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Patriots have lost their 'Way'

this is a discussion within the NFL Community Forum; Before the New England Patriots won what would be the second of three Super Bowl titles in a four-season span, then-player personnel director Scott Pioli shed some light on how the franchise assembled its roster. “The things that people refer ...

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Old 06-21-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
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Patriots have lost their 'Way'

Before the New England Patriots won what would be the second of three Super Bowl titles in a four-season span, then-player personnel director Scott Pioli shed some light on how the franchise assembled its roster.

“The things that people refer to as intangibles we do not see as intangible at all,” Pioli told the media prior to New England's 32-29 victory over Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII, back in 2004.

“A player’s makeup, his character, integrity, leadership — all those things are very tangible. And they have a say in how we try to build our football team.”

Such a philosophy became known as the Patriot Way.

Almost a decade later, the Patriots have lost their way.

The latest reason to question some of the personnel decisions made in recent years by head coach Bill Belichick: Tight end Aaron Hernandez’s potential involvement in a recent Massachusetts homicide case.

Not that Belichick or the Patriots need apologize for one of the most impressive stretches in NFL history. The results speak for themselves.

New England has won at least 10 games for a league-record 10 consecutive seasons. Along the way, the Patriots have played in five Super Bowls and won three of them. They reached two other AFC Championship Games, including last season’s 28-13 home loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore.


HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION
Police have been searching Aaron Hernandez's house and surrounding areas. See Photos.
Yet there was a time when it seemed New England owner Robert Kraft might need to build an extension onto Patriot Place to fit more Lombardi Trophies. Instead, six other franchises — the New York Giants (twice), Pittsburgh (twice), Baltimore, Green Bay, New Orleans and Indianapolis — have captured titles since the Patriots defeated Philadelphia in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.

There is no single factor to explain why the Patriots have fallen short. Some years there were better teams. Tom Brady missed almost the entire 2008 season with a knee injury. Star tight end Rob Gronkowski was gimpy in Super Bowl XLVI.

Pure luck plays a role, too. With a couple of breaks here and there, Brady could have enough rings for both hands.

One of the reasons he doesn’t: The quality of Brady’s supporting cast has gradually diminished. His quarterbacking prowess and the outstanding coaching of Belichick and his staff has largely helped the Patriots overcome the drop in talent.

Trying to compensate for that dip, Belichick has proved more willing in recent years to gamble on players with character issues after finding earlier success with wide receiver Randy Moss and running back Corey Dillon.

Obviously, not every NFL player will have the choir-boy image of Tim Tebow (who, ironically, may end up helping the Patriots weather the likely loss of Hernandez if Tebow converts from quarterback to tight end). But Belichick’s belief that some leopards can change their spots has created its own set of headaches and bad publicity even as the majority of Patriots have steered clear of legal trouble and bad decisions.


* The Patriots dealt draft choices for wide receiver Chad Johnson and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in 2011 after bad behavior with their prior teams got them placed on the trading block. Neither caused problems in New England, but both were major flops.

* New England made cornerback Alfonzo Dennard a 2012 seventh-round choice despite a predraft felony arrest on charges he assaulted a police officer. Dennard recently was sentenced to 30 days in jail following the 2013 season and two years probation.

* The Patriots used three picks in 2009 and 2010 on players who reportedly failed college drug tests — Hernandez, linebacker Brandon Spikes and wide receiver Brandon Tate.

Tate was waived in 2011 and now plays for Cincinnati. Spikes and linebacker-defensive lineman Jermaine Cunningham, another 2010 second-round selection, both have served four-game NFL suspensions after testing positive for banned performance-enhancing substances.

As for Hernandez, his recent troubles have been well documented.

* The Patriots traded with Tampa Bay last October for cornerback Aqib Talib, who served a four-game suspension earlier in the season for a PED violation. Talib served a one-game suspension in 2010 for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy after being arrested for simple battery and resisting arrest the previous season.


* Tampa Bay also sent running back LaGarrette Blount to New England in April. Blount served a 10-game suspension while at the University of Oregon after sucker-punching a Boise State football player in the face.

The current situation with Hernandez stings the most. The Patriots were so confident Hernandez had moved beyond the college character concerns that caused his fourth-round slide in the 2010 draft that he was given a seven-year, $41.2 million contract extension with a $12.5 million signing bonus during the 2012 offseason.

As much as New England’s prosperity during its run of three Super Bowl wins bred contempt among opposing teams and fans, the professionalism of Patriots players was respected. The 2003 roster featured 35 players with college degrees, the NFL’s second-highest total behind Carolina (42) and Indianapolis (37). The Patriots were considered as smart as they were athletically talented. It showed on the field.

Why did this start to change?

Maybe it was Pioli’s departure to Kansas City in 2009. There was a mutual respect between Pioli and Belichick that generated give-and-take and sometimes saved the franchise from taking what later proved to be regrettable risks. Belichick, who has final say on all personnel moves, might not be receiving enough pushback from his current front-office members to avoid making these types of mistakes.

Maybe Belichick placed too much faith in the predraft feedback of friend Urban Meyer. Belichick selected five University of Florida players from when Meyer was the Gators’ head coach. Hernandez, Spikes and Cunningham are three of them.


TROUBLE WITH THE LAW
Several NFL players have been arrested in the offseason. Take a peek at who made the list.
Wide receiver Chad Jackson, a 2006 second-round pick, was a bust. Belichick also cut 2006 seventh-round pick Jeremy Mincey, who has started every game in Jacksonville at defensive end the past two seasons.

Maybe it was just bad luck and can come with the territory when trying to nab a bargain.

There is no guessing about what must come next in New England. Belichick needs to take a long look at the kinds of people he is bringing into the franchise. The integrity that Pioli spoke about must begin to carry more weight again.

Better character on the roster doesn’t guarantee Belichick and Brady will win another Super Bowl before they retire. But with what is transpiring in New England, it sure wouldn’t hurt.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/a...esworth-062113

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Old 06-21-2013, 08:59 PM   #2
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Re: Patriots have lost their 'Way'

They need to change their name to the Bengals-North.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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Re: Patriots have lost their 'Way'

Aaron Hernandez, Bristol Ct's, Dam shame. I've met Aaron more then a few times. Really seem like a great kid. I'm shocked. But how do you really know someone. Very sad that his mother has to go through this. His dad passed away a few years ago.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #4
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Re: Patriots have lost their 'Way'

Not really.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:56 AM   #5
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Re: Patriots have lost their 'Way'

They will still find ways to win, the patriots have a knack for doing that
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:42 AM   #6
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Re: Patriots have lost their 'Way'

Originally Posted by QBREES9 View Post
Aaron Hernandez, Bristol Ct's, Dam shame. I've met Aaron more then a few times. Really seem like a great kid. I'm shocked. But how do you really know someone. Very sad that his mother has to go through this. His dad passed away a few years ago.
There have been statements leaked that many with the Pats org were against him being picked due to his gang issues..... Belichick veto'd them.

I was laughed at in the Tebow thread for my comments about the present day Pats....., it seems I'm not the only one that has come to the conclusion Belichick is starting to overreach his skill sets.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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Re: Patriots have lost their 'Way'

Contrary to popular belief you don't win with a team full of good guys in football. You need a couple of thugs in the mix.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:12 AM   #8
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Re: Patriots have lost their 'Way'

Originally Posted by rezburna View Post
Contrary to popular belief you don't win with a team full of good guys in football. You need a couple of thugs in the mix.
No you dont.

Who was the "thug" on the 79 Steelers?
" " 73 Dolphins?

A "thug" is a fkn criminal and criminals do not make any team better.


Contrary to popular belief lack of a criminal history doesn't make someone " a good guy". Criminal History just means someone was just too stupid to get away with what they did.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:07 PM   #9
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Re: Patriots have lost their 'Way'

I thought this was funny.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:25 PM   #10
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Re: Patriots have lost their 'Way'

Originally Posted by TheOak View Post
No you dont.

Who was the "thug" on the 79 Steelers?
" " 73 Dolphins?

A "thug" is a fkn criminal and criminals do not make any team better.


Contrary to popular belief lack of a criminal history doesn't make someone " a good guy". Criminal History just means someone was just too stupid to get away with what they did.
Actually a thug is a violent person, especially a criminal; meaning you can be considered a thug without being a criminal. But get as technical with the meaning of words all you want. I was born in 1990. Never saw those teams. But I do know I'm right. So I wont argue about it.
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