In light of Seattle's dominating victory on Sunday, do you feel differently about how the Patriots' front office should go about re-tooling the roster for the 2014 season?
Rick: I don’t feel as different about the re-tooling of the Patirots’ roster because it is tough to emulate that kind of defense, as Aaron Rodgers said earlier this week. I do think the Patriots do a good job at filling out the bottom of their roster with depth, but they aren’t as top heavy as they were in the past. New England needs to put the pieces in play while Tom Brady is there to take advantage of any championship opportunities they can get. Seattle has a great mix of young talent that they don’t have to pay until next year. This is where the draft can be crucial for a franchise in having great talent that is very cost-effective. That is what the Patriots have on defense right now and that maturation process can only get better.
Raj: I feel they should consider it. We saw that Seattle's physical play humiliated the Broncos. The Seahawks seem to only get beaten by teams who play like them. As of today there are only a few (San Francisco being one of them). If the Patriots explore the possibilities of adding hard-hitting players, that could increase the chances of competing against the NFL's most elite teams.
Jason: If anything, I think Seattle's big win showed that the brain trust in Foxboro is on the right path. They have focused heavily on building a good defense over the past several drafts, and those efforts started to show some signs of serious progress before injuries crippled the entire unit. If any team can play good defense, run the ball, get competent QB play and stay healthy, that squad can win the Super Bowl. The Pats got three out of four last year. If they get that last element in place, they are likely playing in February next year.
Derek: I think Seattle's win deflated some of the "Brady needs more weapons" talk. Peyton Manning had all the weapons in the world this season, as did Tom Brady in 2007, and both of them walked away losers at the end. The Patriots could still probably use another receiver and tight end, but I don't think that person necessarily needs to be Larry Fitzgerald or Jimmy Graham. Rather than "loading up" on offense, the Patriots would be much better served by adding a hard-hitting safety, another capable corner, and a D-lineman who can get to the opposing quarterback. Add that to the defensive players returning from injury and the Pats will be able to give Manning nightmares just like the Hawks did.