Right now, the news surrounding the Patriots is very slow. While we should see the schedules and find out what compensatory picks the Patriots receive in the coming week, the past few days have been dead silent.
So, in an effort to get something going, I’m going to list the top 10 players who I think are the most IMPORTANT to the Patriots. Not necessarily the best, but rather, the most critical to the team’s success on the field.
Feel free to pick the list apart, pick me apart, or leave your own list in the comments section. Here it goes:
- Tom Brady
- Vince Wilfork
- Adalius Thomas
- Randy Moss
- Ty Warren
- Wes Welker
- Jerod Mayo
- Kevin Faulk
- Richard Seymour
- Matt Light
On the cusp: Logan Mankins, Tedy Bruschi, Dan Koppen
This isn’t a measure of how good I think each player is (although of course, that is a part of the process). Think of the list as: “If you took player X of the team, how would the team fare?”
For example, I considered putting Vince Wilfork #1 because at the nose tackle spot, he is so pivotal to the success of our defense. If we had Mike Wright playing full-time, the team would be seriously affected. Likewise with Adalius Thomas. The Patriots use him in just about 99.9% of their plays. Why? Because he has the skills to be an effective edge rusher on first and second downs, and can drop into coverage when needed on third downs.
Tedy Bruschi was an “honorable” mention because of his knowledge of the system. While he may not be the stalwart linebacker that he once was, his smarts, awareness, experience, and leadership make him invaluable to the Patriots.
Another player on my list, Kevin Faulk, is also similar to the players explained above. While he isn’t a feature back on first and second downs, he is on third downs, the most crucial down in football. His experience, leadership, and versatility (picking up blitzes, catching the football from the backfield or from the slot) make him one of the most important players on the Patriots players.
So who makes your list?