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Patriots Will Look for Help in the Secondary
The New England Patriots were once again stopped in the Super Bowl by the New York Giants. The two Super Bowl defeats were both shockingly similar, because the Patriots could not stop the Giants in the fourth quarter of either game. While they didn't have much time to turn the situation around in Super Bowl XLII, they did have that opportunity in Super Bowl XLVI but the Giants defense stopped Tom Brady & Co.
Bill Belichick will never sit back and feel sorry for himself. He will assess his team and take the steps necessary to help the Patriots improve. The Patriots' primary needs are on defense, but even though they ranked near the bottom of the statistical rankings, the Patriots defense showed the ability to make big plays. New England has a chance to remain one of the elite teams in the AFC with some strategic moves in free agency and the draft.
The secondary could use an upgrade at free safety and cornerback. The Patriots were not happy with their overall consistency. They need a free safety who can go out and get the ball because hard-hitting strong safety Patrick Chung is not an asset in coverage. Cornerback Devin McCourty had a poor season but the Patriots hope he can bounce back to the form he had in the 2010 season. Ras-I Dowling is a good athlete and will have a bright future with some better coverage technique. Kyle Arrington can be a decent backup but he is not a starter.
The Patriots want to get some strength and power at the defensive end position. Mark Anderson was very productive and has the speed and quickness that you want, but he is not always strong enough at the point of attack. Andre Carter was solid at the position, but Belichick would like to add another versatile player who can cover the defensive end spot and also handle the outside linebacker position.
The Patriots have to upgrade at the wide receiver position. Tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are spectacular and Wes Welker will catch nearly everything thrown at him, but the Patriots can use a speedy wideout who can stretch the field. If Randy Moss was on his best behavior and in great shape, he would be a perfect fit. However, the Patriots have been down that road before and Belichick has not indicated that he wants to travel that way again.
Additionally, the Patriots may look for more depth at the center and offensive tackle positions.
Pro Football Weekly—New England Patriots
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