pats defense could be best since 2008

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    pats defense could be best since 2008

    http://nesn.com/2013/06/patriots-rebuilt-defense-should-be-best-new-england-has-seen-since-2008/

     

    It may be difficult to remember now, but the Patriots’ defense was once one of the best in the NFL. Of course, that was before losing Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, Asante Samuel, Jarvis Green and Ellis Hobbs in the span of just three years. Since then, the Patriots have been in rebuild mode on defense with the offense good enough to carry them into the playoffs. During the 2007 undefeated season, New England was fourth in total yards and points against. In the lost 2008 season, the Patriots were 10th in total yards and eighth in points against. The defense was strong again in 2009 as the team was 11th in total defense fifth in points against. The Patriots saw a steep decline in 2010 though, after losing that laundry list of players in the years prior. They ranked 25th in total defense and eighth in points against in 2010, 31st and 15th in 2011 and 25th and ninth in 2012. But it’s time for the defense to shine again, and if injuries creep up on offense, they may have to. The Patriots have almost completely re-built their defense since 2008. The only defensive players that remain from that team are two of the best on the current unit — Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork. The current defense is full of first-rounders and proven contributors. Mayo, Wilfork, Dont’a Hightower, Chandler Jones, Aqib Talib and Devin McCourty were all first-round picks, and veterans Adrian Wilson, Tommy Kelly, Rob Ninkovich and Brandon Spikes have all played at a high level in the NFL. Continuity goes a long way in pro football, as well. And this unit has been slowly built up. The 2013 team brings back 10 starters from the 2012 unit, and there are many more on the 2013 team that started at some point in 2012. The Patriots are chock full of talented players, and at this point, it’s about putting all of those pieces together to create a successful unit, which they haven’t been able to do the past few years. Players that were drafted from 2010 to 2012, like McCourty, are now stepping up as veteran leaders on the team. Due to the team’s experience and intelligence, putting the pieces together should be no problem. That’s why it’s likely we see the most complex defense in Foxboro since 2010. The young players and veterans have had time to learn the intricacies of Bill Belichick‘s system, and now it’s time to show some of those looks. In 2011, the Patriots had to change their defense to make it easier on newcomers after a lockout-shortened offseason. The team went back to a 4-3 base, which carried over into 2012. In 2013, it’s likely New England starts to show 4-3 and 3-4 looks again. I wrote about this back on May 5 after Kelly was signed and Jamie Collins was drafted. Kelly has experience in both looks and Collins is best served to play outside linebacker in a 3-4, though he can also play linebacker or defensive end in a 4-3. Jones may be the only player along the front seven that’s better suited for the 4-3 than 3-4, but he also bulked up considerably this offseason and could likely take on the role of a five-technique defensive end in a three-man front. A switch to a base 3-4 alone wouldn’t mean a return to the dominance that the Patriots’ defense showed from 2007 to 2009, but showing multiple looks may. The different formations the Patriots show along their front seven will be difficult to predict from play to play. Remember the old looks New England would show with just one down lineman? We may see that that again with so many players that can stand up or put their hand down along the line (even Armond Armstead stood up at times in the CFL). It helps, too, that this should be the best Patriots secondary since Harrison and Samuel were roaming the field. Talib and Alfonzo Dennard should have no problem defending the sidelines, McCourty proved to be an elite safety during the second half of the 2012 season and a combination of Adrian Wilson, Tavon Wilson and Steve Gregory can patrol the shallow middle of the field. Kyle Arrington will be able to play to his strengths defending the slot and having Collins in at linebacker should help the team cover tight ends and running backs easier. New England certainly doesn’t have a talent deficiency on defense. There are great players all around, and it seems they have finally found the happy medium between trying to stop the run and defend the pass. There are still big bodies up front, like Wilfork, Spikes, Hightower and Mayo, who are better at defending the run. But Jones, Collins, Kelly and Armstead should have no problem getting after the quarterback. And while core linebackers Hightower, Mayo and Spikes aren’t elite in coverage, they’re all among the best pass rushing, non-edge linebackers in the league when given the chance to blitz. Through two weeks of media availability at OTAs, it’s easy to see that the defense is ahead of the offense. It obviously helps that so many pieces are back on defense, but this is a rare sight in New England. The team has depth to spare, too, and there should be a number of competitive battles throughout camp. The best player will emerge at strong safety among the two Wilsons, Gregory and Duron Harmon, Ras-I Dowling could push Dennard for a starting role at corner, Collins and Dane Fletcher will put some pressure on the starting linebackers, Armstead and Kelly could compete for the starting role along the defensive line and Ninkovich could be pushed by a number of players at defensive end/outside linebacker. Sure, the team still has some holes. Unless Jones can make the jump, they may not have an elite pass rusher. Collins helps in coverage at linebacker, but his role is still undefined at this time. And while the competition at strong safety will be fun to watch, it would be nice to know exactly who’s playing that role. But with an ability to be creative this season, those should be small issues. The Patriots should get a much better push along the defensive line, and Mayo, Hightower, Spikes and Collins all have versatility to spare. It may not be wise to put expectations as high as the 2007 unit, but the 2013 defense should be a drastic improvement over the 2010-2012 teams that struggled to find the balance between defending the pass and attacking the run. The defense has finally had a chance to grow together and the results should show that.

    Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/06/patriots-rebuilt-defense-should-be-best-new-england-has-seen-since-2008/
    It may be difficult to remember now, but the Patriots’ defense was once one of the best in the NFL. Of course, that was before losing Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, Asante Samuel, Jarvis Green and Ellis Hobbs in the span of just three years. Since then, the Patriots have been in rebuild mode on defense with the offense good enough to carry them into the playoffs. During the 2007 undefeated season, New England was fourth in total yards and points against. In the lost 2008 season, the Patriots were 10th in total yards and eighth in points against. The defense was strong again in 2009 as the team was 11th in total defense fifth in points against. The Patriots saw a steep decline in 2010 though, after losing that laundry list of players in the years prior. They ranked 25th in total defense and eighth in points against in 2010, 31st and 15th in 2011 and 25th and ninth in 2012. But it’s time for the defense to shine again, and if injuries creep up on offense, they may have to. The Patriots have almost completely re-built their defense since 2008. The only defensive players that remain from that team are two of the best on the current unit — Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork. The current defense is full of first-rounders and proven contributors. Mayo, Wilfork, Dont’a Hightower, Chandler Jones, Aqib Talib and Devin McCourty were all first-round picks, and veterans Adrian Wilson, Tommy Kelly, Rob Ninkovich and Brandon Spikes have all played at a high level in the NFL. Continuity goes a long way in pro football, as well. And this unit has been slowly built up. The 2013 team brings back 10 starters from the 2012 unit, and there are many more on the 2013 team that started at some point in 2012. The Patriots are chock full of talented players, and at this point, it’s about putting all of those pieces together to create a successful unit, which they haven’t been able to do the past few years. Players that were drafted from 2010 to 2012, like McCourty, are now stepping up as veteran leaders on the team. Due to the team’s experience and intelligence, putting the pieces together should be no problem. That’s why it’s likely we see the most complex defense in Foxboro since 2010. The young players and veterans have had time to learn the intricacies of Bill Belichick‘s system, and now it’s time to show some of those looks. In 2011, the Patriots had to change their defense to make it easier on newcomers after a lockout-shortened offseason. The team went back to a 4-3 base, which carried over into 2012. In 2013, it’s likely New England starts to show 4-3 and 3-4 looks again. I wrote about this back on May 5 after Kelly was signed and Jamie Collins was drafted. Kelly has experience in both looks and Collins is best served to play outside linebacker in a 3-4, though he can also play linebacker or defensive end in a 4-3. Jones may be the only player along the front seven that’s better suited for the 4-3 than 3-4, but he also bulked up considerably this offseason and could likely take on the role of a five-technique defensive end in a three-man front. A switch to a base 3-4 alone wouldn’t mean a return to the dominance that the Patriots’ defense showed from 2007 to 2009, but showing multiple looks may. The different formations the Patriots show along their front seven will be difficult to predict from play to play. Remember the old looks New England would show with just one down lineman? We may see that that again with so many players that can stand up or put their hand down along the line (even Armond Armstead stood up at times in the CFL). It helps, too, that this should be the best Patriots secondary since Harrison and Samuel were roaming the field. Talib and Alfonzo Dennard should have no problem defending the sidelines, McCourty proved to be an elite safety during the second half of the 2012 season and a combination of Adrian Wilson, Tavon Wilson and Steve Gregory can patrol the shallow middle of the field. Kyle Arrington will be able to play to his strengths defending the slot and having Collins in at linebacker should help the team cover tight ends and running backs easier. New England certainly doesn’t have a talent deficiency on defense. There are great players all around, and it seems they have finally found the happy medium between trying to stop the run and defend the pass. There are still big bodies up front, like Wilfork, Spikes, Hightower and Mayo, who are better at defending the run. But Jones, Collins, Kelly and Armstead should have no problem getting after the quarterback. And while core linebackers Hightower, Mayo and Spikes aren’t elite in coverage, they’re all among the best pass rushing, non-edge linebackers in the league when given the chance to blitz. Through two weeks of media availability at OTAs, it’s easy to see that the defense is ahead of the offense. It obviously helps that so many pieces are back on defense, but this is a rare sight in New England. The team has depth to spare, too, and there should be a number of competitive battles throughout camp. The best player will emerge at strong safety among the two Wilsons, Gregory and Duron Harmon, Ras-I Dowling could push Dennard for a starting role at corner, Collins and Dane Fletcher will put some pressure on the starting linebackers, Armstead and Kelly could compete for the starting role along the defensive line and Ninkovich could be pushed by a number of players at defensive end/outside linebacker. Sure, the team still has some holes. Unless Jones can make the jump, they may not have an elite pass rusher. Collins helps in coverage at linebacker, but his role is still undefined at this time. And while the competition at strong safety will be fun to watch, it would be nice to know exactly who’s playing that role. But with an ability to be creative this season, those should be small issues. The Patriots should get a much better push along the defensive line, and Mayo, Hightower, Spikes and Collins all have versatility to spare. It may not be wise to put expectations as high as the 2007 unit, but the 2013 defense should be a drastic improvement over the 2010-2012 teams that struggled to find the balance between defending the pass and attacking the run. The defense has finally had a chance to grow together and the results should show that.

    Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/06/patriots-rebuilt-defense-should-be-best-new-england-has-seen-since-2008/
    t may be difficult to remember now, but the Patriots’ defense was once one of the best in the NFL. Of course, that was before losing Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, Asante Samuel, Jarvis Green and Ellis Hobbs in the span of just three years. Since then, the Patriots have been in rebuild mode on defense with the offense good enough to carry them into the playoffs. During the 2007 undefeated season, New England was fourth in total yards and points against. In the lost 2008 season, the Patriots were 10th in total yards and eighth in points against. The defense was strong again in 2009 as the team was 11th in total defense fifth in points against. The Patriots saw a steep decline in 2010 though, after losing that laundry list of players in the years prior. They ranked 25th in total defense and eighth in points against in 2010, 31st and 15th in 2011 and 25th and ninth in 2012. But it’s time for the defense to shine again, and if injuries creep up on offense, they may have to. The Patriots have almost completely re-built their defense since 2008. The only defensive players that remain from that team are two of the best on the current unit — Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork. The current defense is full of first-rounders and proven contributors. Mayo, Wilfork, Dont’a Hightower, Chandler Jones, Aqib Talib and Devin McCourty were all first-round picks, and veterans Adrian Wilson, Tommy Kelly, Rob Ninkovich and Brandon Spikes have all played at a high level in the NFL. Continuity goes a long way in pro football, as well. And this unit has been slowly built up. The 2013 team brings back 10 starters from the 2012 unit, and there are many more on the 2013 team that started at some point in 2012. The Patriots are chock full of talented players, and at this point, it’s about putting all of those pieces together to create a successful unit, which they haven’t been able to do the past few years. Players that were drafted from 2010 to 2012, like McCourty, are now stepping up as veteran leaders on the team. Due to the team’s experience and intelligence, putting the pieces together should be no problem. That’s why it’s likely we see the most complex defense in Foxboro since 2010. The young players and veterans have had time to learn the intricacies of Bill Belichick‘s system, and now it’s time to show some of those looks. In 2011, the Patriots had to change their defense to make it easier on newcomers after a lockout-shortened offseason. The team went back to a 4-3 base, which carried over into 2012. In 2013, it’s likely New England starts to show 4-3 and 3-4 looks again. I wrote about this back on May 5 after Kelly was signed and Jamie Collins was drafted. Kelly has experience in both looks and Collins is best served to play outside linebacker in a 3-4, though he can also play linebacker or defensive end in a 4-3. Jones may be the only player along the front seven that’s better suited for the 4-3 than 3-4, but he also bulked up considerably this offseason and could likely take on the role of a five-technique defensive end in a three-man front. A switch to a base 3-4 alone wouldn’t mean a return to the dominance that the Patriots’ defense showed from 2007 to 2009, but showing multiple looks may. The different formations the Patriots show along their front seven will be difficult to predict from play to play. Remember the old looks New England would show with just one down lineman? We may see that that again with so many players that can stand up or put their hand down along the line (even Armond Armstead stood up at times in the CFL). It helps, too, that this should be the best Patriots secondary since Harrison and Samuel were roaming the field. Talib and Alfonzo Dennard should have no problem defending the sidelines, McCourty proved to be an elite safety during the second half of the 2012 season and a combination of Adrian Wilson, Tavon Wilson and Steve Gregory can patrol the shallow middle of the field. Kyle Arrington will be able to play to his strengths defending the slot and having Collins in at linebacker should help the team cover tight ends and running backs easier. New England certainly doesn’t have a talent deficiency on defense. There are great players all around, and it seems they have finally found the happy medium between trying to stop the run and defend the pass. There are still big bodies up front, like Wilfork, Spikes, Hightower and Mayo, who are better at defending the run. But Jones, Collins, Kelly and Armstead should have no problem getting after the quarterback. And while core linebackers Hightower, Mayo and Spikes aren’t elite in coverage, they’re all among the best pass rushing, non-edge linebackers in the league when given the chance to blitz. Through two weeks of media availability at OTAs, it’s easy to see that the defense is ahead of the offense. It obviously helps that so many pieces are back on defense, but this is a rare sight in New England. The team has depth to spare, too, and there should be a number of competitive battles throughout camp. The best player will emerge at strong safety among the two Wilsons, Gregory and Duron Harmon, Ras-I Dowling could push Dennard for a starting role at corner, Collins and Dane Fletcher will put some pressure on the starting linebackers, Armstead and Kelly could compete for the starting role along the defensive line and Ninkovich could be pushed by a number of players at defensive end/outside linebacker. Sure, the team still has some holes. Unless Jones can make the jump, they may not have an elite pass rusher. Collins helps in coverage at linebacker, but his role is still undefined at this time. And while the competition at strong safety will be fun to watch, it would be nice to know exactly who’s playing that role. But with an ability to be creative this season, those should be small issues. The Patriots should get a much better push along the defensive line, and Mayo, Hightower, Spikes and Collins all have versatility to spare. It may not be wise to put expectations as high as the 2007 unit, but the 2013 defense should be a drastic improvement over the 2010-2012 teams that struggled to find the balance between defending the pass and attacking the run. The defense has finally had a chance to grow together and the results should show that.

    Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/06/patriots-rebuilt-defense-should-be-best-new-england-has-seen-since-2008/
     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    10th in total yards and 8th in points against, not too bad

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    Pats defense started it's downfall in 2008.  While the numbers aren't bad, they certainly weren't what they were in previous years.  The down fall began in 2008 and hit full force in 2010.  Hopefully the 2013 Defense is much better then the defenses of the last 5 years, including 2008.  This rebuild has taken longer then I think many, except Rusty, has anticipated it to have taken.

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    In response to CliffordWasHere's comment:

    Please find another team to bandwagon on too at this point.  The Brady Ballwashing is obnoxious.



    But your Belichick ballwashing isn't?  LOL @ You!

    It doesn't matter how long you follow a specific team, football is football.  I was watching and playing the day I got home from the hospital so don't even play that little kids game of trying to act like I just got involved in 2000.  And last I checked I have followed BB football longer then you have.   I wouldn't want any other coach, but to say he doesn't make mistakes or isn't at fault concerning his team is not only ignorant but very, very dumb on your part.

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    In response to CliffordWasHere's comment:

    In response to TFB12's comment:

     

    In response to CliffordWasHere's comment:

     

    Please find another team to bandwagon on too at this point.  The Brady Ballwashing is obnoxious.

     



    But your Belichick ballwashing isn't?  LOL @ You!

     

    It doesn't matter how long you follow a specific team, football is football.  I was watching and playing the day I got home from the hospital so don't even play that little kids game of trying to act like I just got involved in 2000.  And last I checked I have followed BB football longer then you have.   I wouldn't want any other coach, but to say he doesn't make mistakes or isn't at fault concerning his team is not only ignorant but very, very dumb on your part.

     




    How are his "mistakes" what other humans do when they're dumb?  You aren't answering this. Brady throwing INTs recklessly on 1st downs in the 4th qtr with a chance to run clock or ice the game is BB "making mistakes"?

     

    Explain that to the board, please.

     




    Um, you don't think BB puts together defense game plans, or has anything to do with what the defense plays during the game?  You don't think BB has anything to do with who plays defense for the Patriots during the season?  No he is not physically out there performing, and I really hate to break this to you Rusty but there is a lot more that's involved then just physically playing the game.  Agree?

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    Returning to the point of the thread, I, too, believe that this defense has the potential to be something pretty special.  But as we all know, there is often quite a gap between potential and production.  That said, I'm optimistic about this D this year.

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    Can't see it, Pats need another edge rusher for that to happen

    Aaron Dobson # 17; Tom Brady's new best friend.

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    Yes, let's get back on topic.

    The D hasn't been great for several years, with 2009 the lowpoint in my book. Thinking back on Adalius Thomas is enough to bring the bloodpressure up....

    However I think things started to come around late in the '11 season, and while the entire team played a bad SB, I think the D played a solid postseason otherwise.

    Last year they took another, small, step forward adding Jones, Hightower, and Talib. And with a lot of continuity going into this season, the second year players hopefully improving, this could be a solid D. Maybe not great, but good enough to enable the team to win lowscoring games and holding on to small leads late in games.

    The general critique has been on the pass D, while run D has been solid the last couple of years. I believe that the Arrington deal, the Talib resigning, Dennard not going to jail (in 2013) and the Collins pick will make them better playing "in space".

    The interior D line is somewhat of a question mark outside of VW, but let's be honest Love and Deaderick were so-so. Kelly and Armstead at the very least have us hoping for that strong interior push.

     

     

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

     


    "Ras-I Dowling could push Dennard for a starting role at corner"

    HAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA

    This author is an idiot. 

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    In response to murghkhor's comment:

     


    "Ras-I Dowling could push Dennard for a starting role at corner"

    HAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA

    This author is an idiot. 



    If he could stay healthy dowling is a very capable corner and was starting for a bit last yearwhen healthy.  He is a big physical corner but again has injury concerns.

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    IF he stays healthy the secondary starts to look solid. How many CBs did they carry last year? 6?

    Looks to me like, barring injuries, these are certain to make the roster: Talib, Dennard (starting), Arrington (slot), Ryan (draftpick). That's a no-brainer.

    Outside those four they currently have Ras-I, Cole, and two UDFAs.

    So Ras-I will make the team in my opinion, but not as a starter. He should have too much upside to be cut in '13. And Cole will take them to six CBs, unless he is beaten out by one of the UDFAs.

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008


    I don't want to compare this years version of the Pat's D to any other version yet.

    I will say this though if the secondary continues to imptrove with Talib in the line-up staying healthy and barring injury the rest of the secondary has an entire camp and pre-season to gel the D will be better.

    Now add a pass rush to an improving secondary and we could have a very, very good D.

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    I can't wait to watch this year's defense and I'm going to say something that will sound like blasphemy, this defense could be better than the early 2000 defenses, especially if they add one more impact defense tackle and possibly if they don't.  

    They are young and talented across every position group, younger than even the best of those early defenses, a lot will depend on Kelly remaining healthy, Armstead being a stud, Talib remaining a Patriot and staying out of trouble as well as the overall health as a group.  

    This group already led the NFL in takeaways, all they need to do to improve now is sack with more frequency.  I suspect they will make some mistakes early on but by season's end will be solid.  

    Ignoramuses get ignored.
     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    Maybe BB should consult with Petey Carrol about how to rebuild a defense in 2 years and have a top 5 defense and shut down secondary. I mean in 2008, we missed the playoffs. in 09, we were blown off the gillete stadium turf and in 2010, we were embarassed at home by our division rivals by losing our 1st game while Petey almost made it to NFCCG with Laywer Milloy leading the secondary. He retired the next year and by 2012, Peter had rebuilt an entirely NEW secondary. 4 new players, one of which was a 1st rd pick. The others were 5th, 3rd round and ex-cfl players.

     

     

     

    "Take care of my B*tch, I may need her back in a couple years"

    -Brady to Manning after Wes signed with Denver

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    I can't wait to watch this year's defense and I'm going to say something that will sound like blasphemy, this defense could be better than the early 2000 defenses, especially if they add one more impact defense tackle and possibly if they don't.  

    They are young and talented across every position group, younger than even the best of those early defenses, a lot will depend on Kelly remaining healthy, Armstead being a stud, Talib remaining a Patriot and staying out of trouble as well as the overall health as a group.  

    This group already led the NFL in takeaways, all they need to do to improve now is sack with more frequency.  I suspect they will make some mistakes early on but by season's end will be solid.  

    Ignoramuses get ignored.




    I agree.  as I mentioned yesterday on here I am very excited about this group of players on the D.  Sure I would have liked to see the Pats pick up a couple different players in FA but still it doesn't take away the hopes and excitement of the current roster and possibilities.  Really, the only way they can go is up/  Continue with the turnovers, get a more aggressive pass rush, don't allow nearly as many of the the long deep big plays and get better on stopping the 3ed down conversions.  Any amount of improvement in these ares will be huge.

    Now I am not sure if they can be as good as the early 2000's, but even if they get close enough to be in the same discussion as the early 2000's defense that will be great.

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    In response to CliffordWasHere's comment:



    What players on D in FA would you have preferred BB pick up? This should be interesting.

     

     



    At Safety I really liked Goldson from SF or Quin from the Texans.  If they were looking for an older experienced vet then Reed was the obvious choice over Wilson.  Huff would have been a good experienced player to add.

    At CB I liked Sean Smith from the Dolphins and DRC from the Eagles.  The Pats ended up keeping Talib so that is very positive as long as he can stay on the field and not be a headcase.

    I would have really liked to seen them get Byrd from the Bills but he was franchised by them. 

     
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    Re: pats defense could be best since 2008

    In response to natesubs' comment:

    10th in total yards and 8th in points against, not too bad




    Remember in 2008 Brady was not playing the the Pats ran the ball much more . . . the more you control the ball (and clock) with the offense the less time the defense is on the field so it makes their stats look better.  The Pats had 5 players with over 200 yards rushing that year . . . including Cassel and it was one of the only years they have less than 4,000 yards passing in the last 8 years.

    On defense Woods, Wilhite, A. Thomas, Colvin, Green, Guyton, and Wheatley were all major bust that year that did little to help the team and Mike Wright was injuried for too many games.

     

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