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AP Photo/Charles Krupa
It's hard to imagine a team that just won the Super Bowl needing to improve much, but if the Patriots want to repeat, they have to make some moves in the off-season. Here are the 3 areas they need to work on in the off-season if they want to get that 5th ring next year:

1.) The Secondary: This is more about retaining what they have - both Devin McCourty and Darrelle Revis will be free agents, and if the Patriots want to have a chance of repeating, they have to keep both guys around if at all possible. The Patriots defense was much improved this year from the "Bend, Don't Break" philosophy of years past, and these 2 were a big part of that, especially Revis. So was Brandon Browner, but he's under contract for 2 more years. The 2 I mentioned before (Revis and McCourty) will have to stick around if the Pats want to repeat.

2.) Running Back: Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley are both free agents this off-season, so that will leave a lack of depth at the position for the Patriots if they can't retain both of them. If they both leave, then that leaves Lagarrette Blount and Jonas Gray as the only backs with any significant 1st-string experience. So, what's the solution? I see a couple. 1 - The Patriots have James White waiting in the wings, who does have some promise. 2 - The Pats keep either Vereen or Ridley around. If they go that route, I think that's an easy choice for most. The last option would be to draft a running back. The Pats have some options if they go this route - click here to read about a few of them. Whichever route they go, the Pats need to add a running back to be contenders again next year.

3.) Offensive Line: One of the few areas of weakness for the Patriots was the offensive line, which had its ups and downs after losing anchor Logan Mankins last summer. If the Patriots want to go repeat, I would say adding offensive line depth is critical. Bryan Stork has been good when in, but the Pats will need to the offensive line if they want to repeat.

Something I missed? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Conor Frederick 2/18/2015 04:20:00 PM Edit
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