what i have said all year on the board: boston.com "WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR PATRIOTS?"
posted at 2/3/2013 4:00 PM EST
(except they didnt mention off coordinator losing the games we lost when playing better defenses)
"Belichick will handle his own homework. Surely when he looks at the film, he'll see a team that both drastically improved over the course of the season in core areas (offensive line) and floundered in others (secondary). The Patriots saw an uptick in quality of play on both sides of the ball, but will also see the same enduring issues that have plagued the team pop up on film: Communication in the secondary, lack of a pass rush, and an unwillingness to stick with the running game.
Upon further review, they'll see an inability to stretch the field at wide receiver and susceptibility to big plays in man-to-man coverage at linebacker and cornerback.
When you have the 29th-ranked passing defense and are continually befuddled by bigger wide receivers and dynamic tight ends, your first priority needs to be addressing the elephant in the broom closet. But it's not as simple as getting a better cornerback, which the Patriots did when they traded for Talib. It means the team needs to address its third-down defensive depth with a speedy linebacker, muck like Gary Guyton was, to handle the Dennis Pittas of the world and, God forbid, the next Rob Gronkowski.
It's clear that Brandon Spikes could not handle that role. According to ProFootballFocus.com, quarterbacks had a 116.1 rating when throwing passes in Spikes’s direction. The same can be said for Jerod Mayo (98.9 rating, 82.7 completion percentage). Finding a linebacker who can cover in sub packages would take a huge burden off the safeties, who should focus more on helping the cornerbacks.
It wouldn't hurt to re-sign Talib, either."