For the first time since the 2011 NFL season, the New England Patriots will have a defensive coordinator other than Matt Patricia.
Patricia parted ways with the Patriots over the offseason in order to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions. New England head coach Bill Belichick will call the plays for his defense in the upcoming campaign, but linebackers coach Brian Flores also is expected to be a key piece of the operation.
While the Pats will miss Patricia’s sharp defensive mind, Willie McGinest believes his former team won’t skip a beat on defense in the 2018 season. During a recent appearance on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access,” McGinest explained what he expects from New England’s defensive unit.
Bolstering the defense became a glaring need after the Patriots were torched by the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. New England beefed up its front seven in the offseason with the acquisitions of Adrian Clayborn and Danny Shelton and also added to the secondary by trading for Jason McCourty. Not to mention, Dont’a Hightower will be back from injury, as will 2017 third-round pick Derek Rivers, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL.
New England certainly has the personnel to be a strong defense. Now, it’s just a matter of executing.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports
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