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Super reminder to consider for Pats

1/24/2011

The Super Bowl is set -- it will be the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers -- and I was thinking of a possible connection to the Patriots.

Then it came to me in a text message. Twice.

"Woodley is the guy you go after," one friend I enjoy talking football with wrote.

"Would you go the veteran route for OLB? Steelers didn't give Woodley an extension. Might be a good fit," another wrote.

One of the Patriots' biggest needs is outside linebacker/pass rush and the thought was that Pittsburgh's LaMarr Woodley might be a good fit should he hit the open market.

Maybe Woodley, if all the stars aligned, would be the answer to what ails the Patriots. But I couldn't help but think we might be missing the point of what had just unfolded.

One noticeable link between this year's two Super Bowl teams is that they think differently than that. Instead of going out and signing the big free agent, they draft the right players, develop them, and then draft some more good players. Free agency is utilized as a supplement more than a cure-all.

ESPN.com NFC North reporter Kevin Seifert nicely captures that theme with Packers general manager Ted Thompson, while Buck Frank of the Altoona (Pa.) Mirror hits it with Steelers vice president of football operations Kevin Colbert.

Of course, the Packers' and Steelers' approach isn't the only way to go, but a strong case could be made that it's the smartest way to go.

That is something to keep in mind when considering how the Patriots approach their offseason.