The Patriots continued their stellar offseason today, signing cornerback Brandon Browner to a three year, $17 million contract. This elevates New England’s secondary up to another level, and by the end of the season, they may be challenging Seattle’s group for the title of best secondary in football.
Browner is a big guy, as he stands at 6’4, and weighs 220 pounds. His biggest asset is his physicality, which is something the Patriots have desperately needed for quite some time. The Pats coverage hasn’t been great over the last couple of years, but if you have someone that will strike fear into an offense, you will be just fine. New England now not only has the coverage, but they have a guy that will strike legit fear into the opposition, which will cause receivers and quarterbacks alike to be petrified of going in Browner’s direction.
Browner can play both man coverage, and zone coverage, but importantly, his ability to blanket tight ends will really help out Bill Belichick’s defense. Opposing tight ends absolutely torched the Patriots last year, but having Browner in the defensive backfield should instantly cure these problems.
On paper, the Pats secondary looks downright terrifying. Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Logan Ryan, Alfonzo Dennard, Kyle Arrington, and Devin McCourty all are great players, and offenses facing this group will find it extremely tough to throw the football. We all know that Revis can lock down one side of the field by himself, which will force the quarterback to pick on either Browner, Dennard, Ryan, or Arrington. Any of those guys seem like weak links? Didn’t think so.
The defensive line needs work. This is a well known fact. But in terms of pure pass coverage, New England is now officially elite. Obviously we have to see how they perform on the field, but unless they all decide to morph into Terrence Wheatley, this group will be terrific in 2014.