NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
The 2013 New England Patriots defensive line was one of adaptation.
It was one of many faces and many alignments. And it was one composed of 15 players, forged by attrition.
For the collection of former draft picks and undrafted free agents, waiver claims and veteran free agents, it was about being greater than the sum of their parts. For head coach Bill Belichick, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and position coach Patrick Graham, on the other hand, it was about being interchangeable.
From Week 1 through Week 17, the New England’s defensive line was just that. But its identity remained unknown. There was no true first-team. There was no true base defense.
Its contributors and alignments shifted with each opponent, with each snap. (more…)