As Patriot Nation finally eases into the offseason, it's incredible to think about how many teams were settling into their vacation way back on New Year's day. Now, finally, with everybody taking a collective breather, it's beginning to feel less like a vacation and more like the calm before the storm.
We're about to get slammed all over again with the combine, the draft and free agency. For all intents and purposes, the 2012 season has already started.
For some of us, our brains are caught somewhere in time between 2011 and 2012. On one hand, we reflect on a season that fell a catch short of total glory. On the other hand, we look ahead to a new season and another shot at that which has eluded us since 2004.
For those readers caught between 2011 and 2012, this article is for you. Consider it a helpful transition guide, and here's hoping it gets your juices flowing for the battles ahead.
Here are eight reasons New England Patriots fans should be optimistic in 2012.