Good article by Christopher Price at Weei. He covers the adversity this team has gone through, and how most teams would have struggled more so then the Pats. He portrays to "fans" who might not understand how depth based team building can help you over come the injury bug,and free agency, and how BB's team building approach has allowed him to keep this team competetive while other top teams in this league have struggled with similiar situations.
Giants 0-6 GB 3-2 Pitt 1-4 Houston 2-4 ATL 1-4 Baltimore 3-3 Top playoff teams with long time QB and HC combo's are sitting at 10 - 23, while imo none of them have gone through the adversity this Patriots team has.
N.E stands at 5-1 and while the defense has suffered serious injuries to the co-captains, the offense stands to get much stronger with Gronk coming back(underrated addition to the run game) and hopefully with Amendola and Vareen coming back strong at some point. This coupled with the development/ increased confidence with KT and Dobson, this offense stands to make big strides sooner then later.
Point being I don't think you can argue against BB's team building philosophy. Tired, old and simply untrue are the arguments of this team only being good because of coach, and QB. You can only compare the results to other great teams that have had longevity at the HC and QB postion and N.E is simply better then the rest.
What is tipping point for 2013 Patriots?
FOXBORO -- For the Patriots, the challenges keep on coming.
Bill Belichick was all smiles after Sunday's win over the Saints, but he faces a big challenge with all the injuries to the Patriots. (AP)
Through the first six games of the 2013 season, New England has been forged by series of events that would have deflated lesser teams. A mental toughness has defined a roster that has been forced to deal with a ton of turnover on the offensive side of the ball, particularly at wide receiver and tight end. Along the way, the team has managed to meet almost every challenge, winning five of its first six games. The Patriots are just one of five teams in the NFL with one loss or less, and are sitting in the driver’s seat in the AFC East.
Now, they’ll face another test, as they go forward without two of their acknowledged defensive leaders for the rest of the regular season. Jerod Mayo was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday, joining Vince Wilfork on that list. To give you an idea of the impact of those moves, Brian McIntyre (of the absolutely indispensable Mac’s Football Blog) reported Wednesday that with the move of Mayo to injured reserve, it leaves the Patriots with an astounding $20.6 million in cap money on IR -- the most in the NFL by more than $4 million.
The loss of those two defensive stalwarts -- as well as the uncertain futures of defensive lineman Tommy Kelly, wide receiver Danny Amendola, offensive lineman Dan Connolly and cornerback Aqib Talib because of health issues -- provides another challenge for this team going forward, one that starts this week against the Jets.
“We’ve faced some different challenges,” acknowledged quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday morning. “I think in the NFL, a lot of teams face challenges. It’s just really how you deal with them. We’ve lost some guys, dealt with some issues, like every other team. We’re handling them OK, we’re 5-1. It’s a decent start.”
But when does it all become too much? For a team that’s faced its share of hardship when it comes to injury and personnel turnover, what is the tipping point? Many traditional NFL powers have hit that moment at some point over the course of the first quarter-plus of the season, and specifically, to Brady’s point, a lot of teams have faced challenges this year and have not handled them as well as the Patriots.
In fact, a look around the league reveals several teams -- traditional powers who have worked hard to build a foundation of success over the last decade -- have really struggled in the face of adversity this year. The Giants, Steelers, Falcons, Packers and Texans have been some of the powers in the NFL over the last decade -- they account for five of the last 10 Super Bowl titles. But this season, for a variety of reasons, they have a combined record of 7-20. Their problems demonstrate just how difficult it is to be able to sustain success over an extended period of time, and just how quickly a team can go from being a Super Bowl contender to angling for a top-10 spot in the draft the following spring.
One thing that stands out is that while those five teams have been built through various methods, one of the bedrock philosophies in a quarterback-driven league has been a longstanding coach-quarterback relationship. But as we’ve seen, even the most rock-solid pairing between a coach and signal-caller is no guarantee of success. In New York, the Tom Coughlin-Eli Manning relationship dates back to 2004 and has resulted in a pair of Super Bowl wins, while the Pittsburgh duo of Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger began in 2007 and has resulted in a Super Bowl trophy. Matt Schaub and Gary Kubiak have been together in Houston for the last five-plus seasons, and in Atlanta, Mike Smith and Matt Ryan took the Falcons to the NFC title game last year, while Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers have a Super Bowl title of their own.
But now, all five teams have hit the skids. In New York the line has collapsed on both sides of the ball -- leaving Manning exposed -- while in Houston Schaub has struggled through the roughest stretch of his 10-year career. Meanwhile, the Steelers have suffered through a variety of poor personnel decisions and injuries, and the same is the case with the Falcons, whose sluggish start was compounded by the recent announcement that elite wide receiver Julio Jones would be lost of the year because of a foot injury. And while Rodgers is slinging the ball at a record pace, the Green Bay defense has let down the Packers.
Could that sort of breakdown happen in New England? The Brady-Bill Belichick relationship is the longest current quarterback-coach pairing in the league, and history tells us that the Patriots have been consistent in their ability to steer clear of those sorts of speed bumps that other teams have hit over the years. With the exception of 2008, when Brady went down with a knee injury in the opener and the team missed the postseason, the Patriots have made the playoffs every year. (And even though they missed out in 2008, Matt Cassel was able to lead them to an 11-5 finish thanks in large part to an above-average defense and an exceptionally soft schedule.)
If Brady needs some inspiration for fighting through a rash of injuries, finding ways to incorporate new personnel into the lineup and building mental toughness as the year goes on, he can look back to the 2003 team for a template. That season, the Patriots lost starting linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, starting offensive linemen Mike Compton and Damien Woody and starting wide receiver David Patten relatively early in the year with season-ending injuries. The group fought its way through a rocky start -- one that included the loss of favored veteran Lawyer Milloy -- and a 2-2 beginning, one that included the infamous quote from ESPN analyst Tom Jackson, “They hate their coach.” And that year, New England relied on a rookie class as never before, and youngsters like Asante Samuel, Eugene Wilson, Dan Koppen and Ty Warren all played significant minutes after being asked to step into the starting lineup because of injuries to incumbents. In the end, that team managed to persevere throughout the season on the way to a Super Bowl title.
Ten years later, the current New England team is being asked to replicate that mental toughness, battle through another series of similar challenges, and push back the same tipping point. Whether or not the Patriots can rise to the challenge ultimately will determine their legacy.