Re: Defense Needs To Step Up This Year?
posted at 7/28/2012 3:58 AM EDT
In Response to Re: Defense Needs To Step Up This Year?
[QUOTE]Yeah, improving the defense is the highest priority. BB's draft and offseason moves seem to confirm that. The second highest priority was getting more diversity in the receiving corp. Hence the acquisition of Lloyd, Gaffney, and Stallworth. This is pretty consistent with what many of us have been saying since the middle of last season, though there's a vocal minority on this board that thinks the defense plays well, that Brady's attitude is a problem, and that the running game (and offensive philosophy) should be the biggest priority. So far, BB's moves seem to suggest that he agrees with those who think improving the defense is key.
Posted by prolate0spheroid[/QUOTE]
Over the past several years, is there really any doubt that the Achilles heal of this team has been it's pass defense? The question is, has BB adequately addressed the problem? Top draft picks Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower alone should make the "D" better. How much better will depend on whether CB Devin McCourty returns to form, whether CB Ras-I Dowling is finally healthy, whether SS Patrick Chung can stay healthy, and whether CB Sterling Moore continues to improve.
I expect that the Pats will eventually sign DE Andre Carter. LB Bobby Carpenter has the size that BB covets in his LBs, and may prove to be a solid acquisition. DE/DT Jonathan Fanene should provide for the DL what Mike Wright used to, before he suffered that awful career ending head injury. Though Steve Gregory will never be a pro-bowler, he should help upgrade the secondary.
As for the rookies, Jones and Hightower aside, whatever the Pats can get out of the remainder of their 2012 "defensive side of the ball" draft class will be gravy. Both FS Tavon Wilson and DE/OLB Jake Bequette should make the team. But, who knows whether they can play?
There's reason to be optimistic about the "D". The potential for improvement is there. Believe it or not, my biggest concern going into 2012 is the OL...where stalwarts Logan Mankins and Sebastien Vollmer are recovering from serious injuries, and 35 year old Brian Waters appears to still be considering retirement.