The mental makeup of this team has to be on par with where it was last season when the Patriots out-toughed a lot of teams. And, one thing we didn’t appreciate as much in the early years of the 2000s, they need good fortune in huge games. They need to catch a bounce. They need to make the brilliant helmet catch or make the impossible sideline throw instead of dropping the difficult twisting reception that would have sealed a Super Bowl. — Camp questions: Will the Patriots win No. 4? (via vidriodelmar)
One of the best moments of 2013.
No other position got the makeover that cornerback did for the New England Patriots this offseason. Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner headlines the 2014 free agent class and instantly give the Pats their best secondary since the dynasty years.
But how will the trickle down effect play out for talented young corners like Logan Ryan and Alfonzo Dennard? And where does Kyle Arrington fit in?
Our training camp preview series continues with a look at a reloaded cornerback group.
The Patriots have a perfect personnel mix. Young veterans either entering or in their prime – Chandler Jones, Donta Hightower, Devin McCourty, Rob Ninkovich, Kyle Arrington, Brandon Browner and Mayo. Back-nine veterans with guile and talent – Wilfork and Kelly. Experienced young depth – Seaver Siliga, Chris Jones, Joe Vellano, Logan Ryan, Jamie Collins and Duron Harmon. One of the league’s best defenders in Revis. A head coach who made his legend as a defensive mastermind. There is no logical reason to think the Patriots defense will be the sore spot its been for the past five seasons.
With the tools in place to be a more pressure-oriented defense as opposed to reactive, the Patriots can change their MO and change their stripes from being a team reliant on Tom Brady to save them and one that sets him up to merely get the wins in the barn. That will be the biggest switch of all. — Camp questions: Will Pats ‘D’ be what we think it is? (via vidriodelmar)
The Patriots lost two linebackers this offseason - Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher, and though they didn’t make a splashy addition to replace them this offseason, they still have a promising starting trio remaining. The headline is that defensive signal caller Jerod Mayo returns from a pectoral tear that ended his 2013 season early.
But the depth behind Mayo, Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins is still largely an unknown. With a collection of rookie and veteran free agents, the Pats could find themselves with some new faces at the linebacker position making an impact.
Here’s our preview of the linebackers.
Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots