Eric Mangini is the new coach of the Cleveland Browns. The NFC North rejoices, but now the Jets better prepare to be ratted on. Funny how Cleveland despises Belichick more than any other city hates him, yet their club has hired two of his former pupils to run the team.
Former Brown head coach, and former Patriot defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has made it clear he'd be willing to assume the coordinating duties for Cleveland. Why not try to convince him to take that job in New England?
Current Patriot DC Dean Pees has done an adequate job with minimal depth, ancient middle linebackers, and incessant injuries. But when Crennel was in Foxborough, the Patriot defense was fierce, something which it most certainly is not these days.
Statistically the Pats have a very good defense. But it consistently fails at delivering the big plays with the game on the line. The 2006 AFC Championship against the Colts. Last year's Super Bowl. The 3rd and 15 against the Jets in OT.
Earlier this decade, the Pats' defense made the big plays. In the 2001 AFC Championship against Pittsburgh. In Super Bowl XXXVI they contained Marshal Faulk. During the 21 game winning streak they won games 12-9, 9-6, 14-10. In 2003, the Pats beat Indy 38-34 thanks to a 4 down goal-line stand, punctuated by Willie McGinest's game ending tackle of Edgerrin James behind the line of scrimmage.
Maybe the personnel changes on the field are the main reason why the Patriots defense doesn't make the game-changing play anymore. No more Ty Law, Tyrone Poole, Willie McGinest, Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi got old.
But remember guys like Bobby Hamilton and Roman Phifer being playmakers? I do. The Pats defense was based on the idea that if every individual player just does their job, they put their teammates in position to make big plays. The Patriots don't do that anymore.
Maybe it's time for a change back to the way things were in Foxborough.