DE - Richard Seymour - Still playing great. Having one of his best years ever. I don't know how anyone can say he's not as good as he used to be. Look at his numbers this year. He will probably beat his career high for sacks and tackles! The only "dominant" player on our DLine. DE - Ty Warren - Solid. Great against the run. Young and locked up in a long term contract. Nothing to worry about here as long as there's no serious injuries. NT - Vince Wilfork - Playing his best football ever. We all know a good NT is hard to come by. Wilfork is young and has done everything that's been asked of him. He's the #1 priority when it comes to re-signing players. OLB - Adalius Thomas - Not as good as we thought he would be. Thomas has been decent, but nothing special. When he was healthy, he stood out among the linebackers this year as he was the only guy who could get any pressure on the QBs. Even then, his pass rush was just average. Not sure if he was worth the big price tag that came with him. He looked a lot better in Baltimore's defense, probably because he was surrounded by one of the best D's in the league. The positive is that when the older guys (Bruschi,Vrabel,Rodney) are gone, AD will still be here to provide veteran leadership and maturity to an otherwise young defense. ILB - Jerod mayo - I'm impressed. Will most likely win DROY honors. He's had some ups and downs this year, but he's a solid Linebacker and will keep improving. Look at his game against the NYJets if you question his potential. I thought he was too much of a reach at #10 but he's turned out to be a great pick. Barring any serious injury, Mayo will be a cornerstone to our defense for the next 10 years. I am surprised how quickly he's picked up the playbook and asserted himself in the defense. ILB - Tedy Bruschi - Not the same player he used to be. Will probably finish up his contract next year as a back-up to Gary Guyton, and then retire. Nice career as he was a key player in our Dynasty era. Guyton has quickly replaced him. At this point in his career, Bruschi provides good depth and veteran leadership. ILB - Gary Guyton - See above. An UDFA Rookie who has come in and played a lot of reps in BB's defense. That's unheard of. He has great athletic ability and brings energy to our defense. I like what I've seen so far. He's made some minor rookie mistakes but nothing that won't be corrected with time. OLB - Mike Vrabel - He had a Pro Bowl season last year, but he's quickly declined. Last year he had 12.5 sacks, this year he only has 3. Vrabel's also getting a lot more assisted tackles and less solo tackles. I admire his experience, but he's probably the weakest link in our front 7 right now, considering how important OLB is in the 34 scheme. His pass rush is next to nothing, and one of the main reasons our defense can't stop 3rd downs or prevent TD's in the red zone. OLB - Pierre Woods - I can't believe he's starting. Woods should be a career special teamer and 3rd string OLB. He looks like a rookie out there, despite being in the system for quite awhile now. S - Brandon Meriweather - I'm happy to see he's improved his hands and made some big INT's this year. The only play maker and big hitter in our secondary right now. His INT's all came at crucial points in the game which helped us pull away for the win. He would probably be better at FS than SS. Some Tight Ends are too big for him to cover. Still, he's all over the place and seems to be in on every play. Has a lot of potential and will keep getting better. S - James Sanders - Below average. Limited. Has been responsible for some big plays at costly times (see: end of the game, week 1 vs. KC). I don't feel safe with him as our starting Safety and last line of defense. We will most likely re-sign him since we don't have any one to replace him yet, but I hope we draft a Safety in this years draft to eventually take his starting job in a couple years. S - Rodney Harrison - On his last legs. Old and becoming injury prone. Slow but still solid against the run. Playing more like a LB in recent years. Potential retirement after this year. He only comes back next year if he feels the Pats could win a SB next year with a healthy Brady. Either way, he has 1 year left in him at most. Brings a nasty demeanor to the D that we've missed since his injury. CB - Ellis Hobbs - Shouldn't be a #1 CB. Has been torched a few too many times this year. He's alright and would look a lot better if the front 7 could put pressure on the QB. Good kick returner. CB - Deltha ONeal - Up and down, but overall terrible. Gets picked on by opposing QBs. I see why the Bengals cut him now. Needs to be upgraded ASAP. Looks like he's simply going through the motions these days. He's slowed down and receivers are consistently getting a couple steps on him. Pros: DLine. Young ILBs who are exceeding expectations. Cons: Secondary. Lack of pass rush. Unbalanced Age. After the 3 vets retire, we are left with a bunch of young, inexperienced players on defense, with no one but AD and the DLine to bring maturity, discipline, and leadership.