Posted on: May 5, 2009 1:02 pm

Defense Getting Old? I Don't Think So

The Argument that the Patriot's Defense is getting old is starting to get really old.  It's been said over and over again, oh the secondary is old, oh the linebackers are old.  The truth of the matter is this argument is outdated.  The Patriot's defense is no longer old.  In fact if anything it's young.  Let's take a look at the players on the defense.

We'll start with the defensive line, which, at least so far, I have yet to hear people accuse of being old.  Richard Seymour is 29, Ty Warren is 28, and Vince Wilfork is 27.  Obviously this is three guys in the prime of their careers.  The team has also taken a look at the future by bringing in Ron Brace in this year's draft.  Brace is 22.  That makes the Average age of the Starters on the Defensive Line 28.

At the Linebacker spot, the most commonly acused of being old, you have a little more of an argument.  Jerod Mayo is 23, Tedy Bruschi is 34, Adalius Thomas is 31, and let's say Pierre Woods is 27.  That makes the average age of the starters ~29.  I'll accept the argument that the starters are old, but keep in mind that Gary Guyton entering his second year will also see significant time in the middle, and the depth on the outside in terms of guys like Shawn Crable and Vince Redd is young. 

The secondary has also long been accused of being old, but no longer.  At Safety you have James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather, both 25.  At corner you will likely see Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden as the starters.  Bodden is 27 and Springs is 34.  The average here is actually the youngest of all at just a little under 28.  When you consider that the depth behind the starters is even younger, Patrick Chung, Darius Butler, Tyrone Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite are all young guys, you realize that the only part of this secondary that's old is Shawn Springs.

That makes the average age of the Patriots Defense 28, that's right around the average age of an NFL player, and that average is raised by 3 players. 

The fact is the Patriots have 3 starters on defense over 30.  One, Bruschi, will not be an every down player, Springs will get spelled by some of the younger guys and will not necessarily even be the opening day starter, and The one player who will be an every down player, Thomas, is the youngest of them all.  If you take out these three players then you see that the average age of the 8 remaining guys is 26.  In terms of depth, all the key depth players are either on the rise, or in their prime. 

Therefore, the Patriots' defense is not old.
Category: NFL
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