After the Divisional games this weekend, I came away with the thought that the Patriots need press man corners to help them match up to opposing teams.
Certainly after the Buffalo wild card game loss. And the Buffalo/Kansas City tussle, man cover corners need to be a factor as the Patriots take on the next stage of their rebuild.
A lot of people want speed at LB, a number 1 receiver, a change in offensive philosophy and maybe more.
Until this past weekend seeing the score of two of the rivals for NE, I was of the state of mind that the Patriots need to start with their defensive line. Because the Patriots struggled to control the game on defense against playoff caliber opponents.
DT, Jordan Davis of Georgia is my number 1 prospect for NE at this point and time. Some of Coach Belichick's best defenses have had a strong Nose Tackle who can control the middle and either prevent or limit runs through the center of the defense.
But after seeing the inability of either Kansas City or Buffalo to really stop the other team when it mattered, it dawned on me that I had heard that Bill Walsh had the idea to draft several corners in 1981. 3 of which, became key pieces to his first two 49ers' championship teams of the 80s.
Coach Walsh drafted four Cornerbacks in the 1981 NFL Draft. Three of them, Carlton Williamson, Eric Wright, and Ronnie Lott became pillars of the 49ers' defense. In 1984, three of the four members of the San Fransisco secondary went to the Pro Bowl.
The 1984 San Fransisco 49ers won Super Bowl XIX by defeating the Miami Dolphins and Dan Marino. In large part due to their defense being strong. The 9ers intercepted Marino twice. And sacked him four times.
The last Super Bowl the Patriots won, they played a lot of suffocating man coverage. And they controlled the line of scrimmage.
With age creeping into the team on defense. Key players who have given their hearts and souls are on their way out of the door. The only thing that the Bills exposed about the Patriots were that NE is not ready to take on mentally tough teams yet.
I expect GM/Head Coach Bill Belichick to invest in his team this offseason to get them back to a competitive level. But I feel that the one thing he must do in this offseason is hit on players for his defense. Especially in the secondary. I feel that Coach Belichick will be proactive in his approach to his team. Not reactive in his thinking.
Meaning that instead of doing what everyone else is doing and thinking, Coach Belichick will find a way to make his team competitive in more creative ways that are routine for him.
And it won't be long before other teams are copying the Patriots again.