The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Not done, rebuilding

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If there's one thing you learn on the way to a dynasty, it's that you have to occasionally blow up certain parts of your team to rebuild. The extent to which you can do this determines how many seasons you spend on the sidelines when the biggest games roll around. Before the 2009 season started, Bill Belichick knew that he'd have to re-tool his defense to a pretty extreme degree. Now, the linebacker corps is younger, faster, and stripped of almost all veteran acumen and depth. This means that you'll see some more athletic plays, but with a higher error rate. The secondary is almost completely overhauled, which means that the new guys need to get on the same page.

Trading Richard Seymour to the Raiders for a first-round pick in 2011 was a good future consideration, but it didn't do much for the current front line. Belichick showed his draft acumen when he took Houston offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer in the second round -- when Vollmer hasn't been able to play, as he wasn't yesterday against the Dolphins, the Pats' offensive line has suffered.

Tom Brady took a while to get back on track from his knee injury in 2008, and he was obviously struggling with his accuracy in the Miami loss -- the result of a finger injury that had him throwing even more erratically in warm-ups. I don't think this is the end for the Patriots, but it's pretty clear that they need more time for all the new elements to coalesce. I wouldn't be surprised if 2010 is a bit kinder to them.

By Doug Farrar  |  December 7, 2009; 12:48 PM ET  | Category:  New England Patriots Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The Pats are roughed up, but far from done. Lets see if the defense improves over the next three games, then we can make a judgment about the playoffs. As far as the Giants ending the Pats dynasty, baloney. One lucky catch doesn't end a dynasty only age can. If you look at the roster that issue is being handled pretty well.

Posted by: steve4 | December 7, 2009 5:42 PM

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