Patriots comfortable with pass rushers on roster

Posted April 30, 2011 @ 4:51 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

The Patriots finished last in the league in third-down defense in 2010. There was a revolving door at defensive end and none of the outside linebackers made a big impact getting after the quarterback. With the depth the team has on the offensive side of the football and in the secondary, it was pretty much a consensus that a pass-rushing end or outside ’backer would be high on the team's priority list. But clearly, Bill Belichick didn't view it that way. Or maybe this rookie class underwhelmed him, because the Patriots had opportunities, especially in the second round, to take a pass rusher. The way we hear it, the team still hopes '10 second-round OLB Jermaine Cunningham is the answer at rushing off the edge. Cunningham had one sack in 11 starts, but battled injuries in his rookie season. When asked about not upgrading the pass rush, Belichick responded, "We have some young players on our roster and I think that those players — in all various positions, not just at that specifically — but I think younger players will still continue to develop." The Patriots finally addressed the position in the sixth round, picking Markell Carter, a developmental prospect from Central Arkansas.

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