There seems to be a large gap between what many fans and media members view as roster needs compared to what Belichick and his staff feel are needs. The Kleenex tissue blowers believe that the Patriots desperately needed to address their pass rush by adding a high profile DE or OLB. But Belichick apparently felt differently. WHY NO DE? In recent years the Patriots added young defensive linemen such as Brandon Deaderick, Myron Pryor, and Ron Brace. Perhaps BB is happy with the progress those youngsters have made. Throw in vets like Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright, Marcus Stroud, and Gerard Warren, and its entirely possible that BB didn't feel like any of the rookie ends available represented a valuable upgrade. WHY NO OLB? There doesn't appear to be as much depth at OLB but it is not hard to imagine that BB is high on Cunningham and Fletcher. He also paid out big money to TBC after his 11 sack campaign in 2009. Ninko emerged as a playmaker last season and Guyton is an option as well. Complicating the situation is the fact that our system demands DE's and OLB's of a very specific (and RARE) variety. While there may be a lot of OLB's in a particular draft, not all of them fit our needs. The ones that do are typically Top 10 selections. Getting them would require giving up the farm to get them which runs contrary to Belichick's drafting philosophy. As such this has been a position that BB has sought to fill through free agency throughout his tenure in Foxboro. FA's are proven commodities. Bottom line: Perhaps this need area simply wasn't as dire as others or perhaps more likely, the solutions to address it simply weren't available when we picked. So why not trade up many will scream. B/c it takes two to tango. Wanting to trade up and executing a win/win deal to do so are two very different animals. OFFENSIVE LINE Consider the question marks on the Oline. Light is a FA who is also long in the tooth. Neal retired. Mankins is unhappy. Kaczur missed all of last season with a back issues. Koppen's time may be limited as well. The time to address the OLine was NOW. This is not an opinion. This is REALITY. DEFENSIVE BACK At first glance it appeared to many that we had decent depth in the secondary. But we may have overestimated ourselves here. Will McCourty play as well as he did as a rookie? How will Bodden perform after missing all of last season? Arrington improved much in 2010 but there was a huge dropoff after him. Meriweather leaves much to be desired and his off field issues could pave the way for his departure. The bottom line is that there actually is a legitimate need for help here and in Dowling we obtained a player that could potentially star for us at CB or FS. I believe Dowling will win people over in much the same way McCourty did last year when all the Kleenex Tissue Blowers came out in full force to express their dismay about picking a CB in round 1. RUNNING BACK Most have been begging for a RB for a long time so this shouldn't require too much explaining. Morris is old and a FA, the same goes for Taylor and Faulk, both of whom may be considering retirement. BJGE is a restricted FA which means the only back on the roster is Woodhead. Assuming we retain BJGE, that gives us at least 4 RB's with everyone hoping for one more year from Faulk. QUARTERBACK I think the motivation for Mallett has more to do with replacing Hoyer than picking the heir replacement for Brady. Hoyer is a good QB and the time is upon us to cash in ala Matt Cassel. I expect to see a lot of Hoyer in preseason (if there is one) and believe we'll try to get another 1st rounder from a team with a messy QB situation such as Arizona. We'll then attempt to repeat the process with Mallet. I'm hoping Brady has 5-8 seasons left so its still too early to pick up his replacement. But Mallet certainly provides insurance in case the Brady timetable is much shorter than anticipated. DRAFT PHILOSOPHY: BB sees every rookie as an unknown commodity with bust potential. Better to have five or six chances to pick a winner vs just one. That's the beauty of his approach. If he hits on 50% of his picks, he'll end up with the same number of hits as a normal team that hits on 100% of their picks. Think about that. Other teams need to hit on 100% to equal BB's 50%. Therefore please stop complaining about the trade downs. The trade down philosophy is brilliant b/c there is typically not a large gap between players picked #25 and players picked #55. Why pick at #25 when you can get an equal or perhaps even greater talent at #55 while acquiring a future 1st rounder as well. One day (after we win the SB) the genius of this is going to be recognized. Don't be on the wrong side of history and allow yourself to look like a fool. Allow the talking idiots on the radio waves to have that role. Belichick knows what he's doing. What more does he need to do to earn people's trust. That doesn't mean he's not capable of making a mistake but so what. It means he's earned the right to do so. Let's see how everything turns out before we light up our torches and tie him up to a stake. The negativity here just doesn't make any sense. This doesn't mean you need to be a blind homer. It just means you need to move in the direction of becoming an enlightened beacon of patience. Patience people......patience.