Players or Scheme
posted at 1/29/2010 5:40 PM EST
Remember when it was argued if it was the players or the scheme that made the Patriots so successful?
Back in 2005, New England, with a 14-2 record for the second year in a row, had just four players named to the AFC's Pro Bowl squad — Brady, Seymour, Vinatieri and Izzo. Their opponent in Super Bowl XXXIX, the Philadelphia Eagles, had nine players selected for the NFC's all-star squad.
After defeating the Eagles in the super bowl, they were declared a dynasty after winning 3 of 4 superbowls and 32 of 34 games.
They had better players than they got recognized for.
Rodney Harrison said, "No one gives us individual players respect. They say it's all a scheme. We all have something to prove."
They had a core of draftees from the Parcells, Carroll and Belichick regimes. They added a strategic collection of free agents.
When they needed a score they scored. When they needed a stop they made the stop.
I think we now know it was the players that made the scheme successful.
The Patriots need to find players who rise to the occasion.
With another good draft and some well placed free agents who knows?