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Analyzing the New England Patriots' Linebacker Unit

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Analyzing the New England Patriots' Linebacker Unit
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Patriots linebacking core is growing stronger each season.

When looking back at the New England Patriots' dynastic run of three Super Bowl victories in four years, you think of Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel and Willie McGinest on defense.

Heading into the 2013 season, Patriots fans should be amped for the return of a linebacker unit that consists of Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes and Dont'a Hightower. Those three former SEC linebackers help to form a defensive front that will be just plain scary to face.

This linebacker unit is a big reason why the Pats were No. 9 in the NFL last season in rushing defense. With additions made this offseason in the secondary and on the defensive line, this defense (especially the linebacking corps) will thrive.

Also, let's not forget that the Pats added depth to the position through the draft by taking linebackers Jamie Collins and Steve Beauharnais.

Here is a look at the linebackers for the Patriots' 2013 campaign.

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