The most intriguing for me is the love for Patrick Chung. The Patriots rookie safety was listed among NFLDraft.com writher Rob Rang's lineup of defensive rookie "diamonds in the rough":
I considered taking Chung off this list, as the second pick of the second round is hardly what most consider a "diamond in the rough." That said, there isn't a single player on this list (or the offensive list, for that matter) that I have more confidence in developing into a true standout than Chung. I tagged him as the most reliable open-field tackler in the 2009 draft and see no reason to back off that assessment now that he'll be playing for a defensive genius like Bill Belichick.Thing is, I'm starting to wonder about The Hooded One in the wake of the sheer number of coaching defections the Patriots have seen this season. None seem to be a contentious Mangini-type situation, but it could just be that Belichick either learned from that situation and / or is better at keeping family feuds under wraps these days. Or it could be that Belichick is truly unperturbed by the staff turnover. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't be.
A huge chunk of the Patriots' player scouting staff has left the team since the curtain fell last season, most significantly Scott Pioli, but also including, according to Mike Reiss, Jay Muraco (college scouting coordinator), Jim Nagy (area scout) and Marvin Allen (area scout), and just this Monday, area scout Adam Peters. Even more worryingly, they have also hired a high school head coach to replace one of the earlier defectors who says the job "wasn't even in my thought process".
I'm not saying Patrick Chung isn't going to be a good player and I'm not saying the Patriots can't continue being a top team. But from the field to the front office, football is a team game, and having so much turnover in both of those areas at the same time can't be ideal. And I'm not sure we can expect the same pace of player development as the New England house comes back in order as we saw during the dynasty years.