In response to pcmIV's comment:
In response to mthurl's comment:
True, if one single guy could change a defense he'd have to be a very very special/impact type of guy...Talib is not that. However do you think it takes four drafts, four free agency periods and four off seasons to improve your defense? We almost entirely rebuilt this roster back in the early dynasty years between our first and second super bowl - those two teams were vastly different in personel...it didn't take 4 years. You see teams change dramatically in one off season - you get a team that basically stinks one year and then they add a couple of pieces and they are in the playoffs. Look at Washington, they add a QB and suddenly they are on the brink of the playoffs.
QB is a unique position so I'm not sure if the analogy applies to a defense. In addition I think NE had to replace a lot more guys than some teams do that appear to have quick turnarounds. Think about it. Wilfork is the only guy on this team that was on the 2007 team that went 16-0 on the defensive side of the ball. Belichick had to literally replace the entire defense without the benefit of the highest draft picks because we haven't stopped winning.
Could it have been done faster? In theory maybe. I see you alluded to what he did between 2001 and 2003 and that was a pretty remarkable run in terms of the draft and FA acquisitions that were made. But that is an impossibly high standard imo. There were a lot of things that had to go right for that to work. I don't think we approached it any differently this time, it just took longer because not every move works out. Hell you could argue as good as BB is even he was due for some mean reversion. You can't be almost 100% accurate forever. I really think what Belichick has done as GM here is severely underrated by a lot of fans (although I will give you credit for acknowledging what was done between our 1st and 2nd SBs since even that is often glossed over since it was a while ago in football terms).
I think he's done a good job, and I think he is the best coach in the league as well. I can point out another team that turned it around in one off season...us in 1995. Parcells hired Belichick as a defensive secondary coach. We went out and signed Wille Clay, drafted Bruschi and Lawyer Milloy. We also added this back up linebacker from Bufallo (can't remember his name). We also drafted Glenn and signed Shawn Jefferson.
In one off season we fixed our secondary and added speed and pass rushing ability to our linebacker core - we also added speed and play making ability to the wideout spot. The team went from being 6 and 10, to the Super Bowl.