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Breer On Gresh & Zo: Patriots Defense Close To Being Elite

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Cornerback Aqib Talib #31, free safety Devin McCourty #32, and defensive end Chandler Jones #95 of the New England Patriots celebrate a defensive play on November 24, 2013. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Cornerback Aqib Talib #31, free safety Devin McCourty #32, and defensive end Chandler Jones #95 of the New England Patriots celebrate a defensive play on November 24, 2013. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – With Andy Gresh out, Albert Breer of the NFL Network joined Scott Zolak Tuesday morning to help captain the ship.

The show began talking about the Patriots offseason, which naturally segued into a conversation about the team’s free agent priorities. Breer thinks the Patriots should have cornerback Aqib Talib at the top of their own free agent list because of one reason and one reason only.

“I think the Patriots are close to being elite on defense,” said Breer.

“Wow,” Zo interrupted. “People listening right now think you’re nuts.”

“I think the Patriots are close to being elite on defense, just look at the first five or six games from last year. They’re close. I don’t think they are far off provided they stay healthy. That’s why, to me, Aqib Talib is a much bigger priority than Julian Edelman.”

Whether it be Troy Brown, Wes Welker or Julian Edelman’s 2013 season, the Patriots under Bill Belichick have always been able to get production from the slot receiver position. It’s much harder to find a true shutdown corner, which is what Talib is when healthy.

“You can replace Edelman, I think it’s much harder to replace Talib. I think Talib is a priority and you’ll probably have to franchise him. I think the smart play is to tag Talib – you can’t let him leave the building.

“Edelman did a great job, no question about it. He was a very good player for them. But Talib is a much bigger priority and far harder to replace than Edelman is,” Breer reiterated.

Listen below for the full discussion:

MORE PATRIOTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON

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