NFL Notebook: Now that parade is done, Patriots downshift with an eye toward offseason

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(Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

In this week’s edition of the NFL Notebook, we take a spin around the rest of the AFC East, look at how backup offensive lineman James Ferentz (?) has become a key to Super Bowl success, catch up with Otis ("O-T-I-S") Smith to get his thoughts on Ty Law making the Hall, and see what some of the rest of the AFC elite has when it comes to cap room this offseason. But first, with the parade done, we dig into a few looming priorities for the Super Bowl champions.

1. The day after Super Bowl LI, Bill Belichick remarked that while winning it all was great, “in all honesty, we’re five weeks behind on the 2017 season compared to most teams in the league.” There was no such public lament this year, but the fact remains that with several personnel decisions to make and a handful of coaching vacancies to deal with, the Patriots will quickly downshift into the initial stage of the offseason.