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Around The AFC East: New England Patriots

We'll wrap up this week's ATAFCE with the Patriots.  To do so, we welcome in "MaPatsFan" from Pats Pulpit.

Matty I: What was the fan reaction in New England over Jason Taylor's return to Miami?  And what do the Patriots plan to do now at outside linebacker to replace Mike Vrabel?

MaPatsFan: From a purely football business perspective, I wasn't happy JT went to Miami.  It means we have to again face him twice a year; Matt Light (in charge of protecting Brady's blind side) is not a happy man.  Taylor's been a beast against us in the past which is one of two reasons I believe Belichick went after him: a) Hoodie respects him as a player and b) take him away from a division rival.  Plus, he'd look so good in red, white, blue, and silver. ;-)

From a purely humanistic perspective, I wasn't disappointed he went back home.  If Mike Vrabel were to become available in the next few years, I couldn't see him ending his career in any other place but New England.  It's only fair I apply the same logic to Jason Taylor.  He belongs in Miami and he deserves to end his career there.

Speaking of Mike Vrabel, OLB Adalius Thomas displayed some decent pass rushing capabilities last year, when he wasn't injured that is.  We're still not where I'd like to see us which is why New England is in talks with Oakland for DE Derek Burgess.  Burgess could easily transition to an OLB in our 3-4 and turn into that pass rusher we've been lacking for so long.  I'm a huge fan of "forget the edges, go after the QB".  Generate pressure and the QB doesn't have time to make good decisions.

My Take: There's no denying that Jason Taylor has been a monster throughout his career against the Patriots.  I'd bet Tom Brady - coming off of a serious knee injury - isn't a big fan of Taylor's return to Miami, either.  As far as the Pats are concerned, these recent Derek Burgess rumors are interesting.  I think Burgess could certainly transition to a 3-4 pass-rushing OLB - which is why I'm hoping these talks fall through.

Be sure to head over to Pats Pulpit to see my response to MaPatsFan's question about - what else - Jason Taylor (including a guarantee I made about JT in 2009).