As Pats bloggers and pundits try to pull water from the rock that is the draft-training camp void you’ll find a lot of tire spinning over the Patriots defense.
Will Devin McCourty be at cornerback or safety? Is Steve Gregory the answer at starting safety? Will the Patriots run a 3-4 or 4-3 base defense?
Well we’ve hit the point where trying speculate anything about the Patriots defense is pointless, not only now in the dog days of the off-season, but even once we get to season itself.
Why? Because this is a Patriots defense that was built to do any and everything. McCourty will likely see time at cornerback AND safety. Gregory will be part of a safety rotation regardless.
And the 3-4 or 4-3 debate is now completely moot in terms of base defense. Nickel is the new base. The four defensive back packages are now used when the Pats want to stop the run first and foremost. Those games will be in the minority, and if the Pats jump out to a lead it’s likely the opponent will abandon the run anyway.
The things that do matter are who wins the position battles and makes the roster. After that it’s pointless to speculate who will be playing where. It will not only change game to game, but play to play.
This is not by accident. In the modern NFL the offense has so many advantages that a defense can take some of that away by constantly morphing where their personnel line up and what their responsibilities are.
Take this video of Mangini talking about what they tried to do with Brady by not giving him pre-snap information. This is now what the Patriots are trying to do to every QB they face.