The dust has settled on the season and as I was working out in the gym this morning, my mind turned to who had really come on this season and shown us some sharp improvement in their game, and I've come up with a list of five for debate. They don't include rookies as obviously there was no benchmark for comparison as NFL players. 1 - Ty Warren. Breakthrough season for lineman. This guy looks like a football stud, and was every bit as impressive on his side of the line as Seymour on the other. Perhaps more so as teams are still running away from Seymour. At this rate there won't be anywhere to run on the Pats in future as the line is solid. 2 - Asante Samuel. He'd shown us flashes before this season of what a good player he could be but nothing that suggested to me that he could end the season tied for the lead in the league's interception table and with people calling him a top five corner and a true shut down corner. I don't know if he's really reached that level, but he's not far off. 3 - James Sanders. It was a tough year to be in the Pats secondary with both Wilson and Rodney more or less gone for the season and a revolving cast of bit part players filling the safety slots. I thought Sanders stepped up to the plate superbly and improved throughout the season. Sure he was a long way from perfect, but then he's a second year fourth rounder, and I thought he showed good smarts, he was strong in the tackle and he'll be a valuable fixture on the roster for the remaining two years on his contract and perhaps beyond. 4 - Logan Mankins. You have to love second year guys from Fresno State. Mankins made a great start to his career as a rookie and he carried that through into his sophomore year with the sort of season that had commentators talking about him as a Pro Bowler. Like the rest of the line, the run blocking needs to improve, but he's now the anchor on the line and the team's best OL. 5 - Jabar Gaffney/Reche Caldwell. Nothing, but nothing, in these guys' NFL careers to date indicated that either of these guys could be a number two receiver on a team making a deep play-off run. But both played well above themselves to help the Patriots through a difficult season receiver-wise. Hopefully they can start next season as the 2 and 3 receivers, or maybe even the 3 and 4 if Jackson is able to contribute. I make Gaffney the senior of the two. It's just gut instinct but he seems to have a little more about him abnd with time in the offence, and in a stronger corps, I think he could become a very valuable component in the offence.