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Patriots Defense gets younger

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Breakout the wheelchairs.  Does that dude need some Geritol?  How about a cane?  That's what we heard about our aging defense and rival fans and bloggers never let us forget it.  Well, times they are a changin'.  After combing through the defensive rosters for 2007, 2008, and the projected depth chart for 2009, the age of New England's defense is heading down.  Need the numbers and rosters before you buy into it?  Ok, check out this spreadsheet on Google Docs.  I tried my best to limit this to the correct starters, but it can get a bit murky (ex: in 2007, Adalius Thomas moved from outside to inside linebacker).  The average of the starters for a year is in each workbook corresponding to that year, but I'll summarize here:

An interesting factoid while scrolling through the spreadsheet is the number of players over 30:

  • 2007: 5
  • 2008: 5
  • 2009: 3

Bottom line?  The New England Patriots are, on average, getting younger and their shedding players over 30.  They're picking up a nice balance of youth and experience which could help them make it through a long season.  And I haven't even begun talking about the youth of their backups.