New England Patriots: Quick takes on the pre-season defense

Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Davon Godchaux #92 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

Here are some quick takes on the New England Patriots pre-season defense, and these takes are for the most part terrific.

The New England Patriots pre-season defense was solid even though most of the starters didn’t play much. However, it was better for new players trying to latch onto a spot.

As with the offense, some pretty good players will be released and play on other NFL squads in 2021.

That’s the reality, you can only keep 53 players on the roster (and maybe a few others can be stashed with the Foxborough knee problem. Shhh.)

Quick takes on the 2021 New England Patriots defense

The 2021 version of the Patriots’ defense looks to be miles ahead of the woeful group put on the field last season by head coach Bill Belichick.

As noted on offense, bundles of Mr. Robert Kraft’s money was spent to bolster the entire squad and a major amount went to buttress a porous defense that couldn’t stop the run at all in 2020.

The New England Patriots solid defensive line

The defensive line received a healthy dose of new talent. (Note: we’ll consider edge players as linebackers for the purpose of this discussion.)

The likely best free-agent addition came in Davon Godchaux. He was brought here to stop the run. Hopefully, he’ll do just that. If he does, it’s addition and subtraction. He came over from the Miami Dolphins.

Another addition, popular in this space, was former New York Jets lineman Henry Anderson. He’s a big presence and in the past when he was healthy, he was a disruptive interior and outside force.

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Seeing Anderson logging major minutes in the final pre-season games may indicate he is on the roster bubble, however. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.

Another favorite listed here as a defensive end who got plenty of playing time against the Giants was Chase Winovich. It’s a pivotal year for this third-year player.

Wino seems to be breaking out of his quiet second-year campaign with 2.5 sacks in the past two preseason games.

Yet, as with Anderson, that load of snaps in their pre-season finale suggests he too may be on the bubble and susceptible to being traded, released, or put on the physically unable to perform list.

One older player at 29 who’s possibly carved out a position on the 53-man roster is Carl Davis. He’s a bit of a journeyman but he’s receiving solid reviews for his play in the pre-season.

New England is his fifth team but maybe he’s now found a home. Some believe he’s making a run at the 53-man roster. We’ll see on cutdown day.

Meanwhile, re-signed Lawrence Guy and Deatrich Wise Jr. are roster locks and not going anywhere. Neither are Pro Bowlers, but both are solid components of any defensive line.