Adrian Wilson's Toughness Will Make the New England Patriots' Secondary Better

Nick LantzCorrespondent IIMarch 26, 2013

Wilson brings forth a tenacious style on defense.
Wilson brings forth a tenacious style on defense.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The New England Patriots' secondary has been rather weak in recent years but things are going to seriously change with the addition of safety Adrian Wilson.

Since the retirement of former standout Rodney Harrison there has been a lack of strength and leadership in the Pats' secondary. Wilson brings both of those features to a defense who has often struggled to slow down an opponent's passing game.

Earlier this month Wilson signed a three-year deal worth $5 million including a $1 million signing bonus.

"Whenever Coach [Bill] Belichick calls, you answer," said Wilson in an interview with Shalise Young of the Boston Globe.

Wilson gives the Patriots a much-needed boost on defense. The 33-year-old veteran has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times and played strong safety for the Arizona Cardinals for the first 12 seasons of his career.

Whether Wilson fits right in as a starter or not, he will help this Patriots' defense in a number of ways.

Defensive back Devin McCourty will heavily benefit from the addition of Wilson. McCourty, Tavon Wilson and Steve Gregory will all learn much from the veteran safety, especially on how to set the tone.

Wilson is known for his hard-hitting ability and brings a physicality to the Pats' secondary that has been missing since Harrison's departure.

Also, Wilson has made some big plays with his rough hits, forced turnovers and sacks. He racked up 27 interceptions, 25.5 sacks and 14 forced fumbles during his time with the Cardinals.

Toughness is one factor that Wilson brings to a Patriot defense that was No. 29 in the NFL in passing defense last season.

After acquiring Aqib Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012, the Patriots' secondary seemed to play stronger and with slightly more swagger and toughness. When Talib went down against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship, the Pats' secondary was exposed by Joe Flacco.

Talib re-signed with the Patriots to a one-year deal earlier this month. With Talib, McCourty and now Wilson in the secondary the Pats have a solid mix of skill, toughness and speed.

Though Wilson is on the downside of his career he can still make a huge difference for Belichick's defense. His ability to make big plays and lay down some firm hits will make opposing quarterbacks and receivers wary of his presence at all times.

The Patriots made a very smart move by bringing in Wilson. He was not a very expensive signing and his aggressive, yet smart play will propel the Pats' defense into a solid, reliable unit.