The New England Patriots have been hard at work since last season ended. The offense has been tweaked, the defense has been boosted—even the coaching staff received an upgrade.
As a result, with weeks to go until the preseason begins, the Patriots are favorites to go deep into the playoffs—perhaps even back to the Super Bowl.
Champions are never crowned in July, but the Patriots and their fans should feel comfortable about what's in store for 2012.
Even with a brand new conference championship trophy and banner at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots didn't take this offseason off. The flaws in New England were apparent last year, and the team didn't let a trip to the Super Bowl cause it to forget them.
Here are the six best actions the team took to prepare for the 2012 season.