There's no question luck has played a part in the New England Patriots building the NFL's greatest dynasty, but there are plenty of things they do differently than the other 31 teams that puts them in a better position for consistent success.
“I think they (the Patriots) grade people differently, honestly,” Edelman told King. “They don’t want distractions. They want guys that are versatile. They want mentally tough football players. That’s what I’ve seen through my career being there. They want a smart, physical, tough football player. If you don’t have that, you’re probably not gonna be there.
So I’ve been fortunate to have a bunch of teammates—pretty much all the teammates I’ve had have been pretty good guys. You’ve got these young kids out here that have to learn, but you learn from the guys above you. I learned from the Kevin Faulks. I learned from the Toms, the Wes Welkers, the guys that worked hard that were there that were playing at a high level consistently. If you don’t, they usually get rid of you.”
Building a winning culture is important, and so is having smart football players who know what to do in every type of situation. These are things the Patriots do better than all other franchises. It's one thing to be athletic and physically talented, but those skills don't mean as much if you don't know when and how to apply them in certain situations.
The Patriots do a great job instilling the importance of situational football, and it's among the reasons why they perform so well late in games, particularly in the playoffs.
New England will have plenty of opportunities to add smart football players to its roster before next season begins. The Patriots have six selections (one in Round 1, two in Round 2 and three in Round 3) in the first 101 picks of the 2019 NFL Draft. This impressive amount of draft capital is one of the reasons to believe in the Patriots' chances of successfully defending their Super Bowl title in 2019.
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