see the big names, but you will also see, Larry Izzo, Matt Chatham, Don Davis, Anthony Pleasant, and Bobby Hamilton who all had serious contributions to the success of these teams. You have the current head coach Bill Belichick, but back then you also had Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Eric Mangini, and Pepper Johnson. All of these coaches had their impact, and were a part of the success.
The Patriot Way is really about being a complete team, and coming out as a team together signified that. I do believe you need your share of talent to win, but if you have the team concept to go with it, you can have something special.
To this day, I don’t think any of those three Super Bowl Champions were the most talented team in the NFL in those particular seasons. It was a philosophy and talent together that won those rings, and some people still cannot understand how they did it.
I was reminded how special those teams were at halftime of the Patriots game against the Broncos. Members of all three Patriots Super Bowl Championship teams were there in a special ceremony. What was so great about this event was that you got to see players like Richard Seymour, Ty Law and Troy Brown, but you also saw Matt Chatham, Joe Andruzzi, and Lonnie Paxton, who also played their roles. To top it off these players were introduced as a “team” when they came out to Gillette Stadium.
Looking forward to this season, the Patriot Way with its team concept I can tell is instilled in this current team. How about rebounding after the Chiefs loss, and the dismantling of the Bengals? How about beating the Bills on the road when Buffalo really had so much on the line to prove to everyone that they have arrived? How about last week against the Broncos against a team that many experts were picking to beat the Patriots?
This current Patriots team has shown the ability to play together as a team and overcome adversity. It is very hard to measure character and team play, but you know when you see it, and we have seen it from this team.
To the so called experts on television, radio and print who talk so much about talent just do not understand the Patriots and their success. Sometimes the most talented team can win the Super Bowl, but sometimes simply the best “team” wins, and that is represented by the three Super Bowl Championship Patriots teams.