Debating the New England Patriots' Most Intriguing Camp Battle
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With deep groups at wide receiver and on the offensive line, but question marks at safety and outside linebacker, there are certainly some camp battles to watch.
But which will pack the most intrigue?
To debate and discuss, we welcome in Derek Havens of PatsFans.com, a Patriots blogger who can also be found on Twitter.
Take it away, Derek!
Thanks, Erik! Well, New England's training camp should certainly be fun to monitor this year. There are a number of positions across the roster that offer intriguing battles. But which will pack the most intrigue?
Wide receiver was the position favorite early on to offer the most in terms of a position battle going into Patriots training camp this offseason. It's not really a surprise given all of the veteran additions who signed on with the team in the past few months.
Although, the team has already started to weed out the weak and the useless—Anthony Gonzalez and Chad Ochocinco—and it seems like the position may be more set than originally thought.
The team has a tremendous amount of young talent in the secondary going into the upcoming season. Devin McCourty will look to bounce back, Ras-I Dowling returns from injury, Sterling Moore developed throughout the 2011 season, Alfonzo Dennard is a rookie second-round talent who fell for an off the field issue and Kyle Arrington was the team's best defensive back last season.
Now, whether or not that talent performs and lives up to the billing is a whole other discussion. Nevertheless, cornerback should offer the most intrigue in this year's training camp. What do you think, Erik?
The secondary got torched at times last year, so there's nothing wrong with putting the focus there.
Between Chandler Jones, Jake Bequette and Trevor Scott, the Patriots are hoping they've found someone to fill those spots. All three are seen as potential fits in the 3-4 Elephant role, and all can contribute as pass rushers at the very least in 2012.
Between the cornerbacks and the defensive ends, it looks like there will be a lot of eyes on the defense in training camp this year.
Like you mentioned, If Carter returns to the team, the position battle only gets tougher. I would expect Jones and even Dont'a Hightower to get some playing time along that defensive line early and often. The new defensive talent should help the Patriots improve for the upcoming season, which, as we all know, is a unit in need of an upgrade. After this offseason, I would say they are heading in the right direction.
The one thing I'd add to that is the versatility they've added. It will be very interesting to see how all that versatility plays into the camp battles.
That type of versatility is present on the back end as well, with both Tavon Wilson and Steve Gregory capable of lining up at either safety spot or as the nickel defensive back. Where the Patriots have carried six cornerbacks in the past, they may not need that many, with a few safeties capable of lining up at corner.
Which training camp battle will pack the most intrigue?
And with that, I think our debate has drawn to a close.
Thanks for joining me, Derek, and we'll be sure to catch up again for another debate soon.
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