Patriots: Filling Two Holes In New England

matthew burdickContributor IMay 11, 2009

FOXBOROUGH - MAY 2: Coach Bill Bellichick watches during the New England Patriots Minicamp at Gillette Stadium May 2, 2009 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Coming off a sub-par season, the 2009 season has started with a bang for the New England Patriots.

The Patriots didn't see this year's draft core as very desirable. After a mediocre draft, the Patriots will be relying on some young talent to help them win a division that is getting strong again.

In the offseason the Patriots signed Fred Taylor.

Running back is a key concern for the Patriots. Maroney hasn't come into his own yet, and Taylor is coming into a team that has seven running backs on the depth chart.

With Kevin Faulk aging, I think that the Patriots have brought in Taylor to take some pressure off Tom Brady.

Their running game last year was, at points, dismal. The Patriots had a revolving door for starting running backs last season. If they can't fix this, this year may be a disappointment to all of New England.

I imagine that Belichick knows his weakness is in the backfield this year, as he made it clear with signing Taylor.

The New England Patriots have some cause for concern.

A team that finished 11-5 last season will need to plug up a defensive core that allowed 309 ypg last season. By contrast, the Pittsburgh Steelers averaged 237 ypg last season.

After looking through the roster, the Patriots have a lot of youth on the defensive side of the ball. In order for the Patriots to keep up with key teams in their conference, they will need to address their defensive weaknesses.

In order for the Patriots to get their glory back. The young linebackers they have are going to need to step up, Vrabel has parted ways so a key spot in the Patriots' linebacker corps has opened up.

I have read recently that the Patriots are looking into signing Jason Taylor. This may not help matters, but at this point in time, it is just speculation. 

I watched every game last season. I'd have to say that the Patriots organization is very good at bringing young talent to the forefront. It may be their defining moment this year, as a unknown might step up.

With this being said, I will be watching, anticipating a Division Championship.