If it’s one thing Patriots fans have been shouting at their radios, TV’s and computers while watching free agency coverage it’s “get some defense, Bill!” And finally Bill did just that. But not before he challenged the trust people had in his decisions.
Belicheck, who has been worshipped in New England for over ten years, finally was challenged by Patriots fans. As soon as word broke that Wes Welker left the Patriots for the AFC Power house Denver Broncos, the “in Bill we trust” mentality went out the window. All over the internet people were fuming. Saying things insinuating the arrogance of Belicheck and the “cheap minded” ways of owner Bob Kraft will ultimately be the demise of the successful New England Patriots. That was until they learned they had signed former St Louis Rams WR Danny Amendola. Once the Patriots announced Amendola was on the team there was a calm sigh of relief, almost as if Amendola would be a good replacement, which he might be if he stays on the field. But once the signing happened the “in Bill we trust” mentality was somewhat back, and people were just waiting for the defensive signings to pile up. And then the news came out that S Adrian Wilson (former Cardinal) and DE John Abraham (former Falcon) would be visiting with New England on Friday March, 15. This had fans feeling better, not great, but better. After all the Patriots offense is strong, not as strong as it was Monday, but still strong. The defense however is clearly lacking a decent pass rusher and the secondary needs a lot of help, especially after Patrick Chung signed with the Eagles. So when there was some possible light at the end of the tunnel Patriots fans were almost back in love with Bellicheck. Then more news came out that another big name was visiting New England, Dwight Freeney. The long time Colt was said to visit with New England on Friday as well, which was particularly exciting for Patriots fans. Freeney could be the veteran presence and pass rusher the Patriots defense needs, that is if he signs with them.
But unfortunately all good things come to an end. After all of these visits the only one who got a deal with the Patriots was Adrian Wilson, who signed a three year deal with New England Friday evening. Don’t get me wrong having a veteran in the secondary isn’t a bad thing, but it is New England, and really the fans are never satisfied. Seeing as Abraham and Freeney both left New England with no deals in hand, Patriots fans still thought they need more defense, and they were right to think so. The next day another defensive signing was announced. LB Niko Koutovides (former Seahawk) signed a one year deal with New England, which is helpful, but not exactly they “fire power” Pats fans were hoping for. Then more faith was restored as the Patriots announced they had re-signed CB Aqib Talib to a one year deal. Talib really seemed to beef up the defense in New England when they traded for him in the middle of the 2012 season. Providing that Talib stays healthy, he could be the boost the secondary needs. But here we are, Monday after the weekend, and neither Abraham nor Freeney signed a deal, not yet anyways. So what does this mean? Well nothing yet, they are still available, and so are others. Including Elvis Dumerville who was released Friday by Denver after a contract snag caused him to be a free agent. But if I know anything about the New England Patriot it’s they won’t pay a Dumerville type what he asks for, and so before the fans in New England get too excited just know that you’re more likely a Freeney or Abraham than Dumerville. No matter what happens the Patriots need a decent pass rush to really get the defense going in the right direction. But with New England you really never know what they are thinking. So if they don’t sign a big name pass rusher in the next few weeks then wait for the draft, something tells me there will be some big moves then.