5 Superbowl Championships and 7 Super Bowl appearances since 2001. No other team can match what the Patriots have done under Head Coach Bill Belichick. I often hear conversations about the Patriots success. Most of the time though, I hear something about how they supposedly cheated their way to 5 championships.
It’s common for those who hate the Patriots to find any little way to discredit what they’ve done. No matter the excuse, none of them are good enough. I’ve often wondered myself how the Patriots always seem to be the best team in the NFL. I’ve tried to figure it out for quite some time now. As I saw the moves the Patriots made this offseason, the answer was finally clear. The Patriots win by doing what they want.
Almost every year we hear rumors about what could go down in the offseason. We hear about possible destinations for players in free agency, which teams will draft certain players, and trades that could happen. I’ve noticed recently that a lot of those predictions come true. When NFL Draft analysts say who they think will be the number one overall pick, most of the time it’s that player. When analysts say which player in free agency should go to what team, there’s a good chance the player goes to one of those destinations. When we hear about a trade destinations, a player usually gets traded there.
Most NFL teams get sucked into what everyone else is saying about them. Who should they draft, who should they sign in free agency, or who should they trade for? This is the difference between the Patriots and the rest of the NFL. The Patriots do what they want, while the other 31 teams do what others want them to do.
Let me give you two examples of what I mean.
1. Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Garoppolo hasn’t had a whole lot of opportunities to play, but when he’s been in the game he’s played very well. There were a lot of trade rumors this offseason about the Patriots trading Garoppolo. He was linked to the Browns, Bears, and Texans among others. Each time the Patriots got an offer for Garoppolo, their answer was no. They didn’t get sucked in to what the media was saying about the trade. They made up their mind, and they stuck to it.
Instead of thinking in terms of, “What could we get for Jimmy?,” the Patriots thought in terms of, “What if Tom Brady can’t play?” It wouldn’t be the first time Tom Brady hasn’t been available. He’s been injured before, and just last season he was suspended for the first 4 games. Garoppolo went 3-1 as a starter last season, proving he’s more than capable of stepping in for Brady if need be.
2. The NFL Draft
I had the Patriots as one of my NFL Draft winners in my article “Winner And Losers Of The NFL Draft.” I’ll give a quick overview of my reasoning. The Patriots started out with all their picks. Instead of picking players in the draft, they traded their picks for established NFL players.
The most notable of those picks is Brandin Cooks. There were probably many Patriots fans who wanted the team to draft a certain player at the bottom of the first round. Instead of picking a player they would have to develop, they got a fourth year receiver who has had two 1,000 yard seasons in three years. Cooks is only 23 years old. He’s younger than some of the guys who got drafted this year!
They didn’t just do this with their first round pick, but their second, fourth, and two fifths also. In return for their picks, they got Kony Ealy, Dwayne Allen, James O’Shaughnessy, and Mike Gillislee. Each of these players have years of NFL experience under their belts.
Are you starting to see the secret to the Patriots success? They’re not doing what all the other teams are doing. They’re taking their own approach. Bill Belichick has tuned out what all the media and fans are saying he should do. That’s not how Belichick has run things in the past, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. Obviously the Patriots are doing something right if it has resulted in 5 Super Bowl victories.
The best team in the NFL has only gotten better this offseason. You heard them during their Super Bowl parade chanting, “We want six!” The moves they made this offseason tell me they’re serious. The Patriots have loaded up their roster, and they’re coming for number 6.