5 Potential Wrinkles in Bill Belichick's New England Patriots Defense

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5 Potential Wrinkles in Bill Belichick's New England Patriots Defense
Doug Benc/Getty Images

New England Patriots' head coach, Bill Belichick, helped orchestrate a trade for heavily scrutinized defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth with one goal in mind: to get after the quarterback. Hard.

Looking through the stats from last season, the Patriots look pretty good on defense—until you come to these two figures: 366.5 and 47. The first one is the amount of yards the defense gave up per game, a number good for 25th in the league. Behind the Buffalo Bills. Ouch.

The second one is the percentage at which teams converted on third downs against our defense. That number is good for dead-last in the NFL, and no one else is even close. When teams lined up against the Pats last season on third down, they converted nearly 50 percent of the plays for first downs. Horrifying.

But things are changing around here.

Haynesworth has been brought in via trade, and Leigh Bodden is back at the cornerback position after missing last season due to shoulder surgery. Mike Wright, the unheralded pass rusher who recorded six sacks in just 10 games for New England in 2010, is back. He is ready to go after a concussion left him on the sidelines for the whole second part of last season.

There are still moves to be made, especially with the releases of Marcus Stroud, Ty Warren and Tully Banta-Cain. Guys like Matt Roth, Lofa Tatupu and even Osi Umenyiora have been linked to New England in the past few days (check out Profootballtalk.com).

Fear not, New England Patriots fans. Defensive guru Bill Belichick will be able to add five wrinkles to what has been a very predictable defense in the past.

Quarterbacks, beware.

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