One of the biggest problems for New England last year was a lack of leadership. It was pretty easy to see with the departures of several key veterans like Richard Seymour, Rodney Harrison, and Tedy Bruschi.
This year, several key players look ready to step up and be the vocal leaders that New England lacked last year.
Jerod Mayo has talked about it a lot this offseason. In an interview with NFL.com's Michael Lombardi, Mayo said, "We have a lot of young guys, but we have a lot of guys that want to win and want to play hard, and we have coach Belichick leading this defense and we're willing to follow."
Brandon Meriweather chuckled when Michael Lombardi referred to him as the "senior citizen" of the defense, but said, "It feels good that I'm one of the guys that has been playing the longest."
Look for both to be the faces of New England's defense for years to come.