The 22-member panel that selected the Patriots' 2000s All-Decade Team did a great job. It was supposed to be a 24-member panel, but two voters, one of whom posts at this address, were dealing with flooded basements.
Looking over the team, two positions stood out to me as areas where changes could have been made -- inside linebacker and guard.
I would have had Ted Johnson as my second inside linebacker over Roman Phifer, although after researching it, the decision was closer than I thought it would be.
I had the vision in my head that Phifer was more of a sub linebacker, but his durability and production as a full-time starter from 2001-2003 was impressive. Still, I thought Johnson, even though he was battling injuries and wasn't always as effective as he was in the 1990s, added toughness at the heart of the defense and was a hard-nosed run-stuffing presence. His selflessness in the 2004 playoffs also stood out to me.
At guard, I probably would have given Stephen Neal the nod alongside Logan Mankins. Joe Andruzzi was a valued member of three Super Bowl championship teams and embodied what the Patriots were all about. His durability was impressive. But I think in a one-for-one comparison Neal is the superior player.
I can understand why that would be a close vote and I think both are solid choices.