In recent years, the New England Patriots have had a mediocre pass rush, and haven't had a dominant pass rusher ever since linebacker Mike Vrabel was traded away to Kansas City.
The Patriots had a slight improvement in their pass rush this season, finishing with 36 which is good enough for 14th overall, after they were among the league's worst in 2009 ranking in at 23rd overall.
New England had a few players step up this past season such as Rob Ninkovich, Mike Wright, and rookie Jermaine Cunningham who all combined for 10.5 sacks.
The Patriots defense had a tough time getting off of the field on third-down last season, allowing teams to convert 47 percent of the time.
That's nearly half. New England were unable to put pressure on the opposing quarterback, which gave him more time to find the open receiver and to covert the third-down conversion.
Free agent outside linebacker Tamba Hali of the Kansas City Chiefs would be a nice fit in New England.
Hali recorded 15 sacks last season for the Chiefs in a defensive system that is very similar to Belichick's in New England.
The Chiefs and Patriots both run the 3-4 defense, and are virtually the same. In Kansas City, their defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is New England's former defensive coordinator in their dynasty years.
Hali played extremely effective in Crennel's defense last year, playing much like former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest.
Belichick should consider signing Hali, because he'd be a nice upgrade from Ninkovich, and would be a three-down player that can disrupt the passing game and running game of the opposing offense.
With all the talks about a possible work-stoppage in the NFL with the current CBA expiring in March, free agency will be interesting this off-season. Players will likely not be signed until a new CBA is agreed upon, and it is uncertain when that will be.
Once teams start signing free agents, Belichick should take a long hard look at Hali, as he would be a great asset to the New England's defense.
Belichick needs to forget the bust of signing linebacker Adalius Thomas, and needs to move on.
The time to win is now because quarterback Tom Brady isn't getting any younger.
NOTE: This article was first seen at PatriotsPlus.net
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