Bad Start? Why the '08-'09 Pats should worry just a tad

Nick ColonSenior Analyst IAugust 23, 2008

No, the New England Patriots should not be in panic-mode by any means. They also should not worry about this season, which is something I think Bill Belichick has not even thought about looking ahead to yet.

So then why should the Pats worry at all this preseason, with a meaningless 0-3 record? One reason: The Future.

It is a true statement that preseason really means nothing about how your team will fare in the upcoming season.  It's also true that the record normally is produced from second and third-string players that may or may not make the team. 

However the converse is also true, in saying that preseason is helpful to the chemistry and bonding of a team.  Preseason is also a time for younger players to step up, and show why they should be kept on the roster, and what potential they have. 

Above all else, however, is the fact that preseason secures not only the reserves on a team, but the future of that team as well.

Though it may seem like a long time ago, preseason was an eternity for players like Tom Brady, Tony Romo, and Vince Young. Now, all it is is tune-up for the season to come. For the latter two, they have gotten a productive warm-up out of this season's mini-season, and will hopefully put it to good use in come mid-season.

Brady, unlike the other two, has not yet had a chance to grace the field with his presence and experience. His leg injury has prevented him from using this precious time to get a feel for the regular season.  But Pats fans do not fear, for Brady will be ready come September. It's the future you may not want to hear about.

This preseason has proven one thing for the Brady-less Pats, without their captain, they tend to play to a lesser degree. They don't show the tenacity and toughness that captured their previous three Super Bowl titles. They show simply: fear.

Bill Belichick has a few decisions to make.  First, who gets the heave-ho out of the three potential QB's.  Is Matt Gutierrez, who has shown promise when thrown into the mix, the one to go? 

Will it be Matt Cassel, the tough gritty guy who has potential, but seems to struggle at times?  Or is it the rookie, Kevin O'Connell, who hasn't quite had the chance to prove himself yet, but looks to impress? No matter who it is, Belichick has one game left to decide.

The ones that do stay will have to learn and adapt quite quickly, as none of the three have shown the promise to be an effective backup to Brady thus far.  What happens if Brady goes down?  Who gets the call?  What will happen to the rest of the team?  How will they react?  No one knows...yet.