Things have been pleasantly quiet for the Patriots this offseason. Not like last year.
Mike Giardi and Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran go 3 and Out to discuss the state of the Patriots.
"I think the mental aptitude and the ability to build mental toughness as the offseason goes along and then as the season goes along, is job one," says Curran.
"Last year they were set so far behind with the release of Aaron Hernandez, the loss of Wes Welker, the injury to Danny Amendola… they never got to the point where they were working on mental toughness. They were working on guys being in the right spot... I think this team realizes many of their shortcomings have been between the ears."
Meanwhile, players like Danny Amendola are out to prove they can live up to the expectations that come with big contracts.
Curran says Amendola needs to earn back Tom Brady's trust after a 2013 season in which Amendola was either injured or unreliable.
Injuries derailed the Patriots last year, yet they still managed to make it to the AFC Championship before coming up short against the Broncos. A large part of their success was the play of Dont'a Hightower.
"He was excellent down the stretch run," says Curran. "He was excellent in the playoffs. The best player on either side for the Patriots."
With a re-tooled defense, the potential for further growth from Hightower and Chandler Jones, a year of experience for the young receivers, and hopefully better health, the Patriots have the potential to be Super Bowl contenders once again.