The Patriots packed up their belongings yesterday and headed out, some (many?) of them likely for the last time as members of the franchise.

Mike Reiss says that there is a lengthy to-do list on tap for this offseason. Albert R. Breer says that there will be plenty of pieces needed this offseason, and wonders if they can put it all together. He lists a number of questions that need to be answered. Karen Guregian says that there won’t be a quick fix to the Patriots issues, but she thinks she knows where to start. Jennifer Toland has the Patriots clearly out quickly following the sudden end to their season. Hector Longo tells us what he thinks the team should do going forward, and says that it is fish or cut bait time with Jerod Mayo, who clearly must’ve stolen Hector’s sandwich at some point this season. Shalise Manza Young says that the leadership void was a huge problem this season.

Jeremy Gottlieb, Michael Felger and Ron Borges crank out the final, dismal report cards. Mark Farinella  says that looking back on this season won’t be a pretty picture.

Bob Ryan compares the Sunday postgame Bill Belichick with the Monday Bill Belichick. Gerry Callahan no longer trusts Belichick. Glen Farley says that the Patriots are entering a whole new era. Mark Farinella has Patriot players expecting plenty of changes for next season. Bill Reynolds says that Sunday’s debacle did permanent damage to Patriots mystique. Did it even exist still?

Steve Buckley says that there is a big mess to clean up in the locker room, and new leadership is needed. Brian MacPherson says that this season’s rookie class showed some promise. Ian R. Rapoport says that the offensive line might see some changes next season. He also has Belichick saying he likes a coordinated effort on his coaching staff. Young says that Belichick wants assistants who question his decisions at times. Dan Duggan has Stephen Gostkowski hoping to return next season.

The Globe notebook says that a lack of leadership might’ve affected the team this season. Rapoport’s notebook has Derrick Burgess hoping to return next season.

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19 thoughts on “Patriots Pack It In

  1. “Jeremy Gottlieb, Michael Felger and Ron Borges crank out the final, dismal report cards. Mark Farinella says that looking back on this season won’t be a pretty picture.”

    What a surprise. Yeah, I’m sure the Pats will look back at their seventh divisional title of the decade and see a poor season. The teams has been in transition for a long while now, but the ‘experts’ have only just realised. And yet they’re still one of the elite teams in the league and will likely be one of the favourites for the SB again next year.

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  2. I actually agreed with many of Callahan’s points. But should he really be referring to anyone as “the Hooded One?”

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  3. First off, I admit it was a DISMAL performance Sunday and the Pats do need an influx of TALENT….However I still don’t think it’s a time for some kind of “HUGE HOUSE CLEANING” or anything like that. Looking at some of these headlines you would think the team just went 1-15 or 2-14……These hacks just LOVE the Doom & Gloom crapola.

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    1. I’m with you.

      For all of their faults this season, the Pats came within a few plays of winning 12 or 13 games–the key to the offseason will be finding the players who can execute those few key plays and turn those close losses into wins. They certainly don’t need to clean house or completely overhaul the team.

      You know, what are Pittsburgh fans saying about their team right now?

      There’s a franchise that’s won two Super Bowls in the last five seasons, but in the other three seasons, they’ve missed the playoffs twice and had a similar “one and done” home playoff loss to Jacksonville (2007 Wild Card round) in the other year. Do their fans and media panic and declare the “sky is falling” every time the Steelers don’t go deep into the playoffs or don’t win the Super Bowl?

      This has to be a Boston-only phenomenon, really, it has to be.

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      1. This might be a Boston phenomenon: I keep hearing the KG is in a wheel chair, the Red Sox won’t score a run next season, and that Phil Kessel was somehow the second coming of Wayne Gretzky. Let’s settle down people.

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      2. Well, not sure about that. Last time I checked, the Steelers were shanking each other in the back. Fans have whined about Hines Ward and whether they should keep him, which is inexplicable.

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  4. and then you hear all of these wacko reasons why the team lost. I was curious, so I did turn on WEEI for a few seconds (literaly) the other day. I hear Holley going off on how he wants, “Parking Spot Tom” back. He was dragging up that old theory that Brady might not be as commited/working as hard as he used to, blah-blah-blah…..just more mindless psycho-babble.

    Sometimes it’s very simple. You need good players to win. The Patriots need some more good players……I know it’s tough to fill 4 hours with that but that’s the bottomline. Of course it’s also much too boring for these drama queens. So they look into their “Drama Queen Playbook” and come up with

    1) Brady has kids now and other things on his mind.

    2) Knee injury has ruined Brady

    3) Randy Moss is a loafer and a team cancer

    4) Belichick has worn out welcome /players are tuning him out

    5) Brady would much rather “jet-set” with Giselle than play football

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    1. The Brady personal life reasons always crack me up, as if these people know what his and his wife’s lives are like away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

      It’s unfortunate for Brady, in a way, that he ended up meeting and falling in love with one of the most famous women in the world, because that guarantees that the media will have plenty of “photographic evidence” to back up their arguments that he no longer “cares about football” as much as he used to.

      If he had just married some cocktail waitress that he met at a high-end Newbury Street bar, he’d still be married and still have all of the complications that go with it, but he wouldn’t have to deal with the mediots commenting and sneering and making baseless assumptions about his football appetite just because a few photos of him and the misses lounging on the beach appeared on TMZ.com.

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      1. I agree, guys. Holley’s on-air performance has been pretty subpar since he tied the knot, but you never hear that as an excuse. Must be that Mrs. Holley isn’t a supermodel.

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    2. The gossip column Pink Helmets in the Pats fanbase have gained ascendancy. I would prefer to hear a legitimate point from someone who could pick Steven Grogan out of a lineup.

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  5. Ah yes, the “Chicken Little” syndrome has raised its ugly head
    once again with regards to the Patriots loss, fans and media around here live WAY too vicariously through the teams, they seem to have forgotten Howard Cosell’s quote: “Sports is the toy department of human life.” In short folks, it is NOT the end of the world! Of course the print/broadcast bloviators and their silly sycophants are spewing their ridiculous notions of there being a “curse of Gisele” or some other stupid nonsense; these are the same folks who probably think that pro wrestling is real!

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  6. After reading the Boston Globe and Boston Herald, then listening to WEEI I have noticed the reporting has gone down hill. I think there is a lack a leadership in the newsroom.

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  7. For some reason I subjected myself to Gerry Callahan’s column this morning. He bemoans the fact the Pats traded Vrabel and Seymour, but then says this:

    “It was interesting to hear Pats fans whine about the quarterback yesterday because, Sunday’s dismal performance aside, they still have a quarterback. What they need is everything else. They need to get younger, faster, tougher, deeper.”

    So Gerry thinks they need to get younger, faster & stronger. Well isn’t that what they did on defense this year? I’m not sure how keeping Vrabel & Seymour would make them younger, faster & stronger, but hopefully the playing time that the younger guys got this year will pay off over the next few seasons.

    Also, do they really need “everything else”? The Welker injury is a killer, but the Pats are really good at key positions. Mayo seemed to have an off year, but still looks promising. Meriweather emerged this year, and they will probably franchise Wilfork. Logan Mankins And Vollmer are keepers.

    Look at the record this decade: five AFC Championships, four Super Bowls, & three Super Bowl victories. I hope for such misery in the next ten years.

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    1. They’re rebuilding. If Gerry would stop mooning over Sarah Palin and worrying about his short game, he might notice that the Pats are trying to do exactly that on defense. They just haven’t come out and said it…

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  8. How come nobody is truly focused on the ground game? Laurence Maroney gets 1 carry in the divisional round game, and people aren’t talking about that. How come Kevin Faulk got the brunt of the carries, 14, when he only had 62 all year? I think the Pats ground game is in huge trouble.

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    1. I’d like to see them get an every down back and scrap the 4 back rotation that’s holding the rest of the roster hostage. Kevin Faulk for 3rd down, another guy to carry the rock on 1st and 2nd. Shoene Greene, Ray Rice, Steve Slaton, Knowshon Moreno…all guys the Pats could have had if they didn’t insufferably trade picks for more picks. Draft an F’n player.

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