New England Patriots: 4 reasons rebuilding offensive line is essential

New England Patriots offensive line (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
New England Patriots offensive line (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots offensive line (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
New England Patriots offensive line (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Fourth Reason: Keeping your own defense fresh

Fourth and finally, the New England Patriots offensive line also serves up another benefit on the defensive side of the ball? What? How is that happening?

Again, it’s sort of by default. What they do provides a distinct benefit because of what it prevents happening. In this case, it’s not the opponent that is thwarted directly, but the Patriots’ own teammates who benefit indirectly.

Who and how?

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By dominating time-of-possession (and hopefully scoring, of course, as a result), the Patriots offensive line keeps their own defense off the field. That keeps them fresh. That makes them more able to punish the opposing offense when their opponent actually does get an opportunity to possess the ball. They aren’t worn down because they haven’t been worn out by being on the field too long.

A classic example of that is the Atlanta defense being as their coach noted, “gassed” in the fourth quarter and overtime of their loss to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

So there they are.

Four reasons why the New England Patriots offensive line is key – not only to the offense, but central to the success of the entire team – in every quarter, every half, every game. That’s why to build or rebuild that particular unit, above all others, should be the key job (after having the best quarterback possible) of every off-season in free agency, the draft and undrafted free agency. All of it.

To help in this area, the Patriots have been blessed with a Hall of Fame to-be offensive line coach, Dante Scarnecchia, for decades. He helped “create” solid offensive lineman from unheralded ones. He’s retired now.

But the mandate to build or rebuild the offensive line remains – again, second only to having the best quarterback possible. The New England Patriots have not had to worry about that aspect for two decades.

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They have had The Best quarterback. An amazing and unparalleled success story. My hope is that they won’t have that worry for a few more years.

But, no matter who is under center, the offensive line and its success will have a major impact and for the reasons noted will really dictate the success of the Patriots.

That’s why building or rebuilding the offensive line must be an important priority of every off-season. And that begins now.