Is Bill Belichick crying over the partings of his sweet, sweet Romeo and the best Mangina in his stable? I doubt it. If he is crying, he’s crying that Adam Vinatieri, arguably the key to the Pat’s three Super Bowl victories, has signed with the rival Colts – the Patriots won three Super Bowls by a field goal and I don’t think Tom Brady kicked those field goals.
It doesn’t matter that he recently broke a bone in his foot. What matters is that the heart and soul of the Patriots, whose middle name is “Clutch,” is replaced by a guy whose middle name is “Who?” (Stephen Gostkowski). The Pats sure have had a great run at reloading lost talent but Scott Pioli (VP of Player Personnel) and Bill Belichick may be running out of rabbits to pull out of their tricornes.
For example, what did they do to address their secondary? Throw a party when Rodney Harrison was medically cleared for football like activities. Harrison will help their INT/TD’s allowed ratio (10/25 last year) but he’s also 33 years old returning from a torn ACL. Maybe Belichick will convert Troy Brown to a full time corner because God knows Asante Samuels and Ellis Hobbs will need some help.
ABC is reporting that the Raiders have just traded Doug Gabriel to the Patriots for a draft pick. This will help Tom Brady if the whole Deion Branch situation ends badly. Gabriel is a big, burly receiver and as a perennial underachiever, he’s the perfect candidate for a breakout season with Brady throwing him passes. I also like Laurence Maroney spelling Corey Dillion’s aging legs.
But, the reason why the Patriots will win the AFC East again is not because of Tom Brady or Belichick or Pioli, or anybody on the team; it’s because they have the 3rd easiest schedule in the AFC. Their opponents this year boast a 47% winning percentage from last year.