New England Patriots: Patriots draft party
Is this Patriots team, as it is comprised today, better than the one that got blown out in Denver in the AFC Championship Game? It’s a question that was posed to our four experts at ESPN’s recent Patriots draft party, who each had a definitive answer: Absolutely.
The addition of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, in particular, drew praise from the panel.
Peyton Manning sliced and diced the Patriots' defense, in part because of an injury to Aqib Talib and in part because of a non-existent pass rush. Tedy Bruschi thinks that could change this season.
“Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has got to be high-fiving in his office in terms of what he got because of what he can do now,” Bruschi said. “He not only has a Talib to match up with a Julio Jones, A.J. Green or a Jimmy Graham, he’s got Revis now, then he’s got Browner and also the emergence of Jamie Collins and what he can do coverage-wise. You’ve got a linebacker that can do that.
“Say you’re going up against a team like the Broncos, with Julius Thomas at the tight end, Demaryius Thomas at the outside receiver and on the other side Wes Welker. You can match those guys up because you can put a Jamie Collins on a Julius Thomas. You can pick and choose where you want to put Darrelle Revis, he can do either [Thomas or Welker], and then Browner can finish it up. Those types of coverage combinations, you can lock them up and you can get after somebody. You can get the pressure on.”