New England Patriots Season Preview: Defensive Line


Shaun Ellis:
Ellis should be a great addition to the Patriots' roster. His addition hurts their divisional rival New York Jets as much as it helps the Patriots. Ellis will bring a lot of versatility to the defensive line because he has the ability to be disruptive in the passing game as well as shutting down the running game from various positions. Ellis can play both 3-4 defensive end and 4-3 defensive end which is vital to the team's new defensive identity.

Albert Haynesworth:
He may not have featured in the preseason yet but I doubt the Patriots are going to let Haynesworth go without seeing him on the field. Haynesworth, if motivated, will provide the perfect complement to Vince Wilfork with his penetration into the opposition backfield while Wilfork works to suck in blockers and shut down the running game.

Vince Wilfork:
Wilfork is the one certainty with the Patriots' defense as he will be the cornerstone of the 3-4 and a vital cog in the 4-3 defense. There is little that needs to be said about the big man except that he is big! Wilfork will command double teams and even treble teams at times as he remains in the center this year after spending some time on the edge last year.

Mark Anderson:
Anderson had a great rookie season but is yet to replicate that performance in his career. He had 12 sacks as a rookie with the Bears and last season had 4 sacks with the Houston Texans. The Patriots will be hoping the inside presence of Haynesworth and Wilfork will allow Anderson to take advantage of the double teams falling to the inside.

Andre Carter:
Carter is in a similar situation to Mark Anderson in that he needs to get into the opposition's backfield to have any value to the team. Carter has excelled in the past as a 4-3 defensive end but struggled recently when the Redskins moved to a 3-4 scheme. At 32 years of age he is a proven veteran and the Patriots will know what they get from him when he steps on the field.

Mike Wright:
Wright has been an impressive 3-4 end in the past two seasons racking up an impressive 10.5 sacks. He will be a situational player this year in all likelihood getting on the field in passing situations.

Brandon Deaderick:
Deaderick is a youngster who played more than the Patriots would have liked last season but should benefit from that this season. He will likely see less time in the rotation in this new amoeba defense but will be a valuable backup nonetheless.


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