One of the driving forces behind this blog was my realization in 2008 that Bill Belichick was going to have a chance to construct another whole defense from scratch. Few Coach/GMs have the kind of longevity to attempt this kind of thing, and as old stalwarts like Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison and Mike Vrabel faded from New England, it was up to Belichick to build another defense that could help win Tom Brady another Super Bowl or three in the second half of his career.
2007 was the Dynasty Defense’s last hurrah. In 2008, they were old and slow and by the 2009 offseason Belichick went into full “blow it up” mode. Richard Seymour was traded, Bruschi and Harrison retired, Vrabel was shipped to Kansas City. Surprisingly the 2009 defense was actually still pretty good statistically — 12th on third down, 6th in PPG, 14th overall in DVOA. But with Ray Rice‘s first-play 83-yard touchdown run in the 2009 AFCWC which kickstarted a thorough Raven domination, it was clear the Pats still had a ways to go.