... I haven't posted for a while. At first I thought I had writer's block, but then realized that others where saying what I was thinking...only better. I have been a Pats fan from the begining. I was in the 7th grade when they started this experiment in professional football in a parochial town where the 2 favorite passtimes were politics and revenge. Actually the town's passions were split between the perennial success of the Celtics and the excitement of the Bruins. When the Pats played their first game Ted Williams was winding down his HOF career in virtual obscurity, and The "Impossible Dream" was still 7 years away. It seems hard to believe but back then the Sox weren't even close to being the icons they are today. Back then you could take the T for a dime to Fenway, pay 75 cents for unreserved left field grandstand, and be sitting in a box seat by the 5th inning. It was the days of Dick Stuart, Billy Klaus, Don Budding, Frank Malzone, Sammy White, Jim Persall, Medord's Bill Momboquette....and a position far behind the Yankees in the American league. Having a million in attendence was an unreachable goal. Into this enviroment the Patriots were born. Few people remember that the original seed money was provided in a stock offering. I'm pretty sure, IIRC, each share was for $20 or less. Later when Billy Sullivan scammed the stock holders and took control of the team, few of the public noticed or cared. But the lack of integrity and flat out stupidity of that family reared its ugly head continuously for the close to 30 years they owned the club. Even despite their ruinous rule the club prospered from time to time and we Pats fans had a chance to root for a winning team at least a couple of years every decade. And then the Krafts bought the team. Since that that time the Pats have been on an unprecidented run of success. Remember that. It isn't just since 2001 that the Pats have been sucessful. It goes back further than that. This team has had only THREE seasons when the club has played LESS than .500 football, and only ONE since 1995, since Bob Kraft bought the team 15 years ago. (I know, it doesn't seem that long ago, does it.) Well surprisingly the IS a point to all this, and predictably it took me forever to get to it, but here it is. We have won 3 superbowls, and been very competitive in the other years we have been on this run. However I have NEVER seen a such a complete TEAM as the one we are now getting the privelege to watch. I watch in virtual awe at the way they discect opponent's defenses and the surgical efficiency the stop their offenses. ...and the most frightening thing is that over the next 3 months.....they are going to get better. 1. Injuries are the the only thing that can damage this team, but even if they occur our depth is unparallelled in the cap era. Think about it. The media told us all night about the Bengal's injuries, but never mentioned that the Pats were playing with their THIRD STRING RG in Russ Hockstein (both Neal and Yates are ahead of him at G)....and Russ played very well, btw. Outside of Brady, I can't think of a player that would be an irrepairable loss. Injuries will come (God we should know more than most fans), but I am confident that THIS team can overcome them better than even the great teams we had in 2003 and 2004. 2. I was very happy with the play of Merriman in this game. I thought his tackling was excellent and his coverage, very good, especially when you concider that, at the time, the Pats had loosened their coverage because of their lead. Yeah, I could have done without the jawing with TJ, but complaining about that is severe nitpicking. He will learn. Its taken Hobbs 3 years to get over his loud mouth. 3. Samuel's pick was a text book example of why he's one of the better CBs in the league. The key words here are anticipation and coaching. Samuel obviously was well prepared for THAT particular route. What was ironic is that he knew the route BETTER than Johnson. He read the route correctly and broke on the ball litterally before Palmer threw it. Even if Chad had made HIS break correctly, Samuel would have had inside position. 4. THere is no questioning Asante's smarts and physical skills, however I really hope he appreciates the coaching that allows him to be in the position to make the big plays here. I hope he matures enough to understand what a big part of his success that is. I'm hoping, now that he has earned some big money, he will realize that it is better to be well paid and be part of something that could be historic, than to be overpayed and play elsewhere. I'd like to think that Nate Clemens would trade places with Asante in a nanosecond. He might have a great contract, but the fact is he is on a team that will struggle to be 500 this seaon, while Asante will play on a team that might be one for the ages. What does it matter when both of them make more money than they could ever spend in a lifetime. 5. I know I was one of the most prominent complainers on draft day. I loved the Moss deal, though like many I wondered how it would work out. I loved the Merriweather pick, and the trade of the #1 into next year...But I hated virtually everything else, and to some degree my fears were well founded, given that no one beyond the #4 pick remains with the team. HOWEVER, I doubt very much that ANY NFL team has ever hit on their FA signings better than the Patriots did this off season. 6. The guy I want to single out however isn't Thomas, Moss, Welker, or Morris. The guy I want to mention is someone I really didn't realize how important he was until this game, and that is Kyle Brady. He has been a real force in both pass protection AND the run game. I never thought I'd say this, but he's a BETTER blocker than Daniel Graham, and with the outside threats we have this year, his lack of pass catching just doesn't matter. 7. The thing that KILLS me about the commentary about "cameragate" is the lack of common sense I hear from guys who really SHOULD know better. The league has stated very clearly that the Pats DID NOT gain any competitive advantage from the filming of defensive signals....and there is a reason for that.....THEY DIDN'T GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE. AND whay they DIDN'T gain an advantage SHOULD be very clear.....AND THEY NEVER SAY IT!!!!! I'd like JUST ONCE, that some so called analyst would simply explain, that in an era where there are 2-3 coaches simultaniously flashing in signals, that it would be virutally impossible to take the film, review it, determine who was the live coach, THEN determine what the signals meant, during the course of a given game. Not even our defenders ever make that point. Whick is the so called "cheating" DIDN'T affect even one play of a single game where it was being done. I am waiting for someone to say that the Pats were using those films, mostly over the offseason, to determine tendencies of particular DC's. Yes BB broke a rule (intentionally IMHO) and he was punished for it. (overkill in respect to the draft pick). But I am really surprise that neither the Pats FO or the NFL FO haven't made this simple point well known. Because they haven't BOTH have put into question all passed Patriots successes, and the integrity of the league as a whole. IMHO it has been totally unnecessary. 7. Finally I have to admit that I was among those who have said over the past few years that we could win regardless of who was out there at WR, since the stockpile of WRs was so talented and vast. However my eyes have been opened at the EFFECT of having REAL talent out there. Still I wonder if this entire effect is due to the freakish talent of Moss, rather than the upgrades at the other 2 prominent WR positions.