Patriots Talk Podcast

Patriots making it very clear they're moving on from Belichick era

It's a new era in New England, and the Patriots want you to know that.

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After 24 years mostly filled with unprecedented NFL success, including six Super Bowl championships, a new era has begun for the New England Patriots.

The signs are obvious.

Bill Belichick is out. Jerod Mayo is the head coach. Eliot Wolf is making roster decisions.

But in case these massive changes in important positions weren't clear enough, the team has been pretty consistent in telling us that things will be done differently going forward.

The latest example came Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where Wolf, who recently assumed the role of director of player personnel, talked about some of the changes the organization is making. Given Wolf's many years in the Packers organization, are we about to see a transition from the Patriot Way to the Packer Way?

🔊 Patriots Talk Podcast: Eliot Wolf reiterates Patriots’ plan for sweeping change at NFL Combine | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Wolf's comments Tuesday at his presser caught the attention of our Tom E. Curran, who gave his take during a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

"A lot of differentiation between the way they're going to do their business in building this team and the way they've done their business, despite the six Super Bowl titles and nine Super Bowl appearances, the greatest dynasty in NFL history," Curran said. "The Patriots continue to chart a course that's far different from that and announcing it.

"What is the Packer Way? 'Honesty, respect and treating people the right way.' These are shots across the bow for Bill Belichick. It's unseemly. They're not doing a good job of soft-shoeing around saying the guy was really freaking good. And nobody has spent more time trying to call it like I see it -- being critical of Bill's drafting, bedside manner, free agency signings, coaching decisions, roster decisions -- nobody was over the last five years.

"But the continued word choice that asks you to draw an inference of, 'How did that change from what we saw' -- (there's) a little too much grave dancing going on. And I know I get accused of it plenty on social media, which is oftentimes a cesspool anyway, and people are just keeping their days moving along by sitting online. But they have to do a better job paying respect to what preceded, regardless of how the last four years went and how frustrated guys might be."

Maybe a new approach will do the Patriots well.

Wolf talked Tuesday about getting faster and more explosive on defense. He revealed the team's draft grading system has changed. Wolf wants the team to give young players more opportunities. Belichick relied a lot on veterans.

It remains to be seen whether these changes will lead to playoff berths or Super Bowl appearances over the next five years. The success of the Patriots over that span likely will hinge on how well they do in this year's draft.

What we do know is that rebuilding this roster -- which arguably has the least amount of elite talent in the league -- is going to be an extraordinary challenge. We're about to find out if Wolf is up to the task.

Also in this episode:

  • Highlights from Eliot Wolf’s press conference
  • Wolf's press conference
  • Phil Perry reports from Indianapolis
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