The New England Patriots are a hot topic around the NFL once again entering 2021…what, you thought you’d gotten rid of us?
Not only do they have their first legitimate quarterback competition in decades, but their top defensive player, Stephon Gilmore, would seemingly welcome a trade before the regular season unless his contract is restructured or he signs a new extension.
Throw in the fact that wideout N’Keal Harry submitted a trade request via his agent, and the Patriots figure to provide endless content leading up to Week 1.
What more could fans want? Putting those three storylines aside, however, theres plenty of reasons for the Patriots faithful to feel optimistic heading into 2021. Their previously middling roster was reloaded and looks poised to compete with the upper-echelon teams again.
Don’t you just get the feeling that this is going to be a revenge tour for Bill Belichick after the longtime head coach finished with a losing record last campaign?
We’re certainly picking up on those vibes, and here are three reasons why you should, too.
3 reasons 2021 will be a Bill Belichick Revenge Tour for the Patriots.
3. Loaded Secondary
If we know anything about Belichick’s coaching blueprint, it’s that he cherishes having reliable options in the secondary. Assuming Gilmore and the front office reach a compromise over his contract, the Patriots are going to be stacked in the back end of their defense.
If the group stays healthy, it has best-in-the-league potential. That’ll hinge on Gilmore being dominant in coverage again after a lackluster 2020, but New England’s secondary depth behind the former Defensive Player of the Year is almost unfair.
The Patriots’ vaunted secondary could be the team’s identity in 2021.
Behind Gilmore, the Patriots have ball-hawking savant JC Jackson, who finished second in the league with nine interceptions last season. To put Jackson’s importance into perspective, his 11 takeaways in 2020 was the most of any player in the Belichick era.
The likes of Jonathan Jones, who’s quietly established himself as one of the best slot CBs in the league, and Jalen Mills, who came over in free agency and has the versatility to play cornerback and safety at a high level, only give New England more quality in the secondary.
And who could forget about Devin McCourty, Kyle Dugger, and Adrian Phillips holding down the fort at the safety position?
Don’t get it twisted, folks. If you put all of those talents together, you’re probably looking at the most talented group on the roster…and it might not be all that close.