The New England Patriots should be significantly better at the safety position this year with Devin McCourty set for a full year at free safety, Adrian Wilson slotting in as the strong safety, and Duron Harmon set to provide some more depth at the position. But not everybody is sold on Wilson, and you can count Ben Volin among the people who believe that Wilson just might on the roster bubble. I believe that Wilson’s job is safe right now, and below is a quote from Bill Belichick from yesterday’s press conference on how Adrian Wilson has adjusted to the Patriots.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
“Good. I think he’s adapted well. He’s a smart guy, he has a lot of experience, very professional. Really an intense player, his focus is on his job. His preparation, his work ethic, all is very, very professional. ”
Everything about Adrian Wilson screams “professional”, and I can tell that he is a well-thought individual who keeps his body in top form. Based on quotes I’ve read from guys like Brandon Spikes, the team looks at him with a whole lot of respect, and he’s definitely earned it with the career he’s had thus far.
Bill Belichick also shared some thoughts on starting SAM linebacker Dont’a Hightower, “Good, real good. He had a good spring; he’s had a real good camp. Versatile player; he’s a smart guy, I think he had good understanding of what we did last year but it’s certainly better this year. He has a lot more experience. We’ve asked him to do more; he has more responsibilities and he handles those with very few errors. Dependable player that’s adjustable and has a lot of versatility; big guy that can run and do a lot of different things for us.”
Every article I have read about Dont’a Hightower and every quote I’ve seen from Belichick seems to indicate that Hightower is in for a massive role in the Patriots defense, and the Pats are really expecting big things out of both 2012 first-round picks on defense. Hightower has been called a jack-of-all trades but a master of none, and it will be interesting to see if he can shed that label with some big-time run defense. Will we see more blitzes out of him? Progress in coverage? Hightower is one of the more intriguing players on the roster looking at a potential jump in year two, and it seems like he is a bit under the radar.