While Tedy Bruschi has not been a part of the New England Patriots’ locker room since his retirement following the 2008 season, he knows the organization as well as anybody. He spent 13 years with the Patriots, including nine under head coach Bill Belichick, and helped establish a dynasty that is facing its toughest challenge to date: replacing the most successful quarterback in NFL history and six-time world champion, Tom Brady.
For Bruschi, who is now working as an analyst at ESPN, the plan for the immediate post-Brady era is a simple one: the team’s defense will have to lead the way as he told WBZ’s Dan Roche during a recent video interview.
“The shift with Tom being gone now, and of course quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is trying to make this a defensive-dominated team,” Bruschi said. “They’ll tell you what they feel by what they do. So, drafting those great young linebackers [...] defense is going to have to lead the way. That’s the way it’s going to have to be, and I think Bill knows that. Evidence of that is the draft and how he chose those safeties, the linebackers.”
Despite the offense being an issue for the Patriots going all the way back to last season (and partially maybe even to 2018’s Super Bowl run), the team opted to go defense with its first three picks of this year’s draft. After trading out of the first round, New England picked safety Kyle Dugger and linebacker Josh Uche in the second, before adding another linebacker — Anfernee Jennigns — in Round Three.