New England Patriots Defense: Retool or Go for Total Overhaul?

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for NFLSportChannel.com

Published: March 16, 2009

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... and overhauling the defensive unit. Being the business that the NFL is, all teams lose players from both sides of the ball every year. 

The Patriots defense needs Part II of the house cleaning and infusion of youth that started in 2008.  As good as quarterback Matt Cassel played down the stretch, the defense would’ve been the Achilles had they made it to the playoffs. 

In signing cornerbacks Leigh Bodden and Shawn Springs—who might also see time at safety—they have some experience and depth beyond Ellis Hobbs and second-year players Jonathan Wilhite and Terrence Wheatley.  Based on the pure talent and success of the new imports, Hobbs could go from tops on the depth chart to nickel corner. 

Safeties James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather are both back and the latter finally played up to his first-round draft status.  There has been no official word on whether or not Rodney Harrison is coming back, ...

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