BOSTON (CBS) – Former New England Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones Show on Tuesday night, talking about what the future holds for the Patriots and looking back at their AFC Championship loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
“I’m not sure, I think that’s up to Wes. The big question is what is he willing to be a Patriot for,” said McGinest. “If he wants to try the market, what’s his number? What does everyone else value him at? There was no secret that when Wes came to the Patriots he became one of the best receivers in the NFL, and Tom Bray was a big part of that. Wes has to ask himself, if he goes to another team will he have a quarterback like that?
“It was a good combo of quarterback, system and Wes as an individual. When you go somewhere else, you have to take those things into account,” McGinest added.
McGinest thinks the most glaring need for the Patriots though is on the defensive end.
“This is a young defense that is still starting to gel together. With Dont’a Hightower and Chandler Jones, they’re heading in the right direction. I think they need a dominant force at safety,” he said. “Getting (cornerback Aqib) Talib was a great move ; it gives you a shutdown corner in him. I think resigning him is a big move that needs to happen.”
Looking back to the AFC Championship loss to the Ravens, the Patriots defense was unable to do what made them so successful in the regular season: force turnovers.
“You have to create them; you have to jar that ball loose and create turnovers. You (have to) take that ball away and keep teams out of the end zone, which the Patriots were really good this regular season,” said McGinest. “But the thing that really hurt them was the passing yards. If you’re not creating those turnovers, when a team starts to throw the ball that means one of two things; they’re moving the sticks and they’re driving down the field. If you’re not stopping them, they’re scoring points.”
“When you lose there’s no excuses (on the Patriots),” he added. “You have to give the Ravens some credit for what they were able to do, score on offense and create turnovers on defense.”