Remember when the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII? That was pretty neat. And remember some of guys who helped them defend their title in Super Bowl XXXIX? Guys like Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison and Troy Brown. Guys that never existed now, if you ask the team.
"From what I understand, they're gutting out the whole place," Brown said this afternoon at Mohegan Sun Casino where he was speaking to a group at the Comcast Sportsnet football roundtable. "There's no pictures of Troy Brown, there's no pictures of Tedy Bruschi, no pictures of Rodney Harrison in the building. It's all wiped off. It's (saying), 'Get your own identity. Get a name for yourseflves and don't worry about what Troy Brown did or Rodney Harrison did for this football team.' ...That's gonna be the key to this year is, 'Can these guys get their own identity?' Forget about the past and how successful they were let's be successful in our own way."
Apparently things were so contentious with the team last year that this change was needed. But how do the guys still on the Patriots feel about it?
TY WARREN: "Whatever the organization wants to do to motivate, by all means, go ahead. (Pictures) don't have anything to do with coming out here, and playing and defending the run, and playing the pass, or completing the pass ... Everyone was like, what was going on? When it was explained how we're not reflecting on the past, and we're focusing on right now, I can understand that."
VINCE WILFORK: "I understand where he's coming from. We have to put in work. Stop living in the past. I'm all for it. I think a lot of guys understand that ... I'm upset because of the pictures and everything, but at the same time, what he's trying to accomplish, I understand that too."
KEVIN FAULK: "Last year was last year. All those other years, were all those other years. It's a new year. It's fresh. You're trying to start a new phase every year."
It may still be preseason, but it seems that Belichick's motivational tools are already in mid-season form.