Having lurked here for awhile i decided to join and take/give a few shots. My first post. Seems like most people fall into three camps -- 1.) total alarmists who say the sky is falling, tom brad is hurt, etc, 2.) biased homers who trust in bill on everything, and 3.) knuckleheads who just **it on everybody else for fun. I think I fall in camp 2 or 3, but I'm not sure yet. Couple observations that no one has made yet: 1. The Deion affair -- Yes Bioli held firm and did not rip up branch's last year contract. but he did not deter others from doing the same thing. everyone else will consider the "deion path", since it works. he could have paid him this year (like he did for seymour) and said no to others down the road. end result: bioli only saved $3M bucks or so this year. that's it. no moral victory. hmmm 2. Salary cap gap -- Some have said the Kraft is being cheap. My point is that the value of another championship dwarfs the 10-12M dollars saved on the cap. This logic makes no sense. Kraft wants banners, and to increase the value of his team. (So the gap is there to be spent by FO -- we all know that) 3. Free Agent approach -- Bioli are highly opportunistic with FA signings. They see what floats by, the play with it, if they catch it great (Seau), if they don't, so be it (Law, Walker). They dont commit to themselves to get somebody. This is different from other teams.This year, this approach has led them to underspend, and end up with talent gaps at the beginning of the season in DBs and WRs. Are they where they wanted to be right now? Doubtful. 4. Playing for this year vs the long term -- What is clear is that Bioli could have done things to make this years team better, at the expense of future years (eg sign expensive free agents, keep existing talent, spend to the cap for new players this year). Using cap money to pay for seymour, samuel, graham, is just saving money from next year's budget. That means Bioli at this point think they have what they need this year to make a run. Questionable but not impossible. I think Bill is influenced by 2001 -- if he can win with that team, he can win with this team, if he can just get them to gel by midseason. That's his bet. If he does, we should start building the monument in the Boston Common now (we will anyway, but we should start now). Overall, if I were Kraft, I would say it is a shaky strategy this year. Great draft but shaky overall. Now it's all about coaching and gelling, and avoiding injuries. In Bill we have to Trust. Thanks for the insights and laughs.