Patriots rebuilding run defense ‘paramount’ to season hopes, veterans say

It’s no secret the Patriots went to great pains to improve their run defense, bringing in a host of free agents, along with the return of Dont’a Hightower.

Devin McCourty, however, cautioned all the names and money spent mean nothing. The Patriots need to do more, than just show up, to avoid some of the embarrassing performances they had trying to stop the run last year.

“I’m sure you can imagine we had some not so pleasant meetings last year after some of those games. Obviously, it’s been a big emphasis,” said the Patriots defensive captain. “You saw today we have to keep getting better at that. It’s one thing to walk through and step through some fits. But we’re going up against a good offensive line and some good running backs. That’s something we have to work on each day.

“We can’t come in here and be like ‘oh man we have Hightower back. We got Judon here.’ That means absolutely nothing. ‘We got Godchaux,”’ he said. “We’ve got to build and figure out where guys are going to be and how we’re going to build in certain situations. That started today, but it’s something we have to build upon.

Defensive lineman Deatrich Wise agreed.

“It’s paramount this year to get back to where we used to be and take every day one practice at a time and get better and work on the small things and improve day…

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