The Patriots of 2009 haven't looked like the Patriots we've gotten accustomed to around these parts. Tom Brady is back. Randy Moss is here. Bill Belichick is wearing the headset. So what's the problem?
Where do we start?
According to Belichick, the squad's struggles this year can largely be attributed to one thing: a communication breakdown.
"I think you're always preaching communication," Belichick told Boston.com. "I think if you have four tenured veterans, you're still preaching communication. If you have four rookies, you're preaching communication."
The Patriots — particularly on defense — are a very young team. They have seen countless personnel changes in the past few months, losing playmaking veterans Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour and Ellis Hobbs, to name a few. Their lack of production, and lack of communication, could simply be attributed to the fact that they haven't quite found their bearings yet.
"Football is a team sport," Belichick said. "You want everybody to be on the same page, doing the right thing, whatever that is. We're really a lot better off as a team if we're all wrong together than if half of us are right and half of us are wrong. We're better off all playing the same thing even if it's not what we should be in than half in one thing and half in something else."
With Atlanta's versatile offense coming to town this weekend, New England's defense has no choice but to be on the same page or else they risk falling to 1-2 in a division that's looking pretty good right now.
Winning the AFC East is going to be no cakewalk in 2009. The sooner the Patriots can communicate that to one another, the sooner they can start battling.
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