Bad luck dogged the Pats in the preseason. In their only home game, fire destroyed 20 rows of seats. Defensive End Larry Eisenhauer retired, leading the Pats to use their No. 1 draft choice on Phil Olsen of Utah State—only to see Olsen crippled in an All-Star practice session. Knee surgery will probably sideline him for the season. Actually, only two of the Patriots' first six draft choices emerged healthy. One rookie who should make the starting squad is Defensive End Dennis Wirgowski—and he more by attrition than talent.
In short, the Patriots will doubtless end up as also-rans once again. Still with the new/old face of Baltimore on the scene, even, the Pats are eager to begin the new season.
"I'm looking forward to playing the old NFL teams," says Defensive Tackle Jim Hunt. "It will mean even more once the regular season gets started."