Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller (26) runs the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Rundown: Lamar Miller, Bill Parcells

In this New England Patriots Rundown, we touch on a certain Miami Dolphins running back again, one of Bill Parcells’s regrets, and Dan Shaughnessy’s not-so-flattering words about the “Patriot Way”.

1. Bill Parcells is credited with being the head coach who turned around the New England Patriots organization, but the Hall of Fame coach walked away from the team just when the pieces were gelling together after a Super Bowl appearance. Parcells, unsurprisingly, wanted to have a greater say in personnel decisions, but Robert Kraft was reluctant to allow Parcells “shop for some of the groceries”. I’m glad that things have worked out the way they have for the New England Patriots with Bill Belichick at the helm, and my biggest worry is if Parcells was still the coach and had that say in personnel decisions, would the Patriots still have Tom Brady?

Parcells told the USA Today that he regrets leaving the New England Patriots, but it’s safe to say that we’re fine with the way things turned out, thanks to Belichick and Brady.

2. Lamar Miller seems poised for a big year in 2013, and he is the biggest breakout candidate at the running back position. However, it is up to Miller to show that he can be a three-down, feature back in this league, and Rotoworld’s Evan Silva tells us that he barely played on third downs last year. Although Miller barely played overall last season, it is telling that just seven of his 57 snaps came on third-downs. That makes Ryan Tannehill‘s praise (among others) of Miller’s improved pass protection more important.

3. Although the Miami Dolphins are the favorites to sign fullback Vonta Leach, the Baltimore Sun tells us that the Ravens are still taking a look at Leach. So they haven’t ruled out re-signing him? Interesting. I doubt he ends up back in Baltimore, but it’s certainly a possibility. At this point, I expect Leach to be Miller’s new lead-blocker in Miami, barring a charge from another team. You know it is the dry part of the offseason when a fullback creates the second-biggest headlines, with only a certain murder case trumping him.

4. Dan Shaughnessy likes to pop up with controversial statements regarding the New England Patriots, and he did it again yesterday on CSNNE. Shaughnessy called the Patriot Way a “punchline”, which probably doesn’t sit well with many fans. My biggest complaint with what Shaughnessy said isn’t that he ripped the Patriot Way; it’s the fact that he is assuming Aaron Hernandez is guilty. I firmly believe that everyone needs to regard a person as innocent until proven guilty, even if I personally have my doubts about Hernandez’s innocence. One other thing: if you criticize the Patriots in this, then you are assuming that they can control Hernandez’s mind and everything he does. I didn’t completely agree with Tom E. Curran’s take on CSNNE, but he took a more measured approach and I agree that the Patriots can’t completely change players, even if that is their mindset. I think we need to lower our expectations of the Patriots organization on the character front, because we either praise them too much and then have them take the fall. It starts and ends with Hernandez and the individual players, though I am inclined to believe that the team has helped some out.

5. Let’s finish up the “Rundown” with a piece my friend Oliver Thomas wrote at the Bleacher Report about how Tom Brady doesn’t need Rob Gronkowski to be elite. It’s a pretty obvious conclusion to me, but the Pats will feel the burn of losing Gronk. It’s just that the offense should still be fine for the times Gronk is absent in the regular season, just not when it comes down to matchups in the playoffs. We can’t downplay Gronk’s impact, but we must also be sure not to overreact. Thomas has some great insight in that piece with plenty of numbers and evidence on tape, so I would recommend following the link.

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Tags: Bill Belichick Bill Parcells Dan Shaughnessy Lamar Miller Miami Dolphins New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady Vonta Leach

  • Joe Willie

    Parcells is more fickle then a 16 year old girl at a high school dance.

    • Joe Soriano

      Haha, question is, are you as a Jets fan happy things turned out the way they did?

      • Joe Willie

        Sure Tuna improved the Jets and culture and left then better then before like he did the Pats–He knows football talent –if not for the players he left the pats Belichick wins nothing- But Parcells has no loyalty to anyteam just to himself-not even the Giants——Belicheat cant pick studs like Tuna–he lucked out with a lotto pick in Brady otherwise he tripped over a few O-linemen in the draft that’s it.

        Belicheat is a legend in his own mind. Cant wait for this yr really.

  • Johnny

    Parcels screwed the Phins.. And his philosophy of “Bigger is Better” is old and no longer exists… Bigger is slower in this fast paced high octane NFL.. He passed on alot of good talent, because of his old ways.. Especially with our Phins…

  • Johnny

    Yes.. Don’t know where I said it, But it all comes down to Martin at LT.. I’m not sure about that and either is the front office.. or they wouldn’t have almost got Brandon Albert or tried to resign Jake Long… He’s option C.. All these weapons they surrounded Tannehill won’t mean crap if he’s on his back!! And I think Binns will make the 53, now with a chance to learn the system with a whole pre season to learn.. And check out Bumphis on YouTube.. Had 12 TDs in the SEC against tough defenses.. Also check out McNutt.. Who had great OTAs.. And Mathews will probably grab the 6 spot with more experience then both.. Who also looked good during OTAs… All I know we have a better WR group then last year and some other team will snatch 1 or 2 of those guys (WRs) who don’t make the 53.. Grab them off the practice squad OT as a FA.. I guess it’s a good problem to have.. Phins up!!!

    • Joe Soriano

      It certainly is a good problem to have, and the Dolphins WRs look great right now. Binns is an interesting player, and thanks for the info about McNutt at OTAs. Let’s see if he can keep it up during training camp, as we know the Phins have had a lot of false hope with young receivers before (I got sucked into the Roberto Wallace talk too haha). I need to learn more about Bumphis.

  • Dewbert

    CNN just reported that Aaron Hernandez was arrested.