Christopher Price tells us Bill Belichick will head into the 2012 season with the most schematically diverse secondary of his coaching career.
While Belichick has worked with some versatile defensive backs over the years, currently on the New England roster, he has more multifaceted DB’s than ever. Sterling Moore played both defensive back positions before settling in at corner last season as a rookie. After entering the league as a corner in 2010 and landing a second-team All-Pro berth as a rookie, Devin McCourty started the 2011 season at corner and struggled before spending large chunks of time at free safety in the regular-season finale and in the postseason.
And this offseason, the Patriots acquired three versatile defensive backs: Free-agent pickup Steve Gregory played several positions in college and with the Chargers, while second-round pick Tavon Wilson did the same as a collegian at Illinois. And while veteran free agent Will Allen is more of a straight corner -- he’s got great numbers in the slot over the last few seasons -- he’s displayed enough versatility at that spot to make him attractive to the Patriots on a number of levels.
All this doesn’t even include safety Pat Chung, who has frequently played the "star" position, which requires a safety to frequently come down into the box and act as a corner against slot receivers and tight ends. (Corner Kyle Arrington has also shown an ability to work at the same position, as well on the outside.) ...
- Tom E. Curran reports Alfonzo Dennard's agent says that the CB is committed to erasing doubt caused by his arrest.
- Christopher Price offers an update on the status of the Patriots' rookie contracts.
- Field Yates gives us a rundown of the Patriots offseason acquisitions, including available contract details.
- Shalise Manza Young notes Matt Light was honored by Pop Warner over the weekend, receiving the Pop Warner Humanitarian Award.
- Jeff Howe catches up with former Pats CB Randall Gay who retired after his release from the Saints because of concussion symptoms.
- James Walker (ESPN) Four more AFC East questions.
Nate Davis (USA Today) NFL offseason report cards: AFC East. Patriots earn an A-.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Dennard isn't down from his draft-day drop.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Chandler Jones' deal a step back from No. 21 in 2011.
- Welker's 99-yard TD. (Nat'l Football Post) Inside the Playbook:
- NFL Live (ESPN) Mike Reiss talks about which Patriots wide receivers are likely to get cut before the season. (2.22 min. video)
- NFL Live (ESPN) Tedy Bruschi and Damien Woody talk about the Patriots wide receivers. (1.51 min. video)
- NFL 32 (ESPN) John Clayton discusses Wes Welker's contract situation and the Patriots' defensive moves. (1.13 min. video)
- Clifton Brown (Sporting News) NFL rankings: For defensive tackles, hits and hammer, no glitz or glamour. Vince Wilfork comes in at No 3.
- Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Dan Koppen totally recovered from broken ankle.
- Toni Monkovic (NY Times) Coughlin better than Belichick?
- Gregg Rosenthal (NFL.com) 100 days until NFL kickoff.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFLPA leg-pad comments could open a new can of worms.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL increases per-team debt limit to $200 million.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Polian's revisionist history makes no sense.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Sapp's book looks like a must-read.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballWeekly) New Jersey sports betting debate ignores reality.