Despite yet another Super Bowl loss at the hands of the New York Giants, the New England Patriots found themselves once again amongst the NFL elite in 2011. Still, that isn’t to say the Patriots don’t have a multitude of needs to address this offseason, specifically in their defensive backfield. The Patriots defensive woes were dissected ad nauseum last season, and while the Pats defense yielded the second most yards in the league as well as 21.4 points per game (15th in the NFL), New England finished tied for third amongst all NFL teams in forced turnovers.
New England possessed one of the more explosive offenses in the NFL last season, but at times did struggle when teams were able to put pressure on Tom Brady using base personnel, allowing them to double Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski in the second level. Elsewhere in the offense, various positions were plagued by inconsistency. Rookie running back Stevan Ridley looked promising at times, and then would seemingly disappear. Deion Branch can still run effective routes, but doesn’t possesses the speed to pop the top off the defense like he once did. Thus, the Patriots had no real deep threat at receiver and were forced to rely to heavily on Aaron Hernandez and Gronkowski as vertical threats in the seams.
While there are probably 31 other teams that would probably be willing to trade their needs for those of the Patriots, this offseason is critically important for the Pats to continue on their recent success in the draft and reload their talent.
New England also has significant assets heading into free agency, including roughly $41 million in cap space and multiple picks in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft. As the franchise tag period is already behind us, here are five key areas the Patriots need to address either in the draft or via free agency.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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