DEFENSIVE LINE (much improved) We've added lots of potential help to the five players returning from 2009. We've lost Green and we've added two solid veterans in Lewis and Warren. We've also added Deaderick who could get lots of reps at DE. I think that Belichick understands the void left by Seymour and Green. Who will make the roster is very up in the air, as is the depth chart. None of the backups should feel that they are guaranteed a roster spot. I expect us to carry seven defensive linemen. We WILL improve our run defense and short yardage defense! The BOTTOM LINE is that there is lots of work to do, but the talent and the pieces are there to make this a top defensive line. ===================================================== INSIDE LINEBACKERS (much improved) Many idenitifed this as a weakness before the draft. We're fine now. We have two veteran starters. Mayo should be healthy and stronger. And we have two youngsters in Spikes and McKenzie who should compete for reps. As long as one of them is an OK backup this year, we are better off than in 2009. ====================================================== OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS AND PASSRUSHERS (worse for now) Could we really be worse off compared to 2009? I suppose the improvements at DL, ILB and CB could make this hole a bit smaller. Less will be required from this sad group, our weak link. As of now, we bring back Banta-Cain, Woods, Thomas and Ninkovich from 2009. We have free agents Murrell. Crable is back. And yes, we drafted Cunningham, but I'm not sure how much we should expect from a first year patriot linebacker. No matter how we slice and dice, this is the worst set of passrushers and outside linebackers competing for a playoff team. At minimum, we need to bring back Burgess or a veteran replacement. At best, we will bring back Burgess AND trade for an outside linebacker.