I'd like to bring up an important note for people on here about the defense.
As you all know, I am the type of guy to look at things from different perspectives. I could not help but notice how much BB get bashed for building the defense we have now. Hell, I don't blame any of you. Everyone gets frustrated at our defense giving up yards (although I could care less about yards, I just want them to improve on 3rd downs). Who can we blame but BB because he pretty much runs everything?
I'm not going to blame anyone. I am also not going to call his drafting habits for defensive players bad. Wait what?
Since everyone likes to look at yards as a measure for the defense, I want to first point out that in 2001, we were, according to nfl.com, ranked 24th in defense. 2002, 23rd in defense. 2003? 7th. It took roughly 2-3 years for the defense to develop as a unit (in 2001 they were a 4-3 defense too I believe), with our rookie Ty Warren there too.
What I want to say is, is that BB doesn't draft skilled players off the bat. He doesn't look at the combine numbers, and see what athlete looks freakish. I think first, he looks at team guys who can do a bit of everything, and has them develop. You know how our 03, and 04 defense were our best defenses arguably in the decade. Look who we had.... Seymour, Wilfork (as a rookie in 04), Harrison, Bruschi, Ted Johnson, who else? I am talking about leaders of course.
Last year our defense was extremely young. I want to say the second youngest defense in the league. This year? a year of experience. Not so much has changed. McCourty is having a sophmore slump, and thats pretty much it. I can count the offseason guys: Haynes (sidelined with an injury I guess), Ocho (disappointing so far), really those are the only two guys. Now, to what I am getting on with this.
I have said earlier here that BB looks at team guys, and develops them. Comparingly to our 03 and 04 seasons, we have Mayo (future Ted Johnson?), Spikes (future Bruschi?), Chung (future Harrison?). DOn't have one for Seymour, but if he gets a DE next draft that looks similar of a Seymour. I don't know, or maybe Deadrick comes up. Who knows.
Anyways, what BB is doing is developing those guys into experienced, and talented leaders. THATS how a great defense is built. Look at Pitt, Ravens, Texans. The top 3 defenses currently in the NFL. Look at those defenses, and tell me that they don't have great, tough leaders. If your looking for a great BB defense, you won't find it this year. In the future, when our starting players develop into playmakers who are tough and experienced and are full fledged leaders, it will be heaven.