Belichick changed his philosophy for 2011. He kicked out veteran depth BEFORE he knew that the replacements would work out. ================================== Belichick had zero cap pressure. He chose not to keep Butler and Sanders as backup defensive backs. The alternative has been street free agents at those positions. CORNER Even if Dowling was productive in this rookie year AND Bodden returned 100% from his injuries, Butler would have been a reasonable choice as our #5 corner (and special teamer). SAFETY Even if Barrett was better than Page and Meriweather and Sanders, AND Brown was a solid #3 safety, Sanders is still good enough to be a solid backup. BOTTOM LINE Sanders and Butler should have been on the 53-man roster. Our record may be no different at this point, but the quality of our defensive backfield for the rest of 2011 would be different, and this would be the case even if Bodden and Dowling were here. Our 8 man defensive back group is a disgrace counting on Molden, Adams, Barrett, and Brown to back our "playoff quality" starters McCourty, Arrington, Chung and Ihedigbo. This is the worst Belichick secondary ever, and Belichick is buying the groceries, and was a secondary coach. This set of decisions is all on Belichick. Most sadly, this secondary is by choice. Belichick used lots of picks on the secondary. Belichick chose to say goodbye to Page, Meriweather, Sanders, Wilhite and Butler. Belichick chose not to spend to big bucks (or any bucks) on an additional defensive back. GOING FORWARD We still are favored to get into the playoffs. We still have as good a chance as any AFC team to reach the SB. I would note that bettors still have us as the havvy divvison favorite, the AFC favorite and the 2nd most likely team to win the Super Bowl.