During the offseason we’ll be periodically taking a quick spin around the internet looking for news and analysis on the Patriots.

Maybe Peter King feels bad for the flack he took last week for praising the Eagles for doing the same thing that he had mocked the Patriots for doing the week before, because he gives the Patriots the top ranking among all NFL teams at this point in time.

1. New England
Teams don’t stay the same in the NFL. That’s the old bromide. But tell me: What’s the difference between the Patriots of 2007 and the Patriots who enter the season in 2009? I’ll tell you the biggest thing — concern about Tom Brady’s knee. And if there were any real reason to be concerned, Bill Belichick wouldn’t have traded Matt Cassel to Kansas City.

New England was seventh in the league in scoring with Brady playing one quarter in 2008; it’ll be in the top three, easily, with him back. With new young talent in the defensive backfield — Belichick can mix and match all the toys he’s gathered over the past two offseasons, maybe playing Shawn Springs sparingly some weeks to keep him healthy for January — New England should have enough ammo to be competitive with the best quarterbacks on the schedule. It was 5-1 down the stretch, including 4-0 on the road, as many of its young defenders grew up. I don’t see much downside.

Jeff Howe has a profile of offensive lineman draftee Rich Ohrnberger, who apparently is something of a comedian.

ESPN.com AFC East Blogger Tim Graham had a chat last week about the teams in the division.

The column is mostly Bruins/Hurricanes related, but the Charlotte Observer says that Rooting for the Patriots is like rooting for the swine flu, except the swine flu might be more likable.

Mike Reiss is going to look at all 91 players currently on the Patriots roster.

Last week, Shalise Manza Young said the Patriots and Jason Taylor might have a “handshake” agreement for next season.

Tom Curran lists Sebastian Vollmer as one of 10 potential draft busts.