Ex-Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, how a football analyst for NBC, is encouraged by what he saw in the Patriots defense in Monday night's win over Miami.
Specifically, he's delighted to see a change in philosophy.
"In '03 and '04, when we had most of our success, we were an attacking-style defense with Romeo Crennel as our coordinator," Harrison told Tom E. Curran on Thursday night's edition of 'Quick Slants'. "We played a lot of man-to-man coverage, we locked our corners up on the outside, and we would blitz linebackers, safeties. We had a lot of communication, a lot of disguise.
"Then all of a sudden they started getting away from that. They became a very conservative defense. And that bothered me, because I felt like it was more of a . . . 'bend but don't break' mentality.
"Now I feel like they have an opportunity to come out here and establish themselves. They got big guys up front, they have a very athletic secondary . . . and I was really proud Monday night just seeing these guys blitzing, moving around . . . things that we used to do that made us successful."
Harrison also understood former teammate Tedy Bruschi's blast at Chad Ochocinco for saying he was in "awe" of the Patriots offense.
"I got a chance to talk to Tedy . . . and he asked me . . . 'Were you ever in awe of what we did as a Patriot?' And . . . I wasn't in awe, because you're so . . . wrapped up in working hard, preparing, all the necessary things you have to do to make the team better," said Harrison.
"So you never had time to tweet. You never had time to do anything . . . but study football . . .
"I think it comes down to a certain attitude and a certain mentality. And Tedy, he's an old-school guy. He's very smart, he's always prepared, one of the hardest-working guys that I've ever played with. So you can understand why Tedy was so upset, along with other guys."