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Mystery To Me, Part I.
I feel so unqualified to preview this game. "It’s a learning curve for any new player. It depends on the player. It depends on what his background was and so forth," BB said. "If our positions are the same as his positions, if our techniques are the same as his techniques, if our adjustments are the same as the adjustments that he’s used to, that he’s been doing. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t, some players pick those things up quickly, some players it takes a little longer until they experience it and adjust to it. Each case is different." I don't think we learned a thing about this team in the preseason, other than their fatal flaw might be at D-end.
Then we lost Edelman for the season. "Oh yeah, we've talked about it before," Gronk said. "You can't really replace Julian. The way he plays the game, the way he goes out there, the way he loves football is just not replaceable. I mean, just as a whole. As an offense, we've just got to step it up. It's not just going to be one guy to throw in. It's going to be a unit. It's going to be the whole offense just stepping up to fill his void." They need the guys who were very
invisible in the Preseason to step up.
Cooks was a ghost. Gronk was left ineligible on the field. "I think really it just comes down to whatever your different skill-sets are, it's still a matter of execution. You know, fast, quick, tall, smart? I mean, you've got to put it all together, and you've got to put it together on every play," BB said. "Offensive football is really important that every player is on the same page. You can't really have one part of the chain that's not connected. Everyone's got to be focused on what their responsibility is. So, those guys that can present problems with speed, that's what they've got to do, and then when they get the ball, they've got to play that way. And the quick guys and the tall guys and the strong guys, it's just everyone's got different skill-sets and it's really a matter of how everyone comes together within our style of offense and how we can execute in order to get the ball down the field."
Cooks and Gronk have to have major impacts this week for the Pats to
The DBs were scattered about like leaves on the wind. "I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of players play in that position. You’ve seen a lot of players play outside, a lot of players play inside. It’s something that we do in preseason, in training camp for a number of different reasons. So, you’ve seen everybody play everywhere probably," BB said. "You’ve seen safeties play extended, see them play deep, see them play in the box, see corners play inside, play outside. So, hopefully we are able to have versatility in our defense and work on those matchups. So if the players do play there or when they play there, that they have some experience there and are familiar with those techniques. I can’t think of any player, any safety that hasn’t played up and back. [And] any corner that hasn’t played in and out, really any safety that hasn’t played on the perimeter in certain sets, as well." The preseason games where designed more for camouflage than
to highlight any talent on the team.
The stars on offense and defense barely played. "Yeah," Gronk said, "I'm super excited. I mean, we've been practicing now since like July 25th, about 45 days. Just so many practices going on and on, so just super excited now to get to the game, super excited to play. It's been a while, and I just can't wait to get out there."
Gronk didn't play last year.
This season they are going to need him to make plays on the toughest defenses. "They pose a big challenge, especially the front four," Gronk said. "I mean, they can rush. They can get to the quarterback fast. They're strong. They can play the run. And we're going to have to be ready mentally and physically ready for their whole defense." I'm just not sure we can say how much either team is ready.
I think any New Englander could only be called
questionable if they claim to understand the Chiefs at all this season. "This is always a tough game, especially against the Chiefs, as well-coached and as much talent and as good of a team as they are," BB said. "We’ll get through our final preparations today and tomorrow and try to be ready to go Thursday night and play a good 60-minute football game. I have a lot of respect for Andy and the Chiefs, and their players, coaches and their organization. They’ve established a strong organization out there in the last four years. I know we’ll have our hands full." The only team I understand less than the Pats from this preseason is the Chiefs.
I think it is safe to say that the Chief's might be the one team in the NFL that can match the Pats on Special Teams. "Huge Concern! Yeah," BB said about KC's special teams. "They’ve got two of the top returners in the league on the same team. They have good specialists. I know Colquitt is one of the best in the league.
They have a good core group, they cover well, they’re sound, they’re well-coached, their lane discipline and leverage is good. Their blocking is good.
"They don’t cut a lot of guys loose. They get a hat on a hat and get the returner some space. They’re a good situational team. Onside-kick and hands team they’re aggressive. They’ll fake, they’ll surprise onside-kick. They do things like that to keep you off-balance so you have to be sound. You can’t overplay things or you’ll give up something else. They do a good job in all of those areas. It’s one of the best special teams units in the league. It consistently is and I think last year they were second or third – whatever it was. They were very high, one of the top teams, and it looks like they’re still there this year in preseason. Again, some core players they’ve picked up here: Pierre-Louis, Sorenson. Like I said, the specialists, the skill players, so they’re a solid group." With the speed they have drafted on special teams, their special teams unit could be the key to this game.
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