Much of the offseason and preseason chatter surrounding the New England Patriots has been fixated on their subtractions.

Rob Gronkowski’s retirement headlined the list of personnel losses for the Patriots over the past few months, both on the roster and coaching staff. But New England also made a handful of noteworthy additions, ones that Damien Woody believes will help make for a successful 2019 season in Foxboro.

Woody is particularly intrigued by the work the Patriots did to their defense over the course of the offseason. The unit already was poised to be strong, but Woody thinks some of the new pieces could help take New England’s defense over the top. Combining that with a Tom Brady-led offense, Woody is expecting big things from the Patriots in the upcoming campaign.

“I hate to break it to a lot of people, but I think the Patriots are going to be better than they were last year,” Woody said Thursday on ESPN’s “First Take.” “Yes, they’re going to be better than they were last year and the reason I say that is on the defensive side of the football. You heard Tom Brady say it yesterday post-practice how much of a struggle it is to go against that defense. Look, to me, they have the best secondary in the league. Their linebackers are elite. They added Michael Bennett up front to provide that interior pass rush all across the board. They drafted Chase Winovich from the University of Michigan. So, the pieces for this Patriots defense is there. Combine that with the team that’s the most adept at adjusting its scheme from week to week, year to year better than any other organization — this Patriots dynasty isn’t going anywhere.”

New England is poised to be one of the most physical teams in the league as the new season nears. In addition to its fully loaded defense, the Patriots also arguably own the NFL’s deepest running back depth chart. If they elect for a ground-and-pound style of a play, it likely will be tough for the opposition to stay the course.

The Patriots dynasty was kickstarted by a capable offense that had the backing of a vaunted defense. Nearly two decades later, it could all come full circle in New England.

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