The New England Patriots look set at the safety position going into the 2013 season, and that seems like the first time in a while that we can make that claim. Devin McCourty moved to his natural S position last season, and he looked like an elite FS with excellent covering, great run defense, and solid ball skills. The Patriots addressed the safety spot opposite of McCourty by signing Adrian Wilson, who should be able to bounce back from a rough 2012 season. The long-time Arizona Cardinals star was one of the league’s best safeties in 2011, so there is reason to think that Wilson still has plenty more to prove. Behind both of those two starters are Tavon Wilson and Steve Gregory, so that’s a solid group of four. I am especially high on Tavon Wilons’s potential after a promising and very underrated rookie campaign.
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McCourty will certainly benefit from having a veteran, former star player starting next to him in the secondary. He told the Boston Herald, ”I’m going to love having (Wilson) here just because, since I’ve been here, we haven’t had that 10-year vet, or that guy who’s been a guy that’s played a long time and been productive. I think the closest thing we had like that was my rookie year, with guys like (Brandon) Meriweather, James Sanders and Leigh Bodden.”
I’ll ignore the fact that he added Brandon Meriweather in there as a veteran. But when you think about it, McCourty is still an extremely young player, and Meriweather truly was a veteran to D-Mac as a rookie. Plus, it’s a testament to just how incredibly young the Pats secondary has been. Wilson seems ancient compared to past players. James Sanders and Leigh Bodden were also veterans (Bodden was such a good player when he was actually healthy, I still miss him), but Wilson is a different caliber of a player. First off, Sanders was never good. Secondly, Bodden was never a star player like Wilson. Now, Devin McCourty and, more importantly, Tavon Wilson, get to be mentored by Adrian Wilson.
On a last note, here is what McCourty said about future second-year cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (another burgeoning talent in the secondary), ”He seems upbeat. He seems like he’s ready for whatever happens. I just told him if he needs anything, to let me know, hit me up.”
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