Former Patriots LB Ted Johnson believes a lack of team unity is contributing to the defensive problems. "That sense of trust, and team, and it's by far the most important thing on a football team. You can't fake it," said the former linebacker according to the Boston Globe. "That's what I think is the No. 1 problem with this defense. You don’t see them celebrating plays together as a unit. You don’t see energy or camaraderie or passion." Johnson added that "back then", referring to Super Bowl victories, the team was about everyone and not one player.
The *Boston Herald *reports Bill Belichick praised Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams saying, “It doesn’t surprise me that he’s doing well at this level. Fast, quick, hard to tackle. Like any back durability is always going to be a little bit of an unknown - how many carries, how many games, how many snaps do they get? That's part of the production that those guys are measured by."
According SI.com's "Best and Worst of the 2000's," the Patriots fell into multiple categories including: Best franchise, best coach (Bill Belichick), best single-season team (2007), Best trade (Randy Moss from Raiders for a fourth-round pick), biggest draft steal (Tom Brady, 199th pick in the sixth round), best rivalry (Patriots vs. Colts) and best personnel man (Scott Pioli, General Manager). To read the full story, click here.
Were the Patriots ready for Miami's three-receiver sets? Defensive coordinator Dean Pees believes so. In fact, Pees made it clear it was a matter of execution that ultimately failed. "It really wasn't so much whether Miami spread us out or not, that really wasn't a surprise. It was just the fact that we just didn't execute some simple things that we needed to execute," Pees said according to the Providence Journal.
*SI.com's *Don Banks writes a combination of departing veterans, a young secondary and a weak pass rush results in the team's defensive woes. Veteran players on the roster, namely LB Adalius Thomas, CB Shawn Springs and DL/LB Derrick Burgess, have supplied "little or no impact."
Click here to see where the Patriots landed in ESPN.com's Power Rankings