NEM's post about wr depth/strength got me thinking. Is this offensive "skill" group the best the Pats have ever had? For my money, the 96 and 97 teams had the best skill players top to bottom in my lifetime (I'm 27). The key players in 96 and 97: QB: Bledsoe WR's: Glenn, Jefferson, T. Brown, Brisby RB: Martin, Meggett FB: Gash H-back: Byars TE: Coates The key players in 06: QB: Brady WR: Gabriel, Caldwell, T. Brown, Childress, C. Jackson RB: Dillon, Maroney, Evans, Faulk, Pass (pup) H-Back: Mills (we'll call him that for the sake of this argument) TE: Graham, Watson, Thomas Now, how do the years compare? There is more depth at RB this year, no doubt. There is no pure fullback but guys like Pass and Evans can line up there. The H-back position is unproven. TE is deeper. Bartrum and Burke were the back up TE's in 96. WR is not as good on September 9th. If a certain player ends his hold out, the wr core could be better, but as of today, they are not. Bledsoe was the perfect qb for that team, Brady is the better qb, unquestionable. I think the key is versatility. This year's team has more players who can do more things than the 96 team. Outside of Keith Byars who could play fb, rb, or te, you really had a lot of guys slotted into very specific roles in 96. That was perfect for that team. Each peg had its hole, so to speak. Now in 2006, you have tailbacks who can play full back, TE's who can play fb and can hold their own on the line. This year's wr's can line up in different positions (x, y, z) where as in 96 Glenn and Jefferson were the outside guys and Brown was the slot guy 99 times out of 100. With the verstatility of this year's team, you may see a more dynamic and unpredictable offense than even the 1996 offense that scored 418 points, one of the three most prolific scoring teams in team history.