Snarky critics often mockingly call the Patriots' defense a "bend don't break" style of defense, but that's exactly what they were last year, when the Patriots defense ranked No. 5 in scoring despite giving up 193 first downs through the air (27th in the league).
It's clear, then, that improvement is needed against the pass. The Patriots' hope, however, is to improve from within.
They re-signed key free agent Leigh Bodden to a four-year deal worth $22 million. He performed well last year, with 5 interceptions and 17 pass deflections. Bodden has solidified himself as New England's No. 1 corner, despite the fact that he's not a "shut down corner" in the purest form.
Behind him, though, sits a group of undistinguished youngsters vying for time. An interesting fact from patspulpit.com about last year's Patriots: CBs Darius Butler, Shawn Springs, and Jonathan Wilhite split time almost equally, with between 500 and 600 snaps apiece.
With that, let's look at what the depth has to offer.