If I were to guess they are interested in McNeil, Scott, and Gilles http://patriots.scout.com/2/493633.html Mobile, Al. -- Reports coming from the Scout.com staff at mobile have indicated the New England Patriots are interested in adding some beef to their team. Patriots' scouts and personnel staffers have had conversations with the big boys who move the piles. The focus on blockers is not surprising considering how poorly the Patriots line played in 2005. It's the offseason and for Patriots' scouts that means it is time to go shopping. That's what the Patriots have been doing at the 2006 Senior Bowl. On the list, offensive linemen. Dante Scarnecchia, the Patriots offensive line coach, has worked wonders with average to slightly above average talented linemen for years. Last year appeared to be the beginning of a shift in the Patriots draft focus. The team concentrated on improving a line that lost pro bowler Damien Woody (2004), stand out guard Joe Andruzzi (2005) and a disappointing tackle Adrian Klemm (2005) to free agency. Scarnecchia must certainly have been pleased with the change in philosophy when the team drafted a pair of linemen last April. He must be even more pleased to see what's happening in Mobile this week. Normally the Patriots avoid making offensive line a priority, preferring instead to sign free agents or spend a lower round pick on a player some time on the second day of the Draft. 2005 signaled a change in the team's approach. The Patriots drafted two linemen in 2005, Logan Mankins (1st round) and Nick Kaczur (3rd round). It was the first time the Patriots paid that much attention to building the offensive line through the Draft since Bill Belichick's first season in New England. The linemen Belichick's Patriots have drafted have been hit or miss. There were no linemen drafted in 2004. 2003 saw the Patriots choose center Dan Koppen (5th-round). 2002, again there were no linemen drafted. In 2001 Matt Light (2nd-round) and Kenyatta Jones (4th-round) were the choices. And in Belichick's first draft for the Patriots (2000), Adrian Klemm (2nd-round) and Greg Robinson-Randall (4th-round) were the choices. Koppen and Light were the only two to stick with the team over the years, although the play of Woody was missed, Koppen helped to fill the void. 2000's draft crop has seen Robinson-Randall fall out of the league in 2003 and Klemm serve as a backup in Green Bay where he was demoted after a stint starting at guard. In Mobile, the Patriots have returned to the philosophy of building a fortress around their franchise quarterback Tom Brady. Brady was smacked around like a rag doll during the 2005 season, taking the kind of hits that have sidelined other solid signal callers like Steve McNair and Donovan McNabb. Although Brady has avoided the "Big Hit" as it's called, he has had to pick himself up off the turf at an alarming rate. Although he won't be the one to say it as Peyton Manning did after the Colts playoff loss to the Steelers, the line has to protect him better if they want a chance to get to the Super Bowl. Injuries are one area that plagued the Patriots line in 2005. Coming off of a broken leg, there may be some concern that Light may have trouble returning at full strength. He went down in week 3 against Pittsburgh, and was sidelined for the remainder of the season. Koppen suffered a separated shoulder late in 2005, but should be ready to resume his duties in time for training camp in 2006. Right tackle Tom Ashworth missed four weeks with various ailments and was replaced by Brandon Gorin who finished 2005 as the starter. Kaczur injured his shoulder, forcing another line change, but was able to return to finish the season. TFY Draft Preview has reported that the Patriots have huddled with a couple of prospects that can help protect Brady in 2006. Some of the names on the list are top-rated offensive linemen from big school programs. There are no Toledo (Kaczur) or Fresno State (Mankins) names being thrown about. Rather, it's big name prospects from schools like Texas, Auburn and Georgia. Conversations with big names from big schools are enough reason to believe the Patriots are serious about upgrading their offensive line. The second round pick used on Light turned out well. The former Purdue Boilermaker has held down the left side of the line for years now, and was a key component in providing Brady the kind of protection he needed on his blind side. The fifth-round pick used on Boston College product Koppen proved even more valuable as he stepped in for the departed Woody as a rookie to help guide the team to the Super Bowl. If the Patriots interest in linemen at the Senior Bowl is any indication of their intentions, 2006 should see at least one lineman chosen on the first day in April's Draft.