When the Patriots traded for Aqib Talib, they may have done more than just solidify their cornerback position for the rest of the season.
They feel the move also helps them at safety. Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe reports that the team plans to keep Devin McCourty at safety for the rest of the season after he moved back to cornerback to help the team deal with their ineffective play at the position in the first half.
That plan is in place even though Steve Gregory and Patrick Chung are both expected back from injury in the near future. Young believes the best safety combo for the Patriots is McCourty at free safety and Chung at strong safety, an alignment that is much easier to employ with Talib installed at one of the corners. Talib returned an interception for a touchdown against the Colts, as did rookie Alfonzo Dennard, as part of a defensive performance that was much better than what we saw from the Patriots earlier in the season.
Once healthy, the Patriots should also have a lot of options when it comes to deploying players in the secondary. They can employ multiple corners or multiple safeties against opposing passing games without the sense of just throwing players out there in hopes that it will all work out somehow.