The long wait is over and football is finally underway. Last season is in the rear view mirror and leave all controversies in the past, the story of the 2016 New England Patriots is just beginning.
Training camp always brings up a plethora of questions. Who are the sleeper picks to make rosters or get cut? What are the best battles? How good can this team really be? That last question is one that we take a deep look into this week on the Patriots Beat Podcast.
This week, host, Harris Rubenstein brought in Patsfans.com very own, Derek Havens to discuss what to look for during the preseason for the Patriots.
Havens and Rubenstein talked about the different battles we will see in camp. Havens stated how he disagreed with the way the Patriots went about the offensive line last year saying "I think they went a little bit too crazy with their offensive line combinations."
Havens goes on to say how he believes Bryan Stork will edge out David Andrews for the starting center role not only from his experience, but for his "Nastiness and toughness."
Another large point talked about in this weeks podcast is the impact that the defense will have especially during the four games that Tom Brady will miss due to suspension.
Havens discusses how the competition on the defensive line will be interesting and how Malcom Brown is a front runner for being a lock as a starter.
"Knighton could end up being the starter next to Malcom Brown." Havens then went on to show his confidence in Brown saying "Brown was very impressive as a rookie."
Lastly was who could make or break this defense and Havens thinks the secondary and more specifically the cornerback position can push this defense into the top five in the league. "This is the first time in a long time you can be really optimistic about that position without having a bona fide superstar."
Havens then pinpoints Malcolm Butler's success as truly making this unit a success. "If that happens, you'll see the benefits of this defense being a top five unit."