FOXBORO -- Questioning the strength of New England's secondary isn't going to stop until the group's play makes it stop. And every single member of the unit is aware of that fact.
On Thursday, Patrick Chung said they have their own way of dealing with doubters.
"We dont pay attention to that. We havent even played a game yet, so well find out. Were just going to play ball, play to the best of our abilities and then well see what happens after that.
The 'Us against the world' mentality that was born from 2011's struggles is still alive and well. But the Patriots secondary isn't trying to survive on attitude alone.
Objectives have been outlined.
Consistency is number one. You have to be able to make plays consistently, like boom, boom, boom, boom. It cant be good play, bad play, good play, bad play. Being consistent is number one on the back end, because if you mess up on the back end its a touchdown. So we have to be on the same page and everybody has to know what theyre doing so those plays never happen."
Having an entire offseason to work against Tom Brady should help. Today, the secondary finally seemed to get the better of him, forcing multiple interceptions and bad decisions. The defensive backs' triumphant whoops rang out over the practice field.
Going against him will definitely make you better -- hands down. You guys know it. Everybody knows it," said Chung. "We just have to keep stringing good practices along. Just keep stringing them along and keep getting better. Brady is going to make us better. Our offense will make us better.
This season Chung is in a position to evolve his leadership role. His four years in New England's system are one of the longest tenures in the Patriots secondary.
No, that's not a lot of time. But there are seven brand new backs -- from Tavon Wilson to 12-year NFL veteran Will Allen -- who could use guidance in a different defense.Wilson said Chung has so far given great support. Help is coming from all angles, in fact.I feel like all of them have pretty much helped me out a lot with adjusting out here," he said. "Theyve just been giving me a lot of tips about how to go about my day and how to adjust to this new lifestyle. You know Ive just been taking it all in and being a sponge to those guys. Im just very grateful for those guys helping me out.Propping each other up has never been a problem. But whether they want to hear it or not, New England's secondary hasn't been able to translate their positive thinking into a potent defensive weapon.