Interesting read for the X and O gurus out there…
Not really a Patriots-centric article but an interesting read for those like me who love Xs and Os and the ever-evolving nature of football schematics.
In case you missed the Nick Saban video from yesterday here’s a transcript describing what make good “star” and “money” defensive backs. Star is your traditional nickel or slot corner, Money is your traditional dime back or sixth defensive back. Looks this year like Tavon Wilson could be the Pats Money back.
“You can be a really good star and not have the long-speed to be a good corner — long-speed being that if a guy runs a take off on you, you have to run and not get out run when the ball is in the air,” Saban said. “If you have really good quickness and cover ability, the slot guy has a hard time beating you in that position because he’s closer to the safeties, he’s closer to the middle of the field. So, a good tackler, a good blitzer, a good cover guy on a slot player, which is different than a good cover guy on an outside player.
“The money guy has got to have some linebacker characteristics, in terms of the run. It helps that the guy’s a little bit bigger and physical because sometimes he has to cover a tight end, which is a bigger guy. But he also, unless you change personnel, has to be good enough to do the same things that the star does.”
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Patriots defense can build on Jets win
The Patriots defense has been killed both on the field and off it for the better part of the last two seasons. The process of re-building the post-dynasty defense has been an up and most down one.
But Sunday against the Jets the Patriots young defense finally showed signs that they are able to hear what Belichick is telling them. They’ve always had the athletic talent, but the process of building a synergy can take time.
Was it perfect? Of course not, they still gave up two 20-plus yarders and two long sustained touchdown drives.
But it’s hard to argue with these numbers:
- 3 for 11 on 3rd Downs= 27% (excellent)
- 7 of 11 Jets possessions= Three and Outs
Now the Jets offensive struggles are well noted, but let’s not forget the various “bad” offenses we’ve seen torch the Pats lately… Matt Flynn, Colt McCoy and well, Mark Sanchez. The Patriots defense played solid fundamental football, applied good pressure, and were able to shut down the Jets ground game.
This was a positive step for this defense and should be a message to the rest of the NFL that this isn’t going to be one of the worst statistical defenses for very much longer.
I have to admit I was worried about Gronk without a veteran TE presence but so far this year he’s been nails. Really impressed with his ability to bring it blocking and receiving equally. Just an impressive all around tight end who can do it all and do it all well.
Turns out Gronkowski was so ill before Sunday’s game against the Jets that he didn’t take part in pregame warmups. Yet when it was time to take the field for the game, Gronkowski was there.