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Well, after a slow start, things have certainly heated up for the New England Patriots in Free Agency, and that continued today after the re-signing of CB Aqib Talib. After Wes Welker's departure, the Patriots have made all the right moves, and once again optimism has found it's way into Pats fans everywhere. But is this well founded?

With Corner Backs Talib and Kyle Arrington, and Safety Adrian Wilson all signing with the Patriots this week, it would seem the Patriots are done looking for secondary guys in Free Agency. It can't be worse than it has been in the last few years, but can we consider the Secondary "good"?

It's not like its had any major reconstruction work done, just resignings with one addition. At this stage, the starting corners will be Talib and Alfonzo Dennard, with Arrington in the slot, and the starting safeties will be Wilson and Devin McCourty. On paper, it sounds decent. Talib can certainly restrict Number 1 receivers, Dennard stepped in and made plays, McCourty looked at home at Safety. Arrington actually wasn't horrific in the slot, and Wilson, along with Talib, can become leaders and mentors for the likes of Dennard and Tavon Wilson.

But Dennard might start the season in jail, Talib was injured a lot last season, Arrington isn't good. McCourty is a cornerback playing safety, and we don't know what to expect out of Wilson. And even though the secondary improved last year, teams were still able to throw all over us. We narrowly beat the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chad Henne threw all over us, and both games were won on an interception - which weren't good plays by the secondary, they were awful throws by two awful Quarterbacks.

There is reason for optimism, there's no doubt. Firstly, we've got a draft coming up. If the Patriots don't go for a DB at some stage, I'll be shocked (Honey Badger, anyone?). And this is a secondary that can make great strides - Talib can get a full off-season working with the Patriots. Communication seemed a bit of an issue at times. McCourty gets a full off-season as a Safety, some more experience, and some help from Wilson will be good for him. Dennard, being an NFL player, probably won't go to prison, and Arrington will hopefully end up 4th on the CB depth chart.

Also, a big part of the problem with the pass game is the lack of pass rush. Heck, you can only cover guys for so long. And the signings of John Abraham and Dwight Freeney are on the cards, if not completed yet, so this should help them get pressure on the QB and force them to throw some defensible passes.

How do you feel about the secondary? Comment below, or let me know on Twitter @BrendanAnnely

Brendan Annely 3/16/2013 03:18:00 PM Edit
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