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Around the AFC East: New England Patriots

It's time to continue going around the AFC East. Next up is tommassee from Pats Pulpit:

Phinsider: Since New England's training camp is going to be pretty uneventful, allow me to throw at you a hypothetical question. If you were building an NFL team from scratch, which ONE Patriot (excluding Tom Brady) would you pick to be on the team?

Pats Pulpit: I certainly hope it's uneventful.

Anyway, that's a fantastic question, but ultimately I couldn't find a way to pick someone other than the first name that came to mind: Stephen Gostkowski.

Yeah, I'm kidding. I like Gostkowski, but I have to go with defensive lineman Richard Seymour with no reservation.

At 28, he's in the prime of his career, he's a dominating defensive force, he's a leader, and he understands the game on multiple levels. You can hardly ask for more. His only downside is his proneness to injury. On the other hand, he has shown a nearly irrational ability to play with significant injury.

The list of other possible choices wasn't too long, and time was their prevalent adversary: linebackers Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel and safety Rodney Harrison. Like Seymour, they understand the game. I can't overstate how important I feel that is to be a leader and a great player. Harrison has also been oft injured the last few years, but his leadership is unparalleled. That's a tough call. But he's a guy I'd tap for coach if he'd listen.

Linebackers Rosevelt Colvin and Adalius Thomas are considerations, but I still haven't seen enough of Colvin and I've seen very little of Thomas. Great players, but I don't know if they possess the other qualities I'd desire. Same with defensive linemen Vince Wilfork and Jarvis Green. I just don't know that they have the leadership and complete comprehension of a game plan, but it's hard to speak intelligently to that point with limited observation.

"Mr. Patriot" wide receiver Troy Brown is another guy that I'd like to bring in as a coach, but he's clearly at the end of his career and not a player you want to build around.

The only others that bear consideration are Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, because they're good, young players, they play key positions, and because interior offensive linemen generally also have a deeper and wider comprehension of a full game plan.

But Seymour is an elite player, he knows the game, and he's a natural leader. And defense wins championships.

My take: I'd have to agree with him on this one. Seymour is a very talented player who can rush the passer and defend the fun. And his leadership skills would certainly be useful if I was creating a new team from scratch. The only other guy I'd give consideration to would be Adalius Thomas. I know that many would say that the media has been all over his balls since he signed with the Pats, and I agree, but he is a very talented and versatile player who I'd love to build a team around. But when push comes to shove, I'd take Seymour (though we all know he's no Jason Taylor).

And to see my response to his question, you can head on over to Pats Pulpit.

Back with final part in a bit...