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Sunday, September 6, 2009
Over half of Pats D will be new to open '09



Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham


Four days ago, I put together an item with the help of ESPN's research crew that showed the New England Patriots' opening-day defense could be their youngest since Pete Carroll's first year as head coach.
2008 Week 1 vs. Chiefs: Defensive Starters
Pos. Player Status
DE Ty Warren With Team
DT Vince Wilfork With Team
DE Richard Seymour Traded to Raiders
LB Mike Vrabel Traded to Chiefs
LB Jerod Mayo With Team
LB Tedy Bruschi Retired
LB Adalius Thomas With Team
CB Lewis Sanders Not with Team
CB Ellis Hobbs Traded to Eagles
S Rodney Harrison Retired
S James Sanders With Team

On Sunday, it got even younger.

Although the Patriots probably aren't done tinkering with their lineup, the trade of nine-year veteran defensive lineman Richard Seymour means the Patriots will have that much less experience when they take the field Sept. 14 against the Buffalo Bills on "Monday Night Football."

The Patriots will start the game with at least six new defenders on the field than last year's opener.

They traded Seymour, linebacker Mike Vrabel and cornerback Ellis Hobbs. Strong safety Rodney Harrison and linebacker Tedy Bruschi retired.

Left cornerback Lewis Sanders was not re-signed and is unattached. Sanders started only in Week 1, but his replacement, Deltha O'Neal, is gone, too. O'Neal signed with the Houston Texans but didn't make the squad.