Good read from Chris Price on the work some of the DBs put in this offseason in Arizona. I think it’s going to give me a headache trying to analyze and keep track how everything in the secondary plays out from game to game this year. Lots of mixing and matching I think.
Music to my ears. Such a big need for this team…
Well it certainly hasn’t been overlooked here. Despite a dip in his numbers I think 2013 was one of Brady’s most impressive years. They certainly had their struggles early in the year, especially against the Jets in Week Two and the loss to the Bengals.
But look at the chart below and I think it reiterates how potent this offense is no matter who their weapons are.
I’m skeptical about this. Maybe when tight ends are split out wide but I don’t think we’ll see Browner following a Jimmy Graham type all over the formation to cover him.
Why? Because I think Browner’s strength is clearly using his size to disrupt receivers at the line, but if they get by him he struggles chasing. This is compounded if he’s forced to cover someone inside the middle of the formation because he can’t use the sideline to his advantage.
What I’m more curious about is whether they use Browner against bigger receivers like Calvin Johnson or AJ Green this year instead of Revis (as many might expect). Browner would need over the top help but with Revis effectively eliminated any number two receiver on the other side giving a safety to Browner wouldn’t be detrimental.
As for tight ends, I think you’ll see a lot of Jamie Collins on them. Some Hightower too, especially to disrupt at the line. Or perhaps even Revis, though I don’t think the Pats play a team this year where the tight end is as crucial to the offense as Graham was to the Saints last year.
They’ve been at it for just about a week and you can tell tempers are growing short out there. We’re just eight days away from the first preseason game so we can expect to start seeing things take shape to get them ready to play.
Following up on the center competition, Dan Connolly (2011 center before moving to right guard) took most reps there today.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 30, 2014
Tommy Kelly took a ton of reps, including 11-on-11s near the end of practice. Not final round of drills though.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) July 30, 2014
Not a good practice for Thompkins. Not sure if early spat with Browner got to him or what, but Browner best him all day, INT vs. Brady throw— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) July 30, 2014
Jamie Collins, while covering Ridley, had a couple of pass breakups during 1v1s.— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) July 30, 2014
Brandon Browner is getting heated, just manhandling WRs in 1-on-1s (all would probably be penalties). Chad O’Shea let him have it.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) July 30, 2014
I don’t want to undersell Ridley or Vereen’s potential this season. I know I usually can’t write about them without mentioning their respective issues, but I don’t think it’s impossible that both turn in full seasons and finally find some consistency/health.
But it’s always good to have a third option and I think White will develop into a great threat to compliment the group. With Brandon Bolden falling behind already (according to a few reports his reps have diminished) it also opens the door for Stephen Houston. Roy Finch too.
And I’m with you on Woodhead. That’s one I’d like back and it doesn’t sound like the Pats had much interest in retaining him. I think the Pats just liked Vereen’s potential more.
Regardless of how it all plays out, the Pats have some intriguing options in the backfield. And next year Tyler Gaffney would be a fine potential Ridley replacement if he walks.
Will be very curious to see what the backfield looks like in 2015.
Mike D. note - Thanks to Cody Lachance (@HailtotheHoodie) for this report from training camp. His defensive report can be found here.
If there was one main takeaway from this weekend, it was that the Patriots look like they can really commit to a power running style offense where they can control the overall pace of game.
If Ridley can hold onto the ball and have some additional help from either White or Finch, the running back by committee technique could lead to the Patriots being one of the best running teams in the NFL.
The offensive line is big and physical and as we saw at the end of last year, they take pride in playing in an aggressive, running style of offense. This will only help preserve the health and efficiency of Tom Brady. By having Brady throw the ball around 30 times a game versus in the 45-50 range, opposing pass rushers won’t have as many chances at him as they have had in previous years. If the Patriots can commit to a run game early in games and make teams stack the box against Brady, he’ll be able to terrorize them in the passing game by picking apart one-on-one coverage to his top receivers like Edelman and Gronkowski.