Other than the draft, the Patriots have had their share of news arrive recently. As the team looks to get ready for next year Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio have continued to build their team and staff, while also finding crucial players returning from injury. Here is the latest with regards to the Patriots.
NFL 2010’s team
While it is a bit old news at this point, we might as well mention the crazy amount of Patriots players that are spread throughout the NFL All 2010’s team. To start it off, the GOAT Tom Brady is there at QB, alongside Packers Aaron Rodgers. Brady had nine Pro Bowl selections, two first-team All-Pro honors, and two MVP awards in 2010 and 2017.
Rob Gronkowski also easily makes his way into the team, with Kelce as the other selection. He had five Pro Bowl and four All-Pro selections, and was in the top 50 of the NFL’s Top 100 Players list seven out of nine years. Logan Mankins caps off the Patriots offensive members on the list. Logan, one of the greatest players in Pats history, played only four years this decade in New England, while also spending another two in Tampa.
The defensive side of the ball saw significantly less love. Linebacker/defensive end Chandler Jones made the list after playing four years for New England and Arizona each. The 30-year-old has nearly 100 sacks in his career, and is already top 50 in sacks all time.
Darrelle Revis also finds himself on this list. He only played one year in New England, spending the majority of his career with the Jets, but he became an NFL champion in a revival year as a Patriot. Revis was named an All-Pro in his third-best season in his career at the age of 29. He would return to the Jets after he captured the ring, and resumed his decline until his retirement three years later.
Bill Belichick was named as one of the coaches, Gostkowski was one of the kickers, and Cordarrelle Patterson was one of the kick returners. We also saw Antonio Brown on the list, if you consider his one game with the team as enough to count him as a Patriot. With the most nominations among all NFL teams, the Patriots certainly show just how dominant they were for the second straight decade.
Speaking of Gronk, just days ago (though it feels like weeks) he came out of retirement and joined Brady on the Buccaneers. This sparked a frenzy, with the likes of Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez joking about returning to the NFL as well. Many are speculating why he retired in the first place, with some blaming Belichick.
But Gronk did say that he was open to playing on the Patriots again…IF Brady was there as well. But whatever the reason, the new reality is he’s in Tampa. And while some are flaming the Patriots, it is clear that people should instead be praising them. They aren’t losing Gronk, because they never had him in the first place. Instead, they make a fourth-rounder appear out of thin air for a tight end that may not be effective anymore.
But it certainly should be interesting to see the Brady-Gronk connection next year, though the comparison to Nets Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett is an apt description of how this will probably look. Either way, the Pats got another pick, and the Bucs got another weapon.
Andrews Returns as Well
In other huge news, Pats center David Andrews has finally been cleared to play after his fight against blood clots in his lungs. The offensive line wasn’t terrible last year, at least in terms of sacks and QB hits, but this elevates a solid o-line into a premier o-line. This is especially important considering the loss of Ted Karras in free agency, who replaced Andrews last year. This is great news for next year’s starting QB, who probably will be Stidham, as they adjust to starting at the most important position on the field.
Marqise Lee signing
A low risk, high reward signing, Marqise Lee bolsters an underrated receiving unit. You have Edelman as your number one, a now-healthy Sanu as your number two, and Harry, Meyers, or Lee as the number three. He has recently struggled with injuries, missing the entire 2018 season and most of 2019 thanks to a severe knee injury. But prior to that he had 800 yard and 700 yard seasons with the Jaguars. He came cheap, meaning if he doesn’t have any of this left in the tank the Pats can just get rid of him. But if he does have that talent still in him he could be a great depth piece to the team.
Filling Out Coaching Staff
Last up here is recent developments to the coaching staff. It lost its receiving coach, offensive line coach, defensive line coach, and special teams coach this past year. Luckily,they found great replacements for each. Assistant quarterbacks coach Mick Lombardi is the new receivers coach, while the Patriots hired Jedd Fisch to take over QB coaching duties from both him and McDaniels. Fisch is known to be great at developing young quarterbacks, which is undoubtedly an added bonus considering the current situation of the franchise.
Only the defensive line and defensive coordinator spots still remain vacant. The gave Scarnecchia’s former assistant Cole Popovich the head offensive line coach job, and Joe Judge’s former assistant Cameron Achord the head special teams job. They also hired Joe Houston for the special team’s assistant role, who had previously been a special teams analyst for Alabama over the past three years. The Patriots are making the right choices with regards to next year’s staff, and its definitely shaping up to be a strong, young unit.