The Patriots are on the cusp of starting training camp for the 2012 season and in the wake of the team's Super Bowl XLVI loss will be gearing up for another run at a ring.
Yet with games a little more than a month away, there's still plenty for Bill Belichick and Co. to sort out before the regular season kicks off.
One of the first storylines to jump off the page is the team's running back situation. With Joseph Addai cut from the team, the Patriots still boast a formidable group of backs, led by Danny Woodhead. However, Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley may be poised for breakout years and the competiton is sure to heat up this week.
Another new face that will be entering the mix in 2012 is wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. After being a part of Josh McDaniels' offense in St. Louis, Lloyd will follow his coach to Foxboro in hopes of linking up with Tom Brady for a career year. The last big-name wideout the team brought in, Chad Johnson a.k.a. Ochocinco, struggled to adapt to the offense and how quickly Lloyd picks up the playbook will be something to keep an eye on.
On the defensive side of things, rookies Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones will likely have a chance to make an impact right away. Of course, rookies are always a wild card when it comes to adjusting to life in the pro ranks, so the team's two first-round picks will certainly have their work cut out for themselves at camp.
Finally, defensive back Devin McCourty moved around quite a bit over the course of last season, adapting to life as a safety. McCourty appeared to regress in his new role after a standout rookie season at cornerback, so where he ends up this season bears watching.