Many questions have surfaced recently in light of the recent Hernandez and Dennard arrests about the validity of the “Patriot Way.”
But while the “Patriot Way” has supposedly been employed by the organization ever since Bill Belichick took over in 2000, it apparently went through a transformation in 2009, the year former Patriots general manager Scott Pioli left. Peter King, author of the Monday Morning Quarterback column, explains.
“Since Scott Pioli left the organization in 2009, Belichick doesn’t have anyone to argue him off troubled players.”
Additionally, a source with knowledge of the Patriots organization told King: “There’s no one there with Scott’s balls anymore. Bill needs someone to challenge him, and I don’t think he has that now.”
While it may be ridiculous to say that if Pioli was with the Patriots they wouldn’t have drafted Hernandez or Dennard, who knows? Maybe Pioli would have at least talked Belichick out of giving Hernandez the $40 million extension 10 months ago. Or maybe he would have argued that drafting Rob Gronkowski and giving him a massive extension was inadvisable because of his injury risk.
It’s usually a good thing to have a system of checks and balances to ensure a level point of view. Maybe that’s what the Patriots need to get over the playoff hump and bring the Lombardi Trophy back to New England after eight years. Maybe hiring an actual general manager would help turn high-to-mid-round-picks into actual assets instead of roster cut casualties only a year or two after being drafted (I’m talking about Darius Butler and Ron Brace, among others).
Whatever the Patriots decide to do, it will likely be with Bill Belichick’s blessing. And maybe that’s the problem.