Friday, February 1, 2013
Fixing the Pats' defense
By Tim Kavanagh
The New England Patriots once again trotted out an impressive offense in 2012, but it was defensive shortcomings that ultimately sunk them, particularly in the secondary. We've spent a lot of space discussing what the Pats may do to rectify the situation from a personnel standpoint, but a player who was a central character back during the club's dynasty seasons earlier this millennium has another solution.
NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest -- a former stalwart of the Pats' defensive front -- explained why the defenses on which he played in those days were so successful. "We took everything personal and we had pride," he noted, per CSN New England. "It's a different time. That's just how we were. Even the young guys that came in adapted that from us. Like the Seymours, the Vince Wilforks or some of these other guys that were there. The Asante Samuels. When Rodney came in, we already had Ty Law with that attitude. We had Lawyer Milloy. We had guys that had that mentality. We just added more guys to it. Vrabel was another guy."
"It doesn't seem like [the intensity is] there but for them to be successful in the future, that's definitely something they'll have to develop," he added.
It can be difficult to work on intangibles like that, but there are certain areas that do need to be addressed with new players:
James WalkerFixing the Patriots' defense
"I think better corners and safeties would do. New England's front seven is solid and was ninth against the run. It was the NFL-high 74 passing plays of 20 yards or more that's an issue."