The state of the New England Patriots secondary

Photo by: Edwin Khu

The New England Patriots secondary has been a collective whipping boy for Pats fans over the past few seasons as far as blame goes and it would be very difficult to argue with the direction of that ire. When the Patriots lose it's very rarely because the offense didn't score enough points. And at least for this season it would also be tough to point fingers at a run defense that ranks seventh best in the National Football League in fewest rushing yards allowed per game. Passing yards per game however, the Pats rank 28th, also known as fifth worst. The state of the secondary hasn't improved much if it has at all since last season, but things could be worse.

If the acquisition of Aqib Talib at the trade deadline in exchange for a fourth rounder ends up being nothing else at all, it is at least an indication that the Patriots front office and coach Bill Belichick are recognizing that the secondary is a problem. We all know the story by now. Talib has a list of dirty deeds longer the amount of times I've heard Vince Wilfork say the words "Big Y Superbird." So obviously the worst case scenario is Talib does something else bone-headed and nobody ever sees him again. The best case of course would be that the kid smartens up, reaches his potential and can add a respectable body to the unsuccessful secondary.

The Patriots seem to have a decent amount of confidence that exactly that could happen since they showed what appears to be some confidence in their cornerback depth. Enough to move Devin McCourty to safety on a permanent basis. Much like the snaps he has logged at cornerback, McCourty has garnered mixed reviews in his time at safety. I wouldn't be alone in saying I have preferred him at safety and hopefully he continues to improve at that position. If Talib can come in and become the corner some believe he could be, McCourty's stability at safety should become more secure. Belichick always says "the more you can do around here..." but staying in one position should help McCourty.

Then there are the other guys. Kyle Arrington has been inconsistent to say the least, but at times he has been the Pats best corner and has certainly showed big play potential despite not having an interception yet this season. Marquice Cole seems to be the other name worth mentioning at cornerback. He did some notable things with the Jets and hopeful can bring something to the Pats eventually.

Tavon Wilson and Steve Gregory will be the guys holding down the free safety position. Which one of them starts will probably just have to do with Gregory's health status. But much like the other secondary positions there won't be any Pro Bowl production found here. They will, however, need to be respectable and prevent big plays from beating the Pats like they have a few times this season. The secondary hasn't been great (again) but at least we can look at a few moves being made to try and improve the Patriots clear weak spot.