Re: Gasper pre-draft: Have Pats improved their D?
posted at 5/4/2013 3:26 PM EDT
In response to zbellino's comment:
That is BB's mo indeed. It also buys him time to "develop" the kids.
Adding Amstead and Kelley (especially) does seem to signal that NE might be running more 34 sets than the past few seasons.
I guess the question is, you say those additions are tantamount to "reloading." Are Kelley at 32 and the unproven AA real impact players or just filler? Do they improve the interior pass rush (something that has been especially weak compared to the Seymour years) or just give BB the ability to play a different set with equal quality? Or are they just bodies to cycle in and keep people fresh?
Kelly is an instant starter if healthy, should BB decide to start the season running the four man, upfield rush front of the past three years than Kelly can man the position next to Wilfork, if he goes 3/4 Kelly can play end. With a bunch of young players he may decide to wait on the 3/4 or sit players like Collins until they're ready in favor of Nincovich and others until midseason.
I might be projecting too positively but I think Armstead will start from day one as well if they go 3/4. He wasn't just average in Canada, he was a man among boys. This guy was a 2nd-3rd round pick as a Jr but didn't get the benefit of a senior season to cement himself as a 1st round talent, I think he did that up north, I have to think BB agrees that's why he was the very first off season move he made.
D Line will always be in heavy rotation, especially now that the league has switched to more no huddle offense's, having guys like Wilfork who can stay on the field and not get winded will be crucial, but if you have a show of force on early downs with massive D lineman and overwhelming pass rush linebackers behind them, offense's will have a harder time staying on the field.
I've stated for a long time that the Patriot defense hasn't suffered from "bad coverage" or "lack of edge rushers" for years now as was contended here and in the local media, that the issue started in the middle, I'm glad we've gotten around to fixing it, this defense has been a slow rebuild, hopefully we should have 2-3 years now of powerful offense and defense to finish out Tommy terrific's career.