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May 11, 2014

Belichick continues special offseason with draft hits

FOXBORO — For the last time this week, if you’re looking for me to smack Bill Belichick for drafting a defensive lineman in the first round who can hardly do much more than walk right now, it’s just not happening.

The man has drafted four first-round defensive linemen in his Patriots tenure.

Two are headed for Canton — Richard Seymour and Vince Wilfork. The next, Ty Warren, started 90 games for this franchise and played a key role on the most dominant defensive era in Patriots history with two Super Bowl championship rings to show for it. And the third, Chandler Jones, looks like the future of the franchise with 17.5 sacks in two seasons.

If Bill Belichick likes Florida’s Dominique Easley — torn ACLs and all — well, so do I.

Therein lies the attitude that Patriots fans must take as we turn the corner and, yes, look forward to mini-camps and training camp.

Belichick and his staff hit the defensive version of the offseason grand slam. Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner are the defensive version of 2007 when the Pats brought in Randy Moss and Wes Welker. We saw how that went, with the team coming within a David Tyree miracle catch in the Super Bowl of a perfect 19-0 season.

And wasn’t it ironic that Larry Little, former Dolphin and veteran of the perfect Miami 17-0 season, happened to bring that one up on Saturday night as he announced one of the draft picks.

“Forty-one years and going strong,” said Little. With the Pats loading up like this, now isn’t it ironic.

THE NEXT BRADY, OR THE NEXT KEVIN O’CONNELL?

You have to wonder if Jimmy Garoppolo, New England’s second-round pick out of Eastern Illinois, truly understands what he is about to get into as he hits Patriots Place.

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