As long as Bill Belichick is calling the shots in Foxboro, the focus will be on spread offense, creative playcalling, multiple defensive fronts, stopping the run, generating a fierce pass rush, and winning the battle of special teams and turnovers.
That?s the way it should be.
The game of pigskin hasn?t changed, but everything else associated with the game has been turned upside down.
In this age of look-at-me gluttony, where the line between sports and tabloids is being obliterated by the power of Twitter and cell phone cameras, Belichick?s army has managed to avoid the fame-obsessed, TMZ rip currents.
Tom Brady is married to a supermodel, lives in Los Angeles, and the biggest story of the offseason ? besides his contract status — was being friendly with Kobe Bryant and his dad during the NBA Finals. Compared to Ben Roethlisberger, Brady is Father Flanagan. Who would you rather have calling signals?
Randy Moss has heard every name in the book — from prima donna to lollygagger — but when was the last time anyone saw his name in headlines for anything unrelated to football or doing something positive? Compared to Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, Moss is Siddhartha.
Anyone on the New England roster who sparks controversy disappears faster than candy at a fat farm.
Adalius Thomas didn?t like his role with the team. Now, he?s looking for a new team.
Logan Mankins wants more money. It might not be long before he?s a former Patriot.
There was a time when Belichick and the Patriots were considered robots with the personality of a turnip patch. Now they seem dignified. It?s not that they don?t have personalities. They just don?t put them on public display. They are professional. All business.
You don?t hear about self-indulgent parties at clubs. They don?t show up on police blotters and aren?t at the wrong place at the wrong time.
New Englanders can be thankful their gridiron giants have not succumbed to the temptation of fame that has befallen so many other athletes. Fans don?t need to know every detail of a player?s life. Too much information has become a bad thing. Nothing?s wrong with a little mystery and some privacy.
You?re in luck. NFL training camps are less than a week away, and the Patriots stand at the top of the food chain when it comes to focusing on nothing but football.
That is worth celebrating.
Some say this isn?t the Patriots? year. Experts have them tabbed as a middle-of-the-pack team, but before handing over the AFC East title to the Jets or Dolphins, remember the intangible of character.
The Patriots have been humbled the past few years.
Now, they are hungry. And they don?t need tabloid headlines, wacky stunts or viral videos to spread the word.
The only platform New England needs is a football field.