This year may be the best defense of the BB era. No matter who is out, the D plays well, because it is a TEAM defense. I think what has made it better include the following: Warren and Wilforks continued improvement. The corners being more comfortable in the system (see notes below re pass D) Colvin is playing better this season than any OLb has in one season since BB arrived. While our depth may not be name players, guy like Wright, TBC, Sanders, Hawkins, simply do their job. They dont do anything great, but dont have to. The only D problems we have ever had under BB (outside of 2000 when no one understood what they were doing) was when players coming off the bench were liabilities. When we bring in a sub, and he is a 'neutral' we are always fine. D FACTS: -We are 6th in total defense. Our scheme says thats about as good as we could ever be, since we are above all ocnservative. -We are #3 vs the run. 83 yards a game and 3.4 a carry. Those are close to if not the best ever by a BB D. -We have given up more than 17 points ONE time. -We have allowed 13 defensive TDs in 11 games. That is incredible. -Wehave only allowed ONE run all year of 20+ yards. -Suddenly, after problems forcing turovers last year we are 8th in Ints. and 6th in total takeaways. Notes about pass D. Invariably, we hear the commentary about bad QBs 'doing well' against us. But this has been happening for years, and it always happens the same way. EARLY in the game, these weaker QBs complete a lot of passes against us. (Harrington comes specifically to mind) Then as the game wears on all of a sudden they cannot complete them, and many times begin throwing Ints. THIS IS A CORE BB PHILOSOPHY, and one of the reasons young QBs always struggle vs his D. Early in the game they see coverages they can understand, and since they are NFL caliber arms they complete some passes. As the game wears on what they think they see isnt what we are playing. The confidence they develop early in the game (I can see it happening during some games, the QB thinking this isnt so hard, that D isnt so complicated) then the schemes change and they look pathetic. I am CERTAIN that in the first quarter yesterday there we tons of Pat fans whining about the coverage, and how Grossman was completing all those crossing patterns, and the coverage seemed 'soft'. As the game wore on what he was doing early was no longer working because the schemes changed (and were disguised) but he kept trying to do the same thing. Its not as if BB lets them succeed early. But, there are many ways to play defense. BB prefers to play a concept early in the game that says what you see is what you get, come beat it, and his defenders must make good plays in a scheme without disguise. As the game wears on he disguises and changes the schemes, and now the opposing QB is lulled into confusion, and the scheme sets up the players.