New England Patriots: Matt Patricia starting over with defense in 2017
By Nick Ziegler
Despite being the defending Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots seem to have a theme of starting over in 2017.
In recent years, Super Bowl Champions have not had an easy time trying to repeat as champions. This will be something that the New England Patriots will try to end in 2017 with a repeat.
The Patriots are the last team that was able to accomplish pulling off a repeat and Tom Brady will be looking to lead the team to that same goal this season.
As many Super Bowl Champions before them, the Patriots are a different looking team in 2017 than they were in 2016. However, they are arguably better on paper in 2017 than they were in 2016.
Usually, a Super Bowl Champion gets hit hard in free agency. Players that just won championships tend to be overpaid by other teams and leave for big contracts. While some players did leave New England, the Patriots did a fantastic job replacing them.
On the defensive side of the ball especially, the Patriots have some new faces. Additions of players like Stephon Gilmore, Kony Ealy, and Lawrence Guy will result is the coaches having to make some changes to help find what helps the team. As one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL, Matt Patricia is certainly up to that challenge. Here’s what Patricia said to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com about the new year.
"“It’s a new year. It’s a new team, so we have a lot of new things. Everybody’s starting all over again. … We’ve all got to earn each other’s trust, and the only way you do it is to go out there and do it. There’s no shortcut to it.”"
Last season, the Patriots had one of the most underrated defenses in football. Possibly because of who they played, not too many respected the Patriots as one of the top defenses in the league like they should have.
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A lot of the credit for the success of the defense has to go to Patricia. He will be entering the season as a possible head coaching candidate in 2018, and another strong season for the Patriots defense will solidify that. Even though there are new faces, Patricia is certainly ready to lead this new defensive unit in 2017.