April 27, 2008

A VERY FEW TEAMS ARE RUN WELL:

No matter what, Patriots get what they want (MARK CRAIG, April 26, 2008, Star Tribune)

The New England Patriots might lose a Super Bowl once in a while, but no one beats this dynasty on draft day.

No one. Not even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Sheriff Goodell stripped the Patriots of their own No. 1 pick as punishment for filming the Jets' defensive signals in violation of league rules in Week 1 last season. Yet the Patriots still managed to fill their biggest need -- linebacker -- with a top-10 pick while trading down to acquire another third-round selection and give themselves five picks in the top three rounds.

In a league that demands parity and frowns on cheating, that's an impressively resourceful day for a team that went 18-1 and cheated last season. But it's hardly a surprise. After all, being a step ahead of everybody else is what Patriots coach Bill Belichick and vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli do best.

Especially on draft day.


Setting aside the bit of hilarity about the NFL being anti-cheating, the Pats have been run the same way for a number of years now--almost like Billy Beane's Athletics. They recognized that high priced players are nearly never worth it in a sport where everyone is interchangeable. The draft, therefore, provides them opportunity because they're always ready to trade down.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2008 6:38 AM
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