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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Insider's view on Patriots' needs

By Mike Reiss

Colleague Field Yates has been contributing to ESPN.com's "Insider" team, in addition to his work here covering the Patriots on ESPNBoston.com. Along with former NFL scout Gary Horton, he is helping produce an "offseason playbook" series for each team in the league, and the Patriots' version has been posted today.

Horton and Yates list the Patriots' team needs, and interestingly, they view safety as No. 5 on the list. Cornerback and receiver are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

The duo also summarizes the offensive and defensive philosophy of the team.

Offense: "Josh McDaniels continues to run one of the most creative and diverse offenses in the NFL with Tom Brady calling the shots. It is still a spread offense with multiple-receiver sets, two tight ends, a lot of motion, empty backfield looks and some up-tempo no-huddle. ..."

Defense: "This defense will change looks often, depending on its opponent, which means 3-4 and 4-3 fronts and combo coverage schemes -- both zone and man. However, the Patriots seem to be leaning to more 4-3 and man looks now to better fit their personnel. ..."

The "offseason playbook" is capped off with a "key free agent move" and Yates looks in Wes Welker's direction for that.

To read the piece, CLICK HERE (Insider content).