I feel the Patriots Scouting program is a secret ingredient to their success. Rarely talked about in the media and few fans even talk about it much less understand the program behind it. Because the program is not openly discussed I'll offer why I think it is a secret ingredient to this organization. 1. Minimally governed by the NFL - teams are free to have a scouting program or not and can run it basically how ever they feel; thus there is an opportunity to gain an advantage b/c the NFL is not aiming to ensure parity here 2. No spending cap - teams can spend nothing or tens of millions on scouting; again another opportunity to gain an advantage if a program is well funded. 3. Expertise in scouting - scouting is not something you are taught in college or some class, it is all on the job learning - again another opportunity to acquire, teach and 'breed' the best scouts (aka belichick university for coaching) My focus is specifically on #3. Why? Because from the day Bill was born he had scouting in his blood. His father was an expert scout and Bill helped him to break down film and evaluate players when he was only 5. [If you want the whole history read the book "The Education of a Coach"] So I believe "under the covers" Bill has built a scouting program that is far superior to any other club. He has probably passed down family secrets to his scouting disciples and also tailored it for them to find the exact type of player characteristics that he desires. Everyone can get the stats on a player but I believe Bill has taught his scouts on evaluating everything from the players intelligence, their interaction with the team, their emotions when they are winning or lose, and everything in between. I'm sure while the scouts are not at actual games they are evaluating every single player in the league every week whether the Patriots play that team or not that year. Compile all of this information into a master system and Bill has built a coveted set of information. I feel while they certainly scout the college programs they scout the NFL programs exponentially more. NFL players are battle tested and more appropriate to study then college players that essentially play a different game. So while Bill and Scott have had a few misfires on the draft this is by far overcome by finding steals in free agency and continuing to plug in the key role players that has made this organization continually successful year after year despite free agency, salary cap, injuries, and retirement. So back to the reasons: #1 No government - Patriots can basically operate any type of scouting program they want. Bill is smart enough to build a program that creates a distinct advantage - and he can do it without anyone telling him what he can and can't do. Check #2 No Cap - Kraft has the cash to spend on this if he feels it is a wise investment. Check #3 Scouting expertise - No Coach / GM / ETC has more expertise in scouting then Bill. He has the position to have complete influence and control over the program and he will actually lead it vs managing it since he is the expert. So the next time the Pats find a free agent steal you can thank the scouts.