Patriots 2019 

Training Camp. 

Pats Vs Detroit. 

Review: 

1st Quarter. 

By TOM

Wise, Shelton, and Butler started on the DL. Collins, Elandon Roberts, Ja’Whaun Bentley and John Simon started at LB. “We all hold each other accountable,” JC Jackson said. “Like I said, you’ve just got to come out here and compete. Each day you’ve got to grind it out, make plays, improve every day.” At DB: #27 JC Jackson, #33 Joejuan Williams, Harmon and Terrence Brooks #25 started in the secondary. Belichick clearly wanted to look at some young guys in this game.  

1st and 10, Pats went into a 4-2 Nickel that looked like a 3-4 Nickel with both Simon and Wise standing up. #55 Simon slashed inside, as Shelton pancaked the OLG and the OLT trying to block Simon, he tripped on him as well. So Simon reached the RB behind the line to get the first tackle of the Preseason.

2nd and 10, the Pats D went into the 3-4 they had been hinting at all season. With Patriots ex-ILB Jerod Mayo calling the defensive plays, it made a lot of sense. Collins #8 burst into the backfield and took on the FB and grabbed the RB’s shirt and slowed him down. Then Bentley and Williams made the tackle.

3rd and 9, the Pats crowded the line with five guys, four up and only one down. Butler and Collins got knocked down to the right. Bentley essentially stunted inside the pileup. But it took too long. Dawson and Harmon ran into each other to give up the First to the WR.

1st and 10, Shelton fought his way to the QB and took him down. He had a little hand fight, got leverage, and drove the OL back into the QB. The QB tried to duck under Shelton, but he wasn’t having it.

2nd and 14, Pats go 2-4 Nickel with four guys standing up. We are going to see a lot of stand up rushers this season as they appear to be moving back to a 3-4 again, with all their depth at linebacker. You could see they were already working towards that goal in the Preseason.

The Lions ran outside, and Terrence Brooks slowed the RB down but couldn’t bring him down. JC Jackson flashed over and took him down. “I mean, each year, you’ve still got to work your ass off and try to make the roster,” Jackson said. “No matter what I did last year, it’s about what I do this year.” There was a hold on the Offense. Sheldon drew the flag for his second great play of the game.

2nd and 24, Pats lined up in a 2-4 Nickel. They get pressure up the gut. Savage was able to throw short, but it was in the dirt and incomplete. 3rd and 24, Three guys crowded the line and the Pats brought five.

Shelton, Simon, Wise and Rivers got pressure pushing the OLs back to the QB. Savage took a swipe and had to take off. But it was just too far for him to get the first. #14 Barrios had some trouble holding onto punts in practice, but he held on here and got a solid eight on the return.

1st and 10, Brady will not march out for the first time this season. Hoyer was in at QB, with Dan Skipper at OLT. They don’t want to put Brady out behind Skipper. The Lions lined up in a 3-4 and Skipper got under the 5-Tech and shoved him to keep him out of the play.

St Louis was in at ORT (I wrote him up as an URFA in my 2019 AFC East Draft Review). His best asset is his quickness off the snap. Great initial burst backwards in pass pro. It looks like he almost hops backwards off the snap. He got inside the 5-tech and turned to seal him instantly. but struggled to hold the block, which is the fatal flaw he has to fix. Bolden had a hole up the middle, but the ex-Patriot Tavon Wilson swooped in from the outside to hit him behind the line.

2nd and 9, the Pats went 3-Wide Shotgun. Skipper got a chip from the RB and closed the rusher out. St. Louis showed his suddenness off the snap again and beat Eric Lee to the corner. It was a screen to the blindside. Bolden jumped around like a lunatic and ran for the 1st.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in an I. Skipper got into the OLB quick and won. St. Louis had a little more trouble. He got knocked back a little by the 5-tech and Bolden ran into him (St Louis not the 5-tech;). So Bolden was able to bounce it outside, and he spun for the 1st as a flag was unfurled in the area that usually indicates Holding.

1st and 18, they run Bolden again. Skipper won in the run game again. He drove blocked the 5-Tech 5-yards back. Tyree St. Louis blocked the 5-tech at the point, but he got to the RB.

2nd and 16, St. Louis showed his great burst back off the snap, almost too quick. He gave up the inside a little, but the OLB tried to run the arc and was stoned. Skipper got his hands on the D-end and gave him a headbutt. The D-end got upfield and when the D-end tried to turn inside, Skipper drove him past Hoyer.

Froholdt did a great job anchoring on the DT Caraun Reid. Hoyer completed it to Dorsett short on a Hitch. He got open in pattern short and tried to run for the 1st but three DBs were there to stop him.

3rd and 5, Skipper did a great job pushing the DT inside to Froholdt. Then picked up the OLB blitzing his edge and stoned him. St Louis made it look easy against Lee again. He does  a great job keeping his hands high and tight and moving his feet to get into position to use his hands.

The pass was incomplete to force the punt. Hoyer threw to Jakobi Meyer, who I wrote up in my 2019 AFC East Draft Review was the best URFA the Pats picked up and said he could be a starter as the 3rd WR on opening day in my Pats-Lions Preview, but the DB got in front of him and slapped the ball down to force the punt.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a straight up 3-4. Adam Butler was in at 5-tech, who I wrote in my Preview Part III, that he had been lining up at 5-Tech and not DT in training Camp, like the Pats were going to be shifting to more of a 3-4 Defense. They were all out 3-4 against Detroit Thursday night. 

They had five guys on the line. Two up, three down. Simon was back in at OLB with Jamie Collins on the blind side. Jesse James took off and didn’t block at all on the play action. The Pats DBs on his side all fell for the play action. The QB hit James for an easy First.

1st and 10, the Pats D stayed in the 3-4, as Detroit stayed big. The front five did a great job clogging the line. Roberts shot the gap right at the RB and forced the RB to bounce it outside. Joejuan Williams set the edge and took him down for his 2nd tackle of the game. He is a huge Corner who can really move on the field.

2nd and 7, they stayed in the 3-4 I predicted before the game. Collins blitzed off the edge and got past the OLT. He slowed a little like he was going to set the edge and dipped under him to sack the QB. He was such an underrated pick up this off season.

He just ran past the OLT and dipped to the QB for the easy looking Sack. “Jamie has been great. As you know, he’s very athletic physical player,” BB said on WEEI. “A talented player who can do a lot of different things. He’s always done a good job for us and I think he’s going to help us. [I] think he’s had a good camp and we expect him to have a good year.”  It was almost sad for the OLT.

2nd and 15, the Pats scrambled around with five guys on the line and seven DBs. Bentley blitzed and got to the QB to get the sack. This front seven is looking phenomenal. Bentley lined up, really in the 3-Gap. He slapped the ORG’s arms down and burst past his outside shoulder. The ORT tried to grab him up, but only pushed him inside to the QB.

Great use of technique, finesse, and power. “Ja’Whaun’s a very hard-working kid and he does spend a lot of extra time [working and studying]. He has a lot of other responsibilities at that position, from: pass rushing to pass coverage, playing the run, defending play-action passes and so forth,” BB said. “He’s got good instincts. And he’s been a productive player in the opportunities that he gets the chance [to make].” Very impressive to force the punt.

Barrios actually had a good return. His first since he left Miami. “I think his improvement has come from his training, understanding the offense, and timing work with the quarterbacks,” BB said about Barrios. “Those are things that he didn’t have as much of an opportunity to do last year, especially early in the season, in training camp, and then later on he was able to train more. ” He got the sideline and scooted forward for about 15 more yards.

1st and 10, the Pats went Singleback. Nice play action by Hoyer and Bolton. Skipper was excellent on the D-end. He stoned him good. St. Louis made it look easy as he blocked the 5-Tech. Froholdt slid over from OLG to get outside of St. Louis and pick up Eric Lee outside of Tyree.

Hoyer threw an easy pass in a perfectly clean pocket to LaCosse running down the seam. He leaped up between two defenders and snagged it effortlessly. Great grab. 

But he still looks like a one or two catch a game TE to me. But maybe we’re so unimpressed with him because we are so used to watching the best ever. With experience he could be good enough to be the guy they can use to run down the seam and help keep the Safeties inside.

1st and 10, they ran Bolden for naught. They ran a zone blocking run and when Bolden cut back he got hammered.

2nd and 10, the Pats went 3-Wide Weak Shotgun. Hoyer set the offense. St. Louis looked great with his explosive initial burst back. Skipper slid backwards with the DE behind Hoyer, who had his pass slapped down by the DT James Ferentz was blocking.

3rd and 10, they lined up in a 4-wide Trips-right weak-shotgun, Harry ran a great physical pattern. He blasted off the line and he just stopped as the DB tried to rip his jersey off. But Harry was too strong and shrugged him off. He turned back and then leaped to the opposite shoulder. He caught it easy, for the much more difficult catch than it looked First.

The Pats ran from the 12, but the blocking wasn’t there in the run game. 2nd and 12, St. Louis and Skipper made it look easy on the Edge. Hoyer had time. Maurice Harris was in the Slot. He won right off the line on the release, and he was past the defenseless DB. The safety was pulling down his shirt as he tried to look back. Hoyer threw it right over the Safeties helmet for the easy looking TD. Pats-7.

If Harry can’t stay healthy this season you could see a lot of Brady throwing to Maurice Harris, Jakobi Meyers, and Inman this season.

Detroit lined up on 1st down in a Singleback. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 with the D-line shifted to the Blind side and the LBs shifted to the Strongside. The QB handed off to the RB on a Dive. Rivers, Dawson and Melifonwu (who quietly had a good game) all got in on the tackle.

2nd and 6, Detroit went I. The Pats matched up in the 3-4. The blocking was great. The Pats sent six guys and got no pressure. Savage had time to throw deep to some guy named Andy Jones. However, JC Jackson blanketed him outside and there was really no room to throw into. 

The QB tried to go downfield to his WR, but Jackson had perfect position going down the sideline. “Just a steady grinder. One day at a time, just trying to get better,” BB said about JC. “If he makes mistakes, (he’ll) try to correct it. He works at it. Usually shows some improvement in that area. [Then] go on to something else. But his durability. His consistency. And just being out there every day: practicing, doing things, getting corrected, getting better, working on them the next day. I mean, that’s really how you improve.” He read the WRs hands and turned and knock it down.

Jackson is looking like he is going to be excellent this season. “Coming here,” Jackson said. “No matter where you come from, no matter what school you went to, no matter what round you went in the draft, you’ve just got to come here and work. That’s what the coaches are looking for.” That is why the Pats got so many interesting URFA this off season (and because they give guys chances every off season).

3rd and 6, Detroit went 4-Wide Shotgun. The Pats matched up in a meandering Nickel. With the three corners all in press, there were nine guys on the line and two deep safeties. They sent all six non-DBs in the rush.

Detroit had to go short. The QB dumped it off to the Slot WR Brandon Powel. Brooks took him down fast. To force the punt. The Pats defense has been great. But the Lions didn’t play Stafford, like the Pats didn’t play Brady. Barrios had another great return. He caught it at the 20 and got it to the 40. He looked better than he has in practice before this game.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a tight I. They ran a dive. Both Skipper and St Louis won. Froholdt sealed the NT outside the OC and Bolden slashed behind him. For a few.

2nd and 5, Hoyer came back out. In a Strong formation. Skipper won right off the snap in a play action pass pro, with some help from Froholdt. St Louis actually slid back with his inside hand on the ORG Ferentz, as the QB dropped and they both stoned the 5-Tech.

Hoyer had plenty of time. He turned and went up high to Harry. Harry leaped up and spun around in the air to catch the back shoulder fade easy and pick up the 1st. That was a great graceful catch that he made look easy. But he came up limping and had to limp off the field. Just as he is starting to dominate he has to come off the field.

It also ended the 1st Quarter. I unusually just go over the 1st quarter in the first preseason game, because that is when the starters play. But the starters didn’t really play. Not even a single OL. So, we didn’t learn much from this game. We learned that the Pats backups could beat the crap out of the Detroit backups.

The Pats did have some starters or potential starters on defense. Shelton started and looked like a starter on the D-line. Jamie Collins and Bentley could join Hightower and Van Noy as starting LBs, and are certain to start games as the season wears on.

Wise still looks like a starting D-end opposite Bennett, but we’ll see. He has to hit the QB more, and is more of a 4-3 D-end than a 5-Tech. Adam Butler could be a starting 5-Tech this season, and should certainly see a start or two during the season.

I see JC Jackson as a starting Corner in this defense. Harmon and Brooks look like they will be battling it out to start if Chung can’t stay healthy. So the Defense had more front line guys than the offense, which had none except rookies. And the emergency OLT Dan Skipper.
 

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