With Patriots mimi-camp in the books, we got out first look at the 2012-13 Patriots. That said, there is much work to be done if the Patriots want to return to the Super Bowl.
PFW's Andy Hart has three real concerns for the Patriots going into the season:
1. Devin McCourty and the Patriots secondary
"McCourty was the difference last year, he fell of the map. Not only wasn't he a Pro Bowl corner, he wasn't competitive. He wasn't good. I think if he wan't a team captain, a first round pick he wouldn't have been on the field late in the year. What's he going to be in Year 3? I don't want to be Mr. Doom and Gloom, but in training camp so far I've seen him get beat deep by Brandon Lloyd, I've seen him struggling to make plays in the end zone."
2. Pass rush
"Where does it come from? People forget it was a bad defense last year with two guys who had ten sacks both those guys right now aren't on the team. There's a lot of excitement, Chandler Jones, Jake Bequette, all these guys, but are you going to get a Pro Bowl player out of that? Because Andre Carter was a Pro Bowl player last year who still may be back when he's healthy. He's still healthy and I still think there's a good chance he plays for them, but is that only midseason?"
3. Offensive tackle
"The only thing that can keep this offense from being the best in the NFL in my opinion with Lloyd and with the tight ends, is the tackle situation. And that's a question mark right now. Matt Light had a phenomenal year, he was sort of the patchwork to get to Solder. They drafted him to be the left tackle. He's going to get the shot this year. But is he going to be great? Is he going to keep Tom Brady clean? And on the other side I think there's a major concern because Vollmer had the back surgery in college, now this is two years in a row the back is still an issue."