The Patriots have a crucial game ahead of them. Should they play their veteran cornerbacks or their younger ones in week one?
The Patriots have re-tooled their defense during this off-season, and soon everyone will see if it pays off, or if they will regret it. A big loss the Patriots saw was J.C. Jackson, and to replace him New England drafted two rookies and signed veterans. Here are two drastically different sides on whether New England should give playing time to their rookies against the explosive Dolphin’s offense in week one.
What The Patriots Will Be Facing
Normally for a re-tooling team, playing young cornerbacks like Jack Jones and Marcus Jones would be the obvious answer. However, New England will be playing an elite receiving tandem, and this is a game that will likely determine playoff seeding later on. The Dolphins have improved their offense significantly, adding explosive receiver Tyreek Hill, as well as Cedrick Wilson. Along with Jaylen Waddle entering his second year, New England’s secondary has an enormous task ahead of them.
New England has had a tough time guarding fast receivers in the past, and this will be a great test for New England’s secondary. The Patriots have had trouble against the Dolphins over the last few seasons, and this year Miami has gotten even more talented.
Why The Patriots Should Give Playing Time To Their Young Cornerbacks
The Patriots have made a large effort to become a faster and younger team. Due to that, New England saw the departure of their star cornerback J.C. Jackson. They replaced him by drafting two cornerbacks: Jack Jones and Marcus Jones. Both have had good training camps, and provide the speed and agility New England needs. If those two are your future at cornerback, it would be beneficial to give them playing time and see how they match up.
The Patriots have had a lot of success drafting good defensive players, and it’s very possible both Marcus Jones and Jack Jones become good starters. The best way to develop young players is to give them an opportunity on the field. Having an idea of how the Patriots’ cornerbacks do against proven stars would be great heading into the future.
Why The Patriots Should Play Their Veterans
While this would be a good test for New England’s young cornerbacks, this is a crucial game for them. While starting Jalen Mills and Jonathan Jones has a lower ceiling, it has significantly higher upside. Bill Belichick historically hasn’t played rookies a lot, and it should continue here. The best approach New England could take is to sprinkle in playing time for their young cornerbacks against teams who have average to below average receiving cores.
Also, New England never tries to put a player in a bad situation, and one could view them going against the Dolphin’s starter as an undesirable situation. It might just be best to develop them and give them playing time against weaker teams, which is also a good way to build confidence.
New England should lean toward their veteran cornerbacks for week one. The Miami Dolphins have a very speedy offense with lots of talent, and it’s an important game. With the dynamic duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, a lot could go wrong for New England if they play their rookies in that game. It’s the safer and better option to go with the trusted veterans for the Patriots’ week one game against Miami.
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