Boy am I surprised. Back in 2007, I didn't look at anything that might even remind me of football until mid April, just before the draft, and the pain of that superbowl still haunts me. After this Superbowl, I knew the pain wouldn't be THAT bad, but I thought it would take me at least until the end of the month before I could think about football. I mean there was a superbowl that was in our grasp. There were so many turning points. The ball bouncing off our most reliable receiver's hands, that would have almost assured victory, while at the the same time the ball sticking to the hands of their LEAST reliable receiver's hands in the next series that essentially gave them the game. You know, SOOOOO close, yet SOOO far away. Its the stuff that wakes you up at night and fantasizing how different that game could have been IF Welker had simply caught the ball he catches 99 time out of hundred. BTW not that that was an easy catch by any means, just one we've seen him make so often over the years. BUT as the past 2 weeks have progressed I have had the chance to reflect on the true nature of the 2011 season. To think PAST the pain of being so close, to looking FORWARD to the future. It first manifested itself as a few peeks at PFT about 10 days after the game to see what was going on in the league. Then yesterday I finally came back to Patsfans.com again and read a few threads. OTG's was particularly inspirational. Then today I went surfing through a bunch of mock drafts and I was hooked again. I mean while you have to think that this season still has to be looked at as a lost opportunity, it also has to be looked at as kind of remarkable journey of a flawed team that came within a single drive of a championship. Painful for sure, but when you think on it, its a LOT less painful than it was for fans of 30 OTHER teams in the league. THEN when you think about the exceptional resources we have available to repair the flaws, via the draft and FA, the prospects are just too thrilling to dwell on the pain. The future is NOW and I couldn't wait until March to start to speculate about it. We know that the vast majority of the returning team will made up of a group of good guys who are coachable and together. So whatever additions and subtractions are made to this team, it will be faster, more athletic, deeper, and stronger than the one that was ushered off the field on 2/5. To the best of my knowledge, we will have 5 draft picks in the first 3 rounds and will have in excess of $20MM of cap room when FA starts in a few weeks. We will be getting back 4 potentially key players back from IR in Dowling, Pryor, Barrett, and Carter. We will be adding through FA/draft high end talent at the S position, CB position, interior DL, DE/OLB, and WR. One can only speculate the names of those players, but I have NO doubt that ALL those positions will be filled either through FA or the draft. And ALL will be upgrades over the team that finished the season. I saw one mock draft that had us getting Cox, a penetrating interior DLman , Marcellus, a high end rushing DE/OLB and MCarter, a good sized S with good coverage skills (a HUGE missing piece from this season) with our first 3 picks. WHAT a haul that would be, though it will be surprising to think that any of these players will likely to be there when its time for us to pick come the end of April, STILL at this point of the process it sure is nice to think about. We are fans of a team that made the superbowl last season, and that is NO small task. But we are lucky to be in position to realistically contend next season and into the near future. That's the good news. The bad news is being a very talented team doesn't guarantee you another trip to the superbowl, just ask the Packer, Saints, and Ravens. OTG is right when he say's that you have to build a team that is good enough to get TO the playoffs, yet one that fully comes together FOR the playoffs.....and then has a little bit of luck to get you through to the end. So I appeal to those still in mourning to awake to the new day and shed the pain. Its a new day and the optimism deserves to be high, and the speculation of who we will add to the mix should be nothing but FUN.