Is the Pats' Defense Starting to Gel?

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mayoclinic, Aug 15, 2012.

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  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    I know, it's ridiculously early. We've only played 1 preseason game, and are barely halfway through training camp. But there seems to be a sense of energy, aggressiveness, swagger, cohesion and playmaking on defense the likes of which haven't been seen since the heyday of Big Sey, Willie Mac, Tedy, Vrabes, Ty and Rodney. Not to suggest that the current group can compare yet, but there certainly seems to be something that's been missing since at least 2007 and probably more like 2004.

    Every day brings more reports suggesting that this defense will be markedly different from the past 5+ years. More aggressive. More versatile. Better front-back communication. More situational awareness. More playmaking, within a disciplined framework. Less vanilla.

    From Field Yates today:

    Camp Observations: Day 21 - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

    And from Greg Bedard:

    Practice rundown #16 - Extra Points -

    First zone blitzes. Jones at RDE, standing up, at LDE, dropping into coverage, getting his long arms up to clog the passing lanes. Bequette playing inside as well as out. Good safety and overall secondary play, with Chung-Gregory looking like a solid combo and Tavon Wilson playing multiple roles as well. Dowling looking more and more comfortable. Kyle Love looking like a horse in the middle alongside Vince Wilfork. Jonathan Fanene looking like a big time mismatch before he got hurt. A lot of things that haven't been seen in a long while. And it's not just one or two isolated reports. It seems like every day we're hearing about Mayo's playmaking at WLB, Hightower's versatility and physicality, Jones' long arms, versatility and manhandling of OLs, the teamwork of the secondary leading to turnovers and big plays, and more.

    Matthew Geagan from CBSBoston noted today:

    Patriots Defense Starting To Jell, ‘Getting Better Every Day’ « CBS Boston

    Mike Reiss noted after the Saints game:

    New England Patriots' new-look defense makes good impression - ESPN Boston

    Both Wes Welker and BB himself commented on the level of play from the defense over the past several days: - Blogs: The Blitz» Blog Archive » Bill Belichick, Wes Welker like competition between Patriots’ offense and defense

    Again, it's ridiculously early, and I know it's just training camp. But there's an energy and a feeliong from the defense that I can't remember in a long time, and it's hard not to get a little excited.
  2. Joker

    Joker Supporter Supporter

    Thank you for this means a lot to be able to sit down after a long day and get everything I wanted to know put out there in a nicely ordered post.
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    One of the things that I like best is that there seems to be a lot of camaraderie and cohesiveness on defense. Syracuse grad Steve Gregory has apparently embraced Syracuse grad Chandler Jones as his "little brother". Chung and Gregory have apparently bonded. Brandon Spikes has apparently become a huge Dont'a Hightower fan. The 2011 team was notable for it's cohesiveness and for everyone being on the same page, but the defensive talent was lacking in some key areas. The talent is much better this year, and the cohesiveness looks stronger than ever.

    The other encouraging thing is the swagger and confidence. BB will never let this team become full of itself like the Jets, but the defense has sort of played with its tail between its legs the past few years. This feels different, like they know what they can do and can't wait to get unleashed. That's refreshing. Seems like the kind of thing we would see out of Pittsburgh and Baltimore and keep wishing for. Obviously, BB will make sure that it's all within a structured and disciplined framework, but a little attitude and controlled aggression would be nice.
  4. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. Supporter

    #87 Jersey

    My hope for the Defense in 2012/2013 is simple. I hope they believe they are a top unit who can not only contain, but beat the NFL's top Offenses.

    Swagger can never be understated. If you believe you believe.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    I always got the sense that the really good defenses wanted to be on the field, especially with the game on the line. They wanted to punish the opposing offense, not just stop them. That kind of confidence is a huge asset. Feeling that your defense will inevitably give up the game winning score unless the offense can comfortably put the game out of reach is a different feeling altogether. It's time for a change.
  6. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    They have a lot of talent, they're young and they have young leadership.

    Camaraderie is great at this point, something to build on. Swagger? After one exhibition game? Let's leave that to the jets and Skins. It's a long season.
  7. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Butler Island is here Supporter

    #95 Jersey

    I am really excited about this D. We all know the line and LBs will be better

    But what i am most excited about it Gregory+Chung. If they can gel and Chung can have a year that we all have been waiting for..we will be good.

    Chung has never he should have been out of college..hopefully that will change this year with Gregory and no injuries
  8. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    BB will never let the players get swollen heads like the Jets. But a little confidence isn't out of place. I always felt that the SB defenses of 2003-2004 had a little bit of swagger to them, and wanted to be out there with the game on the line. They could walk the walk. This group clearly needs to prove itself, but I get the sense that they are gaining confidence, and that's probably a good thing. BB won't let it turn into over-confidence.
  9. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. Supporter

    #87 Jersey

    I tend to agree mayo. The feel around the Patriots has been "it's OK, we've got a top offense; they'll get us out of this". It's the complimentary feel of the defense in recent years that gripes me. I understand the speed at which BB has re-built/re-tooled the D, but it's time for them to go from a complimentary unit to an outright force on their own.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  10. slash83

    slash83 In the Starting Line-Up

    #12 Jersey

    Defense wins championships... Time to knock some heads off, starting with CJ in week one baby!
  11. Joker

    Joker Supporter Supporter

    watching this replay, I'm struck by the play of Jake Bequette...I read your post and then looked back into the game and he just seems to show up...if his play has picked up like today's observations suggest, I would think they'd want to get him on the field in sub packages right from the start of the season...
  12. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    My hope has been that Bequette (6'4 1/2", 275#+) and Fanene (6'4", 290#+) between them could be used very effectively - Fanene playing LDE in the "base" and moving inside, with Bequette taking over as LDE on sub packages, and moving inside on NASCAR packages. All reports were that Fanene was a load to handle from a quickness/size/strength perspective before getting hurt. The impression I get is that it's nothing serious, but that the team doesn't want to rush him back and risk further injury. If Bequette can develop quickly, those 2 guys combined with Jones and quicker options like Ninkovich or Cunningham would give the Pats tremendous depth and versatility at the end positions.
  13. Salva135

    Salva135 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    I've always believed in this D-line, and think it can only get better. If the secondary is anything better than what we saw last year, than I'm ready to say :rocker:

    It's very funny that the Jets are worrying about their offense in the very same way we are worrying about the D... "Let's be average!"
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  14. Joey007

    Joey007 In the Starting Line-Up

    #91 Jersey

    Man if we can get productive careers from Jones, Hightower, Wilson, and Bequette it could benefit our defense for years.
  15. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    I believe in this defense and I don't care if it's preseason. There is just too many positives coming from all over the defense to think otherwise. Im not declaring 85 bears or 04 Patriots here. Just a vastly impoved unit than the one we've seen the last 4 years.

    All the parts just seem to fit whether it was through the draft or free agency. BB seems to have found the midas touch again.
  16. reflexblue

    reflexblue Supporter Supporter

    #91 Jersey

    While all of this sound very very encouraging i want to wait and see. The O-line is missing three key starters, and i want to see how the O-line handles the Defensive front. IMO a lot or most of the problems the offense is having is because of poor O-line play. Brady doesn't have time to pass, wholes aren't opening up for the run, at least it sounds that way. I didn't see a lick of the saints game, not even highlights, and the camp reports don't seem to be as frequent as in the past. In the past there use to be multiple postes at the practices. Maybe its me, but i'm not seeing as many as in past years. This thread is a bonanza, Myo's opening was the most ive read about practice in one day since camp started.

    BTW i'm a defense first guy, so i hope what is happening in practice is for real. And not because they're playing against a banged up O-line. If the D IS that good, well SB here we come. Because Brady and the offense won't have to shoulder the load.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  17. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    Confidence builds also. The 2003-4 defenses were built around players that went to the Super Bowl in 1997.

    I'm excited, but let's get some notches on the belt before we go overboard. Lot's of swagger about our beef flaps D last year, but the quiet Andre Carter's "we're improving" was the real deal. Let's see this defense work together awhile when it counts.

    We've got plenty of talent, but the proof is in the playing. We're going to have frustrating moments with this many young, or new players too so let's not get too high or low, eh?
  18. He didn't look too effective in the first game. I don't think too many backs are going to have a field day against this defense.
  19. They all look good. Gregory may be the surprise of them all, a real leader and a play maker that is solidifying that secondary.
  20. Something is building and it's for real. This isn't Jets hype.

    I especially like the Gregory signing. That secondary is not going to be a sieve any more.
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