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
D’Angelo Ross #39 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots defensive backs

Depending on the outcome of the Stephon Gilmore drama, the corners will be either Gilmore and J.C. Jackson or Jackson and someone else. Either way, they will be solid.

Jackson is a Pro-Bowler waiting to happen. Frankly, he should have been selected last season with nine interceptions to his credit. Bill Belichick not signing him to an extension is nonsensical.

The other starting corner then could be free agent signing Jalen Mills, Jonathan Jones (if healthy), or emerge from a number of others.

These include Joejuan Williams, D’Angelo Ross (who had a pick against the New York Giants), Myles Bryant, and new player, Shaun Wade, acquired from the Ravens in a trade who’s very likely to be around.

Continuing with the wealth of riches theme, safety is also loaded. The Patriots are stacked at the position. Stalwart Devin McCourty is back for his 12th season anchoring the Patriots’ backline.

A surefire Patriots Hall-of-Famer, McCourty just keeps on keeping on at free safety. He’s as solid as Plymouth Rock for the New England Patriots.

The starting strong safety is likely Adrian Philips who has impressed, with last year’s rookie standout Kyle Dugger waiting in the wings along with several versatile safety/corner types.

In sum, the New England Patriots entire defense, at all three levels, is loaded with talent and quality depth, that key component of any contending team. So what does all this mean?

Next. 3 winners & 3 losers from preseason finale. dark

Who knows, but it certainly makes the upcoming season look really interesting. This club is loaded for bear, as they say.

The offense is much stronger than last season (and a trade for a top wide receiver could make them a super-squad). And, the defense is loaded at all three levels.

So barring a spate of monstrous injuries at thin positions, it says here that the playoffs and possibly more are in the offing. Look out AFC, as for the Patriots … they’re baaaacccckkkkk!