Just like that, due to big-time trades and untimely retirements, the Patriots defense lost its veteran luster. Despite these key losses to the defense, head coach Bill Belichick doesn’t appear fazed by the new-look group that now features second-year linebacker Jerod Mayo as one of its captains.
“Our defense has been very competitive in training camp and in preseason games,” Belichick told NESN’s Kathryn Tappen. “I think that we have some younger players, some newer players and also some veteran players and that’s a good mix.
“They’ve worked hard and I think we have some versatility on our group that we could use [to do] some different things both on the front and in coverage. We’ll work hard and try improving on that. We’ll see some very challenging offenses starting this week.”
The Patriots will put their young defense to the test on Monday when they take on AFC East foe Buffalo at Gillette Stadium.
“We’ll get tested right off the bat,” Belichick continued, “but I like the way our players go about the challenges that we put to them and their preparation and the competitive way they play. And I hope that will continue to improve.”
Below is the second installment of Kathryn Tappen’s exclusive interview with Belichick, which aired on NESN’s SportsDesk on Thursday, Sept. 10. The first installment was aired on Sept. 9.