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The Patriots secret to becoming a Dynasty

                                        By Dean Nicosia

August  2005

When are teams going to unlock the secret of how the Patriots have become a dynasty, in an age of free agency and the salary cap. This wasn't suppose to happen in the new parity friendly NFL. Gone were the days of the Dynasties such as the Cowboys and Steelers, replaced by the one year wonder, the Super Bowl champ that only won 7 games the following year. That was until the Patriots came along. Now everybody in the NFL is trying to figure out how they did it, so that they can make it happen with their team.

Many say it's the genius of Belichick. If they can just figure out his play calling, they can not only beat him, but figure out how to win a few Super Bowls themselves. If they could just figure out how he designs his plays, and how he game plans, they just might be able to reproduce it. They also need to figure out how he picks talent, or is that Scott Pioli? Anyway, what a heck of a coach/manager you have there, one of the best ever. Is that the Secret?

But let's not forget the golden boy, Tom Brady, who in his second year out of college, after being drafted in the 6th round, goes out and wins a super bowl MVP award. Two years later he does it again, and the year after that one of his receivers wins it. If they could just find a QB like Tom Brady, they could have the next Joe Montana or Terry Bradshaw, maybe then they could win a few Super Bowls. But then again, Brady isn't really that good, I mean he's top ten, but he's no Peyton Manning, right?  So scrap that idea, get yourself one of these new running QB's, or a kid with a golden arm like Manning. Yeah, that's the ticket...or is it?

So what is it then. Belichick was a bad coach his first time around for the Browns. A die hard Browns fan once told me that Belichick would be the downfall of the Patriots, he would ruin them like he did the Browns. Is he really the reason for the Dynasty? 

And is Brady really the answer, is he the key, or would any QB due?

This team has seen quite a bit of roster changes, just as many as any other team out there, over it's three Super Bowl wins in four years. Each Super Bowl year has seen rookies as starters and injuries to starting veterans. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are about the only thing that hasn't changed over that four year stretch, that you could really point to as a possible key to the dynasty. Unless of course you think that Vinatieri is the key to the Dynasty, each game was won by three points, and he kicked two game winning Super Bowl kicks not to mention the snow bowl. But come on, he's just a kicker, right?

I think you have to look at the ownership and the decision making process it has used over the past 10 years. 

This team is owned by a family that puts character above talent, team above individual, and winning championships above winning statistics. They have brought together a team that at every level is about as classy and as strong in character as you are going to see in sports today. They are the true definition of the word team, from the punter right up to the head coach. They conduct themselves with class on and off the field, and they put the team over their individual stats and salaries. 

When they end up with a trouble maker, he is quickly shipped up the river. 

There is no team in football today that has more players that have taken less than "market value" when signing a contract, just to stay with the team, than the Patriots do. 

They win with a coach that is not the flashiest or craziest guy out there. He is not the darling of the media, as a matter of fact he gives them fits some days. He doesn't seem to be your prototypical motivational guy, or disciplinarian. 

And they win with a kid at QB that is still not thought of as the best out there. (he may just have to win 5 more Super Bowls before they call him the best) 

But at the end of the day on Sunday, they win, including the last Sunday of football, known as Super Bowl Sunday.

They win because when you add it up, the whole is much grater than the sum of the parts. (even when you add in Vinatieri)

Yes they have one of the best Coaches ever, and one of the best QBs ever, but at the end of the day, this Dynasty can be chalked up to the whole team. 

They don't go out in the off season and find overpaid celebrities that are looking to do nothing more than further their own careers and paychecks. They don't find the guys that have agents running around holding their hands and propping them up. 

They find veteran football players that have the heart and soul for the game that it takes to win a Super Bowl. When they draft kids out of college, they look for the same heart. They find guys that want so badly to hold up the trophy and wear that ring, that they are willing to do just about anything to get that. Guys that work hard and play hard and leave it all out there on the field. Men that love the game, and love to win, even at the expense of their wallets and individual stat sheets.

Those are the guys that this team puts together, and Belichick takes it from there. Molding them into a team that thinks on the same level, and works as one unit. He can spot talent, but better than that, this team can spot character, guts and heart. 

That's not really a secret, it's just common sense...

But as long as teams like the Eagles go out and overpay for Jerks like TO, the rest of the league hasn't figured it out yet. 

Let's hope they don't to soon, cause I like watching my team for 3 extra games every year!!

Go Patriots and God Bless!!

...Thatís just My Slanted View!!