It hasn't gone according to plan so far.
The new, revamped defensive front seven was supposed to look...well, new and revamped. Instead, the New England Patriots have seen their 2011 defense look an awful lot like 2010's.
With only two games in the books, the NFL season is still in its infancy, but the returns haven't been great. The Patriots still give up too many yards and too many points. Opponents' drives are still way too easy. Quarterbacks still have all day to throw.
The good news is that the defense still shows a knack for big plays. But as last year showed, a turnover-based defense is dangerously unstable.
Two keys of a solid defense are an ability to get to the quarterback and an ability to stop the run. That comes from the front seven.
Here's how the top seven players there (based on snaps played and projected role) are doing so far.