BOSTON (CBS) – Did you watch the Patriots’ first preseason game Thursday night on WBZ-TV? You can’t tell much about what lies ahead from an exhibition game, but I’m sure there were plenty of viewers because the Patriots are a huge deal around here. So why am I hearing voices on sports radio claiming there isn’t the usual buzz around this year’s Patriots team?

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This theory has several parts to it, the notion that fans are still bummed about losing last year’s Super Bowl to – ugh – Philadelphia, that they are disillusioned with Coach Bill Belichick, and somehow turned off by Tom Brady’s public musings about how long he will continue to play. And while I’m sure there are some fans who share those concerns, count me among the many who do not.

Bill Belichick. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Let’s take these on one-by-one. There’s no question, the Pats defense was exposed by the Eagles. It must improve this year for them to go all the way. Somehow I think Belichick, one of, if not *the* greatest defensive coach of all time, will come up with the necessary improvements.

Speaking of Belichick, I wish he had played Malcolm Butler too, but if you know anything about this coach you know the sting of last year will be a huge motivator for him – and the entire team – this season.

Tom Brady. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

And if you doubt Tom Brady’s will to win, I question what you’ve been watching the past 17 years. He’s not going back out there again for his health, or even the money – the goal, as always, is winning.

So I say, hold off on the doom and gloom. And if you really think you’re not hearing enough Patriots buzz, just give it a couple of weeks.

Share your take on the Patriots with me via email at, or use Twitter, @kelleratlarge.


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