Long and gone is the Patriots "retirement home" defense. The Patriots have had a major influx of youth over the past couple of years in the draft.
Let's break the defense down into three categories and evaluate the defense.
Secondary: Brandon Meriweather, Patrick Chung, Leigh Bodden, Darius Butler, Devin McCourty, Terrence Wheatley, Jonathan Wilhite, and Kyle Arrington.
Analysis: Meriweather made his first Pro Bowl last season and should have another strong season this year, but he needs to work on his open field tackling and not just go for the knock out hit.
Chung is having a strong training camp and preseason. Chung is a speedy and physical safety that is real hungry to show what he can do, he was faired well with the first string thus far.
Bodden proved to be a sold free agent acquisition and received a new contract. Bodden was a reliable corner last year and has been plagued so far in camp with injuries, but was seen on the field today.
Bodden should have a strong sophmore season with the Pats after having one year of experience in BB's complex defense.
Butler has a strong rookie year making interceptions and plays on the ball, Butler is a speedy corner who can cover WRs, but he has been trying to prove that he can do more than just that by trying to help in run support.
Was not so high on McCourty when BB moved back twice in the first round and selected McCourty.
McCourty has made me think twice though because he has had a strong training camp and has let receivers get next to nothing in the preseason.
Wheatley has been playing physical in camp and providing good coverage, but Wheatley needs to do this on the field to secure a roster spot.
Wilhite is fast like Wheatley, but Wilhite is not physical enough. Wilhite is often burnt down the field by receivers and makes plays when not conveinant like in the pre season game against the Falcons.
Arrington was a special teams player last season and probably will be again this year unless injuries occur in the secondary.
Arrington has been showing that he could also be a contributor on defense by getting some playing time, he has shown that he has decent coverage skills, can be physical, and can hit like hell.