With OTAs in the books for the Patriots and mini camps set to begin, it’s been an interesting stretch recently as the team started working with quite a few new players who will hopefully help this team take the next step heading into the 2014 season.

Coming off of their AFC Championship loss earlier this year, this group seems to have a different feel and a new sense of urgency at this point in the offseason compared to we’ve seen in recent years.  With training camp just over a month away, it will still be a while before most fans will be able to get a look at this group with their own eyes. However, from what’s been reported, it may be one that could also potentially end up making some serious noise this season.

From a personnel standpoint, it’s hard not to feel as though they’ve improved on the defensive side of the football.  Free agent cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis are two of the most notable names having been added into the mix, which should be solid upgrades in a secondary that has already played better and showed encouraging signs of improvement last season.

Despite the free agent defection of cornerback Aqib Talib, the Patriots came out on top by adding Revis and also added a physical presence in Browner that’s been lacking in past seasons.  Some experts still believe the Broncos will come out on top should these two teams meet again in the postseason, but how this team grows from September to December will ultimately determine whether or not they’ve got what it takes to prove they can contend for another championship.

There’s still a long way to go and it’s obviously a little too early to tell at this point what the future holds.  But looking back through OTAs, some players have already set some expectations for themselves.  Some will build on it, while others will end up looking for work in the months ahead.  However, for now, here’s a quick rundown at some things that transpired which should be fun to watch in the weeks and months to come.