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5 Things New England Patriots Must Accomplish During OTAs

5 Things New England Patriots Must Accomplish During OTAs

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The New England Patriots made some changes during the offseason, and OTAs will help figure out which direction the team is going for the 2014 season. If they want to improve on the disappointing finish of last season, OTAs are the place to start. Whether its positional battles, implementing new game plans or getting the rookies and free agents acclimated to the Patriot Way, here are five things New England Patriot must accomplish during OTAs.

5. Find a Replacement for Kyle Arrington

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5. Find a Replacement for Kyle Arrington

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People who defend Arrington like to throw mountains of statistics around, but statistics are malleable. I prefer the “eye test” and all my eyes see every game is Arrington getting torched. Those seven interceptions in the 2011 season were a mirage, because since then he has exactly one INT and zero postseason INTs for his career. Every time he comes on the field, you know bad things are about to happen.

4. Fix the issue at Safety

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4. Fix the issue at Safety

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Outside of Devin McCourty, the Patriots haven’t been getting reliable play from the safety position. Tavon Wilson looks like a bust, free agent Adrian Wilson never played a down and Steve Gregory was a stopgap measure at best. They re-signed Patrick Chung, who they let go in 2013, so that doesn’t inspire confidence, and there has been talk of moving CB Logan Ryan to safety if Duran Harmon can’t fill the role.

3. Solve the Logjam at WR

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3. Solve the Logjam at WR

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The Patriots love competition and they have it at WR. With 13 currently on the roster, they need to figure out who is valuable and who is a waste of space. The only guarantee is Julian Edelman and after that it’s a slot receiver bonanza as Danny “Mr. IR” Amendola, Josh Boyce, Aaron Dobson and Brandon LaFell essentially all play the same position. This is not too much of a good thing; it’s simply too much.

2. Find Depth at TE

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2. Find Depth at TE

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The Patriots have nothing behind incumbent tight ends Michael Hoomanawanui and the injury plagued Rob Gronkowski. They need to find out what they have in rookies Asa Watson and Justin Jones as well as veteran D.J. Williams who played 15 snaps last season. The lack of depth has led to fullback James Develin spending time at TE during the OTAs, and they also reached out to former Packer Jermichael Finley.

1. Start Transforming the Defense

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1. Start Transforming the Defense

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There was a lot of talk after drafting Dominique Easley in the first round and signing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner the Patriots defense was going to be more aggressive. The defense didn’t rank in the top ten in any major category in 2013, so it would be a welcome change over the infuriating “bend but don’t break” strategy that ultimately loses playoff games.

Willis Patenaude is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google