Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are going to be riding the backs of their core defensive unit in 2020 more than ever.
In an offseason that has included the departure of the franchise’s overall leader in Tom Brady as well as the shocking return from retirement and immediate trading of Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots appear to be in an obvious offensive rebuilding period … or so we thought.
The Patriots have surprisingly gone defensive this offseason and during the 2020 NFL Draft — selecting three defensive players in a row — which is a bit surprising considering that most of the urgency resides on the offensive side of the ball in what was a historically deep draft class all around this year.
In addition to the offense losing Brady this offseason, offensive line genius Dante Scarnecchia retired in January, fullback James Develin recently retired after recovering from a neck injury, and there are currently five undrafted wide receivers added to the Patriots’ already aging position that is craving both talent and experience to accompany the next quarterback of the franchise.
As big of a hit as the offense has taken this offseason, the defense also needed to be retooled after the Patriots lost five key players and starters during free agency this year.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is not going to let the departure of Brady have a negative impact on his already stellar defense. He is showing a higher value in regards to retooling his defense rather than rebuilding his offense this season.
The moves that Belichick has collectively made this offseason have proved that he already believes the defense is going to carry the team with a young quarterback this year. In doing so, Belichick started the defensive retooling process by drafting three defensive players to open up the Patriots’ 2020 NFL Draft.
The drafting of defensive back Kyle Dugger, along with linebackers Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings, adds immediate depth to what was already a thinning defense from just a season ago with players who can make an immediate impact on the team. Belichick understands that it is important to have a strong defense … and that it is necessary to winning a Super Bowl.
Not including the rookie draft selections, New England is still going to deploy a veteran defense — unlike the offense that is more than likely going to be run by a young and inexperienced quarterback along with an aging wide receiver in Julian Edelman, two receivers who are returning from injuries in Mohamed Sanu and Marqise Lee, and five undrafted wide receivers.
The New England Patriots have pretty much neglected their offense this offseason in what was an alleged rebuilding year. Belichick, who has seen this story play out before, is a defensive-minded, master technician that is going to ride out the final years of this core defensive unit, and is going to be out to prove that defense alone is enough to win championships.