The only thing the Patriots are “all in” on is the sustainability of the program today and tomorrow. And next season. And the one after that.
Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player. It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached. Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made - and this is one of the most difficult we will ever make - but like every other decision it was made for what we feel is in the best interests of the team.

Bill Belichick Statement on Logan Mankins trade.

TwitLonger — When you talk too much for Twitter

One of the unforgettable images of Patriots training camp came Aug. 5 when the team held a three-hour full-pads joint practice with Washington in hot, humid temperatures, before Bill Belichick capped it off by having players run end-of-practice sprints while imploring them to dig deeper because it could be how they feel in the fourth quarter when a game is on the line. I asked cornerback Darrelle Revis about Belichick’s direct involvement with the team’s conditioning, and he agreed it’s a bit different from what he’s seen in the past, when a strength coach is usually the person leading those drills. Revis shared the viewpoint that it’s not just about conditioning — which will be key with a sweltering season opener Sept. 7 in Miami — but also Belichick’s way of attempting to build mental toughness within his team.
Bill Belichick is always thinking of ways to build a better team and foster more team chemistry, and there was something notable along those lines in the Patriots’ locker room after Friday’s preseason game: Many of the lockers of returning players were moved to a different spot in the room.
After three days of practices and Friday’€™s game, Williams had a change of heart and met with Patriots coach Bill Belichick at midfield following the game. “He told me he respected me as a player, and he told me that he respected the fact I came out earlier this week and said some nice things about the [Patriots] organization,”€ Williams told “I told him I was sorry for what I said. I just reacted out of emotion.”€
I think the key to it is not so much how people get here but what they do when they’re here, whether that’s a draft choice or a trade or a free agent or whatever it is. We’ve had successful and unsuccessful examples in all those different categories. The past isn’t necessarily a predictor to the future. The future is now. Some guys have good years and then some guys have not so good years and that may fluctuate from year to year. I don’t think there’s any way to really predict that until you see it. Our philosophy has always been to put them out there, let them compete and we can’t control how the competition is going to go, nor do we want to, but the best players are going to get more opportunity than the ones that don’t perform as well.
What has belichick done that past few years that shows/tells you he is still one of the best defensive geniuses in football history despite having average defenses

Well his teams have been in the conference championship or Super Bowl in each of the last three years so for all the talk of how terrible the Pats defense has been, I think that’s what matter most - winning games, being within striking distance of the Super Bowl every season.

I’ve focused on the defense heavily since 2008. It was in great part the impetus for starting this blog. I wanted to study how Belichick would rebuild the defense that inevitably had to turnover.

There’s no question the Pats had their missteps in the rebuild which was complicated by drafts that really didn’t have a lot of talent from 2007-2009. 

I also think the Pats didn’t quite put enough value on pass rushers until recently. That’s why I loved the pick of Easley in the first round. That pick alone shows how Belichick’s thinking has evolved since last decade.

If the Pats win another Super Bowl, I think Chandler Jones and Easley will be two big keys. It took a long time to get two players like them and I think they might’ve been a little too picky trying to find defensive ends and pass-rushing defensive tackles.

It’s strange to criticize the Pats about being behind the curve, but their focus on corners like Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite were missteps that didn’t fit the evolution of football where the value of playing physical man defense continued to rise as quarterbacks got better. It became a lot harder to win with smart guys who could pattern read and play sound “bend-don’t-break” defense.

I also look at defensive tackle as a spot where they were a little behind the curve, or maybe a better way to put it is that it just became too easy to overuse Vince Wilfork.

The guys who played next to Wilfork since 2009 just haven’t been good enough and that a significant spot in your front seven. Guys like Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Ron Brace, etc. were just okay at best. Gerard Warren was the closest thing we had to a good compliment to Wilfork and he was at the end of the line.

Still, despite bad drafts and a defensive rebuild that took far longer than I thought it would, the Pats have been in the thick of it every year. That’s the testament of how good a coach BB is. Look at 2010’s defense and how many yards they gave up and explain how they went 14-2. It can’t make sense on paper.

How many coaches/GMs get a chance to rebuild a defense essentially from scratch? Not many have the longevity needed to do it, so we have to realize that BB was somewhat on new ground in the modern NFL era.

He’s one of the greatest coaches of all time but that doesn’t mean he’s perfect. He’s made mistakes, but in spite of them the Pats just keep on winning. 

Excellent coverage skills. Really has great anticipation and feel. He’s a very smart football player. As good as his physical skills are, I just think instinctively that he has a great anticipation of the passing game. Routs and quarterbacks and combinations, those kind of things. A lot of times he kind of runs routs before the receivers run them. He has that kind of anticipation. He’s a very sharp football player, a very instinctive player. Probably in the secondary along the lines of Rodney Harrison, he’d probably be a player who instinctively I would compare him to.
At this point, we’re just kind of in the generic, everybody learn how to do your job within the context of the defense, working with different people, different combinations at safety, cornerback, defensive line, whatever it happens to be, just get everybody working together.