"The Patriots' Way": Results May Vary

Mitch BennettContributor IMarch 8, 2009

Last year defined "the Patriots' way." After an offseason filled with turmoil over spygate, the players continued to be loyal to the coach and his staff. During the season opener, their MVP quarterback goes down and they finished 11-5. That's "the Patriots' way."

Last year defined "the Herm Edwards way." After an offseason filled with nothing but angry grumblings from a fanbase starved of wins, the players were completely silent. During the season opener, we lost a game in the final minute because Herm wouldn't just run it up the middle, and we finished 2-14. That's "the Herm Edwards way."

If you take a look at how these "ways" work, they aren't too different.

"The Patriots' way" builds through the draft, supplements the roster with free agency and trades, and plays a pass heavy pro-style offense.

"The Herm Edwards way" builds through the draft, supplements the roster with free agency (but never really trades for anybody), and plays a offense that leans towards the team's strengths.

Similar in theory, similar in practice. What makes these "ways" so different?

The people at the top.

Who's your head coach?

Who's your general manager?

That'll tell you a lot about who's going to have nine wins or more next year.

Where does this leave the Chiefs?

We have an experienced offensive coordinator as our head coach, a respected pro personnel director as a general manager, and a whole lot of cap room.

So far we have traded for a quarterback and a linebacker. Don't get me wrong, these trades addressed needs, but we need more than that to field a winning team next year.

So what do we do?

Do we...

Sign every mildly talented free agent and field a Carl Peterson-ish team? This can work. Under this mentality, we won a lot of games, but down the stretch it may have been our undoing.

Do we...

Wait until the draft, trade for more draft picks, and go hog wild on selection Saturday/Sunday? This can also work. A team like the Colts proved this can work for long periods of time. Especially if you happen to draft Peyton Manning.

Or do we...

Bring in staff and players that we have prior work experience with and help build strong bonds between your players? Bill Parcells has shown this can be effective. Wherever he goes, he brings people with him and he always seems to be successful.

So far, we have used "the Parcells way."

No complaints, anything is better then Herm.