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Mon., Mar. 30, 2015 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM EDT
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Opinion: Positions where Patriots still need help
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on the PFW Blog represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the New England Patriots organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Patriots officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich are very good players, but they can’t be expected to play ever snap the entire season, like they virtually did in 2013. They need pass-rush help. And while I would have preferred that such help come in the form of a premier player (Jared Allen, Julius Peppers, DeMarcus Ware), at this point, they just need someone who can come in and be a third member of the pass rush rotation. Veteran options are getting slimmer in number and less and less exciting – Will Smith is a name that’s reportedly been in for a visit (meh).
Is Michael Buchanan ready to emerge with a year-two jump? It’s possible, but I’m not holding my breath. I’d like New England to add one more veteran and perhaps invest a high draft pick in a defensive end to assuage my concerns about this critical area.
Re-signing Chung is either a good move or not, depending on how the Patriots utilize him. If is expected to return to his old staring position alongside Devin McCourty, then I’m not thrilled with this signing. If Chung were that valuable a piece of the defense, the team wouldn’t have allowed him to walk away last year during free agency.
But it all comes down to the Patriots drafting the right rookie to complement McCourty. Short of that, New England still has a hole to fill at this position.
We’re going to be playing the “When Will Gronk Return” game again like we did last year, I’m afraid. Which means if he’s out for any extended period of time, this position, which has become so vital to the New England offense, is going to suffer, along with the offense in general.
Where do you think the Patriots still need to beef up their roster? Let us know with a comment below!