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 - Boston.com 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, ‚ÄėGetting Better Every Day‚Äô ¬ę 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: BostonHerald.com - Blogs: The Blitz¬Ľ Blog Archive ¬Ľ Bill Belichick, Wes Welker like competition between Patriots‚Äô 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.