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.
Welcome to football season; we’re here. It’s always an exciting time of year – the start of training camp.
Bill Belichick’s texts to Aaron Hernandez REVEALED!

Bill Belichick’s texts to Aaron Hernandez REVEALED!

Thanks to @PatriotsSB49 for the find. These are always must-post in-season, but here Field Gulls (a Seahawks blog) put all of them in one place. Doesn’t get any better than this!

When you get him off the media and doing all that stuff, and he gets more into his comfort zone where it’s him up there teaching football and teaching guys life lessons, you get to see a different side of him. I think that’s the joy of playing for him — you learn things football-wise and he does a good job for each one of us of just trying to give us some lessons that will help you in life.