Welcome to the Patriot Way, your daily dose of the best links to stories to keep you in the know about the New England Patriots. The offseason does not exist in New England as the Patriots have stayed busy with coaches out and in, Nick Caserio in Miami (presumably filling notebooks with the team’s plans for 2014 to bring back to Foxboro?), and speculation about what players come back and who goes, so let’s get right to it.
The NFL regular season may be over, but there are many who consider the Patriots retaining Pro Personnel Director Nick Caserio after his two day interview with the Miami Dolphins for their General Manager position as a big win over their division opponent. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald is squarely in the camp that the Patriots have an advantage over the Dolphins after Caserio’s interviews.
Rich Hill at Pats Pulpit looks at the Caserio-Dolphins interviewing as part of an “Oceans Eleven” heist. In his article titled “The Greatest Con in Football” Rich envisions Belichick as George Clooney’s Danny Ocean character in an entertaining parody full of backroom drama as the heist of the century takes place.
Meanwhile on Sulia.com, former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo raised some hackles with his critical view of the Patriots offseason and also offensive game plan against Denver here and here. Although I think that Belichick was much more involved in the defensive game plan and left the offense to coordinator Josh McDaniels, Angelo chimes in with some pretty critical opinions such as: “New England’s problem is they fell in love with their system. A fatal mistake for successful coaches. I said Bill Belichick did one of his finest coaching jobs this year and I know it. I’m a great admirer and would agree with Bill Cowher when he said that Belichick would go down as the greatest coach in football. But in this case, his thinking was misguided.”
ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss has his thoughts on Angelo’s comments here.
Patriots.com has the sad news of former New England Patriots player Dennis Wirgowski’s untimely passing. Wirgowski played defensive end from 1970 to 1972 and was 66.
Our good friend Steve Balestrieri has a look at the Patriots 2014 Free Agents at PatsFans.com. Steve has a critical view of the reasons why the Patriots should re-sign Julian Edelman and why he may leave the team.
Boston.com’s Chad Finn checked-in on Sunday with his TATB mailbag, and makes the great point that the Patriots are in a strange situation as their roster is getting progressively younger while their most important player is getting into his golden years (as an NFL player). However, as Finn notes, the Patriots HAD the talent before injuries to hang with Denver.
What should the Patriots do this off-season? Christopher Price has the scouts view as he had a number of NFC scouts chime in on what they should do over at WEEI.com.
Finally, our own co-editor Cyrus Geller has Who Should be Re-signed by the Patriots this off-season right here at MusketFire.com. My only disagreement is with the Mighty Hoo-Man, Michael Hoomanawanui. I felt that he was inadequate as a blocker and did not contribute enough in the passing game to be stealing a roster spot. I liked the idea of bringing in a bunch of undrafted free agents and still wonder what would have happened with undrafted free agent Zach Sudfeld who looked so good in preseason and lost the trust of quarterback Tom Brady early in the regular season. Instead, Sudfeld is a Jet and the Patriots are back at square one trying to find a solid tight end behind Gronk on the roster (Of course, I spent all last summer campaigning for the release of safety Steve Gregory…the same Steve Gregory who had a solid season this year after bouncing back from his dreadful 2012 season, so what do I know?).