For Sunday: Part II.
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Getting Defensive On Defense-
Usually when you win the Super Bowl teams try to keep their team together.
This has been the biggest turnover for a Super Bowl winning team that I
can remember. And mostly in areas that hurt the most. It is impossible to
argue that in this new pass first and ask questions later NFL that the two
most important positions on defense are edgerushers and Corners.
problem the Pats are facing is a complete turnover from those positions.
Yes, Malcom Butler is still the starting CB. But
he has not been the same Super Bowl Saving Butler he was the past few
seasons. I hate to say this, with all the Patriots homerism in my bones,
but he sucked last week. Damn! Now I feel like a Red Sox fan calling 'EEI.
needs to step his game up, and stop worrying about the Lottery ticket he
can cash at the end of the season, or he won't be able to cash it.
"It sure has a long way from West Alabama," BB said about
Butler. "But you know, again, that's absolutely true for Malcolm. And
I would say we have a lot of other players in that category. I mean, guys
come into this league and wherever they were, this is a huge jump on a
number of levels: competitively, socially, economically, the attention
from the fans. and the media. and so forth. It's huge.
everybody is from Alabama and Michigan and USC and those places. So for
some of those guys, and even the ones that come from there, it's still a
huge jump for them. It's a big part of a big time in a professional
player's career: making it the first year, but then that first to second,
or first to second to third. That's true for everybody." Every week
the pay out has shrunk for him.
was not great in the Preseason. He was not a shut down CB by any measure
in the Preseason. Now in the first game, the entire defense fell apart in
the 2nd Half, and Butler was certainly one of the players that sucked, but
he was not the worst in that regard. The rush was a joke in the 2nd Half,
and the inexperience on the edge rush hurt everybody in the secondary.
lost Logan Ryan, who was the best run defending Corner I ever saw. Never
mind from a CB who was also a shutdown Corner. The Pats upgraded in
athleticism (maybe) with Stephon Gilmore, and certainly speed. But we down
graded in leadership, grit, and run D. Now Gilmore may end up being the
better player, but like most of the defense he was not better Thursday
they are going to be facing a bigger challenge this week. "He's a
tough receiver, big, strong, strong hands, tough, hard to tackle, a very
physical receiver. Probably as physical as any receiver we'll see,"
BB said about WR Michael Thomas.
it's a big group. I mean, he's by far the most physical. [Brandon]
Coleman's 230-pounds. He's a big target. He's almost like a tight end. [Coby]
Fleener's a good receiver at tight end." They are huge at receiver in
New Orleans now.
while the turnover at CB wasn't complete (but only felt that way because
Butler seems to have lost some confidence) the edgerusher turnover has
been complete. Though Flowers was going to be a starter this season, they
lost their three veteran rushers: Long, Sheard, and then Ninkovich. Now
none of those three were great, but you win with veterans that play their
position and don't make mistakes. They didn't make mistakes.
we have Flowers, and three new names Wise, Adam Butler, and Marsh.
"Those are two young guys here that we've been working with for a
while and they've played a little bit through the preseason," Matt
Patricia said about Wise and Butler. "I think those two guys in
particular, I would say for young guys that came in they worked extremely
hard. I think from understanding the defensive concepts and some of the
things we do from the mental part of the game, I thought they did a real
good job of trying to understand it.
and Butler are] two guys that we were able to kind of move around into
different positions and take a look at from that standpoint, which is
always good. It may not be where they play or it may not be necessarily
where they end up week to week but being able to take some guys that are a
little bit multiple that you can try to evaluate in different positions
through the course of training camp allows us to get a different look at
them. So that was one of the positives coming out of that." Butler
and Guy are really more 5-Techs than DEs, and Van Noy might be their best
are going to have to use multiple players in multiple ways to hit the QB.
They need Cassius Marsh to step up and be that third edgerusher, and fast.
"Just in general with Cassius getting here, I'd say definitely trying
to get him caught up and get him up to speed with everything that we do
here," Patricia said. "He worked extremely hard this week to try
to make sure he understood everything and just go out and play hard and do
those things. [He's] still, obviously, working through a lot there but
very into it. Studying and learning and just obviously got a long way. I
think in general last night again in the game, I would say overall in
general for everybody, we've got a lot of work to do." They need him
to hit the QB.
Saints WRs are big mean and nasty. "Well I think definitely the size
is something that they've done a good job of getting skill players that
have what we call 'big catch radiuses' or guys that can go up and [get
it]," Patricia said. "Along with [that] this offense that does a
great job of stressing you from a horizontal standpoint, they do a good
job of pushing the ball down the field. I think the big key is obviously
the quarterback. Drew Brees is outstanding.
an excellent quarterback not only in the cerebral sense and his ability to
get into the proper play and change and audible and do all that stuff at
the line of scrimmage, but when he throws the ball and he can get it
downfield or he can really put the ball away from a defender, I think the
big targets that he has allows him to place the ball away from maybe the
coverage or the leverage or whatever the case may be. I think he does a
really good job of finding those spaces and getting the ball to those
having receivers that are longer and guys that can go make those sort of
completions. You know, you saw Fleener make one last night and throughout
the course of whether you look at last year's tape or a couple years ago
or through the preseason, their receivers have been able to make those
catches. So it really allows the quarterback the opportunity to throw the
ball up to them and gives those guys a chance to go up and get the
ball." So they cannot have miscommunications in the secondary this
have to hit Brees, or he will tear them a new one with multiple weapons.
"They hit him outside. They move him around. He's another fast,
explosive player. Fleener gets a lot of seam balls," BB said.
"Thomas is really good at everything. They hit Ginn on that seam or
inside fade early in the 4th quarter last week. They move them around.
They have different ways of getting the balls down the field. They do a
good job with the backs too. Kamara: wheel routes, and plays coming out of
mix it up. They just don't run the same thing all the time. They scheme it
up and usually get a good matchup. The vertical element is definitely
there. Sean does a good job with that. He creates some tough mismatch
situations or coverage beaters. Brees is good to recognize it."
is offense is much better than the Chiefs. If they do get the rush and
coverage working together to stop Brees than it is going to be a long day,
and a shorter season. The defense has to play better than last week. This
is a must win game.
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