Pioli key component of Pats' success

They might not get as much credit as others, but Scott Pioli and Rodney Harrison have been key components of New England's success.

Updated: August 27, 2005, 12:30 PM ET
By Michael Smith | ESPN.com
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Here are five observations on the New England Patriots, based on their July 30-Aug. 1 practices and their Aug. 18 preseason game against New Orleans:

Because of the salary cap, you can't keep all of your players. When you have success, you probably won't be able to hold on to all of your coaches, as the Patriots learned after last year. But if you can keep your management together, you have a chance to keep a good thing going.

Michael Smith

NFL Senior Writer
Michael Smith joined ESPN in July 2004 as a National Football League senior writer for ESPN.com, covering league news and major events such as the NFL Draft, NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl, and continues to write breaking news stories. He is also a correspondent for E:60, ESPN's first multi-themed prime-time newsmagazine program, which debuted October 2007.