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Are the Patriots still rebuilding?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATSNUTme, Jan 26, 2012.

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  1. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I have looked at the past 2 years as rebuilding years for the Patriots. The fact that they went 14-2 last year and 13-3 and in the Super bowl is remarkable, IMO.

    Think about the Patriots roster in 2007. The only defensive player that played on the 18-1 team is Big Vince. all other players are new to the team. Think about about the players that were on the D in the 2007 season, Rodney, Tedy, Seymour, Warren, Zant, Vrable, and several more that have either retired or are now with other teams,or just out of football.

    Yet here they are in The Super Bowl with a 50-50 chance to win going in. This is why I have really enjoyed the past 2 years. Yes, I will be very disappointed if they lose in the SB, and elated if they win.

    This next off season I expect the rebuilding on D to be finished with the signing of solid FA's on the D, don't have to be the big names, and getting one or 2 younger players in the draft. With TFB having 3 more years of playing at high level and all the good young players now on the roster on offense, we have noting but good times to look forward to for the foreseeable future.

    Agree? Disagree?
  2. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Their Always rebuilding, its a continual process with BB IMO
  3. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Are the Patriots still rebuiding?

    Belichick is never stopping to retool this team. Look in 2003 and 2004. Belichick added Corey Dillon in 2004 after he felt his team wasn't balanced enough in 2003 even though the Pats went 14-2 and won the Super Bowl.

    Some years he doesn't put as much effort to fix things as other because of cap considerations or other factors, but this team is in a constant state of retooling and rebuilding. That is why they are going to their fifth Super Bowl in the 12 years of the Belichick era. Other teams stand pat when they have a good team, but Belichick is constantly trying to improve this team (sometimes he fails though).
  4. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    Yep, always.
  5. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan Rookie

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    BB will look at this team every week and ask what he can do to make it better. There is no complacency and the players, regardless of round selected or UDFA, with the best chance of allowing the team to win will be starting.

    Veterans can't coast and those special teams players know they can be a starter if they continue to contribute and hone their skills. Who wouldn't want to play for BB if it means you get a chance to play. Only thise guys who thinks their skills and name are bigger than the team (and yes Albert , we're talking about you and a host of other players)
  6. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Put me in the "always" camp.

    BB wasn't a college coach, but his father was. He's not afraid of coaching new guys.
  7. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    There is a big difference between making a few annual roster changes and rebuilding.

    I think that with all the losses of players since 2008-2009 to the core players, any team would be a rebuilding team, including the Patriots, even with the records they have been able to achieve.
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    As others have said, we always are, but I have always looked at the next couple of seasons where we should really get good. This season has been almost an accident for me - a little like 2001 ahead of 2003, 2004. We have the TEs, Welker, young OL, young RB and Brady should be good for about 5 more. Things didn't really click personnel wise defensively in the secondary but Bill has the picks and the salary cap to fix that. Defensively I still think it's basically a tryout camp and Bill will re-visit the personnel in the offseason and move out the ones we won in spite of - which will be quite a few.

    I think we're close to being REALLY good again and I expect an interesting offseason, I could see another Colvin type signing if someone is willing to take a little less for some hate and T-Shirts. Of course Mario Williams would be the perfect guy but 31 other teams probably feel the same way.

    Anyway, yes, I think this was more of a rebuilding year than average and 2012-2014 are the target years for greatness; offense shouldn't be an issue, we just need the younger defenders to gradually improve with experience and hit a few times on defense in the draft and FA (1 CB, 1 S at an absolute minimum).
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  9. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Pats went to the AFC Championship in 2006 and then added Moss, Welker, Thomas, Stallworth, etc. the following year. There are plenty cases of where the Pats were great and still retooled. He is always doing it.

    This upcoming offseason is going to be different. The lockout didn't allow Belichick to make many of the changes he wanted to do. This offseason, about 25% of the players in the league are going to be free agents. Belichick will likely make more moves than usual because the last few years the free agent market has been devoid of good young players and this offseason will be flushed with them.
  10. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks Rookie

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    The Patriots defensive backfield and OLB position is still a disaster, they have made it to the superbowl because of an excellent offense headed by a HOF QB and great coaching. Do not be fooled, the Patriots defense is not that good and the Patriots offense still is in need of a physical WR that can get down the field.

    If you remove Brady and BB and replace them with mediocrity or even "good" the Patriots are probably a little better than the 2011 Colts.
  11. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    In today's NFL every team turns over greater than 50% of their roster every 4 years. Pats only have 7 active players from the 2007 team and the Giants 15 as examples. That said I do believe the Pats are at a cross road of sorts with the defense where they can go from average to top ten if they can add a few pieces and a few other pieces take that next step.

    Can you imagine the Patriots offense coupled with the Ravens defense? Other teams would look fondly on the 2007 season when they only ran up the score a little.
  12. ay-yo

    ay-yo Rookie

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    While BB is constantly retooling I do see these last 2-3 years as a bit of a rebuild.

    Rookie
    Solder
    Ridley

    2nd year
    Gronk
    Hernandez
    McCourty
    Spikes
    Deaderick
    Love

    3rd year
    Chung
    Vollmer
    Edelman
    Arrington

    4th year
    Mayo
    Slater
    BJGE (only 2 years as lead back)

    That's 15 important contributors to the team. Players are normally in their peak around years 7-8. Give this group some time, add a few more quality players and look out. If you thought teams were sick of us before . . . :D
  13. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think you have to look at the fact that the Pats have retooled annually by position. In 2007 they revamped the WR core. BB has been trying for four years (unsucessfully) to draft a defensive backfield. 2010 was obviously the year to retool/reinvent the TE position. But you look at this team, it is in the Superbowl, and has some very young players.

    QB: TFB, I feel good about having Mallett, he has the talent to be a very good QB in this league.
    RB: BJGE is solid, Very young with Ridley and Vareen (if he ever stops channelling Crable)
    TE: all set, maybe add another just to mess with people
    OL: added three first round talents in Vollmer, Solder, and Cannon, Mankins still has tread left on his tires, they need to add a Center in the upcoming draft.
    WR: WWW needs to be re-signed. This poistion needs to be addressed in the draft/FA. Oddley enough, WR is the position that they Pats are the oldest at.

    As for the Defense, they are even younger:

    DL: Vince is a beast, Deaderick, Love, Pyror, are all serviable young players. Still they need a stud DE.
    LB: Nice core, Mayo, Spikes, Ninkovich, still could use another.
    DB: it seems they are better off signing UDFAs thatn drafting guys. McCourtey should be OK, Chung has spurts, but they absolutely need a thumper at FS, Moore is one of their best DBS right now.

    You also have to give BB credit for drafting the kickers, the Pats have one of the best kicking duos in the league.

    So I think the rebuilding is almost complete, Still their are holes, but what team doesn't have holes? What BB has done is to make sure that his team doesn't get old at the same time. There is plenty of youth on this team.

    Imagine how good they would be, if they hit on more than 50% of their draft picks?
  14. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Is their OLB position really a disaster? Ninkovich has been pretty good this post season and Mayo is solid. The front seven as constituted is pretty good right now. I do think they need to improve in the secondary, but a rebound by McCourty (or a permanent change to safety) and return of Dowling might fix a lot or most of those problems.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  15. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Rookie

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    I think you are obviously are always retooling the roster to some extent. I think the biggest "rebuilding" that has been going on has been in the area of mental toughness.

    In 2009, we did not have a very mentally tough team. I think a lot of times int he last few years, when BB would jettison a young talented player that was a reasonably high pick fairly quick, he was roundly criticized for "another draft bust" or dumping someone without giving them the proper time to develop. It seems clear that he had just made up his mind that those players, potential talent as they may by, just did not have the mental toughness to win these tough games. So rather then wasting time developing a a guy that you don't think will be as tough as you need him to be, he dumped them.

    This year, I think we all recognize that the team he's built is much tougher then it has been in MANY year (even 2007's team, which wasn't nearly as tough as talented). Probably the toughest since the 2003-2004 range.

    If there is any rebuilding beyond the "typical" roster adjustments, it's been mental rebuilding.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  16. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Bill is quite fond of the old adage if you aren't getting better you're getting worse. So he retools annually. But he did undertake a rebuild of sorts on both sides of the ball necessitated by the loss of core players. The offense in 2007 - and despite immediate statistical success that rebuild continued into 2011. And on defense in 2008 after he anticipated losing or lost or determined it was time to move on from the core leaders on that side of the ball. That remains a work in progress, although we finally do appear to be making progress towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

    That said, I agree with the op's contention that the future is bright - although I forsee more like 4-5 more elite TFB years (and a couple of potential still better than anyone who might replace him years - which could be quite enjoyable still pending the makeup of the remainder of those teams).
  17. Fball

    Fball Rookie

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    BB is always looking for better combinations of players, but it all revolves around Brady. They've managed to find success with him with essentially 3-4 completely different lineups over the past decade.

    I have contended that you could take the entire roster of a team like the Bills and change it with the current Pats, save Brady, and the team would probably play as at high a level as it is right now (and the Bills would still be just as bad).
  18. Double TE

    Double TE The Best in the World PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So its all Bill and Brady?

    Team went 11-5 under Cassel? It think its scheme, culture, ownership, coaching....everything. Its not as if Brady is throwing to Caldwell and Gaffney not. He is throwing to awesome TEs and one of the best slot receivers in the NFL.

    The D only has Vince back but it was awful for 90% of the season as well. Its a huge work in process but I think its much better with Chung and Spikes back and will be even better next year if the big corner Dowling can stay healthy. I like the additions of Anderson and Carter too and Ninko has really stepped up huge!!!
  19. Fball

    Fball Rookie

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    I think that 11-5 year was a bit flukey, though the defense was still pretty beast then.

    Brady's detractors use it as "proof" that he's a system QB, but I would wager this year's team would be .500 at best without him; maybe a bit worse even...
  20. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Of course we're rebuilding. great teams change yearly, but depend on a core. we're rebuilding the entire defense, minus Wilfork, and that includes dumping guys that are lackadaisical.

    No team is ever "perfect" and all star teams usually fail, so we're looking for that combination that can last a bit, like we had earlier.

    Most teams lose that core and fall apart for a while. We pretty much skipped that step. We managed to win with an over the hill team and a fairly green team, but are really a couple in the secondary, a WR and the maturing of our RB group away from being awesome.

    That being said, awesome usually doesn't come, there are always problems, and we're in the damn Super Bowl!
  21. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I remember going into that season, I looked at the schedule and didn't see anyway that the Pats could go worst than 13-3. So that had a little to do with it. Still, 11-5 with a QB who had not started a game since High School, is one hell of a coaching, scouting job.
  22. oldskool138

    oldskool138 Rookie

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  23. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Unlike the Cassandra fans and of course the mediots have to produce copy every day, I like to try to step back and have some perspective. The Patriots started to rebuild in earnest, midway through the 2008 season. Prior to that, I think Belichick was patching, to try and eke out another year from his basic SB roster. Witness the trades for Welker, Moss and Adalius and the unseen of idea of using a First Round pick on a short term player like a RB.

    But when Brady went down and the oldsters continued to slow, I think he decided he would have to strip the roster down, and start essentially afresh. The Defense was older, so he began there. He even got a nice retirement package for a favorite, Mike Vrable, extracting a promise from Pioli to pay him, and included him in the Cassel trade.

    I think he had to choose between youngsters Wilfork and Mankins versus future HOF d-lineman Richard Seymour and let Seymour go, kind of implicitely acknowledging that Richard would not be Richard, or even in the League perhaps, when the Pats were next in the Super bowl competition.

    Some have criticized Belichick for drafting players high and then apparently inexplicably giving up on them before they had an opportunity to mature. But Bill can tell the difference between talent, and talent with true grit, and will choose the lesser talented but with grit, every time.

    Occasionally he spent on Offensive players, Vollmer, Tate, Price, Vareen Riddley but mostly drafted Defense, until he thought he had found the proper foundation. As you scan the defensive roster you find names like Deaderick, Love, Wright, Pryor, Ninkovitch, Fletcher, Guyton, Arrington, Sanders, Slater, Moore, Brown, that accompany the higher drafted people like McCourty, Chung, Cunningham, Spikes, Meriwether, Wheately, Butler.

    Some were discarded even though they can play and are active in the league elsewhere, like Wheatley, Willhite, Butler, Sanders and Meriwether, for perhaps lesser talents but with poise and grit.

    There have been fans and critics that were undermining Belichick with the same snide comments that ultimately destroyed both Paul Brown and Don Shula. "...the game has passed him by", or he has "lost it". Or he is "poor as a GM" and should step down, even though he ends up with in effect double drafts every year. He and his teams have made the playoffs for three seasons now; but never really had a Super bowl-winner, quality club. BB may even be a season premature, even now. But here he is. I expect this club will win a Lombardi, with an unexpected lopsided victory.

    Belichick is at the height of his genius. Who else could "rebuild" while winning 11, 12, 13 or 14 games a season, fashioning the best or second best record in the league? Most would accept a few 5-11 seasons, but not Bill Belichick.

    You haven't seen anything yet. NFL Beware. Wait 'till NEXT year.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  24. oldskool138

    oldskool138 Rookie

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    Cassandra had the ultimate perspective. The god Apollo gave her the ability to accurately predict the future but the catch was that nobody would believe her.
  25. Stilla

    Stilla Rookie

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    Kraft and BB have instituted a paradigm for this franchise which inhibits the production of a rebuilding year.

    As a fan I have lowed my expectations through many seasons. We have lost core players, we have had changes to coaching on both sides of the ball. Play makers have been traded, injured, and have gotten to old to play. Yet, every year BB pulls out a winning season. Its very exciting to see the teams develop into that typical NE franchise every year.

    Every thing listed above would give any other coach a justification for a sub par season, and people would accept a coach claiming that they have been attempting to rebuild the team. I don't think BB would ever utter the phrase, "its been a rebuilding year for us."
  26. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    So ?? In the long range, we are all DEAD !! :rolleyes: Life is a terminal disease. :(:eek:
  27. Ivan

    Ivan Rookie

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    Agree with the OP completely. There's a difference between always trying to improve the tem, which never ends, and a rebuild, which involves replacing the key core players, such as Vrabel, Bruschi, Harrison etc.... Imo Belichik is nearing the end of the rebuild of their 1st dynasty team, and if they can pull off a win in the Super bowl this could well be the start of a second one. They still have pieces to add as the defense isn't done yet and they still need WR's to stretch the field wide and deep, but most of the work is done and they have the most important piece in Brady for another 4-5 years.
  28. oldskool138

    oldskool138 Rookie

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    I don't believe you.

    :p :D
  29. EJ Blitz

    EJ Blitz Rookie

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    I hope that BB drafts some LEGIT defensive players. But he probably won't, just to stick it to us. Want a OLB? Naw, how about an injury prone CB and a couple more RBs.
  30. Ivan

    Ivan Rookie

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    Me too, he sucks....................
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