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The sounds of football will be filling the air at training camp sites all across America, including Bryant College. The Patriots camp officially opened on July 23 with Bill Belichick attempting to mold several new faces with a familiar corps of players hoping to get back to the playoffs.
Offensive Line: Production depends on new faces up front
There is one glaring positive about the 2001 Patriots offensive line. That is, of course, that it can't possibly be any worse than it has been the last two seasons when starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe was sacked a combined 100 times, including 45 last season.
Linebackers: Questions surround linebacking corps
It doesn't seem like long ago that the Patriots had a stellar and deep linebacking corps that made it a strength of the team. Those were the days when Ted Johnson was teetering on stardom, Chris Slade was a feared pass rusher and a Pro Bowler and Tedy Bruschi and Todd Collins fought it out for playing time.
Free agents: boom or bust for Pats
Quality is better than quantity. That being a safe assumption, one has to wonder, then, if the Patriots free agent strategy will pay off. Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli worked the market hard as they promised they would, but did they simply come away with quantity or did they find value players on the positive side of their careers?