I posted this in a thread where it really didn't belong, so I figured I'd throw it up as it's own thread. This is a hypothetical that (hopefully) can help put things back in perspective for the Panic Button folks. --- Imagine: Right after the loss to Denver in the playoffs last season when you were at your most negative, wondering what happened to Tom Terrific and our bunch of blue collar no mistake players and the magic that had carried us through post-seasons past, some one approaches you. They tell you they've seen the future of the Patriots offseason. They tell you that it only gets worse after the Denver loss. They tell you that Givens leaves for the money. They tell you that Willie does the same. They tell you that Adam Vinatieri leaves for a little more money and goes to the hated Colts. At this point you're shocked. They tell you that both Dwight and Davis leave to rival teams and that once promising Bethel Johnson is traded for a bust DT. They tell you Branch holds out and creates an enormous distraction that goes sour when the Patriots won't pay him enough to make him forget the 5 year deal he was 'forced' to sign. They tell you that Branch is traded to Seattle for a future 1st rounder, which sounds good until you realize that Brady now has only Troy Brown at his disposal. They tell you that Brady's trusted WRs are replaced with a 2nd round rookie, a scrap-heap reject, a WR traded in for a 5th rounder, and a street free agent. They tell you that Rodney Harrison makes it back from his knee injury, but then breaks his shoulder at the midway point. They tell you that Junior Seau retires, and then unretires to join the Patriots. They tell you that Seau, in all his age, starts for the Patriots at ILB. They tell you that your depth at CB consists of Ellis Hobbs, Asante Samuel and Chad Scott after Randall Gay is put on IR and Poteat Bongos is dropped and grabbed up by the hated Jets. They tell you that Tom Brady through half a season posts his lowest passer rating of his career and lowest completion percentage. They tell you that the Patriots start three different players at right tackle depending on the week. They tell you that Billy Yates starts a couple games at Guard. They tell you that both of your primary ST/backup safeties are lost to IR and that your primary depth at ILB suffers the same fate. They tell you that Troy Brown is playing in the secondary again. They tell you that the Patriots draft a runningback in the first round even though Manny Lawson is still on the board and have the rookie split carries with Corey Dillon evenly. You remember Corey's days with Rudi Johnson and cringe. They tell you that the Patriots draft another first day TE. You remember that Graham and Watson are already on the roster and cringe. They tell you that Troy Brown is the third QB on the roster. You laugh at the mental image of Troy under center. They tell you that only Troy Brown and the scrap-heap reject WR have a full training camp with Brady. They tell you that the 5th round trade WR and the 2nd round pick Rookie WR both have hamstring issues and miss all but a collective two weeks of TC. They tell you that Ben Watson is the leading reciever on the team. They tell you that almost the entire media is picking the Dolphins to win the East after they acquire Dante Culpepper. Having listened to all that, you actually nod. 'We've lost too many players', you think to yourself, 'We're thin in the secondary, we've got ZERO dependable WRs besides 75 year old Troy Brown, and we have no depth at LB.. And Seau is starting??'.. You think to yourself, 'And Corey is splitting time with a rookie?? He must be killing the locker room with his anger, he must have become a cancer like in Cincy. A first round RB?? With a star LB still on the board??' and 'Our OL is banged up again? A rookie starting at RT and a first year player stepping in at G?' and 'Troy Brown at CB -AGAIN-?' You take a deep breath and imagine how hard the season must have gone for your Patriots. It makes you sort of sad, being that they just lost in the playoffs for the first time in Brady's career. The visitor from the Future smiles and then tells you the Patriots are actually 6-2 at the midway point and the nearest team in the division is 4-4. Are you surpised? Looking back at all that's happened, I would be. I am.