Kicking off schedule-release Wednesday with some bold predictions for the Pats in the draft. I also think they’ll take a tight end but I didn’t find that all that bold of a prediction.
Kicking off Monday with some lesser-mentioned prospects when it comes to the recent buzz surrounding the Pats.
Good question and I think the answers are somewhat visible given what the defense evolved to with Aqib Talib in 2012. To really get a sense of the shift we need to go back to the late 2000’s.
Here’s the Pats D vs. Colts 2009.
At the snap, the undersized corners (Wilhite and Bodden) will turn and run. The Pats have a third safety on the field to cover Dallas Clark.
Here’s the Pats D vs. Broncos in 2013 AFCCG.
Now the corners attempt to jam and disrupt the timing right at the line of scrimmage. You can just tell by the difference in the corners presnap stances that they’re playing a different technique now - they’re lower, ready for contact, whereas before they’re getting ready to turn and run.
So that, in essence, is really what it is all about. The late-2000’s Pats were content to play more zone coverage and to use what they perceived as athletic and smart corners who could pattern-read and jump routes.
Asante Samuel was the perfect example of that kind of corner.
Whether it was quarterbacks getting too good or the rules allowing no contact downfield (or a little of both), zone coverage became easier and easier to pick apart. There’s still a place for zone coverage, you have to mix-and-match, but to play mostly zone will result in giving up more passing yardage than anyone else (like they did from 2010-2013).
Now you must take your chance to be physical with the wide receivers when you can be - within five yards of the line of scrimmage. That disrupts the timing of the offense and buys that extra second for the pass rush.
That also doesn’t mean that just because you’re pressing you have to play man. The Seahawks will press and then drop their corners into cover three.
What Revis and Browner (and Dennard and Arrington and Ryan to other extents) allow the Pats to do is to win at the line of scrimmage.
If only we could stand Revis/Browner side-by-side to Samuel/Hobbs. That picture would be worth a thousand words.
Friday’s B/R piece is up, taking a look at my picks for the best and worst draftees of the last decade. Gronk and Hernando are off it because I feel like both lived up to the reasons they dropped. Good players, but issues have kept them off the field and from reaching their full potential.
And now here’s my piece from this morning, breaking down the best and worst case scenarios for the Pats. Little bit of a projection going on here, but one thing is for sure, the Pats have had far more success when they’ve taken a player at the bottom of the first round than when they’ve taken one at the top of the second.
Yes, we are full-speed ahead this week on the draft with the posting of the big board and now this article for B/R. Tune into our podcast today for even more discussion!
Kicking off the week with a recap of what the Pats have done and what’s still left to do this offseason.