Some reasons for Patriots fans to feel good

No Mas Ochostinko!
Optimism abounds these days amongst Pats fans. Whether looking to the future or realizing that this team is stacked with solid veterans, Patriots fans have a lot to be excited about. Already the most successful franchise in the NFL over the last 11 years, the Pats are not about to rest on their laurels. They spent the offseason reloading, not rebuilding, and they loaded for bear (or Giants) not deer. Brandon Lloyd does not even need to have a career year for the Patriots to improve an already great offense from a year ago. Consider that he will be taking all of Ochostinko's, and Tiquan Underwood's snaps. So we lose a has been and a never was and add a legit threat. Good deal.

The Law Firm has moved on, and I really did like Green-Ellis, but he was not a playmaker. He was solid and he never fumbled in 537 career touches, which is just a ridiculous number, but he also averaged 3.7 yards a carry. 3.7 is OK, but kind of mediocre. Ridley on the other hand seems to run angry. He is thirsty for yards and that was reflected in his 5.2 YPC over the final five games of the season.

One could also argue that we have just begun to scratch the surface of what Aaron Hernandez can bring to the table. He now lines up in the backfield, on the line of scrimmage, as a flanker, in the slot, and he sometimes serves beer at the Sam Adams stand at halftime. Talk about versatility.

When you finally factor in the ever productive Wes Welker, and sprinkle some Gronks on top for good measure, this team is going to light the scoreboard up again in 2012.