but it was strangely encouraging. The defense is just so raw at so many positions right now, mostly due to injuries, but that same raw youth is very talented. Mayo and Guyton are both for real, Woods is a legitimate rotation guy, Meriweather is maturing into an excellent safety, Wilhite looks like he can play and so did Wheatley, before he was hurt... This season may ultimately be a wash, and the defense seems to have a bad case of multiple personality disorder right now, giving up long drives followed by bouts of shutdown defense, but the foundation for a dominant defense is there. A stud pass rusher and another young safety to groom via the draft, along with resigning the right guys, and they'll be right there, back to 2003/4 form. Maybe better. I don't believe the Patriots are a top contender to win a championship this year, but they'll make the playoffs, and make things interesting one way or another, but the future actually looks brighter to me now. Especially if the Pats can find a way to get something for Cassel, unlikely though that might be. Mark my words, in 2 years, the defense will be unbelievable. Mayo will be the heart of it, and they'll be dominating all over again.